Windermere Stellar’s Evening in Havana Raises $190,000 for Low-Income Children and Families

Windermere Stellar’s Evening in Havana Raises $190,000 for Low-Income Children and Families

Portland, OR. Windermere Stellar hosted its fifth annual Children’s Justice Center Gala Auction and the benefit raised $190,000 for Children’s Justice Center, which works to serve current victims of child abuse. With the theme of “An Evening in Havana,” real estate brokers, clients, business leaders and affiliates got into the Cuban spirit and joined in on a fun-filled evening on November 14th that included Mystery Boxes, entertainment, and a silent and live auction. Gerry Dowdy Latshaw; The Designated Broker for Windermere Stellar’s Vancouver Metro office, Gerry Dowdy Latshaw, spearheads the annual Gala Auction. (Photo credit, Shelly Fry Photography)

The event was held in Vancouver, Wash. 

“I am so proud to experience this event’s five-year evolution. It’s a direct result of Windermere Stellar’s committed real estate brokers and staff and I am grateful to call them my colleagues,” said Gerry Dowdy Latshaw, Designated Broker of Windermere Stellar’s Vancouver Metro office and the event’s spearheading force. “Working alongside organizations like the Children’s Justice Center is how we as community ambassadors can better serve those who need our help the most.”

Over the past five years, Windermere Stellar’s Vancouver branches have donated $671,300 to the Children’s Justice Center, an organization dedicated to providing aid to current victims of child abuse.

Windermere Stellar plays an integral role in its local community. Beyond acting as a necessary liaison between the community and housing, Windermere Stellar extends its ties through the Windermere Foundation. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has been determined to provide services and funding for low-income children and families, donating nearly $3 million to over 159 local organizations.

About Windermere Stellar:

Windermere Stellar is made up of two branch offices from Windermere Realty Trust which has offices in Portland, Vancouver, Lake Oswego, West Linn and the north Oregon coast. The company’s full-time real estate experts have the local knowledge, collaborative network and dedication to successfully guide buyers and sellers through complex real estate transactions. Brokers donate a portion of their commission from every transaction to the Windermere Foundation, which supports low-income children and families. To date, over $3.25 million has been donated to 164 local organizations local organizations through the local chapter of the Windermere Foundation.


Windermere Stellar and Windermere Realty Trust are part of the Windermere Real Estate network which is the largest regional real estate company in the U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,500 agents in 10 states throughout the Western U.S. and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 85,000 home sales for more than $33.2 billion in volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than $33 million towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit

Artistic Director Chris Coleman Leaving Portland Center Stage to Head for Denver

Artistic Director Chris Coleman Leaving Portland Center Stage to Head for Denver

Portland, OR. Ted Austin, board chair for Portland Center Stage at The Armory, announced that Artistic Director Chris Coleman will depart The Armory at the end of the current 2017 – 2018 season to become artistic director of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ (DCPA) Theatre Company.  The official announcement was made on November 14th. (Coleman is pictured earlier this fall at the opening night party for “Fun Home” with his husband Rodney Hicks.)

“Chris Coleman’s impact on Portland Center Stage at The Armory for the past 17 years has been transformational,” said Board Chair Ted Austin. “Under his leadership, the theater has grown from a locally respected company producing six plays a year in a rented facility, to a nationally recognized leader in the field, producing eleven plays annually in two theaters in our beautiful home, The Armory. Audiences have more than doubled in size, and our budget has grown from $3 million to more than $10 million. It is no surprise that other theaters would see him as a strong candidate to bring new strength to their company, but it is still with a heavy heart that we wish him the best in his new adventure.”

“It has been the honor of my life to lead Portland Center Stage at The Armory for the past 17 (and a half) years, and one of the hardest parts of this decision was knowing that I would be leaving a city, a company, colleagues and friends that I have come to cherish deeply,” said Coleman.

Mary Boyle, immediate past board chair of the theater, noted that “the national reputation of Portland Center Stage at The Armory can be directly linked to the great work and advocacy of Chris Coleman in his 17 years as artistic director at this great Oregon institution.”

