B = Builders GR = Grassroots P = Policy F = Financial

G = Green C = Culture E = Establishment R = Rising Star


Tom Manley
Image: Andy Batt

Tom Manley, PNCA

Tom Manley

A former professor turned the Pacific Northwest College of Art into a creative-class crown jewel.


Signature move: In Manley’s decade as president, PNCA has doubled its student body and started five graduate programs, the school’s first. And its physical expansion has been stunning: since 2008, the formerly propertyless college snapped up buildings it rented on Northwest Johnson Street, the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and, most recently, the historic building at 511 NW Broadway.
What’s next: With a 511 rehab slated for 2014, Manley hopes not only to create a dynamic hub of studios, libraries, labs, and commons, but to define a new “creative corridor,” bridging the Pearl District with Old Town. (RR)

Carrie Welch and Mike Thelin

Portland’s celebrated food scene gets an international festival.


Signature move: Recent Portland transplant Welch rose from intern to PR at the Food Network and helped create the New York Wine and Food Festival. The endlessly connected Thelin (a former contributing editor to Portland Monthly) turned the 2010 International Association of Culinary Professionals convention into a Portland love fest, then went on to reenergize Austin’s moribund Texas Hills Food and Wine Festival and run Eater’s youthfully prestigious national awards.
What’s next: Next September, the duo will launch Feast Portland: Food and Drink Festival, with renowned chefs like Aaron Sanchez (of the TV show Chops) and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (of noted LA restaurant Animal), plenty of press, and big sponsorship alliances. “In our first conversation,” says Thelin, “we both said it’s time for Portland to have this.” (RG)


Mark Knutson
Image: Andy Batt

Mark Knutson, Augustana Lutheran

Mark Knutson and Rick McKinley

Two pastors reinvent Christianity for postreligious Portland.


Signature move: From strikingly different Christian traditions, these two make faith thrive in a church-shy city. At mainline Augustana Lutheran, the 59-year-old Knutson reversed national shrinkage of traditional denominations; his congregation multiplied from 200 to 800, in part due to jazz and Native American–flavored services and vigorous activism on war, immigration, and gay rights. Imago Dei, founded by McKinley in 2000, shattered evangelicalism’s megachurch image by steeping itself in Portland culture (it runs a Pearl District gallery and promotes indie musicians) and giving cash to the city to fight human trafficking. “We started by asking what a church for the city would look like,” the 42-year-old McKinley says. “The city’s responded.”
What’s next: Knutson expects new initiatives on sustainability and economic inequality. McKinley’s congregants are launching entrepreneurial social missions. (ZD)

David Chen

An investor looks to fund the future of green enterprise.


Signature move: Four years ago, after becoming arguably the city’s most prominent tech venture capitalist, David Chen decided “that the key to a sustainable future wasn’t going to be a better widget.” He founded Equilibrium Capital, a group that essentially invests in investors: Chen and partners scout promising, sustainability-focused asset managers and bankroll them. “Most of our entrepreneurs have been investing in relative obscurity,” Chen says. “We think their time is now.”
What’s next: Equilibrium’s portfolio includes construction, agriculture, energy, and water. “A farmer friend recently said, ‘In the ’90s I thought I should sell and go into dot-coms,’” Chen says. “‘Now, everyone wants to talk about farming.’” (ZD)