Keynote speaker Lee Weinstein will discuss The Power of Relationships. Weinstein, a veteran of Oregon public relations and public affairs, will share insights about how to build and leverage relationships to fuel your business, brand and life.
“Relationships are what matter most to us as human beings. We are wired to look each other in the eye and to converse. It’s how we live and thrive,” Lee says. “Trust is at the root of all relationships. It’s also at the root of any brand. Customer loyalty is what will get us all through the current recession. Everyone is being very careful with every dollar we have, and we’re making conscious choices to shop at stores and with brands we really like – people and companies we want
For 15 years, Lee directed communications at NIKE, Inc. heading its U.S. public relations, employee and corporate responsibility communications. In 2007 he started LWA PR, a communications consultancy based in the Columbia Gorge and Portland. He is currently vice-chair of Oregon 150, the organization planning this year’s statehood sesquicentennial celebration.
From 1981-84 Lee was a legislative assistant to Congressman Ron Wyden. He was assistant dean of admissions and Lewis & Clark College from 1984-86 and later worked as executive assistant to Oregon Insurance Commissioner Ted Kulongoski and deputy press secretary to Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt.
Lee then went on to worked for the first AIDS/HIV food program in the nation, Project Open Hand, in San Francisco, as marketing communications director, where he began the nation’s first newsletter AIDS/HIV nutrition newsletter. He returned to Oregon in 1992 to become internal communications manager for Nike, Inc.
From 1995-1997, he ran Nike’s New York City PR office, opening NikeTowns in New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and directing apparel PR and product placement. He returned to Oregon in 1997 to become director of U.S. public relations, launching the Jordan Brand, Nike Shox, Nike Presto, supervising PR campaigns, working with top athletes and on the company’s PR efforts at the Sydney and Salt Lake City Olympic Games.
Lee directed Nike’s corporate responsibility communications. He developed a strategic communications plan to build Nike’s reputation as a responsible company by earning credibility through media story placement, third-party recognition and awards.
In June 2003, global employee communications was added to Lee’s portfolio. Lee’s team produced an innovative employee e-newsletter, The Sponge. Lee oversaw the creation of Nike’s Global Maxim Awards, recognizing the best work by teams and individual employees around the world, and began new employee engagement programs, including a regular intranet radio show for the Nike president and the Nike Exchange.
In April 2005, Lee directed communications for the release of Nike’s second corporate responsibility report, which helped to reposition the company’s citizenship reputation. He was one of the architects behind NikeGO, the company’s community affairs initiative to increase physical activity among young people.