Victor Chavez has been active in the FLC for over 20 years, serving in a variety of positions that include Mid-Continent Region Deputy Regional Coordinator; Awards Committee Chair; Member-at-Large; and member of the Program, State and Local Government, and Education and Training committees.
Chavez’s participation on various panels, and his involvement as a facilitator and trainer have demonstrated his leadership and support of the FLC. In recent years he has been very active in the FLC Mid-Atlantic Region and has supported the Regional Coordinator’s Regional Network and Outreach Initiative. Chavez has also worked closely with the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) in establishing the Northeastern Maryland Rural Agricultural and Business Innovation Forum, which addresses innovations and technological solutions that impact Maryland farmers and agri-business. His activities have been key drivers in the newly established Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership program.
Chavez’s long history of innovation is demonstrated through the Sandia Entrepreneurial Program, which he created while formerly employed at Sandia National Laboratories. This program is unique in that it allows Sandia staff to leave the laboratory, license technology, and create new businesses or expand existing business with new technologies/products, while providing a safety net to the entrepreneurs if the enterprise does not succeed. Chavez assisted over 100 staff members with utilizing this program, and the success rate was over 70 percent.
This program is unique in that it allows Sandia staff to leave the laboratory, license technology, and create new businesses or expand existing business with new technologies/products, while providing a safety net to the entrepreneurs if the enterprise does not succeed.
Another noteworthy outreach and partnering activity Chavez was involved in was the development, implementation, and funding of the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program. This program required an innovative approach in that Chavez had to influence the New Mexico Legislature to pass legislation and negotiate with the Governor’s Office to authorize Sandia National Laboratories to receive $1.8 million in funding, through a tax credit for providing Small Business Technical Assistance; and access to unique user facilities and encourage the transfer of technology. He was also able to subsequently influence the New Mexico Legislature to increase the funding amount to $2.4 million and provide the same capability to Los Alamos National Laboratory at the same funding level. After ten years of successful technology transfer, this program was selected to receive the inaugural FLC State and Local Economic Development Award.