September 2020 Newsletter

“Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.

~Mahatma Gandhi~

Next PBDG Meeting 

Wednesday September 23, 2020 • 4 – 5:30pm

We invite you to join us for our monthly membership meeting!

Click here to register for this meeting and access the Zoom meeting details.

If you are still having issues using Zoom, please let us know so we can assist you.

Upcoming Classes

Click on the class list below to be taken to our interactive PDF of September 2020 Classes at PBDG. There you can click on the registration links to register through PBDG’s EventBrite page.

We look forward to having you join us!

From the Desk of the Executive Director

Kenechi Onyeagusi, PBDG Executive Director


PBDG has taken the month of August to do some deep work on our operations and programs. Our website reflect some of the fruits of that labor as we now have an organizational calendar which will be updated monthly and are rolling out our full program offerings at the training center. We have also opened the application for our mentor-protégé program. Firms do not have to be PBDG members to apply to be part of our learning cohort. Please visit our training center page for more information on our programs, we are open for business and look forward to serving you. Our operations will still be virtual and we will continue to offer our services for free. Ensuring that your business survives and thrives during these times is our highest priority.  

We are also working on migrating our members and partners to our new member management platform that will provide more visibility and a personalized service approach for each of our stakeholders. Over the next few months, we will dedicate a section of our meetings to discuss the impact of Community Benefits Agreements, how it intersects with workforce and ways that some of the regulation on clean energy vehicles can impact a subcontractor’s ability to work. Please keep an eye out for our meeting announcement for a line up of our speakers. This will be a very important conversation and an excellent opportunity to ask questions directly to project owners. We hope to see you at our membership meeting on September 23 from 4 to 5:30pm.

Welcome to September! I wish you health, wealth and seasons of joy.


Member of The Month

Partner of The Month

New Member Spotlight

Industry News

Event & Meeting Details

Invitations to Bid

Member of the Month

Mack Parnell, Owner
Phone: (971) 754-5942


Metal Acoustic Commercial Kraft offers professional services in the field of exterior interior specialist (EIS) and interior systems. Some of the services we offer consist of: metal stud framing, wood framing, sheetrock installation, door frames, relites, and acoustical ceilings. I am the owner and operator of Metal Acoustic Commercial Kraft and have been in business since 2015.

We are currently providing demolition services on the Constructing Hope Tenant Improvement Project with Pacificmark Construction. We have also provided core shaft, framing, sheetrock, relites, and door frame services for the Fox Tower project with Hoffman Construction. We have recently supplied demolition and  flux core arc welding services for the Providence St. Vincent project with Andersen Construction. In addition to our core services, we have also done acoustical ceilings, insulation, plywood, blocking and backing for the Airport Embassy Suites project.

In the next 5 – 10 years, I see women and people of color having more prominence and visibility in construction. I believe we will see more large general construction companies that are owned and operated by women and people of color. I think the industry will have more overall diversity, but we all have to do our part to make this a reality. In addition to women and POC getting more opportunities in the construction industry, I would also like to see more at-risk kids and young people get involved in the trades early on. This would provide a structured environment where they could work closely with mentors who would not only teach them a trade but also show them that there are opportunities to make an honest living and succeed through hard work.

I would like to give a shoutout to the PBDG team because they have given me resources and assistance to help grow my business and create valuable relationships in the industry. I have been a part of PBDG for almost 2 years. What attracted me to this organization was the welcoming environment; I really felt like PBDG was invested in my success and made me feel like a part of their family. PBDG’s work is important because they help small and new firms learn how to grow and create a sustainable business environment. They provide valuable classes that help business owners learn about the industry and the right way to run you a successful business.

In my spare time, I like to hang out with my daughter, take her on outings, and just spend quality time with her.

We are currently DBE, ESB, and MBE certified. We are open for business and looking to build new partnerships.

Partner of the Month

Ashley Buchanan , Preconstruction Manager


Fortis Construction, Inc. is an employee-owned general contractor committed to making an impact – through the built environments we deliver and the relationships we build in the process. We are driven by four Core Values…

  • Relationships: life is too short – we want to work with and for people we respect, trust and care about.
  • Pioneering: we will continuously seek out challenges and push boundaries with creative ideas and solutions.
  • Pride: we are driven by work ethic and craftsmanship – we do our best work even if no one is looking.
  • Winning: we have an intense will to win – we will go longer, work harder and give more than anyone else.

