Evening meetings favored by Gateway businesspeople

Here’s what’s happening with the Gateway Area Business Association these days …

In the Hazelwood neighborhood, members and guests arrive for a meeting of the Gateway Area Business Association, at an establishment in Glendoveer.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For decades, starting in the late 1950s, Portland’s oldest Neighborhood Business District, the Gateway Area Business Association (GABA), has held luncheon meetings.

But, with attendance on the wane, the organizers have begun meeting in the evening, usually every other month, and typically at Von Ebert Brewing at Glendoveer – with February 10 being their most recent gathering.

GABA Vice President Jason Nishikawa CPA says moving the meeting location and time has been good for GABA.

“This is our first meeting of the year; we’re starting to hold these evening meetings pretty much every other month,” confirmed GABA Vice President Jason Nishikawa CPA of Irvine & Company.

“For so many of our retail and service business GABA members, it was hard for them to make it to luncheon meetings. So, to serve our members better, we’ve taken to meeting in the evenings,” Nishikawa told East Portland News.

“I’m involved with GABA because it’s important to me to have local connections, both with business people and neighbors,” Nishikawa explained. “And together, being in a Neighborhood Business District, we have more of a ‘voice’ with City of Portland government.”

Serving himself from the buffet is Scott Kane of Rental Housing Alliance.

Several folks enjoyed the salads and light appetizers on display; others ordered dinner, and sampled some of the house brew. By the time the brief formal meeting started, some 20 people were attending this meeting.

Calvin Hoff, GABA’s District Manager with Venture Portland, told of their public events in 2019, including “Cruising Gateway”, which he described as an “all-wheels cruise-in” held during the summer. “The funds raised from this were donated to the Cherry Blossom Meals on Wheels People Center.”

GABA’s District Manager, Calvin Hoff, tells of the association’s work during the past year.

He also talked about their December Holiday-themed “Celebrating Gateway”, held at Gateway Discovery Park. “The event expanded this year, and we had significant attendance, considering that a huge rainstorm came into the area during the celebration, with the rain coming down on us.

“We’ve heard feedback on that; we do recognize that in Portland, in December, there’s a good chance of rain – or snow! So, we’re looking at moving the Holiday Celebration to an indoor location,” Hoff said.

Christopher Masciocchi talks up tree plantings and cleanup in the GABA area.

When Hoff mentioned that the organization was planning some business district clean-ups in the spring, Christopher Masciocchi confirmed it. He also told about how the Parkrose Business Association improved their district by having street trees installed.

“If we had street trees here, I think it would enliven our business district,” Masciocchi said. “This is something that can elevate our entire business district, so we need to step up, put in, and take care the trees – and show that we care.”

To find out more about the Gateway Area Business Association, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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