A Lifetime of Generosity
Joseph E. Weston grew up in Southeast Portland in what he would describe as a poor but loving family. Joe worked hard in his teenage years, a value he learned from his parents.
He was a drug store soda jerk when he recognized the financial power of real estate from the pharmacist, who owned apartments. By the time Joe was 18 years old he purchased his first two duplexes and he still owns them today. That was the start of Joe becoming one of Portland’s foremost real estate developers and owners.
Over the years, Joe has built and purchased thousands of apartments and hundreds of commercial real estate projects. He was also instrumental in the development of Portland’s Pearl District.
“I grew up poor. I know what it was like to be excluded because our family didn’t have resources. I’ve also been very fortunate in my profession and that is why the goal of the Foundation is to provide funding to support nonprofits who are helping those in need. Working with OCF has allowed me to better realize that goal now and into the future.”
Joseph E. Weston, OCF Joseph E. Weston Public Foundation
But this is more than a story of commercial success. What makes Joe Weston remarkable is his overwhelming commitment to philanthropy. Joe’s relationship with OCF started in 1991 with the launch of the OCF Joseph E. Weston Public Foundation (a supporting organization under OCF’s umbrella) with a board jointly appointed by Joe and OCF.
Since its inception, Joe’s foundation has awarded more than $170 million in grants. With OCF, a unique structure allows him to donate real property to the Weston Foundation and to continue to operate those properties, with their proceeds going to fund the grantmaking work of the Foundation. In 2022 alone the Weston Foundation awarded nearly $28 million, with grants to more than 500 nonprofit organizations and more than 1,700 scholarships. Thousands of Oregonians annually receive critical services and support because of Joe’s incredible generosity.