Montavilla business group ‘plans for success’

Discover the steps the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association is taking to strengthen their organization, as it continues to grow …

Kicking off 2018, members of the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association meet – to get their outer East Portland neighborhood business district off to a good start.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

When members and guests of the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) met at Flying Pizza on January 9, they reviewed the success of their past year, and planned for 2018 together.

“Our organization is been growing, and the duties of the president – a volunteer position – has grown to be too much for one person,” remarked outgoing METBA President Stephen Rice.

The METBA Board asked outgoing President Stephen Rice to become their part-time Executive Director.

“After about six months of organizational work and planning, the Board of Directors decided that they should move forward with a part-time Executive Director, in addition to an active president, and I accepted that position,” Rice told East Portland News.

“I’ll be concentrating on fundraising, membership recruitment, and working with our Street Fair – making sure it continues to be sustainable and successful,” Rice said, of his new duties.

2017 was been a good year for the organization, Rice reflected. “We continue to add to our membership, bringing the number of active members to 111 – showing that we have a pretty solid business community.

“Having a solid foundation for METBA is important now, for future growth as development comes into our area and more businesses move here,” Rice pointed out.

Members and guests serve themselves slices of Flying Pie pizza.

And yes, they’re already planning for the Montavilla Street Fair to be held in late July. “It’s our signature event, hosting about 13,000 visitors who enjoy strolling up and down SE Stark Street, visiting with the 140 vendors who participate, listening to music, and enjoying family activities.”

The 27 attendees at the meeting dined on pizza and salad before the meeting got underway, which included electing new officers for this year. Tina Granzo, of City Beautiful Design, was elected to the post of METBA President.

Incoming METBA President Tina Granzo smiles as she accepts her new role in the business organization.

Although Granzo works fulltime running her web-design business, she told East Portland News that volunteering for the organization was important to her. “I take the time to do this because Montavilla is my home, and I’ve come to really love the community.

“There are a lot of really good businesses here who are very generous and community-minded, and serve the good neighbors living here,” Granzo said. “I want to do what I can to help it be business-friendly.”

The METBA membership gets down to business at the first meeting of the year.

The first order of business was a unanimous decision to draft a letter to the Portland Bureau of Transportation regarding the need for increased safety on the streets. It specifically referenced the hit-and-run death of Hungry Heart Bakery manager, Erin Brenneman, on June 22 of last year. [To read about this tragic accident, CLICK HERE.]

The group also discussed adopting a METBA “Vision Statement” outlining what they’ll be working toward in the next three to ten years.

Vision Statement

The Montavilla Business District has for walkable, authentic, integrated, densely filled sectors that provide local residents with “a little bit of everything.” Like a small town, residents access and utilize – within a short walk or drive – goods and services to meet day-to-day and recreational needs.

The Montavilla Business District is a safe, vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, and visually appealing. Tourists and Portlanders at-large identify with it as a place to visit, socialize, shop, eat and drink, receive services, and to do business.

The Montavilla Business District is a community hub that reflects the core identity of the neighborhood and its diverse members. Business owners, property owners, and neighbors in the community are informed, specifically involved, and able to identify areas of mutual interest.

This is intended as a “living document”, to be updated and modified to meet the changing environment of this now-vibrant neighborhood business district.

Learn more about the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association at their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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