The Missing Middle Housing Fund is fortunate to have a growing and diverse group of business and community leaders working together to create more workforce housing solutions. This profile is the first in a series of team member spotlights. Our hope is that you will learn a little bit more about each of us - our backgrounds, interests, and passions – and how we are united by a shared sense of purpose and commitment to creating more affordable workforce housing.
Meet Adam Day, Founder and Strategist with Mikata Garage
Caption: MMHF Board Member, Adam Day (left), with Ryan Olsen of Quantum Assembly. Quantum Assembly is one of the award winners of the Newberg Workforce Housing Consortium’s initiative to build more workforce housing in Yamhill County with up to $3M in state awarded funds.
Missing Middle Housing Fund Board Member, Adam Day, has called both Portland, ME and Portland, OR home. Growing up in Maine, he loved exploring outdoors and building and fixing things. His father spent his career at L.L. Bean and little did he know then that he would help lead another apparel giant years later at Nike. But instead of moving directly from one coast to the other, he took the global route.
Day attended college at Cornell and graduate school at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. After a brief career in business journalism, he moved to Indonesia to work on economic development projects with the American Chamber of Commerce and other non-profits. In 2008, he was recruited by Nike to lead strategy for the newly created Nike Foundation, bringing him and his family to Oregon.
For nearly ten years, he worked at Nike in various roles in strategy and innovation leadership, ultimately moving into the global real estate and design team. His experience at Nike led him to WeWork, where he led their R&D practice and worked with Fortune 500 clients to rethink their real estate strategies. Much of this work was focused on elevating employee experience while optimizing design and construction costs for scalability, something we obsess about at MMHF.
All of these multifaceted experiences led to Day’s current role as the Founder of Mikata Garage, a consultancy which helps clients with strategy, innovation, and executive coaching. In Japanese, mikata, can mean both “a way of seeing” and “ally”, an ethos that emphasizes his focus on collaboration and integrating diverse perspectives. We are proud that he is now an ally of MMHF, serving on our Board as a strategic advisor.
Get to know more about Adam:
Why were you drawn to the Missing Middle Housing Fund?
The issue of creating more workforce housing really resonated with me. I have seen in my global roles, especially across Europe and Asia, and countries like Japan, that they have successfully developed more programs for affordable housing. We struggle in the US with complex regulations, high costs and lack of coordination. I have seen examples of different ways of working, particularly through public/private partnerships, which can help us get the job done. I am attracted to the opportunity to create more positive headlines for Oregon and to show the world that our state can take a lead in housing innovation. I know that MMHF has the team, experience, and community network to make this happen right here in our backyard.
What role do you play on the team?
I joined the board over a year and half ago and serve as board Secretary and strategic advisor. I also provide executive coaching for our CEO and help leverage the strengths of our amazing team. It’s been exciting to watch MMHF grow over the years, and it’s great to support the organization as it evolves.
What are some of your interests and passions?
I enjoy home renovation and handyman work. I like road cycling, swimming and pickleball. I am active as a volunteer in the PPS Japanese Immersion program (our teen boys both attend and speak Japanese) and help host exchange students and community events. I love spending time with my family and my wife Kate. She co-founded Dovetail Workwear, a women’s workwear company, and I’m lucky to be able to support her mission to empower tradeswomen (many of whom work in housing and construction!)
Why is the development of more workforce housing so important to you?
Affordable, accessible, well-designed housing is what fuels strong, healthy communities. It’s an essential ingredient. My family has been fortunate to experience this in many places we’ve lived, especially here in Portland, and I’ve seen how its absence can trigger so many other social problems. Having a secure place to live, reasonably close to where you work, should be a common experience for all.