Andrea Finch

Andrea Finch is an Office Furniture Consultant at Rose City Office Furnishings. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture from the University of Oregon, she worked in residential, as well as commercial design, before delving into office furniture design, specification, and sales - and she hasn’t looked back since!

At Rose City Office Furnishings, Andrea partners with property managers, interior designers and small businesses to simplify their furniture planning, specifying, purchasing, and installation process. She provides comprehensive furniture consultation, space planning and design services, sales, project management, and furniture installation services - tailored to each client's specific needs and budget. She absolutely loves her job, because it incorporates her affinity for designing beautiful, functional spaces with her fondness for working with people to find solutions to their unique problems. She also enjoys reading about all the research that goes into office productivity and wellness, and having the opportunity to actually implement it.

Andrea joined CREW Portland in 2014, and has served on the Marketing Committee ever since. She is set to take over the position of Marketing Committee Chair, next year. In addition to CREW, she is also a board member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), Oregon Chapter, where she currently serves as Student Membership Chair.

In her spare time, Andrea relishes time spent hiking, camping, and barbequing with her husband, Dan, and their circle of friends. She also enjoys trying out various fitness classes at her local gym, experimenting in the kitchen, learning to sew, crafting with friends, working on various projects in her yard and home, and checking vacation spots off her bucket list.

Desiree Flanary

Desiree Flanary is a Vice President with the HVS Portland office and U.S. Hotel Appraisals. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Colorado and has front-line hotel experience in both housekeeping and food and beverage departments. This hotel operations experience allows her to provide a level of insight and expertise critical to her hotel appraisals and consulting assignments.

As Vice President at HVS, Desiree’s two primary roles are business development, and appraisal and consulting work. She works with clients on analyzing market and property data to create market and feasibility studies, as well as appraisals for existing and proposed hotel developments. She finds the hotel industry fascinating and enjoys digging into a market and a property to determine a variety of data points, from real estate value to what type of hotel product is needed in a market. She is a designated member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI), and currently has 7 state certified general appraisal licenses.

Desiree joined CREW of Northern Nevada, back in 2009, and transferred to CREW Portland when she moved back to the northwest in 2013. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors as the Sponsorship Liaison. In addition to CREW, Desiree also participates annually in the MS Society Deception Pass Bike Ride in Skagit Valley, Washington, and volunteers at the Oregon Food Bank in her spare time.

Desiree is an active outdoors person, who enjoys hiking, paddle boarding and road biking with her husband, John. She participates annually in an Olympic Triathlon, as well as various fun runs. When she is not traveling for work, she loves to cook for friends and family, work in her garden, and travel globally with friends and family.

Elissa Looney

Elissa Looney has been a member of CREW Portland since 2010, and is currently the 2016 Chapter President.  Prior to her current position, she served as the CREW Network Board Liaison, was Chair of the Sponsorship committee, and has been active in CorksCREW, Membership, and the Forecast Breakfast committees.
Elissa began working at Perlo Construction upon graduation from the University of Montana in 2008.  Perlo is a commercial general contractor with headquarters in Portland, Oregon, building many project types, including commercial warehouses, retail buildings, auto dealerships, medical buildings, and food service facilities.  She began her career as the Subcontractor Coordinator, and soon transitioned to Project Manager of the newly formed Special Projects Group.  Since 2008 when the Special Projects Group was formed, Elissa has expanded the division to more than $4million in annual revenue, with 7 additional employees in the office and field dedicated to small construction projects, maintenance items and tenant improvements.  Elissa is currently the Manager of the Special Projects Group and aims to grow this division in the coming years.
Outside of work and CREW, Elissa has been involved in various organizations, including the Angels in the Outfield charity based in Oregon City, and teaching for the Columbia Agility Team.  She has also been a member of the IREM Forecast Breakfast committee for many years, and regularly attends the Central Eastside Industrial Council events.
Elissa lives on 10 acres in Hillsboro with her Husband, their daughter, and their four dogs, and regularly competes in canine agility.  You’ll often find her remodeling her house, doing yardwork, or training her dogs.

