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The National Entrepreneur Center (NEC) is pleased to announce Belinda Ortiz Kirkegard as its President. Joining the organization from her previous role as Economic Development Director for the City of Kissimmee, Kirkegard brings over 25 years of public and private sector experience to her new role.
Responsible for attracting millions of private sector investment to Kissimmee over her 13-year tenure, she says, “I’ve been a champion for small business for most of my professional career so I’m excited to bring my passion and experience in public and private sector roles to this remarkable small business support organization. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and I look forward to growing and expanding the great work that occurs here at the National Entrepreneur Center!” Kirkegard succeeds Jerry Ross, who retired in December of 2022, after 16 years of service as NEC President.
Kirkegard is a nationally certified Economic Development Finance Professional and has a Master’s degree in Public Administration. In 2021, she was appointed by Florida Governor DeSantis to the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which oversees the Orlando International and Orlando Executive Airports. She is a longtime Central Florida resident, and is married with two children.