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Success Stories

Tradition and Service are Part of the Many Folds in the Fabric of an Oregon Community

In 2007, Oregon native Casey Bonsi started Origami Catering in Ashland, Oregon and moved the business to a tiny 250 square foot kitchen in southeast Portland in 2009. Trained by world-class Chef Shiro Kashiba, also known as the “Godfather of Sushi” in Seattle, Casey hoped to combine his understanding of traditional Japanese cuisine with the Pacific Northwest palette. With its modest kitchen, Origami Catering soon established a loyal following for its line of unique Asian inspired dishes as well as its sushi catering services. Amid the Great Recession, the business soon experienced devastating losses to its revenue as its sales plummeted.

To keep the company running and his employees on the job, Casey forfeited his own salary and lived out of his van. He knew that to save the business, he would need working capital to help weather the economic crisis and position it to move forward.... Read More

After years of working in Human Resources and recruiting candidates for permanent placements at companies, Joanne Bell approached one of her previous employers with the idea to open an employment service that she would manage. Instead, she was offered a loan and office space in the basement of one their buildings, which became the first home and start of BeginRight Employment Services in 1986. The company provides staffing, recruiting and human resource services to its clients in the light industrial, warehouse, clerical, food manufacturing, and trade industries.

With an ever-growing demand for new employees in various local industries, BeginRight needed a strong presence where it could be the most responsive to the needs of their community. To make a difference in the communities it serves, the company realized it needed to help local businesses grow while simultaneously giving people hope to find their next career. This required both expertise and capital to make... Read More

In 2002, Cecil DelaCruz was one of a handful of engineers and technicians tasked to oversee the shutdown of a fabrication facility when months before he was overseeing its construction. His employer was a major semi-conductor manufacturer in Portland, Oregon, which had become the latest victim of the dot-com bubble of 2000. Although he came from a mechanical engineering background, the experience Cecil gained managing the construction of the facility would have a lasting impact on the direction he would take for his future. The question he had to answer was, what comes next?

Cecil answered that question by registering the name of his future company with the state of Oregon as Viking Engineering + Construction, which was inspired by his alma mater of Portland State University and his twin passions – Engineering and Construction. All he had at this point was a company name and a dream that someday it would be a reality. That dream would have to wait as... Read More

Vinh, Mai & Lisa Tran

Strength, Resilience, and a Little Sauce are the Ingredients for a New Beginning in Oregon 

When Lisa Tran’s parents escaped Vietnam in 1976 after the capital city of Saigon fell to North Vietnam, they would embark on a harrowing journey and endure unspeakable hardships to carve out a new beginning for their lives together. Lisa joined them after being born in a refugee camp in Indonesia where they eventually immigrated to Oregon. After 20 years working in the Pacific Northwest’s aerospace and footwear industries, Lisa’s parents took a new journey as entrepreneurs when they open the doors to Tân Tân Café & Delicatessen in Beaverton, Oregon.

Tân Tân means “New Beginnings" and it did not take long for the restaurant to grow a loyal customer base who embraced not only popular dishes such as Phở (Beef noodle soup) but also the signature sauces the restaurant created to complement the subtle flavors of its dishes. The... Read More