Alliance Staff

The Portland Business Alliance team is committed to making the Portland region a better place by advocating for business at all levels of government, and also offer a variety of networking events and professional development opportunities to connect and foster growth in our region’s business community.

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
Maureen Fisher
Vice President, Downtown Services & Executive Director, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
Maureen Fisher, Vice President, Downtown Services & Executive Director, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
[email protected] • 503.552.6766
Maureen Fisher joined the Portland Business Alliance in 2019 and currently serves as the vice president of Downtown Services and the executive director of Downtown Portland Clean & Safe, which is one of the nation’s oldest and most successful business improvement districts.

Originally from “big sky country” Montana, Maureen Fisher has called Oregon home for more than 30 years. She began her career in media sales and management while pursuing a degree in Business/Marketing at Portland State University. Maureen has held various leadership roles in organizations such as KGW TV, KPTV/FOX, the Portland Trail Blazers, Comcast Spotlight and SOLVE.

Maureen resides in Portland with her husband, Mike, and their 20 year-old daughter, Annie, who is a student at the University of Portland. Maureen enjoys traveling, reading, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
 
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. 
Vice President, Strategic Communications
Amy Lewin
Vice President, Strategic Communications
Amy Lewin, Vice President, Strategic Communications
[email protected] • 503.552.6754
Amy Lewin leads the communications team at Portland Business Alliance. Prior to joining the Alliance, Amy was director of communications at Oregon Environmental Council. Amy served for nearly two decades in news and production at Oregon television stations including KGW, KPTV and KEZI. She holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Oregon.

Amy's heart is in helping Portland become a thriving place for everyone to live, work and play. She currently serves as PTA President at Cleveland High School in southeast Portland. In 2016 she was awarded Portland Public Schools' Superintendent's Volunteer of the Year award.

Amy's community service also includes Portland's Central City 2035 Advisory Group, Portland Parks Bureau Budget Advisory Committee, Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood Development Association, Friends of Piccolo Park, Friends of Hosford Field, Division Street Main Street Project, and others. 

Though she grew up on a farm in the Willamette Valley, Amy now enjoys living in southeast Portland with her husband (who runs his own business), daughter and friendly yellow lab.
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
Leeann Ly
Executive Assistant & Board Liaison
Leeann Ly, Executive Assistant & Board Liaison
[email protected] • 503.552.6765
Leeann Ly joined the Portland Business Alliance and Downtown Portland Clean & Safe in August 2020 as executive assistant and board liaison. Prior to joining the Alliance, Leeann was with Nike as a contracted Sr. Admin., on the HR PMO and global benefits teams, she also held administrative positions at Stifel Nicolaus and Wells Fargo Financial.

Leeann attended the University of Oregon and Portland State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in community health education, and a minor in business administration. She is currently working towards her Masters in Business Administration at Seattle University.

In her spare time she enjoys trying new restaurants, traveling, and staying involved in the community as she has been a volunteer with political campaigns on both the local and national level.

Staff

Administrative Assistant, Partners in Diversity
Dorothy Chongkit
Administrative Assistant, Partners in Diversity
Dorothy Chongkit, Administrative Assistant, Partners in Diversity
[email protected] • 503.552.6753
Dorothy Chongkit joined Partners In Diversity in August 2019 as its administrative assistant. In her role, she is responsible for providing administrative support to the Executive Director and Program Director. Prior to joining the team, Dorothy worked for several MNCs managing marketing programs.   
 
Dorothy attended West Valley College and enjoys Art History and American Literature, two subjects she holds dear since college.
Executive Director, PNITA
Maria Ellis
Executive Director, PNITA
Maria Ellis, Executive Director, PNITA
[email protected] • 503.552.6762
Maria Ellis joined the Portland Business Alliance as the new executive director of the Pacific Northwest International Trade Association (PNITA).
 
