Ann Nygard

Director, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Business

Ann works with small businesses on their strategic planning from the start-up phase through succession planning as the Director of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. She is a certified Small Business Development Center trainer since 2010. Her strength comes through her unique ability to use her business experiences to understand the knowledge and skills her participants need to increase their performance and productivity. She then designs and delivers her programs in a way that excites and motivates participants to use new skills and change their behaviors.

Ann’s particular area of expertise is in sustainable tourism practices. She served as Associate Director of Operations at the Center for Sustainable Destinations at the National Geographic Society where she designed and implemented a worldwide campaign for Intercontinental Hotel Group. She has shared her perspectives on sustainable tourism practices with diverse groups such as the American Indian Alaskan Native Tourism Association, Tourism Montreal, Hurtigruten Cruise Lines of Norway, Inter America Development Bank, and special visiting envoys from Nepal, Kazakhstan, Tibet, and China hosted by the US State Department.

Educational Background

  • Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland, MBA 1996
  • Cornell University, College of Human Ecology, B.S. 1991
  • Small Business Development Center Certified Counselor 2010


  • Rural economic development

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