Lawyer, Entrepreneur and Hill House Director Tapped to Lead New KIZ
William O. Generett Jr., director of economic development for the Hill House Association, will lead the Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone (PCKIZ) as executive director.
The PCKIZ, a consortium led by Duquesne University and the Hill House Economic Development Corp., was funded by state and private sources earlier this year to generate job growth in technology fields. Offices will be based in the Hill District’s Hope Square, adjacent to the Hill House Association on Centre Avenue.
“Bill Generett’s experience as a lawyer and entrepreneur, and the knowledge and insights he has utilized as economic director of the Hill House will prove invaluable assets to the launch and growth of the PCKIZ,” said Steve Schillo, chairman of the PCKIZ board of directors. “He knows, first-hand, what it takes to get a company up and running, and he now is in a position to share that knowledge with the tech community and help to launch these companies and bring jobs to Downtown, Uptown and the Hill District.”
Generett, 36, a Point Breeze native, returned to Pittsburgh three years ago. Most of Generett’s background and training focus on law. He attended college in Atlanta, graduating from Morehouse College in 1993 and from Emory University School of Law in 1996. He had founded his own law firm in Decatur, Ga., focusing on business organization, personal injury and civil litigation, after working with two Atlanta law firms. Former vice president of legal staff and attorney with Compliance Inc. in Arlington, Va., he also had served as contract attorney in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Generett spent a year in Nagasaki, Japan, teaching English to high school students and adults.
In 2004, he moved his family to Pittsburgh and founded Comforcare Senior Services, a nonmedical home-care company that now employs 35. Formerly president, Generett is now an advisor to the company.
Since February, Generett has led the entrepreneurial ventures of the Hill House, including the construction of a full-service grocery store and the purchase of commercial and residential real estate. He also has succeeded in attracting tenants to commercial areas of the Hill District.
“As a lawyer, I have had the opportunity to help new businesses open their doors, then I experienced the process of starting a successful business myself,” Generett said. “This knowledge will be critical in helping startups to launch and grow in the PCKIZ.”
Through tax incentives and support services, the PCKIZ will serve entrepreneurs with startup technology businesses in areas such as medical devices, tissue engineering, drug discovery, pharmaceutics, compliance engineering, digital media, record management, software, cyber security and nanotechnology, as well as owners of fledgling businesses poised for growth.
Partners in the PCKIZ, besides Duquesne and the Hill House, include the Allegheny Conference, Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, Carlow University, City of Pittsburgh, Community College of Allegheny County, Heinz Endowments, Idea Foundry, Innovation Works, Institute For Transfusion Medicine, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, PNC Bank, Point Park University, UPMC Health Plan and the R.K. Mellon Foundation.
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