Business-improvement organization rolls out new identity program

This wasn’t a drab PowerPoint presentation! Take a look – see the fete the Division Midway Alliance for Community Improvement threw for its supporters …

Division Midway Alliance for Community Improvement President Tammi Hawkins welcomes David Douglas Historical Society President Ted Condon and Treasurer Kevin Gifford.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The Division Midway Alliance for Community Improvement (DMA), one of the six Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative groups administered by the Portland Development Commission, has conducted a process for most of this year to develop a new name, new visual identity, and new marketing strategy.

That’s what about 60 associates and supporters learned at a celebration on August 29 at Viscaya Garden Nursery, at 13936 SE Division Street in outer East Portland.

Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association Safety Committee Chair Thomas Barnes helped set up the celebration, and now he selects his dinner from the buffet tables.

Michael Caputo from What Would You Like To See? sits with Amelia Salvador of Trinity Event Productions, Joe Rossi of Rossi Farms, and retired educator but very active community activist volunteer Helen Ying.

After dining on a splendid buffet, which featured hot foods, salads, and fruits, the group was invited to move to the tables provided, and listen to a presentation by DMA District Manager Lori Boisen and Board Member David Edwards.

DMA District Manager Lori Boisen begins the formal presentation of their organization’s new visual identity.

“I’m feeling a little emotional this evening, seeing everyone here, and being able to present our new visual identity,” Boisen began.

“We are a community-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing Division Street between SE 117th and 148th avenues. Part of our mission is to create a sense of unity, and a visual image for this district.”

In March, Boisen continued, the DMA launched a “branding” project, with grant funds provided by Venture Portland, the East Portland Action Plan, and Portland Development Commission, and then selected the firm “EIGHTDAY” to guide their efforts.

DMA’s Branding Committee Chair David Edwards tells about the process used to settle on a new visual identity.

Area independent insurance agent, David Edwards, Chair of the DMA’s Branding Committee, said their branding agency sent questionnaires to all the Board members, as well as people in area business associations and neighborhood associations.

“They came up with several names for the district,” Edwards said. “It was interesting to consider some of the names EIGHTDAY provided. Their primary suggestion was to call the district: The Verge. They also suggested BerryWood, and Lemon Lane.

“But the more our Board of Directors thought about it, and focused us on how we want to represent our district, we decided that it is, and has always been, ‘Midway’,” Edwards went on.

The group listens, and watches; waiting to see the new visual identity that has been created for DMA.

The new DMA logo is revealed!

“Midway is midway between Portland and Gresham, or downtown and Mount Hood – the area’s been known as Midway for years and years.  We did not think it would be appropriate or right in any way to change that name.”

DMA Board Member Tom Lewis, who is also Chair of the Centennial Community Association, proposed a toast to mark the moment.

DMA Board Member Tom Lewis proposes a toast to the success of the Division Midway Alliance.

“The businesses that are represented here are much appreciated, and we want to support and stand beside you all to promote ourselves, and push ahead improvements for these areas we serve; that’s what we are all about.”

Holding up a glass of sparkling cider, Lewis continued, “This is to toast our new, expanded and continuing efforts, celebrating days gone by and into the future, toasting to the success of the Midway Division Alliance.”

Everyone gets a new Midway campaign button from Lori Boisen.

Wrapping it up, DMA Chair Tammi Hawkins said she appreciated the support the organization has received.

“This is something this very important to us; as we’ve worked through and trying to give SE Division Street and the Midway area an identity.  We want to have all of the community members, residents and businesses, people who live here, work here, and play here be part of this entire group.”

> On our Front Page, DMA Board Member Lorelei Young, of Keepsake Family Tree Video, shows the organization’s new campaign button.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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