Business Briefs

• The University of Tennessee Research Park recently announced Lilly Tench has joined the Spark Innovation Center team as director of the Spark Cleantech Accelerator.

• Volunteer Ministry Center Board chair Hunter Purnell recently announced the VMC Board has named Christopher C. Cowart, Esq., as the organization’s new chief executive officer.

Cowart, an attorney, will succeed current CEO Dr. Bruce Spangler, who is retiring effective March 31.

Cowart comes to VMC after serving as the general counsel/senior director of asset management at Knoxville Leadership Foundation. In his position, he helped to manage the agency’s supporting work to empower low-income and at-risk individuals through multi-family housing operations, single-family affordable housing operations, mentoring initiatives and workforce development.