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

Venture Investor Stuart McWhorter Elected Board Vice-Chair

Tuesday, January 8, 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.


Supreme Court Clarifies Framework For Determining Statute Of Limitations In Lawsuits

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that a trial court must consider both the legal basis and the injuries for which damages are sought when determining the applicable statute of limitations for each claim in a lawsuit. Statutes of limitations exist in both criminal and civil law and limit the time for filing legal actions. Civil lawsuits may involve multiple claims and differing ... (click for more)

Association Of Fundraising Professionals Announces 2015 Meetings

The Southeastern Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals  will hold its first meeting of 2015 on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at the Mountain City Club from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  The Southeastern AFP Chapter provides resources and networking opportunities for nonprofit fundraising professionals in the greater Chattanooga area. Meetings are held monthly, with ... (click for more)

Deonta Banks, 23, Shot On Wilcox Boulevard Early Sunday Morning

Deonta Banks, 23, was shot early Sunday morning on Wilcox Boulevard. At approximately  3 a.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to shots fired at 3232 Wilcox Boulevard.  Upon arrival, Chattanooga police located a single victim, Deonta Banks, suffering from a non life-threatening gunshot wound. He  was transported to a local hospital for treatment. ... (click for more)

Man Stabbed In Domestic Dispute On Sunrise Lane Saturday Morning

A man was stabbed Saturday morning on Sunrise Lane.   At approximately  11:41  a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a reported stabbing at 309 Sunrise Lane.  Officers located a 45-year-old black male suffering from a non life-threatening stab wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital for his injury.   The ... (click for more)

Obama Doesn't Want You To Save For College

Over the past few decades, federal aid for post-secondary education has decreased and transitioned largely from grants to guaranteed student loans.   At the same time, the cost of college has far exceeded the cost of inflation creating a situation in which college has become less affordable and causing students to pile up debt that is at an all-time high.   This debt ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Great Peace Pipe

There is a serious rift between our state legislators and Erlanger Hospital that has me worried. If I worry about something, it doubles the power of the worry. My problem? I am convinced we have the best collection of people at the State Legislature in Nashville we’ve ever had – I adore each of them. I am also blessed to believe Erlanger is back on track and, after a sensational ... (click for more)