Stone named new EDA University Center director

J. “Deacon” Stone, director of the Center for Innovation at Marshall University’s Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI), has been promoted to director of the West Virginia EDA University Center, Charlotte Weber, RCBI director & CEO, announced today.

University Center is a U.S. Economic Development Administration program to leverage the resources of regional colleges and universities to support economic development. West Virginia’s University Center, one of 66 across the country, has its headquarters at Marshall. It provides a full range of prototyping, entrepreneurial and manufacturing services.

“RCBI’s University Center recognizes that institutions of higher education are critical players in the development of vibrant economic ecosystems,” Weber said. “Deacon is a forward-thinking collaborative leader who also is a successful entrepreneur and more than prepared to guide this regional program, expanding the reach and depth of the center.”

“I look forward to building upon the successes of the EDA University Center to spur economic development through regional collaborations,” Stone said. “We’ll continue to partner with higher education institutions across the area to ensure that we leverage the strengths and expertise of each to deliver a focused and effective strategy for driving economic development.”

As director of RCBI’s Center for Innovation, Stone has assisted entrepreneurs across West Virginia, helping bring new products to market, empowering startups to innovate and grow and helping establish new businesses. Stone has collaborated with numerous university departments – including the colleges of Business and Information Technology, Engineering, School Medicine, and others – to facilitate technology transfer and commercialize research.

Stone joined RCBI in 2018. He previously served as marketing and outreach director for Solar Holler, a state-based renewable energy company; and project director for Coalfield Development’s West Edge Factory and enterprise president for its Rediscover Appalachia.

Stone studied electrical engineering at Ohio University. He earned a bachelor’s of fine arts degree from Marshall and a master’s of fine arts degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He also earned an executive education certificate from Harvard University Business School and a certificate in entrepreneurship center management from the International Business Innovation Association. The Ohio native is a graduate of South Point High School.

Derek Scarbro, RCBI deputy director and director of business development, said that EDA University Center’s goals for the next five years include creating at least 145 jobs and leveraging more than $1 million in private investment. The initiative targets state industries with the greatest growth potential, including aviation, advanced manufacturing, agriculture and food production, medical manufacturing, technology, and outdoor recreation.

For more information about the EDA University Center, contact Stone at or 304.781.1659 or visit www.rcbi.org/universitycenter.

Other News

View All News

Robotics, drone teams to battle in Huntington

Teams from across West Virginia and beyond will battle it out by land and by air during two days of robotics competitions hosted by the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University. On Dec. 3, RCBI will host the Marshall University VEX IQ Robotics Qualifier...

read more

Veteran hopes minority-owned business inspires others

Milford Zeigler Jr. wasn’t looking to start his own business. The Charleston resident already had retired more than once. Interwoven with a career in the private sector was more than 20 years of military service, including stints as a gunner with the First Cavalry...

read more

Women excel in RCBI welding program

You may be aware of the significant contributions of Rosie the Riveters, but you may not know that during World War II, working alongside Rosies in factories, shipyards and munitions plants was another essential group of women: Wendy the Welders. In fact, during...

read more

New machining, welding classes begin in January

Individuals looking to start their career journeys or train for jobs in the in-demand fields of machining and welding don’t have to wait until fall 2023 to get started. The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI)’s nationally recognized Machinist Technology/CNC and Welding...

read more