Coleman was the second artistic director at Portland Center Stage, following the company’s evolution to a theater independent from its founding organization, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He came to Portland from Atlanta, where he was the founding artistic director of Actors’ Express Theater. At the time he moved to Portland, Portland Center Stage produced primarily a mix of classic plays and established contemporary pieces. In the years since, Portland Center Stage at The Armory has expanded its repertoire to include both classic and new musicals; numerous world premieres; adaptations of classic and contemporary novels; and experimental fare. In addition, since the move to its new home at The Armory, Portland Center Stage has gained a national reputation in the field for its work in community engagement, serving more than 30,000 people through community programs on top of the more than 125,000 annually who attend the plays.

“We are fortunate that Chris will be with us through the rest of the season, as the board and staff craft a vision and carry out a search for our next artistic leader. He has two more projects to direct this season (Astoria: Part One and Part Two and Major Barbara), several more to produce, and will lead the company through the rest of this season,” noted Austin. “We look forward to spending time with him over the next few months and celebrating with him the continued success of Portland Center Stage at The Armory.”


Portland Center Stage at The Armory is the largest theater company in Portland and among the top 20 regional theaters in the country. Established in 1988 as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the company became independent in 1994 and has been under the leadership of Artistic Director Chris Coleman since 2000. Around 160,000 visitors attend The Armory annually to enjoy a mix of classical, contemporary and world premiere productions, along with a variety of high quality education and community programs. 11 productions are offered each season, in addition to roughly 400 community events created — in partnership with 170+ local organizations and individuals — to serve the diverse populations in the city. As part of its dedication to new play development, the company has produced 21 world premieres and presents an annual new works festival, JAW: A Playwrights Festival. Home to two theaters, The Armory was the first building on the National Register of Historic Places, and the first performing arts venue, to achieve a LEED Platinum rating.


The Dougy Center’s Portraits of Courage Inspire Grieving Children

The Dougy Center’s Portraits of Courage Inspire Grieving Children

Portland, OR. The Portraits of Courage fall luncheon at the Sentinel Hotel set a record for the Dougy Center, raising over $98,000 for grieving children and families served by the nonprofit. Dougy Center participant, Amy de Guzman, told supporters about the challenging journey she has been on with her young son since the death of her husband. The purpose of the event was to highlight The Dougy Center’s grief support group program, community trainings and interventions which the nonprofit provides locally, nationally and internationally. (Photo credit, Ilona LaRue Photography)

Betsy Maust, Diana Mitchell and event co-chair Mimi Mello enjoy time together at the Portraits of Courage Fall Luncheon

Bidder paddles raised high as event emcee, Jeff Gianola, KOIN 6 News anchor, starts the paddle raise.\\

The Dougy Center has supported grieving children worldwide for over 35 years, and have provided grief support to over 40,000 grieving children, teens, young adults, and their family members. The Dougy Center does not charge a fee for services nor does it receive government funding or insurance reimbursements. 

From The Dougy Center:

The mission of The Dougy Center is to provide support in a safe place where children, teens, young adults and their families grieving a death can share their experiences. Through our Pathways Program we provide a safe place for families facing an advanced serious illness.

The Dougy Center, the first center in the United States to provide peer support groups for grieving children, was founded in 1982. A courageous boy named Dougy Turno died of an inoperable brain tumor at the age of 13. In the two months prior to his death, he was a patient at Oregon Health Sciences University, where Beverly Chappell, at the request of Swiss psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of death, dying and bereavement, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, supported Dougy and his family during his treatment. Bev quickly observed Dougy’s ability to bond with other teens facing serious medical issues, how he intuitively knew he was dying, and how he helped other kids talk about their fears. After his death, Bev envisioned a place where children, teens, and their parents coping with the death of a family member, could share their experience with others who understood, who didn’t tell them to “get over it” or judge how they chose to grieve. The first grief support groups met in Bev’s home and has grown from that grassroots effort to become a sought after resource for children and families who are grieving. It is still the only year-round child-centered program offering peer support groups to grieving families in our community.

