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Meet Todays Speakers

Sophorn Cheang,
Director, Business Oregon

Sophorn Cheang took the reigns as Director of Business Oregon in March 2021. Prior to that, Cheang served as the Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Governor Kate Brown since 2018. 

Prior to her work with the Governor's Office, Cheang served as Senior Community Development Manager and Director of the Asian Family Center for the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, where she developed and directed culturally specific programs and services for immigrants and refugees; mobilized diverse community leaders across the state to address social and racial injustices; and performed other strategic planning and advocacy work. 

Monique Claiborne, President & CEO, Greater Portland Inc.

Monique was selected as GPI’s new president & CEO after a national search, and assumed the role at a time when strong economic development leadership was crucial to the region’s recovery. Monique is leading the organization into a new era, overseeing GPI’s efforts to grow jobs and investment in Greater Portland and ensuring the region’s economic development strategy paves the way for prosperity for all.

Monique is deeply invested in the Greater Portland community, and serves on the board of directors for the Portland Business Alliance and Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette. She is also passionate about ending mass incarceration. Prior to the pandemic, Monique volunteered at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Oregon’s only women’s prison, empowering women through entrepreneurship.

Maria Isabel Ellis, Economic Equity Manager, Oregon Department of Transportation

Maria Isabel Ellis brings nearly 15 years of economic development, administration, and policy experience to her role as Economic Equity Manager at Oregon Department of Transportation. Before joining ODOT, Maria served as executive director of the Pacific Northwest International Trade Association (PNITA) and director of federal affairs at the Portland Business Alliance – working in those roles to advocate for Oregon’s traded-sector and international trade economies with federal partners.


In her current work, Maria leverages her past economic development experience to design and implement strategies that leverage ODOT’s public investments for the benefit of BIPOC-owned firms and the communities ODOT serves. Maria is a proud immigrant from Colombia and has a master’s in urban and regional planning from Portland State University. 


Lorelei Juntunen, Partner & President Elect, ECONorthwest

Lorelei is a Partner and President Elect of ECONorthwest, a west coast economic and policy consultancy. Lorelei’s consulting work focuses on the evaluation of the intersection of public investment, policy choices, and community development, and economic outcomes. Many recent projects have focused on the implementation of equitable housing outcomes, including the development of the State of Oregon’s first Statewide Housing Plan and affordable housing policies for many Oregon communities.

Lorelei also develops and implements corporate growth and financial strategies, with responsibility for creating productive and supportive firm culture through day-to-day operational decisions. Lorelei sits on the Board of Directors and serves as the Vice President of Operations for ECONorthwest. She is a Trustee for Oregon’s Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and serves on the Board of Bravo Youth Orchestras. 

Todays Schedule - December 2, 2021

7:30 am: Networking and registration

7:55 am: Welcome introduction, Candace Beeke, Market President & Publisher, Portland Business Journal

8:00 am: Sponsor Introduction, Miller Nash LLP 

8:05 am: Conversation with Economic Development Panel 

8:55 am: Sponsor Giveaway, Miller Nash LLP

9:00 am: Closing, Candace Beeke, Portland Business Journal

Nominate Here! 

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Thursday, December 9: Oregon's Most Admired Companies



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