Dr Luis Proenza To Receive H Peter Burg Regional Vision Award

Dr. Luis Proenza to Receive H. Peter Burg Regional Vision

Team Northeast Ohio Team NEO will honor Dr. Luis Proenza,
President of The University of Akron (UA), with the H. Peter Burg
Regional Vision Award at the Team NEO Economic Development Plus
Awards to be held July 9, 2014 at the InterContinental Hotel and
Conference Center. The H. Peter Burg Award is Team NEO’s
highest honor, commemorating the late chairman and CEO of
FirstEnergy Corporation, a regional leader and the founding
chairman of Team NEO.

“Luis Proenza exemplifies the legacy of Pete Burg,”
said Thomas Waltermire, CEO of Team NEO. “We are pleased to
have the opportunity to recognize Luis for his leadership in making
the University of Akron a powerhouse for regional economic

Dr. Proenza became UA’s 15th president in 1999, and will have
served more than 15 years in this role when he completes his
presidency on June 30, 2014. During that time he led the university
through a $650 million capital construction campaign – the
New Landscape for Learning Initiative – that transformed UA
from a downtown commuter college to a major metropolitan

One of Dr. Proenza’s many regional economic development
initiatives includes his work with Dr. Roy Church, President of
Lorain County Community College, to build the Innovation Alliance.
Their organizations, along with Stark State College, came together
to lower the costs of higher education while offering new academic
programs in high-demand fields. This partnership is setting the bar
for collaborative success in higher education, and increased the
number of degreed workers who can fill open jobs in the region as
well as increasing the earning potential of these workers.  

Another significant contribution to regional economic development
that flourished under Dr. Proenza is the University of Akron
Research Foundation (UARF), which provides intellectual property,
commercialization and enterprise creation support to Ohio
entrepreneurs, innovators and business owners. During Dr.
Proenza’s tenure, the UARF helped launch more than 50
start-up companies.

He has been involved in national science and technology policy
matters since the 1970s and has been recognized for his expertise
through appointments and service to prominent organizations.

In 2001, President George W. Bush named Dr. Proenza to the
President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the
nation’s highest-level policy-advisory group for science and
technology. In 2004, the Secretary of Energy appointed him chairman
of the Science and Mathematics Education Task Force and, later, to
the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board.

He now serves on the executive committee for the Council on
Competitiveness and its Manufacturing Competitiveness Steering
Committee, and its Regional Leadership Institute Steering
Committee, which he chairs. Recently, Dr. Proenza was appointed to
the Council of the Government-University-Industry Research
Roundtable of the National Academies and to the Technology
Innovation Program Advisory Board for the National Institute of
Standards and Technology. He also is a member of the Council on
Foreign Relations and a board member of the States Science and
Technology Institute.

Past recipients of the H. Peter Burg Regional Vision Award include:
 2005 – Robert Briggs; 2006 – Jim Griffith; 2007
– Les Vinney; 2008 – Richard Pogue; 2009 –
Congressman Ralph Regula, 2010 – Dr. Roy Church, 2011 –
Senator George V. Voinovich, 2012 – Dr. Jeanette Grasselli
Brown and Dr. Glenn R. Brown and 2013 – William

In addition to honoring Dr. Proenza at the Economic Development
Plus Awards on July 9, Team NEO also will present awards in ten
categories for economic development efforts that have helped create
jobs, attract and retain companies, and encourage global investment
in Northeast Ohio in 2013.

  • Plus Awards
  • Burg Award