Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Hilda Stevens Oral History Interview, February 22, 2017

Oregon State University
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00:00:00 - Interview introduction

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Partial Transcript: Ok

Segment Synopsis: Stevens introduces herself and provides the current date, her birth date and the location of the interview.

Keywords: Beer--Styles; Belgian beer; Belgium--Beer; Craft beer

Subjects: Beer and brewing; Belgium; Guatemala; Immigration

00:00:27 - Childhood and emigration from Guatemala

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Partial Transcript: So you were born in Guatemala.

Segment Synopsis: Stevens discusses her early childhood in Guatemala, specifically mentioning her father’s career there, her siblings and her awareness of the civil war going on at the time. She describes how they decided to immigrate to the United States, and the long process of coming to Texas. She notes the training her mother gave her and her siblings to travel safely through customs at the US airport. She reflects on how her parents were able to build a community in Texas in the years since they moved.

Keywords: Familial community; Political turmoil; Security checks; Tourist visas

Subjects: Christmas; Civil War (Guatemala : 1960-1996); Disney Parks, LLC; Diversity; Family reunions; Guatemala; Houston (Tex.); Immigration; Siblings; Visas

00:08:17 - Transition to living in the United States

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Partial Transcript: What were some of the differences between living in Guatemala

Segment Synopsis: Stevens describes the challenges of adjusting to the American school system, and how that fed into her interesting relationship with her older brother. She discusses the process of learning English in her area of Texas and her determination to become fluent quickly. She details how her parents raised her and her siblings to maintain their native culture while also integrating into american culture as well. Stevens explains her interest in sharing her immigration story with her peers growing up, and the response she got about being from another culture.

Keywords: Cultural sharing; Public schools--Guatemala; School systems; Science and mathematics; Standardized testing; United States--Culture; White domination

Subjects: Ambition; Aptitude Tests; English as a second language; High school sports; Mathematics; Public schools; Science; Sibling rivalry; Siblings; Student-athletes; Testing; The Woodlands (Tex.)

00:18:20 - Academic and extracurricular interests

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Partial Transcript: So over elementary school, heading into middle school

Segment Synopsis: Stevens emphasizes the importance of sports to her family, and how she stayed involved in soccer as a young woman. She describes the musical talent of her relatives, and how that influenced her decision to be in school bands growing up. Stevens then discusses her favorite subjects in school, and how she participated in these subjects through classes and clubs. She notes her positive experience with public education, and how her parents’ involvement assisted in that experience.

Keywords: Grading curves; Math clubs; Parental involvement; School clubs; Student musicians

Subjects: Calculus; Jobs & careers; Mathematics; Musicians; Referees; Sexism in sports; Soccer; Tutoring; Women in sports

00:22:54 - Perspectives on parents' transition into the United States

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Partial Transcript: What was it like for them? I know we have the kid perspective

Segment Synopsis: Stevens describes the challenges her mother faced in transition from living at home in Guatemala to working in the United States. She compares the type of work her father did in Guatemala to that in the United States. She recalls instances where she overheard her parents discussing financial concerns, and she reflects on how life improved as they continued to live in the United States.

Keywords: Community building; Community support; Familial community; Parental involvement; Professional jobs; Stay-at-home parents

Subjects: Financial security; Government jobs; Guatemala; Hunger; Jobs & careers; Labor; Professional workers; Stay-at-home mothers

00:24:54 - Preparation for college / Community shifts in The Woodlands, TX

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Partial Transcript: So you're in high school

Segment Synopsis: Stevens describes her main focuses while she was in high school, and how she had to transition into thinking about college. She notes the effort she made to get funding for her college education, and the career options she considered at the time. She explains how people’s interests at a young age can often influence what they do professionally as adults. Stevens then discusses her observations of discrimination while in high school, and how she was protected from this through the community involvement in her neighborhood.

Keywords: Academic scholarships; Adult siblings; Childhood interests; Parental involvement; Planning for the future; Small businesses--Management; Trial and error

Subjects: Adult children; Business students; College; Discrimination; High school students; Minorities; Nursing; Planning; Privilege; Public schools; Scholarships; Siblings; Small businesses; Student-athletes; The Woodlands (Tex.)

00:32:40 - Experiences with family trips

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Partial Transcript: Did you travel in the US? Did you guys go on family trips

Segment Synopsis: Stevens notes the different places she visited throughout Texas and elsewhere in the United States. She discusses the different places her relatives lived around the country and how they ended up there. She compares the levels of multiculturalism between Houston and Kansas City.