Debbie Kitchin

Debbie Kitchen has 19 years of experience in general contracting, commercial renovation and tenant improvements including residential remodeling.  Currently, Debbie co-owns InterWorks, LLC with her husband Jim Kitchin.  Together they have grown the company from one employee to many and increased revenues five fold.  Debbie’s role has included management of the finance, human resources, marketing and administrative functional areas.  The company has an excellent reputation for sustainability, quality and solving the most difficult problems for their clients.  They have won numerous industry awards at the state, regional and national levels.


Debbie has served on the Board of Directors of the Energy Trust of Oregon for the last 11 years.  She is in her second year as President of the Board.   ETO is an independent nonprofit providing incentives and technical assistance for energy efficiency and renewable energy to residential, commercial and industrial customers of 4 Oregon utilities.  Debbie’s company is a supporter of ReFIT, a charity that helps remodel homes for low-income seniors and disabled people as well as a long-time supporter of Habitat for Humanity.  Debbie has helped raised funds for New Avenues for Youth by participating on a team in the Free Scoop Day at Ben and Jerry’s for the last few years.


Aside from InterWorks, LLC Debbie has served as Chair of the Portland Business Alliance, the largest business organization in the state, with over 1800 members.  She has advocated for large and small businesses before City Council, with Metro, Multnomah County, at the State Legislature, federal government and with two governors.  During her years on the Board of Directors, she also served 5 years as chair of PBA’s Small Business Council.   During that time, she started a very successful scholarship program for small business owners, wherein the PBA sponsors a class at the Small Business Development Center.  The program is in its 4th year and has been demonstrated to be one of the most cost-effective ways to add jobs and investment for small businesses.  More details: .  Debbie has served as a mentor for 4 years with Leadership Portland participants.  This program is for emerging young leaders in Portland’s business community.  She has also served as a mentor for small business owners and new members of the Board of Directors.  She has promoted efforts to develop the future workforce by speaking to students in high school classes, participants in the REAP program and participating in mock interviews for students.


Debbie is also President of the Board of Directors of the Central Eastside Industrial Council.  The business district is one of the fastest growing and most successful areas of the City.  Key initiatives during her tenure include the Southeast Quadrant plan for the Comprehensive Plan, launching the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee in partnership with the Portland Bureau of Transportation, launching a Sustainability Committee to address opportunities for green infrastructure in an urban industrial district and numerous activities to represent the interests of the business and cultural members of the CEIC.


In addition, Debbie is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Building Owner and Managers Association – Oregon (BOMA).  She has served on the board for many years.  She is a past President of Commercial Real Estate Women Portland.


Debbie has two adult children and has been married to Jim for 35 years.  She participates in indoor soccer, ski racing, hiking and camping.

Susanne Orton, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications, Harsch Investment Properties

Susanne Orton is the Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Harsch Investment Properties, a 65-year-old commercial real estate investment and management company with more than 22 million square feet of office, multi-tenant industrial, multifamily, and retail properties across six states. She developed a comprehensive strategy, set up the processes for, implemented and continues to run the vibrant digital marketing and communications department for the company’s seven regions. She also serves as the digital strategist and media and community relations point person for the nationally-acclaimed Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation art lending program.
Susanne came to the the task of creating a new strategic process and robust communications platform for Harsch from a diverse business leadership perspective. Formerly, she was active in such arenas as high-impact political consulting, capital funding for nonprofit museums, and fundraising for statewide initiative campaigns and political candidates. She was also the founder and publisher of Roll35, a digital content creation company whose clients included Whole Foods Market, Portland State University, South Valley Bank & Trust, and more. Susanne also has the benefit of prior experience in the commercial real estate industry, serving as president of the in-house brokerage arm of development firm Holt & Haugh, where she was instrumental in the successful development of the award-winning $140 million, 92-acre Fairview Village project.

Susanne’s achievements at Harsch include developing executable best-of-class online assets such as ten company-related websites, including the new corporate Harsch site, a strong presence across several social media platforms, dynamic email campaigns, search engine optimization, and digitally-led public relations and corporate responsibility efforts to the commercial real estate industry and communities Harsch serves.

As a board member and delegate of CREW Portland and chair of the Social Media Subcommittee, Susanne launched the organization’s social media presence within the past 18 months, working closely with the Marketing Liason and Marketing Committee Chair. In addition to CREW, Susanne has been involved with ICSC, NAIOP, various city clubs, planning committees, and women’s and children’s nonprofit organizations.

