ROHNERT PARK -- The North Bay iHub has named tech industry sales and business development veteran Steven Palladino as executive director, the organization's board of directors announced.

Mr. Palladino was most recently founder and managing director of Silicon Valley Technopole, a company that serves in an executive sales role for early stage high-growth technology firms. He has held senior sales and development roles in a number of tech companies, including a vice president role identifying strategic business investments for Motorola.

"Steve has a strong background in technology, sales and entrepreneurship," said John Stayton, executive director of graduate business programs at Sonoma State University and leader in the iHub's recent strategic planning initiative, in a statement. "He has worked with incubators, technology clusters and venture investors. He is uniquely qualified to lead this effort."

It marks another evolutionary step for the iHub and its associated business incubator, SoCo Nexus. Mr. Palladino will be charged specifically with guiding the iHub, while Amee Sas will continue as executive director of the incubator.

It is the first time that the iHub will have its own executive director, a role that formerly encompassed operations at the incubator as well. While Ms. Sas was selected to oversee the incubator, the iHub has operated under interim leadership since September of 2012, , according to Lindsay Austin, chair of the board overseeing both operations.

The iHub, a clearinghouse for North Bay business development programs and one of 15 designated statewide, is in the process of growing its connections to business incubators, mentoring groups, educational institutions and investors throughout the region. SoCo Nexus -- formerly the Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster -- has broadened its mission beyond a focus on tech ventures and is actively recruiting startups and early stage companies in sectors like specialty food and beverage.

"I am looking forward to coordinating efforts to make the North Bay a haven for entrepreneurs of all stripes,” said Mr. Palladino, in the announcement. “This area has unique attributes that can foster innovation in diverse industries, from agriculture to software. There is a lot of passion for entrepreneurship that is robust, environmentally sustainable, and able to reach all levels of the economic ladder.”

 Mr. Palladino is a resident of Sonoma.