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
Sandra McDonough
President & CEO
Sandra McDonough, President & CEO
info@portlandalliance.com • 503.224.8684
Sandra McDonough has served as president and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance since Aug. 1, 2004.

Before joining the Alliance, Sandra had a two-decade career in the energy industry, working for both the San Francisco-based PG&E Corporation and PacifiCorp. Prior to that, she was a newspaper reporter for 10 years, with reporting stints at The Oregonian and The Seattle Times.

Sandra has 40 years of civic and community leadership and service in the Portland area. She is currently serving on the boards of Associated Oregon Industries, Greater Portland Inc., International Women’s Forum, New Avenues for Youth, Travel Portland, the University of Oregon Alumni Association, as well as the U.S. National Bank Community Advisory Board and the Metal Toad advisory board. She is also a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum/Oregon.

A Portland native, Sandra holds bachelor's degrees in journalism and German from the University of Oregon. She has one son, Richard, and lives in Southwest Portland.
Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel
David Thompson
Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel
David Thompson, Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel
dthompson@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6757
As the Portland Business Alliance’s Chief Operating Officer, David Thompson is focused on internal operational functions including financial oversight for the organization. He leads Alliance membership growth and engagement, oversees small business programs and serves as the organization’s General Counsel.

Prior to joining the Alliance, David was an attorney at Bullard Smith Jernstedt Wilson, where he practiced employment and labor law, counseling public and private employers on a range of issues. While at Bullard, he counseled employers on issues including labor, contract administration, employee relations, discipline and discharge, workplace training seminars and risk compliance.

Actively involved in the community, David serves as treasurer for the City Club of Portland board of governors, secretary for the Portland Parks Foundation, and chair of the Morrison Child and Family Services foundation board. Previously, he served on the Santa Clara University board of regents, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps board of directors, and the Portland/Vancouver Connector Project. He also supports a number of other nonprofits including Black Parent Initiative, Jesuit High School and St. Francis of Assisi Dining Hall.

David received his Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Oregon.
Vice President, Central City and Downtown Services
Lynnae Berg
Vice President, Central City and Downtown Services
Lynnae Berg, Vice President, Central City and Downtown Services
lberg@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6766
Lynnae Berg joined the Portland Business Alliance in 2012 and currently serves as the vice president of Downtown Services and the executive director of Downtown Clean & Safe, which is one of the nation’s oldest and most successful business improvement districts.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Lynnae was employed by the Portland Police Bureau for nearly 28 years before retiring in 2009 from the Chiefs Office holding the rank of assistant chief of operations. During her time with PPB, she worked a wide variety of assignments from uniform patrol officer to detective, and spent 17 years in command and senior leadership assignments.

Lynnae earned a Bachelor of Art in psychology and criminal justice from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, before earning an MPA from Lewis and Clark College.
Vice President, External Affairs
Marion Haynes
Vice President, External Affairs
Marion Haynes, Vice President, External Affairs
mhaynes@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6746
Marion Haynes is the vice president of external affairs at the Portland Business Alliance. In that role, she oversees the Alliance’s government relations, public advocacy and communications activities, focusing on public policy issues ranging from transportation and land use, urban development, taxation, business growth and housing. Before returning to the Alliance in 2014, Marion led state lobbying efforts at Portland General Electric and Oregon Business Association.

Marion graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School and is a member of the Oregon State Bar. She previously served as a Ford Fellow on Regionalism and Sustainable Development, and on the city of Portland’s Charter Review Commission. Marion moved to Portland in 1994 after earning a Bachelor of Science from James Madison University in Virginia.
Partners in Diversity Executive Director & Leadership Portland Program Director
Mari Watanabe
Partners in Diversity Executive Director & Leadership Portland Program Director
Mari Watanabe, Partners in Diversity Executive Director & Leadership Portland Program Director
mwatanabe@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6775
Mari Watanabe is the executive director of Partners in Diversity (PiD) and the program director for Leadership Portland, a program run through the Portland Business Alliance. As executive director of PiD, she helps employers recruit and retain their diverse workforce through the nonprofit’s programs. As program director of Leadership Portland, Mari manages a 10-month leadership program that exposes business leaders to the issues and challenges surrounding the region.

