CFM News

CFM Contributes to Filipino Relief

CFM made a contribution to Portland-based Mercy Corps to aid in the relief of The Philippines, which was devastated last Friday by what is being described as a 100-year typhoon.

In addition to as many as 10,000 casualties, many Filipinos in the hardest hit central part of the island nation are without shelter, food and water. Mercy Corps quickly rallied, along with other relief organizations and the U.S. military, to assist storm victims.

"Our $1,000 contribution is a small way to express our sympathy and demonstrate our commitment to people in need in The Philippines," says CFM Partner Dan Jarman. "We encourage other businesses to contribute as well."

Mercy Corps dispatched an emergency response team to coordinate with other relief efforts in The Philippines to provide food and water to stranded Filipinos, as well as supply medicine, blankets, tarps and hygiene kits.

Mercy Corps has two staff members based in Manila who work on economic development and social programs, which will play an important role in recovery efforts.

To contribute, go to www.mercycorps.org/typhoon or call (800) 292-3355.

Student Boat-Builders Near Finish Line

The 16-foot open day-sailer that eight at-risk youth built this summer as an exercise to learn math and work skills will be finished Friday and, after a little fit and polish, will be launched into the Willamette River October 5. Before then, it will be displayed in Pioneer Square to kick off National Manufacturing Day October 4.

The eight students, only one of whom had completed high school and ranging in age from 17 to 22, showed up 13 weeks ago to a workshop located at 11th and SE Stark in Portland. They found a pile of wood and a keel. None had any experience with woodworking and all had struggled with math in school. None had any clear career plans.

Along the way, one student builder decided to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering and acquired the dean of engineering at Portland State University as her mentor. Another plans to enter a community college welding program. A third reversed his earlier decision to bypass college and will enroll in community college. Two decided to take GED exams after gaining confidence in basic math and geometry, which they used daily in building the boat. Yet another elected to return to regular high school.

"This was a true learning experience," said CFM partner Norm Eder who helped to spearhead and fund the innovative summer work program. "There were some bumps, but the students built a boat, a boat that will sail for years to come. That is a great accomplishment for these young people."

The effort was overseen by Wind & Oar Boat School, which provided the instructors and skill training, and WorkSystems Inc., which provided some of the funding and the students. 

In addition to practical lessons in working with fractions and compound angles, building the boat required the students to learn the value of teamwork. For one thing, the boat was designed by a French naval architect and the plans were rendered in metric, requiring the students to convert every measurement.

Eder, who became a regular visitor and pizza delivery man to the starving student-builders, said, "This is more than a boat. It is a wonderful success story. It has touched the lives of these students and opened the eyes of those who ask for a better skilled workforce about how programs like this can work."

According to Eder, the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Corporation has committed to a Vancouver boat-build later this year. The principal of Madison High School has asked Wind & Oar to do a build at the Northeast Portland school. And WSI plans to fund a new cohort of student-builders next month. The program has attracted sponsors, including Silver Eagle Manufacturing that provided custom marine bronze components for the student-built boat.

CFM Staff Member Prepares for a Zombie Apocalypse

Everywhere you look, from the the cinema to the small screen, there they are – zombies. The undead seem to be everywhere, with their unquenchable thirst for brains. It’s clear the zombie apocalypse is right around the corner. Are you prepared?

CFM Digital Strategist Hannah Smith recently completed a program through Hands on Greater Portland, a local organization that connects Portland residents to volunteer opportunities. The program titled, The Zombies are Coming! Dig into Disaster Preparedness, consisted of a series of volunteer and educational activities all pertaining to the theme of disaster preparedness. These ranged from packing carrots at the local food bank to a presentation by Portland’s Neighborhood Emergency Teams.

“I really enjoyed participating in Teamworks,” said Smith. “It was a great program, and I feel much better prepared for a natural disaster.” Smith plans to participate in future Teamworks programs and would encourage other Portland residents to do the same.

