Celebrating Visionary Award Honorees and Looking at Opportunities that Lie Ahead
By Karen Vineyard, chair, OBI board of directors
As fall settles in and we begin to look toward the holidays and the new year, our team at OBI is taking time to appreciate the resilience of our members and the state’s business community.
On October 27, we had the opportunity to celebrate OBI’s first-ever Visionary Award honorees at our virtual Vision Oregon Event. Like many of you, I was impressed by the innovation, commitment, and resilience demonstrated by Bill and Karla Chambers of Stahlbush Island Farms, Adam Danforth of Rogue Food Unites, and Alando Simpson of City of Roses Disposal and Recycling. They, as well as our keynote speaker Alaska Air Group CEO Ben Minicucci, left me feeling hopeful about our future and inspired by the great work done in all parts of our state. You can see a recording of Mr. Minicucci’s speech as well as our honoree tribute videos here.
As we look forward, inspired by these honorees and so many of our members, the team at OBI is preparing for 2022—a year with a short legislative session and an important election. Next month, the Board of Directors will meet to approve policy principles that will guide our organization’s efforts throughout 2022, and we will write more about those in the coming weeks. In addition, we will do another membership survey to help inform our work and will begin planning a series of informative and educational webinars as well as a statewide tour to help build connectivity, hear directly from you in your communities, and provide up-to-date information on key issues facing businesses.
A year ago, we certainly did not predict how 2021 would unfold, so I cannot pretend to be prescient about 2022. What we do know is that Oregon has some serious challenges to address: How do we remain competitive in a global market when we have such rapidly increasing taxes and regulatory burdens on companies? How do we stem—and reverse—the serious issues of homelessness, crime, and access to critical services? How do we align workforce talent with the demand for jobs? How does the state invest unprecedented amounts of one-time funding in programs that will catapult recovery and innovation, not create unsustainable spending expectations? These are all questions the OBI team is working on and engaged in helping to shape solutions.
To learn more about what’s in store for 2022 (and beyond), I hope you will join us at OBI’s annual meeting on February 8 at the Salem Convention Center. The schedule is still in development and more information is forthcoming, but please save the date.
If you want to engage in our policy committees or have ideas for our education and outreach initiatives, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure your message gets to the right team member.