Neil Kelly, Liberating OEC From the Darkness
For over 45 years OEC has done fantastic work in office space that was, to be kind, bland and uninspiring, featuring a too-small meeting room and a dark cube farm...
For over 45 years OEC has worked hard to make Oregon a more beautiful and inspiring place. While for the last ten years our office here at the Merchant Hotel has been, to be kind, bland and uninspiring, featuring a too-small meeting room and a dark cube farm. Let’s just say that the staff of OEC was more dedicated to Oregon’s environment than to our own access to light and air.
For years, we wanted to remodel but weren’t able to do so.
Eventually, we needed to make a decision: do we renew our lease, or do we move? The more we talked the more we realized that we love our space, but not what we had done with it. We needed expert help. We called Neil Kelly.
The Neil Kelly company was founded in Portland in 1947 and is a certified B corporation – a type of corporation that seeks to give back to the community as well as to shareholders. Neil Kelly was also a pioneering member of Cool Oregon, a coalition of businesses and other organizations dedicated to reducing global warming.
And, of course, they also remodel homes and businesses like ours. They took a look at our little farm of cubes and came up with an outstanding idea to make our home-away-from-home a more functional and efficient place to do our work.
The team at Neil Kelly helped us formulate a plan to get rid of the cubes, highlighted the beauty of OEC’s historic building, literally moved walls and turned what was a lackluster workplace into a place that inspires. Their team sourced “previously loved” and reclaimed materials from the ReStore, re-imagined doors into windows and seemingly defied the laws of physics by creating multiple collaborative work spaces where none had existed before. We also want to extend our huge appreciation to the Bill Naito Company, our landlord, for covering our office improvements.
For the first time, the entire staff of OEC can fit into one conference room to discuss protecting Oregon’s air and water. For the first time, a small group can meet in a room to plan our next community event. And perhaps most importantly, we now have the “living room” – a big open space for us all to gather for OEC’s favorite tradition: Beer-Thirty.
The team at Neil Kelly transformed the design and flow of our space, went above and beyond to keep within our limited non-profit budget, and, to top it off, were a delight to work with. From the design team to the work crew, everyone we worked with was professional, thoughtful and creative.
What else can you ask for?
Thank you Neil Kelly—we appreciate you!