“The great thing about Teamworks is you’re able to do a series of activities with the same group of people,” said Smith. “It really makes the experience so much more fulfilling.”

When asked specifically about a Zombie Apocalypse, Smith seemed more sure of her fate, replying “I would definitely be one of the first ones to go if that happened.”

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.

Turning Crisis into Reputation Opportunity

More than 50 people heard tips on how to turn a crisis into a reputation-saving opportunity at a crisis-preparedness seminar this week.

CFM President Gary Conkling shared five crisis-response tips, including the importance of believing a crisis can happen to you. "If you don't think it can happen to you," he said, "you won't take steps to identify and assess your vulnerabilities and prepare a response."

Organizations are more likely to prepare for crisis if they put their reputations first. "Once you realize your reputation is at risk," Conkling said, "you are more likely to develop and update a crisis response plan." 

Overall, Conkling explained, organizations should think more deeply and more often about their reputations. "They are hard to earn and easy to lose," he said. "You should be thinking routinely about actions you can take that avoid crisis and can be turned into opportunities that save or even enhance your reputation."

The crisis-preparedness seminar was cosponsored by Durham & Bates and the Ladd Group. It is part of an occasional series of presentations offering information of value to senior corporate, nonprofit and public agency leaders.

"We are not pitching business," said Christen Picot of Durham & Bates. "We are sharing information so we are viewed as valuable business partners."

 

Click here to download a .pdf of the Crisis Response handout.

Quick Action Saves School Access

Medically fragile school-age children will be able to continue in Portland Public Schools this fall because of legislation passed in the Oregon legislature as a result of advocacy by CFM's state affairs team.

The issue cropped up relatively late in the 2013 session, but CFM's Jessica Adamson, Ellen Miller and Tess Milio jumped into action, worked with legislative champion Rep. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, and got an amendment added to House Bill 2747, which is now on its way to the governor's desk.

It all started in May when Portland Public Schools declared it wasn't legally obligated to educate 26 children housed in the Providence Child Center because their parents lived outside the district's boundary.

The amendment in HB 2747 ensures the children can attend school in Portland for the next school year while lawmakers and others ponder a longer term solution that takes into account financial responsibility for the children's education for consideration in the 2014 session.

"There may be a credible discussion to have about who is responsible," Gelser said to the Oregonian about the passage of the bill, "but that should be invisible to the kids and their families."

Parents of children at the Providence Child Center expressed relief about final approval of the bill. They said their children have difficulty adjusting to change. PPS officials also voiced support for the plan that provides continuity of education for the children.

The Providence Child Center, which has operated for 60 years and is located in NE Portland within the PPS boundary, is the only facility of its kind in the Pacific Northwest that provides full-time residential care for medically fragile children.

"I'm proud of our team for taking on a tough issue late in the session and finding a workable solution that benefits children and their parents," says CFM Partner Dan Jarman. "This is the kind of advocacy work that makes all the hard work worth it."

At-Risk Youth Build a Boat

Seven to ten students will spend their summer polishing math skills and learning teamwork by building a 16-foot sailboat, the brainchild of CFM Partner Norm Eder and his wife, Sherry, who are advocates of hands-on learning.For most of us, boats are a source of recreation and relaxation. For seven to 10 local youngsters, building a 16-foot sailboat will be an opportunity to polish their math and work skills this summer.

CFM Partner Norm Eder and his wife, Sherry, were the spark plugs behind a partnership between Worksystems, Inc. and the Wind & Oar Boat School to create a hands-on learning opportunity for at-risk youth.

The young boat builders got to work this week after learning about shop safety, materials and tools. They were assigned to read the plans for the boat, which was designed by famous French naval architect Francois Vivier. It will take them 10 weeks from laying the keel to the final paint job, all under the watchful eyes of two master boat builders.

Eder, who worked at the Oregon Graduate Institute before joining CFM, has been a long-time advocate for hands-on learning and played a role in OGI's start-up of Saturday Academy. One of his current clients is the Manufacturing 21 Coalition, which has engaged in numerous efforts to link industry, university research and skilled worker training. Sherry has been a classroom teacher for 20 years and now guides an early childhood Head Start program for Neighborhood House in SW Portland.

