Pam Treece of Beaverton says she will bring a lifetime of varied experience — including five years as executive director of the Westside Economic Alliance — if she is elected District 2 Washington County commissioner.
Treece said how well the economy is doing is intertwined with an array of other issues facing the county, such as education, housing, mental health and addiction treatment, and transportation.
"My deep and continuing involvement in this community has given me tremendous knowledge of the economic and social opportunities and issues we face in Washington County," she said in announcing her candidacy.
"We have done a good job in Washington County of fostering the local economy," where a 3.5 percent unemployment rate in August tied it with Benton County for Oregon's lowest. "I intend to continue to foster and protect those connections and relationships as your commissioner."
Unlike the other two seats up for election in the May 15 primary — for chair and for District 4 — District 2 is represented by a two-term incumbent, Greg Malinowski, who already has filed for re-election.
This is Treece's first campaign for public office.
"It certainly poses challenges," Treece said in a brief interview. "But I believe what I bring to the table is an immense amount of knowledge that could not be gained any other way than the experiences I have had. Given that, I am in a unique position to be the best candidate for this job.
"I have been doing good work for a long time that has put me in a position to be an excellent candidate."
District 2 covers part of Beaverton and a wide swath of urban unincorporated communities in the county's northeast corner.
If more than two candidates get into the race, and none wins a majority in the primary, the top two finishers advance to the November 2018 general election.
One of Treece's endorsers is Andy Duyck, who is stepping out after two terms as board chairman and a total of 24 years as a commissioner.
"When I was elected back in 1994, I did not know half of what she does," Duyck said. "She is going to be able to jump in and be a great commissioner."
Also among those in attendance at her campaign kickoff were Commissioner Bob Terry, who is vacating the District 4 seat to run for Duyck's position, and Commissioner Roy Rogers.
Board positions are nonpartisan.
Treece and her husband, Marty, have a grown son and daughter.
Treece, 66, is executive director of the Westside Economic Alliance, which links local government officials with business executives to promote economic development. She said she will continue in that job through the election.
In December 2012, she succeeded Jonathan Schlueter, who left a couple of months earlier to become Washington County government relations manager.
She is an Oregon native and graduate of Parkrose High School. She earned a bachelor's degree from Portland State University and a master's degree in exercise physiology from Lewis & Clark College.
Though she trained as a physical education teacher, she has worked at the YMCA, her own business and St. Vincent de Paul.
She worked at PacifiCorp for 21 years, ending up as vice president for Oregon external affairs. She then worked for Greater Portland Inc. before she went to WEA in 2012.
Among her other civic involvements were the boards of Planned Parenthood, Rose Festival and the Street Trust, formerly the Bicycle Transportation Alliance; the advisory committee for the $680 million Beaverton School District bond that passed in 2014, and the board of Worksystems Inc., which designs metro-area programs to improve worker skills.
Treece acknowledged that unlike her previous work, being a commissioner would put her in the public spotlight.
"It's now my turn to bring my values and leadership skills to the commission," she said.
"I promise you I will bring energy, commitment and diversity to the commission."
Peter Wong / Pamplin Media - "Alliance director joins Washington County race"