President and CEO
Kirk Bjorland joined the IICorp in 2015 as President and CEO. Kirk previously served as the Vice President for Enrollment Management at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, where his role included overseeing admissions, recruiting, marketing, financial aid, athletics, and affiliate relations/grant programs. Kirk brings more than 20 years of experience in local government, banking, and higher education, as well as personal experience in several innovative business ventures to the IICorp. In Lamoni, he was the branch manager of Bank of the West and the owner of Pizza Shack, in addition to being involved in several housing and commercial development projects.
Kirk earned a B.A. in Business Administration at Graceland University, served as city administrator and mayor of Lamoni, and held positions at the Chamber of Commerce and the Lamoni Development Corporation.
Laura joined the IICorp in 2012, bringing more than 10 years of economic development experience at the federal, state, and local government level. Laura previously served as an economic development representative with the Department of Commerce – Economic Development Administration and as business finance team leader with the Iowa Economic Development Authority. As Vice President, Laura is responsible for operations, contract management, grant writing, and administration, in addition to working to develop innovative programs and initiatives.
Laura earned a B.A. in Political Science from Ohio State University and her M.B.A. from Drake University. Laura also is a U.S. Navy veteran who served four years of active duty as an aviation structural mechanic in an F-14 Tomcat squadron.
Statewide SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator
Jordan Hobfoll joined the IICorp in April of 2015 as Statewide SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator. Jordan has start-up experience as the founder and CEO of Energy Simply, a concierge retail electricity management service targeting Illinois and Texas. He also worked as a consultant for McKinsey and Company in Houston, where he focused on strategy and operations for energy, manufacturing, and clean technology companies.
As state coordinator, Jordan works to advance SBIR/STTR activities in Iowa to help increase the number of federal grants to companies in the state. He works closely with businesses, research and educational institutions, federal program managers, and statewide service providers to accelerate projects with significant commercial potential.
A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Business, Jordan received his M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Statewide Innovation Portfolio Manager
Jenica joined the IICorp in 2016 as the Statewide Innovation Portfolio Manager. Her role will be to implement and administer the system to monitor progress and success of funded Innovation Portfolio Companies.
Jenica has more than 6 years of experience working in the start-up and economic development sectors. She previously worked for VentureNet Iowa, where she assisted with the evaluation of companies’ overall business models in advisory review panels. Jenica also is an attorney and previously served as general counsel for New Tech Ceramics, Inc.
Jenica earned her undergraduate degree in International Business and Business Law from Drake University, received her Juris Doctorate with Honors from Drake University Law School, and is a member of the Iowa Bar.
Kayla Burkett joined the IICorp in October 2016. She previously was a Sales Support Specialist for Principal Financial Group, supporting sales offices throughout portions of the United States. Prior to that, she was a Center Support Analyst with CenturyLink.
As IICorp’s Administrative Assistant, Kayla plays a key role organizing, implementing projects, and communicating with team and board members. Kayla’s responsibilities include coordinating and attending board and committee meetings, recording minutes, managing meeting calendars, and distributing correspondence.
Kayla earned a B.A. in Marketing from Iowa State University.