Banker is new business center director
As a commercial banker for the last 16 years, Jon Maraschin became well-versed in deconstructing businesses and their financial statements, assessing whether they’re worth the risk of a loan.
He now has an opportunity to help build start-ups.
The Business Incubator Center announced Tuesday it hired Maraschin as its new executive director, tapping a Grand Valley native with connections to the nonprofit organization. He begins Aug. 29.
Maraschin replaces Chris Reddin, who resigned earlier this month after four years on the job.
“I am super-excited,” Maraschin said. “I think it’s going to be one of the neatest things I’ve ever done. I’ve always admired Chris Reddin and her organization.”
The 44-year-old was born and raised in Fruita but left town after his sophomore year in high school in the wake of the 1982 oil shale bust. He received a marketing degree from the University of Utah and served in the first Persian Gulf War with the U.S. Navy.
His banking career took him to Steamboat Springs and Salt Lake City before he returned to Grand Junction five years ago. He served as a vice president of commercial lending at US Bank for the last eight months.
Susan Corle, chairwoman of the incubator center’s board of directors, said the board conducted over-the-phone or in-person interviews with 10 or 12 of the most qualified people who applied for the job. She said Maraschin rose to the top because of his banking experience and his ties to the incubator center, noting he has presented to the center’s “Leading Edge” training classes for several years.
Corle also cited the fact Maraschin has started several small businesses of his own, including a bicycle shop and carpet-cleaning and window-washing enterprises.
“He’s been there and done what our clients are all trying to do,” she said.
She said Maraschin established solid connections with several of the incubator center’s partners.
“We view the incubator as a part of a local effort to improve our economy, improve the job situation, and we want our director to be really involved with the public discussion with all the other organizations that are doing that,” she said.
Maraschin said while he doesn’t want to recreate the aspects of the incubator center that are working well, he hopes to boost the community’s awareness of the center and assist with small-business development.
“As a commercial lender, I see a lot of gaps with the established businesses. I see this as an opportunity to help them take their business to the next level,” he said.