Prior to the Alliance, Maria was living in Medellin, Colombia, where she consulted for American startups based in Medellin and led the 2018 Portland Best Practices trip, hosting more than 50 leaders from the Portland metro as they explored economic development and innovation in Colombia. Prior to her time in Colombia, Maria was the director of strategy, equity and communications at Business Oregon, the state’s economic development agency. While there, she led a variety of projects including development of the agency’s five year strategy and planning Governor Brown’s successful trade mission to Asia, while also serving as senior advisor to the agency Director. Maria has held policy roles at Metro, including building coalitions around infrastructure funding.
 
Maria is a proud Colombian-American, born in Medellin, Colombia. She moved to Sacramento as a kid and learned English by watching 80s sitcoms. She received her bachelor’s degree from University of California Santa Cruz (go Banana Slugs!) and has a master’s in urban and regional planning from Portland State University.
 
When not working, Maria loves kickboxing, exploring Oregon with her husband and two rescue dogs, and building community in the Rose City.
 
Director, Programs & Communications, Partners in Diversity
Tracey Lam
Director, Programs & Communications, Partners in Diversity
Tracey Lam, Director, Programs & Communications, Partners in Diversity
[email protected]ity.org • 503.552.6755
Tracey Lam joined Partners in Diversity in February 2020 as the director of programs and communications. Tracey is an award-winning communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in journalism, public relations, program development, fundraising and equity work. Prior to coming to Partners in Diversity, Tracey worked at the OHSU Center for Diversity and Inclusion, served as the communications manager at Make-A-Wish Oregon and executive producer of special projects at KATU-TV.

Tracey is very involved in her community. In 2014, she co-founded API Forward, a volunteer-run nonprofit dedicated to the education, leadership development and advancement of Asians and Pacific Islanders. She also served three years on the board of directors of the Public Relations Society of America Oregon Chapter. She continues to support PRSA through her involvement in the chapter’s diversity and inclusion committee. 

She maintains her sanity by practicing yoga almost daily, hiking, snowshoeing, playing tennis and curling up on the couch with her lap cat, Tilly. She also organizes a monthly book club.
HR Generalist & Community Court Coordinator
Nnenna Lewis
HR Generalist & Community Court Coordinator
Nnenna Lewis, HR Generalist & Community Court Coordinator
• 503.552.6752
Nnenna Lewis works as the HR generalist and community court coordinator at the Portland Business Alliance. In her role as community court coordinator, she monitors and schedules community services for Multnomah County Community Court defendants. Nnenna also assists with community networking, and relationship building with local government and agencies with a focus on coordinating community service placement sites. Additionally, she provides facilitation of the Theft Accountability Class (TAC) for first-time theft offenders.

Prior to working at the Alliance, Nnenna held several roles at Self Enhancement Inc. (SEI), including in-school service coordinator, health & wellness instructor and recreation coordinator. Nnenna holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Lewis & Clark College. In her free time, she enjoys travel, art and culture activities, volunteering and spending time with her family.
Coordinator, Membership Relations Management
Ashleen McGirk
Coordinator, Membership Relations Management
Ashleen McGirk, Coordinator, Membership Relations Management
[email protected] • 503.552.6764
Ashleen McGirk is the membership relations management coordinator at the Portland Business Alliance. She joined the Alliance as the administrative coordinator for membership services and Downtown Portland Clean & Safe in August 2019. 

Prior to working at the Alliance, Ashleen lived in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Women’s Business Center of Utah to increase visibility of entrepreneurial services to women in Utah. She has worked in County Elections and study abroad.

