Alison Doyle 515.296.4204

Tuesday, May 7, 2019: After a nationwide search, the Iowa State University Research Park (ISURP) has named Rick Sanders as President. Sanders succeeds Steve Carter, who retired in December 2018 following an 18-year stint. The search was led by Buffkin/Baker and an ISU Research Park Board appointed search committee.

A long time Ames resident, Sanders has served on the Story County Board of Supervisors since 2010, and as Chair from 2013 to 2018. While in the Supervisor role, Sanders was the chief elected official serving both the executive and legislative roles for Story County and oversaw an operating budget of $40 million and 250 employees. He is credited with creating a partnership between the Research Park, Story County and Story Conservation Board that secured more than $4 million in funding to create the Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor, which is slated to open at ISURP June 28. Sanders also has prior experience is in athletics administration.

“Rick has big shoes to fill and yet we are confident that he brings to ISURP the network, enthusiasm, contacts, and knowledge to make an immediate impact. The ability to hit the ground running and capitalize on the foundation and successes the Research Park has enjoyed was important to our Board of Directors; we feel Rick is uniquely poised to carry that momentum forward,” said David Spalding, Iowa State University Interim Vice President of Economic Development.

Sanders announced resignation from the County Board of Supervisors this morning. He will remain in the Supervisor role at Story County until May 31, and begin work at the Research Park, June 1.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and there are so many people who are deserving of praise and credit for making this what I believe to be the most exciting job in Iowa,” said Sanders. “Steve Carter, the ISU Research Park Board of Directors, and the Research Park staff have all done a masterful job of building a world-class organization at a world-class University; I am incredibly grateful for and humbled by this opportunity, and eager to get to work.”

The Iowa State University Research Park is a 400-acre real estate development located on the southern edge of the Iowa State University campus that helps connect entrepreneurs, innovators, and researchers to the broad resources available at Iowa State University. The Research Park is home to more than 90 companies and 2050 employees. Companies and innovators choosing to locate in the Research Park are doing more than simply occupying a building. They join a thriving community focused on driving innovation, researching and developing solutions to complex challenges, creating a pipeline that offers easy access to world-class talent, and supercharging the state economy.