Steve Jung
Orcas Community Resource Center, Trustee


Can you share a little bit about yourself?

In 2000, my wife, Susan McBain, and I had a vacation home built at Eagle Lake, out beyond Olga. At that time, we met Hilary Canty and her husband Hank Date, who were the Eagle Lake caretakers.

We came full time to Orcas in 2010, after I retired as Executive Director of Internal Audit and Institutional Compliance at Stanford University and Stanford Medical Center.

Upon making the decision to become islanders rather than tourists, we went about seeking to become involved in the nonprofits that played such a huge role in making Orcas a desirable community in which to live. I was very fortunate in having been befriended earlier by Hilary Canty, the Executive Director of the Orcas Island Community Foundation, who quickly found opportunities for me, beginning with a position on the OICF board.  Further service opportunities developed from there.

Tell us a little bit about the organization you volunteer at.

In 2015, OICF had identified the lack of an effective community services hub as a major issue for Orcas. Hilary and the Foundation board felt that Orcas Family Connections (OFC), a small family service center affiliated with island preschools, had potential to become such a hub, and that its young Executive Director, Erin O’Dell, had potential to become the leader of such a hub.

OICF offered various forms of assistance to try to build this potential into reality, including adding new members to the OFC Board. Although I knew very little about the mission or work of OFC, I volunteered to be one of the new members, and thus began my education into the vital but hard-to-conceptualize world of social and family services.

In the seven years since, I have witnessed a truly remarkable transformation, including the adoption of a new name, Orcas Community Resource Center (OCRC), to better capture the incredibly wide range of work accomplished at the center. To try to capture this breadth it would require much more room than we have here, but suffice it to say that OCRC has become financially and organizationally mature, and is now the go to place on Orcas for islanders in need of assistance.

As part of this transformation, Erin has become, and is recognized as, one of the Island’s most effective executive directors. Although I had primary responsibility for none of the decisions and subsequent actions that accomplished the transformation, I was pleased to have a hand in many of them. I view this involvement with great personal satisfaction and will consider it a significant part of my legacy of board service on Orcas.

What does volunteering do for you?

The personal satisfaction from my years of service to the Orcas Island-based nonprofits is seeing every one of them transformed over the years from positions of tenuous financial footing into relatively healthy enterprises. The transformations were accomplished by hard working staff, lots of dedicated board members, and some incredibly generous donors. I like to think that I played a part.

Maybe more important than the personal satisfaction I gained from seeing growth of the organizations that I have served, board service has allowed me to build lasting and treasured friendships with the staff and other members of these various boards and committees. Clearly, life on Orcas Island would not be as sweet without this web of friendship.

Over the years people have asked me about the lessons I’ve learned from my years on various boards. Probably the most important lesson is that it is hard to have fun and make progress when you must work with difficult people. This fact has been well researched by Stanford Professor Robert Sutton. It is summarized in his book The No Asshole Rule. If you find yourself having to negotiate around an asshole, you should either figure out a way to engineer his or her departure or go elsewhere.

Below is an impressive list of all of the places that Steve has served and the capacity in which he has served:

Orcas Island Community Foundation; three terms as a Trustee and two terms as Board Chair

  • Executive Committee
  • Governance Committee, Chair
  • Investment Committee, Chair
  • Finance Committee
  • Various Task Forces & Incipient Committees

Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival OICMF; three terms as a Trustee

  • Finance Committee, Vice Chair
  • Interim Executive Director
  • Development Committee, Chair
  • Various Task Forces

Orcas Community Resource Center, Trustee

  • Finance Committee
  • Development Committee

San Juan Preservation Trust; two terms as a Trustee, Board Chair

  • Executive Committee
  • Development Committee

Orcas Island Food Bank, Finance Committee

Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Member of the Vestry

Coffelt Farm Stewards, Trustee of the original Board until its first reformation

Other Orcas Island nonprofits in non-governance roles, including the Orcas Senior Center and Orcas Door-to-Door


Visit the Orcas Community Resource Center to learn more. If you would like to get involved, send them an email.

If you would like to learn about other volunteer opportunities on Orcas, please email Ed. He would love to get together for tea/coffee to chat about your interests.