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Chair's Blog

From annual milestones to a focus on membership May 2013
By Dennis Rawlinson

This past month was a busy one for the Portland Business Alliance. We accomplished a lot – from unveiling an updated logo and tagline, launching a new website, hosting a successful Annual Breakfast and taking more than 40 people on our annual trip to Washington, D.C.

Our Annual Breakfast event celebrated more than usual this year. Not only did it attract more than 1,000 business and civic professionals and featured keynote speaker, Kevin Stein of Precision Castparts and PCC Structurals, it also highlighted the reveal our updated brand. For those that weren’t able to attend, I invite you to watch the video that unveiled our new look. On top of all that, we launched a new website!

And the annual Washington, D.C. trip was also a bit different this year.  For the first time, the Alliance teamed up with its statewide business association partners, Oregon Business Association, Oregon Business Council and Associated Oregon Industries, on its annual trip to Washington D.C. A group of 40 representatives met with federal legislators and administration officials to discuss a few of the priority issues identified in the Oregon Business Plan. With two days in the nation’s capitol, the group organized meetings with Oregon and Washington delegations to discuss the I-5 Bridge Replacement Project, the Portland Harbor Superfund and federal forest management.

A trip highlight was during a visit with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to discuss the I-5 bridge. The group was encouraged to hear Secretary LaHood describe the I-5 bridge as, “A project of national importance.” With this on the federal agenda, we hope that Washington will soon approve the necessary funding to move the project forward. The group also heard from a team of experts from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The new Deputy Assistant Secretary of Manufacturing, Chandra Brown, (formerly head of United Streetcar and Vice President of Oregon Iron Works), put together an interesting discussion around federal trade policy.

With these milestones behind us, we are renewing our focus on driving membership. So far during the 2012-13 fiscal year, we’ve gained more than 200 new members! We would like to invite you to participate in helping us close out this year strong. One way you can help is to partake in the Alliance’s Alaska Airlines Membership Referral Program. Simply refer a member to the Alliance by June 14 and if your referral is not already a member, you’ll be entered to win two tickets on Alaska Airlines. We’ll draw the winner at the June Forum on the 19. Register for Forum.

Lastly, we’re in the process of conducting our Annual Membership survey. Your responses help us identify ways we can better serve our members and we encourage you to provide suggestions on ways we can increase the value of your Alliance membership. Thanks to those who have provided feedback so far; I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
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