The Idea Village Announces New CEO After Two Year Search

Almost exactly two years ago the news broke than longtime Chief Executive Office of The Idea Village Tim Williamson was stepping down to take on a new role at NOLA Media Group.

An original co-founder of the organization, Sally Forman, was brought on in June 2017 as acting CEO. For the last year she has overseen initiatives of the organization such as their startup accelerator program and New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, which The Idea Village produces.

Today, The Idea Village announced the appointment of a new CEO, New Orleans resident Jon Atkinson. While the search for the next CEO was originally national, The Idea Village chose someone who is familiar with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in New Orleans.

Atkinson has experience in finance, investment, entrepreneurship, and education through previous roles like co-founder and administrator for Lagniappe Angels, a local angel investment fund, and heading up the Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development at the local Loyola University.

“I join The Idea Village with a passion to lead the next chapter at an organization where I believe the possibilities are limitless,” Atkinson said. “The Idea Village’s bold and relentless vision of New Orleans as an innovation hub and programs that help form the fabric of our burgeoning entrepreneurial community are the foundation of the robust entrepreneurial ecosystem that exists today. The opportunity to lead this organization is humbling and exhilarating, and coincides with my personal passion to serve this region’s entrepreneurs, innovators, startups, and growth oriented companies.”

Atkinson will start at The Idea Village on July 9, overseeing all of the nonprofit’s operations and programs.