Center for American Entrepreneurship Names Joni Cobb of Kansas City as Chair of the Board of Directors

February 1, 2022

For Immediate Release
4 minutes

Washington D.C. – The Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE), a nonpartisan research, policy, and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, announces today that Joni Cobb of Kansas City, KS has been named as chair of the board of directors, succeeding Rebecca Lovell of Seattle, WA.

Joni Cobb brings to the position of board chair a proven track record of envisioning and achieving successful outcomes for complex business challenges and initiatives.  Her diverse industry background includes technology, biosciences, law, board management, communications, government relations, media, and film.  Joni currently assists boards and high growth companies with strategy, execution, and marketing initiatives.  She is a noted expert in high growth entrepreneurship after founding and leading Kansas City-based Pipeline Entrepreneurs, a regional training and support network of entrepreneurs across the Midwest.  During her 14-year tenure, Pipeline-affiliated businesses operated in over 85 countries, creating over 2,700 jobs, raising over $608 million in outside capital, and earning combined revenue of $1.4 billion.  In 2016, Pipeline was recognized by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation with its “Uncommon Award” for excellence in entrepreneurial programming.

Joni has been featured in well-known industry publications, has appeared on radio and television, and has earned a Mid-America Emmy Award and International Stevie Award for writing, directing, and co-editing a documentary/style film showcasing entrepreneurship.  She has been recognized in many leadership societies, including the Power 100 in Kansas City, Women Who Mean Business, Women of Influence and Techweek 100.  Joni earned a law degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Missouri.

“CAE understands that critical innovation comes from entrepreneurs – and that talented entrepreneurs reside in every part of our county, not just in the famed coastal hubs,” said Ms. Cobb.  “It is an honor to be selected to lead such an impressive board of individuals who have spent their careers supporting entrepreneurship across the country and who share the belief that our nation’s public policies should encourage rather than deter our best and brightest entrepreneurs.  I thank John and the entire board for their confidence in me to lead at such a momentous time for our country’s entrepreneurs.”

“I am delighted that Joni has agreed to serve as CAE’s third board chair,” said John Dearie, president of CAE.  “Joni has been a member of CAE’s board since the organization’s launch in July of 2017 and she will be a splendid chair.  As the founder and CEO of Pipeline, Joni is an entrepreneur herself and has worked directly with hundreds of entrepreneurs over the years.  She understands the importance of startups to innovation, economic growth, job creation, and opportunity expansion, as well as the needs and priorities of entrepreneurs – as business founders and as people.  Joni has been a prominent innovation and entrepreneurship leader in Kansas City and throughout the Midwest for many years and has long-time relationships with scores of innovation ecosystem leaders at universities, accelerators, incubators, and entrepreneurship centers of various kinds.  As chair of CAE, Joni will bring an authentically Midwest mindset and pragmatism to national entrepreneurship policy and will be an effective advocate for heartland entrepreneurship with U.S. policymakers in Washington, DC.”

“Also, sincere thanks to my friend Rebecca Lovell for serving as CAE’s board chair for the past three years,” Dearie continued.  “Due in large part to Rebecca’s remarkable leadership, CAE’s credibility and impact in Washington, DC as a policy and advocacy organization has expanded tremendously, despite the significant challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.  She has made an indelible imprint on the organization, and I and the rest of the board are thrilled that she will continue to serve as a member of CAE’s board.”

“I’m thrilled to help welcome Joni Cobb as CAE’s next board chair,” outgoing Chair Rebecca Lovell shared.  “Joni is a leader of leaders, a champion for entrepreneurs, and an inspiring and committed colleague.  It’s been the honor of my career to serve as Chair, and as I enthusiastically continue my own board service, I look forward to supporting Joni’s leadership in partnership with the amazing staff team and our incredible board.”

About the Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE)

The Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE) is a nonpartisan, Washington, DC-based 501(c)(3) research, policy, and advocacy organization.  CAE’s mission is to engage and work with policymakers in Washington, and at state and local levels across the nation, regarding the critical importance of entrepreneurs and startups to innovation, economic growth, job creation, and opportunity expansion – and to pursue a comprehensive policy agenda intended to significantly enhance the circumstances for new business formation, survival, and growth.

For more information, visit

Follow CAE on Twitter: @startupsUSAorg

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