The Portland Business Alliance (PBA), the chamber of commerce for the Portland region, fosters an environment in Metro Portland that attracts, supports and retains private-sector jobs, spurs economic vitality and serves as an active promoterof quality educational opportunities for the region’s residents. The Alliance is the leading voice of business for greater Portland, partnering broadly with regional entities to affect the conditions, climate and policy that contribute to the overall health of our business community and city. Asthe largest business association serving the greater Portland area, PBA is governed by a 70-member board which, along with a very talented staff, provides leadership from the perspective of business to strengthen the region’s economic health and achieve a prosperous and competitive region that reflects the potential and promise of Portland. Ourbusiness community, as represented by PBA, welcomes and represents various viewpoints that reflect a breadth of perspectives by including and representing Portland’smultifaceted business people. Portland is not like other places – Portlanders believe that every voice matters and that the quality of the place itself is valued as much as the businesses that comprise it. Members of PBA have created and partner with critical nonprofit organizations in Portland, like New Avenues for Youth and Partners in Diversity, demonstrating the business community’s commitment to Portland and the region – and its residents.
With an $8.5 million annual budget, PBA provides a diverse array of important programs and initiatives that support membership needs through programming and engagement; itkeeps downtown “Clean and Safe” and strategically advocates on behalf of Portland’s business community. PBA directly advocates on Portland and the four-county area matters while working in coalition with others on state, federal, legislative and regulatory issues. Its agenda is jointly established through the executive committee and member-driven processes that facilitate healthy engagement representing varied points of view. PBA’s effective cross-sector partnerships allow for it to address and lead on issues critical to the growth and well-being of the broader community. Among chambers of commerce across the nation, PBA stands out because it’s in Portland – a place deeply committed to place, access to opportunity and equity.
The state of the Portland Business Alliance has never been stronger, both organizationally and financially. By thoughtfully deploying 30 employees and a well-managed budget, it’s distinguished by its balanced and moderating voice, use of influence, capacity to convene, collaborative spirit, and affinity for problem solving. The internal culture aligns well with its reputation in the community as a transparent, open partner that works with business and other partners to help meet community needs, whether pursuing growth of good jobs; addressing challenges associated with homelessness, affordable housing, or transportation; participating in dialogues about the implications of limited school budgets; or ensuring clean and safe streets.
PBA’s incoming President & CEO will lead engaged members, experienced staff and partners toward a vision of Portland’s future – one that is ever more dynamic, fosters and embraces innovation and is inclusive and equitable. This role provides an opportunity to work alongside members and staff, intentionally using dialogue, influence and resources to realize this vision, and also continue to be regarded as a key participant in local and regional problem solving. The new President & CEO will engage deeply with thebusiness community, appreciate diverse opinions, continually work to define a unifying vision and implement a strategy that meets the service and policy needs of our members. PBA’s President & CEO will spend the necessary time to manage the enterprise such that the organization’s resources and scope of work - including available tools, staff strength, and the social, influence and financial capital of members - are best deployed to meet the region’s evolving economic and livability needs.
The President & Chief Executive Officer of PBA reports to the board of directors through an executive committee,and has responsibility for managing all affairs of the association, which includesmanaging the staff, ensuring adequate resources (which may well include fundraising for political action), promoting the association to the business community in and around Portland, and increasing effective business participation in the political and advocacy processes of Portland; Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas and Clark Counties; and the State of Oregon. The President & CEO will spearhead, guide and steward strategic planning and the general administration of the association and its staff and subsidiary organizations and initiatives, including downtown’s Clean and Safe, Partners in Diversity, and Leadership Portland. Moreover, PBA’s President & CEO will take a personal role in the lobbying and education process, working with and directing the professional staff to educate and advocate on behalf of PBA’s membership and in partnership with its many allies and partners throughout Metro Portland.The successful candidate will take a long-term view on advancing agendas and adeptlyframe issues and conversations in ways that prove to be mutually beneficialto stakeholders. S/he will bring gravitas, resilience, and a strategic mindset.