The idea for the innovative summer program came last fall after Eder joined the Wind & Oar Boat School board. He lined up the partnership with the workforce board that covers Multnomah and Washington counties, which supplied the youngsters, and the nonprofit school, which will provide instructional training. Worksystems Inc. is funding the educational costs, as well as providing stipends for the student boat smiths.

The youngsters will work 3.5 hours per day, five days a week. In addition to polishing their math skills (nothing on a boat is built without mathematical calculation), program participants will learn the importance of teamwork, time management and construction planning. They also will learn different methods of traditional small craft construction and how small craft design and construction technologies evolved to meet the practical needs of those who venture onto rivers and oceans.

"I've built my own wooden boat that I sail and it gave me great satisfaction," Eder says. "It just seemed to me this could provide equal or greater value to students over a summer."

One of the first challenges the students faced was converting metric measurements to more familiar values as they began attaching the first bulkheads to the keel. They also will learn about sustainable practices, durable woods and sail-making.

 

 

DC Team Adds Summer Intern

Wheaton College junior William Loux has joined CFM's federal affairs team in Washington, DC as a summer intern.

Loux, who has a college double major in international relations and history, will spend much of him working on projects for CFM client Holt International Children's Services. The Eugene-based nonprofit is deeply involved with adoption and child welfare issues.

Susan Cox of Holt made the connection between CFM and Loux. One of his major projects this summer will be assisting Cox and others at Holt assemble and promote a photo exhibit in DC this November. He will be creating a special Facebook page and Twitter feed to let people know about the exhibit titled, A Sixty Year Retrospective of Adoption & the End of the Korean War. The exhibit will showcase photographs and other treasures Holt has preserved over the years. The photos begin in the mid-1950s in Korea and depict the reality of life for orphaned children that led the Holt family to pioneer intercountry adoption.

Other duties will involve monitoring congressional hearings and assisting the federal affairs team on client projects.

Loux hails from Pella, Iowa, a town made famous by the windows produced there. A self-described political junkie, Loux plans to visit the Smithsonian museums and take numerous day trips to see the wealth of historical sites near the nation's capital. He also is an avid tennis player and writes movie reviews for his local newspaper.

Phillips Joins CFM, Bolstering Public Affairs Team

Public affairs professional Page Phillips is joining CFM, bolstering the firm's capability to address major public policy issues in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Phillips serves as Washington State Director for the Columbia River Crossing Coalition, a role she will continue after joining CFM. 

"Page has emerged as the go-to public affairs professional in Southwest Washington," says Kelly Parker, president and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. "She is a quick study who looks for pathways to success and understands how to motivate people."

Phillips represented Washington Senator Patty Murray and former Congressman Brian Baird in Southwest Washington. Prior to that she worked five years in Washington, D.C., two years for former Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse and three as a consultant. Her resume also includes work as a public affairs consultant and on campaigns in Oregon, California and Colorado.

Among her past projects are organizing stakeholders around the controversial issue of designating Mount St. Helens as a National Park, dredging projects on the Columbia River and designating rivers as wild and scenic. In her current role, Phillips is responsible for stakeholder outreach and strategy and mobilizing local advocacy for the Columbia River Crossing project. 

"We are pleased to have Page join our team," says CFM President Gary Conkling. "She brings energy, a fresh perspective and a wider set of contacts to our work. Most important, she gets the intersection between good policy and politics that is at the heart of solid public affairs work."

Phillips will work out of CFM's Portland office. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Puget Sound and a Master of Community and Regional Planning degree from the University of Oregon. In good weather she likes to hike and bike, and in bad weather she cooks and reads. Phillips has a five-year-old daughter and lives in Portland.

Milio Joins State Lobby Team

Tess Milio, who has worked as a legislative aide and on legislative campaigns, has joined CFM's state lobby team as it prepares for the 2013 Oregon legislative session that convenes next Monday.

