The Company Lab (Co.Lab) recently welcomed their new CEO, author and entrepreneur, Tasia Malakasis. The new CEO aims to grow Co.Lab’s mission of helping startups expand and supporting Chattanooga’s small business community.
Prior to joining Co.Lab, Malakasis spent 15 years supporting high-tech industries across the country, from Silicon Valley to New York — focusing on monetizing websites for brands like DoubleClick which sold for $3.1 billion in 2007.
Following her love of food, Malakasis attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York where she found what would become the second major part of her career.
While visiting a Dean & Deluca store in Manhattan, Malakasis picked up a cheese and was surprised to learn that the small but renowned creamery, Belle Chevre, made its artisanal cheese offerings in her home state of Alabama.
She purchased the creamery and began expanding the distribution beyond the high-end specialty stores of New York and Beverly Hills to shelves across America.
Determined to grow Belle Chevre into a household name, Malakasis took her first year as CEO to rebrand. The company expanded its products from high-end cheese shops to Publix, Wholefoods, Costco and even limited distribution into Walmart.
Since then, Belle Chevre has received more than 100 national and international awards and recognition in media channels including Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Oprah Magazine.
After spearheading Belle Chevre’s growth, Malakasis decided to retire. She left the creamery in 2021 to explore other passions. When she heard about the position at Co.Lab, she knew she could not pass on the opportunity.
“I wanted to take a gap year. I am recently married and new to Chattanooga, but when I heard about the Co.Lab position, I felt there was nothing else I’d rather be doing. My entire career has been in startups and helping companies grow; there’s nothing more exciting to me than helping a company grow,” says Malakasis.
Malakasis plans to spend her first months at Co.Lab learning about the company and its team. By discovering Co.Lab’s top strengths, she can then identify a plan to launch the organization forward.
Building upon her past, Malakasis enters into her new role ready to hit the ground running. She hopes to leverage her experience as a top CEO toward helping startups and local businesses succeed.
“I love startups because there is so much intensity, enthusiasm, interest and time. People are working over and working harder, not because they are being pushed, but because they are being pulled. That pull is internal because they are invested in doing something amazing. I am addicted to that environment. I come at it sort of like a kid with their hand in the candy jar. It is something that really ignites me,” says Malakasis.
She launches into her new position with enthusiasm and drive — building pathways for Co.Lab to expand beyond its limits and creating a better Chattanooga through entrepreneurship.
“My passion is in startups,” says Malakasis. “People have told me they can feel passion in my work. And if it’s true and authentic and resonates with other people, then it becomes contagious. That’s what we want to happen. We want Co.Lab to be contagious, and I want everyone to be talking about Co.Lab. ”
Learn more about Co.Lab through the company’s website, here.
Read an article on “5 New Things to Know About Co.Lab,” here.