Alex Pavlenko

The Ambitious Among Us

Meet the amazing business and technology minds of the Vancouver-metropolitan area and beyond.


Deference To Ambition

Interviews of the Ambitious’ is intended to be about people, more specifically the person behind the job.

What about those people who are identified more by what they do than who they are – because who they are is inherent to their professional brand.

Is that not the essence of ambition?  Alex Pavlenko.  He sure is.  And so is his brand.

That’s A Tough Question: What Do You Do?

Alex genuinely struggles when asked the question: What do you do?  His many interests and ideas are but contributions. Alex tends to taste-test rather than order a meal, if you will.  Anyway, where’s the fun in the plate? It’s cooking up new recipes that creates new flavors, not the dish itself.

It came as no surprise to me, then, that Alex’s hero is Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group.  

I chose to look up the company’s LinkedIn page to learn what it does rather than figuring it out on my own.  They do so much. “Virgin Group has gone on to grow successful businesses in sectors ranging from mobile telephony, travel, financial services, leisure, music, holidays and health & wellness”  (Virgin Overview | LinkedIn, 2018).

Imagine how Branson must describe himself.  From his LinkedIn page: “Tie-loathing adventurer and thrill seeker, who believes in turning ideas into reality.  Otherwise known as Dr Yes at Virgin!” (Richard Branson | LinkedIn, 2018).

Be Creative.  Be Resourceful.  Be Imaginative. Be Daring.

Yeah, that’s the recipe to describe what Alex does.

Branded Persona

Alex creates categories here in Vancouver.  Consider the following:

2020 N McClellan St, Portland, OR 97217
  • In 2013, Alex started Blinds Northwest, a window treatment retailer.  
  • He initiated a Vancouver, WA-based business and technology networking group, VanCoffee Meetup, in 2016.  
  • Increasing his impact on the community, Alex furnished coworking in downtown Vancouver, WA (The Columbia Collective was acquired by CoLab Coworking in 2018).  
  • Alex and his wife, Isabelle, opened Presso Coffee Bar in Portland, OR in 2017 and will expand its ‘Instagrammable’ identity into a Vancouver, WA shop in 2019.  
  • Wholesale coffee is a new target.  Alex is on the brink of releasing Vancouver’s own blend, VanCoffee Blend.
  • VanCoffee Newsletter began virtual publishing in December, 2018 whereby Alex is crowdsourcing local news content that matters to the business and technology community here in Vancouver, WA.

VanCoffee: A Brand For All

VanCoffee is in its infancy.  Signals point to a brand that people can figuratively and literally consume (news, coffee), find their tribe (networking, news), and associate themselves with Vancouver, WA.  

VanCoffee Newsletter became a sponsor of ‘Live Interviews of the Ambitious’ and ‘Interviews of the Ambitious’ because those campaigns, both, create local content that highlights talent and expertise in the area.  In and of themselves, local talent and expertise are ingredients that make the business and technology community here in Vancouver on par with any other across the country and throughout the world.

VanCoffee the brand and Alex the person likewise defer to ambition – of ideas, of growth, of others.  Suffice to say, I associated with VanCoffee because it supports the ambitions of others to meet promise and potential.

Pavlenko, A. (2018). About. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Dec. 2018].

Virgin Group (2018). Virgin Company Page. [online] Virgin: Overview | LinkedIn. Available at: [Accessed 3 Dec. 2018].

Branson, Richard. Richard Branson: Founder at Virgin Group. [online] Richard Branson | LinkedIn. Available at: [Accessed 3 Dec. 2018].

This article is sponsored by…

Published by Rehr Consulting

Danny Rehr is a graduate of University of Portland’s Pamplin School of Business where he earned an MBA with a concentration in strategy. He now operates Rehr Consulting, a strategy and continuous improvement consultancy focused on small businesses in the service industry of Southwest Washington State. He loves coffee and fountain pens.

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