CFM

CFM Office Manager Elected VP for ROCKSOLID Community Teen Center

Cindy Brown hanging out after the annual ROCKSOLID holiday luncheon where teens cooked, served, sang Christmas carols and shared reasons why they like coming to a safe place, with a caring staff and everyone is accepted. Cindy is ROCKSOLID’S new vice president and enjoys volunteering at the after-school teen center in Clark County.

Cindy Brown hanging out after the annual ROCKSOLID holiday luncheon where teens cooked, served, sang Christmas carols and shared reasons why they like coming to a safe place, with a caring staff and everyone is accepted. Cindy is ROCKSOLID’S new vice president and enjoys volunteering at the after-school teen center in Clark County.

Office Manager Cindy Brown keeps CFM on solid ground and she volunteers her time to give Clark County teenagers a rock-solid place to go after school.

Brown and her husband Jon attended their first fundraiser seven years ago for ROCKSOLID, a nonprofit that began in 2002 and operates a Community Teen Center offering after-school activities and opportunities to build positive relationships with caring adults. Cindy started volunteering in 2013, the couple joined the ROCKSOLID board in 2013 and Cindy was just elected vice president.

“CFM encourages its staff to volunteer and I found ROCKSOLID was the perfect fit for me,” Cindy says. “I love kids and it gives me an opportunity to listen, mentor, support and hang out with the kids in our community. Sometimes kids want to talk, play games and interact and others want to do homework or read – just ‘being there’ for kids that would otherwise go home to an empty house, is important to me.”

Teen activities emphasize life skill development, good homework habits, healthy eating, sports, the arts and community service. The teens are served a healthy snack, but also can buy additional food at a small café in the center.

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Eighty-four teens are enrolled in the ROCKSOLID program and 45 to 50 teens show up daily after school at the center. The nonprofit owns two vans that transport teens from 14 schools in the Battle Ground and Hockinson school districts to the center.

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Cindy joined CFM in 2011 after working for 26 years for law firms. Her ever-expanding duties at CFM range from ensuring state lobby clients are registered with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission to reviewing and renewing insurance policies to updating the firm’s Facebook page and posting blogs.

“She is a steadying influence at CFM,” says President Gary Conkling. “And she is a great mentor for the young people who come to the ROCKSOLID Teen Community Center. We are lucky to have her and proud of her volunteer work.”

ROCKSOLID Community Teen Center is located at 12919 NE 159th Street, Brush Prairie, Washington 98606.

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Cindy representing her table in the Dessert Dash at the annual Lucky Shamrock Auction, ROCKSOLID's largest fundraiser of the year.

Cindy representing her table in the Dessert Dash at the annual Lucky Shamrock Auction, ROCKSOLID's largest fundraiser of the year.

ROCKSOLID Community Teen Center is located at 12919 NE 159th Street, Brush Prairie, Washington 98606.

Rubin Becomes CFM Partner

Joel Rubin, left, with Tigard Mayor John Cook, right, discusses federal items highlighted at a recent Conference of Mayors event in Washington, D.C. Rubin, who leads CFM’s federal affairs team, just became the firm’s newest partner.

Joel Rubin, left, with Tigard Mayor John Cook, right, discusses federal items highlighted at a recent Conference of Mayors event in Washington, D.C. Rubin, who leads CFM’s federal affairs team, just became the firm’s newest partner.

Joel Rubin, who joined CFM Strategic Communications nearly 10 years ago and now leads the firm’s federal affairs office in Washington, DC, has become its newest shareholder.

“I’m pleased my work for clients has translated into a solid practice area for CFM,” Rubin says.

Rubin grew up in the Washington, DC area, but worked for five years as Legislative Director to former Washington Congressman Brian Baird, which gave him a taste of the Pacific Northwest. “It was all new and I loved it,” Rubin says. “Maryland is my home, but the Pacific Northwest is my second home."

After he left Capitol Hill, Rubin worked as a lobbyist for a D.C.-based firm. When given the chance to join CFM and work with Pacific Northwest clients, he jumped at the opportunity. "The Northwest is blessed with folks who work well together and try to solve problems. I was excited to rejoin my friends and colleagues to continue the work I started for Congressman Baird."

Rubin’s areas of expertise include appropriations, transportation, energy, defense, tax, trade, grants and local government issues.

“Joel has broad experience, which he applies in innovative and creative ways,” says CFM Partner Dan Jarman who recruited Rubin in 2006. “Others may throw up their hands in a tough situation, Joel digs in and finds a path to success.”

A graduate of Frostburg State University, where he majored in accounting with a minor in political science, Rubin and his wife, Sarah, have two children. When not at the office or visiting clients, Rubin can be found on the diamond with his 2015 championship men's baseball team or a dive karaoke bar belting out some REO Speedwagon.

CFM now has five active partners. Co-founder and partner Dave Fiskum retired in 2015. Rubin officially became a CFM partner on January 1.

Runquist Joins CFM, Deepens Firm's Writer's Bench

Justin Runquist, who has worked as a reporter for The Columbian, The Oregonian and The Spokesman-Review, has joined CFM Strategic Communications as the firm’s communications counsel.

Justin Runquist

Justin Runquist

A graduate of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, Runquist deepens CFM's bench for storytelling, story pitching, content creation, presentations and social media.

