Launch Tennessee Names Entrepreneur And Investor Charlie Brock As President And CEO

Venture Investor Stuart McWhorter Elected Board Vice-Chair

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Launch Tennessee (LaunchTN), a public-private partnership focused on supporting the creation and development of high-growth companies in Tennessee, on Monday announced Charlie Brock as the organization’s new president and Chief Executive Officer and Stuart McWhorter as the organization’s new vice-chairman.

“Charlie’s experience as both an entrepreneur and investor will be critical in advancing our state’s rapidly growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, over time helping create jobs and economic prosperity for Tennesseans,” said Bill Hagerty, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and Chairman of the LaunchTN board of directors.  “We are also very fortunate to have an entrepreneur of Stuart's caliber contributing his expertise and leadership to the board.”

“I would also like to thank Brad Smith, who has served as interim CEO of LaunchTN during a critical phase in which he developed the strategy, brought together an exceptionally talented team and placed the organization on course to support Governor Haslam’s goal of making Tennessee the number one state in the Southeast for high quality jobs, “ Mr. Hagerty said.  “LaunchTN is a critical component of our state’s economic development strategy and a unique platform to facilitate an environment where Tennessee’s great entrepreneurial DNA can be unleashed to help create the next FedEx, Pilot or HCA.” 

"I am excited to join LaunchTN and help build on the growing momentum that exists for entrepreneurship in our state," said Mr. Brock.  “I am looking forward to working with Commissioner Hagerty, Stuart, the rest of the LaunchTN Board, and our partners across the state to make Tennessee one of the best places in the country to launch and grow an early-stage company.”

“With all the activities occurring across the state, there couldn’t be a more important time to be investing in Tennessee’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Mr. McWhorter.  “I am excited to be a part of the efforts the Governor, Commissioner Hagerty, and so many others have brought  together to focus on this important aspect of our state’s economy.”

In 1998, Mr. Brock helped establish Foxmark Media and grew it into one of the nation’s largest mall advertising companies.  As the CEO and largest shareholder, he structured two rounds of private financing before selling the company in 2006 to Australia-based EYE Corp., one of the world's leading out-of-home media companies.  After selling Foxmark, he helped launch FourBridges Capital Advisors, a lower-middle market investment bank based in Chattanooga where Mr. Brock served as managing director. 

Mr. Brock most recently served as a general partner of the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, a Chattanooga-based angel investment group, and as the CEO of CO.LAB, a Chattanooga accelerator that provides advice and mentoring services to entrepreneurs and runs the summer Gig Tank program. Mr. Brock is an organizer and director of CapitalMark Bank and Trust in Chattanooga and also serves as a director of The Dixie Group and Park Media Software. M. Brock will officially begin his role at LaunchTN on Jan. 28. 

Mr. McWhorter is co-founder and President of Clayton Associates, a venture capital firm based in Brentwood. Mr. McWhorter is also chairman of the board of both Medical Reimbursements of America and Censis Technologies as well as a board member of FCA Venture Partners, Haven Behavioral Healthcare, 24/7 Sports, and FirstBank of Tennessee. Mr. McWhorter will begin serving as the organization’s vice-chairman immediately.


Seminar On Quality Control In The Nuclear Industry Set For Monday

Chattanooga State Engineering Technology Division in cooperation with the Regional Center for Nuclear Education and Training will be hosting a professional development seminar, Quality Control in the Nuclear Industry: Radiographic Testing, on Monday.  The seminar will be from 9:30-11 a.m. at Chattanooga State. Room information will be sent with confirmation.  Space ... (click for more)

Communications Tower Proposed For Walker And Catoosa County Line

A 180 foot tall, wireless communications tower (cell phone tower) is proposed for a residential area on Napier (Watoosa) Ridge in Catoosa County, on the Walker County line. Rodney Richardson, the property owner, has filed a Special Use Permit for Communications Tower, Case # 1140-14, with the Catoosa County Planning and Zoning Office.   The proposed tower would be visible ... (click for more)

Strong Winds, Freezing Temperatures In Chattanooga Forecast; Growers Advised To Take Precautions With Young Crops

A cold front with strong winds was moving into the Chattanooga area today and was set to bring freezing temperatures overnight. Area growers were advised to take precautions with their young crops. Temperatures were expected to drop into the 20s. Here is the freeze warning: ...WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM EDT /7 AM CDT/ THIS MORNING TO 8 PM EDT /7 PM CDT/ THIS EVENING... ... (click for more)

Zachary Bryant Was 6-Year-Old Killed Monday At Chattanooga Valley Elementary

Zachary Bryant has been identified as the 6-year-old boy who was killed after being run over by a school bus on Monday at Chattanooga Valley Elementary School. Authorities said the kindergarten student had just gotten off the bus when it moved forward and struck him. Walker County coroner Dewayne Wilson said he was killed immediately in the 7 a.m. incident. Funeral ... (click for more)

What's Wrong With The City Recycle Program? - And Response (2)

Being new to recycling, I have lots to learn.  I rely on 311 and the attendants at the neighborhood collection centers to assist in building my knowledge.   Recently, I had an experience that makes me reconsidered my recycling efforts.  I loaded up my car, called 311 to verify what I could take, only to be blocked by the attendant at my neighborhood collection ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: That Billboard & Much More

Now that early voting has started and our strawberries have hopefully survived this last blush of winter, allow me to catch up on some things but, first, here’s a letter from a concerned reader I feel compelled to share: “There is something I have noticed throughout Brainerd, East Brainerd, Dayton, etc. A billboard has been put up, I believe by the Health Department of Hamilton ... (click for more)