Elwood Downing


Mr. Elwood J. Downing - Principal/Owner, ELAE Enterprises, LLC, Wake Forest, North Carolina

Mr. Elwood J. Downing is an accomplished Senior Executive and Board Member with demonstrated success across the higher education, non-profit, and public education industries. Leveraging extensive experience in business and team development, he is a valuable asset for small to mid-size businesses seeking guidance in employee development and leadership or looking for new processes to implement to maximize operations. His broad areas of expertise include team development, leadership, organizational management, and business development.


Throughout his executive career, Mr. Downing has provided strategic expertise to organizations including public universities, private universities and community colleges, K12 systems, research companies, the government, healthcare organizations, and non-profits.


Most recently, Mr. Downing has served as the Vice President for Business Development and Community Networks for Merit Network (Michigan's Research and Education Network) at the University of Michigan. Mr. Downing has had tremendous success over the years and has served as a key contributor to the achievements of the organizations he’s worked with. He has been responsible for helping bringing companies out of multi-million dollar deficits using a new business model he created that involved restructuring the organization.


Mr. Downing has also helped lead the communication and outreach effort for the ARRA NTIA/BTOP funded project that included more than 2,300 miles of fiber-optic network infrastructure to create the K12 Michigan statewide education network. Additionally, he has led efforts for membership growth and helping communities build fiber-optic networks, share resources, and promote economic development.


Mr. Downing received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University, with a specialization in Business Information Systems. He is the Principal/Owner of ELAE Enterprises, LLC. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the SHLB Coalition and currently serves as Treasurer. Elwood has also served as Merit’s liaison to the Merit Advisory Council and as a member of the Internet2 U.S. UCAN Advisory Committee.

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