Contact the BEC

Katharine Hazard Flynn
Executive Director
(401) 874-7084 •

katharine_webKatharine 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/URI 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 Generale. She is an alumna of Brown University.

George Nickolopoulos
Relationship Manager
(401) 874-2083 •

george_for_press_220George 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).  George is an alum of Earlham College.

Deedee Chatham
Program Director for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
(401) 874-5904 •

DeedeePhotoDeedee Chatham manages interdisciplinary, experiential initiatives, including URI Start-Up Program/Accelerator/Resource Center (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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