Although I haven't been able to discover any press releases and the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors site ( http://www.pmar.org/) says nothing, it appears that Dan Wieden, Chief Creative Officer/CEO of Wieden & Kennedy Advertising Agency has been named Portland's 2004 "First Citizen."
A banquet honoring Wieden and sponsored by the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors will be held on Tuesday, May 18th at the Portland Marriott-Waterfront. It includes a social hour and dinner. Other sponsors whose logos appear in an ad in today's Oregonian are: Davis, Wright, Tremaine, LLP; R.B. Pamplin Corporation; The Oregonian; RMLS; and US Bank Home Mortgage.
Portland's initial First Citizen was timber magnate Simon Benson. Although Portland has, through the years, occasionally acknowleged an individual whose forte is community service and neighborhood activism, it more often honors business magnates, and property owners and developers such as Naito and Wieden.
The Portland First Citizen Award, "honors civic achievement and business leadership." It was created by the Portland Board of Realtors in 1928 and, according to the Board, "is considered to be Portland's most pretigious (honor)." Given the criteria, deeds, time devoted, and good intentions are not enough; one must also be a "business leader" which translates into "wealthy and influential."
There have been murmurs over the past few years re. Wieden+Kennedy relocating. A big, juicy accolade like this sweetens the pie for Portland, although there are no direct monetary rewards involved.
I would very much like to hear of other awards presented in Portland for which the poorer among us could aspire to by hard work and commitment alone. Does anyone know what they are and, if so, can you share them here so that we could nominate worthy folks?