Meet our team

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.


Meet Our Co-Founders

Andrea Margida, M.S.

Co-founder & Executive Director

CentreWorks

Andrea is Executive Director of CentreWorks, an initiative of Centre College, designed to partner with the city of Danville and the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky.  Andrea led the effort to design CentreWorks as a catalyst to build community, establish resilience, and stimulate economic growth. CentreWorks programming, built on a foundation of the entrepreneurial mindset, has been customized to provide collaboration, ideation, education, mentoring, skills enhancement, and investment opportunities.

She co-designed both the LIFTOFF entrepreneurship program and the FUSION community collaboration groups.  LIFTOFF has provided startup experiential learning to nearly 100 students and community members with seven area launches within two years.  FUSION has provided human-centered innovation student/community experiences for various community challenges including access to fresh foods, urban innovation, and local housing.  

 

Andrea has a strong pedigree as an entrepreneur and educator including experience as President of TechGrit, an entrepreneurial ecosystem design consultancy and President and CEO of The Valentine Project, a nonprofit that supports families affected by childhood chronic illnesses, including cancer.

 

Andrea received a B.A. in history from the College of Wooster and  earned an M.S. in food science and nutrition at Ohio University. Her entrepreneurial skills have been certified by the prestigious Cornell University Women’s Entrepreneurship Program and INBIA’s International Business Incubation Management. She is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, served on the Board of Directors of LaunchTown Experience™ and is a graduate of the Women's Network Community Leadership Institute.  As an educator, she has taught language arts and science to middle and high school students as well as science, technology, and nutrition at Ohio University, West Virginia University, and Walsh University.

 

Andrea has a vast array of experience in food and agriculture, ranging from quality control to development of innovative food products. She has been a leading advocate for the promotion of farm-to-table, locally sourced, and low-carbon-footprint food. She has had the privilege of hosting farm-to-table and entrepreneur workshops for groups of international diplomats in conjunction with the U.S. State Department. Andrea continues to share her passion for ecologically sound food production on Morning Mist Farm, which she established in 1999 as a model of sustainable agriculture, using farm practices to promote good stewardship of agricultural lands.

Anthony Margida, Ph.D.

Co-Founders & Executive Director

CentreWorks

Anthony is Co-executive director of Centreworks. He is an accomplished entrepreneurial ecosystem architect with deep expertise in customizing startup programming for communities, universities, and corporations. His depth of experience spans business incubator/accelerator design, equity investment, private/public partnerships, company formation, and organization sustainability. 

At CentreWorks he co-designed both the LIFTOFF entrepreneurship program and the FUSION community collaboration groups.   LIFTOFF has provided startup experiential learning to nearly 100 students and community members with seven area launches within two years.  FUSION has provided human-centered innovation student/community experiences for various community challenges including access to fresh foods, urban innovation, and local housing.  

His 30-year career in innovation has focused on developing/commercializing new technologies and the creation of companies spanning the specialty chemical, advanced material, cleantech/energy, IT, medical device, and food/agriculture industries. As CEO of the Akron Global Business Accelerator, he envisioned and spearheaded its transformation into an entrepreneurial super-hub creating 450 new jobs and securing $75 M in equity investment while securing over $10M in grant funding to ensure multi-year operations.  As Director of Technology at HB Fuller he led development and global commercialization of a water-based footwear adhesive offering an alternative to a highly abused toluene-based staple. His Magnetorheological Fluid (MR) patents are widely cited and are core to GM’s Magneride suspensions on over one million vehicles.

 

A nationally recognized thought leader, Dr. Margida has served on the US Council on Competitiveness, teaming with top US innovation experts to develop policy and programming for the National Commission on Innovation.  He is a certification instructor for Entrepreneurial Center Directors with the International Business Innovation Association (INBIA)  He co-founded LaunchTown Experience™, a program designed to promote entrepreneurship for students. He has served on the Akron ARCHAngels Deal Flow Committee and the University of Akron Research Foundation Spark Fund Board focusing on investment of University technologies. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of Wooster, Dr. Margida received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Akron and his business education from the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Our Innovation Fellow

Maddy Jenkins

Innovation Fellow

CentreWorks

Maddy is the first ever Innovation Fellow at CentreWorks and a graduate of the Centre College class of 2022 with a double major in International Studies and Spanish. Maddy’s love for community engagement and creative problem solving motivated her to work with CentreWorks as a volunteer, then as a paid intern, and now as a full-time employee. She got her start working on the FUSION: Access to Fresh Food team, a Community Collaboration Group with a goal to better understanding and appreciate community members' food access experiences in order to address our local food access challenges.

Maddy fell in love with an initiative and a process that incorporates the perspectives of the people she wants to serve at every step of the problem solving process – that process is the Human-Centered Approach™ (HCA)! By using intentional and inclusive outreach, this Community Collaboration Group was able to make incredible progress empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping, and currently, testing a prototype!

Updates about FUSION: Access to Fresh Food

More information about our process:

Maddy is a farmer, outdoor enthusiast, and an environmentalist looking to better understand our food systems and how we can use creative problem solving processes like the Human-Centered Approach™ to address intersectional issues. With this Fellowship, Maddy gains professional experience in strategic marketing & communications, graphic design, education, project management, intern supervising/managing, and especially in the Entrepreneurial Mindset (EM). Maddy is ecstatic about her future in sustainable agriculture and public policy – this fellowship is an important part of her progress! 

Our Interns

Lucy Swenson

Ionut Moga

John Bingaman

Isaiah Arroyo