Local CEO embarking on new venture

Linda Nash is leaving the company she founded more than 10 years ago.

Linda Nash is leaving the company she founded more than 10 years ago.

A local entrepreneur is leaving one business to take a stab at another.

Linda Nash will step down from her position as CEO of Richmond-based PartnerMD, a membership-driven concierge medical company that she founded in 2003, to focus on two new projects: another new business and a consulting firm.

Nash is to be replaced by Steve Nardo, current PartnerMD president who has been with the company for seven years. The change will be effective Feb. 13.

“I just turned 60, and sometimes these milestone birthdays are really wonderful times to reflect on your life and reflect on the next step,” Nash said. “I felt, if I’m going to do another startup, then now is the time.”

After opening four locations in Virginia, PartnerMD ventured out of the state in early 2013. Now it has a total of 11 locations in seven states, two of which opened this past summer in Chicago and Charlotte.

Steve Nardo

Steve Nardo

PartnerMD offers what it calls concierge medicine, which provides patients 24/7 access to their physicians and highly personalized care. It also has an executive physical program and works with corporations like Capital One, Dominion and Brink’s to keep employees in tip-top condition.

For the last few years, the medical company’s rapid expansion has been backed by Markel Ventures, the investment arm of Glen Allen-based insurance giant Markel Corp. that acquired PartnerMD in 2011.

Nash wouldn’t give any specifics on her next startup because she only recently decided to move forward with the idea. She did say that it will be Richmond-based.

“I’m looking at a couple of different things, and it is probably too early to say,” Nash said. “I’m evaluating several possibilities at this point. It’s exciting, fun stuff.”

She has already taken the steps to start another new business that will allow her to share her entrepreneurial experience. Linda Nash Ventures, a consulting firm, will help startups and small businesses get to the next level. Nash said she may invest in some of the companies she consults, and she already has a few clients to start.

“At this point, I’m just going to invest in it myself and let it flourish,” she said. “We will see what happens. That’s what so cool about being an entrepreneur.”

She’ll also continue on as an adviser to PartnerMD.

Nash said that the businesses she has launched have started small and grown quickly. She was previously involved in two child care businesses, The Child Care Group and The Compass School. The Child Care Group was sold to a public company and Nash sold her interest in Compass School in 2010.

PartnerMD now serves more than 8,500 patients and has 160 employees, including 28 physicians, from coast to coast.

“We have a 96 percent retention rate, which means that 96 out of 100 patients come back every year and vote with their wallets to remain customers,” Nash said. “I think that bodes very well for the future of PartnerMD.”

Nardo, PartnerMD’s new CEO, said the company will continue to look into potential areas for growth in the future. There are no plans for expansion in 2015.

“We want to make sure we do things in the right way and not grow just for growth’s sake,” Nardo said.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the nature of Nash’s departure from The Compass School. She sold her interest in that business in 2010. 

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