Susanne has used her experience to present on social media and digital strategy at a number of conferences, including the Portland State University Digital Marketing Breakfast and ICSC Pacific Northwest Idea Exchange, and to private organizations such as Samuels Yoelin Kantor LLP. She also has volunteered consulting services to a variety of nonprofit organizations such as Project Lemonade, Young Audiences, and the Citizens Crime Commission.

Julie Gibson, Executive Director of Portland State University's Center for Real Estate

Julie Gibson is a southern California native, having lived in the Los Angeles area for 26 years before moving to Portland. After graduating from Pepperdine University with a B.S. in Business Administration, Julie began her real estate career as a Management Trainee with First Federal Bank of California. Julie worked for the bank for 4 years in various positions, including work as an Asset Manager in the bank's workout department and managing the Loan Service Customer Service and Collections department.

After a brief year in Lafayette, Indiana working for the Small Business Development Center, Julie was thrilled to move to Portland, Oregon. This time in her career search, Julie looked for a job where she could provide some "good" through her work and help people. Utilizing her real estate banking training, she found a job as an Asset Manager for PNC Bank's affordable housing division, PNC Multifamily Housing. After heading up an Asset Management team, Julie moved over to the underwriting side of PNC where she became a Vice President, managing a small team of underwriters.

While at PNC, Julie pursued her MBA degree from Portland State University. Little did she know that obtaining her MBA at PSU would open doors to finding what she calls the perfect job, becoming the Associate Director for Portland State University's new Center for Real Estate.

After 8 years with PSU, Julie was promoted to Executive Director of Portland State University's Center for Real Estate. In this role Julie works with students in PSU's Master of Real Estate Development program to connect them with the commercial real estate industry, does tailored career counseling, helps students find jobs and internships, conducts student real estate tours both locally and out of market, and manages a 35 member advisory board for the Center. Now in its 10th year, Julie has managed the Center for Real Estate's Annual Conference since inception, raising over $200,000 in profit with more than 800 attendees each year. Julie loves her work, primarily because she loves helping people! Julie's passion is helping students not only find jobs, but also connecting them to potential employers who help mentor her students.

When Julie's not working, you can find her enjoying family time with her husband and 4 children. Julie enjoys cooking, running, hiking, and camping in her 1978 VW Campervan which her family got in Germany when she was 7!

Greg Lutje, Commercial Real Estate Attorney, Samuels Yoelin Kantor

Greg has been a Commercial RE Attorney for more than 25 years.  He began with Schwabe Williamson and Wyatt, has worked for himself as well as a small firm prior to going “in-house” with KinderCare Learning Centers in 2000, helping its expansion nationwide.  He and his wife left Portland in 2003, first living in South Carolina for a year, and then relocating to Chicago in 2004, when he began working for General Growth Properties.  In 2007 they returned to Portland with their 9 month old daughter, Tati, and he continued to work for GGP for six more years- working out of their Pioneer Tower offices.   Among the highlights of his tenure at GGP was the opportunity to represent the Landlord in negotiating the Lease with Apple for its beautiful new store that replaced Saks 5th Avenue.  

He returned to private practice at Samuels Yoelin Kantor (SYK) about two years ago.  They are an 85 year old firm with 18 lawyers.  He came here with no “book of business”, but with great expectations.  Since most of his transactional work for the preceding 13 years had been on a national scope, he realized he needed to re-establish his local and regional networking contacts.  Lisa Fisher suggested he consider learning more about CREW, and he attended a prospective new member gathering, where he won a bottle of wine, and helped another candidate win one as well.  He had a great time, and was very appreciative of the help and friendship afforded to him by CREW.  Greg noted joining CREW has proved to be one of the best decisions he's made of late.
His work at SYK is a mix between what he know best:  Leasing, particularly Retail Leases, and more traditional transactional work such as buying, selling, developing and financing all forms of real estate.  While there, he's been fortunate to have been able to assist companies like Rouse Properties and Nike with leasing needs.  And 2015 began wonderfully as he was retained by Forever 21 to assist with its major expansion plans—it wants to double its store count from 600 to 1200 in 3 years, and roll out a new concept F21-Red.  Those stores will be mini-anchors (10-20k sf) in Power Centers and larger neighborhood commercial locations.  As a “deal junkie”, he's excited to be able to be part of this team effort, and loves having a “nearly-full plate” of work again.  And with the resurgence of Commercial Real Estate locally, regionally and nationally, it is truly a grand time to be in this industry!

