The University of North Florida appointed alumna Karen Bowling the director of its new Center for Entrepreneurship.
Bowling is an executive with more than 30 years of experience in public and private companies in the health care, government and technology industries.
Prior to her appointment, Bowling served as president of Thrive Consulting LLC in Jacksonville, where she worked with clients in the health care and government sectors.
She served as chief administrative officer for the city of Jacksonville during former Mayor Alvin Brown’s administration; CEO of Solantic urgent care clinics; and in communication roles at health care firms.
Bowling is chair of the Florida State College of Jacksonville board of trustees and is a member of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
She received a bachelor of arts in literature from UNF.
The public opening of the Center for Entrepreneurship, with classrooms in the renovated historic Barnett National Bank Building on Adams Street Downtown, is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 4.
The center was made possible by a gift of $1 million from Luther and Blanche Coggin.
“The Coggins have had an enormous impact on the future business leaders in Northeast Florida and beyond with their long history of investing in higher education,” said UNF President David Szymanski, in a news release.
The center will occupy two floors of the building, one for classrooms and the other for business development. Classes started the week of Jan. 7 for graduate students within the Coggin College of Business master’s in management program; MBA program classes are expected to begin in May.
The center will offer students opportunities to assist entrepreneurs with market and financial analyses, statement creation and planning.
The Northeast Florida Small Business Development Center and Small Business Administration also will have a presence to connect aspiring business owners with additional resources and advice.