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Chair's Blog

2015 Annual Meeting a time to celebrate and look forward March 2015
By Debbie Kitchin

The Portland Business Alliance is busy preparing for its biggest event of the year, the 2015 Annual Meeting on May 19. Annual Meeting is one of the largest business gatherings in the state, attracting more than 1,000 business and civic leaders. I always look forward to this event because it’s a time to reflect on what the Alliance members and staff have accomplished and a time to look at where we are headed. Most of all, however, it’s an opportunity for our members and volunteers to be recognized for their unyielding dedication.

A main draw of our Annual Meeting is always the keynote speaker.  Over the years, we have heard from many dynamic and thoughtful business leaders who have shared insights into their business and industry. This year is no exception as Tamara Lundgren, president & CEO of Schnitzer Steel Industries, one of the largest traded-sector companies in Oregon, is slated to speak about the importance of international trade. A large part of our business community, including many of our members, represent trade-related industries. We plan to talk about the role trade plays in our economy, and how it supports middle-income jobs and our ability to compete globally. Tamara also is the chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We’re lucky to have this opportunity to hear from such an influential business leader, both locally and nationally, and I look forward to hearing all she has to say.

The Annual Meeting stage will showcase a big focus of the organization and for me personally this year: women business leaders. It is our goal to raise the profile of women who are making strides in the Portland-metro business community, like Tamara Lundgren. In addition to Annual Meeting, we will feature women in business at our April Forum, and of course at our annual A Place With No Ceiling event in September.

All of this wouldn’t be possible without support from members of the business community. We hope you’ll be able to join us at our biggest event of the year. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased on the Alliance website, but don’t hesitate. The event will sell out quickly! We will see you there.
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