I have served in various roles as a construction manager and general contractor for the last twenty years.  Currently, I am the Preconstruction Manager at Fortis.  My focus is to set up our projects for success and to continually improve and differentiate our preconstruction services in the marketplace.

Fortis is excited about the advancements coming to the construction industry—from new project types and technologies to the diversity of construction-industry professionals. We are finding new ways to do things more efficiently and safely than  had been done for decades, and that is a win for everyone involved.  In the next 5-10 years, I see the pace of construction continually speeding up. We will need new talent from younger generations combined with new solutions and technologies. Everyone from designers, engineers, builders and clients will be looking at new ways to deliver higher quality and more efficient infrastructure. I would like to give a shoutout to Jim, David and Rene (our founders) who started the company 17 years ago with our first office in David’s garage!  Fortis has grown significantly since then and 93% of its work is with repeat clients – we believe it is a result of staying true to our Core Values.

We’ve been a partner with PBDG for a couple years now.  We had worked with some PBDG members James, Faye, Maurice, and others and found we were aligned with the PBDG philosophy. PBDG’s work is important because improving business conditions for small, emerging, and disadvantaged businesses is essential to our industry and PBDG is a key player in this endeavor.  The education, support, and relationship-building work being done by PBDG facilitates growth and we are glad to support this process.  Fortis has worked with several PBDG members: O’Neill, Faison, Bestrade, A2, Just Right Heating & Cooling, Code Unlimited, Northwest Infrastructure, Plumbing Concepts, Professional Lath & Plaster, Sterling Pacific, and many others!

With 4 busy kids, I love to hike, ski, fish, and bike with them.  I got started in construction as a wood framer and concrete carpenter and wish I could get out of the office and do that more often!

New Member Spotlight

Angela Watkins, COO
Phone: (503) 939-5094


Angela has been a small business advocate from the start of her Government Career in Vancouver WA and has over 20 years of experience working with small businesses, GCs, government entities and public contracting. She saw a need to provide access to minority owned businesses and to create relationships within the infrastructure that would support not only providing access, but also giving opportunities to businesses that historically were not getting the chance to work on Government projects. Thus increasing their ability to grow their businesses and understand what is needed in order to successfully get to the next level. This realization inspired Angela to start her own consulting company to help minority businesses form valuable relationships that would provide access to more opportunities and government projects.

Minority Construction Group (MCG) provides the following services to owners, general contractors, and subcontractors: Pre-Construction Consulting , Construction Consulting, Project Management, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI). Click here for a detailed list of services.

One of MCG’s notable projects is PCC Rock Creek Campus where they were hired by Pence as the DEI Consultant. MCG will support Pence’s efforts regarding subcontractor/supplier utilization and coordinate with Portland Community College’s equity requirements/reporting. Another project MCG is working on is the Constructing Hope Expansion. MCG will provide project management services to the Constructing Hope Pre-Apprenticeship Program that serves people of color, people coming from incarceration, and low-income adults. This will also be a complete renovation of Constructing Hope’s existing building.  MCG also provided services for the Leatherman Tool Group Care Health & Wellness Center TI. This project consisted of converting an existing warehouse conference room into an on-site medical clinic, specifically for Leatherman Tool Group’s employees. Throughout construction, MCG strategically ensured dust did not infiltrate the factory where production lines were in process, and also incorporated security measures for the protection of confidential files and prescription medications.

One of Angela’s most defining moments was when she won the trust and the business of one of her current clients. Her client’s project is historical in the services they provide, significant in its impact to the minority community, and located in the heart of North East. This expansion project will allow her client to increase training capabilities and provide a benefit to the local construction industry. The client’s facility will help meet the increased industry demand for a qualified and diverse workforce by providing quality of training for larger class sizes. Angela is very proud and excited to share in this monumental project.

Project Capacity: $500,000

Industry News


PBDG Mentor-Prtoege Program

OverviewPBDG Mentor-Protégé Program is a learning model with a holistic three anchor support strategy: tailored class offering, 1:1 advising service and a mentorship cohort. Each business will go through our free initial client needs assessment to help identify areas of weaknesses. The training center utilizes internal resources/expertise and leverages existing external resources available in the industry and community to meet participants’ needs. 

