The Westside Economic Alliance has announced the hiring of a new executive director.
Gail Greenman took the reins this week at the WEA, a business advocacy group in Washington and west Clackamas counties. Greenman, who lives in West Linn, previously worked as director of national affairs for the Oregon Farm Bureau, a lobbying position.
The WEA announced Greenman's hiring Thursday, Sept. 9.
"WEA is a strong economic voice, representing the communities and businesses in the region," Greenman said in a statement that accompanied the announcement. "I am looking forward to working together with WEA members to make sure their voices are heard, and our region continues to be an example of great economic vitality."
Brantley Dettmer, president of WEA's board of directors, hailed Greenman as a "great leader" for the organization.
"She believes in collaboration, building relationships, and advancing the organization's Westside voice," Dettmer added.
Greenman steps into the role recently vacated by Pam Treece.
Since 2012, Treece had served as the WEA's executive director. In 2018, Treece was elected as a Washington County commissioner, which required her to divide her time between leading the WEA and serving in county government.
Treece announced this past June that she would be stepping down as executive director at the end of July to focus on her role as an elected official.
"I am so thankful for all the incredible connections I've made and work we've been able to do together," Treece tweeted on June 30.
She said she decided to step down from the WEA so that she can treat her position on the Washington County commission as a full-time job, something she has pushed for at the county level.
"I think that our constituents in Washington County really deserve full-time attention to the issues that we face," Treece said Friday morning, Sept. 10.
Treece told Pamplin Media Group that Greenman is "the perfect fit for the organization," bringing "a wealth of experience and a very positive, can-do attitude."
"She's collaborative, she's smart, and I know that she'll work very well with our current members, our board and our staff," Treece said.
While Treece was not part of the search committee, she said, she has been working with Greenman on the transition.
"I'm really proud of the process that WEA went through to find the next executive director," Treece said. "I think that our search committee did a great job, and I am really pleased with the outcome."
The WEA also quoted U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader in its announcement of Greenman's hiring.
"Gail is a superb choice to serve as executive director of the Westside Economic Alliance," Schrader stated. "She has a proven record of engaging with bipartisan coalitions in seeking practical solutions to complex policy issues. Gail has demonstrated expertise, professionalism and creativity in her 15 years of working with Oregon's diverse congressional delegation.
"The Westside Economic Alliance and its membership will find Gail to be a vital asset as the organization continues its important work providing its members with a common voice on local, regional and state issues."
Greenman was born in Washington, D.C., grew up in Maryland, and has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University.
As Schrader indicated, Greenman has extensive experience in lobbying and public policy.
While working with the Oregon Farm Bureau from 2006 to 2021, Greenman was also federal policy director for the National Council for Impacted Schools from 2007 to 2017, and she previously lobbied for the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools.
She was also a candidate for school board in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District in 2019, but she lost to incumbent and current board chair Chelsea King.
The WEA convenes regional meetings, including representatives from the business and nonprofit communities, elected officials, and bureaucrats from throughout Portland's Westside suburbs. The group also presents programs open to both members and non-members, such as an upcoming virtual forum at 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 17, with U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici.
Along with facilitating meetings and organizing events, the WEA serves as an advocacy group for the business community on Portland's Westside.
As its website states, "Westside Economic Alliance provides its members with a common voice on local, regional and state issues, and operates as a problem solver and a 'one-stop-shop' for the entire Westside business community."
Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional comments from Pam Treece, as well as to correct the time of the upcoming Westside Economic Alliance forum. It starts at 8 a.m. Sept. 17.
By Mark Miller
Editor-in-Chief, Washington and Columbia counties
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