Chamber CEO Testifies at City Council on Charter Review - urges community engagement

January 30th, 2020

January 28, 2020

City Charter

Good evening Mayor, City Councilors – thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak this evening.

My name is Lorraine Clarno, I serve as the President/CEO of the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce.

I am here this evening representing our Business Advocacy Council and Board of Directors.

We have been following the Charter Review process embarked on earlier this past fall and have done our best to stay up to speed the past few months on your discussions and ultimately, the recommended Charter changes being presented today in this second public hearing.

Beaverton has changed a great deal since the adopted Charter in 1980 and even since the Urban Renewal Charter Amendment in November of 2008. Beaverton as a community, prides itself on being pro-active and current. Successful business operates in a constant world of change and must be evolving and innovating regularly to remain relevant, efficient and ready for the future. To that end we thank you for doing your research and applaud your study to determine what form of government will be best for Beaverton going forward.

I have talked with many of our members and partners personally over the past weeks and we recently called for a special meeting of our Business Advocacy Council on this topic resulting in some great discussions. At this time we have more questions than answers and are not here tonight to advocate for or against the recommended City Manager/Strong Council form of government. In fact, without naming names here this evening, I was shocked at the number of very engaged business owners and operators that had no knowledge of this work being done.

Beaverton spent 5+ years collecting input and having dialogue with more than 10,000 citizens to develop the Community Visioning plan which has served us so well. When working on the Charter Amendment in 2007 to allow for Urban Renewal I can personally recall a tremendous amount of community outreach and informational sessions many of us participated in to ensure its successful passage. What’s before you this evening is a complete Charter/Constitutional overhaul and this is the second public hearing.

Being fully transparent with you this evening, many of those we’ve spoken with agree that it is time to consider a professional city manager model for Beaverton. What started as a language clean up and look at moving to a PT ceremonial mayor/city manager model has resulted in what is a complex hybrid model of Fulltime Mayor/Strong Council. The timing and rush concerns them. There are significant budgetary implications in the Charter draft if passed and yet no discussion around what that is or could be.

If your intention this evening is to move this forward for the May ballot, we would ask you to reconsider and look at the November 2020 election ballot. It would give more time for us to understand why this is good for business – our primary focus. It would give more time to get voters up to speed and understand any needs for change. And, finally, November would allow for more inclusive conversations and you would have a much more diverse electorate deciding on what is best for Beaverton’s future.

We are here tonight as a partner, to ask for more time to engage the community, get questions answered, and ultimately see a successful campaign that passes the first time to lay the foundation for Beaverton’s future.    

Questions:

What are the benefits to the citizens of Beaverton in making this change?

Will this streamline or make it more difficult for businesses to build businesses and create livable wage jobs for the citizens of Beaverton?

How will this change impact the collaboration required of our Beaverton City Leadership with the various special districts, Washington County, Metro, etc.?

If approved, how would the transition truly work given that we have candidates filed to run for positions that may actually change before they are even elected or take their seat.

What are the costs of this change to the taxpayers? The current version of the City Charter being proposed includes the addition of a new City Councilor, a new City Manager, undefined numbers of support staff as needed for the mayor and the Council while not addressing the compensation expenses directly of all of the moving parts other than to give the Council full authority to set the pay levels of all of the above. 

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IMPACT Beaverton October Newsletter

October 15th, 2019

Great things are happening with IMPACT Beaverton. One on One Consulting, Business Start Up Classes, Referrals and More!

READ Emma’s newsletter with all of the most up to date information on how we can help grow your business!

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Business Plan Basics - English & Spanish Series of 4

October 1st, 2019

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Announcements Community News & What's Happening! Events

Drive In - Sleep Out

August 13th, 2019


Family Promise of Beaverton’s 3rd Annual
Drive In – Sleep Out – Help Put the Brakes on Homelessness
Saturday, Aug. 24, 5:00 – 10:00 pm to Sunday, Aug. 25, till 9:00 am
 
Beaverton, OR – Family Promise of Beaverton invites the community to enjoy an evening of music, food, and film at Beaverton City Fountain Park (12500 SW 4th St., Beaverton, OR 97005). After all the fun, participants will spend the night sleeping in their vehicles to support the work of Family Promise of Beaverton and to raise awareness that in Beaverton, we have children and families experiencing homeless. Car campers will wake up to a delicious pancake breakfast in the morning. 
 
Child and family homelessness is a problem that cannot be solved alone. Family Promise of Beaverton (FPB) brings the community of neighbors, churches, civic organizations and government together to help stabilize and transform the lives of children and their families experiencing homelessness in the Beaverton area. Many of the families FPB serve have been sleeping in cars or were on the street. Families come to Family Promise for many reasons. It could be the loss of job, a family breakup, no longer can live doubled up (two or more families in a residence), or health reasons for why they lost their housing. Mainly though, the lack of affordable housing is the driving force of why so many families are finding themselves in their current situation. 
 
