ACG Portland Elects 2016 President, New Board Members

ACG Portland Elects 2016 President, New Board Members

Association elects Dave Porter as president; adds Mike Cooney, John Cochran and Gina Kaveny as board members

Portland, Ore., January 20, 2016—The Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Portland, a global association for professionals involved in corporate growth, professional development and business networking, today announced the election of Dave Porter (Geffen Mesher) as president, and adds Mike Cooney (Red Zone HR Solutions), John Cochran (Executive Forum) and Gina Kaveny (LSQ Funding) as new board members for 2016. ACG Portland consists of more than 120 Portland C-level executives, emerging leaders and business owners of growth-oriented companies and related service professionals.

“Dave Porter has been a key contributor to ACG Portland’s growing success for many years. Bringing on Gina, Mike and John also further strengthens our board’s leadership and business acumen. These accomplished professionals will advance our mission to be one of the most valuable executive networking and professional development groups in Oregon,” says Casey Boggs, president of LT Public Relations and ACG Portland’s 2015 president.

Dave Porter

Porter is a partner in the CPA firm Geffen Mesher & Company.  Having served clients for half of his career and being a client the other half has helped Dave understand the value CPAs can provide their clients.  He has learned to listen carefully and offer real solutions to real business problems.  He also helps companies develop stronger internal controls to mitigate risks associated with white collar crime. He earned his Certified Fraud Examiner designation from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, as well as his Oregon private investigator’s license.

John Cochran

John Cochran is president and owner of Executive Forum, a Portland based leadership development company specializing in soft skill development characteristic of strong leadership at all levels of an organization.

 Mike Cooney

Cooney is the founder and president of Red Zone HR Solutions, which provides HR management services to small and mid-sized businesses and organizations. Mike has more than 20 years in human resource leadership positions in manufacturing, technology, and forest products including serving as the VP of HR for Digimarc Corporation.

Gina Kaveny

Kaveny has worked in supply chain for the more than 18 years, with a specialty to help companies grow and expand their business internationally. She spent 13 years with UPS and UPS Capital working with companies to expand and finance their international sales channels. Gina moved to LSQ Funding in 2013 to extend her reach, offering more companies access to working capital.

About ACG Portland

Members of ACG Portland are business owners, emerging leaders, CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and EVPs of mid-market growing corporations, as well as members of the professional services companies that serve them, such as private equity firms, banks, attorneys and accountants. More information is available at

Portland’s Young, Emerging Executives to Address the Current and Future Business Landscape at ACG Portland’s Annual CXO Event

This year’s annual ACG CXO panel event–Tuesday, November 10th 5:30-8:30 PM @ Portland City Grill–spotlights three emerging business leaders in the Portland community. All three are recent winners of the Portland Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” award. They will discuss the challenges and issues associated with business leadership in the environments of today and tomorrow. ACG member and prior “40 Under 40” award winner, Dorota Shortell, will serve as the panel moderator. Register today!

Benjamin Billups, President | Chief Executive Officer, Billups

Benjamin (Ben) Billups is the chief executive officer and founder of Billups, the largest independently-owned media agency in the US. A self-taught adman and born innovator, Ben created Billups Worldwide in 2003 when he was only 26 years old. His goal was to create an agency that would embrace the dramatic changes facing the Out of Home media industry. Due to emerging technologies and increasing creative media opportunities, he foresaw the need to hire top tier national agency talent who could cultivate growth and seize the opportunity of a changing marketplace.

Kimberly White, Vice President of Operations, Vacasa

Having been the first employee hired by the co-founders of Vacasa, Kimberly White has worked in just about every facet of the vacation rental industry. As the Vice President of Operations, she is the head of all aspects of Vacasa operations. This includes reservations, guest services, owner relationships, maintenance and property management, and housekeeping. She sets strategy that focuses on improving service levels and quality standards while planning for ambitious growth. Prior to Vacasa, Kimberly was a successful leader in the non-profit sector, advocating for volunteerism and community engagement with groups including Oregon Food Bank and the American Red Cross.

Cory Dolich, Senior Vice President of Business Operations and Marketing, Portland Timbers

2015 marks Cory’s eighth season with the Portland Timbers. In his current role as Senior Vice President of Business Operations and Marketing, Cory manages the club’s day-to-day marketing, promotional and advertising platforms, including digital and social media administration, creative development, media buying, event production, and grass roots programming for the organization’s three sports properties (Timbers, Thorns and T2). Prior to joining the Portland Timbers, Cory worked for the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s, as their Senior Director of Ticket Development and Retention.

