Member Interview: Grouptrail

“BBPDX helps place neighborhood issues in context, and creates channels for participation, access to elected officials, and forums for diverse conversations.”

This month, we spoke with longtime BBPDX member Justin Yuen about his brainchild, Grouptrail. The BBPDX team has been loving this custom CRM tool that’s helping us manage our growing membership.

Grouptrail is a hub for goal tracking. It’s a visual database to track your group’s process-related trails toward achieving your goals. We empower groups making a difference, from school district college and career readiness initiatives with New York City’s Department of Education and Portland Public Schools, to nonprofits serving the community like Oregon MESA and Youth Progress, government agencies like Metro working to improve regional infrastructure, and businesses tracking their stakeholder workflow such as Scholastic and MasterChef.

Why did you decide to join Business For a Better Portland?

“For too long, there hasn’t been a progressive business association advocating for a more equitable and inclusive Portland. BBPDX’s fast growth to 350+ members in a short amount of time shows the demand for this and the positive impact of its work with the community. Elected officials take into account the voice of businesses as they make policy decisions and allocate resources to the day to day operations of our region, and now there’s a unifying force that stands for innovation, diversity, and new ideas that will take us into an era of shared prosperity.”

What do you see as the value of our work?

“The laser-like focus on influencing policy, while deeply incorporating the input of its members, and transparently communicating the actions it’s taking on our behalf. Often, businesses are too busy to get involved in advocacy on a day to day basis, but want to be involved with ongoing opportunities to give feedback, while ensuring there isn’t a risk to its brand and community reputation with a business association’s activities purporting to represent all of its members that may contradict their company values. I can trust that BBPDX will authentically be a champion for what we stand for as a business while learning, collaborating, and evolving because of its leadership team.

BBPDX works on a few focus areas including transportation, affordable housing, and equitable access to capital. Which issue area most attracted you to BBPDX and why?

“Transportation. As a Board Chair of The Street Trust, I know how critical it is to have the voice of the business community integrated into regional conversations about transportation because that has an impact on housing prices and the ability for all businesses and its workers to get to and from work as quickly, safely, and as cost effectively as possible while minimizing the climate impact on the next generation. Collaboration between BBPDX and the Street Trust is vital and has proved to be an asset to a broad coalition of partners creating momentum for a transformative transportation system. I truly believe that together we can reduce traffic congestion and fatalities, invest in community development that creates shared prosperity for our neighborhoods through better transportation connectivity, while increasing health, equity, and a positive impact on our climate.

What is your vision for how Portland can be “better”?

“Portland is already becoming better thanks to organizations like BBPDX which are shifting the narrative, decision making, and power from a select few to a broader network of people across the region who represent our future. A sea change is sweeping Portland, and I’m so inspired by the new leaders coming to the fore, the incredible businesses rushing to join BBPDX, and the passion of the next generation. We are a mosaic of so many Portland stories coming together to realize the promise of what this city can represent on the world stage. And equity is at the heart of how Portland can be better. In solidarity we rise. Onward and upward!

— Justin Yuen, Chief Executive Officer at Grouptrail

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