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Greater West Dayton Incubator names new director

Whitney Barkley, a small business owner who brings experience working with small companies and international nonprofits, has been named director of the Greater West Dayton Incubator, an initiative to support Black, woman and other underrepresented entrepreneurs.

“Whitney’s energy and enthusiasm about the Greater West Dayton Incubator is evident and makes even people who have been working on this initiative for over a year more excited,” said Stacy M. Thompson Speare-Hardy, senior vice president and West and Midwest region manager for KeyBank and incubator advisory council chairwoman. “Combined with her experience working with stakeholders in minority business development, she will serve the incubator and community well.”

Barkley, chief executive officer of Speakerazzi, a content marketing firm that helps speakers, authors, coaches and public figures stay visible online using their expertise, begins in the new role Oct. 11. She succeeds Karlos Marshall, who is now Dayton Metro Library's inaugural chief diversity officer. Barkley holds a bachelor’s degree in mass media from Wilberforce University, a master’s in marketing and communications from Franklin University, and a disruptive strategy certification from Harvard University.

“It is my honor and mission to lead the University of Dayton’s charge to support Black, woman and untapped entrepreneurs,” Barkley said. “Knowledge about the resources in the community is power, but my goal is to help our entrepreneurs access and apply that knowledge to create visible, profitable and sustainable businesses that secure legacies for years to come.”

The incubator offers access to working space, consulting, training, capital and other resources, with a focus on the Greater West Dayton area. The effort was envisioned and developed in partnership by community leaders of Greater West Dayton and the University of Dayton to help create a more inclusive economy, which can drive positive change in the community. 

More information is available on the incubator’s website,


News and Communications Staff