*Updated: October 10, 2022

Leadership Changes

As of Oct. 10, 2022, Merritt Paulson has removed himself as CEO of the Portland Timbers and Thorns FC. Heather Davis has been appointed interim President and interim CEO of Peregrine Sports, overseeing business for both the Timbers and the Thorns. Sarah Keane, our CFO, has been appointed interim Chief Operating Officer. Sarah Keane has started the global search for a new Chief Executive Officer for Peregrine Sports.

Game Plan 2.0 Initiative

A new initiative to guide the organization forward with a focus on player health and safety. The first phase of this initiative will be to form the Game Plan 2.0 Committee, comprised of internal and external stakeholders, to continue to review our internal practices, establish goals looking ahead and learn from the best practices of our sponsors and partners in the community

VP of Community and Social Impact

The Club will hire a Vice President of Community and Social Impact to oversee our Stand Together initiatives and lead new outreach and diversity initiatives. The role will build on our decade-long effort to harness the power of sport to improve the lives of children and families through targeted programs, deep partnerships and philanthropic giving. Complete

On August 31, the Portland Timbers and Thorns FC announced the hiring of Dr. Robin Beavers as the club’s new Vice President of Community and Social Impact: PRESS RELEASE

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We have partnered with Workplace Change, a local BIPOC-owned firm specializing in workplace diversity and inclusion, to assess our practices and help guide future planning so we may better reflect our broader community and give greater voice within the organization to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Phase I – Review of business practices, policies and documentation/language – Complete

Phase II – Staff engagement on development of organizational DEI goals and objectives – Complete

Phase III – Delivery of suggested DEI initiatives, prioritization and implementation roadmap, and T.I.D.E. Tool for Decision Making – Complete

Workplace Change will continue to consult and assist as a partner organization beyond just this initial work

Compliance Resources

The club is committed to bolstering its HR and legal team with a compliance focused position to ensure that all reporting, training and due diligence across the entire Timbers and Thorns ecosystems are applied and adhered to.

A new in-house counsel has been hired and began on May 23.

New Non-Profit Fund

We are proud to announce a new Thorns and Timbers fund to be awarded through local nonprofits focused on women’s rights, gender equity and aiding those impacted by domestic violence. The beneficiaries are: Bradley Angle, New Avenues For Youth, Saving Grace and Clackamas Women’s Services.

Player Feedback

We opened a dialogue with Thorns and Timbers players and staff to ensure they have a more direct line to management. Players will be empowered to safely raise potential complaints or issues, and feedback from players can be directly shared with decision makers in the front office to ensure that player voices are heard and amplified.

A Thorns players committee has been created to allow for an open forum where issues and concerns are addressed. This committee meets regularly with the GM, as well as other Front Office departments, to facilitate a dialogue regarding wider business initiatives and practices. Additionally, there is a players leadership group working specifically with coaching staff to foster the team culture.

New Fan Engagement Programs

This season, we will broaden communications and engagement opportunities for Annual Members to ensure a wide range of voices are heard, offer more ways to engage with the club and increase transparency. New fan engagement programs include access to team Town Halls, a series of small-scale open house meetings with club officials, monthly newsletters with engagement opportunities and surveys to gather input and drive club decision making.

4/23/22 – Open House Recap

4/30/22 – Open House Recap

5/21/22 – Open House Recap

5/22/22 – Open House Recap

6/19/22 – Open House Recap

6/25/22 – Open House Recap

Girl-Focused Programming

At the heart of Stand Together is our youth focused programming. Stand Together is excited to continue partnerships with local nonprofits, whose collective work is dedicated to supporting young women and advancing women’s rights and issues in the greater Portland community, such as Girls Inc., Boys & Girls Club and Adelante Mujeres. In addition, the Thorns will continue to further advance their Girls Strong initiative by evolving the one-day event led by Thorns players into a yearlong program to inspire confidence, wellness, and empowerment through soccer and other activities.

Discrimination Education Training for Staff

Portland-based, Black-owned company, Construct the Present, will lead training sessions focused on the history of discrimination in Oregon, allyship, privilege and interrupting microaggressions for all full-time employees of the club. Additionally, all full-time employees are required to take part in annual anti-harassment and anti-discrimination trainings.

Training schedule for all full-time staff:

Module I – History of Discrimination in Oregon - Complete

Module II – Allyship and Privilege - Complete

Module III – Addressing and Interrupting Microaggressions - Complete

SafeSport Training

As part of our commitment to promote player health and safety, all individuals within the organization who have regular contact with players are required to complete SafeSport training on an annual basis, including the CEO, President of Business Operations, President of Soccer Operations, and each team’s general manager and coaching staff. The training is designed to help individuals become more proficient at identifying, preventing and responding to misconduct and abuse in sport.

All required staff have completed this training and it will continue to be provided for new hires as needed.

Expanded Background Checks

We expanded our background check process before hiring the new Thorns coaching staff. Background checks are now conducted through the NWSL’s independent third-party investigator, and we pledge to continue to apply this process in any Thorns new hires moving forward.

Anonymous Internal Reporting System

A safe and inclusive work environment for all employees is our top priority. We have put in place a confidential and anonymous online reporting system for HR issues, including harassment or discrimination within the organization that is available to all employees, as well as Timbers and Thorns FC players.

Anonymous Reporting System for Supporters

We are committed to an environment where everyone is treated with respect and dignity. We condemn, and will investigate, all forms of discrimination and harassment and have created this form so anyone may report an incident or concern to our organization anonymously through this online form.

PTFC Culture Study

In November 2021, we proactively engaged law firm DLA Piper to conduct a deep dive into our workplace culture and identify areas of improvement along with suggested remediation, which we are in the process of implementing.

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