Sean Robbins balances life, work, play

| Print |  Email
Articles - Nov/Dec 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012

 

BY LINDA BAKER

1112 LiveWorkPlay SeanRobbins
Sean Robbins, CEO of Greater Portland Inc., has been on the job just over a year.
// Photo by Sierra Breshears

In August 2011, Sean Robbins became chief executive of Greater Portland Inc., a public-private partnership focused on increasing the vitality of the Portland-Vancouver region. Before moving to Portland, Robbins was the executive VP of Thrive, another public-private partnership in Madison, Wis. In that role, he improved the region’s access to capital, built a shared regional business plan and launched the region’s Economic Development District designation with the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Robbins, 33, also worked as senior VP of development for T. Wall Properties, a commercial real-estate firm. He holds an M.S. in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Robbins lives in Northeast Portland with his wife, Kristy, and two young sons.

THEY SAY I’M … “An old soul; pretty even-keeled; very focused, with a drive to get things done; able to maintain equilibrium despite the ups-and-downs chaos that is community development. It’s pretty rare for me to get rocked. I have a set of skills useful in knitting people together. I believe it’s fun to be goofy.”

CLOSET ROMANTIC “It’s not something I talk about at work, but I still think about walking on the beach holding hands with my wife when I’m 60. My mom wore the pants in my family, but I always saw my mother and father working through things together. They didn’t have separate lives. The last movie I watched was Crazy Stupid Love, although romantic comedies are uncharacteristic of me.”

LIFE LESSONS “I spent part of my life in Denver during adolescence, when all hell is breaking loose as a young boy. I thought my dad was out of touch, but he knew a lot more than I thought he did. It was incredibly transformative for me. I worked as a barista as a teenager and was absolutely terrible at it. I screwed up every other cup of coffee. People got so caught up in how coffee was prepared. I didn’t have much patience for it.”

HAPPINESS IS … “The unspoiled optimism of my kids; that look of genuine excitement on their faces. Making life better for people every single day. I like to get out of the house and outdoors as often and as fast as possible. We split our time 50/50 between mountains and ocean. I like to eat at different restaurants. For breakfast, Besaw’s; lunch, Red Star Tavern; and dinner, the Alameda Brewhouse because it’s kid friendly.”

THE WORK FILES “On a day-to-day basis, I listen and speak with a lot of different types of people. I get to listen [for] commonalities, and I find that really satisfying. There are opportunities to help move communities forward by helping
them shape the conversation we’re having. A comprehensive, realistic dialogue is better than vitriolic, narrow-minded banter.”

 

More Articles

Greenpeace (temporarily) prevents Shell oil ship from leaving Portland

The Latest
Thursday, July 30, 2015
hangersBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Greenpeace activists suspended themselves from the St. John's Bridge in an attempt to prevent a ship from heading to the Arctic.


Read more...

Photo Log: Shooting 10 innovators in rural health care

The Latest
Monday, August 03, 2015
007blogBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

You may have noticed the photos of our rural health innovators departed from the typical Oregon Business aesthetic.


Read more...

Farm in a Box

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.


Read more...

Child care challenge

September 2015
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


Read more...

Quake as metaphor

Linda Baker
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
071515-earthquakia-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.


Read more...

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

Inside the Box

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GINA BINOLE

Screening for “culture fit” has become an essential part of the hiring process. But do like-minded employees actually build strong companies — or merely breed consensus culture?


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