Dorota Shortell, President, Simplexity Product Development Inc

Dorota has been leading Simplexity as its president since 2010 after succeeding the founder. During her tenure, Simplexity’s top-line revenue has more than tripled and the company has transitioned from 20 to over 50 employees. Dorota is responsible for strategic partnerships with Fortune 100 clients, company strategy, and culture. She has over 15 years of new product development experience and holds a US patent. Dorota has been an ACG Portland member for over 3 years and volunteers on the programs committee.

Event Details Tuesday, November 10, 2015

5:30 – 5:50 pm: Registration and networking

5:50 – 7:00 pm: Program

7:00 – 7:30 pm: Dinner and table conversations

7:30 – 8:15 pm: Panel responds to top question from each group

8:15 – 8:30 pm: Dessert and optional networking Portland City Grill, 111 SW Fifth Avenue, Floor 30, Portland, OR 97204 P

October 13, 2015: ACG Portlatnd Presents Kyra Bussanich of Kyra’s Bake Shop

Please join ACG Portland members for the October Peer Growth event (Tuesday, October 13 @ The Multnomah Athletic Club from 5:30-7:30 PM) for a presentation by Kyra Bussanich, Kyra’s Bake Shop.  Register here.

Important food and beverage commodities have led this year’s ACG Portland Peer Growth events; Wine tasting in June, beer tasting in July and now we officially have a “cupcake” scheduled.

On Tuesday, October 13 at the Multnomah Athletic Club, Kyra Bussanich, owner of Kyra’s Bake Shop, will be our guest speaker. Kyra will share the story of her company and its growth, including the challenges of growing a business with millenniums for employees.

At 20, Kyra Bussanich was diagnosed with an autoimmune
disorder. Part of staying healthy meant switching to a gluten-free diet. After being disappointed in the gluten-free products that were available on the market, Kyra decided to attended the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program, which gave her a solid foundation of knowledge about classical French baking techniques. She was able to apply what she learned toward baking gluten-free.

Through craving, and by necessity, Kyra began experimenting with alternative flours and developed a handful of cake recipes that taste as good, if not better, than traditional wheatfilled cakes. Part of the growth of her business has been in expanding the offerings, not just with gluten-free, but with Grain Free, Low Carb and Paleo treats as well.

Kyra appeared on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” in 2010, 2011 and
2012; winning the cooking competition in December 2011 and May 2012. Her cupcake shop also was the runner-up in the June 2012 “Cupcake Champions” competition.

Join us for a very interesting story and some great tasting treats!

Tim Price, Pacific Power Group: ACG Portland’s September 2015 Peer Growth Speaker

Join ACG Portland members on Tuesday, September 15 at Ruth’s Chris Steak House for a conversation with Tim Price…president of Pacific Power Group.
Who is Pacific Power Group? 
If your first thought is the power company, you’d be mistaken.  Pacific Power Group (PPG) is a privately held company, composed of a diverse set of businesses in the truck, marine and power generation segments.  They have six divisions and twelve locations throughout the west.
Tim Price, President of Pacific Power Group, will share his insights and lessons learned in leading a large, dynamic and powerful northwest industrial company toward continued long-term growth given today’s widening and diverse range of challenges and pressures.  Topics will include the industrial sector’s outlook for growth, workforce challenges, managing costs, policy issues, and the overall health of Pacific Power Group’s industry segments for the middle market heading into 2016.
Tim is an accomplished seasoned senior executive with 33 years of experience in financial, strategy and operations with both public and private companies.
As a speaker, Tim has been invited to share his leadership insight with numerous organizations and corporations, drawing from his rich leadership experience with previous senior executive roles with Ultimate Electric; Hollywood
Video; Movie Gallery and The Limited.Tim Price’s program will be a not-to-be-missed event.  Join us!

July 14th ACG Portland Event: Andy Thomas, CEO of Craft Brew Alliance @ Widmer Brewery

ACG Portland’s July Peer Growth will be a special evening with Andy Thomas–CEO of Craft Brew Alliance (CBA). Join us for a fun and informative evening at Widmer Brewing, one of CBA’s signature brands. The evening includes tours of the brewery, great beer, and wonderful eats.

