Merkley named Gateway’s “Citizen of the Year”

And get timely tips from a ‘career expert’ about what it takes to get ahead in today’s troubled economy …

Bruce Altizer with Postal Annex, and GABA VP, Lee Powell, Farmer’s Insurance agent, pick up their lunch, catered by Cherryblossom Loaves & Fishes center.

By Watford Reed, photos by David F. Ashton
Who will be named Gateway’s “Citizen of the Year” is no longer a mystery; it was revealed during the March meeting of the Gateway Area Business Association (GABA).

Longtime Gateway booster Fred Sanchez said that he, and a committee comprised of school superintendents Barbara Rommel, with David Douglas Schools and Dr. Karen Fischer Gray with Parkrose Public schools – along with Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs and Midland Library manager Javier Gutierrez met early in March.

“I’m pleased to announce that our very own US Senator, Jeff Merkley, has been selected as the 2009 Gateway Citizen of the Year,” Sanchez stated.

GABA president, Ajnesh “AJ” Prasad, with Columbia State Bank, gives the club’s famed Rubber Chicken Award to Dawn Rasmussen of Pathfinder Career Services.

Helps get careers on track
Introducing the meeting’s speaker, Prasad told the group, “The ‘GABA Chicken’ spoke to me yesterday, he said that this month’s recipient should be Dawn Rasmussen.”

Employment security is a thing of the past, 45 GABA members learned from the president of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, Dawn (Tryon) Rasmussen.

Continuing success in business is also dependent on drive and effort, she said at their March 12 meeting.

“Only employability – what you do better than someone else – wins jobs now,” Rasmussen explained. “Employability is based on providing high quality service to customers.”

This is true for people who own and manage businesses, she warned. “If your business doesn’t improve, you won’t get customers.”

A job-seeker should think of an interesting field – something he or she enjoys doing – when thinking of a second, or third career, Rasmussen continued.

Rasmussen shares success secrets, such as what’s necessary to be successful when conducting a job search.

Three successful job search factors
Finding work, she explained, is like a three-legged stool. First, one must provide professional appearing credentials – a resume – that clearly shows how an applicant stands out among, potentially hundreds, of other applicants. Secondly, in this age of specialization, an applicant must have a clear idea of who their “audience” is, namely, the person doing the hiring.

“The third ‘leg’ is networking skills – who he or she knows, both in professional and personal life.” Rasmussen estimated that 70% of workers find jobs by networking. And by knowing the “right places” to look is of the utmost importance.

These principals apply to owners of small business “who do everything” when it comes to attracting and keeping customers.

“Everybody responds to positive personality,” she noted, “including skills in leadership, generosity, willingness to help others, and enjoying work. And, people respond to sincerity. People remember positive contacts.”

In conclusion, Rasmussen said everyone involved in business should have a “mission statement” and know how to reach goals.  “Build up your profile,” she ended. “You must be the best at what you do – then, be able to communicate this well with others.”

Learn more about Rasmussen’s Pathfinder Writing and Career Services by visiting her website: CLICK HERE.

GABA president, AJ Prasad says that their August 8, National Night Out for Safety celebration, co-hosted with Oregon Baptist Retirement Homes, will be the venue for this year’s Gateway Fun-O-Rama.

Meet the GABA members
On April 9, the Gateway Area Business Association general membership meeting – running from 11:45 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. will be held at “111th SQUARE”, NE Halsey St. at NE 111th Avenue. It will feature tours and give-a-ways from Realty Brokers, Postal Place, 111th Square Fitness and Therapy, Jaskic Insurance and Hair Oui Are. For more information, visit their website by CLICKING HERE.

David F. Ashton contributed to this report.
© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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