Monday, January 22, 2018

Wide Open Spaces

Goodbyes are a regular part of hostel life. We see them on the daily. It’s no exception with the staff. Hostels are known for high turnover, which makes sense because staffers are also travelers, who want to go and do things.

But this hostel is pretty unique in that most of the staff have been here for over 5 years, which in hostel times is a LONG time, so whenever someone leaves, it’s pretty significant.

It’s with a sad but supportive heart that we say adieu to hostel Operations and Environmental Programs Manager, Michele Michado. Hailing from Minnesota with a Environmental Studies degree from Lewis and Clark, Michele has been at the hostel since 2006 and moved into the manager role five years ago.

Michele's Bio Photo

She is definitely “that” friend, the one you don’t want to get started on environmental issues, otherwise, you might be talking for a while. This also made her great at the front desk, as she was truly engaged with guests. She is a true image of civic ecologist and community leader, so it was a perfect fit for her at the hostel, and Michele accomplished a lot.

photo (1)

With volunteers at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event at Lan Su Gardens.


She has led Portland Hawthorne through many eco-certification programs including TripAdvisor Silver Level Green Leader (June 2013) and a City of Portland BEST Award winner for General Sustainability (April 2009). Michele has also worked with several other hostels in the country as a Certified Assessor and Consultant with Sustainable Travel International’s Sustainable Tourism Educational Program (STEP). Serving as Hostelling International USA’s (HI-USA) Sustainability Coordinator, she has successfully moved 12 HI-USA properties through the STEP program.

So it would only make sense when the position opened up with HI-USA that Michele moved into the National Sustainability Coordinator role where she will continue her work moving hostels through the STEP program and oversee their sustainability practices as well as make connections with businesses that serve eco-friendly products/services. We know that she will do well at the job.

But that doesn’t make it easier to say goodbye after so many years and memories–just ask the other staff. They could tell you stories. 😉 We wish you the best of luck, Michele. Represent Portland and the hostel!


Michele with her daughter, Malea.


Goodbye lunch with Michele

Saying goodbye.