This will be Milio's fourth legislative session in Salem. During the 2011 session, she split time between Reps. Phil Barnhart and Nancy Nathanson, both Eugene Democrats. In 2009, Milio was an intern for Rep. Brent Barton, who is returning to the legislature this term, and in 2007 she worked for Rep. Tobias Read.

Milio came to Oregon in 2005 to attend Willamette University, where she studied political science and art. She is originally from South Pasadena.

"We add a fourth team member during the session to help us cover all the bases for our clients," says CFM partner Dan Jarman. "Tess is a great addition because she already knows how the legislature works and many of the staff people who make it work."

Milio joined the state lobby team in CFM's Portland office as it makes final preparations for the 2013 session that won't fully get underway until February 1.

"I'm thrilled and honored to be part of the CFM team working in the Capitol," Milio says. "It is a chance for me to work with a diverse range of issues and clients, while leveraging the knowledge and skills I have developed in previous sessions."

CFM has provided state lobby services in Oregon since 1990 when the firm was founded. State lobbying remains a core service CFM offers to clients, which include corporations, nonprofits and pubic agencies.

"Our practice reflects our business model," Jarman explains. "We think representing a diverse set of interests gives us a chance to work with and develop rapport with all 90 Oregon lawmakers. The mix of issues also keeps us on our toes and in front of most of the legislative committees."

CFM Helps Veterans Attending OIT in Wilsonville

Veterans attending the new Oregon Institute of Technology campus at Wilsonville will receive housing benefits that match Portland-area costs, thanks to a lobbying effort mounted by CFM's federal affairs team.

Working with the support of the Oregon congressional delegation, CFM persuaded the Veterans Administration to reverse an earlier decision and award veterans a housing allowance based on where they go to school, as originally intended in the Post 9/11 GI Bill, not where OIT is headquartered, in Klamath Falls.

OIT President Chris Maples joined CFM at a meeting with the VA's Director of Veterans Benefits in Washington, DC last week. Within 48 hours after the meeting, VA officials gave the OIT Wilsonville campus its own facility code, which entitles veterans attending classes there housing benefits that total $1,434 per month. The VA made the change retroactive to the beginning of 2012.

"We were pleased to be part of this successful effort to honor the sacrifice of men and women who served our country and have returned home to restart their lives by attending college," said Joel Rubin, CFM vice president of federal affairs, who worked on this project.

It was Rubin's careful research and his strategic coordination with Oregon's congressional delegation that made the difference.

"The letter the congressional delegation drafted to the VA was detailed, on point and constructive," Rubin said. "It made the case for a policy adjustment. To its credit, the VA recognized the issue, embraced the solution and acted quickly."

"It's a great story of how government should work," Rubin added, "and an even better one for our veterans during this holiday season."

CFM Offers Visual Marketing Workshop

Learn tips and tricks to tap the power of visual marketing.CFM’s Marketing PR team is offering a free workshop to give tips on how to market your food-related products and services using visual communications.

Your Brand Promise: Let It Show, Let It Show, the December 4 workshop in Portland, will explore the concepts behind visual communications, as well as provide practical skills to spruce up websites and social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

“Visual marketing works," says CFM Account Manager Suzie Giacomelli. "Showing off what you make or sell can add sparkle and spice to your holiday marketing — or marketing any time."

The workshop features hands-on opportunities to practice the tips presented. Giacomelli and CFM Digital Strategist Hannah Smith have made a similar presentation to food manufacturers and retailers.

"Suzie and Hannah brought an energetic approach to the subject of visualizing one's brand," said Gretchen Phillips of the Ashland Food Coop. "Their workshop was well-rounded with a full list of ways to reach out into the cyber world and uphold a brand's values, while appealing to the image-hungry smartphone generation."

"I walked away inspired with a list of free photo editing websites and a plethora of budding ideas," Phillips added. "These professionals know how to get people excited about the art of branding."