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.
Finance and Operations Manager
Ariana Alejandres
Finance and Operations Manager
Ariana Alejandres, Finance and Operations Manager
aalejandres@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6750
Ariana Alejandres joined the Portland Business Alliance as the finance manager in December 2016. 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.
Director, Downtown Retail Program
Lisa Frisch
Director, Downtown Retail Program
Lisa Frisch, Director, Downtown Retail Program
lfrisch@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6740
Lisa Frisch joined the Portland Business Alliance in 2007 and today works as the downtown retail program director. Her role is to execute the Downtown Retail Strategy: recruiting new retailers; providing retention services to existing retailers; producing relevant market research to support the downtown business environment; and manage the Downtown Marketing Initiative, a year round marketing and social media program to support downtown retail and restaurant businesses.

Lisa has an extensive background in retail and marketing, including nearly 10 years with Saks Fifth Avenue, both in Portland and at its corporate headquarters in New York City. She served Saks as the director of local marketing and selling events, where she created and executed event and marketing strategies for stores nationwide.

Lisa is a graduate of Sunset High School and received a degree from Lewis and Clark College in business and administrative studies. When she's not conducting "market research" (her euphemism for shopping), she may be found out and about in downtown Portland, dining with friends, sipping coffee, or catching the latest independent movies at Fox Tower.
Executive Assistant & Board Liaison
Karen VanVleck
Executive Assistant & Board Liaison
Karen VanVleck, Executive Assistant & Board Liaison
kvanvleck@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6765
Karen VanVleck joined the Portland Business Alliance as executive assistant and board liaison in May 2008. Prior to working at the Alliance, she worked in an executive support capacity at several organizations including Emeritus, a local woman-owned and managed health and skincare company, and Louisiana Pacific. Karen is a third-generation Oregonian and grew up outside of Salem on a 75-acre farm where her family raised strawberries, cherries and kept an amazing menagerie of animals.

Karen attended Oregon State University and graduated from Portland State University with a degree in sociology. In her spare time, she enjoys running marathons, reading, playing the piano, attending cultural events and traveling with her husband, Michael. She loves spending time with her two grandchildren, Eleanor and Ben.

Staff

Senior Events Manager
Ashley Allenby
Senior Events Manager
Ashley Allenby, Senior Events Manager
aallenby@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6742
Ashley Allenby joined the Portland Business Alliance in the fall of 2016 as its senior event manager. 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.
Communications & Media Specialist
Rachael Arnold
Communications & Media Specialist
Rachael Arnold, Communications & Media Specialist
rarnold@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6772
Rachael Arnold joined the Portland Business Alliance in April 2016 as its communications coordinator. In her role, Rachael is responsible for creating and distributing all external-facing communications, including newsletters, social media channels, press releases, media and policy alerts, event marketing and blog posts. She also assists in media coordination, social media strategy and overseeing the Emerging Professionals of Portland (EPOP) program, which works to engage emerging professionals in civic and professional opportunities.

Rachael graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in ethnic studies. In her spare time, Rachael volunteers on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s junior board, and spending time with her friends and family. 
Sidewalk Ambassador
Wayne Baseden
Sidewalk Ambassador
Wayne Baseden, Sidewalk Ambassador
Wayne Baseden is a sidewalk ambassador for Downtown Clean & Safe. Previously, he worked with Community Court from 2009 to 2018. Prior to joining Community Court, Wayne wore many hats as a bodybuilder, a local TV producer and talk show host, a vacuum cleaner salesman and an equity specialist for the Oregon Department of Education.

Raised in Portland, Oregon, Wayne earned a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University in speech communication and broadcast media, and received a master’s degree from Portland State University in education, adult education/training and development.
Government Relations Specialist
Nathaniel Brown
Government Relations Specialist
Nathaniel Brown, Government Relations Specialist
nbrown@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6768
Nathaniel Brown joined the Portland Business Alliance in September 2016. In his role as a Government Relations Specialist, he facilitates policy committees, coordinates legislative efforts and helps to craft policy positions that benefit businesses and their employees in Portland. 

Nathaniel graduated with a bachelor’s degree in media studies and political science from the University of Oregon in March of 2016, where he was a Wayne Morse Scholar. He is originally from the Portland area and enjoys trail running in southwest Portland, visiting local breweries, and spending time with his family and friends.
Senior Membership Events Coordinator
Sandra Butler
Senior Membership Events Coordinator
Sandra Butler, Senior Membership Events Coordinator
sbutler@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6770
Sandra Butler joined the Portland Business Alliance in September 2004 as the membership events coordinator to help manage events and maintain the Alliance event website. Today, she serves as the senior membership events coordinator and is responsible for coordinating and promoting all events.

