The Council for Entrepreneurial Development has named a local executive who has been the president of the U.S. subsidiary of a multinational corporation for the past seven years as its new president and CEO.
The Triangle-based support group for entrepreneurs announced Tuesday that Ravila Gupta, president of Raleigh-based Umicore USA, will lead the organization beginning April 17.
Gupta, 53, succeeds Joan Siefert Rose, who stepped down as president and CEO at the end of last year after eight years at the helm.
At Umicore USA, Gupta led the organization that provided corporate services to all Umicore businesses in North America. Based in Belgium, Umicore is a materials technology company that generated $2.9 billion in worldwide revenue in 2016.
Rich West, the chair of CED, said he was impressed by Gupta’s “gravitas.”
“She is a very experienced senior leadership executive,” he said. “We have no doubt at all that she’ll be terrific forging partnerships with other important ecosystem partners, work well with strategic partners and other donors.”
Although Gupta herself is not an entrepreneur, “I think she really understands that community,” he added.
Gupta described herself as a “natural born connector.”
“I’m a problem solver and I like to bring people together and make good things happen,” Gupta said. “I’m an outgoing person and I’m very curious about people ... I ask a lot of questions and I actually enjoy networking a lot.”
Among her priorities, she said, will be fundraising to support the CED’s work.
“We will need the fuel to really supercharge the programs and initiatives that CED has launched over the past two years,” she said.
CED has been shifting its focus to helping growing businesses. That includes its Connections to Capital program that has introduced companies to institutional investors that have plowed more than $55 million into those businesses since its inception in 2015.
Before being named president of Umicore USA in 2011, Gupta was the company’s legal counsel. She also has worked as a process/environmental engineer at a number of organizations, including the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and Tyco Electronics.
She started her career as an attorney for Ogletree Deakins in Raleigh after obtaining her law degree from N.C. Central University.
Gupta is a member of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and served on its board of directors from 2013 to 2016. She is also on the board of the state chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the National Association of CEOs and the Duke University School of Nursing.
Gupta has been a North Carolina resident for 26 years. She was born in Boulder, Colo., and raised in Montreal, Canada.
CED is the largest entrepreneurial support group in the nation.