Orion Industries names new CEO

Auburn-based nonprofit providing pathways to employment changes leadership

Jerry Chase, left, is the new CEO of Orion Industries, succeeding the retiring John Theisen, right. COURTESY PHOTOS, Orion

Jerry Chase, left, is the new CEO of Orion Industries, succeeding the retiring John Theisen, right. COURTESY PHOTOS, Orion

Jerry Chase becomes the new CEO of Orion Industries on May 10, succeeding the retiring John Theisen, the Auburn-based company announced Thursday.

Chase, the former CEO of Bsquare, was chosen as the successor after a three-year transition plan, Orion said in a news release. Orion was looking for a candidate who could continue to grow its 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,” Chase said. “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.”

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 led both companies through difficult turnaround situations. He is also a Marine Corps veteran and a graduate of Harvard Business School.

“It was my duty to ensure Orion’s legacy was in good hands before I retired,” said Theisen, who served 18 years as Orion’s CEO. “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.”

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 its success over the past 10 years, Orion has supported more than 2,300 people in its training programs and placed almost 1,000 individuals into careers. The company has won numerous awards for its quality products.

“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,” Chase said.

Learn more

orionworks.org


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

Firefighters on Tuesday donated $1,000 to Athens Pizza and Pasta to help the restaurant continue to pay its employees until it can reopen after effecting necessary repairs following the December fire. Photo courtesy city of Auburn.
Firefighters step up for Athens Pizza

Union donates $1,000 to help owners pay employees while repairing restaurant.

2021 Lexus RX 350L. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Lexus RX 350L

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s always a good day when a Lexus… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Blazer. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Blazer

By Larry Lark, contributor When it comes to certain car models they… Continue reading

2021 Ford F-150 Platinum. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s always a call to action when a… Continue reading

737 MAX 7 Reveal - February 5, 2018. File photo
Boeing fined $2.5 billion for deceiving aircraft safety regulators

The Boeing Company has agreed to pay the Department of Justice over… Continue reading

Stock photo
State Department of Commerce awards grants to more than 7,800 small businesses

Newest $100 million grant round prioritized restaurants, fitness centers

Sound Publishing
Sound Publishing offers grants to local businesses

Sound Publishing has launched a local business stimulus program to help businesses… Continue reading

This bronze skull is one of the fascinating items for sale at Antique Marketplace at the site of the former Joanne’s Fabrics on Howard Road. Robert Whale, Auburn Reporter
Antique store opens its doors in Auburn

Owner Carly Willis wants it to be a fun place.

Photo courtesy of Fisher Scones
Fisher Scones parent company fined for overworking teenage employees

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries found more than 1,500 instances of violations including missing meal breaks, working during school hours and more.

Robert Whale, Auburn Reporter
John Gronowski makes his usual brewskie stop at Rail Hop n’ Brew on West Main, undeterred by having to drink al fresco under Gov. Jay Inslee’s latest order forbidding indoor service at bars and restaurants to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Downtown bars and restaurants reeling under Inslee order

City of Auburn offering $2,000 grants to qualifying businesses without drive -through windows.

Courtesy Photos
Fieldhouse House has reworked the former Sam’s Club at the Outlet Collection Mall into a mega sports-play-training complex.
FieldhouseUSA waiting on COVID-19 to fully open complex

Multimillion-dollar facility located at site of former Sam’s Club.