The Idea Village has named Sally Forman, one of its original co-founders, as acting chief executive officer and will be relocating its offices to the Contemporary Arts Center in downtown New Orleans.
Forman will manage day-to-day operations and work with the nonprofit entrepreneurial organization's board of directors while it conducts a national search for a full-time CEO.
A native of New Orleans, Forman served as director of communications during former Mayor Ray Nagin's administration and published two books: “Eye of the Storm: Inside City Hall during Katrina” and “How They Did It: Profiles of New Orleans Entrepreneurs.”
Forman has her own consulting firm and also serves on the board of trustees for Loyola University New Orleans. She studied journalism at LSU.
The Idea Village has had an acting CEO since August, when Tim Williamson left the nonprofit to be president of NOLA Media Group. Emily Madero, Idea Village’s chief operating officer, became acting CEO, but left recently to be CEO of French Quarter Festivals Inc.
“We are excited about Sally’s passion for and commitment to entrepreneurs and The Idea Village and its ecosystem,” said John Payne, CEO of Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. and chairman of The Idea Village's board. “Sally’s leadership style will allow us to maximize this move, our networks and best-practice resources so that we can continue to do what we do best — help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.”
The Idea Village will move in August to The Shop at the CAC, a co-working space developed by The Domain Companies.
The organization also announced its 2018 Entrepreneur Season, which will feature the 10th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week and the IDEAx accelerator program.
Entrepreneurs week will also continue to take place on a campus anchored by the Contemporary Arts Center. Having the organization’s operations housed there will allow for expanded year-round programming for entrepreneurs and the community, officials said.
“I am thrilled to be working with The Idea Village staff and board of directors as we launch the next chapter of innovation and entrepreneurship in the city,” Forman said. “The original vision for this organization was to create a resource within our community for entrepreneurs and startups. It is fantastic to see the growth of the ecosystem since our founding, and I am eager to work with supporters, new and old, to continue positioning New Orleans as a leader for entrepreneurship and next-generation problem solving.”