The Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) is excited to announce the appointment of Kelly Rowell to the position of President & CEO.
“Kelly has the vision, leadership, and energy to support the changing and growing needs of our ecosystem and CED’s future. I would like to personally thank Kelly for her efforts over the last 13 months while in her Interim role,” says CED Board Chair Sanjay Pal.
Rowell joined CED in 2017 to focus on customer experience and maximizing the value CED can provide across the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through that work, she has developed a deep understanding of the needs of high-growth start-ups and has begun to shift the focus of services provided by the organization to continue to accommodate those evolving needs.
“In many ways, CED, including its supporters, investors, and entrepreneurs, can take a victory lap for their efforts over the past 40 years. Efforts that have taken a lead role in creating the vibrant ecosystem our region has today,” says Rowell.
Rowell successfully guided the organization through a challenging year for nonprofits amidst a global pandemic and executed the organization’s Venture Connect Summit in March.
Venture Connect is an annual event connecting growing companies to resources, including potential investors. This year, despite the challenges of online events, CED matched its online engagement numbers to those of a traditional in-person event. Attendees had access to founders sharing the challenges they faced while scaling, founders who are actively scaling, and much more; read highlights here.
“Our ecosystem is thriving. Now is the time to focus on how it can evolve holistically to support regional growth,” says Rowell. “I am excited to take on this role and plan to leverage the knowledge and expertise of the region’s most successful founders to build a resource for entrepreneurs that enables more success stories in the region.”
Rowell has a diverse background in the social/civic/nonprofit space leading teams and improving organizational capacity. As an accomplished executive, she offers 20 years of experience using aspects of both systems and design thinking to develop innovative solutions for mature organizations. Her past successes are most noted by her ability to align strategy with value to drive maximum impact. Rowell has a B.A. in Marketing, Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship, is a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and a Certified Fund Raising Executive.