Portland, October 11th, 2013. For the first time, SEMpdx embarked on a benefit in which all the proceeds would go directly to charity. Rand Fishkin, (CEO and Founder of Moz), was the featured speaker at the SEMpdx benefit that raised $5,000 from ticket sales and contributions. SEMpdx then matched this amount, creating a total donation of $10,000 — representing the largest single contribution the nonprofit has ever made. The Portland, Ore.-based nonprofit digital marketing group chose the Cottam Library Fund which benefits the Myrtle Point Public Library Foundation. The fund was created by SEMpdx Board Member, Michael Cottam, in response to the killing of his parents this past June in Myrtle Point, Ore.

Michael Cottam, SEMpdx Board Member and creator of The Cottam Library Fund, is looking to spark a light in a time of darkness by creating a “Phoenix from ashes” in rebuilding the Myrtle Point Library — a dream his parents held dear to their hearts.

Michael Cottam, SEMpdx Board Member and creator of The Cottam Library Fund, is looking to spark a light in a time of darkness by creating a “Phoenix from ashes” in rebuilding the Myrtle Point Library — a dream his parents held dear to their hearts.

“On June 16 I had to tell my six year old son, who had already lost his mother to cancer, that his grandmother and grandfather had been killed,” said Cottam. “I had to find a way to make a positive memorial for my parents to show my son that for every evil action in the world, there are thousands of people who are wonderful — who will step up and help in horrible situations. This is what SEMpdx and the local internet marketing community has done for us.” 

The Cottam Library Fund was spearheaded by Cottam, who lost his parents (Renae and Lola Cottam) when they were tragically killed this June in Myrtle Point, Ore. This atrocity was followed by their house being burned to the ground. Looking to spark a light in a time of darkness, Cottam is creating a “Phoenix from the ashes” in rebuilding the Myrtle Point Library — a dream his parents held dear to their hearts. 

Digital marketing professionals gathered to glean insight from Fishkin about tactics and strategies for succeeding in the ever-changing digital marketing world. Fishkin’s company creates marketing and analytics software. It recently opened a Portland-based office called Mozlandia this past spring. 

“When the opportunity presented itself to speak at SEMpdx’s event to support Michael, there was no question about making the trip down from Seattle,” said Fishkin. “When one member of the digital community experiences hardship, we come together and support each other in any way that we can.” 

Built in 1954, the Flora M. Laird Memorial Library in Myrtle Point is in drastic need of a makeover and expansion. The Cottams were passionate about the library and spent much of their time there, often with their grandson (mentioned above) whose first word was “book.” The accessibility to learning and information was fundamentally important to them. The Cottam Library Fund is a perfect match to provide healing for the family and to help the local community of Myrtle Point, Ore. 

Digital marketing professionals gathered to glean insight from Rand Fishkin (CEO and Founder of Moz), who made the trip down from Seattle without hesitation to support Cottam — speaking to the importance of the digital community sticking together.

Digital marketing professionals gathered to glean insight from Rand Fishkin (CEO and Founder of Moz), who made the trip down from Seattle without hesitation to support Cottam — speaking to the importance of the digital community sticking together.

About SEMpdx 

SEMpdx (Search Engine Marketing Professionals of Portland) is a nonprofit group dedicated to nurturing the development of the search engine marketing (SEM) and social media marketing (SMM) industries in Portland. Created as a resource for both local industry professionals and area businesses, SEMpdx strives to build national credibility for Portland as a hub for the industry, as well as improve the quality of work and life for its professionals. 

SEMpdx is committed to giving back to the local community by supporting charitable organizations. Each year, SEMpdx selects a charity of choice to support for a 12 month period. This year’s charity is the Cat Adoption Team. Visit www.sempdx.org for more information. 

About SearchFest 

SearchFest, hosted by SEMpdx, is Portland’s premier digital marketing conference. The eighth annual event will take place on Friday, February 28, 2014 at the Governor Hotel. 

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