Home Back Issues July/August 2012 Live, work, play: Emily Powell

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

Launch

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

October's Launch article features Soul Kitchen, Easy Company and Slick's Big Time BBQ.


Read more...

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


Read more...

Gone Fishing

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LORI TOBIAS

Business has been good to Laura Anderson, leading some to suggest she must be awfully lucky to find such success in a business notorious for failure. But luck’s had little to do with it.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Friday, September 26, 2014
0926 iphone6-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

This post focuses on the recent release of the new Apple iPhone as well as Alibaba's IPO, the largest U.S. IPO in history.


Read more...

I Know How You Feel

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Most smartphones come equipped with speech recognition systems like Siri or Cortana that are capable of understanding the human voice and putting words into actions. But what if smartphones could do more? What if smartphones could register feeling?


Read more...

Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


Read more...

The Diaspora

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

Former newspaper reporters move into brand journalism.


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