This value-packed visual marketing workshop will be Tuesday, December 4 from 5 - 6:30 p.m. at CFM’s Portland office. Tips and tricks will come along with hot chocolate and snacks. The workshop is aimed at food industry professionals, in-house marketers, consumer brand specialists, retailers and business owners.

RSVP* to Suzie Giacomelli, Marketing PR Account Manager, at suzieg@cfmpdx.com or call 503.294.9120.

*Seats confirmed based on availability. RSVP today for the best opportunity to attend.

CFM Launches Gocomposting.com

Gocomposting.com, launched last week, shows how Recology is making great strides in operating Nature’s Needs, a 60-acre composting facility located near the City of North Plains.

The new website was designed by CFM's Hannah Smith and CFM staff members generated its content, which ranges from the big-picture reasons why composting is important to important concerns about taking daily air measurements to ensure minimal odors.

“Nature’s Needs had an important story to tell about the improvements Recology has made to the facility,” said CFM President Gary Conkling. “We helped the client find ways to tell that story.”

Smith designed the e-news site to feature fresh and engaging content. CFM scripted and directed a series of videos featuring Recology employees talking about improved operations at the facility. Video topics include what a nasal ranger does and the important role of Buddy, the facility’s resident falcon.

Other features on the site include:

•  How food scraps help produce fine wine.

•  Why rain helps, not hurts, the composting process.

•  How the facility responds to odor complaints.

•  Links to media stories about composting and the facility.

The North Plains facility is going through an important phase to demonstrate that mixed yard debris and food waste can be composted successfully without causing offensive odors to nearby residents and businesses. Nature's Needs is a critical link to Portland’s ultimate success of in reducing the amount of organic waste that goes to landfills. Other communities in Oregon and around the nation are watching Portland's example and Nature's Needs progress, as evidenced by recent stories in the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Recology, based in San Francisco, has become a major player in Oregon, managing one of Metro's two transfer stations, establishing two private material recovery facilities, hauling commercial waste and composting.

You can view the Gocomposting.com website, its videos and story links at http://www.cfm-online.com/recology.

CFM Online Newsroom Launches Today

The new CFM Online Newsroom spotlights some of our most creative and interesting projects, including videos and websites. Launched today, it also serves as a convenient place to find out what's happening at CFM and with our clients.

"We advise clients to add an online newsroom to their websites," says CFM Account Executive Hannah Smith. "We decided it made sense to follow our own advice."

In addition to seeing CFM in action, the Online Newsroom "is a great way for us to give our clients greater exposure," Smith says.

CFM's Online Newsroom features client websites, videos and op-eds, as well as news items about CFM, including blog posts. "The newsroom provides media highlights in an easy-to-digest format," Smith explains. "It is a great way to see all that we do for our clients."

Check back regularly, Smith encourages, for fresh content and updates.

Tymchuk Makes History Since Moving on From CFM

Former CFM Principal Kerry Tymchuck now is running the show at the Oregon Historical Society.The Oregon Historical Society is best known for looking back at events that may have happened 50, 100 or 150 years ago. OHS is a powerful and memorable storyteller about the people and events shaping the region.

But, the story of OHS’ own history during the last 18 months is best told by others, such as The Oregonian in an May 7 editorial. The historical society has made impressive strides forward, the paper noted, highly praising Jerry Hudson, outgoing president of the OHS board of trustees, and OHS’ new executive director, Kerry Tymchuk, formerly a Principal with CFM Strategic Communications.

Hard times had fallen on the historical society.

The editorial lamented: “At the beginning of 2010, the historical society seemed in desperate circumstances, deeply in debt, staggering to a point where its Park Blocks real estate seemed its main negotiable asset.”

It was January 2011 when Kerry left his position at CFM to become interim director at OHS, later permanently taking on the job.  First Hudson set the wheels in motion resulting in Multnomah County voters approving a new revenue source for the nonprofit.

The rest, as they say, is history.

