Adapted from a Thistle Farms press release

Thistle Farms, the Nashville-based community of women who have survived trafficking, prostitution, and addiction, the organization has hired Hal Cato, formerly CEO of Zeumo and Oasis Center, to be its new chief executive officer.

“I am humbled by Hal’s leadership, compassion and talent. Hal will be responsible for expanding our social enterprises, residential services, and education and advocacy work,” said the Rev. Becca Stevens, founder and president of Thistle Farms. “I will work along sidehim to continue to grow our national movement towards women’s freedom.

“I think together Hal and I will make a strong statement that Thistle Farms is sustainable and scalable and that no women need to be left behind. We are a community, both women and men, who need each other to help lead the movement to change a culture that still buys and sells women.”

Cato’s extensive experience in the nonprofit and private sector includes founding Hands on Nashville, Youth Opportunity Center, Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, and Zeumo, his latest technology company.

“I’ve always believed that Thistle Farms is one of the most visionary and compelling organizations in the country,” Cato said. “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.”

Image: Hal Cato with Angela and Terry, who work in Thistle Stop Café.

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