Former Chamber chief tapped to run Elevate Ventures

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Christopher LaMothe, who led the Indiana Chamber of Commerce as president from 1992 to 2002, has been named CEO of Elevate Ventures, a not-for-profit investment group that runs the Indiana Angel Network Fund.

LaMothe will succeed Steve Hourigan, who announced his intention to step down in August shortly after the Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury Department found Elevate “intentionally misused” almost $500,000 in taxpayer funds when it invested in a company run by its board chairman.

LaMothe will begin the new job in mid-July.

Under LaMothe, the Indiana Chamber grew from the 42nd-biggest to the fifth-largest U.S. organization of its kind. He then spent three years leading Oxford Financial Group Ltd., a financial advisory firm for wealthy clients that had about $7 billion under management when he left in 2005.

After Oxford, LaMothe founded one-man buyout firm Ascendanci Ventures LLC, which acquired Daleville-based product-testing company Sherry Laboratories in 2006 from Ontario Corp. He served as Sherry's CEO until 2013, when the 300-employee company was sold to Netherlands-based Element Materials Technology BV, or EMT.

LaMothe most recently was executive vice president of transportation & industrials for EMT.

"After an extensive national search, we found the best candidate right here in Indiana," Elevate Board member Bob Myer said of LaMothe's hiring. "Chris brings a wealth of talent to the job. He is a successful entrepreneur with vast experience in growing private enterprises and serving the interests of a wide variety of stakeholders around the state."

Elevate, founded in 2010, is supported by the Indiana Economic Development Corp., community foundations and corporate and individual donors. Its investment portfolio includes 45 companies that received more than $30 million in investments and $192 million in co-investments.

"LaMothe was chosen for his long track record as both a business strategist and driver of Indiana business policy, and for his expertise in private equity investment management," Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith said in a written statement.

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