“Hudson recruited Kerry Tymchuk, former Sen. Gordon Smith's state director, to become executive director, and together they persuaded the 2011 Legislature to grant the society $2.5 million to pay off the mortgage on its Gresham warehouse” the editorial said.

A lot more got done.

“Attendance is up 29 percent, the library is again open daily, and it has drawn wider philanthropic support, including $2 million from the Fred Fields will. In January and February 2011, the society offered four programs; this year, the total was 24,” The Oregonian said.

 “We thought Kerry was a great fit for OHS,” says CFM President Gary Conkling. “We are proud of Kerry and salute him for the work he’s done since leaving CFM.”

Combating Hunger at Home and in the Horn

Drought has ravaged the Horn of Africa and groups such as Mercy Corps have responded with long-term efforts to combat food insecurityThanksgiving is a wonderful time to celebrate friends and family through feasting. But it also is a fitting time to remember people around the block — and around the world — who face staggering hunger.

In that spirit, CFM contributed $2,500 before the holiday to support Mercy Corps efforts to provide long-term, sustainable assistance in Somalia and Niger to combat food insecurity, especially in times of drought.

"Distributing food is sometimes necessary, especially during times of crisis," Mercy Corps says, "but we believe in teaching people to fish, plant gardens and raise livestock for their household needs. This holistic approach not only ensures that families don't go hungry, but also looks out for their health and long-term economic prospects."

With help from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mercy Corps is bringing sustainable food security to 40,000 people in the southern part of Somalia, which has fallen victim to natural disasters and strife. It is helping Niger revamp its dairy production system. It works with 3,775 direct beneficiaries, with the ability to impact the lives of 100,000 people by delivering readily available, affordable dairy products and upgraded nutrition.

CFM's contribution was matched dollar-for-dollar by a special program conducted by Mercy Corps prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

CFM also worked with its clients, such as Del Monte Fresh Produce, to contribute fresh fruits and vegetables to the Oregon Food Bank, Marion-Polk Food Share and Harrisburg Harvesters Gleaners.

As a supporter of the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival, CFM also has helped generate donations to the Oregon Food Bank.

"We all have a responsibility to tackle the injustice of hunger, in our own community or the world community," says CFM President Gary Conkling. "No one has the power to erase hunger, but each one of us has the power to do something."

Link:

To donate to MercyCorp, click here.

Cindy Brown Named CFM Office Manager

Office Manager Cindy BrownA veteran with more than 25 years experience as a legal assistant and office manager, Cindy Brown has joined CFM as its Office Manager. She follows in the footsteps of Donna McClelland, long-time Office Manager, who is one of the original members of the firm and will continue to work part-time on special projects.

Among other responsibilities, Cindy’s experience includes managing duties such as staff development, training and budget oversight. At CFM she is responsible for supervision of personnel issues, billing, bookkeeping, regulatory compliance for CFM’s state and federal lobbying practices and other duties.

“She’s been with us since September and has done a great job taking over the reins from Donna,” says CFM President Gary Conkling. “We are lucky to have her on board.”

Prior to CFM, Cindy worked with the law firm of Bullivant Houser Bailey, P.C. from 1997 to 2011 in its Vancouver, Washington office. Before Bullivant, she was employed from 1985 to 1997 at the law firm of Williams & Troutwine, P.C in Portland.

Cindy is a lifelong resident of the Portland-Vancouver area. Married for nearly 25 years, she has a daughter attending the University of Washington. Her Interests include cooking, health and wellness, hiking and entertaining.

CFM Bookkeeper Beverly Melven

Donna will continue with CFM in a part-time role. She was CFM’s first Office Manger, starting on Day 1 in 1990 and retiring in 2007, only to resume her position at the start of 2011.

Also joining the CFM administrative team is Beverly Melven as Bookkeeper/Administrative Support. She is a former editorial assistant for Alaska magazine and The Milepost, with more than 10 years experience in bookkeeping and banking operations. She brings a broad range of work experience in addition to her bookkeeping skills.

