Press Release: BBPDX Welcomes Zapproved Co-Founder Chris Bright As BBPDX Interim Board Chair

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Chris Bright, Co-Founder of Zapproved, is assuming the top board leadership spot for Business for a Better Portland, the 400+ member business association focused on helping its members engage with regional policy on housing, homelessness, transportation, and economic opportunity. 

Bright will lead the organization through a strategic planning process that will focus the work of this rapidly growing organization over the next two years. 

“We’re thrilled that Chris wants to direct his business acumen to guide our first strategic planning process,” said Executive Director Ashley Henry. “With over 400 members in just three short years, BBPDX is primed to map out our next phase of engagement with our members and impact in the community.” 

Business For a Better Portland celebrates its third year of operations in February with over 400 business and organizational members. In 2019, the business association played a key role in mobilizing business support for educational investments through the Student Success Act of 2019. Their legislative advocacy continues during the current short session with proposed legislation aimed at creating better access to capital for underrepresented communities. At the local and regional level, BBPDX has been instrumental in engaging its members on critical housing, transportation and economic development policies. 

“By working together, we can have a positive impact on making capital accessible to every entrepreneur that needs it, realizing a comprehensive vision for transportation and ensuring that all in our community have a place to call home,” said Bright. “Portland is growing, and BBPDX's members share a vision that keeps our community advancing in a way that creates greater shared prosperity.” 

Bright is a successful entrepreneur and social advocate with more than 25 years of experience working with technology start-ups. He is a Co-Founder of Zapproved, a market-leading software company in legal technology started in 2008. Prior to Zapproved, Bright worked at Pixelworks, an Oregon-founded semiconductor company where he was a member of Pixelworks’ IPO team in 2000. 

Bright is currently focused on homeless advocacy. He is leading the launch of the Pledge for Portland for businesses to directly support those experiencing homelessness. He is also actively involved with Street Roots and International Network of Street Papers North America Bureau. 

“Chris’ leadership will focus BBPDX’s growth as we continue to make an impact as a vital voice for Portland's business community,” said Executive Director Ashley Henry. “His deep business experience, his passionate work to address the homeless crisis, and his attentiveness to the needs of our members will set us up for continued growth.” 

Bright also helped found the Oregon Venture Investment Conference and Tools for Schools, now part of Schoolhouse Supplies, and staffed the Oregon Council for Knowledge and Economic Development, now Oregon InC. Chris earned a M.A. from George Washington University and a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Bright steps into the position formerly held by outgoing founding Board Chair, Mara Zepeda, who is moving to South Carolina after three years as Chair of the BBPDX board and a previous year heading up the all-volunteer Portland Independent Chamber of Commerce that led to the creation of BBPDX. Zepeda led the organization to focus on access to capital for women and entrepreneurs of color.

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