Lee Weinstein departed from his post as director of global employee communications at Nike, Inc. Weinstein, 47, will begin a public relations consultancy, Lee Weinstein & Associates, Inc., in Portland, Oregon and the Columbia Gorge. An Oregon native, he is a 26-year PR and public affairs veteran.
Weinstein has directed a diverse portfolio of responsibilities at Nike including U.S. consumer PR, global corporate responsibility communications and, most recently, global employee communications.
“As an Oregon kid, working for Nike and Phil Knight has been a dream come true. I'm proud of what I've been able to help accomplish and to have worked for Oregon's most successful homegrown company,” said Weinstein. “When I started, Nike was a 2,000-person, $2 billion US company. Now it's a 28,000-person, $15 billion family of brands.”
Weinstein said he would begin consulting in communications and public affairs September 1, 2007 from offices in Portland and The Dalles, Oregon. “My goal is to work with clients nationally and internationally, and to help Oregon companies and communities with their communications and public affairs challenges. We live in a fantastic state, and I want to help it continue to thrive and sustain our way of life.”
While directing U.S. public relations for Nike, Weinstein launched Nike Shox — the company's most successful cushioning advancement since Nike AIR — the Presto line of footwear, and the Jordan Brand. As director of corporate responsibility communications, he developed the PR strategy for the release of the company's 2004 corporate responsibility report, which repositioned the company's commitment to global citizenship. He also developed nikeresponsibility.com and Nike's quarterly stakeholder e-communications.
As director of global employee communications, Weinstein began an intranet-based radio program for Nike's leadership to engage with employees worldwide. He also initiated the Nike Exchange, an “Inside the Actors Studio” type-forum for up-close interactions between employees and senior management. Weinstein began at the Nike publishing the company's employee newspaper and started its first e-communications with employees.
Active in the community, Weinstein founded Our Children's Store in Portland. Entering its 15th season, the store has raised more than $1.5 million for children in crisis by selling gifts during the holiday season. Weinstein is a member of the Columbia Riverkeeper board of directors and chairs the Marketing Committees of The Dalles Chamber of Commerce and Maryhill Museum. In 2005-2006 he helped Oregon First Lady Mary Oberst on a fundraising campaign to restore the Kam Wah Chung Museum in John Day, Oregon. He was appointed by Gov. Kulongoski as a board member of Oregon 150, which is planning Oregon's sesquicentennial celebration in 2009, of which he is co-chair.
Born in Eugene and raised in Salem, Oregon, Weinstein is a graduate of Lincoln High School in Portland. He earned his BA in political science from Lewis & Clark College where he was student body president. He previously worked for Project Open Hand in the Bay Area, as deputy press secretary to Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt and as legislative assistant to former state Insurance Commissioner Ted Kulongoski and Congressman Ron Wyden. Weinstein is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and American Marketing Association Oregon Chapter.