Keywords: Family travels; Family trips; Kansas City (Kan.)--Segregation; Tourist destinations

Subjects: Dallas (Tex.); Family vacations; Grandparents; Kansas City (Kan.); Multiculturalism; New Orleans (La.); San Antonio (Tex.); Segregation; Traveling

00:34:58 - Attending St. Mary's University / Early job experiences

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Partial Transcript: So when you were thinking about graduation, moving on

Segment Synopsis: Stevens discusses her ideal area of study based on her bilingualism and interest in travel, along with the main universities she was applying to. She describes how she and her best friend switched top college choices, and how the different religious cultures of the universities influenced that choice. She comments on her parents’ open perspective on trying alcohol, and how that taught her to be responsible in college. Stevens details the challenges of choosing a career path during her final years of college, and how her university’s business program made it possible for her to have a job following graduation. She then explains her perspectives on living away from her family, and how getting the American college experience was important to her. She recounts her experiences with living in the dorms, and how that allowed her to know her college community better.

Keywords: 1st generation immigrants; Alcohol and drugs; Bilingual salespeople; Cohorts; College decision; College dormitories; College parties; Corporate jobs; First generation immigrants; Religious colleges

Subjects: Alcohol and youth; Baylor University; Bilingualism; International business; International travel; Job interviews; Liberalism; Marketing; National Cash Register Company; Religious communities; Residence halls; Scholarships; St. Mary's University (San Antonio, Tex.)

00:44:51 - Culture and student demographics in San Antonio

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Partial Transcript: What, so thinking about where you've ended up, you obviously

Segment Synopsis: Stevens details the various jobs she worked at while in college, noting the wage differences as a restaurant server between Texas and Oregon. She reflects on the skills she gained from working in the restaurant industry, and how that compared to her parents’ experiences. She then discusses her interactions with other 1st generation immigrants, and how her family’s preservation of culture differed from theirs. She recounts her observations of students whose educations were completely paid for by their parents. She also details the demographics at her university, and how her professors inspired her interest in golf for work and leisure.

Keywords: 1st generation immigrants; First generation immigrants; Hispanic families; Native languages; Restaurant service; Service jobs; Student demographics; Student jobs

Subjects: Assimilation; Assimilation (Sociology); Demographics; Fluency (Language learning); Golf; Hispanic; Linguistics; Socioeconomic status; Telemarketing

00:52:28 - Transition to work in Portland, OR / Citizenship process

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Partial Transcript: So you are working for your first job. So how long did you work

Segment Synopsis: Stevens recounts her overall experience working as a salesperson for the National Cash Register company after college, including her opportunities to travel internationally. She discusses the benefits of immigrating to the United States during the Reagan administration, and how those benefits allowed her to become a citizen by the time she graduated from college. She then describes how she became interested in moving to Portland, Oregon to date a man she met through work, and how her job made that possible. She explains why she left National Cash register to work for a start-up card capture company in Portland, and how this new position differed from working for an established corporation.

Keywords: Immigration Reform and Control Act; Legal residents; Professional advancement; Reagan Amnesty program; Romantic relationships; Sales goals

Subjects: Citizenship; Financial aid for minorities; Financial aid, Student; Immigration; International travel; National Cash Register Company; Naturalization; Portland (Or.); Start-up companies

00:59:12 - Perspectives on life in Portland, OR / Acquiring citizenship

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Partial Transcript: So what were your early impressions of living here in Portland?

Segment Synopsis: Stevens notes how Portland has changed since she first moved there in 1998, and the continual challenge of finding affordable housing around the city. She recounts her early explorations into craft beer through visiting Widmer and McMenamins in Portland. She also details the food scene when she first moved there, and how the local food and scenery reminded her of Guatemala. Stevens then compares the pace of her citizenship process to that of her family, and how her coworkers responded when she finally became a citizen.

Keywords: Citizenship tests; Craft beer; Mexican food; Outdoor activities; Racial homogeneity; Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Subjects: Affordable housing; Beaverton (Or.); Beer and brewing; Budgeting; Citizenship; Condominiums; Local foods; McMenamins Pubs & Breweries; Naturalization; Portland (Or.); Portland (Or.). Pearl District; Public transportation; Topography

01:08:12 - Discovery of European beer / Attending graduate school

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Partial Transcript: So you have some pretty important travels that are happening

Segment Synopsis: Stevens discusses her decision to pursue a Masters degree in Portland, and how she transitioned to a government job in order to balance her time between graduate school and work. She notes the job she performed for Clackamas County, and how it differed from her roles in the private sector. She also details the accelerated Masters program she attended, and how that lead her to a thesis in Brazil. Stevens then describes how she returned to corporate work through joining a software company in the mid-2000s, and how it’s rapid growth lead her to frequently travel across the United States and internationally. She recounts how her travels to Europe lead to her discover Belgian beers, and how that would eventually inspire her to open a Belgian beer bar in Portland following the 2008 recession.

