Alliance Staff

The teams at Portland Business Alliance, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe and Partners in Diversity are committed to making the greater Portland region a better place. 

Our mission is to create opportunity and advance well-being for all who live and work in the greater Portland and SW Washington region. Our vision is a healthy and resilient business ecosystem.  

Please contact our office at 503-224-8684 or email us at [email protected].
 


Leadership

President & CEO
Andrew Hoan
President & CEO
Andrew Hoan, President & CEO
[email protected] • 503-224-8684
Andrew Hoan became the president and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance on June 18, 2018.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Andrew was president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.  Before his tenure at the Brooklyn Chamber, he served in the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President where he directed capital spending and economic development policy. Andrew moved to New York through participation in a national service year as an AmeriCorps VISTA, helping indigent New Yorkers seek free civil legal help, and went on to develop corporate programming for the largest provider of homeless services in New York City, Volunteers of America.

Andrew was an appointee to several agencies and authorities throughout his career, and currently serves on Mayor Ted Wheeler’s Council of Economic Advisors, Metro Council President Lynn Peterson’s President’s Council, All Hands Raised board of directors, Oregon Business & Industry board of directors, Multnomah County’s Preschool for All Taskforce, and serves as co-chair of Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty’s Small Business Committee, treasurer of the Portland Economic Investment Corporation’s board of directors, and professional advisor for Travel Portland. He holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Wisconsin and a masters in urban planning from New York University.

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, his wife, Karina, is a doctor at Portland Clinic and they live with their sons, Theo and Rocco, in Northwest Portland.
Vice President, Downtown Services & Executive Director, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
Mark Wells
Vice President, Downtown Services & Executive Director, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
Mark Wells, Vice President, Downtown Services & Executive Director, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
[email protected] • 503-552-6778

Mark joined Downtown Portland Clean & Safe as Executive Director in November of 2021 where he helps with the necessary work to help achieve and maintain an attractive, clean, safe and inviting physical environment for the Downtown Clean and Safe program. In his previous role, Mark served as the Director of Operations for Downtown Portland Clean & Safe.

Mark spent the first half of his career working in a wide variety of law enforcement and investigative roles.  Starting in federal law enforcement in San Diego, Mark then took a transfer to Portland where he met his now wife of 16 years the first day he arrived- a good move for sure.  He transitioned to municipal police work for the City of Sherwood and later ran the Oregon Humane Agent program, a small law enforcement unit enforcing animal cruelty laws based on the Oregon Humane Society.  These positions and the great variety of experiences came into play well when he became a Crime Prevention Program Coordinator for the City of Portland and worked on diverse and challenging chronic crime and public safety issues and locations.  Mark worked for a little over a decade in almost every neighborhood and business district in the City.  He partnered with many city, county, and non-profit organizations to facilitate community programs such as livability teams, neighborhood, and business crime prevention programs, and provided a host of public safety resource trainings to diverse community groups.  Mark believes passionately in the power of building community and long-lasting and genuine relationships and partnerships. 

Vice President, Government Affairs
Jon Isaacs
Vice President, Government Affairs
Jon Isaacs, Vice President, Government Affairs
[email protected] • 503-552-6746
Jon Isaacs joined the Portland Business Alliance as vice president of government affairs in January 2019. With more than 26 years of experience, Jon has held senior positions, and achieved significant political and policy victories in campaigns, public affairs and public policy at the national, state and local levels. Prior to joining the Alliance, he served as the public affairs manager for Uber Technologies, leading the company's Government, Public Policy and Community Relations work in Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana and Wyoming.

Prior to joining Uber in 2016, Jon served as the chief of communications and public affairs for Portland Public Schools (PPS) from 2012 to 2016. Prior to PPS, he spent more than 16 years working for and advising Democratic candidates, elected officials, and progressive nonprofit advocacy organizations in national, state and local leadership roles.

Recognized as one of the top political strategists in the Pacific Northwest, from 2004 to 2009, Jon served as senior policy advisory, campaign manager and state director for House Minority Leader, House Speaker and now United States Senator Jeff Merkley. As executive director of the Oregon House Democrats’ Campaign Committee, Jon engineered the first Democratic majority in the Oregon house in nearly two decades in 2006. He followed this up by managing Jeff Merkley’s historic election to the US Senate in 2008. Following his time with Merkley, Jon served as executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters from 2009 to 2011.

