Diversity in Leadership: Women on the Board

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Diversity in Leadership: Women on the Board

According to a Business Journals analysis

Business leaders have long highlighted gender diversity as a top priority, particularly when it comes to populating board rooms and the power center commonly known as the C-suite. Alas, women remain woefully underrepresented among the upper echelons of Corporate America.

Kudos to corporate leaders in Oregon like Umpqua Bank, Nike and Northwest Natural for leading the way. In Oregon, Umpqua Bank has the most female board directors (four). Columbia Sportswear, Nike and Northwest Natural each count three women directors on their boards. In terms of the state's largest company, Nike's figure of three out of 11 female board members exceeds the average for the country's biggest publicly traded businesses.

Read the full story here.

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Greater Portland Tech Challenge

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Greater Portland Tech Challenge

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The Greater Portland region is facing more complex challenges than ever before. Join us as we collaborate, innovate and meet these challenges head on.

Greater Portland Inc and the Technology Association of Oregon are collaborating to produce the region’s first ever mobility tech challenge. The inaugural Greater Portland Tech Challenge pairs technology firms with transit agencies, governments, community organizations, transportation companies and engineering/ professional services firms to explore technology solutions to the region’s mobility and transportation challenges.

Through this year’s mobility focused tech challenge we will explore some of the most interesting and confounding problems facing this region.  Get your challenge ready. We think the region’s tech talent, creative thinkers and problem solvers can innovate ways to move this region!

Here’s a couple challenges we’ve already heard about:

  • We’re trying to figure out last mile connections between transit and work.
  • How do we bridge the digital divide to bring mobility options to under-represented residents?
  • We need help with data collection, visualization and coordination. 
  • How will autonomous vehicles integrate into existing transportation networks?

Public and private sector partners are welcome to bring your mobility challenge to the tech challenge so innovators from the private and public sector can explore solutions that need both perspectives.  For details and the "rules of the road" visit http://www.greaterportland2020.com/techchallenge.

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Greater Portland Inc launches Growing Small Businesses Globally initiative

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Greater Portland Inc launches Growing Small Businesses Globally initiative

Supported by JPMorgan Chase and the Oregon Community Foundation, this program will provide assistance to small businesses with a focus on firms led by women, minorities and veterans interested in expanding into the global marketplace. 

Greater Portland Inc, the region’s economic development organization, is launching a new initiative to help small businesses, including those led by women, minority and veteran owned entrepreneurs expand into the global marketplace. The Growing Small Businesses Globallyinitiative is part of the Greater Portland 2020 framework, a 5-year action plan to align business, education and civic leaders around regional economic priorities. 

“Greater Portland has been a strong performer in exports, which totaled $22 billion in 2016, ranking our region 16th in the country,” said Janet LaBar, president and CEO of Greater Portland Inc. “And there are more than 120,000 export-supported jobs in the metro area, so trade is a significant driver of Greater Portland’s economy. This initiative aims to spread more of this economic wealth across the region and supports the Greater Portland 2020 goal of economic prosperity for all.”  

Through the Growing Small Businesses Globally program, small business owners in the Greater Portland region gain access to counseling, advising and trainings from export partners like Oregon Small Business Development Center, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Small Business Administration, Global Trade Center, and Business Oregon. 

Supporting minority, women, and veteran owned businesses in the Greater Portland region as they expand into exporting is key to achieving shared economic prosperity and an inclusive regional economy. Between 2007 and 2012 ownership of small businesses in Oregon by minorities increased 30 percent according to most recently available data from the U.S. Small Business Administration. One of the best ways to support business growth is through global engagement and international exports. According to Greater Portland Global, the region’s export focused trade and investment plan, 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S., and 79 percent of global GDP growth is projected to occur outside the U.S. International markets are key opportunities for this region’s entrepreneurs. 

In 2014 more than 6,000 firms from across Oregon exported goods or services. As export opportunities expand, so does economic prosperity in the region. According to the Greater Portland Global market scan, between 2003 and 2016 total export supported employment in the Greater Portland region increased 35 percent. For every $1 billion in additional exports from this region approximately 5,400 jobs are created. 

The Growing Small Businesses Globally initiative is made possible by grants from JPMorgan Chase and the Oregon Community Foundation. The Growing Small Businesses Globally initiative will support local businesses with training, mentoring and travel funds to generate export opportunities in Greater Portland’s key international markets. 

“JPMorgan Chase is pleased to support Greater Portland 2020 and we believe it’s our firm’s corporate responsibility to use our strength and global reach to assist our communities as they navigate a complex global economy and to help tackle some of the big social and economic challenges facing our country and facing the world,” said Michael Hurley, Market Executive, Executive Director, Oregon & SW Washington, Middle Market Banking and Commercial Banking. “For cities and metropolitan regions to grow economically, they must capitalize on their distinctive assets and expand their global trade and investment strategies by making exports and global engagement a central part of their broader economic strategies.” 

The Oregon Community Foundation grant was made possible by the Mary and Pete Mark Charitable Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, the Jennifer and Jim Mark Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, and the Betty Lou Roberts Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. 

“OCF is pleased to fund the Growing Small Businesses Globally initiative to offer training and support to help small minority- and women-owned businesses acquire and fulfill export contracts,” said Kathleen Cornett, vice president for grants and programs at the Oregon Community Foundation. “The Growing Small Businesses Globally initiative aligns well with The Oregon Community Foundation’s equity, diversity and inclusion goals.” 