Keywords: Belgian beer; Card Capture Services; Craft beer; Graduate school; Masters degrees; Software companies; Software--markets; Travel perks; Traveling for work

Subjects: Beer and brewing; Belgium; Business plans; Clackamas County (Or.); Community relations; Environmental protection; George Fox University; Government jobs; Graduate programs; Master's theses; Night-schools; Non-profits; Portland (Or.); Private Sector; Recessions; Recessions--2000-2010; Small businesses; Software; Start-up companies; Traveling

01:24:20 - Designing Bazi Bierbrasserie / Educating consumers on Belgian beers

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Partial Transcript: It's just such an interesting perspective. I imagine that

Segment Synopsis: Stevens reflects on her journey as a small business owner and the impact she’s had on Portland’s beer culture. She describes how she transitioned into building her bar while still working for the software company. She discusses the intention and research she conducted early on to develop her bar with an older, more traveled audience in mind. She then details how her bar became a part of Portland’s soccer culture, along with the different efforts she makes to teach her customers about Belgian beers and the machinery required for storing and serving it.

Keywords: Beer culture; Belgian beer; Business design; Consumer awareness; Consumer preferences; Portland (Or.)--Culture

Subjects: Bars; Beer and brewing; Belgium; Brewing industry--Oregon--Portland--History; Consumer education; Consumer preferences--Statistical methods; Major League Soccer (Organization); Market research; Portland Timbers (Soccer team); Soccer; Traveling

01:31:06 - Gender in the beer industry / Community involvement

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Partial Transcript: So, you know, Portland is special, Oregon is special

Segment Synopsis: Stevens describes her experiences with sexism in the different industries she’s worked for, her perspectives on ignoring it to keep moving forward, and the accepting nature of the beer community. She discusses the community-based thinking of the Portland beer industry, and how supporting local businesses and economies is valued over competition. Stevens then recounts her experiences of opening her bar in the residential area around Hawthorne street, and the irony that she’s lived there much longer than her customers thought. She emphasizes the efforts the business owners put into working together and growing their projects, and the different ways they get the rest of the community involved.

Keywords: Brewing community; Business owners; Business--Competition; Gender in the workplace; Local economies; Sexism in the workplace

Subjects: Beer and brewing; Community; Funding; Male domination (Social structure); Neighborhoods; Small businesses; Traveling

01:37:37 - Lessons in business growth / Rewards from the business

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Partial Transcript: So you've experienced accolades, growth yourself. So what has

Segment Synopsis: Stevens discusses the challenges of finding a good team of staff as the business grows, and how she’s been able to give them more independence over time. She notes how her increased freedom as a business owner has allowed her focus on planning larger events and engage more with the business community in her neighborhood. Stevens then explains her growing responsibility as a mentor for new business owners, and how experience teaches you more about business management than a formal education can. She recounts the different contributions she’s provided for her community, and the reward she gets from being so involved.

Keywords: Business events; Business growth; Business pride; Employee teamwork; Event planning; Grassroots organizations; Tourist destinations

Subjects: Business associations; Business consultants; Business--Management; Charities; Community; Employees; Mentorship; Portland (Or.); Portland Timbers (Soccer team); Pride; Small businesses; Soccer

01:48:16 - Public perceptions on Portland, OR / Concluding thoughts

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Partial Transcript: So what were some things when you were mentally preparing

Segment Synopsis: Stevens explains the importance of going after your dreams in life, and how that drive has influenced her different experiences. She emphasizes how difficult opening a new business can be, and how it’s important to be realistic about this difficulty going in. She notes how impactful being a local business owner has been compared to her past in corporate jobs. Stevens then discusses the reputation Portland has as a beer haven, and how that reputation has extended through her extended family in the United States and Guatemala. She describes how craft beer movements are growing in Texas and Latin America, and how Portland stands as an inspiration for those movements. She concludes with her main advice for people interested in becoming business owners, and how she approaches mentorship.

Keywords: Beer culture; Business ownership; Business--Financing; Business--Risks; Craft beer; Craft brewing; Gratification; Local celebrities

Subjects: Beer and brewing; Brewing industry--Oregon--Portland--History; Business--Management; Business--Research; Celebrities; Community; Courage; Guatemala; Inspiration; Latin America; Mentorship; Portland (Or.); Restauranteurs; Small businesses; Starting a business; Workaholics