If you didn’t make it to the 2016 Annual Meeting…

We missed you! Hopefully, you can join us next year – in January, 2017!

As happens each year, Connie shared OTI’s accomplishments from 2015. The short summary version is that it was a very busy year for staff. If you want the more detailed version, well, you are going to have to wait a little longer. We are going to be releasing an annual report later this year and we don’t want to spoil all that hard work!

A critical piece of the Annual Meeting is voting in board members for their two year terms for both new and continuing board members. This year Aida Aranda and Stephanie Peters extended the terms of their board service, and Emily Wigre joined OTI’s Board of Directors!

Sometimes when we welcome someone new, we also have to say goodbye to someone else. After two terms of service, Cari Ebbert decided it was time for her to transition to a new role. She shared her passion for OTI, particularly the important role she feels the organizations plays in creating a community of tradeswomen who support each other. Cari is not a graduate of OTI’s TAC Class, but talked about volunteering for her union at the Women in Trades Career Fair every year. Once she realized that OTI coordinated the entire event, she began to volunteer with us as well! Thank you so much Cari for all of your time and dedication. We look forward to seeing you at OTI events and supporting us in new ways in the future.

We wrapped up the evening by recognizing our 2015 Outstanding volunteers and by holding a raffle. Believe it or not, Jen Netherwood was a winner again! Between hard work and good luck, we suspect she will be running the world soon. Overall, there were 61 people in attendance representing 19 different trades!

See you next year!

2015 Outstanding Volunteers

One of the highlights of my year is when I get to recognize the hard work of OTI’s volunteers. These folks often work behind the scenes and their contributions to our mission are so often missed! This year, I am excited to highlight four volunteers who have gone above and beyond to support OTI and tradeswomen.

Outstanding Board Member


Irais Gandarilla  

If her face looks familiar, but you can’t quite place it, look back to your 2015 Women in Trades Career Fair materials. Irais was the face of brand new materials that feature real tradeswomen. She also represented our Board and the organization, acting a spokeswoman . The 2015 Tradeswomen Leadership Institute would not have been the same without her this year either, she served on the planning committee and, in partnership with Annie Burton, presented a workshop Social Justice: When Diversity Isn’t Enough.

Outstanding Volunteers

Bea Jenkins 1WEB

Bea Jenkins

As an organizer for the Operating Engineers, Bea has been involved with OTI through presentations to TACC. However, in 2015 she decided to volunteer with us and jumped in with both feet! First, she started as a member of the Tradeswomen Leadership Institute planning committee. In January of  last year, I don’t think Bea knew exactly how big of a role she would play. Ultimately, she ended up being one of the storytellers for Tradeswomen Stories. She also recruited her good friend, Merilee McCall, to be the keynote speaker for the event!

Sho is on the left.

Sho is on the left.

Sho Newman

This incredible woman will sneak quietly under your radar, but she is a force to be reckoned with. Last year, Sho was holding down two jobs, one being her Carpenter’s apprenticeship and then another just to fill up those free hours on the weekend. However, she didn’t let this stop her from being a Lead on our new Volunteer Outreach Team. Sho, and her team, really moved this forward helping OTI staff represent our mission at community events. She recruited folks who had never been involved with OTI and was always bringing a friend (or two!) to social hours.


Shondra Washington

If you have met Shondra, you may not believe that she just graduated from OTI last year. Out of the gate, Shondra was representing OTI, Tree Trimmers, and workers’ right at the 2015 Summer Institute for Union Women. Of course, she didn’t stop there. Shondra regularly presents for TACC. While most people shy away from fundraising efforts, she has also advocated for OTI on this front, presenting to groups about funding OTI and being featured in our 2015 Give Guide Campaign.

I hope you can join OTI staff in recognizing these amazing volunteers. If you are friends with them on Facebook, give them some love and some kudos! Send them a sweet text. Or, best of all, come out and give them a round of applause at our Annual Meeting.


Get Involved in the 2015 Women in Trades Career Fair



Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.’s Women in Trades Career Fair is our largest (and most fun!) event of the year. With more than 30 interactive, hands-on workshops, it is a great way for girls and women to discover a future career. We serve about 2,000 women and girls over the course of three days. Without the help of volunteers, OTI wouldn’t be able to put on this event each year. Volunteers keep the event running smoothly and help with a variety of tasks. More than 100 volunteers cover 175+ shifts. Last year a volunteer commented on their participation in the Fair:

“I could tell that I was really needed to help the workshops run smoothly. There are a lot of schools in the building all at once and my presence let the workshop leaders do their job – teaching the girls. This was one of the better volunteer experiences I have had and I can’t wait to come back next year! Plus, you get lunch and really cool t-shirt.”

Please sign up to join the ranks of people who volunteer during the Women in Trades Career Fair and help us produce another fantastic  event in 2015.