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Portland District Office

Success Stories

Success Stories

Developing clean energy, one briquette at a time


Hiroshi Morihara has had a long, distinguished career in business; from being a mechanical engineer, inventing silicon manufacturing processes, starting up manufacturing plants, working as a consultant in semiconductor and biotech industries and developing property. It wasn’t until the beginning of this century though, after his wife suggested he return to inventing, that he developed the idea for HM3 Energy.  He had just finished reading a book about energy and hearing a speech on the environmental ramifications of coal plants, when it hit him. His invention would be a cleaner form of energy, and that’s just what HM3 Energy has developed.

HM3 Energy has a proprietary torrefaction process to turn biomass into clean fuel to replace coal in coal-fired power plants. HM3 Energy's TorrB briquettes can be made sustainably from readily available and abundant biomass sources such as urban wood waste, agricultural residue, and forest waste. Existing power plants designed to... Read More

Best Friends and Business Partners Put e200 Skills to Work

Lori Oswald-Kosmas and Toni Hyde were drawn to entrepreneurship from different places. Lori didn’t like the desk-bound nature of her former corporate job and decided she wanted a change; Toni entered the industry after her father’s terminal illness forced her to leave college and return home to work and care for him. Toni’s father was an entrepreneur and instilled that drive in Toni before passing away.

Following their natural inclinations and recognizing they each had a flair for sales, in 2004 Lori and Toni teamed up to start Beyond Uniforms & Apparel in Hillsboro, Oregon. With over 30 years of combined marketing industry experience, this duo had strong ideas about how to start their company. Eight years later, Toni and Lori continue to work together selling uniforms, flame resistant clothing, safety clothing, promotional marketing products and corporate apparel to customers all over the United States.  Impressively, their revenue doubled in 2011, and they now proudly... Read More

La Vida Es Una Aventura

“Life is an adventure and you live a greater adventure when you are willing to take more risks,” reads the legacy in Carmen Nazario’s high school year book. Though she didn’t have a crystal ball, Carmen’s quote selection would be foretelling of her future. While attending a university in her native home of Puerto Rico, she decided to take her first big risk. She followed in the footsteps of her father, a World War II Veteran, and joined the U.S. Army, hoping to see the world.

Carmen served as a computer programmer during the Vietnam War; gaining skills that much later would help her establish her own company. After leaving the Army, she attended school, got her Bachelor’s degree and started work as an Information Technology professional. Nearly 20 years later, Carmen took another huge risk. As a single mother of three she decided to start her own business in the field she knew best, software development and consulting.

“I knew there must be a better alternative to the... Read More

When Junea Rocha moved to the Pacific Northwest from Brazil to be with her husband Cameron, it didn’t take them long to realize that something was missing. The delicious pão de queijo (cheese bread) that graced their every social occasion in Brazil, from visits with grandma to sophisticated evening functions, was nowhere to be found. Junea, determined to satiate her taste buds and share this culinary treat from her native country, set out to replicate her family’s recipe for what they now refer to as “Brazi Bites”.

Recreating the right flavors was difficult using only local ingredients. Junea and Cameron sampled at least 70 recipes with 30 different types of cheeses before perfecting their dish. As friends tasted and raved about the final result, the idea to start a company was born.

“We’ve always been really passionate about food, and good quality food. We thought it was worth sharing with more and more people,” said Junea.

With the support of the Get Your... Read More