In The News
“QBTC evolving with business climate as new executive director settles in”
By Doug Wilson, Herald-Whig Mar. 3, 2016
In the weeks before John "Skip" Bright officially started as executive director of the Quincy Business and Technology Center on Feb. 1, he became a fixture there.
"I was down here at all hours of the night and day, looking things over, seeing what anyone from here in the community would see," Bright said.
The former banker and financial consultant said the 67,000-square-foot, five-story operation at 301 Oak is impressive. It also may not be widely understood or appreciated in the community.
Launched as a business incubator in 1985, the QBTC operates in a building that once housed a factory and retail distribution center. It sat idle for nearly 10 years before it was donated for use as a site to nurture fledgling local businesses.
With passenger and freight elevators, loading docks, and a variety of offices and storage configurations, the QBTC is a beehive of activity, with 19 business tenants employing about 140 people. Yet there is room for growth, with nine small office or office suites available.
Bright said the operation has been a success. He described Executive Director Les McKenzie, who recently retired, as a good steward of the QBTC and said the center's finances are in good shape.
“Local business under new leadership”
By Whitney Williams, WGEM Feb. 29, 2016
Les McKenzie was the executive director of Quincy Business & Technology for nearly 20 years, but now QBTC has new leadership.
Skip Bright took on the title of executive director Feb. 1.
Bright worked in the banking industry for about 30 years and was involved in economic development before taking this new position. He will continue to improve the facilities, technology and provide mentoring to entrepreneurs.
"Engaged with QU's marketing class and we're getting a look at ourselves through fresh young eyes," Bright said. "And get a fresh perspective."
Bright says QBTC should be a significant contribute to the economic development effort.
“McKenzie announces retirement from Quincy business and Technology Center”
By Matt Hopf, Herald-Whig Nov. 2, 2015
When Les McKenzie was hired to lead the Quincy Business and Technology Center, he did not expect to stay long.
"I was only going to do it for a year or a year-and-a-half," McKenzie said. "Then they could go out and hire somebody and bring them in after we got it turned around."
However, he found working with the businesses enjoyable and stayed for 19 years. But now he plans to retire as executive director of the nonprofit business incubator at Third and Oak by the end of the year.
"I enjoyed working with the clients and all the support organizations within the community and the creation of over 500 jobs that we were able to put on the street," he said. "The wealth of that to the community is part of what makes Quincy successful."
More than 80 businesses have run through the center, with more than 50 being start-ups. McKenzie said about 65 percent of businesses were successful after they left the center. Twenty businesses currently fill the 67,000-square-foot building, and occupancy has typically remained above 90 percent.