Message from President and CEO Mark Johnson

Published Thursday, November 9, 2017

On November 1, I officially began my service as President and Chief Executive Officer of Oregon Business & Industry (OBI). It's an exciting opportunity for me. I look forward to meeting our members and working with you to help make Oregon more prosperous and competitive while preserving the quality of life we all enjoy.

The tasks before us are challenging and very important for Oregon. Merging Oregon Business Association (OBA) and Associated Oregon Industries (AOI) into one effective business association is vitally important, not just for our members, but for all of Oregon. When business and industry clearly and effectively promote an agenda that focuses on both economic growth and quality of life it's a win-win for all of Oregon. A unified voice for business can result in policy success that will mean more jobs, higher wages and better standards of living for all Oregonians.

To accomplish this vision, we are moving forward on many fronts to help realize our goals for business. Our board has scheduled a planning retreat for November 30 and December 1 to help prepare our association for the future.

As we move toward the 2018 Legislative Session there are several issues of great interest to our members. Cap-and-Trade, threats to the financial security of SAIF and the PERS impact on the state budget are all issues that OBI will be engaging on. In the weeks to come we will mobilize our communications team and policy advocates to represent OBI interests in these important discussions.

On the personal front, I'm making the transition from being a State Representative to being the CEO of a business association. As you might imagine, there is a little more to it than simply walking across the street! I'm getting settled into a schedule that divides my time between the Salem and Portland offices. My wife and I have found an apartment in the John's Landing area of Portland that should serve as a convenient location to access both offices and navigate our challenging traffic realities.

In summary, I want to say thank you for being a part of OBI! I know that I speak for the entire team when I say that it is our honor and pleasure to serve all of you.