Hotel Eastlund Grand Opening

Two years ago, my pop and his brothers stayed here during a visit to Portland back when it was still a Red Lion Inn.  AC was an option and I'm 99.9% sure there was no big-city like rooftop restaurant.  So it's metamorphosis since then into Hotel Eastlund left me a bit speechless.  But with Portland's own Holst Architecture behind the project (the firm behind former Days Inn-turned-Hotel Modera and Ziba HQ), it should have come as no surprise.  Topped by Altabira City Tavern, the restaurant and rooftop deck offer spectacular city views that give Departure's a run for it's cash money. 

Hotel Eastlund-Andrea Lonas Photography-032.jpg
Hotel Eastlund-Andrea Lonas Photography-281.jpg
Hotel Eastlund-Andrea Lonas Photography-263.jpg

Meals On Wheels People: Central Kitchen

Around this time for the last several years, Meals On Wheels People have asked me to help tell their story, and I gladly accept.   I recently started volunteering with my son to help prep and deliver meals twice a month, so I feel I can speak personally to the impact that I see when we knock on a door.  They help meet an incredible need in the community by serving roughly 5,000 meals each day to both homebound seniors as well as through various senior and community centers around the city and suburbs of Portland.  

This year, they asked me to profile more specifically the food itself, with an emphasis on the amazing abundance of fresh food they work to incorporate into each meal.   My first visit was to their Central Kitchen where they prepare the meals that are delivered to homebound seniors via a small army of volunteer drivers (according to their website, they depend on 500 volunteers a, wow).   In addition to all the fruits and vegetables, they even have a pastry chef to ensure fresh baked goods are a part of the mix. 

Food aside, I have developed an incredible fondness for the kitchen staff themselves, some of whom have dedicated the better part of the last 20 years to this mission.

NIKE : Brasada Ranch

I photograph a lot of events, and in the course of this, have had the honor of meeting and photographing amazing human beings and subsequently hearing their incredibly powerful words.  But one event in particular stands out, and not just for the rockstar lineup of speakers. 

Eleven years of working at NIKE could not have prepared me for the week in October I spent photographing a NIKE offsite at Brasada Ranch in Central Oregon.  In that previous lifetime, I attended countless meetings, met my share of inspiring athletes, and traveled places I never dreamed I'd go.  It's an experience I will be forever grateful for.

But there was something unique about the magical elixir of this team of leaders, guest speakers, and the Central Oregon air.  I've never functioned for so long (thrived even) on such little sleep.  And never has a week of photographing been so heartfelt and uplifting.  Recent red carpet darling and author of the book WILD, Cheryl Strayed.  Two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2012 FIFA World World Player of the Year, Abby Wambach.   Legendary Oregon State baseball coach, Pat Casey.   And Todd Storch, who along with his wife, created Taylor's Gift, a foundation established after the sudden death of their daughter, that is quite literally saving lives by educating and encouraging people to consider the gift of organ donation.   They, and many others from the leadership team, shared stories that laid open their soft spots, and their life lessons learned. 

Mix in some business, "Olympic" level fun and games, dress up and dancing... and they had the makings of a most perfect week. 

nike-brasada ranch-1275.jpg
nike-brasada ranch-3857.jpg

Annual Report: NOAH

I was asked by Network for Oregon Affordable Housing {NOAH} to help tell their story for their 2013 annual report.  As a non-profit established over 20 years ago, NOAH's goal is to serve as an affordable housing go-to resource and partner for individuals, communities, developers, federal agencies and others.  I was really struck by the perseverance and passion shown by the employees of NOAH, who fight an uphill battle every day between the crazy-making bureaucracy of the system and increasingly limited resources.  And as the economy has continued to stagnate, and with it, the difficulty even a typical middle income family can face with finding and keeping affordable housing, their role has become even more pronounced. But when you take the time to understand the impact their services can make on an individual level, the reasons for their continued commitment, despite the obstacles, becomes clear.

SHRM Magazine: Lone Rock Timber + Ninkasi Brewing

Society For Human Resource Management is an organization located in Alexandria, VA, a city my people hail from, so I was most honored when they contacted me to photograph two Oregon companies being profiled for an article in the July issue of their magazine highlighting HR success stories within small businesses.  In addition, I'm not one to turn down any reason for a road trip, so I gladly packed the car with gear and turned my wheels south. My first stop was Sutherlin, Oregon to photograph Julie Shoufler, HR Administrator of Lone Rock Timber.  She led me to a fabulous lakeside setting at one of their properties just outside of town.   Though a rare gender in the timber industry, she's spent most of her life in and around this world and I was really intrigued by the balance she so clearly struck between the two {the only thing missing from the photo below was her pink hard hat}.

Next on the list was Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene, Oregon, to photograph their VP of Organizational Development, Cheryl Collins.  *If you have ever had the good fortune of consuming one of their beers, you would inherently know that this was not a problem.  Named for the goddess of fermentation, Ninkasi has grown exponentially since their inception in 2005, but they still operate like a small, personable shop.  Cheryl pulled in the two founders, Nikos Ridge and Jamie Floyd, and all three proved to be good sports for the camera.

I can't envision a time when I will ever tire of having the good fortune to meet and photograph such amazing human beings.

Oregon Humane Society: 2012 Doggie Dash

What has become now my earmark for the coming of summer, on a painfully beautiful day last weekend, I photographed once again for the annual Oregon Humane Society Doggie Dash.  Though my task at hand was to focus on capturing the businesses and sponsors that come out to support this amazing event, I couldn't NOT allow myself to document participants of both the 2-legged and 4-legged variety, who did not disappoint in keeping me well entertained and inspired by their stories. And no small feat in this browbeaten economy, OHS surpassed their fundraising goal and brought in a total of $394,274!

As they do at OHS, so shall I sign off with.... For The Animals.

Oh...did I mention the *free* mimosas?!Pulling out all the stops for fundraising efforts."You tell anyone you saw me in this getup, and so help me dog...."