ThinkNW is a next-generation professional organization and platform bridging generations of talent and leadership in the Pacific Northwest. This region includes many history-changing companies, and ThinkNW aims to continually build a unified home for learning, inspiration and growth.
Members and companies include brands, agencies, marketers, media, tech, creative freelancers, nonprofits and academia. We encourage students to participate and join ThinkNW free of charge in their first year.
Much like today’s hybrid work and educational environment—and due to our region’s expansive geography—ThinkNW creates hybrid opportunities both in person and online.
Our Mission + Beliefs
Our mission is to advance the business impact of bold creative thinkers in the Pacific Northwest, and we believe that:
- Inclusion and equity are imperative
- Being big fans of the Pacific Northwest and in service to its community is our responsibility
- It’s important to demonstrate why creativity and innovation are clear business advantages
- Ambition needs accountability—and vice versa.
- We should always champion the Pacific Northwest’s most precious resource: our talent
- No matter where you are on your journey, you’re welcome here
- It’s time to build new traditions and raise the Pacific Northwest’s visibility
Contact ThinkNW Executive Director Doug Zanger to learn more.
It All Started Back in 1906…
Originally founded as The Oregon Advertisers Club, ThinkNW was one of the first advertising clubs in the United States. Probably because Portlanders love to meet across a smokey brew pub table, or maybe because we just like advertising. No matter what, we have been meeting regularly for over a hundred years, and even though we are one of the oldest clubs in the nation, our ideas remain fresh and members continue to inspire.
Take a walk through our history archive as we celebrate some of Portland, Oregon’s agencies and brands that have shaped the world of advertising as we know it today.
The Portland Advertising Federation was founded by a group of Ad Men in 1906 in downtown Portland, Oregon.
The Spotlight Newspaper, a weekly newspaper in the United States, published in Washington, D.C. from September 1975 to July 2001, shows the Portland Ad Group visiting the Oakland Convention on August 8th, 1917.
The President’s Maiden Message, by W. S. Kirkpatrick:
The past year has been an epoch of making period in the affairs of the Portland Ad Club. But 1921 holds boldly as great a promise for accomplishment.
I have a few pet ideas I would like to propose:
- I should like to see every disinterested member become interested.
- I should like to see every inactive member become active.
An Expression From The Glee Club, thanking the Portland Ad Group for their support and training. July 16, 1930, the Portland Advertising Spotlight Newspaper.
Beloved comedian, Trixie Friganza pays Portland a visit and is greeted and hosted by the Portland Ad Club Members and serenaded upon arrival at Union Station by the Portland Glee Club.
Oregonian Newspaper, June 9th, 1931
“When the Pacific Advertising Clubs Association holds its Thirty-first Annual Convention in Portland, July 10th to 15th, there will be assembled in Portland a group of men and women whose influence in business and government radiates to the highest and most important places…”
Spotlight, The Official Publication of the Advertising Club of Portland. June 27, 1934
“The smash style of the season! See the Jantzen Beauties in person modeling; swimsuits, sun clothes, sweaters and ski clothes. Plus: A behind the scenes presentation of how Jantzen Looks at Advertising!”
Portland Advertising Club Presentation by Jantzen Clothing. AD-VANCE Newsletter, May 4, 1949
“Don’t miss the first meeting! It’s a Fall Fashion Prevue From Limpan’s! Yes Dorothy Day – Lipman’s Fashion Coordinator presents to the Ad Club an advance look into the Rose Bowl.”
Lipman’s Portland Ad Club Presentation. AD-VANCE News from the Oregon Advertising Club, September 6th, 1950
In 1973, in addition to the club’s Advertising Man of the Year award, an Advertising Woman of the Year was also selected. Isabell Hoyt from KATU had the honor of being the first women to be chosen.
This image, of Ad Man and Ad Women of the year 1975 shows award recipients Richard C. Babb and Sally Goswell.
“We’re off and Running.” The Nike Story.
Hear Phil Knight, globetrotting president of BRS Inc, tell how Nike emerged from a waffle iron to become a world-famous footwear brand.
Nike presentation for the Portland Ad Club. AD-VANCE Newspaper, September 21st, 1979.
“The importance of advertising in improving the environment in which we live cannot be understated. Advertising is a means of letting the public know of new products and services. Further, it provides an effective avenue for addressing significant issues.”
A letter to the Portland Ad Club from Vic Atiyeh, Governor of Oregon, 1984.
Rosey Award Winner: Outdoor Transit
”Take This Shoe and Jam It.”
Agency: Weiden & Kennedy
Weiden & Kennedy Gets Ad Age Award.
“After forgoing the selection of an American agency of the year for 1990, Advertising Age has named Weiden & Kennedy of Portland, Ore as the agency of the year for 1991.”
New York Times, April 14 1991
Rosey Award Winners: Outdoor
”You Will Eat At Burgerville.”
Agency: Sandstrom Design
Rosey Award Winner: Consumer Magazine
My Mother Makes Combat Boots
Rosey Award Winner: Poster
”Normally We Make Your Life Easier, Except This Once: Choose.”
Agency: Sasquatch Advertising
Rosey Award Winner: Outdoor
”Because The Law Says You Can’t Shoot From Your Truck.”
Agency: Robbey Marketing
Rosey Award Winner: Outdoor
”to Work. to Play. to Live”
Birth of the Extremely Happy Hour, PAF’s monthly moveable feast of agency networking.
Wieden & Kennedy receiving a Climbing Rose award for their “Only Slightly Exaggerated” campaign for Travel Oregon.