Prior to working at the Alliance, Sandra worked in retail at Meier & Frank / Finlay Fine Jewelry for 24 years as a buyers’ assistant, Fine Jewelry Specialist and sales associate.

Sandra attended Portland Community College. When not attending events, Sandra can be found enjoying time with her family, and her interests include sewing and crocheting.
Sidewalk Ambassador
Josiah Erickson
Sidewalk Ambassador
Josiah Erickson, Sidewalk Ambassador
Josiah Erickson joined the Portland Business Alliance as a Sidewalk Ambassador for Downtown Clean & Safe. He is from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has a wild hair for exploring and is drawn to the beauty outdoors.

Josiah recently went back to school and is currently working towards a transfer degree at Portland Community College. He one day hopes to be a therapist or counselor. 
Database Administrator
Jennifer Haliewicz
Database Administrator
Jennifer Haliewicz, Database Administrator
jhaliewicz@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6743
Jennifer Haliewicz joined the Portland Business Alliance as its database administrator in March 2017. In this role, she focuses on ensuring the accuracy of the database, and assisting with data entry and Accounts Payable.

Prior to working for the Alliance, Jennifer worked as the development associate for the Death with Dignity National Center providing Direct Mail, donation and database management, while advocating for End of Life options for terminally ill individuals throughout the country. 

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Jennifer moved to Oregon 10 years ago where she received her bachelor’s degree from Portland State University in French language and literature, and applied linguistics. In her spare time, she enjoys racing and riding bikes, hiking, camping and exploring the outdoors in the PNW – even in the rain!
Administrative Assistant, Partners in Diversity
Hosana Medhanie
Administrative Assistant, Partners in Diversity
Hosana Medhanie, Administrative Assistant, Partners in Diversity
hmedhanie@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6753
Hosana Medhanie joined the Portland Business Alliance in December 2017 as an administrative assistant for Partners in Diversity. She also manages the Alliance’s front desk operations and assists members, guests and staff with their business-related needs.

Immediately prior to the Alliance, Hosana interned at an environmental nonprofit in downtown Portland to assist with their communications work.

Hosana graduated from Willamette University in 2017 with a degree in economics. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, watching YouTube videos, and listening to music.
Senior Account Executive
Sandra Kaufman
Senior Account Executive
Sandra Kaufman, Senior Account Executive
skaufman@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6756
Sandra Kaufman joined the Portland Business Alliance in 2013 as a senior account executive. In this role, she is responsible for helping grow the Alliance membership and supporting members in their Alliance membership.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Sandra previously worked for the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, spent 10 years in the employment industry, as well as two years in the insurance and finance industry. Sandra holds a Bachelor of Science in food and nutrition from Oregon State University. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor recreation with her family.
HR Generalist & Community Court Coordinator
Nnenna Lewis
HR Generalist & Community Court Coordinator
Nnenna Lewis, HR Generalist & Community Court Coordinator
• 503.988.4048
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.
Membership Coordinator
Rebecca McCulloch
Membership Coordinator
Rebecca McCulloch, Membership Coordinator
rmcculloch@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6759
Rebecca McCulloch joined the Portland Business Alliance in March 2016 as the membership coordinator. In her role, she provides assistance to members, coordinators the President’s Council, Small Business Council and Sustainability Round Table Committee, as well as provides support at all events. Becca also serves on the CASA Ambassador board and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Leadership Council.

Prior to working at the Alliance, Becca spent three years at Domaine Serene Winery, where she led high-end wine tastings and tours, and walked away with an excellent wine collection. She has also worked for the National MS Society and Nordstrom, on and off for years, both in Oregon and Minnesota.

Becca earned a degree in 2006 from the University of Oregon, majoring in English literature. Today, she remains a voracious reader, though audio books are now her go-to, and can be found at University of Oregon football games (Go Ducks!) every fall. In her free time, Becca is an avid outdoor runner, logging many miles and races. She also enjoys buying way too many clothes, spending time exploring Portland and beyond, and loves being with her family and friends.
Senior Graphic Designer/Web Designer
Katie Mongue
Senior Graphic Designer/Web Designer
Katie Mongue, Senior Graphic Designer/Web Designer
kmongue@portlandalliance.com • 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.
Sidewalk Ambassador
Erin Norris
Sidewalk Ambassador
Erin Norris, Sidewalk Ambassador
Erin Norris joined the Portland Business Alliance as a Sidewalk Ambassador for Downtown Clean & Safe. She is originally from Bangor, Maine, and moved to Portland about a year ago after earning a BFA in Dance from the University of Oklahoma.

