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Remembering Don McClave

Don McClave, a long-time leader and champion of the Alliance, passed away on July 4 in Gresham.

As a First Interstate Bank executive, Don chaired the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce, one of the Alliance’s predecessor organizations, in 1985. In 1986, he became the chamber’s president and CEO, a post he held until his retirement in 2002. Don was a driving force behind the 2002 merger of the Portland Chamber and the Association for Portland Progress, which led to the creation of the Portland Business Alliance and the development of a strong and united business voice in Portland. After his retirement from the chamber, Don spent many years at Portland State University, where he promoted programs like PSU’s small business accelerator.

Don stayed connected to the Alliance long after his retirement. He attended many events and, in fact, was always one of the first people to show up for the Annual Meeting each spring. Always a chamber leader, he liked to say hi to the team and acknowledge the work they did putting on the event.

Don was well regarded in our community, known not just as a successful businessman, but also as a committed family man, an avid golfer and a long-time stunt flier with a passion for stunt model airplanes. He is survived by his wife Chris and his son Andrew.

A memorial service for Don will be held in August.