Amy Sample Ward to Lead NTEN

The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) has appointed Amy Sample Ward to the post of CEO. She will begin her new duties on June 1. She has served as NTEN’s membership director since 2011, and her role was expanded to acting community lead in 2012. Based in New York City, Sample Ward will return to her home city of Portland, Ore., this summer to lead the Portland-based organization.

“It’s an incredible honor to serve this community and this sector,” said Sample Ward. “I look forward to working together with all those in the NTEN community to ensure we continue to create valuable opportunities to connect, learn, and make real change.”

Sample Ward replaces Holly Ross, who left the post as executive director in January. “The board had a title change (from executive director to CEO),” said Sample Ward. “When the position was posted it said CEO, so that was something (the board) decided in the process.” Sample Ward applied for the position through Heller Search Associates, the executive search firm NTEN contracted to help find a new leader.

Miriam Barnard led the organization as interim executive director since January. Barnard was from the Nonprofit Association of Oregon’s (NAO) Executive Transition Services, which provides interim executives to nonprofits in transition. She will return to NAO’s pool of interim executives on June 14.

As membership director, Sample Ward said that “instead of me directing membership, it was more being directed by membership, learning what’s going on in the community, what’s needed, making connections, supporting them as I could but also acting as a listener. It will be really easy to continue listening and working in tandem with the community” as CEO, she said.

“We are thrilled to have Amy’s intelligence, humor, talent and skill leading NTEN in this new role,” said Amy Borgstrom, chair of the NTEN board of directors in a statement. “We are confident that her experience, vision, and proven commitment to the nonprofit technology community will enable NTEN’s membership to strategically use technology to make the world a more just and equitable place.”

NTEN will soon be looking for a new membership director, “since I do not plan on doing that as well,” said Sample Ward. Brett Meyer, NTEN’s former communications director, stepped down from his post earlier this year, and publications director Annaliese Hoehling will be leaving to pursue a graduate degree, so NTEN will be looking to fill those positions in the near future as well.

Gearing up for the 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) and expanding NTEN’s Technology Leadership Academy will be Sample Ward’s most immediate focuses. “We have seen so much great return on investment from participants (of the Technology Leadership Academy),” she said. “We’re looking to expand that and make sure it’s accessible. We already have three cohorts for summer and fall. We’ll be making sure we can share this more broadly.”

Sample Ward is the co-author of two books: Social by Social: A handbook in using social technologies for social impact and Social Change Anytime Everywhere: How to Implement Online Multichannel Strategies to Spark Advocacy, Raise Money, and Engage your Community. She is also a contributing editor to The NonProfit Times and a contributor to Stanford Social Innovation Review. Prior to her tenure at NTEN, Sample Ward managed the NetSquared program for San Francisco technology nonprofit TechSoup Global.