April 24, 2019

Deb Socia to lead The Enterprise Center

We are thrilled to announce that Debra Socia has been selected to replace Ken Hays as President & CEO of The Enterprise Center, effective July 2019. Socia currently serves as the president of DC-based Next Century Cities, which advocates for communities who seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable broadband. She has a national reputation for her work with community broadband and digital equity, and she has a long history as an educator.

Below is a letter from the search committee, written to The Enterprise Center’s board:

Dear Board Members,

As you are all aware, we have been conducting a nationwide search for someone to fill the role of The Enterprise Center (TEC) President/CEO after Ken Hays had announced his retirement.

We are pleased to inform you that after an extensive search and the consideration of both local and national candidates, we have offered the position to Deb Socia, and she has accepted. Deb’s start date will be July 15th, 2019.

Deb currently serves as the Executive Director of Next Century Cities, a nonprofit that strives to support community leaders across the country as they seek to ensure that all have access to fast, affordable, and reliable Internet. More than 200 cities strong, Next Century Cities is committed to celebrating city successes, demonstrating the value of truly high-speed broadband, and elevating the importance of next generation broadband as essential infrastructure. In addition, many of you may be familiar with Deb’s work in building out Tech Goes Home which has been the center piece of our digital equity initiative.

Deb is no stranger to Chattanooga and has visited on a number of occasions to provide input to the digital equity initiatives. In addition, she has worked with Ken and the staff of TEC on these initiatives, and so many are already very familiar with working with her. So much so, that she has expressed her positive view of TEC and is honored to be working with them to expand on the vision and the work in progress. In addition, she and her husband had come to love our city and saw it as a possible future home for them prior to the offer.

The Search Committee reviewed over seventeen resumes and interviewed six candidates. At the end of the in-person interviews, there was unanimous agreement by all who interviewed Deb that she was far and away the best candidate. Her experience, command of the room, energy, vision and personal national brand was significantly better than any other candidate.

We would like to thank the Search Committee for their commitment, time and very diligent work in going through the process which ended with the selection of this candidate.

Ken will be dedicating much of his time to ensure a smooth transition and will apprise us of his plans now that we have a candidate. So, we will have some time to properly recognize Ken for his very significant contributions in creating what TEC has become and its success to date.

Once again, thanks for your continued support of TEC and especially as we transition to new leadership.

Best regards,

David Belitz, Chairman of the Board

Sydney Crisp, Chairman of the Search Committee