This GPI-led initiative is a Greater Portland 2020 signature program building on the strategies of People, Place and Business. The Greater Portland 2020 regional economic development strategy aims to recruit, develop and advance the region’s talent (People), improve infrastructure to meet the needs of people, business and innovation (Place), and grow business and pioneer innovation (Business). The Growing Small Businesses Globally initiative incorporates all three strategies. 

Entrepreneurs interested in applying for a scholarship to cover part of the cost of export advising, counseling and training can fill out an application at greaterportland2020.com/export

Scholarship applications will be accepted through December 15. Interested entrepreneurs can contact GPI’s Vice President for Regional Competitiveness, Lloyd Purdy, at 971-339-2011 for more details.

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Reminder: Diversity in Leadership event Thursday

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Reminder: Diversity in Leadership event Thursday

Creating a Culture of Workplace Diversity

When: Thursday, November 16 from 8 to 10 a.m. (Breakfast buffet included)

Where: World Trade Center, Plaza Conference Room off of SW 1st Street, Portland.
(Between SW Salmon and SW Taylor on 1st)

Presented by: Greater Portland Inc, Partners in Diversity, Portland General Electric

Keynote: Jim Piro, CEO of Portland General Electric

Thank you to Portland General Electric for providing breakfast

Guest speakers

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Jim Piro is chief executive officer of Portland General Electric (PGE), and has 41 years’ experience in the utility business. Prior to becoming CEO in 2009, he served nine years as executive vice president of Finance, chief financial officer and treasurer. A 1974 graduate of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., Piro earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in California and, before working at PGE, worked as a civil engineer for San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Piro serves on several boards including the PGE Foundation and is chair of Greater Portland Inc. and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Investment Council. 

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Tamara Kennedy-Hill, CMP, MBA is Vice President of Diversity and Community Relations for Travel Portland. In her role at Travel Portland, Tamara seeks to bring the voice of the tourism/hospitality industry to a wide array of local community issues as well as advance the organization’s work in building and strengthening relationships with diverse groups, organizations and communities. 

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Kurt Jun has more than 25 years of experience in diversity, equity and inclusion, strategic management of human capital in workforce development and retention, and in cultural competency training. Kurt has served as an expert matter consultant in diversity development programs in the public education systems, private sectors, healthcare industry, government organizations. His expertise drives the delivery of diversity and inclusion initiatives.

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Dr. Steven Nakana is the Port of Portland Social Equity Program. Dr. Nakana joined the Port in 2016 and he is tasked with conceptualizing, designing and implementing the Port’s Equity Program a task that includes drafting the Port’s social equity policy, integrating equity considerations into the Port’s decision-making processes. Dr. Nakana has more than 10 years of experience in the social justice field. Prior to joining the Port, he worked at Portland State University and Concordia University as an adjunct instructor in conflict resolution and peace-building, and cultural competence. He also worked as a Conflict and Peace Building Advisor, Project Management Trainer for Mercy Corps, an International Humanitarian Organized based here in Portland. Before coming to the U.S., he worked as policy researcher in Cape Town, South Africa. He also serves on several committees including the City of Portland’s Public Involvement Advisory Council (PIAC) and the Rotary International Foundation World Peace Scholar Selection Committee. 

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Shiau Yen Chin-Denis is a partner in the Portland office of international law firm K&L Gates LLP, focusing her practice on corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, post-acquisition integration, joint ventures, restructuring, corporate governance and other international transactions. She serves as an active member of the K&L Gates firmwide diversity and inclusion committee, guiding the K&L Gates commitment to inclusion of diverse lawyers and staff, including women, racial minorities, the LGBT community, and others. In 2014, she was selected as a fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a national organization of more than 240 law firms and corporate legal departments dedicated to a truly diverse legal profession in the U.S. In addition, in 2016, Shiau Yen has also received the Women of Influence and Women of Vision Awards.

Program partners

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Event: Build Small Live Large

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Event: Build Small Live Large

Housing affordability and housing access continues to challenge this region – especially as the population continues to grow. Demand for affordable housing far outstrips existing supply. Equitable development strategies that provide a range of housing solutions at a range of prices is one of many tools to address this imbalance. Learn about one small solution that’s gaining big momentum at the Build Small Live Large Summit

Build Small Live Large: A National ADU Summit

November 3-5, 2017  |  Portland, Oregon

The national leaders in accessory dwelling unit (ADU) policymaking, design and development will gather to share how these small homes built in backyards, attics and basements can offer solutions to steeply rising rents and the pollution that is changing our planet's climate. Find your place in this newly booming housing movement at the Friday professional summit or during weekend home tours and workshops.

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Women in business - Today is the last day to apply for XXcelerator

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Women in business - Today is the last day to apply for XXcelerator

Women run some of the most profitable businesses. Data shows they lead companies that are more likely to succeed, more capital efficient, and have higher annual revenues.

The XXcelerator provides the education, mentorship, peer support and accountability that women entrepreneurs need to succeed. This intensive 12 month business building program was designed by women entrepreneur, for women entrepreneurs, and is supported and backed by the best mentors, teachers and comes with access to the resources and help you need at this critical stage in your business growth.

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