Penn Joins CFM State Affairs Team

Dale Penn II, who has worked with the Oregon legislature and state regulatory agencies for more than 10 years, will join CFM May 5 as a senior associate.

"Dale brings rich experience and broad contacts to benefit CFM clients," says CFM Partner Dan Jarman, who oversees the firm's state affairs practice. "He has worked on tough issues, building trusted relationships across party lines with his effective advocacy."

CFM employs a team approach to each Oregon legislative session. Team members work year-round to prepare clients for achieving results when the legislature meets. That can involve setting objectives, building coalitions and grassroots support and enlisting legislative champions. CFM also provides research and strategic communications support for clients.

Penn worked for the past six years for the Oregon Health Care Association, addressing complicated health care issues. Prior to that, Penn was an associate director for policy development and compliance officer for large, multi-state health care companies that stretched across 30 states.

A native Oregonian, Penn grew up in Salem and has strong ties to the community, established by serving in leadership positions and on local boards for civic organizations. He lives in Keizer and enjoys steelhead fishing, riding motorcycles and photography.

Penn's arrival coincides with the departure of Jessica Adamson who has joined Providence Health & Services as its new Oregon government affairs director. Providence is one of CFM's original clients and remains one of its largest.

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: 

CFM Supports Refugee Resettlement

When refugees from Sudan, Afghanistan or Myanmar get off a plane at Portland International Airport, someone from Catholic Charities is there to greet them. And Catholic Charities provides refugee families with a starter apartment to help them assimilate into their new home.

Refugee resettlement is just one of the services performed by the 70-year-old organization, and it is perhaps one of the least known.

Many people believe refugees come to the United States for economic reasons, but Catholic Charities says they come here most often because of persecution in their own countries, frequently because of their religious faith. "Refugees are survivors," the group says, "who have shown they have courage, initiative and creativity. When they are helped to adjust to their new circumstances and rebuild their lives in the United States, they become valued and contributing members of our society."

The resettlement program was featured at this year's Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope banquet, which drew more than 1,000 people to the Oregon Convention Center last weekend.

As a result of an inspiring presentation, which centered on the struggles of a Burmese family, CFM contributed $1,000, the amount needed to provide a starter apartment for one refugee family.

"Moving to a new country is traumatic enough, so we want to support Catholic Charities' effort to secure housing, furniture, bedding and other household supplies to ease that transition," said CFM President Gary Conkling. "Having the security of a home is a good beginning in a new community." 

Those interested in contributing to the refugee resettlement program or other programs can contact Catholic Charities at CatholicCharitiesOregon.org or 503.231.4866.

Frause Shares Space with CFM

Frause, a Seattle-based integrated communications firm with a 3-person Portland staff, is now sharing office space with CFM Strategic Communications.

While the firms remain separate, they plan to look for opportunities to leverage their collective skills and industry knowledge.

“Our firms have worked side by side on client projects,” says CFM President Gary Conkling, “so we felt it made sense to work side by side in an office setting to maximize our synergy.”

“Frause and CFM have complementary talents that could lead to additional, exciting work for both firms,” says Bob Frause, chairman and CEO. Frause provides a comprehensive suite of services from public relations and marketing to social media and digital design.

Shared work environments can add energy to a workplace, Conkling and Frause said. “We think the exposure to different ideas and approaches will be a positive for both of our staffs in Portland.”

They noted the working relationship gives both firms greater capabilities in Oregon and Washington to serve regional clients.

Start the Customer Conversation Before an Ask

Gary Conkling gave a presentation designed to help water officials make a big splash with their marketing. Water utilities need proactive, out-of-the-box communications strategies to connect with constituents who care about clean water, but don't it much thought in their daily life.

Speaking at an Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies conference in Salem, CFM President Gary Conkling urged water officials to concentrate on information that is useful and relevant to their customers, presented in easy-to-access and easy-to-understand ways.

"Your information needs to be presented simply, packaged effectively and designed imaginatively to pull readers to your content and connect with your agency," Conkling said. "And it's all not just about a website. Friendly, helpful counter clerks and service techs who deal directly with customers can project an agency that wants to help."

His presentation on "Mapping a Communications Strategy" was part of a workshop that also included discussions on how to win community support for water projects. Around 150 people from throughout the Pacific Northwest attended.

Conkling encouraged water officials to embrace a marketer's perspective in their communications, starting with grassroots research that enables them to develop "customer personas." "It is easier to see how to talk about water to a personalized face instead of a statistic," he said. "Your communications will be closer to the mark if you aim them at people who are your customers."

