Archive for the ‘networking’ Category

Professional headshots improve the way the public perceives you and your business

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Sapphire Studio Headshots

Some of the many great professional headshots Sapphire Studio has taken.

By IDA Client Elaine  Lowry, Sapphire Studio

Hi. My name is Elaine Lowry and I am Sapphire Studio’s owner and photographer. We are Portland-based and we shoot both on location and in the studio.

I have been taking photos since I was 13 years old and I have always had a good eye for presenting people at their best.  Great light and patience can go a long way when taking a photo and I always encourage the people around me to keep on shooting and pay attention to the available light.

When it comes to a professional portrait however, it is important to never underestimate the value and importance of presenting yourself and your business in a professional light. This includes everything your business produces: everyone agrees a logo is very important, but equally important is your photographic image. A professional portrait can set you apart from another business. It shows that you care about how you look and how you present yourself to others. If you present yourself professionally, you will be treated as a professional; it’s that simple. A professional portrait shows that you take yourself and your business seriously – something many people endeavoring to run their own business often forget. The best portraits show you and your staff members in attitudes and in environments that perfectly show who you are, in the way you want to be portrayed on your website and marketing materials.

Sapphire Studio has made our mark shooting families at every stage of life, and we apply to our headshots the same patience it takes to get a perfect family portrait. We help you feel relaxed, comfortable, and confident. Clients often tell us that our professional portrait is the best photograph they have ever seen of themselves.
Right now, all who support or are involved with Mercy Corps can have a professional portrait session with Sapphire Studio for $140, a 20% discount off of the usual headshot session price of $175.
You can see some more of our portraits at

Call us at 503-297-7818 to set up an appointment.

We look forward to hearing from you and working with you.


Meet Shannon and her business, All Done

November 24, 2010 Leave a comment

“With MCNW I got financed for equipment that I need to complete all my tasks. I got a van. I got this big carpet shampooer. I can do hard wood floors, tile, marble, just slap on a different brush and go for it. Now I just load up what I have and go.”

Shannon Bailey, All Done, Mercy Corps Northwest Client

Shannon Bailey, All Done

My Business Personal Housekeeping and Commercial Cleaning

How I got Started I’ve been a house keeper for six years, but have also done odd jobs like painting and carpet repair. I can’t imagine doing anything else. One day I decided to incorporate all the experiences that I’ve had together into one company.

Greatest Challenges Making sure you got all your corners covered. You get through a few things and then you find out that you’re not done yet. You have to dig a little deeper go a little farther.

Greatest Reward I like putting smiles on people’s faces. I like when people come home and everything’s finished and perfect. Little things. I know a little girl is going to be happy when I picked out a book for her bedtime and her bed’s made and ready to jump into.

Proudest Moment Just having something of my own. I was a stay at home mother and wife for 18 years. This is my accomplishment.

Advice for aspiring business owners You can not allow yourself to get discouraged. Doors are going to shut, walls are going to pop up all over the place and you just have to look over them, look around them, whatever you have to do to make it through.

Me and Mercy Corps Northwest Every time I was stuck with something and my mind was just tired and Brian would come up with something. If not, just a kind word. Better luck tomorrow.

Just The Facts

Client Name: Shannon Bailey
Client Since: November 2009
Participated In: Mercy Corps Northwest Loan Program
Type of Business: Personal and Commercial Cleaning
Business Opened: 2004

Find Shannon and All Done

2815 s.e. 87th ave. #3, Portland, OR 97266
(503) 839-4995

See and Print this in PDF

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

Announcing… The EcoDistricts Summit

September 23, 2010 2 comments

The Ecodistricsts Summit

EcoDistricts Summit is a conference in Portland, Oregon on October 25-27th, 2010 built to deepen public understanding of the EcoDistricts Initiative and to connect stakeholders and practitioners involved with pilot programs through annual progress updates and shared lessons in the deployment of integrated district-scale sustainability. Attendees will gain the following:

  • A forum for inspiring and activating conversations about next generation urban sustainability at the district scale
  • Elevate the conversation about neighborhood sustainability best practices and to stay informed about progress of Portlands EcoDistrict Initiative
  • Deepen the conversation about integrated performance assessment, neighborhood leadership, green building, infrastructure, and behavior practices to reduce resource consumption, new sources and structures for project finance, and green neighborhood rating systems
  • Unite urban sustainability practitioners working at this scale.


