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President's Message

Tuesday, January 8, 2019   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Nikki Schutte
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Dawn Bergin, SHRM-SCP

2019 PHRMA President

Ziba Design


Dear PHRMA Member,

Happy New Year!  I hope that your holidays were wonderfully relaxing and your 2019 is off to a great start.  As your incoming PHRMA President, I look forward to another exciting year of dynamic programs, annual conference and engaging networking events with all of you.

PHRMA strives to be Portland’s preeminent HR organization.  We are committed to the work of diversity, equity and inclusion and we expect our professional peers (both individual and organizational) to do the same. Unfortunately, one such peer failed to meet our expectations last month.

On December 22, 2018, the DoubleTree Hotel evicted Jermaine Massey, an African American hotel guest who was erroneously accused of loitering. As reported by the Oregonian, a security guard interrupted Mr. Massey while he was on the phone with his mother in the hotel lobby. Although Mr. Massey told the security guard that he was a guest at the hotel, the security guard continued to ask what room number he was in. Mr. Massey tried to end the interaction because he was on the phone. The security guard then had a manager call Portland police to remove him from the premises.

As you know, the DoubleTree is a regular, paid venue for PHRMA’s monthly events and has been for many years. In the wake of this incident, PHRMA has denounced the DoubleTree’s treatment of Mr. Massey. We have also reiterated our organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The DoubleTree has been exceptionally responsive to us and to the community at-large in the wake of what we hope will prove to be an isolated incident. Please see their public statement and commitment issued on December 29, 2018, below:

“Following an internal review, we have terminated the employment of the security guard and manager involved in this incident. Our hotel is a place of hospitality, and their actions were inconsistent with our standards and values.

Our hotel is committed to engaging outside advisors and experts in diversity and inclusion to evaluate our processes, protocols and trainings to ensure something like this does not happen again.

We reiterate our sincere apology to Mr. Massey for his treatment this past weekend, and deeply regret the experience he endured.” 
DoubleTree by Hilton Portland


In addition, we have been informed that the DoubleTree is actively working on a microsite through which we will be able to monitor progress updates. 

We appreciate the DoubleTree’s swift, corrective action in the right direction and we are looking forward to hearing more from their General Manager at the upcoming meeting on January 16, 2019.  PHRMA will continue to be vigilant proponents of diversity, equity and inclusion for the DoubleTree, ourselves as an organization and our other professional peers.  We hope that you will join us in supporting this important agenda, everywhere.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me or our Chapter Director, Nikki Schutte. 

Thank you, and here’s to a healthy, happy and prosperous 2019!

Dawn Bergin
2019 PHRMA President


Isaac E. Dixon says...
Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Nikki thank you so much for addressing this concern. It is important that we ensure that the city we love remains a place where everyone feels welcome. Isaac Dixon, PhD., SPHR

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