FPB accepts all definitions of the word “Family” and looks at the family unit as the child sees their family. That could include siblings older than 18, grandparents, extended family, even a family pet. Once families enter the program, they receive extensive case management, an address, a place to shower, and do laundry. FPB works with the families to address the various barriers that are preventing them from getting into housing, whether that is employment, child care, debt management, etc. Once a family graduates from the program and into housing, they receive another year of case management to help make sure that they are able to keep their housing.
 
Recently, a 7 year old boy, during the first night he and his family were in the program, lost a tooth. The tooth fairy now had a place to come! The joy and delight on his face when he discovered that the tooth fairy actually found him was priceless. There are many child and family milestones that are celebrated at FPB, from the birth of child, to a child’s first tooth, a child’s first steps, even the first day of school. These events, and just the day to day life of a family, can be joyous and also tough already, add in experiencing homeless and makes the situation harder for children and their families. Family Promise and their partners join together to give families not a hand out, but a hand up.


The Drive In – Sleep Out is FPB’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Help us keep our promise to homeless families in Beaverton. Register your car for $25, collect pledges or make a donation today at www.FamilyPromiseofBeaverton.org/events 

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We want to help! Redevelopment is challenging. Curiosities Vintage

June 25th, 2019

Beaverton has made the news and front page coverage the past 24 hours regarding the Curiosities Vintage Mall and the City’s notice to terminate their month-to-month lease.

I’ve been asked by multiple Partners and people on social media what the Chamber thinks about this.

Let me start by saying I am very sad we are here today for all involved – especially the 60 artisans and collectors that occupy space at Curiosities Vintage.  I wish we learned of this transition earlier to be able to assist in relocating them more easily prior to the deadline. Our Business Advocacy Council works daily to keep our businesses aware of available resources, new laws and issues that impact business.

Redevelopment and revitalization of downtown Beaverton has been a community conversation since the visioning process which began in 2008. Thousands of residents expressed that establishing a revitalized downtown was the priority.

Our Beaverton Urban Renewal District was formed for this expressed purpose. Land acquisition has been a priority of BURA since its establishment by a vote of the people.  This is a long-term effort that has been underway for years and it will continue as we see the hotel rise on the former Westgate property, the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts and public parking garage come to life this fall, and other projects get underway in our city’s core.  The City is contractually obligated to replace 165 parking spaces.

The building in question has been home to multiple businesses over its life span – I think the one we remember most is Ludeman’s which operated for more than 3 decades. Curiosities Vintage came in afterwards in 2013, and since 2016 has operated under a month-to-month lease. This site is not in the Beaverton Downtown Association boundaries nor is it a registered historic building or in the Beaverton Historic District.

The City of Beaverton did not use eminent domain or condemn any properties. They purchased them from willing sellers and in fact, have maintained the month-to-month leases for 18+ months. It is my understanding that the City has continued to engage in conversations with the tenants about the impending transition along the way.  While the lots may be used temporarily for parking or construction staging, that is not the end game.  Transit-oriented, mixed-use, and redevelopment has always been the community’s goal for this property.

Change is always tough. As a business that sits at the front door of what will be the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, the next couple of years are going to be incredibly disruptive to our business. We, as a business, have been anticipating the changes we will have to make during this process to accommodate our work.

We are in this for the long haul. And, the good news is……..Beaverton has a huge array of support services for both Curiosities and all of its vendors. This includes the City’s Economic Development Team which can help with relocation assistance and the Chamber can connect them to some terrific commercial brokers that know the ins and outs of Beaverton.  IMPACT Beaverton – stands ready to provide one-on-one consulting for the artisans and vendors with business licenses. In fact, some of the vendors may be a perfect fit for the Chamber program called T.E.A.M Beaverton for small and homebased businesses. We have and will continue to reach out and hope to keep them growing and thriving in Beaverton.

Lorraine Clarno
President/CEO

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Community News & What's Happening! Letters from the President

Pay Equity Guide for Members

December 10th, 2018

The Bureau of Oregon Labor & Industries released their final rules for employers and employees on Oregon’s groundbreaking Equal Pay Act, passed by the 2017 Oregon legislature.

The new law that goes into effect on January 1, 2019 requires that employees be paid equally for comparable work regardless of gender or any of Oregon’s ten other protected classes.

We believe this will be the most challenging human resources issue for most of our Chamber members over the next year. Further complicating matters – and increasing the level of urgency – is that lawsuits are allowed based on violations of the law starting on January 1st.

Download our Equal Pay Equity Guide for Employers

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Chamber Announces Business @ the Speed of Change

September 16th, 2018

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:  Lorraine Clarno, 503.350.2006
August 13, 2018

 

Dianne Danowski Smith, 503.201.7019

 

BUSINESS @ THE SPEED OF CHANGE: B2B EVENT EXPLORES THE NEW

USER ECONOMY AND LEADING BUSINESS CHANGE

Beaverton Business Summit date and content is announced. Check social at @BeavBiz2018

 

(Beaverton, Ore.)  — “Businesses set up for success are those that adapt at an increasing rate of change,” said Steve Smelley, Chief Operating Officer at PayneWest Insurance, the Presenting Sponsor for the 2018 Beaverton Business Summit.

