|| Print ||
|Articles - March 2013|
|Monday, February 25, 2013|
BY EMMA HALL
Former middle school teacher Beth Skillern decided to make a dramatic career change and attend law school when her eldest daughter started kindergarten in 1983. “At that time I only had an idea in my head of what a lawyer actually did,” says Skillern, who is 68. She began working at the Portland-based law firm Bullivant Houser Bailey in 1987. She became firm general counsel in 2005 and managing shareholder in 2009. After working primarily in insurance coverage for nearly 20 years, she enjoyed the transition to management. “It’s satisfying to resolve issues,” she says. “That’s what law is: solving other people’s problems.” She has two grown daughters; one lives in San Diego and one remains in the Portland area with Skillern’s two grandchildren.
Schoolgirl: “I got my teaching degree because that’s what women did back then. They went to school to be teachers or nurses. No one in my family had even gone to college before me. I liked teaching and I liked my subjects, which were history and English, but in the back of my mind there was always an interest in law. So I just decided to go to law school to become a lawyer.”
On the job: “When I started at my firm it was very different. I think I was the first woman on the board, but we have many women leaders now. My firm has undergone other huge changes lately: We went from 150 lawyers to about 55 pretty quickly. Weathering that storm has been quite challenging. Once you get through it, though, you realize everything turns out the way it was supposed to be.”
Walk and talk: “I walk every morning with two neighbor friends. One is a retired teacher and the other is a mental health nurse. None of us can remember exactly when it started, but probably around 1982. We’ve only changed the route three times, but we don’t get tired of it since half the year it’s dark. We talk work, children; we’re all pretty positive people, so there’s not a lot of complaining. There’s kind of an unspoken rule against it, actually.”
Bookworm: “I’ve been a member of the same book group for many years; we’re all good friends. Last year I liked reading Mink River and Cutting for Stone. We decide yearly what books we will read. We’ve got some good ones coming up this year. We meet once a month. There’s always a lot to talk about before we even end up actually discussing the book.”
Homebody: “I live in Northeast Portland in the Alameda neighborhood. I’ve lived in the same house for 40 years. I’m not sure if I’ll ever leave, other than feet first. I’d miss my neighbors and neighborhood. I’d like to spend more time with my grandchildren, maybe travel. You reach a certain age where you think you should do it now or you might not have the chance. I have a sister on the East Coast, and we talk about meeting somewhere we haven’t been before.”
|OHSU researchers work on AIDS vaccine|
|Lean in? Not Sabrina Parsons.|
|Oregon agriculture - not just a commodity|
|The cable guy|
|Outside the box|
|20,000 apply for 400 jobs at Ikea in Spain|
|Twitter names first female board member|
|U.S. fast food workers strike|
|WalMart pays legal fees for bribery probe|
|Google ramps up plan to make robots|
|Sales on Cyber Monday reach new heights|
|CNN plans major changes|
Produced by the Oregon Business marketing department
When the Portland-based manufacturing company Glass Alchemy, Ltd. was first nominated for an Oregon State University Austin Family Business Excellence in Family Business award in 2004, husband-and-wife team Henry Grimmett and Susan Webb-Grimmett, were honored and optimistic about their chances of winning.
Some employers have embraced the use of employment arbitration agreements as a way to manage and mitigate the rising costs, risks and liabilities associated with employment-related claims. Historically, employment arbitration agreements require employees to present employment-related claims, such as employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, harassment, or claims for wages or compensation to an arbitrator, in lieu of proceeding to court.
Produced by the Oregon Business marketing department
Boly:Welch was founded in 1986 based on a close connection between Diane Boly and Pat Welch. The two had worked together at another recruitment firm and shared certain core values: passion for their work, a sense of humor, a commitment to their community and a desire to create a healthy, nurturing work environment.
Dunn Carney will host its annual Ag Summit on Jan. 10, 2014 at the Holiday Inn in Wilsonville, OR. We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Sherri Noxel, Director of the Austin Family Business Program at Oregon State University College of Business as our Keynote speaker.
The Naa Amerley Palm Education ("NAPE") Foundation recently awarded two more Lane Powell/Lee Nusich Scholarships to deserving students attending institutions of higher learning in Ghana. Including the most recent recipients, a total of 48 scholarships have been awarded to Ghanaian university students since the scholarship foundation started in January 2009.
Unitus Community Credit Union, a Portland-based credit union with more than 80,000 members, has announced the addition of Brian Alfano as Vice President of Member Services. Alfano will provide strategic leadership over Unitus’ member experience to ensure consistency across delivery channels, including branch operations, member support, and products and services.