I write with the hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well. With the challenges that this global pandemic poses, the lives put in jeopardy and even our best-laid plans postponed, it can be a difficult time for change. But I wanted to share some important news with you: After working for over a decade to help build ioby to be where it is today, I’ll be leaving ioby this summer.
I’m confident that ioby is in more capable hands at both the board and staff levels than ever before in our history.
I believe in our mission and ability to achieve it as much as the day we founded ioby. I’ve spent the last decade of my life building this organization and it has been the greatest honor, privilege, and challenge of my career. And while this timing may feel odd right now, ioby’s Co-Founder and CEO, Erin Barnes and I have spent the last year planning this inevitable leadership transition.
I’m incredibly proud of the way ioby has responded to the pandemic’s impacts, and it’s helped me to reflect on one of the values that I think is most important to us at ioby: listening to residents and centering their voices.
From the very beginning of ioby’s work, we have listened to and responded to neighborhood leaders’ needs. When our community made clear that fiscal sponsorship was something that was urgent and needed, we pivoted to provide it. In the weeks after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, we shifted our focus from just environmental projects to encompass a much broader range of all neighborhood projects. These two decisions, and many more, have come from us being responsive listeners and trusting our neighbors. Those resulting policies have meant that ioby is well-positioned to serve communities as they respond to COVID-19 now and into the future. This muscle of listening and iterating is what has positioned ioby so well right now to support direct cash assistance projects to neighbors who need it most, to support mutual aid groups, and black-owned businesses, and other groups that might otherwise be overlooked.
You can probably imagine the combination of emotions I’m feeling at the moment, but chief among them is the joy I have that ioby is so much more than just me—that I can now step away from something that I’ve poured so much of myself into with the confidence that it will succeed without me. ioby’s extraordinary staff is a huge part of my confidence, and I want to thank everyone on our team from the very bottom of my heart for everything that you have done to help make ioby the amazing organization we’ve built together.
My last day is planned for June 30. Erin and I have been working thoughtfully and intentionally for this transition, and it’s been exciting to be working with our Senior Management Team to make sure that ioby will be even stronger once I’ve left the team. The process of doing that has been encouraging and rewarding, and it has built my confidence that this is the right moment in ioby’s growth for me as a co-founder to take a step back.
It’s no secret that our communities are confronted with enormous challenges. There is no doubt in my mind that ioby remains ready for the task, and ready to make positive change one block at a time.
See you around the neighborhood,
Brandon Whitney Co-Founder and COO