Live, work, play: Emily Powell

| Print |  Email
Articles - July/August 2012
Monday, July 09, 2012

 

BY JON BELL

0712 LiveWorkPlay EmilyPowell
Powell's CEO Emily Powell took over from her father, Michael, two years ago.
// Photo by Sierra Breshears

Emily Powell always knew she wanted to run her family’s namesake bookstore. “When I was little, I would tell people that I was going to drive the bookie truck someday,” says Powell, 33, referencing an old pickup her father, Michael Powell, used for delivering books. She studied urban planning and design at Haverford College in Pennsylvania and worked in San Francisco before returning to Powell’s in 2004. After spending six years working throughout the company, Powell took the reins in July 2010. Powell, who is married to John Connor, is involved with Caldera, the Innovation Partnership and Camp Fire Columbia, and she is a board member at the International Carpe Diem Foundation.

LITERARY LOVE

“Every day here is different, that’s for sure. We are in an incredible business. Selling books and ideas, being engaged in that creative universe and feeling like we are an important part of the Portland community is an amazing job to have. But my dad and I were talking about this and how we don’t feel like we really own the company. It’s like Portland and our community of readers own the store.”

THEY SAY I’M . . .

“Late. Always running around, usually with a coffee and a scone in my hand, not answering emails. I don’t know; everyone’s their own worst critic. Hopefully [colleagues and staff] would describe me as affable and, as much as this is serious work, that I take it as lightly as possible. I’m just really honored to work with a group of folks who are as invested in Powell’s future and success as much as
I am.”

EBOOKS — HERE?

“I read on an iPad and an iPhone, but if given the choice, all the time I would choose a regular book. Our challenge is essentially to curate an incredible collection that people find dynamic and engaging. Whether they want it in one form or another should be irrelevant. I don’t think I’m sticking my head in the sand when I say, however, that books are not going away.”

SPARE TIME

“I like to travel when I can, but honestly, most of the time I like to be around. I love Oregon, so I get around Oregon a fair bit. I like to rock climb at Smith Rock. I run. Obviously I read, though not nearly as much as I’d like to. I bike; I have a dog. I’m so boring. I’m all of the typical Portland things. I will say that I’m not a gardener, though. My garden looks like Jurassic Park right now.”

CROSSROADS

“With our industry in such evolution, it’s hard to imagine what the landscape will look like for us in the future. By the time I retire, I hope in a way that our store doesn’t look fundamentally different but, at the same time, that we’ve continued to evolve and be compelling and exciting. I hope to have a family someday, too — knock on wood. I might have to wait a long time for my succession plan, though..."

Correction: In the print version of this story the name of Emily Powell's husband was incorrect. This story has been updated to correct the name. Emily Powell is married to John Connor.

 

Comments   

 
#1 RE: Live, work, play: Emily PowellGuest 2012-08-06 20:04:59
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
 

More Articles

5 schools helping students crack code

The Latest
Thursday, January 29, 2015
codeduthumbnailBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As the costs of college mount, and as employer demand for software developers soars, coding schools and classes are popping up everywhere.


Read more...

Streetfight

News
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.


Read more...

Political theater

News
Wednesday, January 07, 2015
0107-orbizplansum14-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summit drew more than 1,000 people to the Oregon Convention Center yesterday.


Read more...

Corner Office: Sheree Arntson

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Checking in with the managing director of Arnerich Massena.


Read more...

Powerbook Perspective

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


Read more...

Carbon Power

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Researchers in a multitude of disciplines are searching for ways to soak up excess carbon dioxide, the compound that contributes to global warming.


Read more...

Playoffs pay off for the Ducks

The Latest
Friday, January 02, 2015
oregon-ducks-logo-helmet-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The University of Oregon football team looked unstoppable on the field Jan. 1 — and the university is reaping the benefits of the new postseason format.


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