Alumni: Fall 2017
Author: Harry Esteve, Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: September 15, 2017

Working her way up the corporate ranks

RISING THROUGH the male-dominated ranks of one of the largest truck manufacturers is only one of the hurdles Lori Heino-Royer has overcome in her unconventional career path.

"Much of what I have accomplished started with me accepting that I am different than everyone around me and not being afraid to act on it," says Heino-Royer MBA ’02.

Those accomplishments make an impressive list.

She currently heads business innovation and the Program Management Office at Daimler Trucks North America, a role she built on her track record of knowing what the company needed and delivering it. Among her successes: Daimler’s first iPad sales app, an internal creative idea incubator, and a strategic foresight team.

Her route to an executive position at Daimler has had as many gear shifts and reinventions as the massive trucks she helps build.

While working as an order intake clerk after graduating from high school, the owner told her she would never earn a higher salary as a woman in his company. Heino-Royer took the snub as a challenge. The real hurdle, she determined, was that she didn’t have a college degree or a skill that would help her rise.

She decided to learn accounting—a feat she managed while parenting a baby with little support because her family was on the other side of the country.

AFTER BEING hired by Daimler, Heino-Royer enrolled in Portland State’s MBA program, where she juggled classes, work and childcare. “I knew I had to get through, because I wanted to diversify myself out of being seen as just a finance person,” she says.

Her tenacity paid off. With the academic credentials to back up her insights, Heino-Royer moved into sales at Daimler, and then project management before being promoted to her current role, where she leads a team of 25 and reports directly to the CEO.

“After your first act of bravery,” she says, “all other challenges seem manageable.”

Alumni in the News

Gerry Cameron ’62, Avel Gordly ’74 and Anas Khaled Al Saleh ’97 received honorary degrees at Portland State’s spring commencement ceremonies June 18. Cameron is a philanthropist and a retired U.S. Bank executive. Gordly was the first African American woman elected to the Oregon State Senate. Al Saleh is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Kuwait. 
James Nosen ’83 was named OnPoint Credit Union Educator of the Year for 2017. Nominated by his school, Nosen was the art teacher at Baker Prairie Middle School in Canby where he worked for 34 years. He has now retired. 
Louis Pain ’88 will be inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in October. Pain is a renowned Northwest blues, soul and jazz keyboard sideman and also a bandleader. Read about him at
Rick Miller MBA ’91 is now chairman of the PSU Board of Trustees. Miller is co-founder of the private equity firm Rogue Venture Partners and founder and chairman of the Avamere Group, a senior care and housing provider.
Tim Malone MSW ’93 has opened Gero Care Solutions, a new counseling practice in Bend. He specializes in family caregiving.
Caroline Wilcox Reul ’94 is a freelance lexicographer and translator. She recently translateda book of poetry, Who Lives, by Elisabeth Borchers from German to English. 
Eleni Kehagiaras ’95 is a hands-on franchise owner and publisher of Portland Heights Living and Moreland Living magazines. 
Andrew Shearer ’00 a Portland Police lieutenant, graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, in June. Shearer has served at the Portland Police Bureau for 25 years.
Robert Wynia ’01 is a member of the Portland rock band Floater, which will be inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in October. Wynia put out a new solo album, Brave the Strange, earlier this year.
Juan Serratos ’04, MPA ’10 was elected by the Woodburn City Council to fill a vacant seat on the council. Serratos works in the Oregon Department of Justice child support division.
Derrick Welfare ’09 is a real estate sales executive with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group. He is working in the Zephyrhills, Florida, office. 
Morgan Griffin ’12 is a legislative assistant covering healthcare policy issues in the Washington, D.C., office of Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a senator from Alaska. Griffin earned a law degree from Gonzaga University.
FOR MORE ALUMNI NEWS follow us @PSU_Alums on Twitter and PortlandStateAlumni on Facebook. Have news you would like to share? Email or mail your information to Portland State University, Office of Alumni Relations, PO Box 751, Portland OR 97207-0751. To submit your own alumni news online, go to