Dr. Lisa Benson joined NASDA in December 2017 to lead the NASDA Foundation as the organization’s first executive director. Previously, Lisa worked for the American Farm Bureau Federation as the director of Rural Development. She supported over 1,000 rural entrepreneurs with $500,000 in startup funds, mentorship and national publicity. Lisa also connected rural entrepreneurs to venture capital funds and accelerator programs. Benson earned a PhD in Agricultural and Extension Education from Virginia Tech, and worked for IFAS at the University of Florida for 9 years. Lisa grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska where her father was a fisherman and bush pilot.
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