Oregon RAIN Board of Directors Appoints Caroline Cummings as Executive Director

Executive Director

Caroline Cummings

The Board of Directors for Oregon RAIN, the Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network, is pleased to announce Caroline Cummings as the organization’s Executive Director. Cummings joined RAIN as a Venture Catalyst in 2015 and has served as the organization’s Interim Executive Director since March.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors for Oregon RAIN, I want to thank Caroline for stepping in to provide interim leadership for the organization over the past three months. Her success in that role made it an easy decision to appoint her as the permanent Executive Director,” said Sabrina Parsons, Chairwoman of the Oregon RAIN Board of Directors.

Cummings replaces Marc Manley, who resigned in March to become the full-time Managing Director of Willamette Valley Capital. In her brief time as Interim Executive Director, Cummings co-produced the 10th annual Willamette Angels Conference with the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, announced the expansion of RAIN’s rural venture catalyst program, and launched a search for RAIN’s Seed Fund manager.

“I want to thank the Oregon RAIN Board of Directors for asking me to lead the organization into our next chapter. It’s hard to believe that RAIN is less than four years old, and yet we’ve met or exceeded every one of our initial goals for helping entrepreneurs launch and scale businesses in Oregon. I look forward to working with our board, team, and community to establish a vision of “What’s Next” for RAIN,” said Cummings.

In her role as venture catalyst, Cummings has provided outreach and support to small and rural communities within RAIN’s four-county network — which includes Lane, Linn, Lincoln and Benton counties. She coaches and mentors regional entrepreneurs, builds strategic local partnerships, recruits and trains angel investors, raises funds, leads educational workshops, and has personally invested in eight Oregon-based startup companies. She’s passionate about bringing more women investors into the fold because research indicates when more women invest in startups, more women founders get funded and supported. 

Prior to joining Oregon RAIN, she served on the executive team at Palo Alto Software. Cummings has contributed to the founding and growth of various entrepreneurial programs in Oregon, including Smart-ups, the Willamette Angels Conference, and the Southern Oregon Angel Investor Conference. She’s invited regularly to guest lecture and serve as a judge for various business, marketing, and entrepreneurship classes and programs at the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and her alma mater, Drexel University in Philadelphia. 

Cummings additionally co-founded and served as the CEO of two technology startups, and was a recipient of a 20 Under 40 Award in 2008. She’s raised close to one million dollars for her own startup ventures, raised two million dollars for non-profit organizations she’s passionate about, and has coached hundreds of entrepreneurs on how to raise capital.

Cummings has served as a volunteer for the global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps, and traveled to Cairo Egypt during social unrest to mentor entrepreneurs from the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa) and delivered a workshop to angel investors from The Cairo Angels about angel investing approaches used in Oregon. She continues to mentor women entrepreneurs from the MENA region. 

Cummings serves on the Oregon Economic Development Association (OEDA) board of directors and represents the voice for entrepreneurs and innovators from around the state.