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GPI Team

The GPI team is committed to making Greater Portland a better place to live and work through targeted retention, expansion and recruitment of businesses to the region. We provide resources for businesses to make informed location decisions, and our marketing and branding efforts make it easy for prospective businesses to see why Greater Portland is THE place to grow. 

  • Janet LaBarPresident & CEO
    Janet LaBar, President & CEO
    janet.labar@greaterportlandinc.com | 503.445.8065, ext. 101
    Since joining GPI in June 2014, LaBar has augmented the organization’s capabilities to provide its clients and the communities it serves with a more turnkey, highly sophisticated and professional economic development response. In addition to its core competencies in marketing and business development, GPI’s services now include research and analysis, strategy, and regional connectivity.
    LaBar led the planning process for Greater Portland 2020—the region’s five-year comprehensive economic development strategy. Focused on three core strategies of People, Business and Place, the plan is rooted in guiding principles of equity and advancement, and has a goal of shared economic prosperity for all across the region.
    Prior to this, LaBar served as Chief Performance Officer for Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), where she oversaw day-to-day operations, organizational performance, strategic initiatives and action plans. In her 10 years at GPEC, LaBar held several key positions at including Senior Vice President of Strategic Integration, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and Director of Product Improvement.
    LaBar spent two and a half years managing research and communications at the Center for Workforce Development at the Maricopa Community Colleges. Before this, she served as research director for ABC affiliate WEAR-TV3 and WFGX-IND in Florida.
    LaBar serves on Governor Brown’s Regional Solutions Advisory Committee and is a board member of United Way of the Columbia Willamette, Japan America Society of Oregon and Southwest Washington, and Portland Business Alliance. Her work has been published in American Biotechnology Laboratory, American City Business Journal network, and IEDCs Economic Development Journal.  LaBar earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from the University of West Florida and an MBA in marketing from the University of Phoenix.
  • Larry HoltVP of Business Development
    Larry Holt, VP of Business Development
    larry.holt@greaterportlandinc.com | 503.445.8065, ext. 103
    Larry brings over 15 years of economic development experience to GPI, most recently as Assistant Director of Economic Development for Cedar Park, Texas.  While in Cedar Park, Larry helped attract the aerospace, advanced manufacturing, information technology and clean energy industries. These projects led to over 1,500 jobs and $85 million dollars of new capital investment in Cedar Park. Larry started his career with the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce where he served as Director of Research and BRE for the 5-county Birmingham-Hoover MSA.

    Described by his peers as outgoing, perceptive and funny, Larry enjoys coffee, rock music and food trucks.

  • Amy JauronBusiness Development Manager
    Amy Jauron, Business Development Manager
    amy.jauron@greaterportlandinc.com | 503.445.8065, ext. 104
    As the Business Development Manager, Amy brings 5 years of economic development and marketing experience to Greater Portland Inc. She was most recently the Business Retention and Expansion Manager with Corvallis Benton County Economic Development Office where she helped define a community approach to proactive business engagement. She began her career as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the McMinnville Economic Development Partnership where she managed marketing and community partnerships. Amy graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife studies.
    Described by her peers as engaging, nimble, and a rabble-rouser, Amy enjoys travelling, fancy cocktails, and camping with her dog Gretchen.

  • Deborah JohnsonExec. Assistant & Director of Operations
    Deborah Johnson, Exec. Assistant & Director of Operations
    deborah.johnson@greaterportlandinc.com | 503.445.8065, ext. 105
    After serving in the US Air Force, Deborah worked for Pendleton Woolen Mills and Prologis utilizing her accounting and office management skills. Along with serving as Executive Assistant to our CEO, Deborah’s duties also include Human Resources and Accounting.
    Described by peers as decisive, accurate and funny, Deborah enjoys entertaining her family and friends, attending a barre3 class or rooting for Philadelphia sports.

  • Taryn JohnsonAdministrative Assistant
    Taryn Johnson, Administrative Assistant
    taryn.johnson@greaterportlandinc.com | 503.445.8065, ext. 100
    Taryn is our Administrative Assistant providing support to our GPI team members at multiple levels. With a diverse background and commitment to customer service, she has worked with several small business in the Portland area for the past 15 years. Taryn has a uniquely blended skill set which includes, marketing, education and pedagogy, performance, coordination, event planning, speaking Spanish and American Sign Language, as well as sales.
    Having performed regionally and internationally as a longtime member of Portland’s performance and dance community, Taryn also spends her time performing and teaching dance throughout the city. Described by her peers as caring, disciplined, and dedicated; when she is not in the dance studio or behind the desk, you can find her enjoying one of the local dog parks with her border collie, Jackson. 
  • Kathleen LeeVP of Regional Competitiveness
    Kathleen Lee, VP of Regional Competitiveness
    kathleen.lee@greaterportlandinc.co | 503.445.8065, ext. 107
    With a multidisciplinary background in economics and regional and urban planning, Kathleen is motivated by collaborative, inclusive and transformative approaches to economic development. Kathleen's work at GPI centers around implementing Greater Portland 2020, a visionary and ambitious five-year action plan designed to achieve economic prosperity for all across the region. 

