I Live Here: Cami Benson

Name & Age: Cambria Benson, 26

Hometown: Portland, OR

Current Neighborhood: South Waterfront

How do you pay the rent and what is your slash?  Promotional Event Planner/Manager slash non-profit event planner. Last year myself, and four other friends formed a non-profit, Step 5 Productions, that is geared towards creating charity events that bridge the gap between a network of young adults and an older, more established network of philanthropic professionals and volunteers. We want to revitalize the traditional “charity” event and give a new face to philanthropy here in Portland.

What do you create? Fun, memorable events and fundraising opportunities. Our first event last year, Bootlegger’s Ball, raised over $83,000 for my favorite local non-profit Trillium Family Services. It was a 1920’s prohibition era event that was an amazing time for everyone involved and $25,000 of the money raised was generated by the under 30 crowd. In 2011, we are working on an event to top last years! We want to involve more charities, raise more funds, and get a larger number of Gen-Y’ers in the mix!

How did you land in Portland? Born and raised Oregonian, I came to Portland via the suburbs. My whole life I was on a mission to get out of Portland, but now I couldn’t be happier with where I landed. I LOVE to travel and see what else the world has to offer, but there is nothing like coming home to Portland.

What is the last book you read? Napoleon’s Privates, 2500 years of History Unzipped. A fascinating journey, I recommend to all.

Name your favorite tattoo. I appreciate them on other people if they are artistic or tell a story. But none for me and no personal favorites.

What was the last thing you ate at a food cart? Some amazing Thai from the pods on 2nd and Stark. It’s my goal this summer to do a tour de food carts, so ask me again in 6 months and I might have a better response!

Oregonian, Willamette Week, or Mercury? Most of my “hard news” I get from the web, so for print I would have to say Portland Mercury for entertainment purposes.

What is your favorite bridge and why? Burnside Bridge, I love running over the bridge and seeing the Portland sign. I love the view from there, it really makes me appreciate how beautiful and unique our city is.

Stumptown Coffee or _________? Love Stumptown coffee, it’s my favorite local roaster… but my Nespresso machine fills my needs most of the time. Coming from an ex-barista that sounds like blasphemy, but I love the instant gratification!

Coast or Mountains? In Oregon…. Mountains for sure.

Only in Portland moment? Getting stuck in traffic forever behind thousands of naked bikers. I can’t say I’ve had such an experience anywhere else in the world!

A favorite local business? Elephants! I always find a way to spend obscene amount on food there, and could spend forever browsing through their NW location. I have such good memories of going there as child with my Mom and they have managed to maintain their charm and quality throughout the years.

Are you a car person or a bike person? I have the reverse commute – I go to Tualatin everyday for work so a car is essential.

If you could change one thing about Portland, what would it be? Besides a small request for a few sunny days, it would have to be the drivers. Fast lanes are not utilized! I am a very patient, accepting person… until I’m behind the wheel!

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