Today, The Dougy Center serves around 500 children and their 350 adult family members each month. Our 68 open-ended peer support groups meet every other week and are divided by age, type of death (illness, sudden death, murder, suicide) and who died (parent, sibling). Concurrent adult support groups meet at the same time for the caregiver of the child or teen who is attending group. Since our founding, The Dougy Center has served 40,000 children, teens and their families and has received national and international acclaim for our pioneering peer support model for helping children cope with the death of a family member.

We provide educational materials about children and grief and training opportunities to local and national agencies in need of our expertise. We are widely known for our groundbreaking grief support group model, and our expertise has spread nationally and internationally. Around the world, The Dougy Center’s pioneering model has been replicated through our trainings and the trainings of programs we’ve trained. We now estimate that there are over 500 organizations worldwide that are using our peer support group model and credit the Center with their founding.

The Dougy Center relies on the generosity of individuals, businesses and foundations. We receive no government funding and are supported entirely by private donations and professional training fees. We never charge families for our services.

Ignite 2017 Black & White Ball Draws 1,000 People

Ignite 2017 Black & White Ball Draws 1,000 People

Portland, OR. Ignite 2017, the Black & White Ball, was Oregon’s largest LGBTQ gala and dance party and biggest fundraiser of the year. Nearly 1,000 people attended the November 4th benefit for Basic Right Oregon including COAT Flagging Owner Val Solorazano, Shannon Scott and Morel, Ink Owner Bill Dickey. More than $320,000 was raised at the Black & White Ball to support policy, advocacy and education work statewide to ensure that LGBTQ Oregonians in every community in Oregon experience equality. (Photo credit, Andie Petkus) 

Juan Martinez with Oregon House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson and Byron Beck

Oregon Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer

Andrea Valderama, Aimee Wilson and House Speaker Tina Kotek

Diane Goodwin, PCC Board Chair Kali Thorne Ladd and Johnell Bell from Senator Jeff Merkley’s staff

Emcee Poison Waters

From Basic Rights Oregon:

Basic Rights Oregon is the primary policy advocacy organization for LGBTQ Oregonians. As such, we advocate for public policy that meets the needs of a breadth of our LGBTQ communities. Our policies are constructed with a deep understanding of what they will mean to LGBTQ communities of color, transgender communities, LGBTQ youth and LGBTQ people in every corner of the state.

In order to ensure that policy victories meet the most pressing needs of our communities, Basic Rights engages its board, staff and volunteer leaders in an annual issue selection process to inform both our legislative and administrative agenda. This feedback has led to the passage of critical state laws grounded in the needs of the community.

Our policy work is focused on how to improve the lives of LGBTQ Oregonians in concrete ways. We identify policy solutions that help increase access to needed services in healthcare. We work on legislation that improves the experience of LGBTQ students in Oregon schools. We’ve passed non-discrimination policies to protect LGBTQ Oregonians at work. We worked to ensure that all Oregonians can have the freedom to marry.

Statewide supporters play a critical role in moving our LGBTQ policies throughout the state. Telling your story and contacting elected officials in your area is critical to winning concrete victories for our community. Get involved! Volunteers can make a huge difference by:

  • Participating in phone banks
  • Writing letters to the editor
  • Sharing their story through written or in person testimony at hearings
  • Contacting their legislator
  • Attending lobby days
  • Signing petitions

To volunteer for our legislative work, contact us at [email protected]

Community Involvement Honored at Public Relations Spotlight Awards

Community Involvement Honored at Public Relations Spotlight Awards

Portland, OR. The Spotlight Award Ceremony on October 20th honored achievements and milestones in the field of public relations. Sue Van Brocklin, VP of PR at Coates Kokes posed for a photo with Dianne Danowski Smith. Smith was presented with three prestigious awards including: Pacific District PR Practitioner of the year, Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service and the Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award. The Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award honors the outstanding use of public relations to support community improvement and important causes. (Photo credit, Mahoney McKeon)

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is in the midst of a major celebration as it caps off a banner year in the state of Oregon. The nonprofit professional organization dedicated to the growth and advancement of the practice of public relations opted to merge Oregon’s three chapters – Portland, Oregon Capitol and Greater Oregon – into a unified, statewide chapter.

