Blake Sakamoto of ‘Nu Wavers’ and ‘The Dan Reed Network’ has been playing music in Portland forever. His love of music was clear from as early as age 6 and, beginning with piano, over the years he mastered the guitar, drums, and vocals. Involved in the music program while attending Cleveland High School, Blake formed a band with a few kids, and the rest is history.
Jennifer Biglan begins every day with her coffee fix. “I need a vanilla latte to start my day, every day. I admit I am addicted,” she laughs.
Kat Barrett’s love affair with horses began with riding lessons at age 9. “I loved it and I was good at it, so I kept riding,” she says. “My favorite movie as a kid was The Black Stallion, of course,” she laughs. “I wanted to be a veterinarian, but then once I realized I was not good at chemistry I decided to get my degree in education.”
As Senior Manager of Best Friends Animal Society’s National Events Team, Julie Honse is always on the go, finding ways to rescue and improve the lives of animals.
“Guitars are my guilty pleasure,” says Maria Callahan, who grew up in east Multnomah County (now Troutdale), attended local schools, and eventually became an EMT.
Hardworking, competitive, athletic and kind are just a few words that describe Brandon Roosevelt. He is also co-owner of a new online business, DoggieiD, which offers customized dog tags that replicate actual state drivers’ licenses.
Warm and funny, Mark Watson is a champion volunteer for dog parks in Vancouver, Washington. Three years ago while attending a work party at a local dog park he asked, “Where are all your volunteers?” Now, three years later, he is Maintenance Development Coordinator and Advertising Manager for DOGPAW (Dog Owners Group for Park Access Washington).
Portland has long been home to many fine musicians, their careers studded with record deals, and national and international tours. Among these greats is Tom Grant, who has charted #1, performed all over the world, recorded many albums, and won the hearts of local music lovers.
Kind, passionate and laid back are just a few of the ways people describe Miranda Woods. Founder of Bailey’s Bones & Wishes, she provides food, water, leashes, jackets and more in hopes of making a difference to “the forgotten ones” — pets of the homeless.
Every day brings a new destination, and no single day will ever be the same again for Marty Davis, former Portlander and publisher of Just Out. Marty ran the much-loved newspaper highlighting Portland’s GBLT community from 1999 to 2011.
You rarely meet someone with a story as compelling and a heart as huge as Kristin Regan. Her lifelong love of animals began early in childhood, when she brought home the first stray cat. That first rescue was just the beginning, and certainly not be her last.
“I really have found my dream job,” says Sam Ellingson, Outreach and Strategic Partnership Coordinator at the Humane Society for SW Washington (HSSW). “Who wouldn’t want to spend their day surrounded by animals? Helping animals is so rewarding.”
Parker is a 7½-year-old Golden Retriever who has many jobs in life. First and foremost he is a beloved member of his family. He is a professional animal actor and model, appearing in various print ads, commercials, national & local television, and music videos.
We live in a culture that doesn't like to discuss – or even look at – end of life. Yet pet owners who ask former zookeeper and Portland-based photographer Kristin Zabawa to photograph their dying pets say those photos play a critical role in helping them process their grief.
Hot tip for pet owners: If you ever need help naming a new non-human companion, hit up Dr. Rosie Gilbert of Viking Veterinary Care.
Some lives become so intertwined that at some point theirs is simply no longer a story of one.
Such is the case with Amy Linder and her Dalmatians.
Some people are natural dynamos, exuding such boundless energy and enthusiasm that, after just minutes with them, you feel ready to take on the world yourself.
That is Maura. Her girl-next-door looks combined with CEO chutzpah and cheerleader pep pack quite a punch.
Sara Fleissner has the cat from hell.
"She is truly the worst," says the practice development director of Frontier Veterinary Hospital in Hillsboro of her Calico, Lula. "Even the staff at DoveLewis, where she had to go for endoscopy once, was like, ‘this is epic!’"
So how does a nice, animal-loving, Midwestern girl grow up to become Ms. Oregon State Leather?
"I can't even begin to tell you how it happened," laughs Shawna Clausen, the jovial brunette who won the title last year.
Dr. Alicia Zambelli loves her job caring for the cats and dogs of Portland suburbanites. Still, some of her fondest memories are from practicing livestock medicine in east Africa.