- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
“When Fred made his announcement, I felt I was the best fit,” said Hank Betke, the new R3bi director. “It’s a good position to be in because the heavy lifting has been done.”
Betke took over Oct. 1 from Fred Green, who served as the first director of the incubator, which opened its doors at 1445 Clarksville St. in May 2011. Betke volunteered with the incubator as a mentor for nearly a year before stepping into Green’s position.
“Hank will do an outstanding job,” Green said. “His sales and marketing skills surpass mine and his enthusiasm is infectious. Hank is very creative and has the entrepreneurial experience to make a real difference in the operations of our incubator.”
Betke plans to use those skills to meet an “ambitious plan” for 2013 to increase community awareness about R3bi and increase tenants.
“I’m able to meet someone with an idea and help them shape that idea into a viable, job-sustaining business,”he said. “That’s an exciting business to be in.”
Betke has a great deal of entrepreneurial experience, from owning high-tech companies to building an FM station from the ground up. That means he has faced the same challenges R3bi’s new businesses face, from operations and finances to sales and marketing.
“I’ve got big shoes to fill,” Betke said. “Am I up to it? Absolutely. Am I excited? You bet. I think 2013 is going to be an outstanding year of success for Red River Region Business Incubator.”
Although he’s filling Green’s shoes, the former director hasn’t left completely. He’s still involved with the incubator to expand the regional focus in conjunction with the Paris Economic Development Corp. business plan.
“This will involve fostering a regional focus on entrepreneurship and several joint programs with Texas A&M University-Commerce,” Green said. “In addition, I will assist (PEDC Director) Steve Gilbert in the development of our region as an innovation center for advanced agribusiness.”