business engagement center

73 Upper College Rd., Kingston, RI 02881 – 401.874.7084

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katharine_webKatharine Hazard Flynn
Executive Director

Katharine Hazard Flynn
Executive Director

Katharine Hazard Flynn oversees daily operations of the University of Rhode Island’s Business Engagement Center. She also serves as the director of the URI Foundation’s Corporate and Foundations unit, and leads efforts on behalf of the University to secure philanthropic support from local, statewide, national and international corporations and charitable foundations.

Before joining the BEC/Foundation, Flynn served as a director at the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. Her experience at the EDC provided Flynn with a valuable understanding and knowledge of the business community, including the needs and interests of many companies, whether small or large in size.

She has significant experience in the finance industry as well, holding a number of senior level positions at Prudential Bache, Alex Brown & Sons, Toronto Dominion Securities and Societe General. She is an alumna of Brown University.


george_for_press_220George Nickolopoulos
Relationship Manager

George Nickolopoulos
Relationship Manager

George Nickolopoulos serves as a key relationship builder for the University of Rhode Island in the areas of defense and marine trades.

Before joining the BEC, Nickolopoulos served as director of operations for Nautilus Defense, a Providence-based company providing support to the United States Armed Forces in its efforts to combat terrorism and develop new technologies to enhance operational safety and effectiveness. In his role, Nickolopoulos worked with the United States Navy to support anti-terrorism initiatives in Southeast Asia, and with several organizations within the defense and marine trades industry across the state, including the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance (SENEDIA).

DeedeePhotocroppedDeedee Chatham
Program Director, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Deedeee Chatham
Program Director, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Deedee manages interdisciplinary, experiential initiatives, including URI SPARC and (URI)2 that are focused on translating student and faculty experience into real-world economic and social impact. URI SPARC supports startups and innovation across the University with interdisciplinary events such as hackathons, pitch workshops, speaker events and industry connections. Deedee also manages and promotes (URI)2, the undergraduate research initiative grants program.

Previously at URI, she worked to commercialize technology inventions at the URI Research Foundation, and to on-board both RI’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Polaris MEP), and RI’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Deedee spent over 15 years in project management, marketing strategy and business development growing software, energy, and data analytics startups. She is an alumna of Northeastern University’s MBA program and the University of New Hampshire’s Biochemistry and Psychology programs.

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