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Trudy Toliver '84
Trudy Toliver '84

Trudy Toliver wears many hats. Yoga teacher, nutrition therapist, Alumni Association board member, and is also the Executive Director of the Portland Farmer’s Market. 

Trudy was honored at PSU’s sixth annual Sustainability Celebration on Tuesday, May 28 2013, in a large ceremony attended by Portland mayor Charlie Hales, and hosted by the Institue for Sustainable Solutions.  The ceremony celebrates the exciting sustainability work being done by PSU students, faculty, staff, and community partners. Trudy is the first alumni recipient of an award. In response to the questions what winning this award means to her she says, “I didn’t set out to have a career in sustainability. I set out to find work that inspired me, cared for the earth and had meaningfulness for my community.  I guess that’s what sustainability is. This award puts a nice label on the type of work I’ve done and marks my accomplishments.  I am grateful to have had the opportunities that I’ve had and proud to have made a positive impact on places I live and love.”

Trudy worked for TriMet for 16 years, landing there after being introduced to staff from her work/study position with the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Transportation while she was still a student at PSU. Her favorite “claim to fame” is having been TriMet’s liaison with the community to assure that bikes were welcome on buses and trains.

In 1999 Trudy shifted her career to environmental non-profits starting as Development Director at Friends of Virgin Islands National Park on St. John in the US Virgin Islands. After returning to Portland in 2002, she joined EarthShare Oregon as Executive Director.  At EarthShare she led a federation of 70 conservation groups for the purpose of fundraising in the workplaces of 100 Oregon public agencies and businesses.

Trudy Toliver is a life-long Oregonian, environmentalist and leader.  She believes that eating healthy food changes people lives. Of her current role as Executive Director of Portland Farmer’s Market she says “it is super fun, challenging and regularly warms my heart. Nothing could be better than supporting family farmers and food artisans in their efforts to bring healthy local food to the people of my home town.”

When asked what advice she has for current students she offers some philosophies she lives by:

  • Stay true to what fuels the fire in your belly, if you lose it, look around till you find it again. 
  • Keep learning about what inspires you; the more you know, the better you’ll be.
  • Seek out opportunities that will fulfill your passions. Don’t wait for them to come to you.
  • Believe that you can achieve your goals..."These might sound trite, but they have each shaped my path. At points of frustration, confusion, transition or uncertainty in my career I asked myself, what do I want to make happen next?  When the answer came I walked in that direction."