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Staff

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Janet LaBar

President and CEO

Since joining GPI in June 2014, LaBar has concentrated on Greater Portland 2020—the region’s five-year action plan, which covers the bi-state, seven-county metro, and is guided by public and private-sector leaders. The plan takes a comprehensive approach in uniting economic development efforts across the region and aims to increase the competitiveness of Greater Portland for jobs and investment.

Prior to this, LaBar served as Chief Performance Officer of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), where she oversaw the organization’s day-to-day operations and monitored GPEC’s performance and execution relative to strategic initiatives and annual goals. In her 10 years at GPEC, LaBar held several key positions at including Senior Vice President of Strategic Integration, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Director of Communications and Director of Product Improvement.

LaBar spent two and a half years managing the research and communications efforts at the Center for Workforce Development at the Maricopa Community Colleges. Before this, she served as research director for ABC affiliate WEAR-TV3 and sister station WFGX-IND in Florida.

LaBar serves on Governor Kitzhaber’s Regional Solutions Advisory Committee, and is an ex-officio member of Portland Business Alliance and Oregon Business Plan Steering Committee.

Previous board and volunteer work includes Arizona Women’s Education and Employment, Arizona School for the Arts, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, St. Theresa Parish Ministries and the City of Phoenix Citizens Bond Economic Development sub-committee. Her work has been published in American Biotechnology Laboratory, the American City Business Journal network, and IEDCs Economic Development Journal.  LaBar earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from the University of West Florida and an MBA in marketing from the University of Phoenix.

 

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Jon French

Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

Jon French is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, leading GPI’s fundraising and development activities as well as forging partnerships that benefit the region and support GPI’s work to grow jobs in the region. French has extensive experience in corporate and community relations. Most recently, French co-directed the development of an innovative health and wellness startup as a member of Cambia Health Solutions’ Innovation Force. His background also includes working for 9 years as a practicing attorney and managing corporate sponsorships.

Before beginning his civilian law career, French served as a Navy Lieutenant and judge advocate (JAG) from 2004 to 2009, with tours as a prosecuting attorney in military courts-martial, counselor to the Deputy Commanding General in Baghdad, Iraq, and as legal officer on board the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), where he also qualified and served as a bridge officer during combat operations. He holds a Juris Doctor from Gonzaga University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Notre Dame.

jon.french@greaterportlandinc.com
503.445.8065, ext. 103

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Derrick Olsen

Vice President of Regional Strategy & Coordination

Derrick Olsen is the Vice President of Regional Strategy & Coordination at Greater Portland Inc. Derrick leads the region’s implementation of the Greater Portland Export Initiative, co-chairs the foreign direct investment pilot, leads its work with the federal government on the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and federal grant opportunities, and provides coordination and project management services to the region’s economic development community.

Previously, Derrick managed international trade and investment issues for over four years with Business Oregon (Oregon Business Development Department). Derrick also has over 13 years of experience managing political and economic issues as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. Department of State in Latin America, Asia, and Washington, DC. He served as Committee Administrator for the House Education Committee in the Oregon State Legislature during the 2007 legislative session.

Most recently as Global Investment Strategist, Derrick worked closely with Business Oregon’s foreign trade and investment representatives in Greater China, Japan, Korea, and the European Union to attract foreign direct investment into Oregon, and coordinated the work of Team Oregon Clean Tech and Team Oregon Food Processing, coalitions of state/local/regional economic development organizations that jointly market Oregon’s advantages as a location for business investment. Previously, Derrick served as International Trade Manager and led International Trade Officers in Oregon and foreign representative offices in assisting small and medium Oregon businesses and industries to expand their exports of goods and services. Derrick has served as Vice Chair of Study Oregon, a collaborative effort of Oregon colleges and universities to market Oregon as a destination for international students.

Derrick graduated from Tigard High School, has a Bachelor of Arts in Government and History from Dartmouth College, and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He and his wife Rebecca are proud parents of their son James and their daughter Morgan.

derrick.olsen@greaterportlandinc.com
503.445.8065, ext. 107

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Alisa Pyszka

Vice President of Recruitment & Expansion

In her role as Vice President of Business Recruitment and Expansion, Alisa Pyszka is responsible for coordinating a proactive business recruitment program for the Portland-Vancouver Metro area and providing support for the region’s business retention and expansion activities.