An advantage enjoyed by water agencies, Conkling said, is having a database of customers with whom the agency is in monthly contact. "Your database can be a platform for finding out what matters to your customers," he explained "and turning them into your community partners through regular engagement."

Since people aren't sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to hear from a local water agency, "you have to find useful and even entertaining ways to connect with them," Conkling said.

"It's a lot better to have the conversation already under way," he advised," than waiting for the moment when you need to ask customers to agree to a rate hike."

Conking leads CFM's public relations practice, which includes strategic communications counsel, managing public issues, crisis response and reputation management.

CFM Staffer Plays Games

As social beings, we like to spend time with our peers. Kids with special needs are no different, yet in Salem their opportunities are limited by access, acceptance and safety issues. This can cause a feeling of isolation not only for the kids but their families as well. 

This was the motivating factor for Ellen Miller, CFM public affairs associate, to start a Game Club in Salem when a parent of a girl with autism brought up the idea in 2010.

Modeled after the Portland Asperger’s Network Teen Game Club, the Salem Game Club offers all kids with special needs an opportunity to have fun with their peers and a networking opportunity for their parents.

Kids play several gaming systems, along with board and card games, and enjoy the traditional chips and tootsie pops together.

Over the last four years, Ellen has enjoyed getting to know the kids and seeing their friendships grow. She also has seen the benefits for the parents. Parents share information with one another, from doctors to dietary restrictions. Parents often express how grateful they are to have their kids excited to get out of the house and to have something to look forward to each month.

The club meets every month at the IKE Box in Salem on the last Friday from 6 to 8:30 p.m., except for November and December due to the holidays.

The event is free and families can stop by at anytime during the night. Kids are required to sign in and parents are required to stay on the premises. IKE Box offers comfortable places for parents to relax, with free Wi-Fi and a coffee bar.

Put Your Reputation First

The head of CFM encouraged corporate leaders to manage their reputations by taking a disciplined approach to identify, evaluate and address known risks.Your reputation is a reflection of your character, CFM President Gary Conkling told members of the Association for Corporate Growth at their monthly meeting this week.

"Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said reputation is who others think you are, but your character is who you really are," Conkling said. "Understanding your reputation will reflect your character, putting your reputation first will lead to better decision-making by organizations and individuals.

ACG, which provides networking and professional education for business owners and executives, invited Conkling, who leads CFM's pubic relations practice, to speak about, "Reputation — how to earn it, how to burn it and how to protect it." 

"Reputations are earned by careful and attentive preparation and discipline," he said. "They are lost, often in seconds on social media, at the hands of poor judgment or short-term thinking."

Conkling noted that US Airways Captain "Sully" Sullenberger, the hero of the Miracle on the Hudson River, said his feat of safely landing a commercial jet with two disabled engines wasn't a miracle, but the byproduct of his preparation and the discipline to apply that preparation in a stressful situation.

Conkling urged corporate and nonprofit executives to follow a reputation management regimen that starts with a candid, comprehensive issues audit, includes a thorough risk analysis and results in an organizational to-do list.

"The issues audit will identify vulnerabilities," Conkling explained. "The risk analysis should highlight the most serious and probable vulnerabilities that you can control and afford to fix." 

Often mitigating or eliminating a vulnerability can transform an issue into an opportunity, he added. "You can gain a competitive advantage and curry customer loyalty by being the first to address a serious problem related to your product or service."

CFM is a leading firm in the Pacific Northwest that provides counsel on crisis and reputation management.

CFM Donates Books to Encourage Reading in Ethiopia

CFM has donated more than 80 books to a school located in Debark, Ethiopia. The donation will help encourage students to develop a love of reading.

Several CFM staff members selected books they or their children love to be part of the donation. “Some of the books I chose were my favorite books as a child, my son's favorites and adult authors I love that also write children's books,” said CFM Bookkeeper Beverly Melven. “Growing up poor, the library was my favorite place to be, and I'm thrilled that we are helping other children grow up with books as their friends.”

CFM purchased from Better World Books, a website that sells books to help fund high-impact literacy projects in the United States and around the world. For each book purchased through the site, Better World Books donates another book to an organization promoting literacy. The majority of books CFM purchased were also used, which helps books get to people in need rather than in landfills. Many of the books CFM purchased promote self-esteem for women and girls, environmental responsibility or feature people with disabilities.

The book drive was organized by Peace Corps Volunteer Mellissa Chisolm, who took to Facebook asking her friends and family to donate books. “Their school libraries are mostly filled with big, boring, reference books,” wrote Chisolm, “I would love to get some new exciting, easy, fun books to add to their collection.”

