January 18, 2022

Consortia: John F. Helmer, Founding Executive Director of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, to Retire

The Orbis Cascade Alliance is a non-profit consortium of 37 academic institutions located in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. A list of members can be accessed here.

From an Alliance News Release:


The Orbis Cascade Alliance announced on July 16 that John F. Helmer, executive director of the Alliance, will retire from his position in March 2016. Helmer has been a part of the Alliance since its beginning in 1993 when it was a grant-funded initiative among five Oregon public universities to create a union catalog. He was part of the team that wrote the founding grant, and then he proceeded to hire staff, oversee system implementation and launch the consortium.

Before being hired as the consortium’s first executive director in 1999, Helmer was head of library systems at the University of Oregon and served in an administrative role for the consortium for several years. That early organization, known as Orbis, steadily added members and expanded into new services areas, and later merged with Cascade, a sister library consortium created by Washington’s public universities, to become the Orbis Cascade Alliance. The Alliance incorporated in 2011, and Helmer became the corporation’s chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors.


“It is difficult to think of the Alliance without John Helmer, who has been an extraordinary leader as reflected in the honor bestowed upon him by his peers as the recipient of the 2012 Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award,” said Jane A. Carlin, past chair of the Alliance board of directors and library director at the University of Puget Sound. “John has changed the landscape of library consortia, pushed boundaries and inspired the profession during his tenure as the executive director of the Alliance.”


In his announcement to members, Helmer noted that “the fun and excitement of working with Alliance teams and council is what drew me to this position to begin with, and oh what a fabulous ride it’s been! I have enjoyed working with you so very much; please know that it has been a huge honor to serve as founding executive director of the Orbis Cascade Alliance.”

Read the Complete Announcement (3 pages: PDF)

See Also: Helmer’s Resume and List of Publications (via Alliance Web Site)

See Also: List of Orbis Cascade Members

See Also: July 2015 Issue of Orbis Cascade Newsletter

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.