Thesis Recognized for Philanthropic Excellence by Portland Business Journal

October 25, 2023

Portland, OR

For Immediate Release:

Thesis is proud to be named among the Top Ten Philanthropic Companies and the recipient of the Special Innovation in Philanthropy award at Portland Business Journal’s 2023 Corporate Philanthropy Awards for the second consecutive year.

The digital agency ranked seventh in the Top Ten Philanthropic Companies based on the company’s region, revenue category, and charitable donations made during the 2022 fiscal year to organizations like the Emerging Leaders Initiative (now known as The Script), TASTE for Equity, and Portland Backpack.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized for something so close to our hearts and critical to our society,” says CEO Keely York. “As a B Corp, we work daily toward a better world, which means going ‘all in’ on our vision to be a force of positive change.”

In addition to being named a Top Ten Philanthropic company in Oregon and SW Washington for the second straight year, Thesis received the 2023 Special Innovation in Philanthropy award for the second time in so many years — an honor based largely on the agency’s partnership with the COMMA program at Portland State University (PSU). It’s also an honor never before awarded to the same company in back-to-back years.

COMMA is a mentorship group organized by and for BIPOC students in the Graphic Design program at PSU. In the past year, 15 students from COMMA were paired with 13 Thesis mentors who immersed their mentees in an eight-week program. During this time, Thesis mentors reviewed design portfolios, assisted with resume building, provided feedback on creative projects, and opened their personal and professional networks to the students.

“Our partnership with COMMA was part of expanding our commitment to racial and cultural diversity in the workforce,” says Carling León, Senior Engagement Manager at Thesis, who oversees the agency’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. “Yes, it helped open up a new stream of talent for the workforce, but the bigger picture was taking steps toward a stronger, more diverse city.”

Along with León, the COMMA partnership wouldn’t be possible without program leaders like Max Radi, Design Director at Thesis, as well as Kennedy Barrera-Cruz and Jacob Salazar, who are both COMMA founding members, PSU grads, and now professional Designers at the digital agency.

COMMA students gain access to life-changing career opportunities and become a part of Thesis’s creative community. They’re considered for open roles at the agency and often continue to meet with their mentors even after the program ends. Thesis has hired several students from COMMA and other innovative Thesis internship programs from years past.

The program also benefits Thesis employees, who get to hone their leadership skills and take advantage of their company-allotted Volunteer Time Off hours that compensate them for meaningful community work such as mentoring.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the team at Thesis for what they’ve accomplished,” says Thesis Founder and Chairman Ryan Buchanan. “We made an intentional choice along the way to redefine ‘business as usual’ and what it means to do good work in this city. It’s impressive to see how Thesis has taken that to the extreme.”

Thesis is one of only four companies to win the Special Innovation in Philanthropy award and the only one to have done so for two consecutive years. In 2022, Thesis won the award for its foundational Emerging Leaders Internship program (The Script).

About Thesis

Thesis is an award-winning digital agency in Portland, Oregon. Founded initially as eROI in 2002, Thesis evolved past its email origins and has become a full-service digital resource for some of the world’s largest brands, bridging the global gap between people and pixels through strategic planning, creative problem-solving, and meaningful relationships. For more information, please visit

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