Nitin Rai is nothing if not an overachiever.
He's CEO of the thriving software company First Insight, as well as managing director of Elevate Capital. It's that latter company where Rai is making waves: the group primarily invests in Oregon's growing base of minority entrepreneurs.
SEE SLIDESHOW: Executives of the Year and Executives to Watch in 2017
Karla Friede's name is often mentioned in tandem with Rai's among tech circle VIPs. She's the CEO of Nvoicepay, a 70-employee (and growing) company that's landed $10 million from investors in the past year.
And then there's David Howitt, currently Portland's most-visible deal maker. If you've eaten a Little Big Burger or taken a sip of a Kure smoothie, you've had contact with a company impelled, in some manner, by Howitt.
These three are just a handful of one of two groups set to be honored Jan. 26 as either Oregon Executives of the Year or as Executives to Watch in 2017. The gathering takes place between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland. Tickets are available here.
The awards, designated for the past decade-plus, honor 10 executives most deserving of the accolades for their accomplishments during 2016.
Another 12 leaders, in the "Executives to Watch" category, will also earn notice for their potential to shine during 2017.
The honorees are selected by the Portland Business Journal's editorial staff based on their successes in the previous 12 months, as well as their potential to excel during the coming year.
For instance, Sara Batterby is president and CEO of Hifi Farms, which, with investments from the likes of Howitt and other noted money experts, is poised to help further legitimize cannabis as a viable recreational and utility crop just two years after it became legal in Oregon.
Others we're honoring include:
- Kurt Huffman, one of the region's most daring and inventive restaurateurs.
- D'Wayne Edwards, the Pensole founder who's making his mark as both a creative design and education force.
- Terri Hobbs, whose Housecall Providers took a seemingly outdated notion (the formerly common medical house call) and reinvented it as a critical care delivery mode for seniors or deeply infirmed patients.
Last year's honorees including the likes of Nike's Mark Parker, New Seasons Wendy Collie and Portland Timbers chief Merritt Paulson.
Andy is the Portland Business Journal’s digital managing editor, overseeing the daily digital news operation. Sign up here to receive the free news-packed emails he curates every day.