Although last year's 82nd Avenue Parade was cancelled, 2018 is upbeat on 82nd

DAVID F. ASHTON - Gathering for a group photo, members of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association hold signs declaring their support for the organization.
Members and guests of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association (ARBA) met on Thursday evening, May 3, at Thai Fresh – there to celebrate the success of the past year, to elect new officers, and to reveal plans for the future.

The 20 attendees snacked on appetizers, and then enjoyed a hot dinner featuring traditional Thai cuisine, as they networked, and then held their formal meeting.

"I'm involved with ARBA because if you're not involved, you can't have a voice at City Hall, and you'll be less successful," remarked outgoing President Gary Sargent of Sargent's Motorsports.

"The great thing about all of you gathering here this evening is that you make this a wonderful place to work and live," commented Venture Portland Director Heather A. Hoell, as she began the formal meeting.

Hoell recalled how the cancellation of 2017's 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade due to threats by extremists drew international media coverage. "It was a horrible thing, which turned into a positive outcome."

For the third year, ARBA was again funded with a City of Portland Catalytic Investment Initiative, providing a grant to pay for a Business District Organizer, Hoell said.

She touted Venture Portland's "82 Dishes" month-long program last August, which encouraged folks to take an "international food tour" of the 82nd Avenue; and she recalled networking outreach events involving both the automotive – and the food and beverage – industries along the thoroughfare.

ARBA's Business District Organizer Jeff Lynott led a group dynamics exercise, encouraging attendees to help define the neighborhood district as it currently is, and what they hope it to be in just one year.

After congratulating ARBA Board Members for 273 hours of volunteer service to the community in the past year, departing Board Member – and Jade District Manager – Todd Strobel was recognized for his service.

Two events are planned for June:

· June 11 – "Taste of 82nd", a mixer for food and beverage industry

· June 25 – "Autos on the Avenue", a mixer for the auto industry.

Learn more about 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association online:

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