Learn more about the people behind our local businesses!
Columbia River Painting, LLC
Leticia Nuñez has always held an unwavering commitment to family. In fact, her drive to start her own business came from her desire to be present for her growing children. For years as a single mother, Leticia juggled the demands of parenting with those of a full-time job. “It was very difficult, having a job and raising two active boys,” she said. “I realized I needed the flexibility to be there for them.” In thinking about a solution, she realized she knew some of the ins and outs of construction. It was this knowledge that helped her zero-in on the painting trade as the right pursuit. And so, with a clear idea, guidance from an ally, and time spent in classes offered by various paint companies, Leticia ultimately got her license, and Columbia River Painting, LLC was born.
Leticia’s pivot into the trades was grounded in her many years working as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity — a nonprofit organization that provides housing solutions to disadvantaged communities around the
world. She has continued to gain hands-on experience building homes in rural, under-serviced villages in Myanmar, Japan, China, and India. Most notably, her continuing work with Habitat for Humanity dovetails
perfectly with her passion to help those in need — a commitment that helped propel Columbia River Painting forward in the company’s early days. Back then, Leticia took jobs repairing and repainting homes for low-
income Latino families in Portland. “It was really satisfying for me, because I was helping the people who really needed it. And a majority of them were mothers.”
As her efforts paid off and her business gained momentum, Leticia hired her ally, Mario Sanchez, as Crew Manager. She continued to pursue classes and training through various sources, while networking within Portland’s Latino community. But it was when Leticia discovered PBDG that her business shifted to the next level. She dove into PBDG trainings, became an active member, and was soon welcomed into PBDG’s mentor-protegé program. There, she began working directly with mentors from primes such as Walsh Construction. “Without PBDG and the help of PBDG mentors, my business would be about six years behind,” she said. “PBDG and my PBDG mentors not only teach me, they empower me to succeed on my own.”
Leticia’s growing business continues to prove her words true. Columbia River Painting is not only working for Walsh Construction on three new projects (buildings containing 60 to 187 apartments), the company is also working with Washington County in the City of Hillsboro on a five-year contract to complete the interior and exterior painting of government buildings, including the Sheriff’s Office East Precinct in Beaverton.
Still pledged to giving back, Leticia has never faltered in honoring her crew as a fundamental reason for her success. “My team makes all of this possible,” she insisted. “They are what differentiates my business. And my relationship to them, my friendship with them, is the most important thing to me.” It’s only one of the reasons why Leticia continues to give back, mentoring team members, while treating them with care and respect. For Leticia, it’s clear: “My team is an extension of my family.”
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