DOTHAN, Ala. (September 15, 2022) – HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology President Neil Lamb, PhD, announced Dean M. Mitchell as the director of HudsonAlpha Wiregrass.
In early August, the City of Dothan and HudsonAlpha signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue a collaborative initiative to create a new campus in Dothan, to be called HudsonAlpha Wiregrass. This new initiative will focus on the key areas of agricultural research, economic development and education. HudsonAlpha Wiregrass will begin its work in the area this October. The City of Dothan will be constructing a Wiregrass Innovation Center as part of its downtown revitalization which will house the Institute’s Wiregrass operations.
Mitchell is the former executive director of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce where he was responsible for the overall operations of the chamber and supported the chamber on projects related to economic, community and workforce development. Prior to joining the chamber, he served as chief of staff and communications director for two U.S. congressmen where he led in the fields of management, strategic planning, communications and problem-solving.
“We’re thrilled to announce that Dean has joined HudsonAlpha and will be leading our new initiative in the Wiregrass region,” Lamb said. “Dean has a unique understanding of the opportunities in the Wiregrass and we’re honored to have him as part of our team.”
Mitchell is a graduate of the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Maggie, have three sons. He is also a graduate of the Institute of Organizational Management, Dothan 101, Leadership Dothan and Leadership Alabama. He received his Alabama-accredited chamber executive certification and was named the 2022 chamber professional of the year for Alabama.
HudsonAlpha Wiregrass will focus on three main areas of work: 1) agricultural genomic research to create new varieties of drought and disease-resistant Alabama peanuts, including collaborations with regional universities and the Wiregrass Research Extension Center; 2) recruitment of agriculture tech start-up companies and creation of an eco-system for entrepreneurs and small businesses driving a destination for technology and innovation; and 3) genomics education for Wiregrass schools and the general public to include educator professional learning experiences, student trips, summer programs, workforce certifications and internships in ag-tech.