Her favorite accomplishments are winning her 2nd grade spelling bee and completing a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017. Ashleen has a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and political science and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration from Portland State University.
Downtown Retail Advocate, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
Chase McPherson
Downtown Retail Advocate, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
Chase McPherson, Downtown Retail Advocate, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
[email protected] • 503.208.5524
Chase McPherson joined Downtown Portland Clean & Safe as the Downtown Retail Advocate in January 2019. In his role, Chase will provide assistance to landlords, brokers and tenants consistent with the goals of Downtown Retail Strategy. This will include market research and custom recruitment packets, developing retail and restaurant leads, and providing information about incentives and programs available to assist businesses and landlords in Downtown Portland. The downtown retail advocate role is a contract position funded in part by Downtown Portland Clean & Safe, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Prosper Portland.

Chase has a background is commercial real estate and is excited to advocate for downtown retail vitality. In 2009, Chase started his real estate career with CBRE after to moving to Portland with his future wife, Jenna. His focus on retail started when he joined Pate Retail Properties in 2014, where he worked with smaller retail tenants.

Chase was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Since moving to Portland, Chase and his wife got married, bought a house, rescued two dogs and gave birth to their son in 2017. Portland has become their home and they love the access to the beach, mountains and rivers, as well as the breweries, wineries and fantastic diversity of first-class food.
Director, Downtown Marketing
Sommer Martin
Director, Downtown Marketing
Sommer Martin, Director, Downtown Marketing
[email protected] • 503-552-6772
Sommer Martin is the Director of Downtown Marketing at the Portland Business Alliance where she develops and manages seasonal marketing campaigns designed to promote downtown attractions, businesses, amenities, events, experiences as well as parking garages and parking validation within the City of Portland’s designated market area.

Before joining the Alliance, Sommer was the Communications Manager at The Street Trust. She has over 15+ years of nonprofit experience ranging from education, retail, healthcare, affordable housing, and transportation.

Sommer has a BS in Mass Communications + Theater from Tennessee State University and a MS of Multimedia Journalism from the University of Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys directing and producing films, writing feature-length screenplays (horror), and volunteering for humanitarian efforts.
Director, Downtown Programs
Sydney Mead
Director, Downtown Programs
Sydney Mead, Director, Downtown Programs
[email protected] • 503-552-6740
Sydney Mead joined the Portland Business Alliance in September 2020 as the Director of Downtown Programs. 

Sydney’s has a diverse background of entrepreneurship, non-profit, and corporate leadership. She is the founder of locally based startup, Habitate, LLC, a boutique property management firm managing specializing in residential, commercial, and vacation home rental. She is also the owner and founder of Gone West PDX, a retail store off SE Division. Prior to this she was the Director of Events and Natural Capital Center Program Manager for Ecotrust, and has also worked as the Director of Operations and Sales Manager for the Governor Hotel (now Sentinel Hotel) and the Mark Spencer Hotel.

Sydney went to Portland State University and in her spare time spends time hiking forest park with her husband and dogs, remodeling her home in SE Portland, and hanging out with her backyard bees. 
Senior Graphic Designer
Katie Mongue
Senior Graphic Designer
Katie Mongue, Senior Graphic Designer
[email protected] • 503.552.6763
Katie Mongue joined the Portland Business Alliance in May 2005 as the graphic designer on the communications team. In her role, she has extensive experience designing print and digital projects, branding, event marketing materials, website design, email marketing, presentation design, advertising, political campaigns, economic reports and social media graphics. Prior to working for the Alliance, Katie worked for Portland Public Schools for more than four years doing print and web design in their IT and communications departments.

Katie graduated from Portland State University in 2001 with a degree in graphic design. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, traveling and spending time with her niece.
Director, Events & Sponsorships
Ashley Odil
Director, Events & Sponsorships
Ashley Odil, Director, Events & Sponsorships
[email protected] • 503.552.6742
Ashley Odil joined the Portland Business Alliance in the fall of 2016 as its senior event manager. In December 2018, she took on the role of Director, Events and Sponsorships. In this role, she coordinates all aspects of the Alliance’s more than 150 events each year, including handling the logistics, sponsorships and sales.

Prior to the Alliance, Ashley was the director of development, Law Enforcement Torch Run at Special Olympics Oregon where she worked with law enforcement agencies around the state on fundraising and awareness raising events.

