It is with mixed emotions that we say goodbye to our Executive Director Don Linnertz. Don is retiring from his role at TwispWorks though he will continue to serve on several committees in an advisory role. Don has been involved with TwispWorks since his move to Valley in 2014. After serving on the board for some time, Don became Executive Director in 2015. Since then, TwispWorks has transformed into a vibrant, active campus full of artisans and small businesses, including the Little Star South Campus, the Old Schoolhouse Brewery Taproom, the Independent Learning Center, and FORK.
Don describes himself as a project manager. “I get stuff done,” he says.
Never a truer statement, Don has been busy over the past six years! Under his directorship, TwispWorks achieved financial self-sufficiency for TwispWorks and was deeded the title to the property by the donors who purchased it in 2010. TwispWorks also finished its campus buildout to include the new pavilion and performing arts center, the Methow Valley Goods Store, and a soon-to-be vocational-tech facility for Liberty Bell High School students.
Don also spearheaded the inception of the Methow Investment Network, a matchmaking organization that pairs investors with startup businesses in the Methow Valley. Since 2016, the MIN has invested over 3 million dollars into 20 new businesses and business acquisitions. These businesses employ nearly 100 people in the Methow Valley and represent a thriving business community supported by local investment.
In addition to the MIN, Don oversaw the development of the Healthy Business Program, the Small Business Emergency Grant, the Methow Made marketing brand, the Broadband Action Team, and countless other partnerships with non-profits and community organizations.
While TwispWorks is excited to welcome Interim Director Sarah Brown to serve in Don’s place, we know that Don is irreplaceable. From his meticulous attention to detail to his extraordinary ability to remember faces and get to know people, Don has integrated into our community in a way few others have. Not only does Don know and love this community, he understands it. At TwispWorks, we call Don the brain glue that holds everything together. The brain glue, of course, is his big heart. We will miss you, Don!