Consuelo Saragoza, Co-Chair, Oregon Latino Agenda for Action

Winter 2011 - "Our primary goal is to catalyze a statewide advocacy voice for Latino Oregonians to influence policy that impact different areas of concern to our community. Certainly, we want to work in partnership with other existing groups to continue to build the Latino Oregonian voice.

With the summit, we were able to build awareness around the issues facing the Latino community. Also, being able to bring together professionals, business and community leaders in one venue has helped address the misconception of who makes up the Latino community." more


Tara Lulani Arquette, President/CEO, Native American Arts and Culture Foundation

Summer 2010 - "We want to be communicators of hope, catalysts of change, and champions of creative potential. In our native communities across the nation, there’s still a lot of despair, poverty and hopelessness. Young people are faced with many social ills. These challenges pretty much resonate across all communities. Our elders are passing on. We want to ensure that the knowledge and values, our world view, and artistic practices are shared and passed to succeeding generations. We feel that is the foundation underlying who we are as native peoples"


Vanessa Gaston: Director, Clark County Community Services

Spring 2010 - "I’m multiracial: my mother’s Native American, and my father’s African-American. I’ve managed to stay close to both my cultures. I don’t let people assign any identity to me. I know who I am and I’m very proud of where I came from.

Being close to both my cultures has really enhanced my leadership. Both are very focused on family. They’re focused on being open, transparent and being honest. I grew up understanding the importance of truly respecting people and listening to them."



Dr. Phyllis Lee: Focus on Education Equity and Social Justice

Fall 2009 - "I’ve been fortunate to have a large community of people from many ethnic and racial groups, including Caucasians, who have stepped forward throughout my life and encouraged me to give my dreams a chance. I became a teacher and learned how to work and live in a “white” world. My first teaching job was at Coos Bay, where there were only two other people of Asian descent. People in the town had very little experience with people of my ethnic background – yet I didn’t feel the “other.” They helped me become a good teacher. " more

Jo Ann Bowman, Executive Director, Oregon Action

Spring 2009 - "Everybody in the community is a leader. That’s one of the most important lessons I’ve know going in, and it has only been reinforced over and over again. I’m constantly reminding myself that our work is tapping into people’s passion.

People of color have always been left out of the economic prosperity of this country. And with the economic crisis, even more people are suffering. It’s a great opportunity to challenge people to try to build the kind of economy that we want." more

Sharon Gary-Smith: Relentless Champion of Social Justice

Spring 2009 - "I’m an organizer at heart. In everything I have done, I’ve always looked at how I can build upon the skills and talents of people to sustain community. I’m teaching grassroots organizing in places like Cascadia. I’m trying to spend as much time observing and learning from others’ experiences. Each of us comes to the table full of skills, hope and joy."


Leading Community: Jaime Lim Raises the Profile of Asian-Americans in Oregon

Winter 2009 - "We started the Asian Reporter newspaper in 1986 to give a voice to the growing diverse Asian immigrants. When I was President of the Filipino American Association in the 1970s, we published a newsletter called Balitaan, which served as the precursor to the newspaper. My older brother German had just retired from the Manila Times, a well-respected daily English-language newspaper in the Philippines. After waiting almost 20 years for his visa to be approved, he was finally able to join us here in Portland. He had the expertise to get the paper started. more

Pastor Mary Overstreet Smith, Founder, North by Northeast Health Center

Winter 2009 - "People who come to the clinic have told me that they don’t feel like a number when they walk through our doors. They feel compassion from people who really want to help. They feel that our volunteer doctors understand them. They feel really comfortable coming to the clinic.

When people feel better, they live better. Because of the clinic, people have been able to do more with their lives. I talked to people who had to quit their jobs because of medical conditions. Now that they’re getting treated, they can go back to work and support themselves more

Narce Rodriguez, Dean of Students, Portland Community College, Rock Creek

Fall 2008 - "My parents were migrant workers: my Dad is from Texas, my Mom is from Mexico. When we were little, they would follow the harvest from Texas to California and beyond. Even though both my parents had no education, they knew the value of education, that it was a ticket out of the fields.

"My family moved so much when we were young that my brothers and I were born in different states, depending on the crop that is in season. I went to Catholic school in Mexico from age 6 to 13. My dad had been working with an Oregon rancher for a number of years, and he expressed his intent to bring us over from Mexico. more

Fresh Perspective : Melanie Davis Takes on the Reins of El Hispanic News

Fall 2008 - "El Hispanic News has been a woman-owned publication since 1995. This is not common in the publishing industry. I’m really excited about being one of the very few women publishers of ethnic publications in the country. As a Gen X Chicana, my goal is to bring a fresh, new and innovative perspective to the paper, while also preserving the values and ideals of the Latino community. I’m not afraid to put myself out there and do what needs to be done." more

In His Own Words: Bernie Foster, Publisher, The Skanner News Group

Summer 2008 - Our mission statement for The Skanner is “Challenging people to shape a better future now.” Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year – NOW.

We believe that what people have to say is important and they deserve to be heard. Information is a catalyst for action, and often results in changes. You may or may not like that change, but that’s what the spread of information does. more

Business Leader, Entrepreneur, Change Agent: Q&A with Clyde Stryker

Summer 2008 - When you come together as a body, as a group, good things happen,” said Clyde Stryker, founder of the Oregon Native American Chamber of Commerce.

