Designer Knives Pay Dividends to Clackamas Manufacturer
Benchmade Knife now employs 180 workers and exports its designed manufactured knives to customers in 40 countries.
February 25, 2010
Marc Zolton 503-986-0101
Business Oregon Director Tim McCabe today announced the appointment of two new members to the Oregon Business Development Commission.
"I am very excited about the addition of Chandra Brown, of Oregon Iron Works, and Gregory Semler, of Pivotal Investments, to the Oregon Business Development Commission," McCabe said. "These two business leaders will bring expertise and vision to the guidance of Business Oregon's efforts to retain and create jobs for Oregonians."
The Oregon Senate formally approved Governor Ted Kulongoski's appointment of Brown and Semler on February 8. Both new commissioners will begin serving at the commission's March 19 meeting in Newport.
Brown, whose term will expire in June 2011, has worked for Oregon Iron Works, Inc., for the past 16 years and has held a variety of positions during her tenure with the company. She is currently OIW's Vice President of Special Projects, Marketing & Security, as well as President of United Streetcar; OIW's wholly-owned subsidiary.
Brown is responsible for overall administrative, operational and marketing activities for all OIW Special Projects. She also is the primary point of contact for all Congressional Marketing activities and she markets on behalf of OIW in Washington, D.C. In the past several years, she has helped secure more than $40 million dollars in federal appropriations and has assisted in raising OIW's profile to be one of the 10 Overall Most Admired Companies in Oregon as published in the Portland Business Journal.
In addition to her work at OIW, she serves on many non-profit boards and does community volunteer work. She is on the board of directors and chairs the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC), which is a non-profit for the advancement of defense work in the region. In 2005 she also was appointed to the Oregon Innovation Council (OR Inc.) by Oregon's Governor, Ted Kulongoski. She is a founding member and on the board of the Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET), a non-profit with the goal of promoting the emerging wave energy industry to create jobs and opportunity in Oregon. She also serves on an arts advocacy board, the Creative Advocacy Network, created in 2008, the Oregon Women MBAs board, and has served on OMSI's gala committee.
Semler, whose term will expire in June 2013, is the co-founder of the first clean technology venture fund in the Northwest. Portland, Oregon-based Pivotal Investments is the first venture capital firm in the Northwest focused on delivering superior financial return through investments in companies that will be leaders in the emerging sustainable economy.
Prior to founding Pivotal Investments, Semler was a clean technology entrepreneur with more than 20 years of chief executive experience at advanced technology companies. His experience includes successfully financing high-growth companies, executive recruitment, management of product development efforts, acquisitions, strategic alliances, OEM partnerships and direct-to-consumer marketing and distribution.
Semler has been operating clean technology companies since 2000, most recently as president and CEO of ClearEdge Power, a Portland, Oregon-based privately financed company creating fuel cells for industrial and residential power applications. Before that, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of PolyFuel, a Silicon Valley company creating fuel cells for portable, and consumer electronics applications.
Business Oregon works to create, retain, expand and attract businesses that provide sustainable, living-wage jobs for Oregonians through public-private partnerships, leveraged funding, and support of economic opportunities for Oregon companies and entrepreneurs.