Urban planning students around the world study Portland for its mix of density, public transportation, green buildings and more. Several years ago, Jeff Hardison was excited to learn that leaders from Kentucky once visited Portland to learn how to apply Portland’s urban planning principles to cities in Jeff’s home state. Being the backward person he is, Jeff has often pondered: If the tables were turned, what could Portland learn from Kentucky? Jeff’s talk, Five Things Portland Can Learn From Kentucky in Five Minutes, will unveil Jeff’s key findings (if he can manage to count that high). You can bet that at least Jeff will think he’s funny. After all, he can just say “Kentucky” and people laugh.
Jeff Hardison is one of the best known Kentuckians living in Portland, Oregon (there are five of us). Jeff lived his late teens in the Midwest — Kentucky is only four or so hours from Chicago, people — preparing for a career in the music industry. He has schlepped gear for 90s techno bands no one remembers, received daily hateful voicemails from record label PR people, and has suppressed other unmentionable acts that are illegal in some red states. In 1998, when it was clear that the Internet would turn the music industry upside down, Jeff moved to Portland. There, he was hired by a marketing agency advising the recording industry on digital music issues (also known as “problems”). Immediately hooked on what he’d previously thought spiders crawled around on in his barn, Jeff has since worked with everyone from Amazon.com and HP to Morpheus and, uh, Tillamook Creamery. (Ask him about the cow costume incident in East L.A.)