Stryker has been a leader in small business development since starting his tech firm Spirit Communications. He became the first Native American to win the successful Business of the year award from the Small Business Administration. more

Kenneth Jones, President, Northwest Minority Business Council

Spring 2008 - "Our economy is becoming more and more complex. Use of technology is today’s business environment is so important, but so are the basics. For the community of MBEs to continue to be successful, education is important. Learn about financing, understand contracting, learn to build strategic alliances. Not only is it necessary to understanding how to grow your business, but also how to manage growth. Seek out continuous professional development opportunities." read more

Melvin Broadous, President, Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors

Spring 2008 - “Realtors bring tremendous value to real estate transactions. For the buying and selling public, I believe there is some disconnect in understanding the value of real estate representation. I want to bring that back to the table. Every real estate transaction should have professional representation.

PMAR is encouraging the buying and selling public to seek representation from the start. This helps ensure that transactions progress smoothly, and that their interest in the transaction is well-represented by a seasoned realtor." read more

Peggy C. Ross, Affirmative Action Director, State of Oregon

Winter 2008 - "Diversity must be aligned with the strategic business plan of any state agency because in its broadest definition, diversity is about hiring and retaining the best professionals who possess different knowledge, skills, abilities, competencies and creativity. These professionals then partner to execute the state agency’s strategy, a strategy designed to deliver extraordinary customer service and foster existing and potential customer relationships. Diversity, employee retention, customer growth, and reducing the cost of doing business are all interdependent." read more

Bertha Ferrán: Modeling Business and Civic Leadership

Winter 2008 - “I’ve been involved in community since I got here,” says Bertha Ferrán , a founding director of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber and a commissioner of the Portland Development Commission.

With a successful real estate career and board memberships at various nonprofit agencies, including the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, Ferrán is among the most recognized and well-respected Latina businesswomen in town. read more

Ben Berry, Chief Information Officer, Oregon Department of Transportation

Summer 2007 - "Under the ODOT information systems umbrella, we employ almost 300 information technology people, with a $127 million budget. Our operations and structure at ODOT are unique and productive, because of how we have arranged relationships with our customers. We established “communities of interest” among our major lines of business. We embed all applications development managers within our customer locations." read more

Dr. Tina Castañares, Medical Director, Hospice of the Gorge and Government Relations Coordinator, La Clínica del Cariño, Hood River

Summer 2007 - "We knew that we would have other community patients in addition to migrant farmworkers, but we had no idea how much unmet need there was among other low-income community residents.

Almost right away, more than half of our patients were not migrant farmworkers but rather were low-income, mostly Anglo, year-round residents of the mid-Columbia." read more

Sokhom Tauch, Executive Director, Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization

Summer 2007 - "IRCO started out serving refugees from southeast Asia, but it has evolved to help a lot of different communities. We serve different ethnic groups, languages, cultures – we all work together here. We are trying to build one immigrant and refugee community. It doesn’t matter where you come from. Each one is encouraged to preserve traditions, if we come together, we’ll be a bigger voice." read more


Q&A with Gale Castillo, co-founder and Executive Director, Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber

How has the business environment changed in Oregon since the chamber was founded? The Latino population in Oregon has grown tremendously – from 1990 to 2000, there was 144% growth in the Latino community. Oregon is now among the top 10 states for Latinos, in terms of percentage of growth. We’re not Texas or California, but in terms of percentage of growth, we’re one of the fastest growing Latino communities nationwide. There’s been a lot of positive change in the last 10 years. We’re seeing more Latino businesses starting and expanding. read more


Sam Brooks, Chairman of the Board, Portland Business Alliance

Spring 2007 - Sam Brooks, founder and longtime president of the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs makes history as he becomes the first African-American to lead the Portland Business Alliance.

“My approach is simple: ask the question, find the answers, come up with strategy to implement, and make it happen. We want to make sure we create partnerships, and that we have a solid agenda to work on,” he said. read more

Christine Chin Ryan, Chairwoman, Governor's Small Business Council

Spring 2007 - Committed to lending a voice to small businesses throughout Oregon, Christine Chin Ryan, President, CEO and founder of Synergy Consulting, Inc., promotes growth and development of small businesses through entrepreneurship, advocacy and public policy work. As the first woman – and Asian-American – to serve as chairperson of the Governor’s Small Business Council (Council), Christine has been instrumental in identifying issues that are vital to small companies, such as affordability of health insurance; access to human resources; fiscal reform; business sustainability and renewable energy. read more

Sho Dozono , president and CEO, Azumano Travel

Winter 2007 - For 30 years, Sho Dozono has led the successful corporate travel firm Azumano Travel through the highs and lows of the travel industry. Adhering to the tried and true formula of providing excellent customer service, Dozono led the evolution of Azumano Travel full-service travel agency dedicated to providing corporate, leisure and meeting management services.

“If we don’t serve that customer well, it’s easy for them to look for other choices. To that degree, we’re still very old-fashioned, customer service-focused business. There’s not a whole lot of secret to that: take care of your ‘family,’ your workers terms of workers, and they will take care of the customer.” read more

Roy Jay, president and co-founder, African-American Chamber of Commerce

Fall 2006 - Born and raised in the North Portland, Roy has transcended poverty of his youth to become one of the most recognizable and prolific icons of entrepreneurship in the region.

"There are only two types of people in this world: the kind that signs the front of the paychecks, and the kind that signs the back. If you end up working for somebody the rest of your life, they will tell you exactly what you’re worth. Being in charge is what makes the difference, and that’s what we inspire everybody else to do. The backbone of this city as well as this country is small business." read more

Lillian Tsai, founder and president, TsaiComms, LLC

Summer 2006 - Enabling companies to remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace, Lillian Tsai is making great strides in her goal to bridge the gap between businesses and industries in the East and West.A former tech marketing executive, she is now one of the most prominent Asian-American business leaders in Portland. Lillian is in a league of her own: a savvy marketer and entrepreneur with boundless energy. She is president of the NW China Council and is active in many professional and civic organizations in the region. read more

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