Tony Jeff serves as the president and CEO for Innovate Mississippi.
He previously served as Innovate Mississippi’s vice-president and COO and the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation where he coordinated Innovate Mississippi’s work with entrepreneurs to bring their innovations successfully to market. In this position, he coached more than 800 entrepreneurial ventures and consulted with companies that successfully raised more than $130 million in private equity financing. He also previously held the positions of director of the Mississippi Alternative Energy Enterprise and director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of Mississippi (MEP.ms).
Prior to joining Innovate Mississippi in 2002, Tony had corporate experience leading teams in finance, sales, engineering and operations. While working for Florida Power & Light, General Motors and Delphi Automotive Systems, Tony successfully led a variety of cross-disciplinary teams in finance and sales for a multi-billion dollar product line. He also successfully negotiated new business contracts in excess of $1 billion. When he was promoted to finance manager for North American Programs at age 30, he was the youngest senior manager in the $4.3 billion, 140,000 employee division. Tony left that position in 2002 to return to his home state of Mississippi and accept a position with Innovate Mississippi.
In addition to his corporate experience, Tony has started two businesses – one around a patent he co-invented and successfully brought to market. He was also a student of Japanese language and a member of the Foreign Teaching Staff of AEON Corporation in Tokyo, Japan.
Tony holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from Mississippi State University. He also holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a Masters of Engineering from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University through the Masters of Management and Manufacturing Program.
Tony is a technology evangelist who speaks regularly on emerging trends and strategies in technology and innovation commercialization.
Tony is married to the former Sheila Kalka, a family medicine physician. They reside in Madison with their sons, James and Joshua.