20 Under 40: Claire Barnum

Executive Director, Downtown Eugene, Inc.

Age: 38

As the executive director of Downtown Eugene Inc, it’s been really exciting to work with downtown property owners these past two years. I’ve seen a strong spirit of collaboration emerge. When we advocate together and unite our voices, we are stronger. I see a lot of exciting things on the horizon for this community, and I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of it.

I’ve lived in Eugene/Springfield for most of my life, and I’ve had the privilege of cheering on many of my peers at previous 20Under40 award ceremonies. Watching their accomplishments and contributions to this community has been one of my greatest motivations. Being among such a strong group of high achievers is one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received.

This past year I had to shift my focus while I navigated a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, and I am happy to say that I am now cancer free! Battling cancer was a challenge, but it changed my perspective on life. Now I want to do more to give back to humanity. It makes me so happy to be able to model to my children, Jacob and Anabelle, and two bonus children, Hayden and Jack, what perseverance and resiliency look like. Receiving this award is not so much about one’s past accomplishments but about this community’s belief in your ability to make long-lasting impacts. I’m proud to named to the class of 2019 20Under40 recipients, and I can’t wait to see what this group does in the next 30 years.