PTFC’s Commitment to Continuous Improvement
Internal Process Improvements:
- We appointed a task force to provide an independent review of the 2022 NWSL and US Soccer investigations and the steps we have taken to ensure player safety.
- We adopted internal and external anonymous reporting systems for allegations of harassment and discrimination involving our organization. We also launched a form on our website to enable our fans and community to provide anonymized feedback and input.
- We have ensured that any staff who regularly interact with players, as well as all full-time staff, are required to complete annual SafeSport training.
- We expanded our anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all full-time staff.
- Supplemental crisis, mental health and wellness resources have been made available to player and non-player personnel.
- In 2022, we held a series of town hall meetings and open house events with club officials and annual members and supporters groups to increase our communications and transparency with our fans. In 2023, we are continuing to offer new engagement opportunities for annual members to ensure a wide range of voices are heard and to find new and innovative ways to connect with our fans. In February and March we held fan forums with Timbers and Thorns annual members and club leadership to talk about the upcoming seasons and the improvements the club has made.
- After serving as interim CEO for four months, Heather Davis was appointed CEO of Peregrine Sports in January 2023, overseeing business for both the Timbers and the Thorns. Heather is only the fifth woman to hold this position in the history of Major League Soccer.
- Also in January, Ashley Highsmith was promoted to Chief Operations Officer, overseeing Events, Fan Experiences, and Stadium Operations and Security; Joe Cote was promoted
to Chief Revenue Officer, overseeing Ticketing, Sponsorship and Marketing; and Sarah Keane, our CFO, was also appointed Chief Administrative Officer, overseeing Human Resources, Legal and Community and Social Impact.
- Karina LeBlanc, former Thorns and Canadian national team goalkeeper, remains Thorns General Manager and was additionally appointed President of Thorns Operations in 2023. In that role she is working closely with ownership and the front office to, among other things, advance the building of a bespoke training facility for the Thorns.
- Ned Grabavoy was named General Manager of the Timbers in January 2023. Ned has been with the club for 8 years, first as a player and most recently as Timbers Technical Director.
- In October 2022, Dr. Robin Beavers was hired as the club’s Vice President of Community and Social Impact. Since joining the organization, she has managed the club’s Stand Together platform and is leading new outreach and diversity initiatives.
- Finnian McNeff was hired as VP of Human Resources in March 2023, adding new depth and experience to our HR department.
- As of the 2023 season, 50% of the club’s C-suite executives are women.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Community Impact:
- We have reaffirmed our Stand Together mission, which aims to harness the power of sport to improve the lives of children and families through targeted programs, deeper partnerships and philanthropic giving.
- Our Stand Together program was recently recognized by Portland Business Journal with a Corporate Philanthropy Award.
- We adopted our first equity statement, “The PTFC Way." The statement was developed by a cross-departmental team with staff from all levels of the organization. The process was facilitated by Workplace Change. It was then rolled out to all staff in an interactive manner and incorporated into the club’s goal setting process.
- We have partnered with Workplace Change, a Portland-based Black-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, inclusion, and belonging.
- Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) now informs our workplace culture and how we show up in the community. Our staff engage in at least 3 DEIB trainings each season and we are working with community partners from various cultural backgrounds to help inform how we actually engage within the community.
- We held our first annual Partner Summit in March 2023 and recently launched our PTFC Partner Council. The council will bring together a diverse group of leaders from a subset of our partners to work together to share best practices on a wide variety of challenges and opportunities we all face as businesses and employers. The first topic the council will discuss will be sustainability and corporate environmental responsibility. Additional topics we anticipate addressing are fostering an inclusive workplace and strategic planning in uncertain economic environments.