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Hermann Colas, Jr. was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti in 1948. His father owned a successful distillery. In 1969, Hermann moved to New York because his mother was fearful for his safety in Haiti’s unstable political environment. Within a short time, he voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during the Vietnam War. Hermann moved to Portland, Oregon in 1974 and married his wife, Roberta, the following year.
Hermann Colas, Jr. worked over 20 years in various roles at USWEST Communications. He managed large budgets for equipment planning in the Portland metro area and later became a regional manager for Global Positioning Systems (GPS) deployment in the region.
In the early 1980’s, Hermann began purchasing, renovating, and managing rental properties. After a negative experience with a private contractor on a project, he decided to start his own company, Colas Construction, Inc. in 1997.
The company has seen the industry at its best and at its worst in the past six years. Just before the recession, Colas Construction, Inc. employed over 20 workers. When the economic down turn took place, Colas had to make several labor reductions that at one point reduced the company to only six employees. To the credit of the company’s reputation and resiliency, it currently has 16 employees.
Today, the company is very much a family business. Andrew, Hermann’s eldest son, is President of Colas Construction, his daughter, Aneshka, is CFO, and his youngest son, Alexander, has recently joined the company as Project Coordinator. Hermann is the Founder of Colas Construction. This year, Colas Construction, Inc. anticipates further growth. Currently, it is working on several significant jobs, including a $32 million housing development project owned by Home Forward, and the Glisan Commons, a project with Human Solutions, Ride Connection and Reach CDC, a $20 million mixed-use development.
These projects and other pursuits taken on by the younger management team have given Hermann the latitude to become more engaged in the community. Currently, he is a Planning Commissioner for the city of Gresham and serves on multiple committees to advance the community benefits that are important to him. As a new member of the PCRI board, Hermann looks forward to contributing to an organization that provides a unique service in the housing market and for the community. PCRI’s long contribution to affordable housing and upright standing in its service approach is why he accepted to serve on the PCRI board.
For more information about Colas Construction, Inc., visit: http://www.colasconstruction.com/home
Dr. Algie Gatewood, Cascade Campus President of Portland Community College and PCRI Board Member, shares the following story with PCRI staff, residents and neighbors. All are invited to join this neighborhood National Night Out celebration:
Once again, the Humboldt Neighborhood Association and Portland Community College – Cascade Campus are joining forces to throw a party for the people of North Portland. The two organizations are teaming up to put on the 2011 Cascade Campus Open House and National Night Out celebration, set for 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, in the Campus’ Borthwick Mall, 705 N. Killingsworth St.
“This year, our event is shaping up to be fun and educational for everyone,” said PCC’s Suzette Pump, chair of the event’s planning committee. “This event allows us to provide a safe environment for local residents to learn about community resources, neighborhood safety, and have fun while doing it.”
The featured performer for this year’s festivities will be a longtime Portland favorite – Ghanaian master drummer Obo Addy and his ensemble, Okropong (pictured at left). The group will play two sets, at 5:15p.m. and 7:15p.m. The evening’s entertainment will also include performances from the Usual Suspects – a jazz band headed by Cascade Professional Music department chair Allen Jones – as well as an interactive dance session with the campus’ Zumba class and an appearance from the dragon dancers of the Northwest Chinese Cultural Association.
The celebration has something to offer for visitors of all ages. Good stuff to eat and drink will of course be available, and for the kids, there will be fun, games, face painting, hands-on art activities and a drawing for two children’s bicycles. Representatives from a range of campus academic programs will be on hand with demonstrations, and information will also be available for those visitors who are interested in attending classes at the campus.
In keeping with National Night Out’s theme, “a going-away party for crime and drugs,” a host of community organizations and government agencies will provide demonstrations and information on how to be safe at home and in the neighborhood. The Portland Police Bureau will be on hand to echo this message.
Staff and students from the Campus’ Emergency Services programs – Paramedic, Emergency Medical Technician and Fire Protection Technology – will showcase their skills as they perform a live simulated rescue of victims from a staged DUI accident. This activity will encompass the different stages of an accident rescue, from the initial call to 9-1-1 through patient transport on an ambulance.
“When people come together in a spirit of unity, it’s always a good thing for a community,” said Cascade Campus President Algie Gatewood. “I’m excited to partner with our neighbors to show our appreciation for the richness and diversity of our neighborhood.”
Participating organizations include Target, THA Architecture, Zipcar, Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits, the Florida Room, Leonard Adams Insurance Co., Eddie’s Flatiron Pizza, Pacific NW Federal Credit Union, Hillsboro Auto Wrecking and many more.