Aside from being a proud (and fortunate) member of CREW Portland, he is also a member of ICSC.  In 2013, he was a co-presenter at the ICSC Law Conference in San Diego. A little over a year ago, he joined the Board of Trustees of The International School, where their daughter is now in the third grade.

He would like to make a “shout-out” to Girls on the Run of Portland Metro.  It is a program for 3-5th grade girls.  Its mission is to “inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident, using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.”  The program lasts about 12 weeks, from March through May, and his daughter Tati looks forward to Monday and Wednesday afternoons, when she meets at Duniway Park with her new “friends”.  The program is currently seeking “Running Buddies” who will :  “Share a girl’s exhilaration and excitement as she crosses the finish line of her first 5k. For many girls, this is the biggest challenge and greatest accomplishment of their Girls on the Run experience. One of their favorite parts is having their very own Running Buddy by their side!”.  Buddies need only participate in a Practice 5k on May 7 (4:30-6pm) at Duniway, and then the Grand Finale event on May 30 (9-noon) at Greenway Park in Beaverton.  To learn more, please check out this link:

He and his wife live in Beaverton with their two Golden Retrievers, Ruby and Scout. He is a proud graduate of some of Oregon’s best schools:  David Douglas School District, Willamette University and Lewis & Clark Law School. He occasionally likes to hit the little ball into the woods, sand or water- and occasionally onto the green, and he's very much looking forward to this year’s CREW Golf Outing and opportunities to get to know, work with and hopefully assist other CREW members.

Member Profile

Kathleen Buono, Project Manager, Perlo Construction

Kathleen Buono is an Oregon native and was born and raised in Portland. In fact, she lived in the same house in the Eastmoreland neighborhood between the time she was six months old to when she moved to Eugene to attend the University of Oregon. Kathleen spent five fantastic years in Austin, Texas, but, she missed the beautiful change of seasons in Oregon and returned to her roots. It was when she returned to Portland that she began her career in the commercial real estate sector as a commercial appraiser with Curtis Slocom (now Integra Realty Resources). Kathleen earned the prestigious MAI designation (Member of Appraisal Institute) in October, 2012. By then, she had been an appraiser for more than 15 years specializing in urban mixed-use, multi-family, retail and office properties. Some highlights to her appraisal career include the valuation of 200 Market, Riva on the Park, Machine Works Building, Grand Central Bowl, Montgomery Park, PacWest, the Commonwealth Building, and the Twelve West Building  (the one with the wind turbines).

In 2013, Kathleen decided to make a career change. She loved the real estate business and being an appraiser, but wanted to find a new challenge. After several months of soul searching and informational interviews, Kathleen found the perfect job as a Project Manager with Perlo Construction’s Special Projects Group. In this position she spends her days managing smaller projects ranging from the $500 repair to the $300,000 tenant improvement. Wide-ranging can sometimes be an understatement with the Special Projects Group. In her first month on the job, she helped a property owner with a damaged concrete panel after a train backed into it, helped a client upgrade restroom shelving, provided a local manufacturer with an estimate for a new clean room installation, and helped estimate the renovation of a former florist shop into a bakery. It is the variety of projects, the teamwork, and the focus on customer service that she enjoys most in her new role.

Kathleen has been a member of CREW for more than 10 years. She is currently finishing out her fourth year on the Board and is in her second year serving as our Treasurer. She has been on many CREW committees over the years, including golf and sponsorship, and is a current member of the programs committee.

Member Profile

Jo Economaki

Jo Economaki grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University where she had prepared for a career in journalism.   After college she moved to the West Coast, and landed a job with a commercial mortgage company.  Finding that she enjoyed the work, she began a lifelong career in the commercial real estate industry.


