The educational and social services provider Impact NW recently named Kevin Washington its new chief financial officer.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Washington earned a master’s degree in accounting from Walsh College, an MBA from Temple University, and a bachelor’s in business from Morehouse College.
He brings to Impact NW more than 20 years of experience as a cost analyst, financial analyst and accountant from diverse industries that include entertainment, healthcare, construction and alternative energy.
After two years in Tokyo, Washington had been living and working in Honolulu when he learned about a position at Impact NW. While his professional background is largely in multi-national for-profit companies, Washington was interested in taking the leap to the non-profit sector.
“It was amazing what they were doing,” Washington told The Skanner. “And it was an opportunity for me to use what I’ve learned to help other people out. So I thought I’d give it a shot.”
Since 1966, Impact NW has been serving individuals of all ages in the Portland metro area by providing the skill set and resources to help their communities prosper. Annually over 36,000 low-income children, youth, families, seniors and adults with disabilities participate in Impact NW’s comprehensive programs.
In 2016 Washington joined the Impact NW team as the controller, and said his recent promotion was a natural progression.
As CFO Washington will help manage the non-profit’s recent growth while presiding over all its financial operations, including communicating with the board, the banks and various funders. He’s also hoping to employ his business prowess to the non-profit workflow.
“I’m really surprised since I’ve been here, how much my for-profit experience comes to bear on a daily basis at Impact NW,” said Washington. “From an operational and financial standpoint, I’d like to look at the work that we do more as a business.”
He cites the organization’s numerous contacts, including with Multnomah County and the city of Portland, drawing comparisons between selling products and providing services.
“But thinking about it from that aspect is somewhat new to Impact NW,” Washington said. “Of course, I have to keep in mind that this is a social services agency for people in need, and a lot of times you can’t treat everything as a business. However, you can use efficient and effective processes and technologies to keep costs down. I think that’s not only unique to for-profits.”
In addition to its numerous programs for early childhood, families and seniors, Impact NW’s fiscal department performs all the back office functions for the YMCA of Greater Portland.
That’s a hefty amount of numbers. But for Washington, it’s business as usual.