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Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Like the name says, we’re all about covering Oregon business. But this month I think we might have set a record.

Let’s start with the 150 we have in our annual ranking of Oregon’s largest private companies. As associate editor Ben Jacklet’s story reports, the current economy is etched in this year’s list, which shows three companies losing their billion-dollar-plus status from last year — two of them timber companies. This is the 25th year that the magazine has produced the Private 150 list, and looking back over the previous lists provides an insightful narrative to the story of Oregon business, where the landscape can be seen changing from timber to technology, among other transformations.  

Then there are the 10 companies spotlighted in our cover story on cool tech startups. It wasn’t easy getting it down just to 10, which is why managing editor Abraham Hyatt stuffed an additional five into the list. OK, maybe that’s cheating. But could we really have left out Gone Raw (you’ll have to turn to page 43 to find out what that one is all about), or the one that calls itself a “giant CD-eating rabbit?” I think not.

So that’s 150 plus 15. There also are about 40 companies in the Deal Watch chart, 32 in the financial planners Powerlist, several dozen in Around the State and a handful in the rest of the features. You might think that with almost 300 companies getting some level of coverage, it would satisfy us. But no. This month we are launching a new feature in Biz/Life called “Tactics.” Each issue we’ll look inside a company to find out how it solved a problem or found its groove so that other business leaders can learn from those mistakes and successes. LaCrosse Footwear is our fitting debut, a company that climbed back to profitability by focusing on some very specific markets. With apologies to Miss Sinatra, these boots weren’t made just for walking.

The magazine’s efforts to encourage and celebrate better business practices is long-standing. For 15 years, Oregon Business has championed The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon, and written about what it takes to be a great place to work. This September, that project moves beyond the magazine pages to the launch of our first annual 100 Best Conference: Building Better Workplaces. Go to Oregon100best.com to register and to see the stellar lineup of workshops and speakers we’ve put together. Now, if I also add in the number of companies named on that website …




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