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EO Welcomes New Chief Executive Officer, Dave Parker

EO’s Global Board Selects Seattle-based Founder with Three+ Decades of Leadership Experience and Entrepreneurial Expertise as Next CEO for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, U.S. (7 May 2024) – Serial entrepreneur and board member Dave Parker has joined the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) as its next Chief Executive Officer. The Seattle, U.S.-based leader brings more than three decades of experience as both founder and board director for startups and learning organizations worldwide. As CEO, he will lead EO’s fully remote team of more than 160 full-time professional staff from 20 countries who serve the membership network’s nearly 19,000 members worldwide. He additionally takes a seat on EO’s Global Board as Ex-Officio Director.

Parker's appointment follows a global, months-long search beginning last July with the selection of executive search firm, Egon Zehnder, and led by a committee tasked by EO’s Global Board of Directors. EO Global Board Chair and EO Cincinnati member Lynn Anstett proudly introduced Parker to members assembled at its annual Global Leadership Conference in Singapore last month, where 1,800 members gathered for chapter officer training, inspiration, and peer connection.

“In Dave, we feel we have found an ideal blend of voice and vision to propel us forward toward 2030. His clear passion for entrepreneurship, coupled with his extensive experience and thought leadership around the founder’s journey, align well with our commitment to a clear strategic direction and operational excellence for the EO member community,” said Anstett.

In his new role as Chief EO’er, Parker will oversee how the not-for-profit organization executes on its newly board-approved 2030 Strategic Direction, applying members’ dues to strengthen their connection, learning, and continued development as influencers and leaders. EO offers a wealth of global learning experiences and regional events to support the network’s diverse 222 chapters around the world and enhance their members’ sense of belonging and access across borders and industries. Its educational partnerships offer members advanced learning through Harvard Business School. London Business School, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, INSEAD, and more.

“Working with EO feels like an extension of what I’ve been doing for the last 15 years—building startup communities—just on a much bigger stage,” said Parker. “I believe entrepreneurs have the power to change the world. We’re the crazy ones, or we wouldn’t take on the challenges required to start a new business and leave a legacy. It’s a great chance to work with an amazing community”.

As a five-time technology founder himself, Parker has sold three of his startups and closed two others in an entrepreneurial career spanning more than three decades. Among the enterprises he founded are Trajectory Media, OneAccord Partners, and License Online. He has also worked with under-represented founders as a venture capitalist with Fearless Fund, where he invested in Women of Color Founders across the U.S. 

Relative to his new role on EO’s Global Board, Parker has previously served as a Board member on dozens of corporate and nonprofit boards since 2000, guiding organizations such as the Washington Technology Industry Association, Guidant Financial Group, Find Ventures, AudiencePoint, and Code Fellows.

“Dave’s diverse range of experiences on corporate boards particularly attracted us to him, given the annual shift that take place in EO’s all-member volunteer board,” said EO’s incoming Global Chair for FY 2024/2025, Jamie Pujara, an EO member from Kenya preparing to serve his third and final year as a director of that body. “I am confident that all EO member leaders stepping up to serve this organization through global board membership will greatly benefit from his vast board experience and continuity in the role.”



EO’s Global Board of Directors with CEO Dave Parker at the Global Leadership Conference in Singapore



In addition to Parker’s background as an entrepreneur and startup catalyst, he is well-versed in nonprofit organizational management. As former COO & SVP of Programs and People at since-acquired UP Global (now Techstars), Parker helped organize entrepreneur events such as Startup Weekend and Startup America. That company held 1,265 events in 120 countries, serving 74,000+ founders in its final 12 months. Additionally, as past Director with The Founder Institute in Seattle, Parker ran a 13-week training program pairing startup founders with tech mentors. 

He added, “Being a business owner or founder can feel lonely but it does not have to be. Forums and events connect and support us in our development to become better humans. EO members want to make an impact on the world and I’m proud to now be in a position to help them.”

The CEO role opened in early 2023, when EO’s former CEO departed. Since that time, Chief Operating Officer Deborah Rainey has steadily steered the organization as Interim CEO through a time of organizational redesign and restructure that delivered some of the organization’s highest member renewal rates in its then 35-year history.

“I am looking forward to partnering with Dave to support our entire team in their exceptional work that drives EO. His commitment to serving entrepreneurs combined with our amazing staff and members will absolutely propel the organization forward towards its Purpose,” said Rainey.

Parker is also the author of Trajectory: Startup-Ideation to Product/Market Fit and a seasoned traveler, having visited 46 countries and done business in 20 of them. He lives in Seattle with his wife, three grown sons, a teenage daughter, and their family dog.


Editor’s Notes:

The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is the world’s largest membership network exclusively by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs everywhere. Since 1987, EO has been supporting the world’s leading builders of business to realize more of their potential by fostering connection, applying leadership skills, and creating belonging across industries and borders. More than 18,000 entrepreneurs in 80+ countries make up EO’s network of leaders today, who enjoy local and global membership experiences that go beyond the business to support the whole entrepreneur. For more information or to get involved, please visit: eonetwork.org 

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