Sponsored by Lane Powell

Live, work, play: Gale Castillo

| Print |  Email
Articles - October 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
1012 LiveWorkPlay GaleCastillo
Gale Castillo was the first in her family to graduate high school or go to college.
// Photo by Sierra Breshears


Gale Castillo co-founded the Portland-based Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber in 1994 and became its president in 2001. She is also the co-owner of Cascade Centers, which provides employee-assistance program services and staff development throughout the United States. Her public service experience includes working as an assistant to former Gov. Neil Goldschmidt and as a job-training manager for the state’s economic development department. Castillo, 59, also has worked for AT&T, Pacific Northwest Bell and RESTOR Communications. She serves on the Linfield College board of trustees, the Portland mayor’s economic cabinet and Multnomah County’s business advisory council. She has three adult sons and lives in Southwest Portland with her husband, Jerry.


“Very family-oriented, committed, very focused on whatever project I’m doing, whether it’s dinner or running the chamber. I’m very outcomes-oriented. What makes me happy is when I achieve a goal I’ve been working toward. It gives me a real sense of satisfaction. I also enjoy being with friends and sharing with them great music and good food.”


“We like to travel throughout Mexico and Europe. We took a cruise to Venice, the Greek islands, Barcelona, then to Amsterdam. That was probably the last dream vacation we took, about four years ago. The rest of the trips have been to Bend, wine country, Walla Walla. I like to cook. We make paella, Italian food, chicken piccata. I do a lot of walking on the different trails in Portland. I used to run, but not anymore.”


“The first job I had was in college working for the McMinnville News-Register. The most interesting and the worst job was being a telephone operator down in Oakland. It was interesting because the calls were very different. But I got some creeps, as well. At Cascade Centers, we support the well being of thousands of employees and their families through counseling and other resources.”


“For me this has been a great ride. I was the first in my family to graduate from high school, the first to go to college, the first to get a master’s degree. Like many of my peers in my community, we are the first. Our parents were not doctors, lawyers or corporate executives. With that comes a learning curve. Now we’re trying to share our learning with the next generation of leaders coming up.”


“I come from a blue-collar background. My mother was a factory worker; she worked for Perky Pies, which makes turnover pies. My father delivered propane. My mother didn’t want me to work as a kid. She had to work when she was 13, picking cotton in Texas. She swore that was something I was not going to do. So education was very important to her. Education, as we all know, is a life-changer.”


Correction: This article has been amended to correct where Castillo's mother picked cotton. It was in Texas, not California.


More Articles

The List: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For project attracted more than 150 nonprofits from around the state from a variety of sectors, including social services and environmental advocacy.  More than 5,000 employees and volunteers filled out the survey, rating their satisfaction with work environment, mission and goals, career development and learning, benefits and compensation, and management and communications.


Up on the Roof

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction. 


After the Orange Line

Linda Baker
Tuesday, September 08, 2015
090815-trimet-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Alan Lehto, TriMet's director of policy & planning, shares a few thoughts on ride sharing and more nimble bus services.


New green wood building product takes off in Oregon

Thursday, September 10, 2015
091115-cltjohnson-thumbBY KIM MOORE

Oregon is set to become a hub of a new type of wooden building design as a southern Oregon timber company becomes the first certified manufacturer of a high-tech wood product, known as cross-laminated timber, or CLT.


Video: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon 2015

The Latest
Monday, October 05, 2015
100-best-NP-logo-2015-video-thumbVIDEO BY JESSE LARSON

Profiling some of the organizations featured in the 2015 list.


Reader Input: School Choice

September 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015

Which of the following would be most effective in reducing the cost of operating a public university in Oregon?


Back to School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone. 

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02