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Friday, September 23, 2016 - 10:09am

Ebony Miller, interim director of Rochester Institute of Technology's Center for Urban Entrepreneurship, has been selected for a Rochester Business Journal "Forty Under 40" award. Nominated by the community and selected by a committee of business leaders, RBJ's "Forty Under 40" awards recognize 40 men and women, under the age of 40, who have achieved professional success and have also made significant civic contributions to our community.

Since 2015, Miller has served as interim director of CUE, located on the first floor of the RIT Downtown Center in the former historic Rochester Savings Bank building at 40 Franklin St. CUE provides business and consulting services targeting new urban entrepreneurs, or individuals who have an existing business or are hoping to launch a new business within the City of Rochester.

Miller leads the center's efforts to raise funds to provide critical assistance to underserved businesses, foster outreach and collaboration with the Rochester City School District, and provide entrepreneurial resources and education for dislocated workers. Prior to her role as interim director, she was CUE's program manager.

Miller conceived and developed the CUE's Capacity Building program, a six-month, customized training program that assists urban entrepreneurs with growth stimulation. She has also provided leadership to other CUE programs including Future Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs and Lemonade Day, both aimed at encouraging young people to explore and experience the opportunities of entrepreneurship. To date, more than 400 adults and youth have participated in CUE programs.

In addition, Miller has formed an advisory board of representatives from government, business and the entrepreneurial sectors of the region that will work with her to advance the CUE's mission.

"I am both excited and humbled to be celebrated by the Rochester Business Journal and the Rochester community as a 'Forty Under 40' award nominee," said Miller. "As I lead the CUE in its mission to build wealth within the urban community by serving as a hub for entrepreneurial programs and research, I am invigorated by the innovative and creative people that I am fortunate enough to encounter in my work, and the spirit of collaboration that we share with our partnering organizations. It's my hope that CUE will forever have a positive impact on our great community."

Miller is a board member of the Monroe YMCA and Next Step U, and is a loan committee member for PathStone Enterprise Center, Inc. She was a former vice chair of the Urban Suburban Alumni Association and a former mentor for RIT's "I Am First" program. Earlier this year, she was a panelist for the Venture Jobs Foundation Prosperity Conference and a presenter at University of Rochester's Annual Diversity Conference. She is a member of the Class of 2015 of Leadership Rochester, and a member of the 2013 class of the African American Leadership Development Program.

"Ebony has built a very positive collaborative partnership with other organizations that have missions and visions that are complementary to the CUE and are serving the urban community and that will facilitate the ability of the CUE to fill information and service gaps for urban entrepreneurs while avoiding duplication and redundancy," said Deborah Stendardi, RIT vice president for government and community relations. "Her collaborative style has contributed importantly to the CUE's success and future potential. Ebony is also playing a key role in the development of the region's urban entrepreneurship eco-system and the emerging Downtown Innovation Zone."

RBJ's "Forty Under 40" award ceremony will be held Nov. 17 at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

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