Melinda F. Walls has been named interim director of West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics Entrepreneurship Center . She replaces Russell Sobel who recently stepped down to accept the James Clark Coffman Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies.

Walls is a 1986 graduate of the WVU College of Human Resources and Education and a 1989 graduate of the WVU College of Law. She practiced environmental law for Columbia Gas Transmission in Charleston in the early 1990s. After moving to Morgantown , she entered private practice.

Her entrepreneurial experience began in the late 1990s when she and a partner founded West Virginia Spice Works. Walls handled all aspects of the business start-up, operation and its ultimate sale. In 1999, she joined the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Science, where she teaches in the Division of Family and Consumer Sciences. In 2003 she was appointed associate director of the Entrepreneurship Center .

Walls played a major role in developing the new minor in entrepreneurship, open to business and non-business students alike. In addition, the Entrepreneurship Center is planning the final round of its fourth annual business plan competition, which gives student teams an opportunity to develop business plans and learn about entrepreneurship. Last semester, five finalists were selected to compete for the grand prize of $10,000. Currently, professionals are assisting the teams in completing their formal business plans. Winners will be announced April 1.

Ms. Walls will assume her duties immediately and will be working with me in determining the future direction of the Center and our academic programs in entrepreneurship,said B&E Dean Stephen Sears.I’m pleased to have her in this leadership role.

For more information, contact the Entrepreneurship Center in the College of Business&Economics at (304) 293-7221