Hospitality marketing has been my bailiwick for the last decade or so, but when the team at the Oregon Social Learning Center approached me last spring to help them build a new web site, I jumped at the opportunity.

OSLC is a non-profit agency dedicated to conducting research that helps at-risk youth, looking at the social development, learning, prevention and treatment of behavior and emotional problems in the lives of children and adolescents in an effort to strengthen families, children and communities. They wanted a new site that would clearly communicate their mission and promote their scientists as thought leaders in the field by showcasing their respective projects and publications. On the back end, the site would need an easy-to-use content management system that would allow multiple users to add and update content on the site at a given time. This CMS would need to identify users based on their usage rights provided to them via a pre-existing hierarchy of administrator, author, editor and approver (often times with one person filling more than one of these roles on a given project).

My task was to:

  1. Help OSLC find the right agency to build the web site, who possessed not only the creative and technical experience, but who had worked in non-profit space. This included helping to establish the request for proposal, guiding them through the proposal process, and assisting with agency selection.
  2. Manage the relationship between the team at OSLC and the agency during the build out, ensuring the agency stayed on budget, on time, that they clearly communicated progress, that they stayed within the scope of work, and that they had what they needed at every turn from OSLC and me to do so.
  3. Provide for a successful web site launch for

The new site – launched earlier this week – is now warm and brings a face to the good work these folks are doing. It features streamlined navigation, as well as filtering by project, scientist and publication so users can quickly and easily find their way to the information they seek, and an easy-to-use content management tool for the scientists and their teams to upload new findings and progress on their research.

I had a blast working on this project. And the goal really wasn’t so different from what I do in hospitality, as I think about it. Yes, both exist to acquire the dollars needed to survive (whether driving higher ADR and occupancy or to obtain the funding needed to conduct research), but the ultimate goal for both is to make people happier, where they find themselves in a better place.

Yep, it’s a not a bad living to make.

Homepage New

Check out shots of the site “before” below, then view the new and improved

Old Homepage Below and New


Old Scientist Page and New

Scientists Old

Old Projects Page and New

Projects OId