Hal Cato, CEO of Thistle Farms


Hal Cato has spent his entire career leading organizations in both the nonprofit and private sector. He is currently the CEO of Thistle Farms, a non-profit organization based in Nashville, TN that provides women escaping trafficking, prostitution and addiction with a second chance at life. As CEO, he has increased sales revenue by more than 70% in the past three years and provided more than 100,000 hours of employment to women survivors in 2019. Prior to that, Hal served as Founder and CEO of Zeumo, a company that creates closed communication networks for health systems. In 2015, Hal sold Zeumo to the Advisory Board Company in Washington, DC. Between 2001 – 2011, Hal served as the CEO for the Oasis Center, a 44 year-old non-profit organization that works with youth, helping them in times of crisis as well as providing them with opportunities for leadership and service. Prior to joining Oasis Center, Hal was instrumental in helping build Bright Horizons Childcare, where he created hundreds of corporate-sponsored childcare centers throughout the United States, England, Ireland, and Guam. While at Bright Horizons, Hal founded the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children, whose mission is to create children’s play spaces in shelters serving homeless families.

Hal has raised more than $25m in capital and been recognized as “Best in Business” for nonprofit organizations by the Nashville Business Journal, received the “Community Champion” award by the Human Rights Campaign, and been named “Nashvillian of the Year” by the Nashville Scene.

Hal Cato, CEO of Thistle Farms