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Mid-America Angels announces new Managing Director

Laura McCoolidge Classen, formerly of Nebraska Angels, will lead network to further growth

FAIRWAY, Kan. — (January 25, 2018) — The Mid-America Angels investment network (MAA) announced today that Laura McCoolidge Classen, formerly of Nebraska Angels, has joined as the group’s new Managing Director. The role was previously held for over a decade by Rick Vaughn, the group’s founding Managing Director. Vaughn will continue his involvement in MAA on a part-time basis going forward.

“I enjoyed working with many colleagues in the Kansas City area during my time as Director of Nebraska Angels,” said Classen. “I look forward to strengthening those relationships in my new role and working closely with Rick to ensure our angel investors are well-served.”

Classen joins MAA after serving for five years as the Director of Nebraska Angels. During her tenure, the network invested over $13 million in early-stage companies and doubled in membership. Classen is also credited with founding the Midwest Angel Syndicate, a monthly forum for Midwest angel groups to improve deal flow.

“We are very fortunate to have Laura join MAA,” said Vaughn. “She brings a great base of experience and is very well-suited to lead our investment network’s continued growth. I look forward to helping her with that effort.”

Under Vaughn’s leadership, the MAA network grew from inception to over 165 members and has deployed over $26 million in private capital to aid in the growth of regional early stage companies. Vaughn has led the network through a number of successful exits including EyeVerify (now Zoloz), Zave Networks, Rush Tracking, Rhythm Engineering, and Aratana Therapeutics among others. Most recently, Vaughn oversaw the network’s  expansion to include three regional chapters in St. Joseph, Mo.; Topeka, Kan.; and Manhattan, Kan.

“Laura’s background provides both the experience and the knowledge required to lead the angel network into a new period of expansion and her engaging personality is a perfect fit to facilitate membership growth,” said George Hansen, the Executive Director of MAA and the President and CEO of the Enterprise Center in Johnson County (ECJC). “We’re equally fortunate to have Rick’s continued participation for the foreseeable future. His knowledge and capability are extraordinary and over the course of his career with MAA and ECJC, he has proven an extremely valuable asset to our regional entrepreneurial community.”

About the Mid-America Angels

Mid-America Angels, LLC is an angel investment network focused on early-stage companies in the Kansas and Missouri region. Since its inception in 2006, the angel group has made over 100 investments totaling more than $26 million. Individuals interested in more information about becoming a member of MAA or applying to pitch can visit www.midamericaangels.com.

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