March 25, 2024

David Howitt ’94 Distinguished Business Law Graduate 2024

David Howitt ’94 is this year’s Distinguished Business Law Graduate, exemplifying the spirit of entrepreneurial leadership through his cultivation of brands such as Oregon Chai, Stumptown Coffee, and Dave’s Killer Bread.


On March 1, 2024, the Business Law Spring Luncheon event celebrated its 2024 Distinguished Business Law Graduate: David Howitt, ’94.

Since graduating from Lewis & Clark, Howitt, the Founder and CEO of Meriwether Group, has led a successful career as a businessman and attorney. From being one of the founders of the successful PNW-based business, Oregon Chai, to using his visionary and entrepreneurial expertise to advise household name brands such as Dave’s Killer Bread and Stumptown Coffee, Howitt has been a guiding force in helping the next generation of consumer brands find purpose. Author of the New York Times bestselling book, Heed Your Call, Howitt has shared his know-how with the world, working to improve business literacy while also integrating artistry.

In accepting the award, David noted that “one of the most powerful lessons I learned came from law school: how to argue in the alternative.” This ability to “hold multiple arguments simultaneously is a skill I learned at Lewis & Clark Law” and allows one “to hold contradictory ideas intentionally in the pursuit of truth.”

He also spoke of our current global situation as a “tyranny of small differences,” and noted how we need to “celebrate how we are all connected.”

Embracing the “Power of &” is David’s core philosophy. It gives him a unique appreciation for businesses built on purpose, meaning, heart, beauty and authenticity as well as an appreciation for solid business, operations, brand, finance and market strategy. From this perspective, he’s advised a generation of iconic brands with investment banking and consulting processes that created significant wealth for the founders while setting the brands up to become household names.

Prior to founding his own consulting firm he served as corporate counsel for Adidas America, developing and managing a $300-million licensing portfolio for Adidas America, and worked on a wide spectrum of business development issues, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances with numerous companies.