“By merging our chapters from three regional groups into one, statewide organization, it becomes much easier for us to connect and network,” said Colby Reade, APR, PRSA Oregon President. “It also opens up vast opportunities for our organization to offer a much wider range of professional development and skill-building resources to our members.”

The merger is the result of several years of deliberation and collaboration by members from all three chapters. The decision appears to be a success as the organization is enjoying a substantial membership increase year-over-year. The transition was celebrated during the annual the PRSA Spotlight Awards ceremony at the Willamette Valley Country Club.

Additional awards of excellence in the field of public relations including: Taraneh Fultz, APR, Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award. John Mitchell, APR, Fellow, Lifetime Achievement Award. Dianne Danowski Smith and Nicole Early, New Professional Award of Excellence.

CMD captured the most honors of the night for strategic public relations and social media campaigns.

Nicole Early, New Pro award recipient, Mark Mohammadpour, APR, Past President

Celebrating the 2017 Spotlight Awards

Here’s a video about the Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award:

From PRSA Oregon:

The PRSA Oregon chapter, which serves approximately 300 public relations professionals in Oregon and Southwest Washington, supports lifelong professional development and honors excellence in public relations. More than one-fifth of chapter members have earned Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), the profession’s only national post-graduate certification program. The Oregon chapter is led by an all-volunteer board of professionals from across the state. Signature events include the annual Spotlight Awards, honoring excellence in public relations, and the Communicator’s Conference, a professional development event held once a year. The Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is one of 109 PRSA chapters across the country.

Founding Board Members of PRSA Oregon:

President: Colby Reade, APR,

President-Elect: Julie Williams, APR,

Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer: Dave Thompson, APR,

Secretary and Chief Operations Officer: Tracey Lam, APR,

Leadership Assembly Delegate: Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA,

Leadership Assembly Delegate: John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA,

Communications Director: Beverly Brooks,

Director of Student Affairs: Megan Donaldson,

Director of Service: Taylor Long,

Director of Events: Olivia MacKenzie,

Sponsorship Director: Amy Ruddy,

Director of Membership: Siobhan Taylor,

Immediate Past President: Mark Mohammadpour, APR,

Immediate Past President: Jill Peters, APR,

Immediate Past President: Loralyn Spiro, APR,

Incight Raises Funds to Unlock the Potential of People with Disabilities

Incight Raises Funds to Unlock the Potential of People with Disabilities

Portland, OR. 300 Incight supporters decked out in costumes filled Portland’s PureSpace on October 28th for a Halloween bash dedicated to “Unlocking the Potential of People with Disabilities” through education, employment, and independence. Guest included Sarah Heiney, Incight co-founder Scott Hatley, and Meagan Kimball and Meredith Leichty. During the benefit, supporters watched a video honoring the co-founder of Incight. The video shows why Incight was founded and the vision and passion leading it forward.

After the video, Scott took the stage and announced that Incight was kicking off The Scott W. Hatley Endowment to fund Incight’s mission and vision indefinitely and donated $25,000 of his own money. This was the most successful Incight event to date, raising over $250,000.

Don Patterson and Emily Wooten

Dave and Veda Nomura

Jonathan & Mair Blatt

Monica Lindsey learning she won the raffle trip to New York from auctioneer Justin Timm, Benefit Auction 360.

Dan Friess, Emcee

Melissa Berube, Kindel Bonin, and Jamie Gibbs

From Incight:
We could not have held this event without the generosity of our presenting sponsors: Safeway Foundation, Wells Fargo, and Immix Law Group. Other sponsors for our event include Arlene Schnitzer, Pac Met, Pacific Power, Bridge City Limo, Educational Excellence, Sage Built Homes, West Coast Event Productions, Mortgage Trust, Canyon Grill, Keen Healthcare, OSU Foundation, Miller Consulting Engineers, and The Boeing Company.From Incight:

Incight is a 501(c) 3 non-profit that has been Unlocking the Potential of People with Disabilities for over a decade. Incight’s services have influenced thousands of students, jobseekers, educators, parents, employers, and community members. The Incight mission has grown into a contagion that invites everyone to think, feel, and behave with more equity and expectancy. Incight celebrates and empowers the fact that “none of us are our costume.” Who we really are is so much greater.



Seo wordpress plugin by