Ruby Receptionists to host Beaverton Education Foundation's 15th annual Phone-a-thon

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Ruby Receptionist Milan Foley of Hillsboro is volunteering to work the Beaverton Education Foundation's annual Phone-a-thon.If you think you work in an office with a pleasant, cool atmosphere, you might want to pay a visit to Ruby Receptionists’ new office at the Murray Scholls Town Center.

You may have to think again.

You’ll find a bright and open workspace with a Jetsons/Mad Men space-age ambience, in which even cubicles look appealing, a spacious kitchen with marble counters and a large island, an expansive wood-floored fitness room with a smaller annex attached, and a meeting space with ambient lighting, one of them designated a “Wow” room for sharing positive ideas.

Get the idea?

And as for the 48 staff members, whether engaging on the phone with customers from around the world or greeting a visitor in the hallway, friendly doesn’t begin to describe the warm, engaging tone and easy smiles that abound at Ruby’s office at 14795 S.W. Murray-Scholls TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Shawna Nordman, who has worked with Ruby Receptionists for five months, enjoys a lunch break in the posh kitchen at the businesses new Murray Scholls Town Center location.

Ruby Receptionists opened its second office in May to complement its Northwest Portland headquarters at 1331 N.W. Lovejoy St., which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

The two offices take nearly 250 calls a day for about 2,600 small businesses in 49 states and around the world. A good chunk of the clientele are lawyers, but smaller technology firms and a variety of entrepreneurs also utilize Ruby’s services.

Next week, the innovative workplace will double as an after-hours call center for the Beaverton Education Foundation’s 15th annual Phone-a-thon. Beginning on Monday, as many as 300 Beaverton district high school students will man telephones for five nights at Ruby’s Beaverton office. The foundation hopes to place more than 7,000 phone calls in an effort to secure funding for hands-on, innovative academic enrichment and advancement programs for students.

Jill Nelson, Ruby’s founder and chief executive officer, said she molded the company with an eye toward restoring a friendly, helpful, human voice to the virtual front lines of small businesses. With Fortune magazine ranking Ruby Receptionists No. 3 in its “Best Small Workplace” in its Sept. 19 edition, it appears her vision is more than validated.

“At the end of the day, we’re about making people happy here at Ruby,” she said in Fortune. “And to achieve this, it starts internally with our staff. We invest heavily in employee leadership programs, create community-building opportunities and develop initiatives that cultivate happiness inside and out.”

Even Ruby’s job titles, such as that of Online Marketing Champion Katie Wilson, reflect Nelson’s sunny, can-do attitude.

Just like the office’s decor, Wilson said Ruby’s phone etiquette aims to recapture the feeling of the 1950s and ’60s, when “calls were always answered by a friendly TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Katie Wilson shows off the fitness room at Ruby Receptionists, one of the perks of the Murray-Scholls location.

“We emphasize the value of the friendly person and how much differentiation there is if you get a live person who is friendly,” she said. “Especially during a stressful time, having someone nice to talk to on the phone really makes a big


Ruby receptionist Shawna Nordman, a bubbly aspiring actress, said Ruby is an ideal fit for her as she balances career options.

“Everyone’s super friendly. I feel like this is one of the only places to work where you can be yourself — where you don’t have to filter certain parts of your personality,” noted Nordman, a resident of Multnomah Village in Southwest Portland. “I love that Ruby is fostering a friendly workplace and giving good customer service.”

Hillsboro resident Milan Foley, who joined the Ruby staff in Beaverton on Sept. 9, looks forward to volunteering for the Phone-a-thon next week.

“I figured I’d come in to help and get to know the other girls I’m volunteering with,” she said. “It’s a way to be around my teammates and help everyone around us in the community.”by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Employees meet in the Wow Room for training at Ruby Receptionists.

Answer the call

What: The Beaverton Education Association’s 15th annual Phone-a-thon, a fundraiser for hands-on, innovative academic enrichment and advancement tools and programs for students.

When: Oct. 14, 16, 17, 22 and 23

Who: 60 local student volunteers calling each of those nights

Where: Ruby Receptionists, a new, Portland-based business located at 14795 S.W. Murray-Scholls Drive in the Murray Scholls Town Center, is providing phones and employee volunteers

Goal: 7,000 phone calls to secure $100,000 in pledges

More information: Visit

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