"Justin brings a fresh eye and contemporary experience in the media to meet client needs," said Gary Conkling, CFM’s president and co-founder. "He knows how to tell a story, sniff out a good story angle and leverage digital resources.”

Runquist most recently worked for The Columbian, where he wrote about local government, business, education and the marijuana industry in Clark County. Prior to that, Runquist worked for The Oregonian, covering government, business, crime and education in Lake Oswego, Wilsonville, West Linn and other parts of the Portland metro area. 

Three years ago for The Oregonian, Runquist covered the Washington State Legislature during a historic session as gay marriage became legal in the Evergreen State.

Runquist joins the CFM communications team, but he will also provide support for the firm's state affairs and research practice areas.

"Working for CFM appealed to me because of its range of public affairs work for corporations, nonprofits and public agencies," Runquist said. "This will translate into more diverse experiences and challenging work."

Conkling said, "People with journalistic experience do well in the world of public affairs. They understand policy issues and political processes. They also know that timing is everything."

Runquist also will play a key role in CFM's content-forward marketing efforts. 

"This is a company that shows what it can do through its widely shared thought leadership and case studies,” he said. “Clients know what they get when they hire CFM."

Runquist's arrival coincides with the departure of Hannah Smith, who has worked at CFM for seven years after graduating from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications. Smith and her husband are departing soon for a dream experience of an extended stay in Southeast Asia.

Airbnb Launches Shared City Initiative

Airbnb has launched its "Shared Cities" initiative with Portland as its model city using an innovative storytelling press statement.

CEO Brian Chesky posted the engaging statement that talks about the historic role cities have played as "sharing platforms" and describing Airbnb's principles of being good neighbors, supporting local small businesses, fostering communities and cooperating with cities to "share with those in need."

The Shared City model in Portland, which was fashioned in collaboration with Mayor Charlie Hales, will include:

  • Enabling local hosts to donate money they earn to local causes, which Airbnb will match with a percentage of its fees;

  • Providing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors available to all hosts;

  • Collecting and remitting tax revenues to the City; and

  • Offering disaster relief housing and response assistance in collaboration with Portland's Bureau of Emergency Management.

Fortune magazine, which broke the story nationally, said the Shared City is a "plan to leverage the Airbnb community to contribute economic, social, and environmental improvements to the city." 

"CFM appreciates the opportunity to work alongside Airbnb, a pioneer in the sharing economy that is continuing to blaze new trails," says CFM Partner Dan Jarman. 

Links: 

New CFM Expert Section

The CFM website now sports a new expert section showcasing the expertise of individual staff members.

"You can read our bio and blogs, but still not know on what subjects we're experts," explained CFM President Gary Conkling. "This section is organized to make that recognition easy."

The expert section offers a convenient package of staffer background, expertise, recent media mentions and selected blog posts.

"It is designed to help news media find a credible source for their stories," Conkling said. "But it also is for clients and prospective clients who want to know more about our team members."

"We intend to keep the section updated," says CFM Digital Specialist Hannah Smith, who designed the expert section and is featured herself. "As we develop new areas of expertise, we will add those."

"And we will share the passionate hobbies and avocations of our team members," Smith adds.

CFM Sponsors ART’s 'God of Carnage'

CFM Strategic Communications is sponsoring the Portland premiere this fall of Tony Award-winning "God of Carnage," which will kick off the 2011-2012 season for the Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland.

"God of Carnage" tells the story of two sets of parents who meet to discuss a bullying incident. They start off intending to talk in a “civilized manner.“ But as the evening wears on, good intentions go awry, and the play turns ferociously hilarious, shocking and disturbing, as the parents battle for ethical superiority.

Written by Yasmina Reza, a French playwright, actress, novelist and screenwriter, “God of Carnage” was given the Tony award for Best Play in 2009. The play originally was written in French and first performed in English in London in 2008. Read a profile about Yasmina Reza in The New York Times (May 24). It also is being made into a movie expected to debut later this year.

CFM staff members have enjoyed a relationship with ART, assisting with strategic communications and attending plays at one of the most successful performing arts groups in Portland.

“Communications is our business,” says CFM President Gary Conkling. “There is no better form of communication than the theater."

The sponsorship is part of CFM's community commitment to partner organizations (See other community partners on the CFM website home page). "We value local organizations that enrich our community," Conkling says. "This is our way of saying thank you." Listen for CFM's sponsorship messages about the play on Oregon Public Broadcasting, also a CFM partner organization.

“God of Carnage” will be performed in Portland at ART from September 6 through October 9, 2011.

Performance information:

  • Box office: 516 SW Alder St, Portland, OR
  • Dates: September 6 - October 9
  • Performances: Wednesday - Sunday @ 7:30pm; Sunday @ 2 pm, 9/28 - Wednesday matinee @ 11 am. Opening Night is Friday, September 9
  • Website

Follow CFM on Its New Facebook Page and Twitter

CFM has posted its new Facebook page and is continuing its presence on Twitter. You also can see our videos on YouTube.

With a new name, CFM relaunched its Facebook page, which will serve as a window into what our staff members are doing at work and for play.

"We think about Facebook as our back porch," says CFM President Gary Conkling. "We will share comments and pictures with friends about what we do for clients, but also share some of our fun times as a staff and in our own lives. You may see video from a presentation alongside a picture gallery of a staff member's anniversary trip to Hawaii."