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ODU’s Nancy Grden Receives Trailblazer Award from Nonprofit Envision Lead Grow

By Noell Saunders

Nancy Grden, executive director of Old Dominion University's Strome Entrepreneurial Center, recently received the 'Marble Loyalist' Award from the nonprofit organization Envision Lead Grow for her partnership and helping the organization expand its' mission in breaking the cycle of poverty by creating opportunities for young girls.

Grden was awarded along with nine other female trailblazers from Hampton Roads and several other cities at the organization's inaugural 'Young Girls Rule' event on April 29.

Envision Lead Grow was founded in 2016 by Angela D. Reddix, president and CEO of ARDX, a health care management and IT consulting firm in Norfolk. Reddix said Grden's efforts helped the organization reach 414 girls in 2017 and continue its mission to inspire 1000 girl bosses by 2020.

"Nancy Grden is a woman who talks the talk and walks the walk," said Reddix. "She embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and was our first partner who believed in Envision Lead Grow's mission. We are honored to present her with this award."

Grden, a strong supporter of Old Dominion University and its efforts to create a campus-wide entrepreneurial culture, was appointed to be the first director of the Strome Entrepreneurial Center in 2014. She previously served as chair of the Executive Advisory Council for Old Dominion's Strome College of Business.

She is co-founder and former general manager for Genomind, a neuroscience biotech company. Grden held executive development positions with Amerigroup (now Anthem), ValueOptions (now Beacon Health), and Bank of America, and has lead start-ups as CEO for Lifescape, a pioneer in web-based behavioral health care, among others.

In 2014, Grden was appointed to the University of South Carolina Faber Entrepreneurship Center Advisory Board and the Virginia Governor's Council on Youth Entrepreneurship in 2015. She advises or serves as a board member to start-up companies, b-corps and new business incubators. In Hampton Roads, Grden is a member of the Board Executive Committees for 757 Angels, 757 Accelerate, and Women in Venture.

Grden holds a master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of North Carolina; an MBA from the University of South Carolina and; a bachelor's in economics from Bucknell University.

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