Our Team

Angela Crane Jones

Angela Crane Jones

The Nashville Business Incubation Center is lead by Chief Executive Officer Angela Crane-Jones. Angela Crane-Jones has served NBIC since 2003, being appointed to this role, after progressive experience with the organization, in 2013. Previously, she served as Interim CEO, where she forged business relationships with the Small Business Development Center, U.S. Small Business Administration, IRS, Veterans Affairs, and Operation Stand Down among others to provide additional training and educational opportunities for the businesses at the Incubation Center and Entrepreneur community at-large. She began her tenure with NBIC as Assistant Director from 2003 – 2012, Mrs. Crane-Jones took an active leadership role in securing consulting services for the center’s clients, developing community resources and developing programs supporting the needs of NBIC clients. Prior to joining the center’s staff, Mrs. Crane-Jones was owner/operator of two Dairy Queen Restaurants where she gained valuable experience in retail and food operations, marketing and forecasting. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and Master of Arts degree from Tennessee State University.
Christa Simpson

Christa Simpson

Program Director
Christa Simpson is NBIC’s Program Director. In her role, Christa leads programs helping small businesses, especially during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Early in her career, Ms. Simpson taught teenagers for 7 years and holds a Master’s in Education from Auburn University. She then transitioned to corporate leading sells for a new division at Dell, Inc. before her promotion to training and development where she led training for the setup of that division in the Philippines. Upon returning to the U.S., Christa embraced the life of an entrepreneur for 6 years establishing a small business in healthcare. After successfully selling her company, she completed programs in coaching and project management to serve as the Project Manager for Talent Development at Nissan leading 360 performance assessments for senior level managers and coaching development for their senior executives in North America. Ms. Simpson then helped hundreds of companies with due diligence for SBA small business classifications in conjunction with government oversight of federal contracting opportunities before returning to corporate as the Digital Marketing Project Manager for Tractor Supply Company where she gained insight into e-commerce to now help small businesses launch and grow their digital presence online. When Covid-19 hit Nashville, Christa supported the Nashville Small Business Task Force established by the Vice Mayor’s Office and Metro Council by personally researching over 500 resources to help our local business community during this crisis. She has a heart for service and has participated in numerous volunteer activities throughout her 20 years in Nashville. Most notably, Ms. Simpson has served the last 4 years with the Nashville Career Transition Group helping people find employment and has been involved the last decade with various veterans’ organizations giving back to those who’ve served our nation in uniform. She loves helping others and is excited to continue supporting her Nashville community by assisting small businesses with opportunities for growth and development.

Kenneth Thomas

Entrepreneur in Residence
Kenneth Thomas is the Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Owner responsible for leadership and strategic development required for the performance of day to day operations. Additionally, responsible for providing the leadership necessary for the fulfillment of the company’s governance functions, the achievement of the organization’s philosophy, mission, strategy, and its annual goals and objectives. Prior to starting Archangel Protective Services , Ken spent ten years as the Senior Vice President Customer Care /VP Operations Services Community Education Partners. He was awarded the companies highest award the “Chairman’s Award for Excellence” in recognition of providing consistent excellence in leadership. Ken retired from the UNITED STATES NAVY as Command Master Chief Petty Officer, Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist, Naval Aircrew, Senior Advisor on Enlisted Affairs and Special Assistant to the Commander of the Maritime Aviation Patrol and Reconnaissance Command. Ken is a graduate with honors from Navy Senior Enlisted Academy. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of the State of New York and earned a Master Degree in Education from American Intercontinental University. Ken is also a State of Tennessee Armed Security Officer, State of Tennessee Handgun Safety Instructor, and NRA Basic Pistol Instructor.

Lisa Smith

Collective Impact Manager

Arnella Williams-Foster

Community Coordinator
Arnella Williams-Foster is the Community Coordinator for the Nashville Business Incubation Center. She supports various projects from coordinating programs to marketing. She specializes in advertising and marketing, social media management, event logistics, data analysis, and building and maintaining community relationships. Arnella holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration, Marketing from Tennessee State University (TSU). Arnella is a May 2019 graduate of TSU. While attending TSU, Arnella served as a Digital & Social Media Intern for the Office of Digital Media. Also, Arnella worked as a Junior Recruitment Counselor in the Office of Recruitment assisting high school students with admissions and transitioning to college. Through her work as a Junior Recruitment Counselor she developed a passion for mentoring helping others reach their goals. After graduation Arnella went on to work as a Workforce Development Consultant with Relevant Resources Group, Inc., connecting individuals and employment opportunities and assisting employers in understanding the importance of diversity in the workplace. Outside of work, Arnella enjoys entrepreneurship, reading, community service, and spending time with loved ones.