‘Historic Parkrose’ gets new Executive Director

Meet Seile Tekle, the new Director of the Historic Parkrose Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative …

Crowded into the small Historic Parkrose office, supporters of the organization attended an open house in January.

Photos and story by David F. Ashton

After the departure of Dr. Mingus Mapps, the second Historic Parkrose Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative Executive Director, last year, the organization’s Board held interviews and watched final presentations before selecting Seile Tekle to fill that position.

She was introduced to the community at large, during an open house held on January 10 in their NE Sandy Boulevard office.

At event, people who have come to know her as the telephone voice, and office communicator, Kate Coenen, (official title: Economic Opportunity Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA) was departing the office.

Historic Parkrose new Executive Director Seile Tekle speaks with guests.

“My first day at Historic Parkrose was on Wednesday, November 14,” Tekle told East Portland News in an email interview.

When we asked what she brings to Historic Parkrose, Tekle responded, “I applied for the position because it would allow me to leverage both my leadership strengths and my passion for economic development. Leading a community-based organization dedicated to creating economic opportunity through entrepreneurship and small business support was the perfect challenge I was ready to take on.

“Our neighborhood has huge potential because of the diversity of businesses and entrepreneurial spirit in our district. I am excited to spearhead the effort to grow this entrepreneurial spirit for the betterment of the community as a whole,” she said.

As for her plan: “I would like to implement creative marketing initiatives to increase visibility for the businesses, and strengthen our brand as a community. Economic development is at the heart of our mission, and I would like to continue to expand job opportunities and career connection resources.”

Queried about the major issues on which Historic Parkrose is now focusing, Tekle answered, “Our priority is helping our district attract diverse creative entrepreneurs, makers, builders, artists, wellness industry operators, and family-oriented businesses. One of the ways we can achieve this goal is by helping more businesses access our storefront improvement grant program that we provide in partnership with Prosper Portland.”

She revealed to East Portland News, “We have recently hired a Community Outreach Coordinator [Annette Stanhope] to help with this effort; and, would also love to expand community policing efforts and continue making our community safe, as well as to attract opportunities to bring ‘green sustainable community use’ space.”

Historic Parkrose new Executive Director Seile Tekle listens to to attendees concerns.

The next question posed was how she intends to work with the long-established Neighborhood Business District – the Parkrose Business Association – to help strengthen the prosperity for all businesses in the greater Parkrose area.

Historic Parkrose maintains a strong partnership with these organizations and will continue to work together to better our community. I hope to establish strong relationships with the community and cultivate public and private partnerships to create a prosperous and vibrant district,” rejoined Tekle.

“Attracting and maintaining a diversity of successful small businesses is our path to a vibrant community and I will work hard to support existing businesses and bring new ones in partnership with all stakeholders.”

About herself, Tekle remarked that she has been awarded BA in Economics from Lewis & Clark College, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Willamette University. “One of my hobbies is running; I have run a half marathon, multiple 10K, and the Hood to Coast race, for example.”

To learn more about Historic Parkrose, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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