Paula is the Director of University Outreach and our EDA University Center for Community and Economic Development. She has also been a lecturer of Economics at UM-Flint for the past 25 years. She is a graduate of the Honors Program UM-Flint and holds an MA in Economics from Michigan State University and a JD from Wayne State University Law School. Paula’s primary academic fields of interest are law and economics and microeconomic theory. She is currently the PI on several initiatives, ranging in topic from entrepreneurship and economic development to regional asset mapping. Paula is a member of the I-69 Thumb Region Steering Committee, an active volunteer with many civic organizations, serves on several campus-wide committees, and is a member of the Grand Blanc City Council. Paula is passionate about community engagement, specifically in connecting faculty and students with economic development, business, and municipal leaders through a variety of initiatives. She is eager to continue to expand and broaden meaningful relationships between UM-Flint and community partners in ways that will benefit our region and our students, faculty, and staff alike.
University Outreach - [IN] at the Ferris Wheel
As a graduate of the Incubator, Nic offers a unique perspective when he interviews clients in our program. Nic owned a publishing and editing business, established a housing cooperative, and serves on the board of a local non-profit. As a researcher and writer, he produces marketing and communications materials for University Outreach. He also provides business counseling and directs clients to resources and networking opportunities. Nic earned his Bachelor’s in Anthopology and is nearing completion of the graduate certificate in business at UM-Flint’s School of Management.
Sara is a connector who focuses on finding mentors for aspiring and operating business owners. She enjoys inspiring others to follow their passion -- and make money in the process. She has cultivated a wide network of community members and displays a deep understanding of governmental processes through her work with municipalities and townships. A former business owner, Sara can share lessons learned and recently received her MBA from UM-Flint.
University Outreach - Innovation Incubator
David Mérot has an extensive background in economic development research and implementation. Most recently, he has been involved in numerous economic development research projects, including a bi-annual 7-county wages and benefits survey, broadband access study, opportunity youth fiscal scan, literacy network data collection, and data visualization. He has supported local business owners to expand their business operations in the area and into international markets in partnership with the State of Michigan STEP grant economic development initiative. David has facilitated and developed creative approaches related to entrepreneurship, community development, and a number of issues surrounding nonprofit funding, coalition implementation, and data collection for nonprofits and organizations in the region with the support of the Ruth Mott Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The Harding Foundation and The Community Foundation of Greater Flint. David has been involved in strategic planning and development by coordinating, organizing, and facilitating local partner funding opportunity collaboration, as well as consulting on data analysis and branding for a number of organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Finance from EDC Paris. Prior to his arrival in Michigan, David worked in several countries and in multiple multinational firms.