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Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Homecoming Weekend Dinner: “Food and Finance”

November 21, 2014

Lewis & Clark Alumni, Parents and Students convened to enjoy delicious cuisine provided by Boke Bowl, a Portland based restaurant group founded by L&C alums, Patrick Fleming ’92, Brannon Riceci ’92, and Tim Parsons ’91.  The crowd heard from several speakers about their personal entrepreneurial journeys.

The event’s takeaway can be summarized in just three words: “safe is risky.”


Tony Abena spoke of his experience spanning a number of startup companies as well as employment in large corporations. He spoke of the misplaced confidence often felt in larger companies, and shared his belief that entrepreneurial thinking like that fostered at Lewis & Clark will flourish in both contemporary and future markets.



Rob Bart, law class of ’14, concluded the evening when he spoke of his experience launching and growing his business accelerator, Forge Portland. He shared that the Center for Entrepreneurship’s resources, mentorship, and guidance were invaluable.


Patrick Fleming, owner of Boke Bowl and chef of the dinner, served up a number of engaging stories of how they started Boke Bowl as a pop up venture at various Portland venues before growing into two current Portland locations.

It was difficult to leave the event without a new excitement to embrace risk and to mix things up.  One is likely to see the results of this energy from the up and coming Lewis & Clark students that were part of the crowd.