1. Energetically promote PBAas a source of education, advocacy and services to the growing businesses located in and around Portland. This includes planning and executing targeted communications aimed at:
Developing awareness that PBA is the preeminent partner to regional businesses that band together to provide solutions to community problems
Cultivating and advancing the membership to include a broad industry cross-section and diversity in the size and type of member organization
Assuring appropriate financial support and management of resources to affect and potentially refine an evolving mission for PBA’s members
Convening community partners including alliances, associations and chambers to create closer collaboration to achieve common objectives, such as collaborating on the Oregon Business Plan
2. Engaging as a true professional in politics by guiding the planning,creation and implementation of policy for PBA. This includes:
Pursuing proactive and member-driven strategic solutions to the challenges faced by our region as it grows and evolves in the information economy
Facilitating the plans and actions to achieve those solutions by personally engaging as well as assigning and motivating staff to implement policy goals
3. Providing executive management over the day-to-day affairs of the association and its subsidiaries and programs, including Clean and Safe, Partners in Diversity, and Leadership Portland.
4. Assuring that the assets, revenues, and expenditures of the association are managed in a fiscally sound and responsible manner and continuing the practice of building appropriate reserves.
5. Formulating policy objectives and proposals, developing strategies for effectively interfacing with the appropriate leaders including Portland’s Mayor,councilors, county commissioners and agencies.
6. Consistent with board approved policy positions, lobby and interface in a trusted manner withthe city, commissions, committees and interest groups whose discussions and decisions impact our business community and populace.
Profile of the Candidate
This position offers the successful candidate the opportunity to put his or her well-honedbusiness and leadership skills to work on behalf of the region’s businesses. The ideal candidatewill have a strong passion fordriving a prosperous Portland through representing PBA externally and leading and overseeinginternal operations and program work that furthers the organization’s mission. This position requires someone who is able to balance and meet competing priorities and work proactively to address the organization’s needs with anenergetic, collaborative nature.More specifically, the Association seeks a professional with the following attributes:
• Experience with accountability to a board of directors; providing vision and strategic planning; overseeing organizational finance, operations, programmatic activity and political action/strategy
• An appreciation for the demands of a membership organization – from meeting members’ needs to leading and managingthe enterprise in a changing association environment
• The ability to guide internal and external conversations about the future of Portland as a city and ultimately articulate and implement components for the vision that will shape Portland during this period of evolution and expansion
• Progressively responsible leadership and management experience that demonstrates the ability to lead and manage a sophisticated professional staff, sizable budget, complex political issues and organizational progress
• Experience leading staff with a commitment to fostering a positive, transparentworkplace culture of collaboration and respect; an ability to build bridges is essential as is the ability to mentor and grow others
• An accomplished listener who genuinely appreciates and processes diversity of opinion
• Strong financial planning and analytical skills that maintain a healthy budget
• Strong written and oral communication skills; the ability to communicate effectivelywith audiences that include broad constituency groups; understandingthe nuanced communications necessary to retain credibility with elected officialsand reflect values that align with the city’s stakeholders
• A leader with a demonstrated commitment to and appreciation for diversity of all kinds (race, gender, orientation, opinion, etc.), as is included in PBA’s bylaws
• An information seeker with a high level of curiosity and creativity in problemsolving who seeks and includes data to determine course of action
• Strong integrity and a commitment to professional excellence, combined with values that wear well over the long term;progressive record of clear and consistent success and ethics beyond reproach are required
• Candidates will be degreed, a MBA or relevant graduate degree or comparable experience is preferred
We seek to have someone in place by early Spring 2018.
All applications are held in strict confidence. Applications should be directed to the attention of Melissa Ulum, Managing Partner of MS&S Search.Please submit your credentials and letter ofinterest via email to Melissa@MSSsearch.com.
If you have questions or recommendations, please call (503)244-2126 (message) or (503)730-7615 (direct) or emailMelissa@MSSsearch.com.
To be considered, MS&S Search urges interested candidates to apply assoon as possible; applications submitted by January 5, 2018will receive priority consideration.
Portland Business Association is an equal opportunity employer committed to creating a workenvironment that values the cultural and personal perspectives afforded by individual lifeexperiences. PBA is a welcoming environment that values diversity, equity and inclusion within the organization. At MS&S Search, we know that a richly diverse mix of professionals makes organizationsmore effective. Using that as a guiding principle, we make diversity a priority of our firm and all of our search engagements.
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