Eric Engelmann plans to step down from his role as NewBoCo’s executive director on Dec. 1 to focus exclusively on ISA Ventures, a multi-million-dollar fund he founded to provide capital for both early-stage startups and fast-growing companies in Eastern Iowa.
Mr. Engelmann’s role at NewBoCo will be filled by Aaron Horn, who currently serves as its chief operating officer. Mr. Horn’s COO role will be assumed by Jill Wilkins, who currently serves as NewBoCo’s events director.
“With the huge opportunities facing us in 2021, having two people responsible for working together across the entirety of this complex organization is critical,” Mr. Engelmann stated in a release. “To keep our teams aligned, and to foster communication and support HR and talent across the company, is even more important now. And Aaron and Jill are the ideal people to fill those roles.”
Mr. Horn joined the NewBoCo Board of Directors in 2014, serving as its chair in 2016. He then came on board with NewBoCo full-time as COO in 2017. A graduate of Iowa State University, Horn worked for 12 years as the global IT manager for Becker Underwood before serving as director of IT for the Iowa Interstate Railroad.
Before her time with NewBoCo, Ms. Wilkins spent 10 years with the Cedar Rapids Downtown District and the Metro Economic Alliance, where she led the newly established Downtown Farmers’ Market. She joined NewBoCo as events director in 2016.
While working on EntreFEST these past four years, I’ve had the opportunity to see how all of the many pieces of NewBoCo fit together to make a really impactful organization,” Ms. Wilkins stated. “I’m excited to now be able to expand my role to support all of the different areas of the organization, as well as the awesome staff that lead these important efforts.”
In addition to founding NewBoCo, Mr. Engelmann founded and grew Geonetric in Cedar Rapids from 1999 until 2015. An experienced angel investor, he has invested in more than 40 companies through Iowa Startup Accelerator Fund I and he actively mentors many of our region’s entrepreneurs. Engelmann also serves on the board of directors for Scrum Alliance.