Innovation Resource Center appoints executive director

The Bellingham Business Journal

The Innovation Resource Center (IRC) recently appointed John Sechrest, the former economic development director of the Corvallis-Benton Chamber Coalition in Oregon, as its first executive director.

“We were excited to engage an individual with a breadth of experience in support of entrepreneurs, which included starting his own business and working within a university affiliation,” said IRC Chairman Debbie Ahl in a press release. “John’s experience in founding the Willamette Angel Group and Business Bootcamp as well as his board involvement with Startup Weekends and the BEC Accelerator provides him a rich set of tools to help us grow the new business sector of our economy.”

Sechrest will start his new job Nov. 15 at the IRC offices in at 2200 Rimland Dr. in Barkley Village.

“I welcome the opportunity to work with the public and private organizations, area businesses and education institutions in support of building a more robust economy with innovative startup businesses,” Sechrest said in a press release.

The Innovation Resource Center was established by the Northwest Economic Council to connect innovative start-up businesses to resources that will help them to grow and thrive in Whatcom County. The goal of the NWIRC is to create 1,131 new jobs in its first five years. For more information, visit

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