Evan Owens has stepped down as CEO of interactive design agency Centresource after almost three years on the job to focus on building a nonprofit that helps military personnel with their post-combat spiritual needs.
Owens, pictured at right, has retained a senior consulting role at Germantown-based Centresource, where he is specializing in marketing, consulting and automation services. Founder and President Nicholas Holland has again taken on a more active role at the 11-year-old company, which employs about 40 people and has worked with Vanderbilt University, BMI and The General Insurance Co., among others.
Owens was tapped for the post in late 2011 as Holland shifted the majority of his attention to developing website venture Populr.me. Since then, he had focused on building the firm's capacity to grow while investing in new products such as marketing automation software and video services. But the work ended up taking more of Owens' time than he wanted, given his efforts to build Reboot Combat Recovery, which he launched in early 2011.
Reboot is active at Fort Campbell, Fort Sill in Oklahoma and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina as well as in Nashville and Oklahoma City. The group has helped about 500 service members and their families cope with the spiritual and moral wounds of war via a free faith-based program. Owens wants to grow the venture to 11 locations in short order and is looking to raise $300,000 by next spring with a long-term eye to converting it into a for-profit social enterprise.
"This will allow us to reinforce our infrastructure in order to support the demand for our programs," he said. "We have exceeded our current capacity."
For Holland, ramping back up at Centresource has been a smooth process in large part because of how he and his team handled his transition out in the first place.
"We spent two years setting up things so that I could step out," he said. "We got it set up correctly the first time so we spent months working through this and it went off without a hitch. It's been relatively easy to step back in."
Holland said he expects to spend about half his time on Centresource for the next few months before scaling back again to about a quarter as other team members take on new responsibilities. Over time, he sees the company's ownership evolving into a partnership model, citing Beth Chase's C3 Consulting as a role model.
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