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

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...

The Health Guru

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Mohan Nair channels a visionary.


Read more...

On the Road

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor or anything, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.


Read more...

Man for All Seasons

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

A longtime technologist and entrepreneur, Dwayne Johnson, 53, is managing partner of PDXO/GlobeThree Ventures, a strategy and business consultancy in Portland.


Read more...

Nine lives

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

Roy Kaufmann always lands on his feet.


Read more...

6 things to know about the Amtrak Cascades route

The Latest
Friday, May 22, 2015
thumb3BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The recent tragedy in Philadelphia has called attention to Amtrak and the nation's woefully underfunded rail service. Here are six facts about the Amtrak Cascades corridor between Eugene and Vancouver B.C. 


Read more...

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