Jo spent many years working in real estate loan administration at Bank of America and its predecessor banks, the Oregon Bank and Security Pacific.  More recently she has worked for Intervest Mortgage Investment Company, and she’s currently with US Bank’s Commercial Real Estate Lending Group, whose focus is providing financing, deposit and payment solutions for commercial investors and developers.  In her current role, she manages the Loan Administration team.  This group handles all aspects of closing  transactions for clients, as well as being their bank liaison during construction and after the project is complete.


Jo enjoys the wide variety of projects that she is involved with on a day to day basis.   She works with clients on construction lending, affordable multifamily- housing and short term financing  and particularly enjoys learning about their businesses, and their visions for their real estate projects.  Particularly rewarding is seeing a creative  financing structure evolve that suits the uniqueness of an individual transaction  and then coordinating all of the pieces that  need to be finished to close the transaction on time!


In addition to her work at the bank, Jo has been a member of CREW since its inception.   She has served on the board for a number of years, and is currently the Board Secretary and liaison for CorksCREW and the Scholarship Committee; she’s also a member of the Economic Forecast committee which she has chaired in the past.   Formerly a member of OLMA, she helped to form the commercial closing committee for that organization.   Through her position at the bank, she also participates in various volunteer activities, such as supporting the Oregon Food Bank.  
In all aspects of her professional activities, Jo is grateful for the opportunity to become acquainted with, and inspired by, others in the industry.


Jo has two children, a son and a daughter, who she loves spending time with.  As a former runner, she’s very active focusing on walking and hiking in her free time.  She enjoys travel and has been to four continents so far, and closer to home, is an avid reader and book club member.

Member Profile

Trish Nixon


Trish Nixon was born in Columbus, Ohio, and spent most of her childhood moving around the country as her father was a pilot in the Air Force.  She graduated from Wylie High School in Abilene, Texas and then went on to get her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Texas Tech University.  She left Texas after college due to the down economy in the state and found a job working for a smaller architecture firm in Las Vegas, Nevada where most of her time was spent doing site planning for branch banks.  She then moved to the Portland area in 1989 after meeting her husband who is a Portland native.  She worked for a couple of different firms doing High Tech, commercial office, tenant improvement, and education facilities before landing at LRS Architects.

After spending 5 years at a firm that focused primarily on K-12 projects, Trish wanted to expand her knowledge and work for a firm with a more diverse project base.  A good friend of hers was an associate with LRS at the time and invited Trish to come in for an interview.  That was in 1996 and she’s been there ever since!  After a year, she was promoted to associate and then to principal in 2005.    Trish has enjoyed the variety of projects she has been involved with: Miramonte Point Senior Housing, Hillsboro Civic Center, Barbur Shops Retail, Fanno Creek Commercial Office Buildings, Port of Tillamook industrial projects, and Mason Williams Apartments, to name a few.


Trish finds the most interesting thing about architecture is the range of tasks and skill sets required.  On the surface, most would think that you have to be a really good designer, have artistic ability, and be great at math.  While those are important abilities, what Trish finds that she excels at is project management and general problem solving.  This requires not only the management of in-house staff on projects, but also overall coordination, communication, and direction to the broader project team which includes the engineers and other consultants, the clients, the general contractor, and the local jurisdictions.  As a principal, Trish is also involved with the day to day aspects of running the business as well as marketing and bringing in new work.


While Trish is not currently involved in any organizations beyond CREW, she previously was on the Clackamas County Design Review Board for 8 years (4 years as chair).  She also has a particular interest in both long term planning and sustainability and as such have been a part of the following:   The McLaughlin Area Plan Committee, Park Ave. Station Technical Advisory Committee, Clackamas County Sustainable Task Force, Clackamas County Trees Task Force, and the North Bank of the Clackamas River.  Advisory Committee.  Trish is a licensed architect in Oregon, Nevada, and Montana, NCARB certified, a LEED AP BD+C, and Sustainability Advisor.  She is currently the Director of Programs for CREW.


Trish has been married for 23 years and has 2 beautiful dogs; Ares a 9 year old Belgian Malinois, and Indira a 3 year old German Sheppard.  She likes to work out, shop, garden, scrapbook, and travel to warm tropical places where she can soak up some sun with a pineapple drink in hand!