Vanessa Briseño, Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Portland Business Alliance, firstname.lastname@example.org
This week, Motus Recruiting, the National Association of Minority Contractors – Oregon Chapter (NAMC-OR) and the Portland Business Alliance (Alliance) announced the recent hiring of Lance Randall as Executive Director of the Black Business Association – Oregon (“BBA-Oregon”), a newly-founded initiative that aims to advocate for and promote the successful development of Black-owned businesses and focus on improving economic equity across Oregon’s Black communities.
This announcement comes after a national recruiting effort led by a coalition of the Alliance’s Black board members who joined together to issue a powerful call to action and statement on “The Invisible Knee.” Driven by this call to action and supported by the Alliance’s Board, members, and staff, the Alliance committed to a multi-year plan focused on utilizing public-private partnerships to influence policies that improve and promote economic prosperity and resiliency for Black businesses and residents in the Greater Portland region. BBA-Oregon was developed as a direct result of this effort and is informed by a strategic plan that addresses multiple factors of economic inequality.
“Motus is honored to have served as the search partner for such an important initiative to build capacity and sustainability among Black businesses in Oregon,” shared Orlando Williams, President and CEO of Motus Recruiting. “I am confident the organization will make significant strides toward economic justice in the region under Lance’s leadership.”
The partnership between the Alliance and NAMC-OR, the largest Black, Indigenous, People of Color business membership-based association, provides for mutual learning, capacity-building, and a commitment to long-term systems change that should reflect as a national model for collaboration.
“As a founding member of the Black Business Association of Oregon, I am thrilled to welcome Lance Randall as its new Executive Director,” said Andrew Colas, President & CEO of Colas Construction, Inc.; President of the Board of NAMC-OR; and Board Member of the Alliance’s Board. “Lance’s strong background in economic development throughout his career made him the clear choice. We believe that he will create a blueprint that will eventually become a national model for Black economic development and entrepreneurship.”
“Lance is the right leader for BBA-Oregon,” said John Maher, Chair of the Portland Business Alliance’s Board of Directors. “His dynamic and proven background in economic development, community development and workforce development will help promote valuable opportunities for Oregon’s Black-owned businesses, individuals and families.”
As BBA-Oregon’s new Executive Director, Lance Randall will help to advance a Regional Black Economic Prosperity Agenda and will create a space that provides all the necessary tools for Black Portlanders to grow and maintain intergenerational wealth and make Portland an example to the world on how to change for the better.
“The COVID-19 pandemic again laid bare deep economic inequities, often rooted in historic and ongoing systemic racism,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson, District 3. “I’m proud that our region stepped up to address these inequities head-on, through the creation of the Black Business Association-Oregon. I know that the leadership Mr. Randall brings will help our Black-owned businesses and our Black families. Yet this is not the end of our work on equity – this is still just the beginning. There is much more work to do.”
Mr. Randall is a seasoned relationship-builder, small business owner, and champion in the fields of economic and community development. During his career, Mr. Randall’s work in economic development has generated over $47 million in investments by local businesses and created and preserved almost 1,300 jobs.
Lance shares his goals and vision for BBA-Oregon: “It is indeed an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to lead and advance a Regional Black Economic Prosperity Agenda for Black Portlanders. My priorities are to support Black-serving organizations and the work they do across the region; implement economic development activities to help Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) businesses grow and prosper; develop policies that will lead to large-scale systems changes to bring about equity in public and private sector contracting; engage the philanthropic communities to make investments in BBAO initiatives that bring about economic equity; and build partnerships with government agencies, cross-sector institutions, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to help the BBAO accomplish the mission of the Black Economic Prosperity Agenda. My Vision is to achieve economic equity for BIPOC businesses and communities that is sustainable and lasting through a Black economic resilience agenda for the state of Oregon. I believe we can bring this vision to fruition through genuine partnerships, significant investments a detailed strategy, and an unwavering commitment to economic justice.”
“This is an exciting and critical moment,” shared State Representative Rob Nosse, Oregon District 42. “I am thrilled to see the Black Business Association of Oregon get off the ground with the hiring of its first executive director. Black leaders have impressed upon me the need to help Black Oregonians have access to the tools and funding necessary to be successful entrepreneurs.”
