Industry and Innovation Center Director Mary Cardon Announces Retirement

Pete CodellaUtah Innovation Center, News

Mary Cardon

Mary Cardon, director of GOED’s Industry and Innovation Center, announced her retirement, effective May 12, 2021. 

An open house to honor her service and achievements will be held Tuesday, May 11, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the GOED offices, 60 E. South Temple, Ste 300, Salt Lake City. Weather permitting, the event will be held outside. Masks will be required, and COVID protocols will be in place.

Cardon successfully started the Center in 2008, then the SBIR-STTR Assistance Center, as part of the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative. With a focus of assisting Utah small businesses in their pursuits of non-equity federal dollars through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, the Center has directly helped Utah companies win over $47 million in research and development funding to further their innovative technologies. The Center’s win rate in these highly competitive programs is almost twice the national average and can be attributed to Cardon’s leadership.  

In her nearly 13 years in the role, Cardon also directed the Center’s efforts to build and support the innovation ecosystem for Utah’s entrepreneurs. Staff works with private and state resources to maximize impact and reach for Utah’s technology small businesses.

During her tenure, the Center received the Tibbetts Award, the highest recognition from the Small Business Administration for exemplary achievements supporting the SBIR/STTR programs. 

Several clients commented on their experience working with Cardon.  

“It’s truly been a pleasure working with you, first when I was a commercialization associate at USU, and later as we spun a company out and began our path to getting STTR/SBIR,” said Allan Wood, president and CEO of AnalySwift, West Jordan, Utah.  “It wouldn’t have happened without your help and guidance.”

“I have been so grateful for your assistance, sage advice, and grant-writing seminars and workshops over the years,” said Karen Ho, PhD, MSc, senior director of Translational Medicine, with Clene Nanomedicine, Inc, Salt Lake City, Utah. “You and your team have truly made a difference to me and the Utah startup companies I have worked for, and am currently working for.”

“You have made such a huge impact on our company,” said Matt Sederberg, Coreform CEO, Orem, Utah.  “You and your team have been the best-run government group that I have ever had the privilege of interacting with.”

Linda Cabrales has been named director of the Center. Cabrales has worked with the Center for more than five years and will continue helping Utah companies move their technology forward. 

For more information on the Open House, please email