Our team includes community members and Centre College students determined to put the Human-Centered Approach to Innovation into practice. We use this approach to understand what matters to the people who live in this region so that we can address challenges and design solutions that create an intentionally inclusive, resilient community. From FUSION leadership to our Urban Innovation interns, our students collaborate with community members to start initiatives that build a stronger community.
Andrea and Anthony Margida have been collaborating both personally and professionally since they met as undergraduate students at the College of Wooster. This duo knows that inclusive, resilient communities begin with strong individual relationships, and their marriage is one example. Together, Andrea and Anthony have led a life of adventure, rich with personal and professional accomplishments that demonstrate their commitment to community- and relationship- building. Some of their favorites include their non-profit, The Valentine Project, their entrepreneurial consulting firm, TechGrit, and their sustainable agriculture ventures, Sunny Slope and Morning Mist Farm.
This entrepreneurial duo embarked on a monumental adventure when their children were 6 and 2 years old, choosing to move away from the suburbs to start their first sustainable agriculture venture, Sunny Slope Farm. This lifestyle change required Andrea and Anthony to embrace ambiguity - owning and running a farm was a new experience for them both! As a result, their kids grew up learning the value of hard work, the responsibility of raising animals, and the pride that comes from being good stewards of the land. After gaining an enduring passion for farming, the Margida family began their second sustainable agriculture endeavor. Morning Mist Farm operated upon a regenerative agriculture model, also raising heritage cattle, chickens, goats and horses, while building relationships through global workshops on entrepreneurship, each culminating with a farm-to-table dinner.
Along with their adult children, Gregory and Michaela, Andrea and Anthony founded and continue to run The Valentine Project, a non-profit organization that serves children with chronic illnesses and their families. The Margidas were moved to help these special families after volunteering at a camp for children with cancer and their siblings, where they developed a close friendship with a teenage girl with cancer, her five siblings, and their mother. Running the Valentine Project is a labor of love which Andrea and Anthony have embraced to the fullest, from hosting volunteer events and fundraisers in their home, to packaging over 1,000 Valentine’s Day gifts for children by hand each year.
In addition to their hearts for service, Andrea and Anthony have minds for business. At their core, they believe in the transformative power of entrepreneurship, so they started the entrepreneurial consulting firm, TechGrit. This startup designs customized, community-centric, sustainable entrepreneurial environments to support and enhance business missions. The two are accomplished architects of entrepreneurial ecosystems, and their initiatives have helped generate hundreds of new jobs, millions of dollars in new investments, and millions of dollars in local, state, federal, and foundation dollars. The secret to TechGrit’s success is one that Andrea and Anthony are excited to apply at CentreWorks: empathy, a vital cornerstone of the human centered approach to innovation.
Andrea and Anthony are continually dedicated to service, committed to community-building, and unafraid of ambiguity. They know firsthand that inclusive, resilient communities start with strong, interpersonal relationships. The Margidas look forward to building relationships with each individual member of this community, so come on over to CentreWorks and say hello!
Andrea Margida, M.S.
Co-founder & Executive Director
Anthony Margida, Ph.D.
Co-founder & Executive Director