Russ Yelton is President and CEO of the Northern Arizona Center for Emerging Technologies located in Flagstaff. NACET is a business incubation program that assists companies with commercializing their technologies in both domestic and international markets. NACET is supported by the City of Flagstaff and Northern Arizona University where it functions as the Technology Transfer Office for NAU. Clients in NACET’s program received individual business consulting, access to mentors, venture and angel capital and domestic and international student research teams. The goal of NACET is to create individual wealth and high paying jobs in Northern Arizona. In 2009, NACET clients raised over $32 million in funding and created over 100 jobs at an average salary in the mid $80’s.
Prior to coming to Arizona in 2009, Russ oversaw the creation of a business incubation program in Asheville, North Carolina in an abandoned 141,000 sq feet former BASF manufacturing plant. That program, located at a community college, included a commercial food kitchen, biotechnology space with wet, dry and core laboratories, light manufacturing and executive offices. When Russ left the program after five years in 2009 it housed 42 businesses and was creating over 100 jobs each year. Before that, he started several companies, taught middle school and worked as an adjunct business and technology instructor.
Russ received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Appalachian State University, a Masters of Business Administration from Western Carolina University and Doctoral studies in Educational Leadership also at WCU. In addition, he received a European Union Grant in 2008 to complete Evaluation of Sustainability Training from Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration.
Russ sits on several boards including the National Business Incubation Association, SEDI, AZBio, Small Business Development Center, Arizona’s Bioscience Roadmap Steering Committee, Flynn Foundation, Indo-Asian Academy and others. In his spare time he enjoys international travel, golf and the outdoors.