CFM Wins PR Award for 20th Straight Year

CFM has won a PRSA Merit Award for the Reynolds Tomorrow program, which included a special-purpose website and an online survey of district residents about education spending priorities.CFM Strategic Communications picked up a Merit Award for Issues Management for work done on behalf of the Reynolds School District. The award marks the 20th consecutive year the firm has been recognized by the local chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Working with top school district supervisors, CFM and Reynolds carried out a non-traditional public engagement program called Reynolds Tomorrow. As a result, the District involved more citizens earlier this year in its budget development process than any other school district in the state.

An integrated communications program encouraged residents to visit a special website containing options for the 2011-2012 budget year. Next, citizens living in portions of east Multnomah County were asked to participate in an online survey. More than 900 persons responded, providing the district with important – and measurable – opinions on community values and educational spending priorities.

“People need to be involved with public decisions, but in ways that make it easy, convenient and transparent,” says CFM Partner Tom Eiland, who heads the firm’s research practice. “Being about to confirm what Oregonians view as spending priorities for public schools is one example of why the Reynolds Tomorrow program was vitally important."

“The Reynolds project is a great example of CFM integrating three of its business services – public affairs, marketing public relations and research,” adds CFM Partner Norm Eder.

Members of the PRSA chapter in Buffalo, New York judged PR entries from Oregon this year. CFM has won more than 100 local and national awards since it entered its first competition in 1992.

Eder Named Chair of Westside Economic Alliance

CFM Partner Norm EderOne of Oregon’s most influential business groups, the Westside Economic Alliance (WEA) has elected CFM Partner Norm Eder to serve as president and board chair for 2012. WEA advocates for a healthy economic environment on the westside of the Portland metropolitan region.

A partner since he joined the firm in 1998, Eder helps lead CFM’s Public Affairs practice. He specializes in issues management, assisting organizations to work through complex challenges.

“The Alliance has been an important stage for launching regional economic development programs, as well as a forum for policy makers to voice their views,” says Eder. “It will be a more significant force as we work our way out of this economic downturn.”

Adds CFM President Gary Conkling, a longtime observer of Washington County: “Norm is a terrific choice for the job. He possesses a rare blend of vision, leadership and problem solving, which he exhibits in his work for CFM’s clients.”

Eder replaces Mike Grant, a vice president of Kaiser Permanente, who was reassigned to a post in Los Angeles. In addition, Eder will serve a full 12-month term during the Alliance's 2012 membership year. He brings a wealth of institutional knowledge to his new role, having served on WEA's Board of Directors since the Alliance was formed in 1998. Eder also served on the Board of Directors of Sunset Corridor Association, which later merged with the Tualatin Valley Economic Development Corporation to create WEA.

Photo of Julie Strange at the 2011 Waterfront Blues Festival taken by Eder.

In his spare time, Eder has built a boat and a ukelele while tending an extensive garden that surrounds his Raleigh Hills home and produces a wide range of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Each summer Norm donates his time as the lead photographer for the Waterfront Blues Festival, documenting all performances and creating a rich archive of images.

CFM Pros Pose as Portlandia Extras

Fred Armisen and crew member on location in North Portland. CFM Account Executives Hannah Smith and Suzie Giacomelli got a taste of show business last month as extras in the hit TV show Portlandia. Smith and Giacomelli drove by the shoot, parked and did a little exploring. A staffer said they looked like extras. Before they knew it, they were part of the action.

“We stood in a long line of Portlanders committeed to getting in to a popular brunch spot. Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein crowd surf to the front of the line when their names are finally called. I’ve been part of similar scenes in my everyday life, so it wasn’t a big stretch. We Portlanders love our food,” said Smith.

“We said ‘hi’ to Fred Armisen and took direction from staffers. The extras – volunteers – were excited to be part of the action. It was a hot day by Portland standards, but morale was high,” said Giacomelli.

Giacomelli and Smith plan to watch the episode at a local pub to see if they’re in the final footage and relive their experience. Give them a shoutout on CFM’s page on Facebook if you catch them on the small screen.