Ashe Lockhart, a lawyer at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice has been named interim director of the Metrolina Entrepreneurial Council.

The MEC has launched a search for a new director following the departure of Lori Antoniak.

Geoff Peters, president of the MEC and chief operating officer at Glomac Technology, also said the group was preparing to make other changes.

“We are announcing today that we will soon be implementing a series of strategic initiatives designed to position the organization as the premier organization supporting entrepreneurial and growth ventures in the region,” Peters said in a letter to MEC members. “We have started the search for a new executive director for the MEC and steps have been taken to ensure a smooth transition for our members and sponsors.”

Mike McGuire, managing partner of accounting firm Grant Thornton in the Carolinas, will lead the search committee, Peters said. Assisting McGuire will be Rich Campbell, an executive search consultant with Sockwell & Associates.

Lockhart has been “loaned” to the MEC for 120 days by the law firm, Peters added.

Antoniak led MEC for 18 months. “Lori has ably led the organization through a very challenging period and a difficult economy,” Peters said. “She deserves our appreciation for her hard work and we wish her the best of luck with her future endeavors.”

The MEC’s next networking event (MEC/Convergence) is Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Southend Brewery.