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Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Linda Weston

Linda Weston has more than thirty years of senior leadership experience in tourism, professional sports, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. She has advised dozens of organizations, from nonprofits to industry associations to early-stage companies, on operations, strategy, and leadership.

Most recently, Linda served as the President and Executive Director of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, which provides education, support, and access to capital for early-stage, high-growth companies. It is the premier entrepreneurship organization in the Northwest, presenting more than 60 programs and events annually. During her 17 years of leadership, OEN served more than 55,000 participants across Oregon and SW Washington, and Linda generated more than $12.2 million in sponsorship, donations, and grant funding to expand access to services for entrepreneurs in both urban and underserved areas.

Linda retired from OEN in December, 2016, and launched Rapporto, LLC which provides consulting services and coaching to both companies and nonprofit organizations.

Prior to leading OEN, Linda started and served as the General Manager of the Portland Power, the city’s team in the first women’s professional basketball league. Although the American Basketball League ultimately failed, the Power was its most successful franchise, leading the League in ticket revenue and second in attendance. She came to the Power from an 18-year stint in destination marketing, the last 10 as CEO of the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County, where she led all marketing of Eugene and the County as a convention and tourism destination.

In both 2002 and 2005, Linda was selected as one of 25 outstanding Women in Business by the Portland Business Journal. In 2005, she was one of three national finalists for the “Supporter of Entrepreneurship” award presented by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, in conjunction with Ernst & Young’s national Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. In 2007, she was recognized by the Northwest Women’s Journal as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women” in the Northwest. In 2015 she was selected by the Portland Business Journal as co-winner of “Advocate of the Year” in their Small Business and Innovation Awards program.

Linda has served on numerous travel industry and nonprofit boards. She currently serves on the board of Travel Portland and Social Venture Partners Portland as well as the advisory boards for 364Us and Morebots, two early-stage companies.