YBI official to co-chair Belt Initiative

YOUNGSTOWN – The Chief Operations Officer for the Youngstown Business Incubator will take over as co-chairperson for the TechBelt Initiative, it was announced last week.

Barb Ewing will replace Eric Planey, formerly of the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, who left the region earlier this year.

“Barb is an excellent choice to continue the important work of the TechBelt Initiative. Her exceptional experience and dedication will continue to enhance our efforts to build broad collaboration among economic development stakeholders across the TechBelt region,” said DeWitt Peart, TechBelt Initiative Co-Chair.

Ewing expressed her excitement with the appointment.

“We have accomplished a great deal in a short time, and I am honored to take on a larger role in bringing renewed investment and continued development to the region,” Ewing said.

Ewing joined YBI after eight years working as Economic Development Director for U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Howland, where she championed the formation of the TechBelt Initiative. Prior to that, she was VP of Public Policy for the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, where she lobbied to bring state and federal funding back to the Mahoning Valley for community development projects. Barb has been serving on the TechBelt board of directors and executive committee for four years.

A Valley native, Barb holds her Bachelor of Arts degree from Kent State University and her Master’s Degree from Capella University.

The TechBelt Initiative began to develop a strategy to reinvigorate the Cleveland-to-Pittsburgh-to-Morgantown corridor and surrounding region. The continued transition to a technology and knowledge-based economy combined with industrial and academic assets, makes the region poised for renewed growth.

Planey accepted a position in New York.