B = Builders GR = Grassroots P = Policy F = Financial
G = Green C = Culture E = Establishment R = Rising Star
The Portland Art Museum’s new chairman of the board thinks big.
B C E
Signature move: In his years as a patron, board member, and treasurer, this developer (who, among other projects, remade an old hospital into Adidas’s North American headquarters) helped smooth PAM’s transition from the flashy, deficit-riddled regime of ex-exec John Buchanan to the steadier, thriftier management of chief Brian Ferriso.
What’s next: Now board chair, Winkler faces a question: can he launch the museum’s next phase (and perhaps a significant addition) without the muscle of previous deep-pocketed expansionists Melvin “Pete” Mark and the late Harold Schnitzer? (ZD)
Let Us Build Cully Park!
A multiethnic coalition battles to create a patch of green.
B GR G
Signature move: Cully is a vast tract of Northeast being transformed by immigrants and new homeowners. Amenities remain in short supply, but there is a 25-acre former landfill perfect for a park. In an all-too-rare instance of a neighborhood organization trying to build something rather than stop something, this coalition is leveraging neighbors’ skills—from engineering to landscaping to grant writing—to push the project. Let Us Build recently landed a $150,000 grant and completed much of a needed environmental assessment.
What’s next: Turning this new model of DIY infrastructure into barn-raising reality and, hopefully, green jobs for Cully residents. (DP)
The Meyer Memorial Trust’s leader takes altruism in new directions.
B C E
Signature move: Early in his nine-year tenure at the charity built on grocery tycoon Fred Meyer’s estate, this ex-Nike lawyer marveled at its clout. A trustee reality-checked him: “Doug, $650 million isn’t what it used to be.” Stamm responded by making MMT a model regional foundation, steering its meaty endowment into creative new—and now nationally copied—tools, like bonds to fund lending in low-income zip codes.
What’s next: Expect more innovation, like MMT’s recent alliance with other charities to fund socially responsible, market-rate investments in developing countries. “It’s probably a hangover from Nike,” Stamm says, “but I want to apply the competitiveness and rigor I absorbed there to the work we do here.” (ZD)
Paul King and Walter Jaffe
White Bird Dance’s founders rally the troupes.
Signature move: Since arriving in 1996, King and Jaffe have been an arts power couple—status they put to use after the 2008 financial crisis by founding the Portland Arts Alliance. At quarterly meetings, as many as 40 arts entities gather to strategize. Heavyweights like the Portland Art Museum and Oregon Symphony mingle with bantams like Polaris Dance and Profile Theatre. Results include a dramatic expansion of a program providing $5 event tickets to food-stamp recipients.
What’s next: This unity will be crucial if a campaign for public arts education funding on November’s ballot goes forward. (DP)
New Seasons’ CEO keeps the green-grocery empire growing.
B F G
Signature move: This 45-year-old Michigan native took over day-to-day operations of Portland’s homegrown grocery chain in 2005, after the company’s founders reduced their duties, and she got the CEO title last year. Under Sedlar, New Seasons has expanded, weathered the recession without one layoff, and balanced a private-equity investment with its bottom-up culture.
What’s next: Likely one or two new stores a year—and an anonymous January survey of employees to check on how well the company walks its talk. (DP)
“I think I’ve got some vision—and a lot of energy.”
The young Latino leader lifts Portland’s fast-growing ethnic group.
Signature move: Since Rubio departed City Commissioner Nick Fish’s office to take charge of the grassroots Latino Network in 2009, education has been her chief priority. This past summer, the organization launched an academic program serving more than 40 Hispanic high school students, and it plans to expand to middle schoolers this year.
What’s next: An education center providing alternate paths to high school diplomas. (KM)