A collaborative effort between the Leadership Board of the PDX Executive Forums and Portland State University’s Center for Executive & Professional Education, The PDX Executive Forums Leadership Academy is a two day intensive curriculum designed to accelerate the professional development of high-potential individuals who will be the leaders of tomorrow.

Enroll your top emerging leaders in the Academy to invest in talented employees and the future of your company’s strategy. Enrollment includes two days of instruction by management professors from Portland State University and executives from Portland's leading brands.


The Academy is a classroom cohort program and a limited number of registrations are available. Attendees will learn alongside each other in an unique, one of its kind curriculum. All instruction materials and lunches included. Hosted reception at the end of day one.  


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What it Means to Lead with Grace

Sheila Murty

Executive Vice President,

People & Culture

Tillamook County Creamery Association


Managerial books can sometimes fail us in times of crisis when people are searching for meaning or overwhelmed with life. Crisis reveals the true character of an organization and its leaders. While trying to regain footing, responding to the crisis and scrambling to figure out how to preserve or protect the business, we have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate our values and lead with grace.


But what does that mean exactly? And how do we show grace for our co-workers from afar?

Leading with grace is a benefit to our organizations. When people feel psychologically safe, valued and cared for both at work and in their lives, they will bring their best selves forward and give you their discretionary effort. But make no mistake, grace is an inside job — it's our role as leaders to model it, invest in it and commit to it.

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Stephanie Bastin-Wells

Head of Employee Experience


Leading Through Unprecedented Change

Leading Sustainable Culture Change


The only constant is change. Are we driving that change in an intentional way, or are we reactionary and pinballing from one challenge to another? In this session we take a whole systems view of organizational culture and the leverage points for leading sustainable change. Rather than aiming for an end-state, the focus is on creating the conditions for a culture of continuous improvement. This session aims to empower participants to better understand their own leadership tendencies and how they can positively affect cultural change in their workplaces.

David E. Hall, Phd

Organizational Psychologist

Portland State University

Seed Pattern LLC


Promoting Diversity, Ensuring Equity: It must be done. Here's how to do it.

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Tia Coachman


Affirma Consultancy

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Sarah Outlaw

Human Resources Director

Wieden + Kennedy

Experience Led Strategy

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Products that are developed utilizing customer insights prove to increase user adoption, decrease risk in investment and drive revenue. Identifying gaps, pain points, and opportunities to improve your customers’ experience can be daunting, but a creative problem-solving tool like journey mapping can help. Learn when and how to use journey mapping in your process to align your team on what is important to the user.

Jess Schuett

Service Designer

Slalom Consulting

Thinking Beyond Your Role To Become a 

Better Leader


Joelle Maher is a current advisor & investor to start up apparel brands.  Joelle's previous roles include Global EVP & President for Levi Strauss, COO for Gymboree, President & Chief Customer Officer for Sears, and CEO of Portland based apparel brand Hanna Andersson.

Joelle Maher

Recent CEO

Hanna Andersson

Inclusion in Action

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Inclusion is made up of small actions that are taken every day. What can we do as individuals, team members, and leaders to create an inclusive work environment today and in the future?  ​

​Our goal in this session will be to understand concrete actions you can take in your daily work to create a more inclusive environment, including how to:

· Show respect for diverse social identities​

· Build inclusion into team norms​

· Lead intentionally


Allison Dopp

Organizational Effectiveness Consultant

Slalom Consulting

Jess Marks

Organizational Effectiveness Consultant

Slalom Consulting

Staffing for Growth: Tips For Optimal Hiring Decisions


Keith Wymbs

Recent Chief Marketing Officer

Elemental AWS

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John Whitted

Corporate Partnership Manager

Portland State University

The PDX Executive Forums Leadership Academy is a first of its kind talent accelerator for the Portland leadership community. Invest in professional development, build relationships and collaborate with other emerging leaders in the two day program hosted at Portland State University’s Center for Executive & Professional Education.

With a focus on strategy & leadership, the curriculum delivers courses by industry executives with research backed instruction by Portland State University’s leading graduate business professors, providing the skills and tools that are needed to excel in current and future leadership positions.

PDX Executive Forums

The Leadership Academy is part of the PDX Executive Forums, a community of executives from Portland's leading brands. 

For questions or inquiries about the leadership academy, please email