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Margaret Dolan Named President and CEO of Launch Tennessee

Dolan, prominent civic and business leader in Tennessee, to succeed the outgoing Charlie Brock

Nashville, Tenn.Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN), a public-private partnership that fosters entrepreneurship across the state, today announced Margaret Dolan as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the organization. Dolan replaces Charlie Brock who has overseen immense growth of the organization and the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem during his six-year tenure.

Dolan brings a wealth of financial, executive and nonprofit experience to her new role. Most recently, she was Principal at neil Strategies, LLC, an independent consulting firm, and President and CEO of LocalShares, LLC, a financial services company and subsidiary of Worth Group, LLC. Prior to that, Dolan served as President and CEO of Saint Thomas Health Foundations as well as Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Saint Thomas Health. Dolan also enjoyed more than two decades with Ingram Industries Inc. following the start of her career as a CPA with KPMG. Dolan will begin work at LaunchTN on October 29.

“I am thrilled to take over leadership of Launch Tennessee at a time when more people recognize the value of entrepreneurship to the growth and success of our state,” said Margaret Dolan, incoming President and CEO of LaunchTN. “I look forward to deepening my relationships with our statewide network of public and private partners as we collectively work to advance our mission of helping startups launch and thrive in Tennessee.”

LaunchTN established a search committee comprised of eight entrepreneurship and innovation leaders statewide, to find and recruit for the position. In total, the search committee received nearly 900 applications. The LaunchTN board approved Dolan in a final vote today.

“Launch Tennessee is an important partner driving innovation-based economic development in our state,” said Bob Rolfe, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “I am grateful to Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer at PYA, who led this process along with all the members of the search committee for finding a leader as uniquely suited as Margaret to continue to advance this mission.”

LaunchTN operations and programs are key contributors to Tennessee’s economic development in both rural and urban environments. Over the last five years, more than 2,300 new jobs were created and companies saw a 65 percent increase in early-stage capital investment as a result of LaunchTN’s work.

Among its programs, LaunchTN oversees the IMPACT Fund, which invests in startups solving social, environmental and economic problems, and administers the Small Business Innovation Research / State Technical Transfer Research Matching Fund to support commercialization efforts. The organization further serves its mission to advance entrepreneurship with the 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival, the leading entrepreneur conference in the Southeast, which drew more than 1,200 attendees in August. LaunchTN is also committed to working with state government to reduce barriers to entry for new businesses, efforts that were recently bolstered by a grant from the Kauffman Foundation.

“LaunchTN is poised for continued growth, backed by a talented team, committed partners and a strategic plan that focuses on providing entrepreneurs the tools they need to stay in Tennessee,” said Charlie Brock, outgoing President and CEO of LaunchTN. “I am forever grateful for my experience with this organization and know that Margaret will expertly guide LaunchTN in its next phase of growth and positive impact on our state.”

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About Launch Tennessee
Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership that supports entrepreneurs from ideation to exit and is guided by a vision of making Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Partnering with Entrepreneur Centers in six regions, Launch Tennessee creates collaboration among entrepreneurs, the private sector, capital sources, institutions and government to offer entrepreneurs what they need to succeed and stay in Tennessee to build companies and create jobs. Visit LaunchTN.org to discover what makes Tennessee a great state for startups.

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