Ashley earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Oregon State University, and has been actively involved in politics and event management since graduation. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the outdoors through hiking, camping, and boating and traveling the world.
Director, Leadership Programs
Hillary Patterson
Director, Leadership Programs
Hillary Patterson, Director, Leadership Programs
[email protected] • 503-552-6741
Hillary Patterson joined the Portland Business Alliance in 2019 as its director, leadership programs. In her role, she oversees the Alliance’s suite of educational programs: Leadership Portland, the Leadership Portland Alumni Association and Public Service Training.

Hillary moved from Georgia to Portland to attend Reed College, then relocated to Austin, Texas, where she worked with MS and PhD students at the University of Texas, McCombs School of Business. Her most recent UT position was Senior Program Manager for the Master of Science in Business Analytics. Hillary was the first staff member hired to this innovative program, which was ranked No. 3 globally after Carnegie Mellon and MIT at the start of its third year. She returned to Portland in 2017, and worked for the Catlin Gabel School before joining the Alliance.
Communications & Media Specialist
Shay Peterson
Communications & Media Specialist
Shay Peterson, Communications & Media Specialist
[email protected] • 503-552-6757
Shay Peterson joined the Portland Business Alliance in November 2019. 

Shay was born and raised in the Midwest but has discovered a strong love for the Pacific Northwest. She received a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a minor in accounting from the University of Mary in December 2017. Prior to working for the Alliance, Shay worked for the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC in North Dakota as the Membership Engagement Director where she found her passion for the Chamber of Commerce world. In her free time, Shay is an avid hiker and photographer.
Director, Government Affairs
Amy Rathfelder
Director, Government Affairs
Amy Rathfelder, Director, Government Affairs
[email protected] • 503-552-6768
Amy Rathfelder joined the Portland Business Alliance in September 2020 as the Director of Government Affairs. In this role, she tracks and manages policy development impacting the Alliance and advocates policy positions that support PBA's larger goals and mission. 

Amy has a professional background in policy development, nonprofit work and electoral politics. Prior to joining PBA, she served on Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler's staff in various capacities, first at City Hall where she focused primarily on sustainability and land use policy before subsequently moving to direct his campaign for re-election as the Mayor's campaign manager.

Amy grew up in Portland and completed her Bachelor's degree from Portland State University in political science and civic leadership before moving to Washington, D.C. to earn a Master's from American University in political communication. An Ann Arbor, Michigan native, Amy is an avid Detroit Red Wings fan. She competes in CrossFit and loves hiking and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her border collie, River.
Director, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
Bill Sinnott
Director, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
Bill Sinnott, Director, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
[email protected] • 503.552.6778
Bill Sinnott returned as the director of Downtown Portland Clean & Safe in August 2013. Prior to his position as director, Bill worked for the Portland Police Bureau for 26 years in a variety of roles. He was instrumental in the creation of the Service Coordination Team and retired at the rank of commander in 2006. After retirement from the Police Bureau, Bill also served as the Portland Water Bureau Security Director for three years.

Bill graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science in political science. In his free time, Bill and his wife Kathy enjoy spending time between their home in Southeast Portland and the Oregon coast.
Legal Assistant, Downtown District Attorney, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
Kae Zariwny
Legal Assistant, Downtown District Attorney, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
Kae Zariwny, Legal Assistant, Downtown District Attorney, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
• 503.988.3049
Kae Zariwny joined the Portland Business Alliance in 1990 as a validation clerk. She then worked as a receptionist/secretary until 1994 when she began working as the legal assistant for the Downtown Deputy District Attorney's office.

Kae reviews and prepares case files on misdemeanor criminal cases in the downtown area for the Downtown DA. She also staffs the Downtown Security Network monthly meeting and maintains the Downtown Community Public Safety Office, working closely with the Alliance, the Portland Police Bureau and the DA's Office.