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.
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|