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CREA Spotlight: Portland Office

CREA’s fourth office opened, Portland has grown to seven employees: Alison Anderson, Bianca Pyko, Brad Bullock, Brian Everest, Cameron Gregson, Teresa Pumala, Erik Surbrook, and one who calls Portland his second home, Scott Hubbard. From a pet chicken named Cluck Norris to a four-time Oregon state chess champion, read more about how our Portland employees are keeping their city, and CREA, weird.

What’s your title and what do you do exactly?

Alison: Vice President – Account Manager, Acquisitions; Once an LOI is signed, I work with a closing team (including a closing coordinator and our counsel) to close the transaction.  There are many steps in this process, but some of the most notable include presenting the transaction to Screening and Capital Committee, reviewing the due diligence, negotiating partnership and loan documents, and updating the financial forecast.

Bianca: Closing Coordinator

Brad: SVP, Originations

Brian: I’m a Closing Coordinator.  I manage the due diligence process with regards to receiving documents, reviewing and distributing to other internal groups to ensure they have what they need to complete their review.  I attend the conference calls with the Developers, Lenders and Agency representatives, and assist in completing the committee packages.

Cam: Risk Management Analyst. I provide on-demand Excel support to Acquisitions and Fund Management. I also write a lot of code for quantitative analysis, troubleshooting IT-related problems, and improving CREA’s proprietary investment models (Upper-Tier Fund Model, Lower-Tier Forecast, Lower-Tier Stabilized).

Teresa: Acquisitions Analyst


Alison: Because I feel heard, because I have the opportunity to grow, and because I have time with my family.

Brad: Referred by a friend.

Brian:  I have worked for two other syndicators in the past in a similar role, and have worked in Operations of property management. CREA had a great reputation for a syndicator, and the position came open in the Portland office (which was a rare find).

Cam: Real estate, finance, and computer engineering. I get to do what I love and the tight-knit Portland office offers a plethora of learning opportunities.

Teresa: I was looking for a change from government work. In particular, I was looking for a collaborative environment where people can do their best work.

What’s one of your favorite CREA memories?

Alison: Sitting on a terrace in Honolulu with Jeff, Tony, Julie, and Brian Rajotte discussing our favorite moments in life.  In other words: I love getting to know my colleagues outside the office, especially when good weather and food are involved.  I know, I’m sappy.

Brad: Developers who have never heard of CREA.

Brian: Though I have only been with CREA for 1 year (and 1 week) one of my favorite experiences has been to see those who have been here for 10 years speak at our holiday gathering about their experience. After a decade with CREA, they clearly have a great fondness for the company and the opportunities. Not only comforting to newer employees, but a great way to get to know your co-workers better.

Cam: The holiday party at the Salesforce Tower last year was a blast.

What do you do outside of the office?

Alison: I love hiking, traveling, and reading. One of my favorite local hikes is to the Blue Hole via the McKenzie River Trail (in case you find yourself in Oregon). On another note, I took a horseback riding lesson with Evangeline (daughter). Afterwards, I asked her if she would mind if I continued to take lessons with her. She said, “yeah, a little (she’s seven),” so I guess it won’t be horseback riding!

Bianca: I spend most of my time adventuring outdoors and volunteering (I also love seeing live music and am a bit of a foodie). My primary activities are rock climbing, mountaineering, running and backpacking/hiking.

Brad: Golf and travel.

Brian: I have two Golden Retrievers at home, so most weeknights are just spent hanging out with them. I also get to pour winery tasting rooms on the weekends for some local Oregon wineries. I get to meet people from all over the state, region, and world and talk to them about what they have been doing and like best about Oregon, and enjoy some great wines from the region.

Cam: I’m married, 25 years-old, and have two daughters. When I’m outside the office, I’m taking them to parks, the zoo, playdates, and the pool. If I have free time at night, then I’m cultivating my software developing skills.

Teresa: I take care of my animals (horses, chickens, dogs and cats) and I work with my husband on rehabbing our 1938 farmhouse.

Any hidden talents or interesting facts about you?

