March Executive Brief & Spotlight - The Time for Climate Tech Leadership in Oregon is Now

March Executive Brief & Spotlight - The Time for Climate Tech Leadership in Oregon is Now

The Time for Climate Tech Leadership in Oregon is Now

While at times artificial intelligence can seem to dominate policy discussions at the state, local and federal levels, during the recently completed legislative session in Oregon, TAO engaged in comparatively more climate tech-related advocacy initiatives.  From an economic development standpoint, the State of Oregon has been very active the past two legislative sessions in creating funds and allocating incentives to support the expansion and workforce needs of semiconductor companies. However, there is also a massive opportunity for Oregon to move quickly in positioning itself for some of the nearly $60B in federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funds available for clean-tech-related investments.

TAO was part of the project team behind the Legislature’s allocation of $2M in State funding to support the development of a footwear and manufacturing innovation hub (FAMI) in Old Town Portland, that, among other things, would help entrepreneurs get new projects off the ground, help existing companies engage in R&D, all while using manufacturing technology that’s more environmentally responsible and less wasteful than traditional processes.

Below is a summary of some of the clean-tech-related bills that TAO engaged on during the recent legislative session:

HB 4015 - Battery Energy Storage Systems: Passed
Permits a developer of a facility or the governing body of a local government after consulting
with the developer to elect to defer regulatory authority to the Energy Facility Siting Council
for the siting of a battery energy storage system.

HB 4080 – Offshore Wind Energy Development: Passed
Declares a state policy to support engagement between offshore wind developers and
impacted organizations, communities and tribes.

SB 1581- Regional Energy Markets: Passed
Requires an investor-owned utility that sells more than two million megawatt hours of
electricity in a calendar year to report to and inform the Legislative Assembly the activities, if
any, of activities that the investor-owned utility has taken or is taking toward participating in
a regional energy market.

HB 4112 – Clean Energy Technology Procurements: Failed
Requires the Oregon Department of Administrative Services to adopt rules to govern
procurements from clean energy technology manufacturing companies. Led by Rep. Bynum (D-Happy Valley) and Rep. Nathan Sosa (D-Hillsboro), HB 4112 was the reintroduction of HB 3579 which failed in the 2023 Legislative Session. HB 4112 proposed the creation of the Clean Technology Manufacturing Opportunity Fund to support Oregon manufacturing facilities, creation of a statewide policy for evaluating and procuring zero-emission technologies, and establishment of a statewide advisory council to identify additional and strategic policy to increase clean technology manufacturing.

As TAO’s lobbyist, Rachael Wiggins Emory, noted in her recent end-of-session report, HB 4112 had a broad coalition in support that was composed of industry, universities, climate advocates, technology, labor, and manufacturers. Oregon Business and Industries opposed the bill due to the procurement and labor provisions. 7 – 3, HB 4112 was moved by the House Committee on Climate, Energy and Environment to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. Rep. Mark Owens (R-Crane) joined the committee’s Democratic members in voting yes. HB 4112 requested $20 million to capitalize the Clean Technology Manufacturing Opportunity Fund established in the bill. The funding was not appropriated during the 2024 Session and HB 4112 remained in committee upon adjournment.

Not content to rest on its laurels, the coalition that supported HB 4112 (including TAO) is in discussions with State and Federal leadership in Oregon about jointly convening a climate tech task force, similar to the approach taken in 2022-2023 for semiconductors and the CHIPS Act, to help make recommendations to the Oregon Legislature for economic incentive packages and policies that would better position Oregon to receive some of the $60B in climate tech IRA funds in addition to private sector investment.  The semiconductor task force and resulting economic incentive package approved by the legislature (about $500M) unlocked nearly $40B now slated for investment in Oregon.  We can and should do the same for climate tech manufacturing in Oregon.  

So how can you support and engage in these efforts?  Many of the same organizations involved in promoting HB 4112 are collaborating to organize a Climate Tech Conference, called WINGS, on April 25th at Portland State University.  In addition to showcasing some of the great climate tech projects, companies and thought-leadership in the region, the conference aims to pull together folks interested in climate tech in Oregon to make policy recommendations that will be shared by the coalition with elected leaders in Oregon, including any climate task force that might be convened.  We hope to see you there.

Register for the Wings Conference here

Executive Spotlight:

Innovative Event Tech Brings Venues, Suppliers, and Event Planners Together

Myllisa Patterson got her start working at a visitor and convention bureau in Eastern Oregon, where she planned and executed destination marketing programs to bring travelers to Baker County. When she left the event marketing industry a few years later to work for a tech company in Portland, she didn’t foresee that her career would ultimately come full circle.

Now the vice president of demand generation at Cvent, an industry-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider, Patterson leads a team of marketers who work with event professionals and hoteliers to find innovative ways to use event tech to make meetings and events engaging and impactful. Historically, in person events were the bread and butter of the business, but that all changed during the pandemic.

“Cvent really reinvented itself during the pandemic, because when you're an event management software company and there are no more in-person events happening, it’s challenging,” Patterson said. “We came out with a virtual solution, and now our technology platform powers in person, virtual, and hybrid end-to-end planning, so you can market and promote your event, capture registrations, and use engagement tools for any event and every event, regardless of format.”

Cvent also offers the Cvent Supplier Network , where hotels and venues can advertise their event spaces. Patterson describes it as “an Expedia for events,” with planners able to enter what they’re looking for – event date, size, desired location, f&b requirements, etc., get matched with venues, and send one RFP to multiple places with guidance on properties that get high marks for sustainability and/or accessibility. It’s one of Cvent’s most important competitive differentiators, with Cvent serving as a key lead gen channel for hotels and venues, she added.

“It’s really a data story and a relationship story,” she said. “We have the rich data the hospitality and venue community needs in order to understand how to market to event professionals. And then we make the connection to planners by giving them a one-stop shop to come and find the venues and suppliers they need as well as the technology they require to power their events.”

For the past 9 years Patterson has been responsible for demand for the event management side of the business, but recently she’s taken over management of demand gen for the sourcing and housing solutions side of the bisinleads as well. “It’s really rewarding for me to be able to think through how my teams can work better together and how this impacts our content strategy, our brand strategy, our go- to-market strategy,” she said. “All of that is super exciting for me.”

As for the future, the company continues to experiment with new ways to make planners and marketers lives easier, for example how to best use AI.

“There's so much happening with AI,” Patterson said. “With AI propping up the tools we already use, we will be able to get things done more quickly for both venues and suppliers, as well as event professionals and marketers.”

With innovation baked into the DNA of Cvent’s culture, products, and leadership team, the future for the company is promising. To learn more about Cvent please visit

Thank you to A.wordsmith for interviewing Myllisa Patterson, Vice president of Demand Generation at Cvent.

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