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Autism Society of Oregon

5100 Southwest Macadam Avenue

Suite 400

Portland, OR 97239

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Extraordinary Ventures in Portland Oregon?

In 2007, a group of parents in Chapel Hill, NC founded Extraordinary Ventures (EV), a non-profit organization with a vision to create and manage a portfolio of small businesses designed around the skills and interests of its unique workforce. EV combines a sustainable business model with social consciousness, operating under the philosophy that all people are employable.

Businesses are created that meet market needs; while jobs are tailored and support is provided to maximize employee’s talents and learning styles. This business model has been successfully replicated in Michigan and New York.

The original Extraordinary Ventures of North Carolina was started by six families with children who had barriers to employment. Their laundry, gifts, dog walking, office services, bus detailing, and event center businesses evolved from the intersection of their workforce talent and viable customer bases. Most of the employees have been there since it was founded and love working at Extraordinary Ventures. Paige Morrow CEO stated that when she had to close the facility due to weather issues, etc. she would get calls from employees asking if they could come into work anyway. See this inspiring video: Extraordinary People Silverspot Screening Highlights

As a result of Paige Morrow’s visit to the Autism Society of Oregon (ASO) in August 2018 for the screening of EV’s documentary, and a subsequent video conference call with Paige, a small group of parents is conducting a feasibility study to determine the business viability for Portland Oregon. The first round of this feasibility study is an EVPDX Feasibility Exploration meeting.

EVPDX will be handled as a co-founder start-up model. Like all of the Extraordinary Ventures enterprises, the types of businesses pursued are dependent on customers and who is part of the workforce.

This Feasibility Exploration meeting is to gauge interest in moving forward, working together to turn this pre-embryonic project into reality.

If Portland Initiative 26-201 passes, Camilo Marquez (Just Energy Transition Campaign Co-Coordinator; 350PDX rep w/Jobs with Justice and retired child psychologist) will speak about the fund and requirements EVPDX will need to meet for funding in terms of job training and contracts.

This meeting is calling for all potential:

  1. co-founders, allies, sponsors, contributors, funders, partners, fans interested in spreading the word and helping to make this vision a reality,

  2. workforce talent: all-ability adults enthusiastic and capable of participating to the best of their unique abilities

  3. clients and customers who have needs that can be fulfilled by an amazing inclusive workforce.

Who are we? There are only three of us at this moment performing this feasibility exploration (see bios below) and we need YOU.

  • Christine Brautigam Social entrepreneur and mother of two adults on the spectrum. Christine had a career in change management, organizational development and process improvement consulting, software project management, and training. Christine is passionate about adult development, inclusion, psychologically safe and trauma-informed workplace cultures and “future fit” businesses.

  • Susie Brame Parent advocate for an adult son who has alternately been diagnosed as learning disabled, developmental delayed, PDD-NOS, atypical autism. Trained as a social worker, Susie is a past board member for ASO and Inclusion Support Services Brokerage; and current board member for Families Supporting Independence (FSI).

  • Heidi Lee Parent of a young adult on the spectrum. Her son, Alex, was employed by Extraordinary Ventures NY before the family moved to the Portland area last summer. She was a board member of the Foundation for Empowering Citizens with Autism in New York (FECA) for seven years. Dr. Lee is a psychiatrist.

Attendance at this meeting, plus your responses on our short survey (please share this link with others!!) will determine if we move forward on this project or not.

If you have other funding ideas and proposals please bring them to the meeting and/or put them in the survey:

Let’s all work together and create EXTRAORDINARY VENTURES here in Portland Oregon!

Learn more about Extraordinary Ventures:

Extraordinary Ventures North Carolina

Extraordinary Ventures New York

Extraordinary Ventures Michigan

Please spread the word about this feasibility study and this meeting!! If you cannot attend, please do fill out this brief survey and we will contact YOU!


Can anyone attend this event?

Yes! It is open to all who are interested.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Contact Susie Brame: 503.799.5132

Christine Brautigam 720.771.0931

Heidi Lee 914.202.5479

Let us know if you need any support regarding your attendance.

What if I am interested, but cannot attend?

If you cannot attend, do fill out this brief survey and we will contact YOU!

Photograph by Chris Anson Portland Pro Drones
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Autism Society of Oregon

5100 Southwest Macadam Avenue

Suite 400

Portland, OR 97239

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