11 Portland Businesses Received Inaugural Age-Friendly Business Awards at City Hall Ceremony

‘Age-Friendly Business Day’ Proclaimed in Honor of Age-Friendly Businesses

PORTLAND, OR – November 2, 2018 – More than 100 Portlanders joined Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Nick Fish, Elders in Action, Venture Portland and the Age-Friendly Portland and Multnomah County Advisory Council to present inaugural Age-Friendly Business Awards to 11 Portland businesses in a City Hall awards ceremony on Wednesday, 10/31. The Ceremony was followed by Mayor Wheeler proclaiming October 31st ‘Age Friendly Business Day’.

Portland businesses, nonprofits and government agencies were eligible to apply for either or both Awards in one of three categories based on business size as determined by number of employees. The Age-Smart Employer Award recognizes employers that have policies and practices that benefit workers of all ages and the Age-Friendly Business Award celebrates businesses that serve people of all ages well.

Age-Friendly Business Award Winners

Age-Smart Employer Award Winners

  • MLK Property Management (5-19 Employees) – As a new East Portland business, owner Marsha Zimmerman prioritized investing in her employees when she started MLK in 2014. One-third of her employees are aged 50+ and they have “many opportunities to learn, transition to other positions or retire without worry” thanks to significant professional development, employer-paid medical care, paid time off, flexible schedules and her innovative approach to profit sharing.
  • Adorn Boutique (20-49 Employees) – Owner Nicole Whitesell is passionate about welcoming customers of all ages and backgrounds to Adorn. As she expanded from 1 boutique to 4, she made hiring expertise a priority, and is proud that 25% of her team is aged 50+ and reflects the diversity of her customers. “The perspective, strength and years of experience that these phenomenal women bring to the table is simply invaluable.” Adorn provides employer-paid medical care, paid time off, a retirement plan and phased retirement options plus flexible work schedules and job responsibilities.
  • New Seasons Market (50+ Employees) – New Seasons prides itself on a culture of equity and inclusivity and a workforce that reflects the population their stores serve. They adjust or adapt work environments, including designing an accessible check-out stand, to ensure older works, or those with other needs, stay employed/productive. In hiring, New Seasons prioritizes ‘friendliness’ and ‘trainability’ and rewards employees with employer paid medical, dental, disability and life insurance, paid time off and a retirement plan.

Age-Friendly Business Award Winners (5-19 Employees)

  • Urban Development Partners (Private Sector) – UDP’s workplace culture is driven by inclusivity. Founded in 2006, UDP has developed some of Portland’s most interesting and accessible projects – including PDXCommons, an innovative co-housing project for people aged 55 or greater. By incorporating age-friendly features and functionality into their designs and construction, UDP is literally building an age-friendly city.
  • Multnomah County Elections (Public Sector) – When it comes to helping older voters, Elections staff remove barriers to becoming civically engaged by traveling to an older voter’s home to help them fill out their ballot, utilizing innovative assistive technologies including electronic tablets or an audio version of the voter pamphlet. Plus all Elections materials and facilities employ universal design standards including all-user restrooms, large fonts and zoom capabilities plus sensory-friendly private rooms for voting.
  • Seniors on the Move (Senior-Serving Agency) – Launched in 2015, Seniors on the Move provides critical support for older adults making life transitions out of their current home. All Seniors on the Move staff are accredited Certified Senior Housing Professionals and receive significant continuing education to understand and address the needs and issues of the aging population.

Age-Friendly Business Award Winners (20-49 Employees)

  • Law Offices of Nay & Friedenberg – Attorney Tim Nay was one of the founding members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and its first president. He and his firm, opened in 1984, are one of the most highly regarded Elder Law firms in the U.S. The Law Offices of Nay & Friedenberg LLC help seniors and their families navigate the complexities of estate planning, long term care, Medicaid, special needs planning and guardianship/conservatorship, in a safe, friendly, and welcoming environment.

Age-Friendly Business Award Winners (50+ Employees)

  • Portland Nursery (Private Sector) – With more than a century of experience in urban gardening, Portland Nursery also grows age-friendly relationships with customers to assist them in their horticultural lives at every age. They host free public senior gardening days, private classes for groups of seniors that want a more personalized setting and their Hard Goods Department goes through extra training on tools that help older adults adapt to their favorite activities in the garden.
  • Unitus Community Credit Union (Nonprofit) – As a member-owned institution, Unitus is in the people business. With 25% of its 90,000 members aged 55+, every employee is trained on the dangers older adults face in financial scams which helps branch staff identify when an older adult may be in a compromised position and design materials so older adults can easily read and interpret them. And, all Unitus branches are designed to accommodate all ages from the youngest to the oldest.
  • Multnomah County Library (Public Sector) – With 20,000 large print books available, monthly pop-up libraries in senior-living facilities and more than 350 volunteers aged 50+, seniors are some of the libraries most frequent customers. Multnomah County Library provides older adults a multitude of free, easy options to engage with their community, including dozens of programs and performances each month, and conducts significant outreach to bring experts and books to homebound or limited mobility library members.
  • Ride Connection (Senior-Serving Agency) – For three decades Ride Connection has provided older adults and people with disabilities with accessible and supportive transportation options. Their dedicated staff receive significant education annually, including an empathy-promoting ‘People-first’ training and ongoing safety certifications. In addition, Ride Connection provides trainers to help older adults and those with disabilities safely navigate public transit.

“Portland’s small businesses are the backbone of our local economy,” said Commissioner Nick Fish. “As the City Council Liaison to Portland’s Age-Friendly Advisory Council, Elders in Action and Venture Portland, I know first-hand that Age-Friendly businesses benefit everyone. I am excited to participate in the inaugural ceremony celebrating the public-spirited businesses in Portland that recognize that employing, serving and engaging older adults well is good for business and good for our community.”

Older adults are the fastest growing demographic in the region with the number of people age 65 or older in the Portland area expected to double to more than 500,000 by 2030. Each year older adults generate more than $7 trillion in economic activity nationwide, a figure that is expected to double by 2032. “Older adults have tremendous economic and social capital,” said Barbara Bernstein, Executive Director of Elders in Action. “We are proud to recognize the innovative small businesses that are making a major difference,” said Heather Hoell, Executive Director of Venture Portland. “In Portland, small is really big.”

“Older generations bring wisdom, talent and capacity that we can harness to strengthen our community,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “I believe that age-friendly cities are more desirable, successful, and economically viable than those that are not. By working across generations, we can develop solutions that are beneficial to people of all ages.”

Created by the Age-Friendly Portland Advisory Council, the Age-Friendly Business Awards were produced by Elders in Action and Venture Portland in partnership with the City of Portland.

About Age-Friendly Portland

In 2011 Portland joined the World Health Organization’s new Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities as one of nine pioneer cities from around the world and the only US city. Network membership reflects Portland’s commitment to actively making the city a great place for people of all ages: agefriendlyportland.org/business-awards

Elders in Action promotes the health, resiliency and independence of older adults. The organization amplifies elders’ voices and creates opportunities for volunteerism and civic engagement by training and engaging more than 100 volunteers to impact the lives of 3,000+ older adults annually: eldersinaction.org

Venture Portland invests in the smart, strategic growth of Portland’s 50 unique neighborhood business districts which together contain 19,200 businesses and provide 270,000 jobs. Through grants, trainings and technical assistance Venture Portland builds the capacity of and connections between Portland’s neighborhood business districts: ventureportland.org