DATE: Tuesday, July 14, 2015
LOCATION: Widmer Brewery (929 N Russell Street, Portland, OR 97227)

SCHEDULE: Arrive @ 5:30 PM

  • 5:40 PM -1st Brewery Tour
  • (6:00 PM) – 2nd Brewery Tour
  • 6:20 PM – 3rd Brewery Tour
  • 6:45-7:30 PM – Andy Thomas and announcements

Andy Thomas will share:

  • CBA’s growth history
  • Trends impacting the industry
  • His strategy for evolving CBA
  • Challenges

Thomas took over as the company’s new CEO, January 1, 2014. He had served as CBA’s president of commercial operations since June 2011. Thomas joined CBA as President of Commercial Operations in 2011 after serving as an independent consultant to the company for 18 months. In his tenure at CBA, Thomas has been responsible for establishing the company’s unique national portfolio strategy that has propelled the company’s volume growth to 14% in the most recent quarter.

Thomas brings more than two decades of leadership experience in consumer packaged goods and the beer and beverage industries to his role as CEO for CBA. He spent 12 years at Heineken International, working with brewers and beers in more than 55 countries across four continents, and served as
president & CEO of Heineken USA from 2005-2007.

ACG Portland’s May (5/12) Peer Growth: M & A Trends & Strategies

ACG Portland May 2015 Peer Growth Event

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

7:00 am – 9:30 am

Sentinel Hotel

M & A Trends & Strategies
Sponsored by: D.A. Davidson, Stoel Rives, Geffen Mesher and ACG Portland

Please join us for an M&A Trends & Strategies breakfast and discussion, led by D.A. Davidson & Co., Stoel Rives, LLP, and Geffen Mesher & Co. in conjunction with ACG Portland. This event is for CXOs in the Pacific Northwest and is focused on current trends in the M&A and private capital markets as well as strategies to maximize shareholder value.

  •  Current M&A market data, valuations, and activity
  •  Trends in deal terms and common protections
  •  Tax strategies and implications
  •  Case studies of successful transactions

D.A. Davidson: Brad Gevurtz – Managing Director, Investment Banking
Mr. Gevurtz is a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division of D.A. Davidson & Co.  Mr. Gevurtz has been with D.A. Davidson since 2005 and during his time with the firm has served as the Head of Investment Banking and as a member of the Board of Directors and the Public Equity Commitment Committee.  Prior to joining D.A. Davidson, Mr. Gevurtz worked for over 20 years on Wall Street as a senior banker at JP Morgan Chase, KeyBanc Capital Markets, and Broadview Int’l (now Jefferies Broadview).  Mr. Gevurtz has significant experience in M&A, private placements, and public offerings, and has worked with clients such as Alltel, AT&T, Cadbury Schweppes, Computer Associates, Comsat, GE, IBM, Toyota, Verizon, and Xerox.

Stoel Rives: Steven H. Hull – Partner
For nearly two decades, Steven Hull has helped public and private companies, investors and individuals achieve their strategic business goals in various types of sophisticated corporate transactions. Steven is recognized in Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America for his skill in mergers and acquisitions.  He has extensive experience working on deals involving private equity firms, including minority investments.  He regularly represents investors and public and private companies in financing transactions and securities law matters.
Geffen Mesher: Michael Lortz, CPA, LEED AP – Shareholder
Michael Lortz is a shareholder with the accounting firm of Geffen Mesher, which provides auditing, accounting, consulting, and tax services to a variety of closely held businesses and their owners.  A CPA and LEED Accredited Professional, Michael is a frequent speaker on tax issues surrounding business transitions and M&A transactions, and his clients rely on him to help them make strategic decisions and manage their overall tax liability.
Portland Business Journal: Malia Spencer – Tech Reporter
7:00am – 8:00am – Registration and Breakfast
7:45am – Opening Comments
8:00am – 8:30/45am – Structured Presentation
8:30am – 9:00am – Structured Q&A Led by Moderator
9:00am – 9:30am – Open Q&A from the audience

February 2015 ACG Portland: “Looking Back and Looking Forward: Reflecting on 20 Years of Northwest Middle Market Growth”

“Looking Back and Looking Forward: Reflecting on 20 Years of Northwest Middle Market Growth”

Less than one week away from ACG Portland’s special event (Tuesday, Feb. 10 @ 5:30 PM at the Moda Center) honoring the association’s founders, Cordell Berge and Lee Koehn, as well as Spencer Brown—a longtime member and advocate for the chapter.

Cordell Berge also poses a compelling question to attendees. Watch the video to see what you might win!

Click here to go directly to registration (see notes below for online registration tips). Hope to see you there!