[Full disclosure: I am on the board of the SAO.] When it comes to professional organizations that touch the Portland startup scene, one of the more contentious entities has been the Software Association of Oregon (SAO). The organization has gone through a number of leaders in the past few years. This summer, the organization found itself with an open president seat, once again. And that led to a number of discussions about the SAO and its leadership, point and counterpoint.
[Full disclosure: I sit on the board of the Software Association of Oregon (SAO). In that role, I also serve as a member of the marketing committee. I don’t believe this role has jaundiced my coverage, but I wanted to be open about my involvement.]
Why? First, it’s good news for the organization, itself, which has been hard at work to become more relevant for the changing Oregon tech industry. Second, it’s good news for Scott Kveton, who just received confirmation that his interim SAO presidency would indeed be as brief as promised. Third, I think it’s good news because this new president gets this whole Portland tech startup scene—and Twitter to boot.
“After a careful search by a special committee comprising SAO Board members, it was clear the best possible candidate to guide the organization during our formal search for a president is Scott Kveton,” said Michael Phillips, chairman of the SAO board and a partner at David Wright Tremaine LLP, in the press release. “Scott is passionate about the mission of the organization and brings valuable local software industry experience to the post.”
Does that sound more believable? Because it’s true. Kveton will be serving as the interim president of the SAO. Cross my heart.
Okay, you’re right. It’s pretty crazy. But crazy good.
To make this happen, Kveton will temporarily step down from the SAO board seat while fulfilling his duties as president of the SAO. He will be reinstated as a board member once his role as president comes to an end—likely within 90 days—when the SAO names the next president of the organization.
So why is Kveton making the move?
“I’m excited about the possibilities of getting the current membership together with the independent developers and consultant crowd here in Portland and across Oregon,” said Kveton. “A lot of small software companies struggle with how to grow their business effectively and that’s a path a lot of the SAO membership has already gone down.”
With Harvey stepping down and me spinning up my own consulting business, the timing seemed right for me to interview for the interim President role and the search committee agreed. I firmly believe there is a great opportunity to link up the experience of current SAO members with that of the entrepreneurial spirit and drive of the independent developer community here in the Northwest.
I hear you, we’ve dabbled in this area before with the Thrive PDX stuff. But this seems different. This is someone who knows—all too well—the startup environment here in the Silicon Forest. Someone who might have the chance to make some connections over the next 90 days that could result in some interesting bonds and strange bedfellows.
I, for one, can’t wait to see where this goes.
Obviously, I wish Kveton the best of luck on this short stint as the president of the SAO (see above: fanboi). I’ve known this organization for a long, long time. And it will be interesting to see what he does during his tenure.
What do you think of this move? Does it have potential? And, if so, what would you like to see happen with the SAO, if anything?
I can guarantee that now is the best time to voice those opinions.