Realtors® and the Community

Realtors® care about the community in which they live and work. They fight for affordable homeownership opportunities, take pride in giving back to the community through volunteer work, and recognize those citizens whose extraordinary contributions have enriched our area. PMAR surveyed our members about their community involvement and in the past year, members have donated an impressive 28,500+ hours to community service and either helped to raise or donated nearly $850,000. For a full list of charities that PMAR’s members volunteered for or donated money to in the past year, click here.

2015 Future First Citizen Award and Scholarship: Deadline Friday, January 16, 2015. More information and online nomination form here.

2015 Realtor® Good Neighbor Award: Deadline Friday, January 16, 2015. More information and online nomination form here.

2014 Portland First Citizen

George "Bing" Sheldon

The Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors® (PMAR) is pleased to announce Bing Sheldon as the recipient of the 2014 Portland First Citizen Award.

Portland’s vital urban core featuring transit corridors instead of freeways, pedestrian-friendly development, and re-use of historic buildings, is nationally renowned, and owes much to Bing Sheldon, retired chairman and founder of SERA Architects, whose vision has shaped the City of Portland since the 1970s. Sheldon has also impacted thousands of lives through 26 years of work with Central City Concern, of which he is a founding Board member.

Sheldon received a Bachelor of Economics from Tufts University in 1956 and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University in 1961. Sheldon is a recognized authority in dealing with preservation and renovation challenges and is the recipient of a plethora of awards for community service, with local publications hailing him as a “visionary.” As former Chair of the Portland City Planning Commission, he led the state’s largest citizen-driven planning effort to produce the Portland Downtown Plan, which encouraged density and reduced sprawl.

In 1968, Sheldon co-founded Design Collaborative, which included landscape architects, graphic designers, and other creatives who shared office space and joined forces on each others’ projects—operating on the belief that the collaboration would result in improved performance at their respective crafts. The Collaborative evolved into what is now known as SERA Architects, and that sense of collaboration is still a key philosophy of the company. Before sustainability was the buzzword that it is today, SERA Architects, under Sheldon’s leadership, stressed re-use, renovation, infill and other sustainable practices. SERA has worked on Portland City Hall, Pioneer Courthouse, Edith Green – Wendell Wyatt Federal Building and many other projects that shape Portland’s landscape.

In the 1970s, Portland’s Old Town neighborhood was known for its run-down hotels, primarily populated with people struggling with alcoholism. Sheldon moved his growing architecture firm to Old Town in 1972, to the chagrin of some of his clients and prospective employees. In 1979, Sheldon became a founding member of the Burnside Consortium, which was formed to administer a National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse Public Inebriate grant. For the next 26 years, Sheldon served as Vice Chairman of this organization, which is now known as Central City Concern, and is credited with helping CCC secure their first building for low income housing, as well as guiding the organization along a path of fiscal responsibility and accountability. Today, CCC has a staff of more than 600, an annual operating budget of $41 million, and serves more than 13,000 individuals annually. CCC’s work in renovating urban, SRO housing became a standard for other non profit housing organizations and has attracted national attention.

Sheldon continues to be actively involved in community boards and advisory committees, including Chair of Long Range Planning Committee, Ft. Vancouver National Trust; National Trust for Historic Preservation; Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center; Oregon League of Conservation Voters; Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum; and Portland Playhouse. He believes that Portlanders have a moral obligation to actively participate in the civic infrastructure that reflects our community values.

The Portland First Citizen Award was created in 1928 by the Portland Realty Board (now PMAR) to honor civic achievements and business leadership within the community. It is considered one of Portland’s most prestigious awards, and the individuals who have received it form an honor roll of the city’s most prominent leaders during the last eight decades.

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors: The Oregonian, Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS™), and Umpqua Bank. Thank you to our Silver Sponsor: Central City Concern.

Past Portland First Citizens 

1928 Ben Selling 1972 Ira C. Keller
1929 J. C. Ainsworth 1973 Howard Vollum
1930 Aaron M. Frank 1974 William E. Roberts
1931 Henry B. Van Duzer 1975 Fred G. Meyer
1932 Raymond B. Wilcox 1976 Larry Hilaire
1933 George L. Baker 1977 Louis B. Perry
1934 Hopkin Jenkins 1978 Edith Green
1935 Edward C. Sammons 1979 David Edwin Abram
1936 Arthur L. Fields 1980 William Swindells, Sr.
1937 Richard B. Dillehunt, M.D. 1981 Judge Harlow F. Lenon
1938 Franklin T. Griffith 1982 Samuel T. Naito & William S. Naito
1939 Charles H. Martin 1983 Carl M. Halvorson
1940 Ross McIntyre 1984 Bishop Paul D. Waldschmidt
1941 Mrs. Thomas D. Honeyman 1985 John Piacentini
1942 Edgar F. Kaiser 1986 Dr. Albert Starr
1943 Portland Service Men/Women 1987 Robert L. Ridgley
1944 Mrs. C.S. Jackson 1988 Don C. Frisbee
1945 Theodore R. Gamble 1989 Melvin 'Pete' Mark
1946 Chester A. Moores 1990 Harry L. Demorest
1947 Sid Woodbury 1991 Dr. Matthew W. Prophet, Jr.
1948 Hillman Lueddemann 1992 Harry Glickman
1949 Thomas Harry Banfield 1993 John 'Jack' Faust
1950 David B. Simpson 1994 Maestro Jacob Avshalomov
1951 Frank Erwin McCaslin 1995 Harold & Arlene Schnitzer
1952 Edgar William Smith 1996 Fred A. Stickel
1953 C.B. Stephenson 1997 Neil Goldschmidt
1954 Ben H. Hazen 1998 Brian & Gwyneth Booth
1955 Dr. Morgan S. Odell 1999 Dr. Robert B. Pamplin, Jr.
1956 Harold Fox Wendell 2000 Peter E. Jacobsen
1957 Rt. Rev. Benjamin Dagwell 2002 Senator Mark O. Hatfield
1958 William Bruce Boone 2003 Tony L. Hopson, Sr.
1959 Paul Boole McKee 2004 Dan Wieden
1960 Dr. Leo Sherman Lucas 2005 Gert Boyle
1961 Dr. Samuel Latta Diack 2006 Jack McGowan
1962 Truman Wesley Collins 2007 Peggy Fowler
1963 Judge Donald E. Long 2008 Joe Weston
1964 Charles R. Holloway, Jr. 2009 Bill Schonely
1965 Aubrey R. Watzek 2010 Brian J. Druker, MD
1966 Mrs. S. Mason Ehrman 2011 Mercy Corps
1967 John M. Fulton 2012 Duncan Campbell
1968 John D. Gray 2013 Jean DeMaster
1969 Homer T. Shaver    
1970 Judge Gus J. Solomon    
1971 Glenn Jackson