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State’s biggest business lobby new CEO

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Oregon Business & Industry

Oregon Business & Industry (OBI), the leading voice of business and industry in the state, today announced Sandra (Sandi) McDonough as the business association’s chief executive officer effective October 8.

“After an extensive selection process, we are delighted that Sandra will lead OBI as we continue to deepen our impact across the state,” said Scott Parrish, OBI board chair. “Sandi is a visionary leader with a proven track record. She understands the importance of working with our members to strengthen Oregon’s economy and ensure a prosperous state for all Oregonians.”

“Sandi is the right leader to represent ALL business interests in our state,” said Calli Daly, manager, western region government affairs, Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC. Georgia Pacific, with operations in Oregon, is part of Koch Industries. “She will be a champion for creating a business climate that helps our economy grow.”

McDonough’s experience as a chamber of commerce leader and her connections to chambers throughout Oregon will bolster her work as the organization’s new CEO according to the OBI board’s leadership.

“On behalf of my chamber and association colleagues in the state and around the country, we send our best wishes to Sandi, but equally our congratulations to OBI and the Oregon business community at large for hitting a home run with her selection,” said Brad Hicks, board chair for the Western Association of Chamber Executives and OBI board member.

“Sandi is an amazing leader,” added David Robertson, vice president public policy of Portland General Electric. “She has reported the news, worked for businesses with operations across Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, and led Portland’s most effective and successful business association. Sandi is uniquely positioned to lead Oregon’s businesses community in Salem and help us achieve strong results on behalf of employers and workers in every community.”

McDonough takes the helm at OBI after serving 14 years as the president and CEO of the Portland Business Alliance (PBA), greater Portland’s chamber of commerce. She retired from that position July 31. Under her leadership, the Alliance successfully executed the merger of two formerly separate Portland business associations, stabilized its financial status, grew and diversified membership, and became the pre-eminent voice for business in the greater Portland region. Prior to her tenure at PBA, she spent 20 years in the energy industry in management positions for PacifiCorp and San Francisco-based PG&E Corporation.

“I am honored to lead OBI and represent businesses across Oregon,” McDonough said. “We are at a critical juncture in our state, and business can and should play a substantial role in creating an Oregon where every person, in every community, has an opportunity for economic prosperity. Business wants to be at the table as we shape the future of this state and OBI, with its broad membership, strong board and great staff, is uniquely positioned to serve as the voice for business in Oregon.”

A native Oregonian, McDonough attended Portland public schools and was graduated from the University of Oregon with degrees in journalism and German. Earlier in her career, she worked as a newspaper reporter for The Oregonian and the Seattle Times. She has served on several nonprofit boards and currently is on the board of New Avenues for Youth, a Portland-based organization providing housing, education and job training for homeless and at-risk youth.

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