- Target Industries
- Business Climate
Trent Williamson is Chief Executive Officer for the Don Ryan Center for Innovation (DRCI) after serving as the organization’s Vice President for Economic Development. He previously worked for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and Metro Atlanta Chamber. He created partnerships with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Tech, Georgia’s University system, and Georgia’s utility providers. He was responsible for managing projects and building strategic partnerships with twenty-nine neighboring counties. Trent is passionate about the Lowcountry and helping businesses thrive. In his role with the Don Ryan Center for Innovation, his focus is threefold: attracting the right businesses to Bluffton, aiding new businesses get started and supporting current Bluffton Businesses. During off hours, Trent enjoys spending time with his wife, McCauley and their hound dog, Hank. He can usually be found on the water or watching an Auburn game. War Eagle!
Since 2012, the Don Ryan Center for Innovation (DRCI) has been instrumental in creating a business-centric community while empowering innovators through its successful incubation program. The organization has also emerged as the Town of Bluffton’s economic development arm, facilitating numerous projects and partnerships that have led to today’s vibrant economy. It fosters strategic, sustainable growth in five core areas:
A consistent aspect of the Don Ryan Center’s mission has been its business incubator. In the first five years, the incubator graduated more than 35 companies and mentored many more. Graduate companies have created 100+ jobs and generated more than $5 million in annual payroll as well as more than $30 million in annual revenue. The incubator provides resources such as hands-on mentoring, company formation and overall business planning.
The organization will soon break ground on a state-of-the-art 3,000 square foot facility within the Town’s Buckwalter Commerce Park. The “HUB” will serve as home-base for innovators working within the incubation program as well as offer co-working space for area entrepreneurs, allowing for collaboration and sharing in a high-tech open environment.
Through membership, the DRCI continues to build a community of leaders who play an active role in the region’s future economic success and quality of life. Executives and entrepreneurs all at all stages in their professional journeys are joining with the organization in confidence that it provides a unique value and will make an impact on the future economic success of our community.