Pam Bloom

2021 Community Heroes - Oregon City News - Oregon City

Hometown: Oregon City

Why she's a hero: Bloom volunteers in the city where she grew up in too many ways to count, serving as a strong advocate for children, health and cleanliness.

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She participates in countless Clackamas County charities and is known for contributing to spur-of-the-moment causes as well. Modesty is another hallmark of Bloom’s style, as she tends to credit others for her various accomplishments.

“When you surround yourself with a good team and work with good people, the sky’s the limit,” Bloom said.

In March, Bloom donated several thousand late-spring and summer blooming bulbs to give a new and beautiful look to Clackamette Park, which was heavily affected by the devastating ice storm the previous month.

Bloom has worked with Jerry Herrmann, president of Rivers of Life Center and frequent organizer of park cleanups, since the early 1980s when Herrmann ran the Environmental Learning Center at Clackamas Community College.

“When Jerry asks me, ‘Would it be possible …,’ I say, ‘Sure, what do you need?’” Bloom said.

Patti Serres, another frequent beneficiary of Bloom’s generosity, founded a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing new clothing, shoes, bedding and personal care items to underprivileged children. Bloomin’ Boutique is named in part to honor Bloom’s late mother, Rosie.

“My mother was one of Patti’s strongest advocates and encouraged her to put her program to work,” Bloom said. “I had a good foundation and good mentors. Volunteerism has been part of my entire life; it’s just what you do for your community, and my role models have been my mother and dad.”

A 1969 graduate of Oregon City High School, Bloom went to Lewis & Clark College and earned her master’s degree in teaching, specializing in health education. She taught at Milwaukie High School for four years before starting to work her father Richard’s business, the Oregon City Garbage Co., also known as B&B Leasing, where she would eventually take over management.

“I love my job here, because hopefully I’m making a difference for the community and for all my employees,” Bloom said.

In 1935, Bloom’s grandfather John founded the garbage company with nothing more than a pickup truck. The company has grown to a fleet of over 40 specialized collection trucks with 50 employees, serving families in Oregon City, Gladstone, Molalla and some unincorporated areas of Clackamas County.

“I live by the golden rule, and I think my employees understand that rule, that it’s about relationships, and part of their responsibility as employees is to volunteer,” Bloom said. “I like to teach anyone who will listen that, when you live in a community, regardless of age, you have to give back to that community.”

An active member of the Oregon City Rotary, Bloom has won the group’s Service Above Self Award.
“Pam Bloom is an amazing woman and one of the strongest supporters of Oregon City,” said Trieste Andrews, a fellow member of the Rotary Club.

Continuing to be a supporter of public schools, Bloom is a former member of the Oregon City School Foundation. She has served as the chair of the Providence Willamette Falls Medical Foundation, as a member of the Clackamas Community College Foundation Board and as president of the Clackamas County Refuse and Recycling Association.

“I just feel a passion to contribute to my community, and I feel the same way about my employees,” she said.

Bloom serves as chair of the Oregon City Library Foundation, a federally registered nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the city’s public library. Since 1976, B&B Leasing has been a member of the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce, where Bloom has also served on its volunteer board of directors.

“It’s giving back to the community that has made a difference in my life, and it gives me an opportunity to make a difference in other peoples’ lives,” she said.

Bloom has won the OC Chamber’s Business Person of the Year award in 2009 and the Mike McCarroll Memorial Award in 2019. Upon hearing that she had won an honor as a Pamplin Media Group Community Hero, Bloom responded, “It’s totally unexpected, because you just do what you do, and I do everything from the heart. However we can make this city a better place, I’m on board.”