Board Selects Michael Buonocore to be Next Executive Director

PORTLAND, Ore., August 12, 2014 -- Home Forward’s board of commissioners has selected Michael Buonocore to head the agency.  Buonocore, who is Home Forward’s deputy executive director, will take the reins as executive director on October 1.

In a special meeting today, the board authorized Chair David Widmark to finalize a three-year employment agreement with Buonocore, who will have a salary of $150,000.

“After an extensive and thoughtful process, it was clear that Michael had the best combination of leadership skills and experience to take us to the next level,” Widmark said.    “He has been instrumental in both developing and accomplishing our current strategic directions, and we are excited to continue our work with him.”

The board conducted a national search that led to three finalists.  A selection committee with representatives from the City of Portland, Multnomah County, the City of Gresham, community partners, and employees also interviewed the finalists and advised the board on the candidates.

Widmark said board members appreciated Buonocore’s deep commitment to the agency’s mission and the people it serves, his extensive relationships with community partners, and the high regard employees throughout the agency have for him.

“Very importantly, Michael has been a driving force in using our invaluable Moving to Work deregulation authority.  He led our rent reform efforts, and has been instrumental in helping us innovate in ways that increase housing choices for our community and produce efficiencies for the agency,” Widmark said.

“He has a passion and a calling for our work that was unmatched among the candidates and will serve us well,” said board member Miki Herman in discussing her support for the choice.

In accepting the position, Buonocore said, “I’m deeply honored to be chosen by the board of commissioners as the next executive director of Home Forward.  We have one of the most talented staff teams in the country, as well as jurisdictional and nonprofit leaders who share our dedication to making sure everyone in this community has a safe place to call home.  I look forward to rolling up our sleeves together in the coming months and years to meet that challenge.”

Buonocore has been deputy executive director since 2012.  He joined Home Forward in 2001 and led the resident services and policy and planning functions before becoming deputy.  He left the agency from 2007-2008 to serve as associate director at Sisters of the Road, where he oversaw operations and worked closely with the non-profit’s board. 

Before Home Forward, he was a manager and family advocate at the Clackamas County Children’s Commission.  His earliest career experience was as a Russian linguist with the U.S. Army Military Intelligence.

Buonocore replaces Steve Rudman, who announced in January that he would be leaving after 13 years at the agency.  Rudman will step down on October 1 and be available to assist the board and Buonocore with the leadership transition until the end of the year.