Portland Business Academy

Green For All, in partnership with the University of Phoenix, hosted a free, day-long Business Academy on June 25 in downtown Portland.  The event focused on building the capacity of small business owners in the region, and providing them with the tools, resources, and network they need to scale their operations.  The goal was to convene successful entrepreneurs, lenders, policymakers, and business support agencies who can share their insights on green business within their community.

Prospective attendees were concentrated in the energy efficiency sector, and particularly focused on the home performance and retrofitting work that is being performed in Portland.  As such, attendees included contractors, consultants, auditors, suppliers, and other small business owners and service providers.

The Academy provided a realistic overview of the opportunities that exist within the region’s energy efficiency ecosystem, and identify the policies, programs, and lenders that together support the growth of this industry.

Videos from Portland


  • Portland Mayor Sam Adams
  • John Berdes: CEO, Shorebank Enterprise Cascadia
  • John Haines: Executive Director, Mercy Corps Northwest
  • Jonathan Cohen: Principal, Imagine Energy
  • Jim Cole: Founder, OIS Distribution
  • Tom Beverly: Trade Ally Network Manager, Energy Trust of Oregon
  • Maurice Rahming: President, National Association of Minority Contractors
  • Terry Brandt: Executive Director, Albina Opportunities Corporation
  • Lynn Knox: Senior Program Manager, Portland Development Commission
  • Kevin S. Reilly: Home Performance Coordinator, LIUNA
  • Marshall Runkel: Principal, EcoTech LLC
  • Derek Smith: Policy Advisor, Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, City of Portland
  • Berenice Lopez: Co-founder, Home Energy Life Performance Group
  • Brian Hansen: Founder, Bull Mountain Heating, Air Conditioning, and Insulation

Panels and Workshops

  • Energy Efficiency Market Analysis and Opportunities
  • Repairing Your Credit and Finding Capital in a Tight Lending Market
  • Panel of Entrepreneurs: Success Stories and Lessons Learned
  • Vertical Integration, from Suppliers to Subs, in the Home Performance Marketplace
  • Business Development Programs, Systems, and Certifications
  • HOMESTAR, Clean Energy Works Portland, and Other Supportive Policies and Incentives

We also provided supportive networking opportunities by bringing in small business lenders, investors, and/or government officials.

Those that were encouraged to attend include contractors, energy auditors, weatherization technicians, manufacturers and suppliers of energy efficiency products, civic entrepreneurs, consultants, and policy makers.