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SOMERS, Wis. – UW-Parkside recently announced the hiring of Dr. George Vukotich as founding director of the Center for Research in Innovation and Smart Cities

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Vukotich as founding director for our Center for Research in Innovation and Smart Cities,” said UW-Parkside Provost Rob Ducoffe. “The search yielded a number of highly qualified finalist candidates from which George emerged as the unanimous recommendation of the Search Committee.  The search provided us with a rich opportunity to engage in discussions of how innovation and smart cities initiatives will build long-term prosperity and equity in our region.  We are energized to broaden and deepen these partnerships through the research and teaching activities of this new center.” 

Dr. Vukotich hails from River Forest, Illinois, where he most recently served as the founder of FinTank, a Chicago-based global tech hub focused on helping startup companies accelerate their growth as well as assisting larger enterprises with innovation in areas that include artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, blockchain, data analytics, and other areas that bring together people and technology to improve their lives and their communities. 

Dr. Vukotich has also served as senior vice president for programming at Chicago-based 1871, ranked as the #1 tech hub in the world; vice president for military affairs and special projects at Concordia University and dean of Concordia’s College of Business; department chair of the Training and Development graduate program at Roosevelt University; and he also attended Harvard University’s Human Resources Executive Program.  Dr. Vukotich has a PhD in Training and Organizational Development from Loyola University, an MBA in Finance from DePaul University, and a BA in Business Management from Northeastern Illinois University.   

Dr. Vukotich has also been chair and vice-chair of the Board of Trustees at Northeastern Illinois and chairman of the Board of Directors at the River Forest Community Center; spent 28 years in the Air Force, Air Force Reserves, and Air National Guard where he served as an accounting and finance officer, inspector general, and health services administrator; and has authored five book related to change, organizational culture, and mentoring startups. 

Dr. Vukotich and his team are building the strategic plan for the center – which includes the cities of Kenosha and Racine as partners in the initial phase of the center’s efforts – with a future eye toward the global community.   

If individuals and organizations want to be involved in innovation and making a difference in helping cities become smarter by leveraging technology, we want to hear from you!  Reach out to George directly at vukotich@uwp.edu


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