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July 18, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Leadership change at UTK’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Lynn Youngs is stepping away from the Executive Director role. Lindsay Mahony will serve as the interim leader while chairing a search committee for Youngs' replacement.

Lynn Youngs, the founding Executive Director of the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEI) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), has stepped down from that role as of the end of June. That marked nearly 13 years that he had led the Center.

Russell Crook, Department Head of Management and Entrepreneurship in UTK’s Haslam College of Business, announced that Lindsay Mahony will serve as the Interim Executive Director of ACEI as well as leading the Search Committee to find Youngs’ successor. She is the Assistant Department Head of the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship and also a Senior Lecturer.

Crook said that Youngs (pictured right) “will be shifting his focus to lead the business accelerator (located in the UT Research Foundation’s Business Incubator) and name, image and likeness (NIL) programs associated with the Anderson Center.” Other ACEI programs include the “Vol Court Speaker Series & Pitch Competition,” “Graves Business Plan Competition,” and “Boyd Venture Challenge.”

Those who are friends of Youngs know of his passion for NIL, the term used by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to refer to a student-athlete and the identifiable factors that make the individual unique. In fact, he was part of a team that developed a brand new course first offered in Fall 2021 on the topic (see post here). The effort, which also involved UTK’s Thornton Center and College of Communication and Information , was not just for student-athletes, but any students who might be able to capitalize on their NIL.

Prior to becoming ACEI Executive Director, Youngs served in various executive-level positions with Perceptics LLC, Goody’s Family Clothing, and IdleAire Inc.

Mahony (pictured left) joined the Haslam College in Fall 2016. Before that, she worked in a variety of capacities and industries including program and contract management particularly in large tech and environmental nuclear clean-up. Her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for building community connections led her to become the founding president of a food co-op in Washington State with the mission of providing a year-round marketplace for local farmers and access to local options for consumers.

“We appreciate everything that Lynn has done to lay a strong foundation for the future of the Center and look forward to his future efforts involving the Accelerator and NIL,” Crook wrote in the email announcing the changes.

The job description for the position can be found here.

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