2022 ThinkNW Marketing All-Star: Maureen O’Connor, Director and Senior Instructor, Advertising Program, Portland State University

We’re pleased to announce the 2022 class of ThinkNW Marketing All-Stars, a peer-nominated award recognizing excellence in marketing in the region. Our goal is to shine a light on the people driving growth in the industry and contributing to the regional brand and marketing ecosystem.

We asked our 2022 honorees to share a bit about their work, lives, and what the Pacific Northwest means to them. Here’s what Maureen O’Connor, Director and Senior Instructor, Advertising Program, Portland State University, had to say.

How long have you been in your current role?

Over twelve years.

What do you value most in your work in this role, and what do you consider your biggest accomplishment in your current role?

I love being in the classroom with students as they begin to understand the advertising field. In those “aha” moments, you can see these kids awaken to a possible career path where they see themselves engaged, empowered, and successful.

What do you like to do outside of your work?

I’m an avid traveler and had the remarkable experience of spending a year teaching abroad and traveling around the world solo. I like spending time at my little Steiner cabin in Government Camp and out in Maupin, and I am currently volunteering as an ESL teacher with refugee organizations.

What impact does the Pacific Northwest have on your work?

I’ve been here since 1980, when I came out to attend graduate school at the UO. Despite accidentally driving through Eugene when I first arrived (I thought I was in the suburbs), I have sunk deep roots in the Great Northwest and learned the value of the “long view,” which was never possible in the flatlands of the Midwest.

How would you characterize the Pacific Northwest marketing/creative community? In your mind, what makes it unique?

It’s the only marketing/advertising community I know, frankly.

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