February Message from Board Chair Karen Vineyard

Published Thursday, February 13, 2020

Greetings OBI members!

I am very excited to serve as your new OBI Board chair. It is an honor to lead this organization and represent all of you, our members representing all regions, industries and people of the beautiful state of Oregon.

I have been a part of OBI and its predecessors for some time. I served on the Associated Oregon Industries board, then transitioned with all of you as we strengthen Oregon’s business voice in 2017 by creating OBI.

My day job is with Bank of America, where I serve as the market executive for global commercial banking. My clients are Oregon businesses, and through them I hear the challenges all of you face every day. That is why I stepped up to serve on the OBI board: Business needs a voice on the issues that impact us, and I am proud to be part of that.

I cannot go any further without thanking Scott Parrish, the A-dec CEO who, for the last two years, has served as OBI’s founding chair. His leadership helped bring OBI into being as he led the organization for its first two years. He was the right leader for our organization, as we executed a merger and set our course.  

We start 2020 with a strong membership and revenue base, and a solid staff representing us at the Capitol and before state agencies. In the next two years, during my service as chair, we will focus on ensuring that OBI includes the broad diversity of businesses that are the underpinnings of our state’s economy, and that diversity is reflected on our board and in our committee leadership.

I plan to get out and about in the state. My employer, Bank of America, has generously provided funding for us to travel around Oregon to meet with businesses leaders and hear what you need to grow great jobs that support Oregon families. I hope I get a chance to meet many of you, and, if I don’t, please feel free to reach out to me. My email is karenvineyard@oregonbusinessindustry.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

Karen Vineyard

Who is Karen Vineyard?

Karen Vineyard is the third person to chair OBI. We asked her to answer a few questions about herself.

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I grew up in Southern California and was in one of the first classes of women to graduate from Claremont Men’s College. I’ve lived in the Northwest for almost 30 years now, including six years in Oregon.

Q: Tell us about your life today. Where do you live and work?

A: I live in Redland, which is an unincorporated community located in Clackamas County. It is roughly five miles east of Oregon City. I work in downtown Portland and commute 19 miles one-way each day. 

Q: How long have you been in the banking industry?

A:  I’ve been in banking and/or financial services for over 35 years, and over 27 years in commercial banking.

Q: In your job, you frequently meet with people at the helm of Oregon businesses. Is there a consistent theme to challenges they are facing?

A: The No. 1 challenge I hear from business leaders is the lack of skilled labor and a concern over the future retirements of baby boomers in those positions today. This is followed closely by concerns over the additional tax and regulatory burdens businesses in our state are facing.

Q: What’s the OBI’s top priority for 2020?

A: To engage with more businesses in our state and broaden our representation. Businesses benefit from greater involvement and collaboration with one another.

Q: What is the most ‘Oregon’ thing about you?

A:  A love of the outdoors, and a commitment to our community.