Social Enterprise Greenhouse names Owens interim CEO

PROVIDENCE – A manager with more than 25 years of experience working with various organizations around the country will lead, at least temporarily, Social Enterprise Greenhouse.

The business-support nonprofit has tapped Julie Owens as its interim CEO, taking over the role once held by Kelly Ramirez for the time being. Owens told Providence Business News on Tuesday she began serving as the organization’s interim CEO three weeks ago while there was some leadership transitional overlap during Ramirez’s final days with Social Enterprise Greenhouse.

Ramirez on Aug. 26 officially left the organization she led since 2009 to become Providence College’s new Donald Ryan Incubator for Entrepreneurship in the Arts & Sciences director.

“When I got the call a couple of weeks ago about this interim role, I was just thrilled to come in during this time,” Owens said.

- Advertisement -

Owens’ career has centered around strategic planning and project management, she said. About four years ago, Owens explained she began working with Social Enterprise Greenhouse for the first time on a strategic plan. Since then, she has worked with the organization on more program-based projects.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Social Enterprise Greenhouse, Owens said, developed an expert coaching program for microbusinesses to help them connect with business support services to manage through the health crisis.

Owens said over the next few months she will focus on continuity and leadership within Social Enterprise Greenhouse, and being a “leadership bridge” in order for the organization to continue serving the business community. Owens said the fall programs, such as the “Ideator” idea development program, the “Incubator” enterprise launch basics program and the Spanish “Incubadora” program, that are starting soon have received a “good response of interest.”

“It demonstrates that SEG continues to be a vibrant ecosystem that offers programs and services Rhode Island entrepreneurs and small businesses need,” Owens said. “My is to play a role in that during this transition.”

A search for a permanent CEO at Social Enterprise Greenhouse is ongoing.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.