Leadership – Thistle Farms / Global Marketplace

Founder & CEO

As Founder and President of the Thistle Farms, Becca Stevens is focusing on growing this movement for women's freedom through a national network of sister organizations, growing our global partners, and help direct the vision and outreach of the organization as we envision the future . She is carrying the mission and message through her writing, speaking events, and mentoring new women learning to speak their truth in love. From the first days 20 years ago, Becca was happy to help drive  women to doctor appointments, make candles, and hold fundraisers in her house for friends and family. Becca continues to follow her first love of asking the question, what does love and justice require of us? 

In 2015, Becca asked her long-time friend, Hal Cato to come on board as the first Thistle Farms CEO. With extensive experience in the nonprofit and private sector including founding Hands on Nashville, The Youth Opportunity Center, The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, and Zeumo, his latest technology company, as well as serving as CEO of Oasis Center from 2001–2011, Hal was uniquely qualified to address both the mission and the business of Thistle Farms. Hal is known for his servant-style leadership and is equally compelled to chart new growth for the organization, as to spend time one-on-one with residents or roll up his sleeves during a lunch rush at Thistle Stop Cafe. “I’ve always believed that Thistle Farms is one of the most visionary and compelling organizations in the country,” said Hal Cato. “To have the chance to take the helm at this moment in time was something that spoke to me both as an entrepreneur and a social change agent. We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us.”

We are grateful for the guidance, commitment and support from the Thistle Farms Board of Directors:

2016-2017 Board of Directors

Dorinda Carter, District Attorney’s Office
Deborah Cole, Citizens Bank
Parag Desai, Genesco
Sherry Stewart Deutschmann, Letter Logic
Carole Hagan, Community Volunteer
Carlana Harwell, Community Volunteer
Jay Joyner, Joyner/Hogan Printers
Frannie Kieschnick, Beatitudes Society
Harley Lappin, Corrections Corp. of America - Vice Chair
Jim Lewis, Cumberland Consulting Group
Elizabeth McDonald, Community Volunteer
Sarabeth Myers, Awake TN 
Miranda Whitcomb Pontes, Community Hospitality Restaurants
Clint Smith, Emma
Carolyn Snell, Starstruck Entertainment - Secretary
Kathleen Whalen, HCA - Chair
Dick Lodge, Legal Counsel*
Toni Rodgers, Accountant*
Hal Cato, Chief Executive Officer*
Becca Stevens, Founder & President*
*non-voting members
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