Orion Industries Names Jerry Chase As New CEO

Nonprofit providing pathways to employment changes leadership

AUBURN, WA (May 2, 2019) -- On May 10th, longtime CEO of Orion Industries, John Theisen, is retiring after 18 years and Jerry Chase will become the new CEO. Jerry Chase, the former CEO of Bsquare, was chosen as the successor after a three-year transition plan. Orion was looking for a candidate that could continue to grow their successful social enterprise model focused on providing job training and career placement to people with barriers to employment.

“This opportunity came at a time when I was looking to use my skills to benefit others. At Orion, my experience will be put to use growing their businesses of aerospace manufacturing and contact centers, while having a large impact on the lives and families of the people we train,” said Chase.

Chase was the former President & CEO of Bsquare, a leading provider of Internet of Things software products and solutions. Previously he served as CEO at Lantronix and Terayon where he successfully led both companies through difficult turnaround situations. He is also a Marine Corps veteran and graduate of Harvard Business School.

“It was my duty to ensure Orion’s legacy was in good hands before I retired. Through our extensive search, we found that Jerry’s proven track record, valuable business experience and passion and respect for our social mission, makes him a great fit for the organization,” said John Theisen, retiring CEO.

Over the past 18 years, under Theisen’s tenure, Orion has become a leading national model for social enterprise. Theisen came to Orion at a time when the organization was losing money and didn’t have a clear plan. Theisen built two business lines within the organization that fund their social mission: aerospace manufacturing and contact center services. Their clients include large Fortune 500 clients like Boeing and Microsoft.

Orion uses the business lines as a platform to train individuals with barriers to employment, like poverty and homelessness. The staff works closely with individuals providing personalized mentorship, job skills, training opportunities and placement in careers that align with their talents.

As a result of their success over the past ten years, Orion has supported over 2,300 people in their training programs and placed almost 1,000 individuals into careers. All this, with a focus on excellence, winning numerous awards for the quality of their products. The next 18 years are looking even brighter for Orion. Chase’s vision is to continue Orion’s growth, excellence, and community impact.

“Orion is a model for success. John and the Orion team have created a social enterprise that is self-sustaining and wildly impactful. My vision is to protect, grow, and replicate this model in other companies and communities while preserving its focus on social impact,” says Chase.

For additional information, visit http://www.orionworks.org/ or contact Chris Hedegaard at (253) 661-7805, x220 or at chris.hedegaard@orionworks.org.

Caption: Jerry Chase, new CEO of Orion Caption: John Theisen, Industries. retiring CEO of Industries.

About Orion Industries

Founded in 1957, Orion Industries is a mission-driven nonprofit, providing career pathways to individuals with barriers to employment, such as learning disabilities, low incomes, and mental health. Orion is a social enterprise that uses operations in its Aerospace Manufacturing Division and Contact Center Services Division as platforms to teach people job skills through a combination of classroom instruction and paid training, including mentoring and internship programs. The divisions also provide sustainable funding for their social mission. In addition, Fortune 500 companies look to Orion for high-quality aerospace manufacturing and contact center support. Orion is headquartered in Auburn, WA, and are supported by their additional locations in Mukilteo, WA and Fort Eustis, VA.

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