Another startup focused nonprofit joins the ranks of those seeking new leadership

Blame it on the “Great Resignation” or whatever you will. We’ve seen a ton of turnover recently in the world of local foundations — which provide critical financial support for Portland’s nonprofit community. But now we’re also seeing similar behavior in the ranks of the nonprofits themselves. And that could cause yet another ripple in what’s already turning out to be a rocky environment for a Portland startup community struggling to recover from the effects of a multiyear pandemic amidst an economic downturn.

Zebras Unite’s nonprofit arm was recently seeking a new general manager. PDXWIT is still on the search for an executive director. And now, Oregon Entrepreneurs Network adds its name to the “help wanted” list, as current executive director Amanda Oborne is stepping down to become Managing Director of local fund Ideaship.

I’m writing to share news that I have accepted a new role within the entrepreneurial community and will be transitioning out of OEN by this fall. This was a very difficult decision, and one I labored over. I feel really good about the progress we’ve made as a community these last couple of years to steer OEN through a critical inflection point and begin rebuilding the team and network.

By all counts, she did the job she was hired to do. OEN is in much better shape than the organization that Amanda inherited nearly three years and a global pandemic ago.

“She came in at a time of tremendous turbulence for OEN,” said OEN chair John Williams, who was brought onto the OEN board by Oborne in January 2020. “It was really just a time for OEN to evolve. It’s the classic business turnaround. She has totally done that in spades. She has put us on firm financial footing, she has brought in a really capable and diverse board.”

Amanda moves to part-time as the organization seeks its next leader.

For more information, see the OEN blog post or the Portland Business Journal.