The Idea Generator

Lisa Drexhage, Worcester Business Development Corp.

Full Color Headshot of Podcast Guest Lisa Drexhage of the Worcester Business Development Corporation
Photo used with permission Lisa Drexhage
Lisa Drexhage spoke of playing the long game when it comes to the vision of a city.  She also spoke eloquently on the importance of inclusion, of a vibrant neighborhood built on more than just new spaces to inhabit.  
Lisa Drexhage is Senior Project Manager for the Worcester Business Development Corp.  In her capacity there she leads the effort to capitalize on many of the assets that Worcester has to offer.  The work she is doing is playing its role in transforming the physical spaces in which people inhabit in this burgeoning redefinition of one of New England’s significant cities.

Lisa is leading the effort to develop the Worcester Idea Lab, a co-working environment included in a mixed-use development (the kind we love to boost here at SMG) in the former headuarters of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

Find Worcester Idea Lab

Along with the recent addition of the JMAC Center (Jean McDonough Arts Center) this central downtown property is alive with activity.  WBDC is also instrumental in the success Worcester has had in developing a critical mass of life science activity, most recently in their on-going development of the Reactory currently being developed on the site of the former Worcester State Hospital.

Through our discussion we learned Lisa has a deep respect for the neighborhoods of the city.  Her work reflects her dedication to addressing economic development that is responsive to the needs of local people and that draws people and their culture out onto the street.

This is reflected in the way she manages projects and in her participation in efforts such as Pow Wow Worcester.  This volunteer efforts brings artists from around the world to town to work with local neighborhoods on contemporary, urban art.

She is a true steward who allows her work to be informed by the past.  We discussed exactly where history falls in Lisa’s personal perspective and how it informs her work.

Listen to our episode if you believe in Worcester.  Listen if you believe in progressive urban development.  Listen if you believe in your own neighborhood and yearn for new ideas.  Listen.  Listen.

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Welcome to the home of SMG’s ‘Are We Here Yet?’ Podcast.  We seek to produce vibrant storytelling from the entrepreneurs, creative-class warriors and dynamic citizens that collectively tell the story of modern-day America.

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Scott M. Graves is the founder of SMGraves Creative Enterprises.  Most recently he was executive director of the Wachusett Business Incubator where the SMG team experimented with various programming to overcome the meaningless ‘ribbon cutting’ experiences so synonymous with much of our nation’s  well-intentioned economic development.   He is known for a steadfast resolve for intellectual rigor and business strategy.  Nothing makes Scott feel more fulfilled than to help other develop their own unique creativity which leads to fulfillment in work and life.  His team is currently partnering with The Worcshop, the east coasts largest industrial makerspace to develop the Worc-It Business Lab for incubating new business.  

An entrepreneur in his own right, Scott previously operated the former Smash Music. Along with ImageIdentity’s David Lubelczyk their team developed Leadership Candidates Program for immersive support of new enterprise and Business Triage, a direct response to the issues now exacerbated for small businesses since the spread of Covid-19.    

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