Prior to working at COG, I had been a local government land use planner and part of the management team for Portland’s Central City Plan. My first project with what was then Cogan Sharpe Cogan was as project manager for the environmental documentation associated with expansion of the Mount Hood Meadow Ski Area. The project was a challenge; it was very complex with multiple subcontractors and highly controversial, but it provided opportunities to learn, work with a wide mix of interests, push boundaries, and work in an arena (natural resources) which would become the focus of much of my work over the past 30 years. I ended up working on various ski areas and resort projects in the Pacific Northwest and Colorado for about a decade.
I was then given the opportunity to take a sabbatical in order to work as a Parks Planner for the National Parks Service in the Virgin Islands. There, I worked in a variety of new areas including a carrying capacity analysis for visitation and a commercial use plan for businesses operating within the parks.
After my return, I began working on projects focused on the conservation of fish and wildlife in the region. Over the last decade plus, my work has focused on facilitation of multi-interest public policy deliberations at the state and city levels and on coordinating transit services with the special needs populations that most need those services.
Throughout these projects, not only have I had the privilege of working with exceptional clients and comrades here at Cogan, but many of my clients have become good friends.
Being a part of the Cogan family has been made easier by the excellent reputation that the firm has. I’ve had the opportunity and flexibility to do work that I wanted to do, learn about subjects I previously knew nothing about, interact with smart minds and caring people, explore the state and Northwest, and cultivate a great set of friends. From a broad perspective, I take pride in knowing that the work I’ve done has made a difference both incrementally and cumulatively.
The best description I have for this journey is that it’s been an absolutely great ride. As I enter into “semi-retirement”, I plan to finish out projects I’m currently working on, take on a limited number of new and interesting new ones, and strive to continue to give back as I can. I can be reached by email at Jim.Owens@coganowens.com or by cell, (503) 201-4205