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Business Memos...

Local businesses are the lifeblood of our community. The Mid-county Memo offers this section to our business neighbors for news, advancements, promotions, expansions and other noteworthy events to be shared with the community at large. Business Memo submissions for the February issue are due by Saturday, Jan.15. For best results, e-mail Darlene Vinson at You may also mail submissions to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave., Portland, OR 97230. To leave a phone message, dial 503-287-8904. The Mid-county Memo fax number is 503-249-7672.

Diamonds and Millers International Jewelers are forever
Justin Miller, the fourth generation of Millers to enter the family jewelry business poses with, from left, his father Doug - who entered the family business in the mid-1970s - and his retired grandfather, Robert. Millers International Jewelry operated a store in east Portland for decades before Robert Miller retired, closed the retail store and his son Doug moved downtown in an off-street location. On Justin's impetus, he and his father Doug recently re-opened a retail storefront jewelry store and art gallery on Southwest Alder St. in downtown Portland.
Five years ago, just after Justin Miller graduated from a long, intensive education at the American Institute of Diamond Cutting in Florida and joined forces with his father Doug in the family jewelry business, he vowed to one day open the only retail jewelry store in Portland that cuts their own diamonds, enabling him to offer wholesale pricing.

Last month, he met his goal with the grand opening of Millers International Diamonds and Jewelry and art gallery at 234 S.W. Alder St. in downtown Portland.

The new storefront has 1700 square feet of space, with 800 feet dedicated to the art gallery, 600 feet dedicated to the storefront jewelry operation, and the rest to the Millers' workstations.

In the early 1920's, young Charles Miller learned watch repair at a jewelry store in Toledo just a few miles inland from Newport on the Oregon coast. In a few years, his brother Frank joined him in a joint retail jewelry venture. This was the beginning of what was to become Miller's International Jewelers, a 16-store regional retail jewelry empire.

Over time, the business expanded, new stores opened and another generation entered the business. By the 1970s the company had 16 retail stores in four states and employed more than 200 people. The family business had evolved into the largest jewelry manufacturing company in the Northwest and a publicly traded company with its headquarters on Northeast Halsey Street in the Gateway district.

Miller's International was described as a fast-paced, high-volume fine jewelry manufacturing facility with master bench workers, learning both mastery of design and volume manufacturing. Miller's sold products across the nation, to resellers and large jewelry retail corporations, and insisted that its jewelers be very experienced and highly skilled.

In the late '70's Charles Miller retired, the business shrunk, and son Robert opened Robert Miller Fine Jewelers on Northeast 122nd Avenue and Glisan Street. A decade later, the third generation entered the family business. Doug Miller, Robert's son, was taught to manufacture high-end custom jewelry. He says the creativity, quality and price of the custom pieces he and his father designed earned a loyal following.

While Robert Miller has since retired, Doug Miller continues to design and manufacture custom jewelry in downtown Portland. Generation number four has recently joined him in the family business. Millers' son Justin studied for two years at the American Institute of Diamond Cutting in Florida. With this skill, the Miller's are now the only jewelers in the Pacific Northwest to offer diamond cutting and original design on site.

Justin Miller's training also allows the pair to buy rough diamonds, cutting out the middleman and saving their clients money. Doug Miller says this specialty is nearly “unheard of today and it allows us to create custom jewelry with precious stones that never leave the premises.”

Get in touch with Doug or Justin at Miller's International Diamonds and Jewelry in downtown Portland, for a one-of-a-kind gift that will undoubtedly become a family heirloom. Call 503-706-0157 to make an appointment.

Naturopath settles in Gateway
Naturopathic physician Tom Messinger practices natural therapeutics at A Family Wellness Center in Gateway.
Tom Messinger is a primary care physician with a general family practice at A Family Wellness Center, 330 N.E. 102nd Ave. After 23 years as a registered nurse in emergency rooms and trauma centers, Messinger enrolled at National College of Natural Medicine to study naturopathic medicine.

As a naturopathic physician, Messinger melds his knowledge of traditional medicine with natural therapeutics like diet, lifestyle, botanical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, and shiatsu acupressure massage.

Messinger knows it is easier and wiser to prevent disease than to try to reverse it and has adopted a prevention first approach. He also believes “it is important to treat the individual that has the disease, not just the disease itself.” When he sits down with a new patient he works to put together a treatment plan that will focus on both helping that person address current health issues and also averting future problems for which they may be at risk.

While he concedes conventional medicine holds a very important place in the health care system, Messinger believes that naturopathic medicine is significant in preventing and reversing many diseases. “What would be ideal,” he said, “is that the place gets reached where conventional and naturopathic medicines work together in a mutually respective way with the sole goal of providing the utmost benefit for the patient.”

For a well rounded approach to your health and well-being or to schedule shiatsu message, call 503-252-9181. You will feel better for it.

Custom flooring center offers skilled craftsmen, quality products
Performa Floor, a full-service custom hardwood flooring company, has opened a showroom in Parkrose. Established in 1986, Performa Floor filled a specialized niche providing portable dance floors, custom floor mats for the luxury car market and custom mill work.

They now offer a wide variety of hardwoods from domestic oak to exotic hardwoods and have assembled a team of skilled craftsmen who can refurbish old floors or design and install new ones. These artisans can create custom inlays and other features that will make your floors unique.

If you are a do-it-yourself person, Performa Floor also offers rental equipment, maintenance and repair products and classes to assist with your project.

Brenda Palmer, Craig Elbon and Bob Richardson are standing by to make your custom hardwood flooring needs a reality. Visit the showroom at 4910 N.E. 122nd Ave., or tour their products and services online at today. The phone number is 503-206-6047.

NWCC staffer keeps learning
When it comes to education and professional development, the staff at Northwest College of Construction walks the walk. Laurie Emery, operations coordinator at the NWCC, has been certified as a master trainer and assessments administrator by the National Center for Construction Education and Research.

As a master trainer, Emery teaches instructors how to effectively deploy the NCCER curriculum provided by NWCC. The college prides itself on its top-notch, well-trained instructors who combine years of industry experience with knowledge of how to teach what they know. Additionally, contractors can utilize the college to assess potential new hires for their true skill level in over eight construction crafts. As assessments administrator, Emery is certified to proctor and process these craft assessments.

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