Executive Director

It's great to meet you. Now let's get to work.

It's great to meet you. Now let's get to work.

It’s not every day that one finds themselves in front of an opportunity that is the unique combination of three passion points. Further, those opportunities (I think) rarely reveal themselves as anything more than hobbies or at best moonlighting gigs. Lucky for me, I’ve somehow managed to find myself in the right place, at the right time, searching for the right thing.

Hello everyone; my name is Mike Cole and I am EXTREMELY pumped to introduce myself to you as the new Executive Director at TUGG.

Those three passion points I mentioned?

The startup and tech ecosystem.

I’ve spent my career embedded in the startup world in New York and San Francisco, working with some very cool and very socially innovative companies (Reddit, Nextdoor). The talent, passion, and vision of the tech community is jaw-droppingly inspiring. In my role at TUGG, I want to continue to harness that same passion in Boston to help our city’s most innovative nonprofits (more on this below) grow and thrive.

Social good.

I was an early-ish employee at Reddit focused on revenue. My time there ignited an eagerness to evangelize social good wherever and whenever possible. TUGG nonprofits (and nonprofits throughout the city) dedicate their livelihoods to improving the lives of Boston’s most at-risk communities, and the talent we have in Boston can accelerate the impact they have.

Raising revenues = lots of fun. Raising up people = infinitely better.


I’ve wanted to return to Boston ever since I left. I grew up locally and it has always been a goal of mine to contribute something meaningful here. I couldn’t have asked for a more significant way to do it. I’ve lived in a lot of different places and Boston is by far the most socially conscious I’ve seen. In fact, it’s inspired my vision for TUGG’s future and how we move forward to work towards a better Boston.

You may not have known TUGG had a new Executive Director (me). This was intentional. I’ve been purposely flying under the radar to get a more unimpeded understanding of our organization, from the challenges we’ve faced to the successes we’ve accomplished and everything in between.  

What role has TUGG played in the nonprofit ecosystem these past ten years? What have we done well? Where can we do better? How has our role evolved over time and what potential is there for the future? I’ve spent the last 30 days simply trying to get a fresh perspective.

I’ve reached out to portfolio member organizations past and present to hear their stories, let them voice their opinions, and take stock of their needs. Similarly, I’ve had calls with a number of our donors and community members, asking the same questions. Again, the passion and engagement on both sides of the equation are nothing short of spectacular. Our nonprofits are passionate about the work they do and hungry for resources and volunteers to fulfill their respective missions. Our volunteer community is equally passionate about giving back and using their time, talents, and dedication to helping others succeed.

As  we move forward for the rest of 2018, why should you be excited about TUGG? A whole lot of reasons, but the first is Tech Gives Back! Save the date for Tech Gives Back, October 16-18.

Tech Gives Back is TUGG’s largest and most impactful volunteering event of the year as the Boston tech community comes together for an annual day of service. This year we’re expanding the scope of Tech Gives Back into a three-day event with new partners and projects.

Are you interested in taking part? Email me at mike@tugg.org and I’ll make sure you’re in the know.

Finally, as excited as I am about TUGG’s future and our continuously evolving role in Boston, I want to acknowledge the most important contributing factor to everything we do here: you, the TUGG community. Although I’ve only met with a small fraction of you thus far – and I look forward to meeting many more of you over the coming days, weeks, and months -  I tip my hat to all of you for the support and dedication you’ve given to TUGG all these years.

Now, let’s get to work.


*TUGG has some immediate volunteer opportunities around web design & development, graphic design, project management, and event coordination. If you or anyone that you know would like to contribute, we’d love to have you! Reach out to Mike directly at mike@tugg.org