News Release: Hourcar picks up new executive director on road to nonprofit independence

Focused leadership and independence will allow greater flexibility, mission commitment
 
April 10, 2017, Saint Paul — Twin Cities car-sharing pioneer Hourcar has hired Paul Schroeder as its first executive director. With new leadership now in place, the program will launch as an independent nonprofit later this year. As the metro’s first and longest-lasting car-sharing provider, Hourcar’s drive for independence mirrors its steadfast commitment to providing this region with an alternative to car ownership that is dependable, affordable, and easier on the environment.
 
An industry trailblazer, Hourcar was established in 2005 as a car-sharing program of the Neighborhood Energy Connection (NEC). “As the field has matured, and others have come and gone, Hourcar has deepened its roots as a homegrown constant,” says Linda Taylor, the NEC’s interim executive director. “Hourcar will continue to thrive under focused, independent leadership that aligns seamlessly with its strategic priorities. And Paul Schroeder is a perfect choice to take the wheel.”
 
Schroeder comes to the Twin Cities from Portland, Oregon, where he founded the nonprofit New City Initiative in 2009. Centered on ending homelessness, the organization quickly grew to a staff of six with an annual budget of nearly $500,000. Previously Schroeder served as dean and senior priest of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland, where he managed staff and increased donations every year for four years; and also led three consecutive years of surplus as executive director of the St. Nicholas Ranch Conference and Retreat Center in Dunlap, California.
 
“The car-sharing market will continue to evolve quickly in coming years,” explains Schroeder, “and Hourcar can lead the way with its unmatched local experience and mission-driven commitment to sustainable transportation. At this pivotal point for both the organization and our field, I’m thrilled to dig in with my entrepreneurial mindset and deep belief in the power of shared mobility.”
 
In 2016, the NEC undertook an extensive program review to assess and maximize Hourcar’s future impact. The board and key staff determined that reestablishing the program as a self-determined and governed organization would open new doors to improve long-term impact, which ultimately led to Schroeder’s hiring as well as months of strategic planning with program manager Megan Hansen. “We’re grateful for Megan’s extraordinary work to make this happen,” praised the NEC’s Linda Taylor. “She has been a vital program contributor since 2010, and will continue to be an important resource after Hourcar turns this big corner.”
 
Hourcar members should experience no disruption in service, although they will be asked to renew their membership agreement after Hourcar launches as a nonprofit organization. While currently awaiting its own IRS tax-exempt/nonprofit status determination, Hourcar will continue to operate as a nonprofit-based program. 
 
About Hourcar
Hourcar serves St. Paul and Minneapolis with high-quality car sharing at affordable rates and exceptional customer service. With a fleet of 61 vehicles in 55 Twin Cities locations, Hourcar is one of the largest nonprofit car-sharing operators in the U.S. For more information and to become a member, visit hourcar.org.
 
Media Contact: Jennifer Thompson, 651-789-5712, jennifert@thenec.org