Nicholas de Wolff is has stepped down July 25 as executive director of Oregon Story Board, a nonprofit incubator founded under Oregon Governor's Office of Film and Television in the spring of 2013 to foster "digital storytelling"—the confluence of tech and media.
De Wolff, whose biography describes him as a "business strategist, marketing executive, and longtime Media and Entertainment industry pioneer," was hired in December 2013 as founding executive director.
De Wolff's resignation was called a "mutual decision" by new interim director Jenny Moede, a PR executive at Waggener Edstrom who was already serving on incubator's board. "Nicholas wasn’t a great fit," she said. "He did a really good job getting us up and running and establishing the co-work space. But we're a new organization, and we needed to make a transition in leadership."
News of de Wolff's departure coincides with the July 28 application deadline for Story Board's upcoming fall business accelerator developed in consultation with Wieden+Kennedy's Portland Incubator Experiment, offering residency, mentorship and seed money to incipient Oregon companies in exchange for an ownership stake.
"We are on target for the accelerator," says Moede, who expects to perform the role of interim director for the next eight to nine months. "We had a huge bump in applications, especially in the last week, and we’re looking forward to culling that down to a reasonable number, probably between five and eight companies."
After the selection process is completed for the accelerator, Oregon Story Board expects to begin the search for a new permanent executive director. While acting as interim director, Moede is on extended sabbatical from her job at Waggener Edstrom.
"We’re revisiting what we’re looking for," says Moede, "both from a personality standpoint and also from an experience set. We get to work with so many new companies and so many entrepreneurs. You need to be an incredible collaborator. We need an executive director who can work with a volunteer board and lead a really lean organization."