About Us
Fostering Innovators and Entrepreneurs
A passionate team dedicated to helping people turn ideas into businesses.

We’re a nonprofit making an entrepreneurial impact

Idea Works is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in downtown Mansfield and is the passion project of a small but dedicated team who is proud to call Richland County home and strives every day to nurture entrepreneurs — providing them with the space they need to help turn their ideas into successful businesses. At Idea Works, we offer a variety of coworking spaces, a state of the art podcast studio and the Entrepreneurs’ Kitchen, which is focused on supporting food-based businesses.

Founded in July 2017 at 40 W. 4th Street, Idea Works has grown into an upholder of innovation, community involvement and work ethic — commonalities that define the people of Richland County.



Connecting professionals with the community and resources that strengthen their business.



Opening Doors to New Possibilities


Core Values

  • Expand Opportunities – Growing businesses stimulate economic opportunities.
  • Have Fun – Life’s too short to not enjoy the work we do.
  • Champion Resilience – Battling through obstacles makes businesses stronger.
  • Build Collaborative Networks – Collaboration and networking get things done.
  • Be a Good Community Partner – We all win when we play well together.

Meet Our Team

Board Members

Barb Lindsay is President and Owner of Commercial Cutting and Graphics, designer and manufacturer of point-of-purchase displays. She brings her considerable talents in the areas of creating and implementing vision, corporate strategizing and culture creation to her role on the Idea Works Board, helping to guide and shape Idea Works’ operations and processes.

Jay Allred is one of the founders of Idea Works and the President of the Source Media Group, which includes Richland Source, Ashland Source, and Knox Pages dot com. Together, these local news sites reach over a quarter million users a month across four counties in North Central Ohio. Jay is deeply involved in the civic life of his adopted hometown of Mansfield, Ohio.

Walter Bonham‘s personal mission is encompassed by the words build, grow, and feed. Walt is the owner of The Food Lab, a local catering company, and a member of the farmer cooperative Richland Gro-Op. He and his teams use the Idea Works Entrepreneurs’ Kitchen in Mansfield, to create fresh, delectable meals using local ingredients. Walt brings his direct experience working with local farmers and in the Entrepreneurs’ Kitchen to his role on the Board, helping navigate and interpret the direct impact of Board decisions on the community.

Edward P. Akinyemi is a social activist, podcaster, author of two books and, together with his fiancée Andrea, co-owner of Demeter’s Developments LLC. He arrived in Mansfield through the AmeriCorps VISTA program and is active in the community as a board member at the Mansfield Y. He’s a strong advocate for teaching kids tangible life skills in high school and believes that entrepreneurship is one of the most powerful ways to improve people’s lives and create prosperity.

Donnie Clark is a proud Richland County repatriate, leveraging his own regional and national entrepreneurial experiences to help promote area business and cultural successes.  Donnie has led several startups, most notably the award-winning Elzy Milling & Trade and Elzy Farms.  Civic involvement includes Board of Director positions with Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development, Ohio Bird Sanctuary and Clear Fork Band Boosters.  He is a Richland County Regional Planning Commission member and assists with various other economic development initiatives.

Matthew Ayers was apart of NECIC’s North End Talented Ten (NETT) internship program in 2010, and served as a volunteer long after. Matthew is a Mansfield native and a graduate of Mansfield Senior High and The Ohio State University. 

Matthew joined the team as a NECIC Staffing Specialist in 2017 and moved to Support Services Coordinator in 2018. As the current Fiscal Administrative Coordinator, he oversees the fiscal work for the organization. He’s also a great supporter of all the staff events and is willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need for NECIC. 

Vincent Palombo, DBA, is the Assistant Dean for Business, Engineering and Technology at North Central State College.

During his time in higher education, he has created academic programs in entrepreneurship and has co-founded an entrepreneurial center.

Vince has served as a volunteer business advisor for Business Volunteers Unlimited (BVU) and The Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE). He is a stakeholder for Nelderm, a medical equipment start-up company. Prior to higher education, he spent over 20 years as the operations manager/owner for a precision machining corporation.

Staff Members

Korinna Goettel is our Executive Director as well as the Director of Operations for the Entrepreneurs’ Kitchen. Korinna has the experience needed to mentor food based entrepreneurs. She is the creator and producer of Figg’s beverages including Figg’s Cocktail mixes. “It’s not just about profit, as I see it. It’s about giving back to the community that let me do what I’m doing.”

Jessi Dible started at Idea Works in 2022 as the administrative assistant. She is the first person you see upon entering the facility, gives tours to potential new members, is the on site contact for current members and supports the Board and Executive Director. Jessi’s previous experience as an administrative and executive assistant for 13 years has prepared her well for this new role. She loves being a part of the downtown community and hopes you will too.

In the News

Idea Works kitchen member launching new allergy-free spread Banzo Butter

Idea Works Entrepreneurs’ Kitchen Raising Funds for a blast freezer to reduce food waste

Idea Works provides COVID-19 compliant coworking in Mansfield

Contribute to Idea Works’ mission to elevate Richland County as an Entrepreneurial hub

Diverse team captures top honors at Startup Weekend Mansfield finale

How Startup Weekend could Impact Richland County

Locally raised entrepreneurs will return home for Mansfield’s Startup Weekend 

Former Saffron Owners lead cooking classes at Entrepreneurs’ Kitchen could hold more

Idea Works grand opening slated for Dec. 6 in Downtown Mansfield