“I began by personally supporting the project because it seemed like such a simple way to make a difference,” said CFM Digital Strategist Hannah Smith. “I was so proud when CFM also decided to support the project in such a big way.”

Upon learning of CFM’s donation, Chisolm said: “I will be forever grateful to CFM for helping out the children in my town. It is wonderful knowing that there are people and companies that support literacy programs around the world. I am amazed at their generosity and feel extremely lucky for all of the support.”

Those interested in purchasing additional books for donation should contact Hannah Smith through the CFM website.

Historic Holt Photos Displayed in Capitol

Holt international Children’s Services sponsored a historical photo exhibit "Children of Korea – A Retrospective" last week at the Senate Russell Caucus Room in Washington D.C. Julie Crockett of CFM’s federal affairs team organized the exhibit in the nation’s capital. 

Forty photos were selected from the personal collection of Bertha Holt and the archives of Holt International. Most of the photos never have been seen publicly before this exhibit and provide a poignant look into the faces and experiences of children in Korea immediately following the Korean War. Approximately 250 attended the photo exhibit including a number of first-generation children adopted from Korea, now grown.

Honorary hosts for the exhibit included Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, along with honorary co-hosts Senator Mary Landrieu and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Ho-Young Ahn attended the photo exhibit as honorary guest, and Holt Korea President, Kim, Dae Yul traveled from Seoul to view the photos.

"Holt International has served children through our programs in more than 20 countries in the past six decades," says Phillip Littleton, Holt President and CEO. "But the organization began in Korea and that will always be an important part of our history.” 

Susan Soonkeum Cox, Holt vice president of policy & external affairs, herself adopted from Korea in 1956, says, "I will never forget the first time I saw the scrapbooks of these photos. I looked at them for hours, hoping I would see someone or something familiar. It was the closest thing I had to recorded images of life where I came from, a life I didn't remember but was profoundly connected to." That connection, Holt believes, is critical for many adoptees and is the genesis of this photo exhibit.

The modern era of intercountry adoption was pioneered in 1956 when Holt founders, Harry and Bertha Holt of Creswell, Oregon, adopted eight orphaned children from Korea. It established intercountry adoption as an opportunity for orphaned children to have a family — even if it was a family of a different race, culture and nationality. Holt International, which is based in Eugene, remains one of the largest child welfare organizations in the United States.

“The exhibit was a great success, especially for the many Korean adoptees who came from all over the country to see the photos,” Crockett said. “It was a pleasure and honor to assist in organizing the exhibit for Holt.”

CFM has been involved with Holt International for 25 years, representing it on adoption and child welfare issues in Oregon and at the federal level and assisting from time to time on strategic communications.

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.

Adamson Presents at County College

CFM Senior Public Affairs Associate Jessica Adamson went back to college last week, but this time as a teacher at County College.

Her pupils were freshmen county commissioners from around Oregon. Her topic was how to think about and manage your reputation as an elected official. 

Judging by responses, the presentation was a smashing success.

"Thought-provoking."

"Seed for a lot of thought. Who are we — really?"

"I am working with a personal coach and this presentation reinforces what I am doing."

"Excellent. Thanks for a good inspiration final session." 

"Very smooth and confident. Great advice."

The seminars are staged by the Association of Oregon Counties, which invited Adamson to speak.

"It is a great opportunity to meet newer elected officials from around Oregon and share some advice I've learned from my experience in government," Adamson said. Adamson has worked as a legislative staffer in the Oregon Senate, chief of staff for House Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan and business liaison for Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. She has worked as a lobbyist and, while attending Pacific University, was the student representative on the Oregon Scholarship Commission.

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.

Brighter, Fresher CFM Home Page

The CFM website now features a brighter, fresher home page centered on recent client success stories. Those stories are contained in an online magazine format, which we will add to in coming weeks.

Website home pages should make information of interest to viewers easily accessible. The updated CFM home page allows one-click access to each of the firm's five services, as well as to its thought leadership and staff expert sections. The home page connects viewers to CFM's extensive online newsroom and makes it easy to follow the firm's activities on various social media sites. 

"Our goal was to give a fresh look to what we do," says CFM Digital Strategist Hannah Smith, who designed the home page and connecting landing pages. "It is a good representation of the visual communications we urge our clients to use."

CFM designs special purpose websites for clients that are aimed at specific audiences and are content-rich. Most websites CFM designs are intended for clients to self-administer to cut costs and reduce time delays in posting new content.