Businesses in this learning cohort are considered long term clients. Each program year is 9 months long with a 2 year term. After the 2 years, clients will be eligible to continue receiving one-on-one business advising from our business advisors. The owner(s) will work with a business advisor and mentor to develop a strategic plan specific to the needs of their business to overcome obstacles the firm is facing.  Enrollment in this program is highly competitive and limited to strict criteria determined by funding contracts. 

Availability: We are currently accepting applications for our 2020-2021 program year!

Applications close on September 28 at 5pm, apply now!

Cost: This program is free thanks to our Program Sponsor.

Click here for qualification criteria, program services, and access to the application!

The Oregon Cares Fund – for black relief and resiliency

The Oregon Cares Fund is now open!

The Oregon Cares Fund is a targeted investment in the Black community from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund. This fund is meant to provide the Black community with the resources it needs to weather the global health pandemic and consequent recession. The Oregon Cares Fund is for Black people, Black-owned businesses, and Black community based organizations.

Click here for more information.

Click here to apply!

Portland Small Business Relief Fund – applications open september 14

A new round of applications for the Small Business Relief Fund opens Monday, September 14 at 9am!

City Council allocated $15 million to Prosper Portland to distribute to small business via the Small Business Relief Fund and block grants to community nonprofits.

Distribution is guided by the city’s Equity Toolkit and the knowledge that Black people, Indigenous people and all people of color have experienced the greatest impacts from the pandemic and need the most support. These funds will serve applicants across multiple demographic categories; all small businesses that meet the eligibility requirements will be considered.

Click here for more information.

Click here to sign up for Economic Relief & Stabilization email updates from Prosper Portland.

2020 Presidential Election: Make sure you are registered to vote!

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election is only 2 months away. If you are able to, it is very important to participate and cast your vote! 

Click here to register to vote.

Click here to confirm your Voter Registation Status.

BDI MED Week Awards – Nomination Deadline 9/8

Each year, BDI and local sponsors host  Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Workshops and Awards Luncheon for the Portland Metropolitan region. During MED Week, advocacy groups and government partners join the local business community to celebrate local minority businesses and the contributions they make to our local economy.

This years awards categories are as follows:

  • Construction Firm of the Year – Recognizes a construction firm notably contributing to the local minority business community.
  • Minority Business Firm of the Year Award (non-construction) – Recognizes a minority-owned business (construction / non-construction) contributing to the local minority business community.
  • Leadership Award (race neutral) – Recognizes an individual that demonstrates notable leadership in the minority business community.
  • Individual Champion Award (race neutral) – Recognizes and individual that actively advocates, promotes and supports minority businesses in the community.

Click here to see the award criteria.

Click here to nominate!

Energy Trust of Oregon Position Opening – Senior Accountant

Energy Trust of Oregon is looking to hire a Senior Accountant. The Senior Accountant will be an integral part of the Finance team that operates in a very dynamic and fast-paced environment. This position will be responsible for a wide range of general accounting activities, both routine and of a special project nature, ensuring financial compliance.

This candidate will need to possess strong problem-solving skills, be extremely detail-oriented and have the ability to work closely with others within the Finance team – and cross-collaboratively within the organization. This position will be spent working remote but on occasion required to be in office. Energy Trust of Oregon is looking for candidates with initiative and the ability to approach work through a diversity, equity and inclusion lens.

Click here to view the full list of position responsibilities, requirements, and how to apply!

Northwest Infrastructure Position Opening – Project Engineer

Northwest Infrastructure specializes in heavy civil construction and offers excavation, demolition, underground utilities, and dump trucking services. They are currently looking to hire a Project Engineer that is highly motivated, with a demonstrated passion for excellence and taking initiative, has a strong work ethic, and is willing to do what it takes to get the job done right the first time.

Click here to view the full list of position responsibilities, requirements, and how to apply!

Safebuild Alliance: Safety Week – Earthquake Preparedness 9/11/2020

Safebuild Alliance’s keynote speaker for 2020 is Steven Eberlein, a TEDx speaker and foremost expert on the Cascadia Subduction Zone and earthquake preparedness. Through his company Tipping Point Resilience, Steve works to put theory into practice and create an enduring culture of earthquake preparedness in the companies and communities of the western US and Canada.

Through this presentation, Steve will connect the dots between organizational safety and disaster preparedness. By the end, you will have a better understanding of the steps to take to prepare your workplaces and your homes for a major disaster.

Click here for more information and to register for this virtual event.

eidl loans are available again

After shutting down the Disaster loan program due to funding running out, and then limiting recipients to agricultural businesses only, the SBA has reopened the EIDL Loans for all industries with a cap of $150,000. 

