Venture Portland Hires New Executive Director; Launches #SupportSmallPDX Campaign

Venture Portland Board President Matthew Mičetić announced that Joy Church has been hired as the organization’s new Executive Director. This new leadership comes at a crucial time, as the organization has adapted its operations to support Portland’s small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Joy started with Venture Portland as a District Organizer and, most recently, worked as the Catalytic Investment Initiative Director and Interim Executive Director. She brings over two decades of non-profit leadership expertise, having previous advocacy experience in the Bay Area and in Portland, since relocating to Portland in the early 2000’s. Joy’s political experience includes spearheading initiatives with Mayor Brown in San Francisco and organizing actions with former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, and Congressman Blumenauer and Governor Brown’s offices.

“After an exhaustive search, it was clear that Joy was the perfect fit for the role of Executive Director” said Jacob Falkinburg, Venture Portland’s Communications and Member Services Director who also served on the hiring panel alongside business district leaders and representatives from City partners. “The COVID-19 crisis was the ultimate test of her abilities and she has handled the situation masterfully.”

Under Joy’s leadership as Interim Executive Director, Venture Portland has launched several innovative initiatives to support small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis including an online business resource guide, educational webinars to help small businesses stay in business and lobbying on the Economic Impact and Recovery Task Force. Joy also helped spearhead the 5-week #SupportSmallPDX campaign which encourages Portlanders to share photos of themselves safely supporting neighborhood businesses on Instagram for a chance to win gift certificates. For complete details on the campaign visit

Board President Matthew Mičetić says, “Not only has Joy done an amazing job as Interim Executive Director, she has a wealth of knowledge and a strong background to lead Venture Portland into the future. She is diligently working to provide districts assistance during this COVID-19 crisis and is beginning to look towards the future.”

Venture Portland means business. Since 1986 Venture Portland has invested in the smart, strategic growth of Portland’s unique neighborhood business districts. Through grant funds, marketing, trainings, and technical assistance the organization serves Portland’s diverse and dynamic corridors. These districts, which together make up a majority of the city’s businesses and nearly half of its jobs, play a vital role in Portland’s economic prosperity and collectively represent local, regional, national and international demand for goods and services. For more information, visit