Jon graduated from Oregon State University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He currently serves on the Advocacy Committee for the Technology Association of Oregon and the Equality PAC Board of Directors for Basic Rights Oregon. Jon is an active volunteer coach for Portland youth futsal and SE Portland Little League. Jon lives in Portland, OR with his two healthy, active sons, Jay, 12, and Sam, 7. 
Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Vanessa Briseño
Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Vanessa Briseño, Senior Director, Strategic Communications
[email protected] • 503-552-6754

As the Portland Business Alliance’s Senior Director of Strategic Communications, Vanessa Briseño brings more than two decades of experience in targeted communications and marketing strategies; fund and partnership development; board and leadership development; and, capacity and team building.

At the Alliance, Ms. Briseño directs and manages the creation and implementation of a strategic, multi-faceted communications plan that is designed to build and strengthen the Alliance's role and reputation as a leader and voice for businesses in the Portland Metro region. With experience in the philanthropic, nonprofit and corporate sectors, she shares and applies a unique perspective to her work — one that has demonstrated tremendous success in partnership building and brand recognition.

She frequently teaches fund development strategies with the Willamette Valley Development Officers, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon.

Executive Director, Partners in Diversity
Mari Watanabe
Executive Director, Partners in Diversity
Mari Watanabe, Executive Director, Partners in Diversity
[email protected] • 503-552-6775
Mari Watanabe is the executive director of Partners in Diversity (PiD). As executive director of PiD, she helps employers recruit and retain their diverse workforce through the nonprofit’s programs.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Mari worked for more than 20 years in the apparel industry before moving to the nonprofit sector. She also worked as the executive director for Oregon Nikkei Endowment, a Japanese American history and culture nonprofit organization.

Mari graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Washington State University and spent one year studying as a foreign exchange student at Japan University, before moving to Portland in 2000. Appointed by former Governor John Kitzhaber in May of 2011, she has served on the Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs for six years, the last two as chair-person. Along with her work on the commission, she currently serves on the Cultural Coalition of Washington County board, the National Veterans Network board, U.S.-Japan Council Regional Vice-Chair plus several other committees.  Mari past service includes the Beaverton Diversity Advisory board, the Executive Development Institute Board and Portland Taiko Board. In her spare time, she enjoys golfing, biking, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.
Senior Director, Finance and Operations
Ariana Alejandres
Senior Director, Finance and Operations
Ariana Alejandres, Senior Director, Finance and Operations
[email protected] • 503.552.6750
Ariana Alejandres joined the Portland Business Alliance as the finance manager in December 2016. In April 2019, she took on the role of senior director of finance and operations. In her role, she oversees all financial functions for the Alliance, its Charitable Institute and Downtown Clean & Safe. Prior to joining the Alliance, Ariana was the controller and general manager at Golf Scorecards, Inc. a business that specializes in golf scorecard design and printing.

Ariana earned her Master in Business Administration from Concordia University and her bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University where she studied accounting. Outside of the office, Ariana and her husband enjoy cooking and outdoor grilling, tackling home do-it-yourself projects, cheering on their son’s little league team, and spending time with family and friends.
Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships
Ben Forstag
Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships
Ben Forstag, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships
[email protected] • 503-552-6745
Ben Forstag joined the Portland Business Alliance in December 2019 as the senior director of strategic partnerships. In his role, he manages the membership and event departments, ensuring the Alliance remains responsive to members’ needs.

Ben has a professional background in business development, organizational management, communications, marketing, and technology integration. Prior to joining the Alliance, he was the managing director of Mac’s List, a Portland-based talent recruitment website, and a communications professional in the nonprofit health care sector.

Ben has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science, both from American University in Washington, D.C. He spends his free time gardening and chasing his kids around Portland’s Rose City Park neighborhood. And, even after 40 years of heartbreak, he’s still an avid fan of the Cleveland Indians.
Executive Assistant, Board Liaison & Office Manager
Chelsie Kinney
Executive Assistant, Board Liaison & Office Manager
Chelsie Kinney, Executive Assistant, Board Liaison & Office Manager
[email protected] • 503-552-6764
Chelsie joined the Portland Business Alliance in June 2022 as the Executive Assistant, Board Liaison and Office Manager. In her role, she assists executive leadership, facilitates board activities and oversees the smooth functioning of the Alliance office. Largely hailing from the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors, Chelsie is a creative and enthusiastic administrative professional with a diverse array of executive administrative support, board support and office management experience. As a lifelong Portland-area resident, she is passionate about the success, distinctness, and vibrancy of the greater Portland metropolitan area.

Chelsie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from Portland State University and spent several years as an active member of Portland’s theatre community, where she met her husband. These days, she can be found enjoying various textile arts, cooking, and spending time outside with her family.