Gateway ‘Person of the Year’ finally revealed

Here, you’ll learn who was honored this year for efforts made in the Gateway area; and you’ll hear from the PDC chief as well …

GABA Treasurer Karen P. Montez of KPM Business Services welcomes the organization’s new “Person of the Year”, Fred Sanchez of Realty Brokers to their luncheon meeting.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

When members and guests of the Gateway Area Business Association (GABA) came together for their February meeting on February 9, the revelation of the organization’s “Person of the Year” and a message from the Portland Development Commission (PDC) were on the agenda.

Members and guests of GABA gather for their monthly luncheon meeting.

GABA President Paul Wild of Mt. Hood Community College was unable to attend, so Board of Directors member Tom Badrick, Chair of the Parkrose Heights Association of Neighbors, hosted the meeting.

The GABA “Person of the Year” was to be revealed at a Holiday Event, snowed out back in December, and then an evening mixer, cancelled by a January ice storm.

Tom Badrick tells about the qualifications for the GABA “Person of the Year”.

“This individual was selected for his continued leadership in our community. He has dedicated countless hours to working with PDC to help promote economic development in Gateway and in outer East Portland,” Badrick told East Portland News.

“The honoree has also worked tirelessly with the Portland Police Bureau to seek additional funding for more staff and support – both around the city, and specifically for outer East Portland, which has experienced significant staffing shortages, to the detriment of both our law enforcement professionals and our community,” Badrick added.

As the moment arrived in the meeting, Badrick announced, “The 15th annual winner of the GABA ‘Person of the Your Award’ goes to Fred Sanchez of Realty Brokers. With this, Fred has won this award for the second time!

“I was going to come up with a whole bunch of jokes to try to embarrass him, but I decided not to,” Badrick said.

Tom Badrick officially bestows GABA “Person of the Year” honors to Fred Sanchez.

Sanchez responded, “This shows that if you pay your dues on time, and come to some of the meetings, you, too, could be given this award!

“Actually, I’m very appreciative for this award,” Sanchez continued, “and am proud to have had a part in helping make Gateway an awesome, thriving place. Thank you again.”

With that, Badrick introduced the meeting’s featured speaker, PDC Executive Director Kimberly Branam.

Portland Development Commission Executive Director Kimberly Branam begins her presentation.

“I’m here to talk about the work that the PDC is working to do with our Strategic Plan, which focuses on widely-shared prosperity,” Branam began. “Economic growth happens when the people who are working on the project, and the people involved, work together to make it happen.

“About a year and a half ago we started looking at what we needed to do over the next five years, you might recall that in 2009 that PDC worked with Portland City Council to create an Economic Development Strategy that is guided our work within the PDC as we try to address what is happening, in terms of business contraction at the height of the recession.

“PDC has been very focused on job growth, and very much focusing on our competitive advantages as a city, as we make sure to provide employment opportunities,” she explained.

The PDC continues to be very active in the Gateway district, Executive Director Branam says.

In the Gateway district area, Branam pointed out, progress is being made at the Gateway Discovery Park, apartments, and office building. “We’ve been supporting a number of small businesses. We hope to see, with the resources that are available, more businesses take advantage of the resources that are available. I really encourage anyone in this area who is looking for physical improvements to their space, or business technical assistance, to contact PDC.

“At PDC, we believe that in order to create widely-shared prosperity, we need a growing economy,” Branam said. “It’s not just about ‘redistributing [slices of] the pie’ but also making sure that citizens are healthy, and their employment opportunities are, as well.”

To learn more about how PDC supports businesses, see their webpage: CLICK HERE.

Meet with GABA
At the next meeting of the Gateway Area Business Association, members and guests will meet on March 9 from noon until 1:00 p.m.

A great hot lunch costs $8. They’re meeting at Bradford’s Sports Lounge, 10346 NE Halsey Street, 97220.  For more information, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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