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Nov. 9, 2010

PGE one of ten businesses honored nationally for outstanding arts support
Business Committee for the Arts Names PGE in 2010 BCA Ten

Photo: Glen Davis

Portland General Electric, Oregon’s largest utility, has earned one of the highest honors a company can achieve in the arts community — being named to THE BCA TEN: Best Companies Supporting the Arts in America by The Business Committee for the Arts (BCA), a division of Americans for the Arts, America’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts.

Every year, The BCA recognizes 10 companies for their exceptional commitment to the arts in the United States. These companies have exhibited exemplary support for the arts through grants, local partnerships, volunteer programs, matching gifts, sponsorships and board membership.

PGE, the only West Coast company included in this year’s top 10, was nominated locally by the Business for Culture & the Arts, the Oregon affiliate of the national BCA.

“We are proud to nominate one of Oregon’s most remarkable and supportive companies of arts and arts education,” said Virginia Willard, Business for Culture & the Art’s executive director. “PGE believes the arts have the power to educate, heal and create a vibrant economy and has long demonstrated a dedication to incorporating the arts in its corporate culture while also encouraging other businesses to follow suit.”

Since 1999, PGE and the PGE Foundation have contributed nearly $5 million to arts and culture. PGE is consistently recognized by the Business for Culture & the Arts as one of the top five business donors in the state.

“To navigate today’s complex energy business, our workforce of engineers, scientists, skilled tradespeople and others must go beyond the basic tools of their trades and use imagination, collaboration and problem-solving skills,” said Jim Piro, president and CEO, PGE. “Integrating the arts into the educational system helps develop these industry-required skills and PGE is proud to invest in the arts and arts education, and ultimately, our future workforce.”

Examples of how PGE has integrated the arts into its business strategy include: The BCA TEN awards were presented by Americans for the Arts on Nov. 4, 2010, at a black-tie gala at the Central Park Boathouse in New York City. Business and arts leaders from throughout the country attended the ceremony.

On November 17, PGE was recognized locally at the Business for Culture & the Arts’ Arts Breakfast of Champions where Jim Piro, President and CEO of PGE and board member of the PGE Foundation, accepted the award from Mayor Sam Adams.

The PGE Foundation, the corporate foundation of Portland General Electric, was established in 1997 as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization with a permanent endowment. The Foundation’s giving is separate from the corporate giving of PGE. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $12.4 million to help improve the quality of life for all Oregonians by supporting statewide programs and services that encourage healthy families, provide educational opportunities and encourage the arts and cultural diversity. Gwyneth Gamble Booth is chair and Carole Morse is president.