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Released December 9, 2003

By Angela Cutrer

HATTIESBURG - The newly minted executive director of innovation and business ventures at The University of Southern Mississippi is no stranger to the area - he received a doctorate in polymer science from Southern Miss in 1988.

Now Les Goff has returned to the university, this time as part of a team to take Southern Miss to the top of the entrepreneurship arena.

"I received the opportunity to join the team here and I couldn't be more thrilled," Goff said. "I really want to help expand on the entrepreneurial spirit Dr. Thames is building at the university."

Goff comes to the university after 15 years with GE Plastics, where he filled quite a few roles. The Greenwood native managed technology and global marketing organization for GE Plastics and spent two years in the Netherlands with the company. He was responsible for three new business startups and managed several profit and loss centers. His last position with the company was Global Application Technology Manager.

"Les Goff is an extraordinary talent with a professional experience base that is critical in driving a truly entrepreneurial agenda for a comprehensive research university," said Dr. Angeline Dvorak, vice president for research and economic development at Southern Miss.

"In working with specific intellectual property packages that have been donated by major industries, Dr. Goff will craft opportunities for research students, both undergraduate and graduate, that are unprecedented at our university as we engage the full contact sport of taking research and new knowledge to the marketplace."

Goff's position will focus mainly on building relationships among the entrepreneurs, the university and the community. "The university has great technology within its borders - some created here, some donated," he said. "Our goal is to market this technology on a global level. This should provide opportunities for large corporations, small businesses and entrepreneurs."

Dr. Shelby F. Thames, the university's president, said that one of the university's primary missions is to enhance economic development and Goff can help in that endeavor.

"Les will focus on carrying our intellectual and technological properties to the marketplace, which will make partnerships with business and industry more viable," Thames said.

"We are glad to bring one of our own back to work with Southern Miss."


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM