For over forty years Frances (Fran) Folk Marcum has been on a mission to nurture, mentor, and transform young companies into scalable successes. She is currently Managing Partner of Relevance Capital, a private equity investment firm and Chair/CEO of NEST-TN, a state-certified TNInvestco public equity investment firm. Both firms invest equity in seed and early-stage high-growth technology companies primarily in Tennessee. Prior to starting these capital funds, Marcum was Chair/CEO of Micro Craft, (’86-’99), an aerospace research and development company headquartered in Tullahoma, TN; a family business started in 1958. Marcum was appointed as a Regent to the Tennessee Board of Regents in 2004 by Governor Phil Bredesen and served as Board Vice-Chair from 2005 to 2007. She was re-appointed to a second six-year term by Governor Bredesen in June of 2010.
Marcum is a former commissioner of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and a former member of the board of directors of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve System, having chaired that board twice. She is a founding member of the University of Tennessee Women Philanthropists and a former board member of the UT Foundation and Peabody Alumni Board.
She is a current trustee and former chairman of the Motlow State Community College Foundation; a charter member and director of the Tullahoma Educational Foundation for Excellence; past president of the Hands-On-Science Center in Tullahoma; and co-founder of Partners for Healing, a free medical clinic for the working uninsured of Coffee County.
Marcum is an active member of Rotary International and was the first woman elected into membership of the local chapter. The Tullahoma Business and Professional Women’s Association awarded her “Business Woman of the Year” in 1991. She is a member of the Tennessee Women’s Forum, a state and international organization of women executives and entrepreneurs. In 2002, Marcum offered herself as a candidate for U.S. Congress for the 4th District of Tennessee. She ran an effective, competitive campaign.
Marcum holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Vanderbilt University’s College of Education - Peabody. She taught school for eight years directly after graduation just before returning to her hometown where she began working at Micro Craft.
She is wife of 43 years to Dan J. Marcum. The Marcum’s have two adult children: daughter Wendy Surratt, a retired school teacher in West Tennessee; and son Chad, a music entrepreneur in Nashville. The Marcum’s have one granddaughter, Victoria Elisabeth (Tori Beth) Surratt.