Alison: I think everyone already knows I’m a former model, a Francophile and a Hispanophile. I’m also a great swimmer, which Julie Beaubien can attest to. She and I were on the same high school swimming and diving team.

Bianca: I received the e-mail about my final interview while I was assisting a climb of Sahale Peak in the North Cascades. We had summited earlier and were on our way down, having just moved past a large crevasse (a gaping hole in the snow that you don’t want to fall into and is sometimes covered by fresh snow/ice). I was checking reception as we were pretty much past the danger zones and wanted to relay that message to our contact in town. The first thing that popped up was an e-mail notification about the job. So what would any good assistant leader do, you ask? I calmly asked them to wait a second and be prepared to self-arrest (stop a fall in case anything went wrong), while I sent a quick message back that I couldn’t make the call for the next day but could for the day after (I knew we would likely not be back into reception for another day and perhaps longer if anything went wrong) and hoped it went through as we hiked out.

Brad: I received my pilots license the day after my 20th birthday. I have been to 47 states. I have flown over twice the speed of sound.

Brian: I used to be the Assistant Director of Forensics at Clackamas Community College. I taught students for nine years in public speaking and debate and coached 56 national champions.

Cam: I’m a 4-time Oregon state chess champion.

Teresa: Nope. All my talents are out in the open.

What is your favorite line from a film?

Alison: I love movies with fast-paced, witty banter (like Aaron Sorkin’s writing style) or anything with Bill Murray. To pick one line, I’d have to go with Egon Spengler’s quote in the Ghostbusters, “He was borderline for a while, then he crossed the border.” It doesn’t look like much on paper, but I thought it was hilarious the first time I watched Ghostbusters as an adult.

Brad: “I feel the need for speed.” – Top Gun

Brian: “By all means, move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.” – The Devil Wears Prada

Cam: “No, I am your father.” – Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

Teresa: “‘Greater good?’ I am your wife! I’m the greatest good you’re ever gonna get!” – The Incredibles

What are you currently watching on Netflix?

Alison: I’m not watching anything right now, but my two favorite Netflix series were Season 1 of Narcos and The Crown.

Bianca: Altered Carbon

Brian: The newest episodes of Arrested Development. Though, I’m waiting for the next season of Shitt’s Creek.

Cam: I don’t watch TV, except for Seahawks football and Trail Blazers basketball.

Teresa: Dexter

Where is the “best view” that you’ve ever seen?

Alison: I have two! Milford Sound on New Zealand’s South Island and the Blue Hole (different Blue Hole than the previously mentioned one) off the coast of Belize, by helicopter.

Bianca: Best view from a toilet would be on Sahale Peak.

Brad: From the window of our old office.

Brian: Watching my mother sitting in her hospital bed after undergoing six hours of surgery to remove cancer from her body. My hero, was smiling, and ready for coffee.

Cam: Masada, Israel

Teresa: Piazelle Michelangelo in Florence, Italy.

Who’s the first person in the office each day?

Alison: Scott, when he’s in town.

Bianca: Scott (I think he sleeps here when he is in town).

Brad: Scott or myself.

Brian: Scott, when he’s in town.

Cam: Scott, when he is in Portland. If he’s in Cali, then probably me.

Teresa: Bianca

Who’s most likely to start office antics?

Alison: If by antics, you mean suggesting a cool lunch spot or team building activity, then Bianca Pyko.

Brad: Anyone

Brian: Bianca has some fun ideas, and can really get into some of the “theme days”.

Cam: Bianca or myself.

Teresa: Brian

Who is the best dancer?

Alison: I’m guessing Brian Everest, but I haven’t actually seen him dance.

Bianca: Cam – did you see his moves at CREALive?!

Brian: I hope we all plead the 5th on this.

Cam: Definitely me.

Teresa: Brian

Other than yourself, who would you call to help you fix a tire?

Alison: Erik Surbrook – if he can figure out the IT closet, he can change a tire.

Bianca: Brad – if he wasn’t able to help, I’m certain he knows someone who could (he knows everyone)!

Brad: Erik Surbrook

Brian: Teresa – She lives on a farm, so I’m sure she has the tools and the patience to do the hard work herself.

Cam: Roadside assistance.


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