Association of business districts picks East Portland man as director

Meet the new executive director of the Alliance of Portland Neighborhood Business Associations, East Portland’s Jon Turino …

Newly-named Executive Director of the APNBA Jon Turino shakes hands in front of Portland City Hall with Commissioner Sam Adams and APNBA president Jean Baker.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Having been a volunteer organization since it was organized, the Alliance of Portland Neighborhood Business District Associations, Inc. (APNBA), a nonprofit coalition of over thirty local business district associations, took a step forward this month, by naming a full-time executive director and establishing an office.

“Our organization was able to take this step,” said Jean Baker, the current President of the association, “having recently received a grant to improve its capacity and its ability to serve the business districts.”

The APNBA, Baker explained, helps neighborhood business districts cross-pollinate ideas, and work together to solve mutual problems.

Association hires local businessman
There were some concerns among APNBA members that the talent search to fill the position might bring in an individual from out-of-state who was unfamiliar with Portland’s politics and business climate.

However, their search led them to Jon Turino, a Parkrose-based business person who has been active in many civic organizations and has served on the boards of the Gateway and Parkrose business associations.

In his office at City Hall, Portland Commissioner Sam Adams says Turino’s leadership skills will help the organization develop a stronger voice for neighborhood business districts.

Commissioner Adams commends choice
“I’m very exciting that Jon Turino was named executive director,” commented Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams. “In addition to being a successful business person in East Portland, Turino has demonstrated the ability to help diverse groups of business people to work together. He’s been active in the APNBA, and will help take the organization to the next level of effectiveness.”

We asked Adams why he felt it was important to spearhead the effort to find funding that dedicated to helping the APNBA develop into a stronger organization.

“Small, neighborhood, local businesses are the economic spine of the city,” replied Adams. “84% of Portland businesses employ 10 or less employees.  Most of them are outside of the downtown Portland area. Portland’s distinctive neighborhood business districts make our city truly unique. It would be a missed opportunity to not support them.”

As the newly-named APNBA Executive Director prepares for his role, Adams admonishes Turino to listen carefully to the organization’s constituents, develop clear goals and strategies and communicate positively with officials and city and county government.

Full time office
Instead of the APNBA’s organizational materials, records and equipment being kept in boxes held by the current president and board members, the grant also permits the association to establish an office.

“In addition to our new office,” commented Baker, “we’ve hired a full-time administrative coordinator. “Working together with our board and membership, we’ll be better able to achieve our organization’s mission: Making business district associations, and the businesses that make up their membership, even more successful.”

For more information, contact the APNBA at 107 SE Washington St, Suite 244, Portland, OR  97214; telephone (503) 234-7642 or e-mail

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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