Archive for October, 2010

Business Spotlight: Everyday Dog

October 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Alison and her BirdName: Alison Eberhard

Business: Everyday Dog

Involved In: Foundations Business Planning Course

Everyday Dog is a new dog training center in Vancouver, Washington that focuses on preparing dogs to become active members of the family. Classes are available for everything from first-time puppies to household manners to advanced skills, fun and games. Alison Eberhard is a Mercy Corps Northwest client and the business owner of this brand new establishment. In September Alison sat down with a Mercy Corps Northwest staff member to discuss life as a business owner so far…

How did you get started in the dog training business? I grew up around animals. My mom was an avid animal rescue person and she did obedience training. That’s all I’ve ever known – dogs and dog training.

What is the greatest reward you get from being a business owner? I really love having a key to my store and walking in and knowing that is my key, it’s my door, its my building, and I can put anything anywhere I want.

What are your future business goals? I would like to open a non-profit training and placement facility for service dogs that would operate out of the training shop, and then once the dogs are trained they would be donated to families who need them.

How can people get in contact with you? My website is and I’m located at 10214 SE Mill Plain Blvd, Suite A in Vancouver, WA.


The Book Party

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Mercy Corps Front

What. Portland Bottom Line Book Release Party
When. Wednesday, November 10th 5-8pm, Program at 6
Where. Mercy Corps HQ, 45 SW Ankeny St.
How much. Free! (…just buy a book)

Cool Stuff
Serendipity has it that the Give!Guide and The Portland Bottom Line launch on the same day – we’re so excited. Be the first to pick up your Give!Guide at the event.  In addition, one hundred copies of “The Portland Bottom Line” will be available for sale ($16.95, cash/check only, 2 laptops will be available for online purchases). The contributors to this book have generously selected Mercy Corps Northwest as a beneficiary of book sales. The more books we sell, the bigger the donation, so buy the book!

Also, enjoy some tasty snacks and beverages donated by the book’s contributors and other local businesses.

We’re in for a treat
The contributors to the book (small business owners striving towards the triple bottom line), will be at the event to share their experiences and forge new relationships. Enjoy a short presentation about the making of the book and the challenge of doing business in a sustainable manner.

About the book
Co-edited by Peter Korchnak and Megan Strand, and organized into 12 sections along the triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Prosperity, “The Portland Bottom Line: Practices for Your Small Business from America’s Hotbed of Sustainability” explores how small businesses can effectively and efficiently shift toward sustainability and thrive. In their short essays, 51 Portland small-business people share their experiences with sustainability in their companies.

2010 Ecodistricts Summit Keynote Speaker Announced

October 15, 2010 Leave a comment

(Reposted from Portland Sustainability Institute, a partner of Mercy Corps Northwest)

John Knott, President and Co-Founder of the Noisette Company has been announced as Keynote for the 2010 EcoDistricts Summit at 7:30 p.m. on October 26th at PSU Smith Center Ballroom. Additionally, Kevin Hydes, President of Integral Group and former chair of the US Green Building Council and the World Green Building Council, will give opening remarks at the Summit on October 25th, 2010. The EcoDistricts keynote speech is free and open to the public. For more information on additional events, visit

A highly esteemed member of the sustainable building and planning community, Knott will headline a diverse and accomplished roster of speakers at the three-day summit, held at Portland State University, October 25-27, 2010. His organization, the Noisette Company, leads groundbreaking redevelopment work in North Charleston, South Carolina.

The Noisette Project is one of the best case studies of sustainable, district-level redevelopment in the United States. Taking into account the social needs, environmental responsibility and economic vitality of the Noisette Community—formerly a deteriorating area, encompassing 3,000 acres of former naval yards in North Charleston’s historic urban core—the Project has worked to uplift the neighborhood beyond mere structural renovation and environmentally friendly infrastructure.

Under Knott’s leadership, additional focus was placed on addressing equity in equal proportion to environmental and economic concerns, using innovative policies and programs to meet this goal. Notable successful programs include neighborhood involvement in defining the scope and plan for the Noisette Project, job training integrated through well-supported non-profits, a pilot prisoner re-entry program (Lowcountry Civic Justice Corps) and several social justice initiatives.

