Members celebrate the Midway Business Association’s recent successes

Discover the achievements of this outer East Portland business group celebrated at their Annual Membership Meeting

Here, checking in guests for the Midway Business Association Annual Meeting, we found Kris Bella of Arte Soleil.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Members and guests of the Midway Business Association (MBA) neighborhood business district came together to enjoy networking time, a delicious banquet buffet, and a celebration of their successes, on Thursday evening, January 25.

The gathering was held at Yuan Su Vegetarian, at 11140 SE Powell Boulevard – in an area claimed by both Powellhurst-Gilbert and Lents neighborhoods. Those arriving found a banquet area set out for them.

Dylan Winkler, of Free Arts Northwest, was there with crafts for kids – and crafty adults!

Pizza Baron’s Bill Dayton – one of the MBA’s founders – examines artwork displayed at the celebration.

By the time the meal was served, some 20 people had already checked in. Some looked at artwork set up in the banquet area, others enjoyed beverages while they chatted.

At first, some of the guests appeared to be skeptical about dining strictly on a vegetarian meal.  However, after tasting what was being served, most actually went back for second or third helpings of the savory offerings.

Venture Portland MBA District Manager Laura Martinez brought the formal meeting to order, introducing outgoing acting MBA president Lorelei Young, of Family Tree Keepsake Video.

“It’s true, I’ve ‘worn many hats’ with the MBA, including being secretary as well as the acting president of the association for some time,” Young acknowledged.

Outgoing acting MBA President Lorelei Young expresses her gratitude for the volunteers who have helped the organization serve the community.

“I’m grateful for several people who are here this evening, who actually founded the Midway Business Association many years ago – like Bill Dayton of Pizza Baron. He, along with many others, have continued to step up to keep it going,” commended Young.

Lorelei Young accepts a bouquet of flowers from Kris Bell.

Recounting the MBA’s recent triumphs is Venture Portland MBA District Manager Laura Martinez.

Martinez then read the roll of MBA accomplishments in 2023, which included:

  • A 50% increase in membership
  • Partnerships with the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Portland Community Reps,
  • Thrive East PDX, Division Midway Alliance
  • Holding three district tours
  • 110% increase in social media engagement
  • Securing $6,000 in grant awards
  • Hosting “more than a dozen activities” promoting businesses
  • Holding monthly business mixers
  • Sponsoring a new mural – with 200 guests present at its unveiling


Attendees listen intently as the new slate of MBA Board of Directors is disclosed.

Elections were held, and the new MBA Board of Directors was revealed:
Andy Aimone, President
Lynn Spitaleri/Handlin, Treasurer
Kris Bella, Board Member
Diana Nuno, Board Member
Hampton Rodriguez, Board Member

If you are with a business, association, or non-profit organization, in the “Midway” area – so-called for decades because it’s “midway between downtown and East Multnomah County” – learn more about how the Midway Business Association can support your efforts on behalf of the community by visiting their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2024 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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