Laura Swanson, Executive Director
Ms. Swanson is the Executive Director of the Enterprise Center at Salem State University. The Enterprise Center is a hub for regional business growth and an accessible community for entrepreneurs and business owners seeking professional growth and business development on the North Shore. As Executive Director, Ms. Swanson is responsible for over 90+ business programs offered by the Enterprise Center and the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development each year, as well as the management of the Center’s 53,000 sq. ft. building that houses approximately 40 tenants. She works closely with Salem State University through their Professional Education Talent Development Programs, its entrepreneurship programs for students and serves on the President’s Leadership Cabinet and the Bertolon School of Business Advisory Board. Ms. Swanson manages the work of the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development and is a member of the Workforce Skills Cabinet Northeast Regional Planning team. She has been with the Enterprise Center since 2008 and previously served as its Chief Operating Officer.
Before coming to the Enterprise Center Ms. Swanson worked with medical orthopedic practices for 20+ years and had her own business, where she provided consulting and project management services for physician owned practices. Ms. Swanson graduated magna cum laude from Salem State University with a degree in history, in 1997, and is a member of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society.
Laura has played a very active role in the Salem community for many years. She was a member of the Salem City Council, serving as a Councilor-at-Large, as well as a Commissioner for the Salem Parks and Recreation Commission. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors for a variety of community organizations, including Salem Access Television, the Salem Harbor CDC, North Shore Medical Community Affairs and many others.
Laura lives in Salem with her husband and their two young daughters.
Noreen Hazelton, Assistant Director
Ms. Hazelton is the Assistant Director of the Enterprise Center at Salem State University. As Assistant Director Ms. Hazelton is responsible for working in close collaboration with Executive Director to set the strategic direction for the Center. She also oversees and manages the Center’s budget, staff, Professional Education Program, communications, and marketing. She joined the Enterprise Center in August 2016 and reports to the Executive Director.
Before coming to the Enterprise Center Ms. Hazelton worked in State and Federal Government for over 30 years and held key positions in the areas of professional development and training, economic development, program management and evaluation, contract management, audits, investigations, and public/business relations. Ms. Hazelton received her B.S.W from Salem State College, M.S.P.A. from the University of Massachusetts, and M.Ed. from Salem State University. She also earned certificates in Management and Government Auditing.
Noreen has volunteered for various charitable organizations, especially those involving the development of children. She lives in Peabody.
Terry Brancato, Administrative Coordinator
Ms. Brancato is the Administrative Coordinator of the Enterprise Center. She performs a wide range of executive administrative, database management and operational duties and is a welcoming presence and information source for tenants and visitors. Prior to joining the Enterprise Center Staff, Ms. Brancato enjoyed a 25-year career in the financial and insurance industry holding significant positions of responsibility in the areas of contracts, compliance, marketing, licensing, human resources and office administration. Terry has completed courses at North Shore Community College in Business Management and Human Professional Relationships.
Terry resides in Peabody. She enjoys quality time with her family & friends. Since she is an animal supporter, she has two cats and a dog.
Lesley Smythe, Program Director
Ms. Smythe is the Program Director of the Enterprise Center at Salem State University. She works closely with the Executive Director to determine workshops and programs that help North Shore businesses succeed.
Ms. Smythe’s background is in training, organizational development and coaching. She spent over 17 years with the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute where she worked with senior leaders and their staff on many different talent and business development initiatives.
Her experience includes managing an on-going leadership development training program for over 200 senior leaders of the U.S. Department of Defense, supervising one of the largest government mandated process improvement initiatives in Massachusetts and spearheading an intensive five-day peer support training program with five different sheriffs’ offices to better assist colleagues who are at high risks for substance abuse and suicide.
In addition to her experience in training and organizational development, Ms. Smythe founded and maintained a coaching practice, helping individuals with career choices.
She has a Bachelor of Art in Humanities from Lesley College, a Masters of Science Degree in Training and Development from Lesley University School of Managment and a coaching certification from the Coaches Training Institute.
She enjoys spending time with family and friends and being outdoors. She lives in Ipswich with her two Bengals.
Bill Ronan, Facilities Manager and IT Support
Bill plays an indispensable role, overseeing all facility and operations related issues and making certain that everything in the Enterprise Center runs smoothly and seamlessly. As testimony to Bill’s skills and flexibility, he also is in charge of all AV & IT Support of Enterprise Center workshops.
Andrea DiVirgilio, Associate Director, Professional Education, Salem State University
Andrea holds a unique role at the Enterprise Center as an employee of Salem StateUniversity. In partnership with the Enterprise Center, Andrea brings over 30 years of program design and development experience. Her focus is on developing an array of Professional Development certification programs, workshops, and courses to support workforce development in and around the region.
Andrea holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Easter Nazarene College, as well as a Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Salem State College.
Before joining Continuing Education at Salem State, Andrea worked at General Electric Aircraft Engines in Continuous Improvement Training. In addition, Andrea is a Licensed, MA Real Estate Referral Agent, with Jack Conway, Swampscott.