By Theresa Griffin Kennedy
Fred Stewart is not someone you forget meeting. His larger than life persona takes center stage when he’s meeting new people, taking on new projects, volunteering, or working hard to transform the landscape of the city he loves, particularly the north side of town in his beloved Portland. Stewart has served on more important community boards and oversight groups, (including police oversight groups) over the years than most people could ever hope to, and he was always happy to help, provide new ideas, and suggested innovations, all originating from his wide knowledge of real estate, business, finance, and military service.
When asked why he wanted to create the title company Vanport Escrow & Title Company Inc., Stewart explained: “I wanted to create an escrow and title company named Vanport because I want to encourage more people to remember the important history of Vanport, and I want more people to get involved in the escrow and title business, and especially more minorities. I want all people to have a trusted source that is based in Oregon and that is run and operated by Black people. Vanport ended poorly, but it was a special time. It was Portland’s first integrated community. Other than the flood, everyone that I met who lived there had only fond memories of living there, both Black and White people.”
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