TEDCO, Maryland’s state-backed agency that supports early-stage tech companies, has named Troy LeMaile-Stovall as its next CEO.
Lemaile-Stovall, who is currently COO of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) and leads a management consulting firm, will start in the role on Sept. 7. He was introduced at a virtual press conference on Wednesday, where he spoke about leadership in a time that includes a pandemic, economic downturn and a nationwide push for racial justice. While we’re still in the midst of what could be long-term shifts taking place, he said he was “excited about how we move from economic development to economic empowerment for all of the citizens of Maryland.”
He talked about how TEDCO can be a “model for change and innovation,” and later said, “How do we understand that there is an ROI that is both an economic ROI and a social ROI, and how do we get more clarity on that?”
TEDCO operates funds and programs that support early-stage ventures, including investment funds that provide seed funding to startups, as well as initiatives that support commercialization of discoveries in the state’s universities and labs.
LeMaile-Stovall brings a background with training as an engineer (including a master’s in computer science from Stanford) as well as in business (including a Harvard MBA). Prior to his current role with UDC, Lemaile-Stovall also served as CEO of family investment office GulfSouth Capital and worked with technology and telecommunications clients at McKinsey & Co. In higher education, he also served in senior VP roles at Howard University and Jackson State University.
“The things that really led us unanimously to determine that he’s the right next leader for TEDCO are the things you don’t find on a resume,” said Myra Norton, TEDCO’s board chair and the president of Baltimore-based Arena, calling him an inspiring leader, and a person who rolls his sleeves up to get the job done.
The 2020 appointment follows a 2019 wave of departures at TEDCO, including former CEO George Davis (now an executive VP at Evergreen Advisors) and former president John Wasilisin (now CEO of Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program) as well as members of the board and team overseeing the growth-stage investment Maryland Venture Fund team.
In early 2019, a state legislative audit which was critical of the TEDCO-run Maryland Venture Fund for investing in businesses that weren’t found to be primarily based in Maryland, and lacking policies to prevent conflict of interest on a venture fund advisory committee. This led to new regulations of TEDCO’s processes being implemented, and for six months TEDCO stopped investing from several of its funds.
The funds reopened applications at the beginning of 2020, and led by Linda Singh, a retired major general of the Maryland Army National Guard. Serving in an interim CEO role, Singh said she served primarily in a role of preparing for the next CEO.
In January, TEDCO’s board started working with management consulting firm Korn Ferry to conduct a national search. This included stakeholder interviews, including with leaders in the legislature. Lemaile-Stovall said he sees a key part of his role as building relationships in Annapolis.
“I am pleased with the rigorous process that the board of directors undertook to select Troy Stovall,” said Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne Jones (D-Arbutus) in a statement. “As we look at a shifting economy coming in to 2021, I look forward to working together with Troy to invest in Maryland companies and new job opportunities so that every Marylander is a part of the 21st century economy.” Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore) added in a statement that Stovall “adds a new, yet experienced, voice to Maryland’s economic development landscape.”
Investments have also followed since applications reopened. The latest round of funding announcements came on July 20, when TEDCO said it invested a total of $800,000 in four companies. Frank Glover, lead director of the seed fund, said TEDCO believes the companies “are in a critical area of known need, setting them on a path to build strong businesses here in Maryland.”
- Ardent Privacy, a bwtech@UMBC-based data privacy company that helps enterprises comply with regulations
- ClearMask, the Baltimore-based company that makes and sells transparent surgical masks
- Udynamix, a Montgomery County company that makes user authentication technology
- Ovalz, which makes a digital inventory service for small businesses