Bob Geolas has a new job, signing on as a partner with the global economic development consulting firm HR&A in its Raleigh office. And he says he’s excited about the challenge – a “different kind of work.

Plus, Geolas talks about leaving the research Triangle Park Foundation as its CEO in September in this exclusive interview with WRAL Tech Wire.

  • Why did you choose to accept this position?

I have a great deal of respect for the quality of talent at HR&A and the quality of work that they have been associated with around the world.

The chance to join such an organization and to lead an office right here in the Triangle was perfect for me.

  • How does your skill set meet the needs of your new employer?

HR&A was interested in expanding their leadership in university research parks and innovation districts. After twenty years in that profession the match seemed ideal.

  • How will this job differ from your previous positions at RTPF, in South Carolina and at N.C. State’s Centennial Campus? You are in some ways on the other side of the ball now?

It will be a different kind of work and that is very exciting. I look forward to working on a variety projects around the county and around the world.

  • What excites you most about the job?

I have always believed that place making is a public service. We assist in the creation of campuses, cities, communities and districts to serve people and to celebrate the best in the human experience. I love the thought of being able to work with a great team to do that for others every day.

  • Conversely, what will you find most challenging?

Travel is always a joy, but with a younger family it also has its challenges.

  • Your departure from RTPF has never been explained. Can you offer any details at this time?

Its really not a mystery. I had spent 20 years running individual parks and I was ready for a change.

When I joined RTP, it was to position the Park for redevelopment ….create a bold vision, secure the legislative authority, locate the property, get plans and financing in place. I felt that with all the pieces in place for implementation, five years was a good transition point for me.

I am excited about the future of the Park and look forward to them moving forward with the plans we developed.

  • Will you be in a position now perhaps to help RTPF with its strategic plan perhaps working with it as a client or with clients who want to work with the Foundation? How will that work if it happens?

I love RTP. Our histories are connected. I will always be ready to assist if asked.