Alisa has over 12 years of private commercial and economic development experience. She successfully leads collaborative efforts across the region with multiple stakeholders to build emerging industry opportunities. Most recently, she served as the Economic Development Division Manager for the City of Vancouver, where she led city’s recruitment efforts and oversaw the development of critical employment lands. She also served on the Executive Committee for the former Regional Partners organization.  Pyszka’s prior experience also includes serving as a project manager for Cardno WRG Design, Inc., a development consulting firm in Portland.

Alisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Miami University, a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Kansas and is LEED-accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council.  She serves on the Board of Directors for the Confluence Project.

alisa.pyszka@greaterportlandinc.com
503.445.8065, ext. 102

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Sheila Muckridge

VP of Marketing and Communications

Sheila Muckridge is VP of Marketing and Communications and leads the regional marketing and brand management, communication strategy and strategic planning to advance Greater Portland Inc’s mission of helping companies expand and locate to the Portland-Vancouver metro area. In her role, Sheila collaborates with local partners on marketing initiatives to expand national and international awareness of the Greater Portland region’s business assets, while increasing overall awareness of the region among targeted industry sectors.

Prior to GPI, Sheila worked for a local engineering firm that specialized in transportation and transit projects, where she served as the company-wide marketing manager. In this role, she drove the business development and strategic planning processes, and was responsible for maintaining and building the business unit’s market share. She finds work that makes a difference is the most rewarding, and thrives in collaborative and creative environments that demand results.

A Midwest transplant that has lived in and loved Portland for more than 20 years, Sheila has BA in Political Science, with a minor in International Studies from Portland State University, where she served as a Student Ambassador. Previous additional professional experience includes working for a US Congressman, and managing a local state representative campaign. In her spare time she’s a hiker and lover of the outdoors, a beekeeper, a supporter of the many incredible Portland eateries and a committed volunteer for a local no-kill dog shelter.

sheila.muckridge@greaterportlandinc.com                                                                                                                   503.445.8065, ext. 106

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Sarah Isbitz

Economic Development Coordinator

Sarah is the Economic Development Coordinator. She supports the organization’s regional strategy and coordination activities, including the project management of Greater Portland 2020, a five-year regional economic strategy. She also assists with the implementation of the Greater Portland Global, focused on exports and foreign direct investment.

Prior to coming to Greater Portland Inc, Sarah worked for Bloomingdales department store as an assistant buyer for private label and women's ready-to-wear at their corporate headquarters in New York. Following her experience there, she moved to San Francisco in 2010 to pursue her interests in urban planning and design at the University of California, Berkeley’s sustainable cities program. She also worked at Google's headquarters in leadership recruitment for the engineering and operations departments before moving to Portland to begin her graduate degree at Portland State University's College of Urban and Public Affairs (CUPA).

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Georgetown University and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University.

sarah.isbitz@greaterportlandinc.com
503-445-8065, ext 104

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Jodi Swartfager

Business Development Coordinator

Jodi Swartfager is the Business Development Coordinator at Greater Portland Inc. In her position, Jodi supports the organization’s recruitment and marketing programs and activities. Jodi comes to the position with 5 years of experience in research methods and data analysis and 6 years of experience in desktop publishing and information design. Formerly, she worked for Portland State University’s Community Environmental Services as a recycling specialist at the Port of Portland. While there, she worked on the waste minimization team collecting and analyzing solid waste data for programmatic evaluation. Jodi’s background in community development and urban planning have provided her with a well-rounded understanding of many of the issues facing our region and she is excited to apply her skills and knowledge in the field of economic development at Greater Portland Inc.

