Timeline charts three decades of change

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Articles - January 2011
Thursday, December 16, 2010


Barbara Roberts is elected the first woman governor

McMenamins has 10 brewpubs; there are only 191 nationwide


Intel becomes the world’s largest semiconductor supplier

Snake River spring and summer Chinook are listed as a threatened species


President Clinton hosts forest summit in Portland

The 16-year-old Trojan Nuclear Power Plant is shut


Hoyt Street Properties acquires Burlington Northern rail yard in Portland, which begins development of the Pearl district

The Columbia River is closed to commercial salmon fishing by non-Indians

The Northwest Forest Plan passes, pleasing neither logger nor environmentalist

Oregon Supreme Court rules video lottery retailers are not casinos


Metro adopts the Region 2040 Growth Concept to halt sprawl

Salmon catch is below 1 million pounds, the lowest since 1866

OHSU separates from the Oregon State System of Higher Education


Enron purchases Portland General Corporation for $2.1 billion

Total Oregon Lottery proceeds to state programs pass $1 billion

The construction boom puts window-and-door maker Jeld-Wen at No. 1 on the  magazine’s Private 150 list

There are 70 public companies in the state, with Nike at  No. 1 with $4.7 billion in revenue

Bill Naito, one of the founders of the Made In Oregon chain, dies; Portland renames Front Avenue to Naito Parkway in his honor


U.S. Bancorp moves its corporate headquarters from Portland to Minneapolis

Coffee People announces a 30-store expansion


Kroger Company acquires Fred Meyer for $8 billion, creating the largest supermarket chain in the country

A constitutional amendment is passed requiring 15% of Oregon Lottery proceeds to be used for natural resources

The federal government places Coho salmon on the threatened species list


Stumptown Coffee Roasters opens first location in SE Portland

New Seasons Market opens its first store in Raleigh Hills

Henry Weinhard’s Brewery sold to Miller Brewing

Oregon minimum wage increases to $6 an hour, second highest in the country

Irvine-based Diedrich Coffee purchases Coffee People


Measure 86 puts the kicker into the state constitution

Willamette Industries reaches a $11.2 million settlement with EPA over Clean Air Act violations, the largest settlement for factory emissions to date


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Editor's Letter: Power Play

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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:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

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!

— Linda


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