 

PayneWest is partnering with the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce to roll out the annual Beaverton business event, set for Thursday, November 8.

 

“Content at the Summit comprises key business-to-business topics designed to be immediately relevant and showcase networking opportunities, so firms can be local, stay local and grow locally,” said Chamber President Lorraine Clarno. “This is a key event illuminating how the chamber works to promote every aspect of our local economy.”

 

Morning keynoter Victoria Trabosh, a TEDx presenter who espouses a leadership-built-on-wisdom style, will present ‘Leading Change and Facing the Storm,’ about best practices of how businesses of all sizes and shapes must learn to manage change. The afternoon keynote by Bill Tracy, vice president at Structured Communications Systems, homes in on the ‘New User Economy’ to show businesses how to adapt and compete using trends set by large companies.

 

Content and topics will feature sessions including, “The New Language of Business for Young Professionals,” “3 Proven Steps to Eliminate Abrasive Behaviors (and Harassment) in the Workplace,” “What’s Up Beaverton: Up Close with Beaverton’s Community and Economic Development Experts,” and “Local Electeds: Sharing Oncoming Priorities,” as well as emerging intel on diversity and inclusion, tax law updates, health/wellness in the workplace, social media trends, and small business resources.

 

“We are also excited to announce the event will also feature the Summit Biz Exch@nge, a local marketplace designed for companies and professionals to interface and network among attendees,” said Rhonda Reister, manager of Beaverton’s E-Suites, and  chair of the Beaverton Business Summit 2018.

 

Key partners underwriting the event include PayneWest Insurance; Nike; Portland General Electric; Kaiser Permanente; Aliat; Tektronix; Metro West Ambulance; Madden Industrial Craftsmen; Moomaw Mesirow & Godfrey, LLP; Willamette HVAC; Publix Northwest Public Relations and Public Affairs; and the City of Beaverton. Registration is now open:

  • continued –

https://beaverton.org/events/calendar/#cid=135&id=842&wid=1601&refid=18531055.  Participation is open and not limited to Chamber members.

 

Find out more at the Chamber’s Website https://beaverton.org/events/beaverton-business-summit/, and on the social feeds @BeavBiz2018 on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

 

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Small Business Seminar

August 31st, 2018

RSVP here

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Leadership Beaverton Class of 2019 Announced

August 16th, 2018

Welcome to the next cadre of leaders!

Amanda Clark, Raindrop Social Media
Bianetth Valdez, HomePlate Youth Services
Catherine Ellis, Tualatin Hills Park & Rec
Curtis Dent, Aliat
Danielle Schira, Rebuilding Together Washington County
Dianna Ballash, COB – Mayor’s Office PI Coordinator
Eric Schmidt, Communications Consultant/COB
Glenn Bishop, Dirkse Counseling & Consulting
Hailey Mason, Big Al’s Progress Ridge
Jason Edwards, Koeber’s Interiors
Jerome Sibayan, Retired US Army/ COB
Jody Yates, COB – Site Development Manager
Jose Materan, COB
Joyce Barnard, COB – Mayor’s Office
Karla Barrett-Curtis, Beaverton School District
Keiley Baldwin, Cedar Sinai Park
Keith Welch, Beaverton Police Department
Kim Haughn, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue
Kyle Gallacher-Turner, Rivermark Community Credit Union
Linda Evans, Twichell Beaverton Arts Foundation
Lori Baker, Tualatin Hills Park & Rec
Matt Altman, Portland Community College
Nik Stice, Columbia Bank
Nike – TBA
Rena Van Meter, Imagine Possibilities
Sgt. Kingsbury, Beaverton Police Department
Shaughn Sandford, Keller Williams
Todd Juhasz, COB-Transportation Division Manager
Toni Loch, Family Justice Center of Washington County
Tyler Ross, Payne West Insurance

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We Sent Mike to School and ....

August 14th, 2018

Mike Goes Chamber

This past week I was given the opportunity to attend the Western Association of Chamber Executives Academy in Sacramento, California. This is a three year program of professional development attended by chamber executives from California, Oregon, Utah, Texas, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada.  This was a 3 day conference that covered a variety of chamber related topics.

Day 1– we spent the morning discussing and learning about the latest in chamber trends and issues, this gave us an idea of the latest and greatest ideas and issues going on in the chamber world today. In the afternoon we learned about chamber committees and boards. After the classes we attended one of several smaller group dinners where we could exchange ideas with other CEO’s and Directors as well as develop the needed relationships with our peers.

Day 2- What better way to start the day than to jump right into “Legal Basics” Although I thought this would be a tough one to keep the attention, it was engaging with a ton of interaction from the group. After lunch we dove right into Budget Preparation and Monitoring, also a very informative session.

Day 3– Covered Membership sales and Recruitment in the morning and Marketing and Communications in the afternoon.

Although it was a lot of information packed into the 3 day conference I feel very fortunate to be able to take part in such a great learning experience to give me a jump start on my chamber career. Thank you Board of Directors and Lorraine for providing the experience of a lifetime!

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