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Meet Lori Olund '90
Meet Lori Olund '90

On April 14, Lori Olund ’90, president of Miles Fiberglass and Composites, Inc., will be honored as the Executive of the Year in the small/medium company size category at the Portland Business Journal Women of Influence Award luncheon.

Lori graduated from Portland State University in 1990 with a double major in business and psychology. She runs Miles Fiberglass and Composites with her father Lowell Miles. Her responsibilities include developing overall business strategy, overseeing marketing, public relations, environmental and government regulations. The 50-year-old, family-owned company is also joined by her sons, Alex and Justin Luchak, and her husband Forrest Olund.

Was winning this award a surprise, or did you know it was coming?

The person nominating me called and told me she was making the nomination so I knew I was being nominated but it was a surprised that I won the Executive of the Year Award.

What does it mean to you to be named a “woman of influence?”

I am very humbled and honored to receive this award. It means a lot to be recognized along with so many other amazing women who have achieved so much. The list of accomplishments of all the honorees and award winners are really commendable.

What do you think women bring to your industry?

Our industry is focused on science and technology. I believe women can influence the industry by adding creativity. They also can add communication and visioning.

Throughout your career, what changes in opportunities have you seen for women in the fiberglass and composites industry?

I have seen more women take on leadership roles, and high level executive positions. I have also noticed more women taking ownership of the businesses, either through family succession or as entrepreneurs starting the business themselves.

How has your business degree from Portland State helped you in your career as a leader?

My Business Degree has helped me mostly in marketing. I had very good marketing professors at PSU and what I remember being the most helpful was the real life case studies we participated in. I have gone back to PSU for help with case studies for our business. The Marketing department performed a case study on marketing car top carriers. My psychology degree helps me every day in dealing with employees and colleagues.

Did you have any memorable professors or classes at PSU’s School of Business?

The professors I remember the most were my marketing professors -- Dr. Robert Harmon and Dr. Scott Dawson.

What advice would you give to Portland State business students, particularly women students, who are seeking leadership positions in business?

Be patient and really listen first, absorb as much as you can and learn. When you feel you’re ready go for it, you will receive more support than you think. I found out people really wanted me to succeed. Find a mentor if you can, someone you can ask advice from and knows what you are going through.

Lori with her father Lowell Miles (left) and son Alex Luchak (middle).