Jodi is a born and raised north-westerner. She grew up in Spokane, WA and moved to Portland in 2000 where she has lived ever since. She fell in love with the quality of life in the city and the pioneer spirit embodied in its residents. Jodi graduated from Portland State University with a bachelor’s degree in community development in 2010 and returned to PSU in 2011 to pursue a master’s degree in urban and regional planning, also from Portland State. She resides in North Portland with her husband.

jodi.swartfager@greaterportlandinc.com
503.445.8065, ext. 108

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Deborah Johnson

Executive Assistant and Office/Accounting Manager

In her role as Executive Assistant and Accounting Manager, Deborah brings an extensive background of administrative, bookkeeping and accounting skills to the organization.

Prior to joining Greater Portland Inc, Deborah held accounting and administrative positions, including Pendleton Woolen Mills. Deborah also served in the Air Force. She currently volunteers as Treasurer for the Lakeridge High School Parent's Club.

deborah.johnson@greaterportlandinc.com
503.445.8065 x105

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Janelle Houston

Project & Operations Coordinator

Janelle Houston is the Projects and Operations Coordinator at Greater Portland Inc, where she provides research and data analysis on topics such as Foreign Direct Investment and strategic export development for the Greater Portland Export Initiative. Additionally, Janelle organizes and coordinates professional events in support of GPI’s business goals and supports improvements in GPI’s operations and data integrity.

Prior to joining GPI, Janelle served as the Operations and Policy Analyst for the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners and Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists. In this role, Janelle was responsible for improving operations, increasing board transparency, and aligning administrative procedures in support of a joint merger of the Boards.

Janelle began her economic development career in Phoenix, Arizona, at Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), where she worked in the Research and Strategy department. Janelle provided key research on new market opportunities in the Greater Phoenix region as well as the impact of Federal policies on the Greater Phoenix economy and business climate.

Janelle has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Arizona State University and a Master of Public Policy from Arizona State University’s School of Public Affairs. Janelle’s graduate studies were focused on research and data analysis for economic development policies. She currently resides in downtown Portland and volunteers at Jean’s Place, a local transition home for women.

Read the Greater Portland Inc blog here.

Regional Map

Upcoming
Events

Board of Directors

Greg Ness

The Standard - Chair

Jim Piro

PGE - Vice Chair (Private)

 

Mayor Denny Doyle

City of Beaverton - Vice Chair (Public)

Roger Hinshaw

Bank of America - Treasurer

Mark Ganz

Cambia Health Solutions - Past Chair

Dr. Ron Adams

OSU

Chris Anderson

Oregonian Media Group

Mayor Shane Bemis

City of Gresham

Commissioner Jim Bernard

Clackamas County

Mike Bomar

Columbia River Economic Development Council

John Casey

K & L Gates - Ambassador Level Representative

Todd Coleman

Port of Vancouver

Chris Denzin

CenturyLink - Partner Level Representative

Chairman Andy Duyck

Washington County

Erin Flynn

Portland State University

Greg Goodwin

Kuni Automotive Group

Mayor Charlie Hales

City of Portland

Ralph Hamm

Wells Fargo

Betsy Henning

AHA!

President Tom Hughes

Metro

 

Gregg Kantor

NW Natural

David Kelleher

ACME Business Consulting

Mayor Tim Leavitt

City of Vancouver

Dave Lofland

KeyBank

Jim Mark

Melvin Mark Companies

Sandi McDonough

Portland Business Alliance

Ben McKinley

Cascade Web Development - Sponsor Level Representative

Randy Miller

Produce Row Property Mgmt Co. - At Large

Roger Mills

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Mel Netzhammer

Washington State University Vancouver

Mayor Lou Ogden

City of Tualatin - Small City Consortium Representative

Chris Oxley

Portland Trail Blazers / Rose Quarter

Patrick Quinton

Portland Development Commission

Dennis Rawlinson

Miller Nash

Commissioner Loretta Smith

Multnomah County

Vanessa Sturgeon

TMT Development - Partner Level Representative

Wally Van Valkenburg

Stoel Rives

Malia Wasson

US Bank

Mayor Jerry Willey

City of Hillsboro

Bill Wyatt

Port of Portland

{Awaiting Appointment}

JPMorgan Chase

Economic Development Partners

Cities, counties and other collaborative partners from across the Greater Portland region invest in GPI. Greater Portland is uniting regionally so that together we can compete globally as one of the world's premier places to locate and grow business.

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