11/14/16: Hal Cato, CEO, Thistle Farms

In the business world, Hal Cato is one of Nashville’s most recognizable names and a relentless cheerleader for the city. For the past three decades, he’s oscillated between the private and nonprofit sectors: aside from having built an impressive career in health care, he served as Chief Executive Officer of the Oasis Center for 10 years and founded Hands On Nashville.

He also served as Vice President of Client Services for Bright Horizons and created hundreds of child care centers for leading Fortune 500 brands throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. After selling his tech startup Zeumo- a platform that enables communication between hospitals and their physicians via phones and tablets. He dove right back into nonprofits as the newly minted CEO of the social enterprise Thistle Farms.

The Nashville native has long been an advocate for the city’s youth, having helped start Alignment Nashville, the Nashville After Zone Alliance, the Youth Opportunity Center, and the Mayor’s Child and Youth Master Plan.

His grand plans include, expanding the Thistle Stop Café on Charlotte Avenue, and enhancing the national educational and business opportunities offered to the 22 sister organizations across the country.