Blazers executive, make it better foundation CEO Traci Rose leaves team

The Blazers announced Thursday afternoon that after 27 years of service that one of their most visible executives is moving on to take an opportunity with the Boys and Girls Club of Portland Metro.

Traci Rose worked for the organization for 27 years and actually started in the accounting division of the organization before eventually becoming an executive, helping lead some of the community projects the team has executed. She was the VP of Community Relations and the CEO of the make it better foundation.

Most recently, after the Blazers became the first major American sports team to publicly support same-sex marriage, Rose added on to the initial statement of support by saying that the Blazers “get behind equality, period.”

Rose will be helping the Boys & Girls Club of Portland Metro in their expansion efforts, particularly in the City of Gresham to help revitalize east-Multnomah County.

Here’s the full release:


PORTLAND, Ore. (November 21, 2013) – After a respected career as one of the Portland Trail Blazers’ most visible executives, Traci Rose, Vice President of Community Relations and CEO of the team’s make it betterFoundation, is leaving the organization.  Beginning January 1, 2014, Rose becomes the new Chief Communications and Development Officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro.  The Trail Blazers and the Boys & Girls Clubs jointly announced Rose’s move today as a strategic step in the Boys & Girls Clubs expansion plans.


“It’s the transition of a very important era in philanthropy, communications and community outreach for the Portland Trail Blazers, and for Traci,” said Chris McGowan, Trail Blazers President and CEO.  “For 27 years, Traci has been synonymous with the reputation and corporate social responsibility of our organization.  She has a unique passion and commitment to this community and will be an amazing asset to the Boys & Girls Clubs.”


“The Trail Blazers’ long-standing relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs has always been held in high regard,” continued McGowan, who also serves on the Board of Governors for the Boys & Girls Club of Portland Metro.  “Considering the importance of the Boys & Girls Clubs locally, and their exciting plans for growth, Traci is joining their organization at an optimum time.”


“Traci has dedicated her career to building strong, collaborative partnerships throughout our region that bring business, community and government together to improve the lives of children and families,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland CEO Erin Hubert. “We have a heavy lift ahead for us as we continue to focus on the greatest impact we can be making on all of the families and communities we serve.  As we align with the City of Gresham’s vision for Rockwood, Traci’s experience and passion for this work is exactly what we need.”


Rose will join the Boys & Girls Clubs as they position to play an integral role in bringing the vision of the City of Gresham’s leadership for a revitalized outer-east Multnomah County to reality. Working in tandem with community partners, schools and government, the Boys & Girls Clubs will assume the role as a chosen provider of critically needed services to children and families as part of Gresham’s broader development plans. A new Club, The Rockwood Boys & Girls Club, will be constructed on the site of the former Drake’s 7 Dee’s retail location at 165th & Stark.  This new 30,000-square foot Club will be the seventh Boys & Girls Club facility in the Portland-Metro area and the first new facility the organization has built since 2007.


Rose originally began her career at the Portland Trail Blazers in the accounting office, and credits FounderHarry Glickman for instilling the values of a company’s responsibility to giving back to the community.  Throughout her tenure with the organization she gained experience working in basketball operations, public relations, and corporate and community affairs. Along with her support of numerous community benefit projects, she also contributed to many of the team’s most historic accomplishments in Portland. They include hosting the inaugural US Olympic Dream Team, two trips to the NBA Finals, and the building of the Rose Quarter and Moda Center.


“Nothing compares to being able to contribute to efforts that are truly making change,” said Rose. “I am so humbled to have worked for an organization that allowed me to strive to do just that on a daily basis. Today I have the opportunity to join one of Portland’s most respected leaders in an effort that will make direct change in the lives of kids in a community that is extremely important to me and my family. I will be forever grateful to the Trail Blazers organization for its continued faith in me, and honored to have had the privilege to work for a company owned by one of our time’s most generous philanthropists, Paul Allen.”


Rose’s efforts in support of youth-focused community initiatives in the Portland area include serving on boards and committees that have contributed to the building of the new Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, the McCormack Matthews Albina Head Start Center, and the Trail Blazers Boys & Girls Club. At the Trail Blazers, Rose led the team’s first stand-alone community relations department and assumed her role as vice president of community relations in 2007. In 2009 she led the efforts to establish the team’s first 501c3 charitable foundation, the make it better Foundation. Her work has contributed to the team, its corporate partners and several athletes earning local, state and national awards for outstanding work in the community. In 2008, Albina Head Start dedicated one of their classrooms ‘The Traci Rose Center’ in recognition of her ongoing efforts as a champion for children living in poverty in Portland.


McGowan said the Trail Blazers will immediately begin a search for Rose’s successor.  In the interim, Trail Blazers General Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs Ben Lauritsen will oversee the organization’s philanthropic efforts, make it better Foundation and internal community relations staff.




Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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