PORTLAND, Ore. - Mayoral candidate Eileen Brady refers to herself as a co-founder of New Seasons market but a different co-founder says Brady doesn't deserve the same credit.
The matter may come down to semantics: What makes a co-founder a co-founder instead of an investor and adviser? Brady's view is there are more than 50 co-founders of New Seasons, including herself.
The success of New Seasons is an asset for Brady as she tries to familiarize herself to voters. Neither Brady nor her husband is currently involved with the stores.
But Brady's use of New Seasons on top of her resume is the subject of scrutiny from New Seasons co-founder Chuck Eggert.
He told Willamette Week that Brady never played a substantive role with the company, and in a statement to KATU, Eggert summed up Brady's role saying, "Eileen was never an employee, she was married to a board member and founder."
"Eileen is one of the co-founders," said Jon Isaacs, Brady's campaign director. "She helped negotiate the first health benefits package. She helped write the first employee handbook. She was part of the marketing strategy."
He said Brady was unavailable Wednesday to discuss Eggert's comments.
"Every other person who's involved in the co-founding of the company has reaffirmed and reaffirmed and reaffirmed what she did to help build the business," Isaacs said.
Another New Seasons' co-founder, Stan Amy, said in a statement, "Eileen is one of our co-founders. ... She has played an important role ..."
But Brady wasn't paid for her work like the 50 friends her website also credits as co-founders.
"There were 50 of their friends who helped start the business either through investing or were original employees of the company," Isaacs said. "I think if you were to ask Eileen (if she counts as a co-founder) she would say yes, absolutely. Eileen likes to say with a company like New Seasons that's been so successful, that's now such a part of Portland, there's plenty of credit to go around."
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