Spearheaded by the Alliance and NAMC-OR, the effort to develop BBA-Oregon was a true public-private partnership which has raised nearly $1M in grants and contributions from businesses, philanthropic institutions and public-sector partners. Founding members including the Alliance, the Black Indigenous People of Color Caucus of the Oregon Legislature, and Meyer Memorial Trust have each committed large investments toward this initiative, and additional seed investments have been contributed by Google’s Tidewater Foundation, Prosper Portland, the City of Portland, and others.
“Small businesses are the heart of Oregon’s economy,” said Ian Goodhew, Google’s Regional Head of External Relations. “In the past, Black business owners have not had equitable access to capital and other resources needed to keep their businesses thriving. We’re grateful for the Black Business Association of Oregon and the work they’re doing to finally remove these barriers.”
“You can’t get to justice without creating economic justice for Black Oregonians,” said D’Artagnan Caliman, Director of Meyer Memorial Trust’s Justice Oregon for Black Lives initiative, a five-year, $25 million commitment. “I’m proud that Meyer is supporting the BBA, and I’m confident that Mr. Randall and his team will be an asset to our state, and to Oregon’s Black business communities.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Lance in his role as Executive Director of BBA-Oregon,” said Kimberly Branam, Executive Director of Prosper Portland. “We’re heartened by the leadership and collaboration that brought us to this announcement. Our ongoing work to build an equitable economy will be strengthened by the efforts Lance will lead, and we look forward to working together to advance economic prosperity for Black Portlanders.”
“I am proud to support the Black Economic Prosperity Agenda to advance economic justice in communities that have faced historical divestment and discriminatory policies,” said Senator Kayse Jama, Oregon Senate District 24. “We are seizing this opportunity to ensure that access to economic opportunities is available to every Oregonian. Our investments today will create a better future for the generations that will come after us.”
“This is an exciting step forward in the Portland Business Alliance’s effort to partner with Oregon business leaders and grow the number of successful, stable, and well-capitalized Black businesses,” said Oregon State Representative Janelle Bynum, District 51. “Access to education, well-paying jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurship is key to closing the wealth gap in our community. Kudos to Lance for stepping up to serve in this important role.”
“Like so many organizations who are committed to change, the Alliance celebrates those who challenge the status quo, asking critical questions on how we can all do more and do better to improve the lives of Black, Indigenous and people of color,” said Andrew Hoan, President & CEO of the Portland Business Alliance. “We are listening, and we are learning. And we are excited to have Lance Randall pave the way toward real and tangible results for our local and regional Black business owners and residents.”
ABOUT NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MINORITY CONTRACTORS-OREGON (NAMC-OR): The mission of NAMC-OR is to advocate and support Black, Indigenous, People of Color-owned businesses by optimizing project participation and providing business development through education and training. Our vision is to grow the power of NAMC-OR to secure its vision of an Oregon that has fair and equitable contracting with profitable BIPOC-owned businesses and a sustainable diverse workforce.
ABOUT MOTUS RECRUITING AND STAFFING: Founded in 2006, Motus is an award-winning recruiting and staffing firm in the Pacific Northwest, specializing in professional services and technology solutions. We are a group of people who not only recognize the importance of representation, but actively sight for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the recruitment process. We’ve got the know-how and the determination for getting you in the door so you can show them what you’ve got.
ABOUT THE PORTLAND BUSINESS ALLIANCE: The Portland Business Alliance – Greater Portland’s Chamber of Commerce – was founded in 1870 and represents the largest, most diverse business network in the region. The Alliance brings together more than 2,000 members represented by dynamic and varied employers from around the Portland region and offers a strong source of support, information, advocacy, engagement, and professional development opportunities. Grounded in its mission to create opportunity and advance well-being for all who live and work in the greater Portland and SW Washington region, the Alliance envisions a healthy and resilient business ecosystem where we work together to increase collaboration in governance; engage community; increase civic leadership; and advocate for a vibrant, livable region for all.