In a career that has taken him to the upper reaches of corporate management, Greg Ness MBA ’87 says his most valuable professional move was returning to school.
Greg joined The Standard in 1979 but took a break a few years later to earn an MBA at Portland State. He’s glad he did things in that order. “The best thing I ever did was work for a few years and then go back to school,” says Greg. “The perspective is entirely different; it helped me see the bigger picture as opposed to just the portion of the business in which I was then involved.”
Back at The Standard, his career took off as he purposely sampled different parts of the company in order to learn more about it. He eventually served as vice president of no fewer than five different areas of the company before being named president and COO in 2008. Today he’s chairman, president and CEO.
As top management, Greg contributes to the community in many ways, including board membership on the Oregon Business Council, Greater Portland, Inc., the OHSU Foundation and the Armory Theater Fund. Greg is also Trustee Emeritus and past chair of the Portland Center Stage board of directors, and a member of the SOLVE Founder’s Circle. But he also steadfastly maintains his ties with business education at PSU as an advisory board member, classroom speaker, and generous donor through The Standard.
“My involvement sort of completes the circle of sharing knowledge and what I’ve learned,” he explains. “And I always learn something new from discussions with students or faculty. Plus we’re always looking for good talent to join our organization!”