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Launch Tennessee Names Search Committee for CEO

NASHVILLE – August 27, 2021 – The Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN) Board of Directors announced today a 12-member search committee to lead its effort to identify the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer. The committee will hold its first organizational meeting next week with details of the committee’s process to be announced soon after.

LaunchTN Board Vice Chair Bruce Doeg, a shareholder at Baker Donelson, will lead the search committee. “I am excited about the diversity of perspectives and depth of experience this committee brings,” said Doeg. “We’re looking for the right person to lead LaunchTN and help us continue our quest to make Tennessee the most startup friendly state in the nation.”

The announcement kicks off what is planned to be a three-to-four-month process. It is the Board of Directors’ planned next step after recently naming Abby Trotter, partner at Hall Strategies and Executive Director of BioTN and Life Science TN, as the Interim CEO.

The Committee represents stakeholders from across Tennessee’s innovation ecosystem, including LaunchTN partner accelerator organizations, Tennessee-based investors, entrepreneurs, and leaders of academic institutions.

The LaunchTN Search Committee members are:

  • Bruce Doeg, Attorney, Baker Donelson; Vice Chair, LaunchTN
  • Jane Allen, CEO, Nashville Entrepreneur Center
  • Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA; Chair Emeritus, LaunchTN
  • Lindsey Cox, CEO of Co.Lab
  • Ben Ferguson, CEO of the CO.
  • Shawn Glinter, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Pendant BioSciences; Member, LaunchTN Board of Directors
  • Kayla Graff, Co-Founder & CEO, Sweet Bio
  • Stacey Patterson, Vice President for Research, Outreach and Economic Development, University of Tennessee; Member, LaunchTN Board of Directors
  • Julia Polk, Chief Founder & Strategy Office, Decode Health; Executive Committee Member, LaunchTN Board of Directors
  • Jessica Taveau, CEO, Epicenter
  • Marcus Whitney, Founder & Managing Partner, Jumpstart; Member, LaunchTN Board of Directors
  • Ken Woody, President, Innova Memphis

“Our staff and our stakeholders are eager to turn the page and begin a new chapter at LaunchTN,” said Trotter. “We are excited about this process and the naming of the committee, and we thank the Board and all the search committee members for their commitment and strong support.”

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About LaunchTN

LaunchTN is a public-private partnership with a vision to make Tennessee the most startup-friendly state in the nation. Our mission is to empower a high-functioning network of resources focused on core priorities that support Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through our network of Entrepreneur Centers and partner organizations across the state, LaunchTN fosters 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.



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