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,”
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
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
“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.
The press release can be downloaded at:
For additional information contact Chris Hedegaard at (253)
661-7805, x220 or at email@example.com.