Erik Weeman is the founder of WeeMade, a self-made design and construction business here in Oregon. He has a background in engineering, graphic design and energy efficiency. Erik joined the PWA Board of Directors in 2012 and has been a valued member of the board ever since. Today he works on the volunteer committee, helping to create and organize opportunities to connect local employers to students.
“I think I found throughout the years that having that direct connection with students has been the absolute highlight of my time with the PWA,” says Erik.
Learn more about Erik below. He shared these comments during a recent virtual board meeting while on a family trip to New York.
Where are you from?
“I'm originally from northern New York State, and that's where I am right now, giving my parents an early Thanksgiving meal, with the help of my wife and the rest of my family. I've lived in Oregon for about 21 years.”
Tell us about your career.
“My career has spanned a whole bunch of areas. I started in advertising, where I did graphic design work mainly for Nike and Wieden + Kennedy, and then I moved on to engineering for large trucks for Daimler and Freightliner.
While still at Daimler, I worked towards industrial energy efficiency, in particular the buildings where the vehicles were built and where all the offices were held, so I learned a ton about that and eventually started working for the Energy Trust of Oregon in that capacity. Along the way, my wife Dawn and I worked second jobs in residential property management with my specialty being the home repair and renovation side of things.”
What are you up to now?
“Today we run our own small business. I do all the custom construction and that kind of thing. I go by the name ‘WeeMade.’”
What kind of projects do you work on?
“The most popular project I'm doing these days is saunas in people's homes. That's become a big thing especially with the pandemic.”
How did you get started with PWA?
“When it c
ame to the year 2012, this infectiously engaging guy named Kevin [Jeans Gail] showed up at Daimler and told me about the PWA. I knew that I found the perfect match for what I truly enjoyed doing, and I hoped to offer whatever I could to help the Portland-area students, and that's what led me to joining up back then. I began by speaking at Grant High school -- I spoke about engineering to the students there, and ended up doing mock interviews at Roosevelt.”
Why is volunteering important to you?
“Along the way I know I've been very fortunate, and I've been the beneficiary of some wonderful parents who helped with my education. They taught me skills to build my own network. They helped me succeed in these totally varied fields. I also realized over these years that the times when I'm happiest are when I'm teaching other people things that I've already learned.”
What’s your favorite part about volunteering at PWA?
“I think I found throughout the years that having that direct connection with students has been the absolute highlight of my time with the PWA, and I truly believe that all of us board members should strive to experience that connection to fully understand the power of the PWA.”
Anything else you want to share?
“We just happen to have an opportunity for you all to participate in coming up! On December 6-9 we’re having mock interviews at North Clackamas School District and virtual interviews December 13, so a lot of opportunities if you want to try this out and get that direct experience with students.”
These remarks, made at the PWA Board Meeting, have been edited for brevity and clarity.