The Emergency Grant program (which provides up to $10,000 based on a rate of $1,000 per employee) is also running again.

The deadline to apply for a COVID-related EIDL loan or grant is December 31, 2020. You can apply here.

Will you be working on City of Portland, Multnomah County, Metro, Washington County or Port of Portland Projects?

Adopted by these public agencies over the last year, the Clean Air Construction Standard will require lower emission dump trucks and construction equipment on most of their projects beginning in 2021.

• Are you ready? 

• Do you know where your vehicles and equipment stand? 

• Do you know what your options are? 

The City of Portland is offering free, to COBID certified firms, assessments of their construction equipment against the Clean Air Construction Standard.

This free assessment includes on-site inspection of vehicles and equipment to verify where your fleet stands in regard to the Clean Air Construction Standard and a report to you including a list of options for how to shift noncompliant equipment and vehicles into lower pollution with benefits for your employees and the communities in which you workIt is up to you to decide what steps you will take but you need this information to plan and manage your business. 

To arrange for an on-site assessment contact Kevin Downing at 503.539.0610 or

Invitations to Bid

LMC Construction - Las Adelitas

LMC Construction - Las Adelitas

Bids Due September 17 at 5pm, Pre-Bid RFIs Due September 10 at 5pm

TriMet - Upcoming Bids

TriMet - Upcoming Bids

Pence - Upcoming Bids

Pence - Upcoming Bids

MWH Constructors - Portland Water Bureau Corrosion Control Improvement Project

MWH Constructors - Portland Water Bureau Corrosion Control Improvement Project

Bids Due September 25

Hoffman Skanska -  PDX TCORE Western Terminal Expansion

Hoffman Skanska - PDX TCORE Western Terminal Expansion

Bids Due September 10th at 2pm

Hoffman Skanska - PDX TCORE BP #17 - North & South Bypass

Hoffman Skanska - PDX TCORE BP #17 - North & South Bypass

Bids Due September 10 at 2pm, To access this info enter the access key: 701c1d029037172

Hoffman Skanska -  PDX TCORE CCB BP #4.2 - Tenant Relocations Phase 4

Hoffman Skanska - PDX TCORE CCB BP #4.2 - Tenant Relocations Phase 4

Bids Due September 24 at 2pm, to view this info enter access key: 70c403995d0d172

ODOT - Holman Stockpile Site New Salt Shed

ODOT - Holman Stockpile Site New Salt Shed

Bids Due September 8 at 11am

ODOT - Notice to Contractors

ODOT - Notice to Contractors

Bids Due September 24 at 9am

Hoffman Construction - OJD: Supreme Court Building Interior Modernization

Hoffman Construction - OJD: Supreme Court Building Interior Modernization

Pre-Bid Meeting September 3 at 9am, Bids Due September 22 at 2pm

Portland Community College - Data Center Electrical and Telecommunication Upgrades

Portland Community College - Data Center Electrical and Telecommunication Upgrades

Bids Due September 17 at 2pm

Portland Public Schools - Franklin Classroom and Office Auditions

Portland Public Schools - Franklin Classroom and Office Auditions

Bids Due September 22 at 2pm

Walsh Construction - Linfield Science Building Addition

Walsh Construction - Linfield Science Building Addition

Bids Due September 9 at 2pm

JW Fowler -  Upcoming Bids

JW Fowler - Upcoming Bids

Lease Crutcher Lewis - Lebanon Veterans Home Addition

Lease Crutcher Lewis - Lebanon Veterans Home Addition

Bids Due September 15 at 8am

PBOT Construction Contracting Opportunities

PBOT Construction Contracting Opportunities

Through Fall 2020

City of Portland - Pending Bids

City of Portland - Pending Bids

Stacy and Witbeck - Red Line Expansion and Reliability Improvements Project

Stacy and Witbeck - Red Line Expansion and Reliability Improvements Project

Potential DBE Business Opportunities


Visit our covid-19 resource page for a more comprehensive list of resources


Steve Frost, Safety Manager with Howard S. Wright, has been heavily involved in shining a light on the mental health issues impacting the construction industry and its workforce for several years. Join us for a look at this sobering issue and some programs and resources available for those in crisis.

Visit to register.

For questions and more information, contact Lisa Wisler: 503-685-8306 or