The Enterprise Center Board has appointed new executive and board leadership. Ken Hays, formerly of Kinsey, Probasco, will lead the new Enterprise Center in its mission to bridge the digital divide, build on Chattanooga's gig-a-bit per second infrastructure, and create a distinct location to recruit and build new technology based businesses.
Prior to taking a leadership role at the Enterprise Center, Mr. Hays served as chief of staff for the city of Chattanooga, president of the River City Company and led efforts to coordinate multiple Chattanooga organizations to promote and leverage Chattanooga 's gigabit internet.
The idea for creating a central entity focused on these digital issues was originally established by the Gig, Tech, and Entrepreneurship Task Force in a report released to Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke in early March.
David Belitz, CEO of the Lupton Company, was named interim board chairman until the next board convening on May 28. "The new leadership team is excited to get to work moving Chattanooga's entrepreneur and tech economy to the next level. I have every confidence that this organization, with strong support from both the city and county mayors and Ken's leadership will achieve big things for Chattanooga," said Mr. Belitz.
The structure of the Enterprise Center was changed to expand the board from nine members to over 20. The new board members include the leadership of several key organizations like UTC, the Chamber, RiverCity, EPB, and the School System. In addition, both the city and county mayors are ex-officio board members. The board also has several entrepreneurs and young technology enthusiasts including Dan Ryan of Dryan, Sheldon Grizzle, co-founder of Co-Lab, and Sydney Crisp, senior VP for IT Infrastructure at Unum.
"I am excited to work with such a dynamic board to grow Chattanooga 's innovation economy and capitalize on the advantages we have as a gigabit City," said Mr. Hays. "Chattanooga has a history of working together to work towards our common goals and the Enterprise Center will bring all the key players to one table around three goals -- capitalizing on the gig, growing our innovation economy, and bridging the digital divide."
David Belitz, Lupton Company
Kim White, River City Company
Ron Harr, Chattanooga Chamber
Steve Angle, UTC
Dan Ryan, Dryan
Nate Hill, Chattanooga Library
Sydney Crisp, Unum
Sheila Boyington, Thinking Media
Ben Brown SwiftWing Ventures
Harold DePriest, EPB
Sarah Morgan, Benwood Foundation
Kristina Montague, the Jump Fund
Rick Smith, HCDE
Zach Brown, Principal of Howard School
Jack Studer, The Lamp Post Group
Calvin Anderson, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee
Keri Randolph, Public Education Foundation
Jim Catanzaro, Chattanooga State Community College
Liz Kennedy-Thomas, Hamilton Medical Center
Bob Farnsworth, PlayCore
Rick Hitchcock, Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel
Sheldon Grizzle, Spartan Ventures