Joe Bike

‘Spirit of Portland’ awards include PBOT staffer, CCC CEO, and Better Block

Posted by on December 7th, 2016 at 1:15 pm

2016 winners include PBOT's Janis McDonald (lef), Community Cycling Center CEO Mychal Tetteh (right) and Better Block PDX.(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland and Better Block)

2016 winners include PBOT’s Janis McDonald (left), Community Cycling Center CEO Mychal Tetteh (right) and Better Block PDX.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland and Better Block)

The 32nd annual Spirit of Portland Awards have been announced and the 2016 winners include three names you’re probably very familiar with.

Among the 19 individuals and organizations are a Portland Bureau of Transportation staffer, the outgoing CEO of the Community Cycling Center, and the non-profit tactical urbanism group Better Block PDX. The awards are given out each year by City Commissioners and other community members (via nomination) to those who “have not only worked to improve the community, but who have also gone above and beyond a dedication to civic engagement in order to make a lasting impact.”

Janis McDonald, a project manager with the City of Portland has been named a winner in the Outstanding Individual Leadership Award: Equity in Practice Partnership of the Year category. McDonald is a coordinator for the city’s Safe Routes to School program. Prior to that she oversaw community outreach for the Bureau of Transportation’s Sunday Parkways program and managed the Women on Bikes project. She’s been a PBOT employee since 2004.


City Commissioner Steve Novick was able to offer two Spirit of Portland awards. He has chosen Community Cycling Center CEO Mychal Tetteh and Better Block PDX. Tetteh served as CEO for three years and is now moving on to a position with the City of Portland in 2017. Better Block had a banner year by completing several successful projects including Better Naito and Better Broadway. In October Portland City Council voted to bring the Naito project in-house and fund it on a seasonal basis for the next five years.

You can see the full list of winners on the Office of Neighborhood Involvement website. The awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, December 13 at 6:00 pm in the DoubleTree Hotel in the Lloyd District (1000 NE Multnomah).

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger December 7, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Congrats to all!! (Especially Janis aka ‘Wonder Woman’)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Mark Lear December 7, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Great work – well deserved!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    David Hampsten December 7, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    When I went to get my award in 2013, one of the other speakers said, “In most of America, when you successfully advocate and cause trouble for city council and city staff, they run you out of town. In Portland, they give you an award.”

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson December 8, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Bravo Janis, Mychal and Better Block! All of you are making Portland that much better a place to live, bike and thrive. Many thanks!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Janis McDonald December 8, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Thanks everyone! For the record, I worked on Sunday Parkways 2008-2013 and Women on Bikes 2005-2013. Now I work as a coordinator for the Safe Routes to School program. Both Safe Routes and Sunday Parkways staff continue to keep equity and diversity at the forefront of their work. I couldn’t have done or continue to do the work I do without the support of great coworkers and community partners.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Avatar