June 24, 2015
Two longtime members of the Portland Development Commission Board of Commissioners will step off the board on Wednesday, June 24, 2015, each after serving three terms. Charles A. Wilhoite began his service on August 1, 2006, first appointed by Mayor Tom Potter, and was board chair from July 2008 to July 2009. John C. Mohlis joined the PDC board in January 2007, also appointed by Mayor Potter. Over their three terms, they have guided the Commission through both recession and recovery.
Along with their fellow commissioners, Wilhoite and Mohlis directed more than $146 million in PDC funds to infrastructure and open space, including the MAX Green Line, the Portland Streetcar eastside loop, Dawson Park, Harpers Playground, Lents Park, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Heritage Markers, and numerous smaller-scale streetscape improvements in north and east Portland.
They also guided more than $213 million to a wide range of development and community projects ranging from Mercy Corps’ global headquarters, Oregon College of Oriental Medicine and the Pacific Northwest College of Art expansion, all in Old Town/Chinatown, to the award-winning Nines/Meier & Frank redevelopment, Killingsworth Station, the June Key Delta Center, Ikea, the Tilikum Crossing/Bridge of the People, the Eastside Exchange, and the OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building. Business development efforts, primarily guided by the city’s 2009 Economic Development Strategy which focused on cluster industries and entrepreneurship, totaled more than $100 million during their combined board service.
Charles A. Wilhoite
Throughout Commissioner Wilhoite’s tenure he frequently deployed his professional skills as a financial consultant to guide the Commission through complex development transactions with a careful eye on how those deals would benefit the community at large.
Wilhoite presided over PDC’s N/NE Economic Development Initiative and the expansion of the River District, Interstate and Lents URAs; he chaired the effort on the Rose Quarter expansion that created today’s framework for establishing community benefit agreements, and he led the PDC Board through the establishment of a new Enterprise Zone policy that made significant improvements in the sharing of community benefits derived from the program.
Wilhoite was a consistent voice for Portland’s minority communities and worked tirelessly to champion fair and equitable business and workforce practices. True to his professional status as managing director of Willamette Management Associates, a firm specializing in financial consulting, economic analysis and business valuation services, he has been a firm and frequent advocate for PDC’s responsible financial stewardship of public funds.
John C. Mohlis
While serving on the PDC Board, Mohlis was the Executive Secretary of the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council, an umbrella organization for approximately 30,000 union construction workers in Oregon. As a longtime labor advocate, Commissioner Mohlis demonstrated particular interest in PDC’s workforce goals and best practices in building and construction, a natural connection with his previous career in the construction trades.
Mohlis played a key role in PDC’s minority contracting and apprenticeship achievements, and as a member of the South Waterfront Workforce Oversight Committee he saw PDC achieve record participation of Minority-Owned, Women-Owned, and Emerging Small Business (MWESB) in contracting of PDC-supported projects.
Under his guidance, PDC created its Workforce and Business Equity Policy and extended that policy to encompass Daimler Trucks North America’s $150 million headquarters expansion on Swan Island.
Mohlis has been a passionate advocate for prevailing wage standards and the use of local construction contractors and workers on publicly-subsidized projects. He pushed for the Oregon Legislature’s passage of HB2646, which closed a loophole in prevailing wage law for public-private development.