Local businesses provide employment for area residents and products and services close to home. Mid-county Memo Business Memos celebrate news, advancements, promotions, retirements, expansions and other noteworthy events at these cornerstones of our community. To share news of your business with our readers, Business Memo submissions for the August issue are due by Saturday, July 15. For best results, e-mail Darlene Vinson at editor@midcountymemo.com. You may also mail submissions to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave., Portland, OR 97230. To leave a phone message, dial 503-287-8904. 

MHCC President Debra Derr will retire following the 2017–18 academic year. COURTESY MHCC

MHCC President Debra Derr will retire following the 2017–18 academic year.

MHCC president to retire
Mt. Hood Community College’s (MHCC’s) President Debra Derr will retire following the 2017–18 academic year, effective June 30, 2018.

Derr rejoined MHCC as the college’s 10th president in 2013 following a nationwide search; she had served at the college in multiple past roles during her 30-year community college career before taking on the president’s role at North Iowa Community College in 2008.

During her tenure at MHCC, she oversaw the college’s 50th anniversary celebration, as well as the college’s successful seven-year accreditation renewal. Derr’s successes at the college included rebuilding and expanding relationships with the community, educational and business partners and donors, as well as rebuilding trust within the college, and a renewed focus on student success and completion.

“A good president provides the conditions for the successes of the college to happen,” said Derr. “I hope that my legacy will be tied to creating those conditions.”

Wells Fargo donation supports women’s shelter 
A $10,000 grant from Wells Fargo to the nonprofit Human Solutions will give women experiencing homelessness a chance to rebuild their lives.

“We appreciate Wells Fargo’s continued support of our work. We will use this grant in a variety of ways to help our clients heal from the trauma of homelessness and, in some instances, domestic violence,” said Hillary Houck, Human Solutions’ chief program officer.

Human Solutions will use the gift to help fund its staff costs, new workshops and programs and skill-building activities at its Gresham Women’s Shelter. The shelter provides emergency accommodations for up to 90 women year-round while they search for their next home. It includes a kitchen, laundry services and showers.

The shelter also provides free programs to help guests update their resumes, fill out job and rental applications, learn about their rights and responsibilities as renters and grow their own vegetables. Other activities being funded by the grant include writing workshops and nail art instruction.

Human Solutions will also use some of the grant to buy nutritious food for the shelter’s new Quarterly Dinner Program,  where teams of disabled youth are paired with an adult mentor, chefs from New Seasons and several of the shelter’s guests to cook a community dinner and eat together.

“It’s important for the community to know about the hard work Human Solutions does and the compassion it has for those in need,” said Wells Fargo District Manager Andre Moreno, who volunteers on the Human Solutions board. “Every dollar or item donated and every minute spent volunteering helps support others in our community.”

Human Solutions welcomes volunteers at its Gresham Women’s Shelter or its Family Shelter in Portland. The Family Shelter also accepts donations of food and hygiene products. Those interested in helping can go to humansolutions.org for a list of needed items and for volunteer information.

City will alert renters of proposals
Notifications of land use proposals are required to be mailed to the property owners of surrounding lots. Recently, the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) expanded those notifications to include renters.

“It is important to us to provide notice to everyone living near a land use proposal, regardless of whether they own their property or are renting. We’re serving the whole community, not just property owners, and it’s important that all neighbors be informed and given the opportunity to comment on land use proposals,” stated Rebecca Esau, interim director of BDS.

Sending land use proposal notifications to renters increases their opportunity to participate in the process and provides advanced notice of proposed changes before construction starts.

Some examples of land use proposals include large projects such as the design of a new downtown building, subdivisions or the expansion of a school in a residential zone, as well as smaller projects, such as a request to build a house closer to a side property line than the zoning code would normally allow.

Approximately 800 to 900 land use applications are processed each year.

To learn more about land use regulations or view land use proposals, visit portlandoregon.gov/bds/35881.