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|Articles - March 2010|
|Thursday, February 25, 2010|
Colorful samples of velour curtains, lighting tracks and pulley systems in Stagecraft Industries’ offices are hints to the company’s work: producing the backstage infrastructure that makes the magic of musicals and plays across the Northwest.
There are no relics from this stage manufacturing company’s history that began with building sets and scenery for vaudeville shows. Stagecraft now manufactures the permanent parts of auditoriums and stages including curtains, orchestra pits, rigging and pulley systems for lighting and other backstage equipment typically not seen by audiences.
Getting its start as the Stagecraft Shop in 1921, the switch from vaudeville sets to auditorium stages was made when the demand for vaudeville tanked along with employment numbers during the Great Depression. In 1960, Stagecraft Industries was created out of a merger between Stage Craft Shop and Northern School Supply, a school supply firm.
Sales manager Kevin Shetterly says Stagecraft is able to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year because of a diversity of clients — mainly schools, but also TV studios and performance centers — and a three-year backlog of projects. Stagecraft manufactures stage equipment for 300 different clients each year and does $10 million to $14 million in sales.
Follow Shetterly through a wide and heavy wooden door — after putting on a pair of “goofy glasses” for safety — and the smells of dust and metal that has been cut, welded, and sanded wafts through a large manufacturing plant. In one corner destined for the auditorium of Pierce College in Tacoma, Wash., are 12 tension grids on which lighting technicians stand to direct stage lights during musical and theatrical performances.
All are hand woven on site. Shetterly says what sets Stagecraft apart as a business is that it manufactures its products with its own seamstresses, metal workers and engineers. Stagecraft also sends installation managers to oversee and install the equipment.
Stages and auditoriums, Shetterly says, “are an important aspect of any educational facility.” The most satisfying part of Shetterly’s job is knowing that Stagecraft’s product is going to be used for graduations, musical and theater performances. Maybe even vaudeville.
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.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:
The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace.
Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.
This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay.
Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.
New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”
That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!
Friday, October 31, 2014
BY 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.
Monday, November 10, 2014
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
A market for low-carbon transportation fuels has a chance to flourish in Oregon if regulators adopt the second phase of the state’s Clean Fuels Program.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Checking in with the managing director of Arnerich Massena.
Friday, October 24, 2014
A majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.
Friday, November 14, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.
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While the Bend City Council ultimately upheld the approval which enables OSU-Cascades to move forward with the 10 acre site, it did also thoughtfully consider the nature of its code requirements, resident concerns and OSU-Cascade’s efforts and suggestions and crafted conditions of approval to address potential impacts of the site in the area.