Portland, October 18th. The 2012 A Gathering of Good raised nearly $240,000 to support Metropolitan Family Service and the thousands of children, families and older adults who participate in its programs. Duncan Wyse, President of the Oregon Business Council accepted the Provocateur Award for his extraordinary efforts to build a cohesive strategy for strengthening our economy. He’s pictured with Dick Reiten, Former Board Chair of Northwest Natural Gas Company; Judy Strand, CEO of Metropolitan Family Service; Donna Edwards, Board Chair of Metropolitan Family Service; and Carla Piluso, Master of Ceremony. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus) The theme of the fourth annual A Gathering of Good  – the signature benefit for Metropolitan Family Service – was Creating a Prosperous Economy Together. Nearly 300 guests were in attendance.

The guests enjoyed a roof-raising choral performance by the Gresham High School honor choir, The Overtones.

The guests enjoyed a roof-raising choral performance by the Gresham High School honor choir, The Overtones.

At this year’s A Gathering of Good, a dynamic group of thought leaders discussed innovation and growth in our local economy. Judy Strand, CEO of Metropolitan Family Service joins panelists (from left) Tamara Lundgren, President and CEO of Schnitzer Steel; Luis Machuca, CEO of Kryptiq; Dr. Wim Wiewel, President of Portland State University; and Jeff Harvey, President and CEO of Burgerville.

At this year’s A Gathering of Good, a dynamic group of thought leaders discussed innovation and growth in our local economy. Judy Strand, CEO of Metropolitan Family Service joins panelists (from left) Tamara Lundgren, President and CEO of Schnitzer Steel; Luis Machuca, CEO of Kryptiq; Dr. Wim Wiewel, President of Portland State University; and Jeff Harvey, President and CEO of Burgerville.

Topics included identifying risks Oregon and SW Washington need to take to promote a more innovative and vital region overall; re-energizing our education system to create lifelong learners and a capable and skilled workforce; and ways businesses, government, education and nonprofits can work together to create tangible social change and economic prosperity.

The raise the paddle resonated with supporters.

The raise the paddle resonated with supporters.

Duncan Wyse, President of Oregon Business Council, was awarded this year’s Provocateur Award for his work in building a strong business environment in Oregon. Shown from left to right: Dick Reiten; Judy Strand, CEO of Metropolitan Family Service; Duncan Wyse, President of Oregon Business Council, and his wife Aileen Wyse.

Duncan Wyse, President of Oregon Business Council, was awarded this year’s Provocateur Award for his work in building a strong business environment in Oregon. Shown from left to right: Dick Reiten; Judy Strand, CEO of Metropolitan Family Service; Duncan Wyse, President of Oregon Business Council, and his wife Aileen Wyse.

A Gathering of Good is the culmination of a year long discussion series organized by Metropolitan Family Service. The agog discussion series is designed to promote face-to-face conversation, civic engagement and social change. Discussions are privately hosted and revolve around a theme focusing on a significant community issue that affects everyone.

Over the last four years, Metropolitan Family Service has organized 48 agog discussions, enlisted 100 topic experts to moderate them, and engaged 700 community members. The convergence of corporate, private, public and social sectors that agog discussions bring together has stimulated Metropolitan Family Service in crafting a new paradigm in social service delivery.

Currently, Metropolitan Family Service is working on several initiatives as they relate to workforce readiness and economic development in the community. The organization’s programs include financial education courses for parents; working with youth and families in 25 low income school communities to strengthen academic success and interpersonal skills; involvement with STEM industries to bring business and education together, and supporting people throughout the lifespan to build strength in all stages of life. Collectively, Metropolitan Family Service’s work contributes to and supports a vibrant economy.

Story submitted by Pat Kaczmarek

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