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Portland Leaders, Admired & Respected

The Portland Business Journal Makes The Call.


Westside Portland via David Gillaspie

Local business leaders know they’ve done something right when the Business Journal singles them out in their yearly round up.

The work they do is often the face Oregon shows the rest of the world.

Instead of media interpretations on television, the Business Journal highlights show a different reality in the market place.

If this year’s class of CEOs match the effort of non-profit CEO of the Year Kerry Tymchuk from the Oregon Historical Society, the face of Oregon is brighter than ever.

Before Tymchuk, or BT, history was slipping away on the South Park Blocks. A skeleton staff ran the museum when it was open and used the closed days to process back-logged collections.

The research library wasn’t as available to researchers on tight schedules. That happens when times are tough.

When museums fade from sight, things shut down.

Staff reductions blur historical focus. New donations drop, visitors stop coming after finding locked doors too many times.

The search for new leadership before Tymchuk brought in both young chargers and old museum hands to turn things around.

Business men and women know the importance of market awareness and brand promotion. When products and services slip, they make changes. At OHS they made the change to Mr. Tymchuk.

The museum outsider brought a new vision. He tipped his hat to tradition by asking the right questions.

It’s the same question business asks with a twist: History asks, “what happened?” The business community asks, “What do people want? What do they need?”

Boomerpdx says Oregon is fortunate to have this group.

CEO of the Year Joe Robertson of Oregon Health & Science University has vision. You might expect that from an ophthalmologist. The tram swinging over I-5 south of Portland is part of the vision. So is an MBA. With Dr. Robertson playing both sides of the ball, education and business, expect more surprises.

In terms of vision, Brad Malsin of Beam Development sees what could be and finds a way to make it happen. Dr. Malsin, trained as an optometric vision rehabilitation specialist, now focuses on commercial real estate and development. From NYC to PDX, Brad sees a bigger picture in Portland.

The Portland Business Journal lists Gary Fish, Deschutes Brewery Inc. under agriculture and forest products. He could be listed as inter-planetary space explorer as long as he keeps brewing his outstanding beers. From the hop fields to tables in NW Portland, Mr. Fish knows what’s good for you.

The Professional Services CEO notice goes to Michael Elich from BBSI. Barrett Business Services, Inc. posted this headline on their website: “BBSI Announces Election of Michael Elich to the Board of Directors and as President and CEO and Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend.” The hockey world might call that a Hat Trick + 1, but respected and admired works too.

Ray Davis from Umpqua Bank leads the list for Financial Services CEO. What sets him apart? Besides the phone script that greets callers with “World’s Greatest Bank” and sending tellers to the Ritz-Carlton to learn customer service, Mr. Davis is the opposite of ‘Too big to fail’ in the banking industry. Too smart to fail is a better fit.

Traditional Manufacturing CEO: Bruce Cazenave, Nautilus. Join The Movement isn’t about taking it to the streets. It’s about movement. It’s about you moving toward better health and fitness. What do you think of when you hear the words Nautilus, Bowflex, and Schwinn? How about Universal, Peak Fit Systems, and CoreBody Reformer? They all spell out a better you with Mr. Cazenave on the job.

The most admired in Technology goes to Luke Kanies of Puppet Labs. Every city has its super stars and Portland is no different, except for the publicity. When your work is part of name brand companies you don’t need publicity. That’s what comes with this customer base.

Before the excitement subsides with this group of outstanding citizens, why not paint a longer lasting picture of achievement? The Oregon Historical Society is the repository of choice for enduring significance. Make an appointment to discuss how to preserve the mark you’ve made for the coming centuries.

Show the future what Big Time Oregon looked like in 2013.



About David Gillaspie
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