    Prior to joining GPI, as Senior Vice President of Strategy at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Kathleen designed and implemented economic development strategies and pursued competitive and return-driven economic development policies. In partnership with Arizona State University and other regional organizations, Kathleen developed several proposals that combined $668,000 of funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce. With Arizona Small Business Association, Kathleen secured $100,000 from JPMorgan Chase Foundation to support implementation of the region’s export plan. As the project lead, Kathleen collaborated with Brookings, SRI International, and RW Ventures on the Metropolitan Business Planning initiative. This multiyear initiative resulted in the creation of a new nonprofit entity charged with implementing the regional economic growth plan focused on innovation, workforce, and international trade.   
  • Shari MarshallChief Financial Officer
    Shari Marshall, Chief Financial Officer
    shari.marshall@greaterportlandinc.com | 503.445.8065
    An entrepreneur at heart, Shari started her own consulting business in 1990. Referred to GPI by an executive search partner, Shari has worked as a bridge for over 25 small to mid-size companies over the past 20 years. Adding value beyond historical facts and working with companies in their early stages of growth, her role as CFO is to help contribute to the grown and well-being of the organization, as well as approving the break room coffee budget.
    Described by peers as witty, hard-working and approachable, Shari enjoys a good class at the gym, the great outdoors and attending Oregon State sporting events. 

  • Matt MillerVP of Business Development
    Matt Miller, VP of Business Development
    matt.miller@greaterportlandinc.com | 503.445.8065, ext. 109
    In his role as Vice President of Business Development, Matt facilitates opportunities for job growth within Greater Portland Inc’s Global Trade and Investment Plan; supports communities and partners’ outreach to the region's largest traded-sector companies to uncover possibilities for expansion; researches and targetsusers for the region’s large sites; and partners with the Small City Consortium members to improve local competitiveness and readiness for projects looking to expand.

    Most recently, Matt served as Vice President of Business Development at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, where he facilitated corporate expansions leading to the creation of more than 1,300 traded industry jobs, $1.6 billion in real and personal property investment and the absorption of 2.2 million square feet of commercial real estate. Specializing in counseling companies through the market due diligence and site selection process, he has distinguished his practice by providing clients with impactful customized research including industry and market analysis, operating cost modeling, tax and incentive analysis, and economic and revenue impact analysis.

    He was instrumental in the design of the Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program, the Quality Jobs Program, the Qualified Facility Program, and over a half-dozen other pieces of legislation and tax reforms that enhanced Greater Phoenix’s competitiveness.

    An expert on regional economics, Matt has presented on regional economic conditions, industry trends, and competitiveness and public policy issues to many groups, including the Maricopa Community Colleges, Arizona State University, East Valley Partnership, WESTMARC, etc. In 2013, he was invited as a guest lecturer on economic development at Arizona State University’s School of Public Affairs.

    Matt lives in Southwest Portland with his wife Piper and son Ezra. They have two dogs Jack and Bobby. He has graduate degrees in economics and public policy from the University of Oregon and Arizona State University, respectively.
  • Cara ReneVP of Stakeholder Relations
    Cara Rene, VP of Stakeholder Relations
    cara.rene@greaterportlandinc.com | 503.445.8065, ext. 102
    As Vice President of Stakeholder Relations, Cara leads investor engagement and recruitment, and strategic outreach opportunities for GPI. Previously, Cara was Director of Communications and Media Relations for Southern Arizona’s largest school district, leading communications, marketing, community outreach and large scale event coordination. Her passion for economic development was bolstered as Vice President of Community Development for the Downtown Tucson Partnership, where she created and implemented strategies to increase visitation to the urban core, developed audience participation opportunities and established a network of supporters from the public and private sectors. 

    Described by her peers as enthusiastic and energetic, Cara loves the Portland region for the abundance of outdoor activities, the arts and music scene, and world cuisine.


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