As the 2010 keynote speaker, Knott, who is an outspoken advocate of leveraging the power of neighborhoods to catalyze positive change, reinforces equity as a key topic of dialogue at the 2010 EcoDistricts Summit. The EcoDistricts Summit also features equity proponents Twana Hall-Scott, Assistant Director and Outreach Manager of Kansas City Green Impact Zone—a nationally recognized non-profit focused on concentrating and integrating resources to enact drastic and comprehensive neighborhood-level transformation—and Alan Hipólito, Executive Director of Verde—a Portland non-profit that connects low-income people and people of color with the economic benefits of protecting the environment through social enterprise and outreach.

Read Previous Post for more Information on the Ecodistricts Summit

Portland 10 Offers New Education Series

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

The Startup Challenge

Starting today, Mercy Corps Northwest is hosting a 6-week series of business classes taught by Portland Ten, an entrepreneurial development organization that assists founders in increasing revenue through better time and resource management as well as business and product development.

The class series “Six Week Sprint” features 12 classes on an array of topics including legal, product management, venture capital, entrepreneurship, accounting, finance, sales, marketing, HR, and more. Community Members are encouraged to attend ($30 per class, pay at the door, cash or check only). There is no pre-registration, but space shouldn’t be an issue.

The first four topics have been announced, with more to come:

16 Things That Indicate You’re An Entrepreneur Who Gets It
Instructor: Portland Ten Director, Carolynn Duncan
Tuesday, Oct 12, 3-5 pm at MercyCorps NW, 43 SW Naito Parkway

Managing Team & Product through Minimum Viable Product to Sales

Instructor: ShopIgniter founder, Alan Wizemann
Thursday, Oct 14, 3-5 pm at MercyCorps NW, 43 SW Naito Parkway

Legal: Basics of Company Formation
Instructor: Davis, Wright, Tremaine Lawyer, Steve Davis
Tuesday, Oct 19, 3-5 pm at MercyCorps NW, 43 SW Naito Parkway

Product Management: Ready, Set Launch
Instructor: Amy Winkelman, Product Management Consultant
Thursday, Oct 21, 3-5 pm at MercyCorps NW, 43 SW Naito Parkway

Check back on the Mercy Corps Northwest Calendar for the full listing in the coming weeks

We made it into the Give!Guide

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Willamette Week has chosen us to participate in their annual Give!Guide effort. Last year, this community fundraiser brought in more than $900,000 for 79 local nonprofits.

The Give!Guide’s goal — and now ours — is to develop new donors for organizations like ours. Willamette Week puts a special emphasis on identifying new donors under the age of 36 — and provides all sorts of incentives to help bring this about.

The guide and its web site don’t go live until November 11, but we need your help to get a jump-start on this great opportunity.  In addition, Willamette Week will be providing about $100,000 worth of incentives to people who give.

Keep us in mind when you pick up your own copy of this great publication.

Save the Date: Book Release Party!

October 7, 2010 1 comment

Mercy Corps HQ

We are very excited to announce that we will be hosting a book release party for “The Portland Bottom Line” on Wednesday, November 10th from 5-8pm at the Mercy Corps Northwest Gallery (45 SW Ankeny St.) The book release will feature the book’s editors and contributors as well as members from the Mercy Corps Northwest Team.

The event will also serve as a fundraiser for Mercy Corps Northwest! The contributors of this book are generously going to donate the profits to us.

So mark your calendars, get excited, and we’ll see you at the event. Here is a teaser from the book…

SAMPLE CHAPTER Think Small, by Kat Schon
My partner and I started our business selling used store fixtures in a much smaller space with a much smaller budget and we were the staff. In the beginning, every decision, no matter how small, was important and we were green because it made the best budgetary sense. We reused packing materials, bags, boxes, hardware, and whatever else we could because it meant not having to buy those things new. What we didn’t reuse, we recycled, even if that meant breaking a giant showcase down into its smallest parts. It was simple math: The less we put into our dumpster, the less it cost to have it emptied. 

Continue reading >

(We do need your help. Please email Loren if you know anyone who’d be interested in donating beverages or food (hors d’ouvres) to the event in exchange for a promotion plug.)