YBI Appoints Gilchrist, Hendricks to Board of Directors

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Business Incubator recently announced the appointment of two new board members, Stephanie Gilchrist and Elle Hendricks.

Gilchrist is a former YBI staff member and the current director of economic development for the city of Youngstown. In 2014, she joined YBI as project coordinator for the Tech Block Building 5. During this time, Gilchrist managed the $5.7 million EDA project from its inception to obtaining the construction contract. Additionally, Gilchrist played a key role in developing the Women in Entrepreneurship (WE) Program.

In late 2017, Gilchrist became the executive director of Inspiring Minds Youngstown. After three years, she returned to the YBI to continue the work of the WE Program and to help develop the Youth in Entrepreneurship Program (YE). In 2021, Inc. Magazine recognized the YE Program as one of the 2021 Businesses on the Move. Later that year, Gilchrist became the regional director of the Minority Business Assistance Center, where she developed a talented team that surpassed state-approved metrics.

Serving in that role for two years, in mid-2023, while battling breast cancer, Gilchrist became the economic development director for the city she loves.

“The Youngstown Business Incubator is where my journey began, and I will always call it home. It has impacted the lives of so many entrepreneurs and this city by creating a 5-building campus that helps our downtown thrive. The YBI truly elevates every entrepreneur and this community,” Gilchrist says.

The second new board member is Elle Hendricks. Hendricks is the director of workforce development at Dinesol Plastics and the fourth generation of her family’s business. She brings a wealth of experience in positive impact intervention and organizational development.

“Getting involved with YBI has been a transformative experience. Seeing the incubator’s support to small local businesses is setting the area up for a stronger future,” Hendricks says.

Hendricks grew up in Youngstown and attended Ursuline High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College in 2020 and completed her MBA at Case Western Reserve University in 2023. During her master’s program, she focused on enhancing the future of manufacturing in the Youngstown area and is excited to bring her experiences to the YBI community.

“With her family’s past engagement with YBI, adding Elle to our board was an easy decision. She has not only a strong manufacturing background but also deep ties to our community,” says Barb Ewing, YBI CEO.

As members of the YBI Board of Directors, Gilchrist and Hendricks will play key roles in supporting the organization’s mission of promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in the region.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.