Greenroof CEO Vanessa Keitges Named as Female Startup Entrepreneur in Oregon

February 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Great news for women in the marketplace as well as for the greenroof industry!  Vanessa Keitges, President & CEO of Columbia Green Technologies, Inc., has been included in a recent shortlist of prominent females promoting startup businesses in the state of Oregon from Oregon Business.

[The photo previously posted here of Vanessa was removed on March 2, 2012 at the request of Sustainable Business Oregon.]

Based in Portland, Oregon, Columbia Green’s core technologies are focused on vegetative roofs and based on sustainable functions that help manage the quality and quantity of stormwater, energy use, and air and water pollution.  Vanessa purchased the company along with local investors in 2009 and it is currently experiencing significant growth under her leadership.

We met Vanessa a couple of years ago in Atlanta, and were impressed by her friendliness and enthusiasm.  We saw her again in Vancouver, B.C. and most recently at CitiesAlive 2011 in Philadelphia at the end of November/beginning of December.  Firestone, one of Columbia Green’s major partners, very generously sponsored the Thursday night “After Party” at Con Murphy’s, a local Philly bar.  Great fun was had by all!

Oregon enjoys an increasingly vibrant startup scene and although the state has a long history of women starting small businesses, typically they have been smaller, retail establishments.  But recent trends show women forming “highly scalable businesses” with a growing number in the tech sectors.  After speaking with Linda Weston – executive director of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network and a pioneering female entrepreneur herself – Linda Baker, Managing Editor of Oregon Business, decided to compile a list of “female entrepreneurs and investors who are pushing the start-up scene forward.”

Vanessa Keitges is a sincere and highly energetic and motivated individual who certainly deserves the attention from the Oregon business community – here’s what she said when I asked her how she reacted to the news:

“It is great to be recognized as one of the women powering the startup scene here in Portland. I am humbled to be included with the group of women that are mentioned in the Oregon Business article “Women Help Power Startup Scene” and their stellar experience and reputations.

One of the main themes of this article is that these women are running highly scalable businesses and this certainly resonates with our efforts here at Columbia Green. When we win a new green roof project, our goal is to exceed all customers’ expectations. We don’t just want the first green roof project, we want to prove that we can be a long term partner to our customer. This is one of the major ways that we scale our business.” ~ Vanessa Keitges

To read more and see the entire list of Oregon’s startup women, where the author invites the public to submit more names of “other notable women driving 21st century entrepreneurship” at “Women help power startup scene” from Oregon Business (Sustainable Business Oregon), please contact the publication or Vanessa, see phone number below.

Due to positive growth in the ecoroof industry, Columbia Green Technologies recently announced the opening of their new website and Boston Regional Headquarters.

Contact Vanessa Keitges at: 503.327.8723.

Congratulations, Vanessa!

~ Linda V.