Spotlight On: NWR Construction, Inc.

Snap627Ron Downey was born and raised in Portland. A sixth generation Oregonian, he is related to both Francis Pettygrove and Philip Foster, two of the earliest and most influential settlers in Oregon.  Pettygrove is long known to be one of the two pioneers who tossed a coin to decide whether the Rose City should be named in honor of Portland, Maine or Boston, Massachusetts.   Pettygrove won the debate with the best two of three tosses.  Downey, a Pettygrove descendent, is in possession of an 1817 Indian Head penny that has been in the family for as long as he can remember.  He was told growing up that it is the official penny used in the coin toss.

Growing up in the Westmoreland neighborhood, Downey remembers how friendly Portland has been in his life.  “There were always multiple families to hang out with,” he reminisced. Ron attended St. Agatha Catholic School and later Cleveland High School.  As a child he remembers always trying to take things apart and reassemble them, an early indication of his passion for construction.  In 1987, he graduated from PSU with a business degree.

In 1989, he started NW Repair, which has evolved to NWR Construction.  In the early years of the business, Downey bought, refurbished and sold houses.  He enjoyed studying the color and design options that would optimize each house he was working on.

In 2008, NWR began to specialize in commercial construction.  Once the recession hit, it was probably one of the worst times to be involved with construction.  Ron was able to survive through his tenacity.  “As soon as someone says it can’t be done, I evaluate a way to work around the problem and find a solution,” stated Downey.  Shortly after that, he registered as an ESB with the state of Oregon and joined OAME.

“OAME not only made NWR Construction, but revitalized and saved us.  Everyone I’ve met, from contacts and customers to employees and clients are the result of my connection with OAME.  It’s unbelievable to think that I almost started looking for a job when the recession hit and now here we are with 13 employees,” stated Downey.

NWR Construction has been steadily gaining residential customers while making a name for themselves with commercial clients like Metro and Multnomah County.  For more about NWR Construction, call 503-231-9444 or http://www.nwrpdx.com/

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This article originally appeared in OAME’s January 2015 Monthly Newsletter.  If you would like to be added to our Mailing List, email oame@oame.org   

-written by Matt Rutter

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