Our Neighborhood Stars feature is designed to shine a little light on the people you see every day, working, living and playing in our Northeast and North Portland neighborhoods. If you’d like to be a neighborhood Star, or know someone who would, you can request a survey by emailing ofni.swen-rats@snikrepdet.
Insurance Adviser at Farmers Insurance and 2017 Hollywood Boosters President
Proudest professional moment: Ranked Number One Life Insurance Agent in the State of Oregon for 2016.
First job: Straw Hat Pizza. I cleaned the pans.
Favorite thing about neighborhood: Being able to grab a slice of Atomic Pizza within a block of my house, practically at any time.
Fun fact: I can do an amazing Aziz Ansari Impression. True story.
Favorite spot on a Saturday night: A&L Sports Pub right across the Banfield, Sam’s Billiards or Chopsticks.
Favorite movie: “Little Miss Sunshine” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
Music of choice: Phil Collins, Elton John, A Tribe Called Quest, KanYe West. Not ashamed!
Favorite place to eat: Shandong – all the way.
Favorite neighborhood businesses: Aunt Tillie’s – where everybody knows your name – Sam’s Billiards, MacPCX.
Motto/Inspirational quote: “Life has a way of rewarding you for being the person you know yourself to be. So keep being you, and keep smiling, even if others frown on the process.” “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.”
Stories you’d like to see in the Star: Neighborhood cleanups, volunteer work, etc.
Maura K. White
Executive Director of Mother & Child Education Center – a nonprofit that helps pregnant women and families.
Proudest professional moment: I take pride in helping staff, volunteers and interns grow professionally. I believe it is just as important to help someone learn what job they shouldn’t be doing as it is to help them understand what direction they should go in.
First job: Two at the same time. I made engraved name tags for Harry Merlo’s meetings at Louisiana Pacific, and I worked for Bill Naito as an assembler at Norcrest China. Bill made us show him our high school grades each quarter to keep our jobs. Very impactful jobs for me.
Favorite thing about neighborhood: Running into people I’ve known since grade school, beautiful trees and awesome small businesses.
Fun fact: I love that people can find me through my mom, who still has the same phone number since before I was born.
Favorite spot on a Saturday night: On my couch in my PJs or at Bridge City Taproom.
Favorite movie: Besides every movie on the Hallmark Channel? “Holiday Inn” and “Galaxy Quest”
Music of choice: Country and 70s.
Favorite place to eat: It was Poor Richard’s, but I love and frequent Amalfi’s!
Favorite neighborhood businesses: The Arrangement, 42nd Street Station, Dan’s Automotive, QFC on 33rd, Hollywood Theater, Chin’s Kitchen and Sam’s Billiards.
Motto/Inspirational quote: “Act now and apologize later.” “We are never more true to ourselves than when we are inconsistent.” – Oscar Wilde
Stories you’d like to see in the Star: You already do a great job of covering the area! Other things: Grant student guest writers and recipe of the month from readers
Owner of Chameleon Restaurant & Bar
Proudest professional moment: The ten-year anniversary of Chameleon Restaurant and now the 19th this year.
First job: At McDonald’s as a teenager.
Favorite thing about neighborhood: I’m excited, because one of my neighborhoods has a new farmer’s market that is beginning to take off.
Fun fact: Between a very busy schedule, I like to be completely spontaneous and go with the flow.
Favorite spot on a Saturday night: Chameleon Restaurant!
Favorite movie: “The Sign of the Cross” (1930)
Music of choice: Large array
Favorite place to eat: My backyard in the Gorge
Favorite neighborhood businesses: Hollywood Theatre, Whole Foods, Lagos Consulting.
Motto/Inspirational quote: “Set your goals high and work at it.”
Heroes: Bruce Lee and Anthony Bourdain.
Stories you’d like to see in the Star: Art galleries, restaurants, and Pacific Northwest food.
Manager at Kenton Cycle Repair
Proudest professional moment: This isn’t necessarily a moment, but I really love being a woman in the bicycle industry. We’re the minority in this field, and I appreciate contributing to the growing diversity – and I’m reminded of that every time someone comes in and says, ‘It’s so nice nice to see women wrenching!’ I feel like I’m doing something I love which is also meaningful, and approachable to other individuals.
Favorite thing about neighborhood: Kenton feels like a small town! Everyone knows each other. I grew up 40 miles west of Portland in the country. Kenton feels like home!
Fun fact: I have a rescue Border Collie/Aussie Shepherd named Josie. She has her own fan base in Kenton now – and all the neighborhood dogs know to come to the bike shop for treats.
Favorite spot on a Saturday night: Parkside Café
Favorite movie: “Touch the Sound”
Music of choice: Anything electronic – or Nina Simone.
Favorite place to eat: Ukiyoe
Favorite neighborhood businesses: Parkside, and pretty much every place in the Kenton area.
Motto/Inspirational quote: “Live without limits.” – Nick Vujicic
Stories you’d like to see in the Star: I love memoirs and history. I’d love to see stories from people in the community, and pictures and history from the Pacific Northwest – The good, the bad, and the downright ugly.
Freelance marketing and media relations consultant
Works: St Johns.
Lives: St Johns – mostly because it’s such a walkable community.
Plays: St Johns, but I love all of the greater Portland area, especially the eastside. Normandale is my favorite dog park to hang out with my pooch, Millie.
Proudest professional moment: Many years ago I created – and self-financed – a mail order business selling ethnic arts and crafts from around the world, donating 10 percent of revenues to wildlife and animal protection nonprofits. Yes, I still have inventory.
First job: Water safety instructor and lifeguard when I was in high school.
Favorite thing about neighborhood: The sense of community, the walkability of everything in St. Johns, the gorgeous bridge and the parks.
Fun fact: I love social dancing. I used to take ballroom, latin and swing lessons at Arthur Murray on Northeast Broadway – and in NYC where I am from – but now my knees won’t let me. Deepwater aqua-aerobics at Matt Dishman is almost as much fun.
Favorite spot on a Saturday night: Ah, used to be dancing in any of several venues around Portland. But now – well, I’m trying to figure it out! Suggestions anyone?
Favorite movie: Any movie with dancing – and happy endings! Probably “Mad Hot Ballroom” is the very best – a true story of poor kids in NYC who were taught to dance and competed with kids from rich schools.
Music of choice: KMHD jazz, especially – from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays – the Bom Dia show with Krishna, or Brazilian jazz. Bossa nova is my all-time favorite genre. Also cool jazz and classical on all-classical FM.
Favorite place to eat: Any Indian restaurant – Namaste, The Sudra, the new Open Tandoor and Bollywood are all favorites on the eastside. I’ve been a vegetarian for 30 years and am close to being vegan. I also enjoy Middle Eastern and Thai, with many choices, including Drunken Noodle on Lombard and Ya Hala on Stark.
Favorite neighborhood businesses: In the Hollywood area I love Portland Shoe Repair. They have helped make my shoes and boots more comfortable and last longer for a very reasonable price. Copy Pilot on Lombard and Minuteman Press on Glisan have done wonderful jobs printing up posters and programs for concerts that the Finlandia Foundation sponsors. Nectar Cafe and Blossoming Lotus are great vegan places to eat.
Motto/Inspirational quote: “You must do the things you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
Heroes: Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey.
Stories you’d like to see in the Star: Volunteer opportunities and stories about people and organizations doing good, important work – anything that helps builds community. We need this now more than ever.