Google loosens lips (a little)

| Print |  Email
Saturday, September 01, 2007

GoogleDalles.jpg

THE DALLES When last we tried to speak with a real live human at the Google server plant in The Dalles, the closest we could get was an e-mail exchange with a corporate type in the Mountain View, Calif., HQ. But the hyper-secrecy surrounding the much-ballyhooed plant has receded a bit, and if Ken Patchett has anything to do with it, the frost will thaw even more.

“Corporate knew they didn’t do the best job they could have done here,” says Patchett, Google’s plant manager. “We learned that to protect your intellectual asset doesn’t mean you need to be a ghost in the community.”

The Dalles leaders and local and national media (us included) poked quite a bit of fun at Google for the secrecy they required. It backfired some, says Patchett. “We realized that we have a responsibility to be a part of the community.”

So Patchett, 38, is on a tear of community love, including getting the company to join the local chamber of commerce, man a booth at the cherry festival, find computers for a senior center, wire up a local park stage for summer entertainment and encourage employees to volunteer on company time. Just for starters. He’s also proud that of the almost 200 people employed by the plant, 70% of them come from within a four-hour drive, including “lots of OSU grads.”

Patchett left a Microsoft job in Washington to join Google in December. He’s talkative, friendly, loves the Gorge and has two dogs, four boys and a wife who’s hoping for a fifth. We don’t sense  the indigenous paranoia common to Silicon Valley types.

“When I got to Google,” says Patchett, “it was way too much cloak and dagger for me.”          

ROBIN DOUSSARD


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Photo Diary: Forest Grove Farmers Market

The Latest
Thursday, May 14, 2015
IMG 8469BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.


Read more...

No Boundaries

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Floor plans embrace the great wide open.


Read more...

Nine lives

Linda Baker
Friday, May 22, 2015
0f4f7bfBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Roy Kaufmann always lands on his feet.


Read more...

The 5 highest revenue-generating parks in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, June 11, 2015
parksthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.


Read more...

Intrepid reporter checks out ZoomCare rebrand

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
dentistthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes. 


Read more...

Cherry Raincoat

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.


Read more...

Hall of Flame

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

A Power Lunch at Oswego Grill.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS