Randy Pilkington

Executive Director - Business & Community Services

Director JPEC


M.A. and B.A., University of Northern Iowa (Geography – economic and urban emphasis)

Research Interests

Pilkington's areas of expertise include strategic planning, student entrepreneurship, angel and seed funding, economic impact, and regional development.


Randy Pilkington serves as Executive Director of Business and Community Services (BCS). BCS is the economic and community development division of UNIBusiness and consists of eight outreach programs that provide an integrated approach to meeting the needs of businesses, entrepreneurs, and communities throughout Iowa and beyond. BCS serves external constituents through specialized professional development, market research and analysis, entrepreneurship, guidance for environmentally sound practices, small business counseling, and community and economic development guidance.

In addition, Pilkington serves as the Director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center. He has helped establish a community-based equity fund for Northeast Iowa, assisted with student entrepreneurship programming, and facilitated public and private funding for a student-based business incubator.

Professional Accomplishments

Pilkington has worked in all 99 Iowa counties and guided economic development plans and projects in more than 300 Iowa communities. He served as president of Professional Developers of Iowa, served on the Iowa Department of Economic Development Board of Directors, the twenty-first Century Workforce Council, and the Governors Council of Economic Advisors. He currently serves on the Iowa Business Council Deputy Committee, Iowa Innovation Council, Iowa Innovation Corporation, Cedar Valley TechWorks, the Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Workgroup, and is co-chair of the UNI Research Foundation. He currently serves as director of Federal Relations, guiding UNI's federal relations activities. This role also includes lobbying on behalf of UNI and maintaining relationships with all six Iowa Congressional offices. He was awarded the Regent's Award for Staff Excellence in 2003.

Latest News & Views

Charlie the dog. I can't adult.
Five iOS Apps for people learning to 'adult'

The anxiety young people have about maturing in their twenties has lead to the word "adulting" becoming quite popular. It's a useful, albeit somewhat glib, catch-all term for taking care of yourself. Doing your laundry? Adulting. Scrambling an egg? Adulting. In truth, the real sign of adulthood is living a life that's within your control, and for that, there are several iOS apps to help. With these five apps, anyone can "adult" -- or at least fake it when they need to. 


3 weeks 1 day ago
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5 highly effective Gmail tools you should be using but probably aren't

Do you use Gmail for your business or personal email correspondence? Do you want to improve your email experience, rather than rely on Google's standard email interface? Thanks to developers within the email productivity space, there are a growing number of productivity apps available for Gmail users. Following are five powerful Gmail productivity tools to consider adding to your email routine:

3 weeks 4 days ago
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UNI releases new COVID-19 dashboard

The University of Northern Iowa today begins its release of COVID-19 test results. This routinely updated aggregate data, shared in a way that protects individuals’ privacy, is available here. The dashboard will be updated each Friday and Monday. “Timely, accurate information is a powerful tool for fighting COVID-19, and we believe everyone in the community deserves to have access to it as we work together to stop this virus,” said President Mark A. Nook.

4 weeks 9 hours ago
UNI MBA students present at capstone conference in 2017
UNI's MBA program seeking potential clients

University of Northern Iowa MBA program is seeking clients for student capstone experience. This course is the comprehensive application of the MBA curriculum in a strategic context.

2 months 1 hour ago