Thank You From Chairman Linda L. Smith

By: Linda Smith, ACA Chair Emeritus

As we approach the anniversary celebration of our nation’s birth, there is also much to celebrate about your professional organization, the Angel Capital Association (ACA).  It has been my privilege to serve as the Chairman of the ACA for the past two years. I have had the opportunity to work with many of you to enhance our association’s impact, stature and relevance to the innovation ecosystem, particularly the key role we play in capital access and job formation. Thank you for your support. 

I move to the Emeritus role knowing that my successor, Tony Shipley of Queen City Angels will do an impressive job, already demonstrated by the leadership he has provided to ACA’s strategic planning initiative.  I am also proud that ACA launched a full-fledged education and smart practices program under the able tutelage of Kevin Learned of Boise Angels. Steve Flaim of Tech Coast Angels guided the development of ACA’s Angel Funders Report, which is quickly becoming the best database for angel investing impacts and outcomes. A special thanks to Hockeystick for their assistance.

The entire ACA Board has been actively engaged in improving the value of your professional organization.  I especially want to thank co-stars Marcia Dawood (Portfolia) and Elaine Bolle (RTP Capital) who have worked diligently to increase our membership size and scope as well as the public profile of ACA.  Additionally, ACA’s prestige and success in Washington, D.C. on key public policies could not have happened without the diligent work of Christopher Mirabile (Launchpad) and our D.C. team of GrayRobinson.  None of this would have been possible without the support of our sponsors and partners, who are too numerous to name in this message, but to whom I want to extend my grateful appreciation.

I am also proud that ACA expanded our international scope through the development of MOUs with European Business Angels Network (EBAN) and Business Angels Europe (BAE), while continuing our close working coordination with the National Angel Capital Organization of Canada (NACO).  This will further enrich our ACA members as we jointly boost global innovation.

Finally, I am excited that ACA will be led by our new Chief Executive Officer, Pat Gouhin, as we say farewell to our founding Executive Director, Marianne Hudson.

ACA’s achievements over the past two years in public policy, education, data analytics, membership, collaboration, business development, and international networking are only possible due to your support, encouragement and the many of you who have volunteered to serve on ACA committees, task forces, and as event participants. I truly believe angel investing is a higher calling.  I look forward to continuing to interact with you as we work together making a better world, one investment, one entrepreneur, one start-up, at a time.