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'Hope Reigns' as Rose Festival Moves Into New Year

New Leadership Set as Festival Looks Ahead

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Retired Navy Captain (Reserve), Dave Todd has been elected to a two year term as President of the Portland Rose Festival Foundation. Todd, who recently retired from a 33-year career at university-level teaching in information systems, will lead a dedicated group of board members determined to move the Festival forward into the New Year with the 2021 theme "Hope Reigns."

"All of us feel a sense of loss as we look back on the year that spun out of control and changed our Festival so dramatically. Even so, those of us who work and volunteer for the Festival remain grateful that we are privileged to be a part of the world’s best Festival," said Todd. "The pay-forward for that privilege is we must do everything we can to make sure that the Festival does what it needs to do whenever people are able to return to it. We want the Festival always to be an escape, a celebration, and not a reminder of what was lost."

Dave and his wife Kathleen, who recently welcomed their son and his family into their home as they worked through career and relocation transitions, were abruptly hit with tragedy as their daughter-in-law Jamie passed away weeks later due to a rapid non-COVID illness. As his son and grandson begin the unanticipated rebuilding of their lives, Dave has dedicated his time helping provide guidance and tutoring to grandson Henry through his school's online learning classes.

During his 31-year tenure as a Rose Festival Director, Dave served on a wide variety of committees, held all but one of the Foundation’s elective offices, and chaired multiple committees, including seven terms as Chair of the Fleet Committee. 2021 elected officers serving with Mr. Todd are:

  • President-Elect John O'Hanlon - Bank of America
  • Vice-President Contesa Diaz-Nicolaidis - Alaska Airlines
  • Secretary Dr. Thompson Faller - University of Portland (Retired)
  • Treasurer Bill Poppino - Corporate Airline Pilot
  • Assistant Treasurer Dayna Kirk - The Standard

The Festival board elected three new directors for 2021 including Steve Welch, a Senior Mortgage Banker with Guild Mortgage Company and beloved member of the Rose Festival Clowns. Tragically Steve passed away due to a non-COVID illness January 3, 2021. Steve was well respected by the Rose Festival staff and volunteers not only for his wonderful antics as a member of the Festival's clown family, but as an incredibly warm and compassionate person.

2021 Elected Directors are:

  • Tamara (Tam) Allison - Associate Financial Analyst at Portland General Electric
  • Steven Welch - Senior Mortgage Banker with Guild Mortgage Company (deceased)
  • Mary Abbott Young - Realtor with Coldwell Banker

Todd says, "The health of our community and our friends around the world remains the most important thing. The Portland Rose Festival is here to stay. We continue to plan for a Rose Festival celebration when conditions allow."

Rose Festival Mission:

The Portland Rose Festival Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves families and individuals with programs and events that promote the arts, education and volunteerism. We value environmental responsibility, diversity, patriotism and our historic & floral heritage.

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