When |           Tuesday, October 25-27th, 2010 | 8:00-5:00pm

Where |          Portland State University | Smith Center, 3rd Floor, 1825 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201

Who |            Planners, architects, engineers, developers, municipalities, businesses, pilot district stakeholders, engaged citizens, and labor

Visit |   


April Mixer at Mercy Corps NW

May 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Originally uploaded by Mercy Corps Northwest

So, a confession. I’ve become the person at Mercy Corps Northwest charged with making networking events happen, but… networking is not my thing. It always feels like an artificial situation where people behave unnaturally and are uncomfortable, or at least I am.

But, each of these networking events at MCNW, and this is the third so far, are teaching me that the important principle in networking is that it’s a way to help bring people and resources together and make good things happen.

Our whole foray into this realm started with Darcy Avalon, who took one of our Foundations classes in the fall and has been a regular at many of our other classes. Like many of our participants, she said that one of the most valuable aspects of the classes was meeting fellow small business owners. With her event planning help, we did our first networking event in our office classroom in December, bringing in her friend Kyrstyn Pixton to help us with some music. People brought their food and their families and their products to vend, and we saw a whole new dynamic that there isn’t always time for during a class. We did a second one in February, and this time, we asked our friend Chris Bucci to come in and talk about his experience developing the Heart in Oregon stickers, and Adrienne Hatkin of Autopilot is for Lovers to share her music.

And now in April, we did our third one. This time we were able to connect with Lewis Childs, who helped us get the event set up at our neighborhood coffee shop Floyd’s, and who brought in his musical partner Sophie Bloch to help him provide some music for the evening. My co-worker Jinell from MicroMentor led a speed networking activity to get people talking and moving, with the help of Rachel, one of our loan officers, and our friend Jesse from the Action Center. And to top it all off, Mykel Hibbard of Tabor Photo came in and took beautiful photos of the whole thing, which you can see on Facebook and Flickr.

So there you go: networking through planning networking events. It’s been heartwarming to see what people do to help you when you reach out to them, and the wonderful results that come about through all of that natural, comfortable, and just plain good… networking.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit at MCNW

February 8, 2010 Leave a comment

We had another one of our monthly get-togethers on January 28th. Twenty or so clients came, with food and stories to share. Chris Bucci, a loan client and the creator of the ubiquitous Heart in Oregon stickers, dropped in and talked about his experience starting up a business, and what it means for him to be an entrepreneur.

Chris Bucci

Chris Bucci

Chris Bucci Presentation
We also had the lovely music of Autopilot is for Lovers, whose lead singer Arienna Hatfield is also a Mercy Corps Northwest client.
Autopilot is for Lovers
With all this talent, it’ll be easy to keep these events going, and we’re looking forward to the next one.

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Holiday Social & Potluck

December 11, 2009 Leave a comment

December 10th we had a holiday potluck with our clients, new and old.

We had fabulous music from Kyrstyn Pixton, which set the warm & welcoming tone for the evening.

And some decorations (including a blazing fireplace!)

But guests brought their goods, which looked even better…

Photographs by Peter Blanchard and Grace Weston, cards and pendants from Robin Urton

Hats by Robin Epstein/Bunny Huggins, JonnySport bags by Rachel Elizabeth, naturopathic
kits by Julie Brush

Hats by Mary Kelly, magnets by Mary Hawley, accessories by Adrienne Hatkin (she’s also in a band!)

And paintings by Michelle Purvis – I didn’t grab a picture, so I borrowed one from your website!

Everyone brought and enjoyed lots tasty food – cookies, fruit, cheese and crackers, pasta, fried yam tortilla deliciousness (probably not the official name)

We all got to chat and commiserate

It ended up being quite a good time.

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