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Tom Rogers, who has extensive development experience in Oak Ridge and Knox County, has been named as president and CEO of the Cherokee Farm Development Corporation, University of Tennessee Vice President for Research Stacey Patterson announced on Feb. 19.
Rogers, currently director of industrial partnerships and economic development at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will begin work on March 1.
“Tom has a track record of building strong organizations with lasting public-private partnerships,” Patterson said. “His knowledge of ORNL and UT is extensive, and he has a vast network of colleagues locally and across the state with whom he can collaborate.”
Rogers succeeds Cliff Hawks, who stepped down from the corporation in January. The corporation oversees development of the University of Tennessee Research Park at Cherokee Farm, which offers tenants collaborative research opportunities with UT and ORNL.
The research park includes the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials, a $56 million, 140,000-square-foot facility featuring advanced materials research capabilities. Private industry partners at the research park include Arkis BioSciences, AUBO Robotics USA, Civil & Environmental Consultants, and University Health System divisions for Internet Technologies and Heart Lung Vascular Data Research and Management.
Rogers has worked at ORNL since 2008 managing the national lab’s efforts to establish research and development collaborations with private industry. He has led ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads Program as well as entrepreneurial outreach initiatives. He also teaches entrepreneurship courses at UT’s Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education.
He previously founded and led Technology 2020, a national award-winning entrepreneurial support system based in Oak Ridge and served as executive director of the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation, now LaunchTN. Other experience includes serving as president of the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce and as chief of economic development programs for the Tennessee Valley Authority.
“I am really excited about this new opportunity,” Rogers said. “I’ve always been intrigued by the University’s vision for the Cherokee Farm property and look forward to working with many people throughout our community to help companies and organizations gain access to the unique talent that resides at the University of Tennessee and its partner ORNL.”