Commissioner Smith hosts ‘Lunch with the Leaders’ for POIC/Rosemary Anderson and Jefferson High School students

January 22, 2015

From left: La' Keesha Freeman, senior at POIC/ Rosemary Anderson High School; Commissioner Loretta Smith,; Markieba Spikes, junior at POIC/Rosemary Anderson High School; and Kalisha Spikes, sophomore at POIC/Rosemary Anderson High School

With a powerful line-up of women behind her, Commissioner Loretta Smith hosted a “Lunch with the Leaders” for students at Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center/Rosemary Anderson High School and Jefferson High School. The event, at the North Portland Library, was an opportunity for young women to make connections and explore career paths of local leaders of color.

“I asked myself an important question,” said Commissioner Smith at the Jan. 16 event.  “Do I do enough for young women of color? And the answer was no. So, I decided I need to get out into the community and do more. I wanted to bring some of the people I know and let them be your people for the day.”

Students sat down for a networking lunch with local women from a variety of backgrounds including public service; education; health; law; media/communications; corporate business; and government.

Guests included: Kimberly Howard of Portland General Electric's Corporate Social Responsibility Team; Kendall Clawson, director of executive appointment with Governor Kitzhaber’s Office; former State Senator Margaret Carter; Serena Stoudamire, early transitions, equity and community director with the Oregon Education Investment Board;  Marissa Madrigal, Multnomah County chief operating officer; Grace Neal, field representative with Senator Ron Wyden’s Office; Antoinette Edwards, director of the City of Portland's Office of Youth Violence Prevention; Jessica Morkert-Shibley, communications officer for Multnomah County; Nicole Rose, political analyst for Commissioner Loretta Smith’s Office; Multnomah County Judge Adrienne Nelson; and Commissioner Loretta Smith.  

All shared encouraging and powerful anecdotes about their career paths and the successes and setbacks along the way.

“When I was running for office, I didn’t hear no,” explained former State Senator Margaret Carter. “I heard yes.”

“Grit and an inquisitive nature. Those are the qualities companies are looking for,” explained Kimberly Howard of Portland General Electric. 

The event served as a forum for students to explore career choices and identify summer internship opportunities through Commissioner Smith’s Summer Works program

Foreground: Commissioner Smith Background, from left: Kimberly Howard; Kendall Clawson; Former State Senator Margaret Carter; Serena Stoudamire; Marissa Madrigal; Grace Neal; Jessica Morkert-Shibley; Nicole Rose; and Judge Adrienne Nelson