Board of Directors
James Armstrong (Board President) and his wife Laura opened Alberta Eye Care in January 2013. James and Laura are committed to a strong Alberta Street. He is a firm believer that citizens can come together and affect positive change. He wants to see Alberta Street continue to grow as a place where business can succeed, community members can live, and the culture of the neighborhood remains intact. James is committed to making sure our district grows in a way that will make it an example of what growth through locally owned small business can look like. Since graduating from the University of Oregon, James has spent the past six years working in the financial industry, specializing in forensic accounting and fraud investigation.
Larry Holmes (Board Vice President & Design Committee Chair) moved to the Vernon neighborhood in NE Portland six years ago from California and could easily have settled into a quiet new life in Portland. Instead mere months after his relocation, he rolled up his sleeves and became involved in his community as part of his Neighborhood Association. In July 2010, Alberta Main Street launched and Larry joined the Board of Directors. His commitment to a healthy community is unwavering.
Angie Heiney (Board Secretary), along with her business partner, Ali Wykhuis opened Frock Boutique in 2003 and continue to curate this fabulous and thriving retail establishment today. Angie has a Masters in Business, a background in photography, and a passion for fashion and the retail experience. Angie and Ali are also committed to making a difference in our community! One of the early Alberta Street settlers they’ve watched the Alberta Arts District grow from boarded up buildings to becoming one of the most thriving neighborhood business districts in Portland.
Jonnie Ling (Board Treasurer) manages the Community Cycling Center bike shop with mild mannered confidence and extensive bike knowledge. When he’s not at the shop you may find him working in the garden, baking bread, designing and building furniture or working on his next short story or of course riding his bike! The furthest Jonnie’s ever ridden his bike is from Portland to San Francisco in a mere nine days. Jonnie brings a strong knowledge of both retail and nonprofit management to Alberta Main Street.
Ranjit Bhaskar Prior to his arrival in Stumptown 15 years ago, Ranjit “did time” in New York, Michigan, Ohio and Texas. However, it didn’t take him long to realize that the city of Portland was a perfect fit for his lifestyle. He currently works as a color scientist for a large tech firm, but his interests include alternative energy and environmental stewardship. He would like to see the Alberta neighborhood preserve its diversity even as the community grows. In his free time, he is active with a Hands On Portland Teamworks volunteer group that performs service projects around town. He can also be seen attempting to play ultimate frisbee or tennis with those much younger and faster than he (and feigning injuries whenever he gets beat.)
Marissa Rodriquez and her family have lived in the area for the past 10 years and considers Alberta Street her Main Street. Marissa is committed to participating in the future of the district and has great ideas about how to make Alberta Street an even better Main Street for everyone!
Troy MacLarty owns a small business, Bollywood Theater, at the corner of NE Alberta and 21st. Bollywood Theater is a casual Indian restaurant, specializing in street food. Troy is a chef with 12 years experience in the restaurant industry, 7 of which have been in Portland. He has been the chef at Family Supper, Saucebox and Lovely Hula Hands, and have spent time at Simpatica, Laurelhurst Market, Ned Ludd and Grain and Gristle. Before working in restaurants, Troy was a biologist and worked for the University of California, Riverside as a research assistant. Troy is community oriented and interested in creating a stronger community.
Kate Verrill is co-owner of Bar Lolo and lives in the Concordia Neighborhood. She has worked in the restaurant industry for the last 15 years, managing the old Lolo for a year and a half and owning Bar Lolo since August 2011. As a business owner and resident of the neighborhood she is committed to seeing the neighborhood and business district flourish.
Jennifer Watson is a real estate broker at Living Room Realty and lives three blocks south of Alberta. She shops, banks, walks, runs and hangs out on Alberta and views it as an incredible area. Jennifer is interested in business development and neighborhood involvement to continue to make it a great and safe place to live for neighbors as well as a destination for locals and guest to Portland!
Justin Smithhisler is a Universal Associate at Umpqua Bank Alberta. Justin grew up in Roseburg, Oregon before moving to Portland to attend the University of Portland. Since landing in Portland, he has spent a great deal of his free time on Alberta Street and enjoyed watching it evolve over the years. It is Justin’s hope to be able to use his skills to be an integral part in the continued growth and development of Alberta Street. His goal is that many others will be able to experience the positive changes that he has seen on Alberta Street.
Sara Wittenberg (Executive Director) brings 20 years of public service, community development and a love for the Alberta community to her role as the Alberta Main Street Executive Director. Throughout her professional and volunteer experiences, Sara cultivated a strong network of partnerships and relationships within the public and private sectors. Sara’s personal goal to “make local habit” serves as her goal for the community as well.
Geoff Gibson (AmeriCorps*VISTA) is serving one year with Alberta Main Street through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. He is committed to bringing perspective in order to make sound and responsible decisions. Geoff has past experience starting a small business and he worked as a Project Manager for a media company where he had to work with multiple groups of people to help market and bring products to market. Additionally, Geoff is a fanatic soccer/MLS/Portland Timbers fan!