Joan Siefert Rose, the top executive at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development over the past eight years, told the CED’s board on Tuesday afternoon that she will resign at the end of this year.

Rose said the decision is “voluntary” and added that she plans to take some time off before pursuing another job. 

The CED said it would form a search committee and hire a recruiting firm in order to find a replacement.

In a letter, Rose spelled out her decision in detail. (The full text has been published at WRAL TechWire.)

“This decision was voluntary but a difficult one,” she wrote. “I’m proud of all the things we’ve been able to accomplish at CED over the past eight years, from connecting thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, service providers and community partners to each other through our powerful network, to helping entrepreneurs raise millions of dollars in capital, and jumpstarting the interest and commitment of our community in entrepreneurship after the recession.

“It has been my honor and absolute pleasure to help build this vibrant CED network, which supports a community of innovative, creative people. Now, I believe it’s time for new leadership to guide CED in its mission of propelling entrepreneurs to their full potential.”

Rose was selected to lead the organization following the departure of longtime CED leader Monica Doss, who remains actively involved in startups and entrepreneurship.

“I have not accepted any other position at this time, and plan to take a short pause to consider the next step in my career once I’ve finished my work at CED at the end of the year,” Rose said.

“In the meantime, nothing will change at CED – the organization is structurally and financially sound and all the programs, events and benefits we provide for the community will continue,” she wrote.

The CED board praised Rose after being told of her “voluntary decision.”

“Joan has done a remarkable job setting CED on firm financial footing and has built a team and strategy that will help more entrepreneurs secure funding, connect with talent and achieve success,” said David Spitz, CED Board chair and CEO of ChannelAdvisor, in a statement.

“CED is in great shape financially, with a capital campaign nearing completion. Joan is the reason for those successes. CED would not be the organization it is today without Joan’s leadership.”

Chair-elect of the CED board Richard West also praised Rose.

“CED is stronger and more influential now than at any time in its history, and that is a testament to the team Joan has assembled, her vision for the organization and her ability to execute. I think I speak for many in the community in praising her for her dedication to entrepreneurship and for all that she has helped CED achieve. Entrepreneurs who will benefit from CED years from now will have Joan to thank.”

Before joining the CED, Rose was general; manager of North Carolina Public Radio-WUNC for seven years.


CED under Joan Siefert Rose

Achievements and changes as noted by the CED in the resignation announcement:

  • During [Joan Siefert] Rose’s tenure CED expanded its partnerships with others interested in supporting entrepreneurs, including the region’s stellar universities, economic development organizations, startup incubators and co-working spaces, investors, and other nonprofits.
  • Rose also helped elevate CED’s Life Science and Tech Venture conferences, which now draw 1,000 attendees and feature nationally-recognized industry leaders as speakers.
  • CED has become the scorekeeper for entrepreneurship in North Carolina under Rose, with data on funding, investor profiles and exit activity made available through CED’s “Innovators Report.”
  • In 2014 the organization also established a leading investor relations program, “Connections to Capital,” which has created relationships between investors and entrepreneurs that have resulted in over $55 million in funding directly as a result of CED’s efforts.
  • Rose initiated media outreach efforts to help bolster North Carolina’s entrepreneurial reputation and promote company success stories. These efforts led to successful placements for companies in top tier national media outlets and an opportunity for Rose to contribute columns to the Forbes online entrepreneur channel.