Since then, Erin has been a member of the second company at Oregon Ballet Theatre, where she performs both in productions at the Keller Auditorium and in community outreach performances at schools, libraries, and senior living centers. In her free time, Erin enjoys reading, writing, biking, hiking, and exploring the city of Portland.
Director, Downtown Clean & Safe
Bill Sinnott
Director, Downtown Clean & Safe
Bill Sinnott, Director, Downtown Clean & Safe
bsinnott@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6778
Bill Sinnott returned as the director of Downtown 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.
Lead Sidewalk Ambassador
Kate Sinnott
Lead Sidewalk Ambassador
Kate Sinnott, Lead Sidewalk Ambassador
• 503.552.6771
Kate Sinnott joined the Portland Business Alliance as its lead Sidewalk Ambassador in January 2017. As lead ambassador, she oversees the Sidewalk Ambassador team, which provides the best information about downtown events, attractions, dining, shopping, transportation, as well as making downtown a more friendly and hospitable place.

Prior to joining the Alliance, Kate completed her higher education at Oregon State University, where she graduated with a degree in merchandising management. She also studied abroad in Florence, Italy, where she discovered her love of travel and hospitality. 
Membership Retention Specialist
Dennis Van Laningham
Membership Retention Specialist
Dennis Van Laningham, Membership Retention Specialist
dvanlaningham@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6748
Dennis Van Laningham joined the Portland Business Alliance in 2013 as the membership retention specialist. In this role, he helps members get the most out of their membership. Dennis is originally from Portland and brings more than 30 years of experience as a small business owner and entrepreneur to his role at the Alliance. 

Dennis attended Portland Community College and the University of Oregon. His interests include snow and water skiing, boating, camping, volleyball, softball and golf. 
Sidewalk Ambassador
Taylor Van Laningham
Sidewalk Ambassador
Taylor Van Laningham, Sidewalk Ambassador
• 503.552.6771
Taylor Van Laningham joined the Portland Business Alliance as a Sidewalk Ambassador in June 2016. In this role, he is responsible for giving visitor information and directions to tourists as well as locals.

Before joining the Alliance, Taylor worked for a construction company that specialized in drainage. He is currently in school studying architecture at Portland Community College.
Sidewalk Ambassador
Merlin Varaday
Sidewalk Ambassador
Merlin Varaday, Sidewalk Ambassador
• 503.552.6771
Merlin Varady works as a Sidewalk Ambassador for Downtown Clean & Safe, a partner organization to the Portland Business Alliance. In her spare time, she also writes for local publications and web sites such as About Face Magazine, The Where To Eat Guide and ShareOregon.

Merlin earned a Bachelor of Arts in marketing from Portland State University, where she focused on tourism marketing. She is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Partners in Diversity Program Manager
Soumary Vongrassamy
Partners in Diversity Program Manager
Soumary Vongrassamy, Partners in Diversity Program Manager
svongrassamy@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6755
Soumary joined the team in fall of 2017 to support Partners in Diversity, a program under the Alliance's Charitable Institute. In her role, she oversees events, and professional development opportunities designed to help employers attract, retain and develop professionals of color.

Soumary has worked in the intersections of K-12 education and racial justice as a policy advocate and grantmaker in Wisconsin, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Immediately prior to the Alliance, she was the human resource director of DonorsChoose.org, a tech nonprofit that crowdfunds for teachers and their classroom needs.

Soumary earned her BBA in management and marketing as well as an MPA for nonprofit management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She deeply enjoys empowering people to reach their best, indulging in art events, and exchanging travel stories.
Administrative Assistant, Government Relations & Downtown Services
Kiley Wilson
Administrative Assistant, Government Relations & Downtown Services
Kiley Wilson, Administrative Assistant, Government Relations & Downtown Services
kwilson@portlandalliance.com • 503.552.6764
Kiley Wilson joined the Portland Business Alliance in July 2017 as an administrative assistant for government affairs and downtown services. In this role, she helps with committee meetings, assists with PAC reporting, and connects residents and visitors to different resources around Portland. Prior to the Alliance, Kiley worked in Washington, D.C., in a congressional office.

Kiley graduated from the University of Oregon in 2016 with a degree in political science, and a minor in planning, public policy and management. In her free time, she enjoys travelling, cooking and reading. 
Legal Assistant
Kae Zariwny
Legal Assistant
Kae Zariwny, Legal Assistant
• 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.