The online magazine is a new feature to the CFM website. "This is an intriguing tool that replicates online the experience of thumbing through a magazine," Smith explains. "It has a familiar feel for viewers and allows the website designers to pack a lot of content, with strong visual displays, in a small space."

Smith used the online magazine to showcase recent CFM client success stories, including securing passage of the nation's first law to allow wineries to sell their wine through retail outlets in reusable glass growlers.

"The online magazine format," Smith says, "gives you a chance to make viewers feel as if they are drinking a glass of wine when they read the case study about growlers."

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.

Celebrating Mother's Day in Style

Lemon meringue pie, a backyard barbecue, multigenerational gatherings, lunch on the Chesapeake River, birthdays and brunch at Mother's Bistro in Portland are just some of the treats in store for mothers and grandmothers in the CFM family this Mother's Day.

Here is a complete rundown of what the CFM staff will be doing for their mothers or being done for them as mothers:

Ellen Miller:  My mother and I will be spending the weekend in Seattle celebrating a wedding and a dear friend's successful heart bypass surgery. I am hoping my brother will surprise my mom by flying in from Colorado with his fiancé.

Julie Crockett:  I will be travelling to Mississippi to cheer on my brother, James Pyatt, as he receives his Masters of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Mississippi. I am blessed to celebrate Mother's Day with my mother and grandmother. I haven't seen my family since the holidays, so I am very excited to spend this special time with them. In addition, on Saturday, my grandfather, James Johnston, turns 90 years old. It has always been a joke in my family that Granddaddy shares his birthday with Grandmother, as his birthday usually falls on Mother's Day weekend.

Norm Eder:  BBQ at home with three generations of mothers. I am still trying to book the Mothers of Invention.

Ralph Saperstein:  My mother will celebrate with my Seattle family and read my card, laugh and say, "Where does he find these?" She will return to her apartment to see the potted flowers on her patio I sent her. She'll gush about how beautiful they are and that she loves flowers. Her favorite child will have once again stolen her heart and let my sibs know who is still No. 1. Meanwhile, the mother of my kids will be pampered all day after receiving chocolate and flowers and dinner out.

Page Phillips:  I am taking my 5-year-old daughter to Eugene to see my 70-year-old Mom and my 93-year-old grandmother. Four generations together for a celebration.

Cindy Brown:  Taking a day trip to Seattle with my husband not only to enjoy Mother's Day with my daughter, Johannah, but also to celebrate her 21st birthday May 12, a perfect Mother's Day gift.

Hannah Smith:  I treated my mom to a pedicure for Mother's Day. Not only was it a great way to give her the pampering she deserved, it was a fun way to catch up and talk.

Dave Fiskum:  Honoring all the mothers in my family, including my wife Nancy, my son's wife Holly and daughter Lissy. Gifts are bought and dinner plans are made. The main plan is to give the mothers time on their own. Who knows, they may want to golf. 

Tess Milio:  My entire family will be in Portland from Los Angeles. We are going out to brunch, sightseeing and then making dinner together at my apartment.

Joel Rubin:  My wife and kids will be driving an hour to meet Sarah's parents and siblings for brunch on the Chesapeake River. After brunch, we will be driving back home for our 7-year-old daughter Hannah's last soccer game of the year. The game is against the dreaded green team, made up of kids that seem much older, bigger and faster than Hannah's team. The two teams are undefeated, so this is the championship game. Even though it's Mother's Day, there is no way Hannah wanted to miss it. After the game, I'm supposed to come up with a surprise dinner plan. Of course, I haven't figured that out yet, but I'm sure it will be great.

Tom Eiland:  I will be in Boston enjoying dinner with Dana. Note, Mother's Day was founded in Grafton, West Virginia on May 10, 1908, my mother's hometown.

Beverly Melven:  With my son working on the Arctic Slope on Mother's Day, I'll be treating myself to a weekend in Roseburg with a friend.

Dan Jarman:  We're planning Oregon Garden brunch with mothers and grandmother. 

Jessica Adamson:  As May 11th is the Sherwood High School Prom, I'll be starting Mother's Day at 12-something a.m. waiting for my two oldest children to come in the door and tell me about their evenings. Later, after some sleep, my family will be venturing to Albany to enjoy a Mother's Day BBQ at my parent's house. Like Page, we'll have four generations together to enjoy the day.

Gary Conkling:  Going to brunch at Mother's Bistro with my mother and wife. Later, daughters Sophia and Jessica are planning a surprise dessert of lemon meringue pie with home-brewed lattes. Then dinner cooked on the barbie, coupled with a splash of champagne.