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|Wednesday, November 01, 2006|
Associated Oregon Industries, the state’s oldest and largest business lobby, overhauls its mission, installs a new leader and sets about shining its lackluster image.
By Christina Williams
Richard Butrick’s retirement reception was a friendly, buffet-table, open-bar affair at the Salem Convention Center. Backs were slapped, speeches were made and jokes were cracked. At the evening’s wane, Butrick, president of Associated Oregon Industries since 1986, asked the well-dressed group to turn their allegiance over to his successor: a tall, gray-haired gentleman keeping a low profile in the back of the room.
For Salem insiders, that introduction marked the end of an era. For two decades Butrick, a former parole officer, was the man out front for the state’s oldest and largest business lobby. During that 20 years AOI built up its muscle as a player in the capitol, raising more money for its political action committee, adding thousands of companies to its membership rolls and taking staunch positions against bills the association deemed bad for business.
A deal struck with SAIF in 1991 meant that AOI could sell workers’ comp packages to its members at attractive rates. Thousands of members joined AOI to buy the workers’ comp coverage. Under the current SAIF contract, AOI still offers the insurance, but no longer receives the money for the magazine. Another contract under which AOI provides risk management services for SAIF is likely to expire this year.
In addition to the SAIF complaints, AOI has been charged with exerting its considerable influence in the Legislature — many feel excessively. The group received much of the blame for killing biofuels legislation during the 2005 session by adding an extension of the Pollution Control Tax Credit for Oregon businesses. (Rep Jackie Dingfelder, the Democrat from Portland who sponsored the original bill along with Rep. Jeff Kropf, a Republican from Sublimity, calls the PCTC “the sacred cow of AOI.”) AOI also urged the addition of language that would prohibit the state from adopting clean car standards such as the ones passed in California.
“It’s in every business entity’s interest for them to be a strong organization,” says Mike McCallum, president of the Oregon Restaurant Association, who worked closely with AOI to oppose the energy deregulation bills in the 2001 and 2003 legislative sessions.
“AOI is the one organization that should be the leader and has the potential to give everyone else the backbone to stand up for core business issues,” says J.L. Wilson, state executive director for National Federation of Independent Business. “That’s the role they should assume.”
Friday, May 15, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR
The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
PHOTOS 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.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy. “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
As the recession recedes and tourism grows, Central Oregon resorts redefine themselves for a new generation.
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.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
As part of our green workplaces story, Oregon Business checked out a community service project undertaken by Portland Youth Builders, a nonprofit alternative high school. In partnership with Whole Foods, PYB built garden boxes for a Home Forward housing site. Home Forward is a government agency that provides housing for low income residents and people with disabilities.
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Oregon-based Environments helps companies create inspired workspaces. “Simply put, we help companies future-proof their workspaces,” says Chris Corrado, president. Since 1988,Environments has witnessed firsthand the changing landscape of business. Native Portlander and Environments founder Corrado says, “We help our clients navigate the complex realities of the workplace today and plan for their future in a very mindful, strategic way. We think of ourselves as their partners in the process.”
One hundred years ago, the Willamette River might easily have been mistaken for a sewer. Unchecked industrial activity and decades of pollution made it unrecognizable compared to the clean river that now flows north for 187 miles from Eugene through the center of Portland.
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Bend energy leader brings passion for efficiency and renewable energy to the nonprofit.
Event in Forest Grove marks recognition of Global Food Safety Initiative Certification.