Author Archives: EDCO

MOVE: TJP Engineering Brings Aquatic Ecosystems to Life

TJP aquatic system

TJP Engineering works with zoos, aquariums and marine parks across the globe, designing
and engineering large-scale, custom aquatic systems. In early 2019 TJP decided that a move to southern Deschutes County would be beneficial for both their company and their employees. Early on TJP reached out to EDCO, who introduced them to tax incentive programs, assisted with identifying possible office space and provided local contacts for various business services – from banking to human resource support. Company culture and employee well-being are high priorities for TJP and the move has given their employees a better lifestyle including convenient travel through Redmond’s airport, access to more affordable housing with wider options for homeownership and a plethora of year-round recreation opportunities.


“When we relocated our engineering firm to Deschutes County, EDCO was incredibly helpful. They assisted us with finding our new office space and provided invaluable support as we navigated the paperwork to pursue various tax incentive programs. Since our move, they have been extremely supportive with finding new employees and connecting with various business services in the area. Central Oregon has proven to be an excellent place to base our business and we are grateful to EDCO for their continued support.” – Terri L. Johnson, President and CEO, TJP Engineering Inc.

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GROW: Velox Systems Does the Heavy IT Lifting

Velox Systems team photo

Bend, Ore., July 15, 2020 – Velox Systems provides incredible IT services and system support across Central Oregon. What can we say? We may be biased. EDCO’s worked with Velox Systems for over ten years and during that time has had incredible service, knowledgeable technicians and quick response times. They’ve been the technology backbone of many of EDCO’s behind-the-scenes systems, designing networks, completing cloud migrations, and countless other tasks. We chatted with Jordan Smith, Founder and Owner of Velox Systems, about why they choose to support economic development and their partnership with EDCO.

EDCO: Why did you choose to start your business in Central Oregon?

Jordan: Central Oregon is my home. I was born here and after college was lured back by the beautiful summers and thriving economy of 2006. Of course, when that all changed in 2008, I remained here to help be a part of the rebuilding. Companies were battered, and in the absence of a populous workforce, they needed help to regrow. I started Velox Systems in Central Oregon to be a part of that reconstruction by providing companies with the technical skill required to rebuild and succeed.

EDCO: How did you hear about EDCO and why did you choose to engage with them?

Jordan: I’ve been friends with EDCO for a long time. We’ve worked together since 2009 in both technology and community involvement. EDCO inspires and shares our passion for the local economy and the success of the business community.

EDCO: How did EDCO help you?

Jordan: EDCO provides community events focused on business growth and strategy that we needed to effectively start and grow our business into the top IT Services provider in the region. From their monthly Central Oregon PubTalk‘s to internship programs and coordination efforts with local higher education, EDCO’s helped us find team members and partners in the community that has fueled our growth as we, in turn, fuel the growth of those around us.

EDCO: What unexpected benefit did EDCO deliver to your organization?

Jordan: They’ve been a source of inspiration for hosting events. Their events are second to none, and as a company focused on community involvement, Velox Systems has modeled our own events after the work EDCO puts into theirs.

EDCO: Why do you continue to support EDCO?

Jordan: EDCO’s mission is to grow the economy of Central Oregon by attracting new businesses to the area, helping startups with new ideas get off the ground through PubTalk and the Bend Venture Conference and help companies grow by providing events and working with the local workforce community to promote talent. This is my passion for the community as well. At Velox Systems we believe an integral part of economic growth in Central Oregon is that there is adequate technology for all these things to happen. Velox Systems brings talent, technology and vision to businesses throughout Central Oregon so they can focus on what they’re passionate about knowing they have reliable infrastructure to do the job, no matter how big they get. It seemed natural for Velox Systems to participate in EDCO’s mission as a Platinum Member so we can continue to work together for the benefit of our community.


To learn more about Velox Systems’ IT Services and support, visit their website.

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There’s Good News, Too: Oregon Spirit Distillers

There’s Good News, Too: Oregon Spirit Distillers

Oregon Spirit Distillers has been making whiskey for the past ten years…and hand sanitizer for the past ten weeks. They’re still putting alcohol in a bottle, just a bit differently. Deschutes Brewery helped by sending eight full-time employees so they can keep up with the demand for both their award-winning liquors and the production of hand sanitizer.

Plus, their tasting room is open for product pick up.

Thanks to BendBroadband for helping us share this story.

REDI to Host Annual Luncheon Virtually on Tuesday, May 26th

REDI Annual Luncheon May 26 2020 - Zach Mercurio photo


REDMOND, OR (May 15, 2020)Redmond Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) is pleased to announce their 2020 Annual Luncheon will be held virtually on Tuesday, May 26th, featuring a keynote from New York Times Bestselling Author Zach Mercurio.

REDI holds its Annual Luncheon each Spring discussing topics pertinent to the Central Oregon business community. This year’s live-streamed event will focus on the topic of harnessing the power of purpose and meaningfulness at work and why it matters when building strong core values and culture.

While this event may look different than in year’s past, Zach’s message is important now more than ever. Thanks to the event sponsors, REDI is offering this virtual program at a deep discount.

Join REDI and the local business community and learn what authentic purpose is and how it scientifically works to motivate people and organizations.

REDI Annual Luncheon
Featuring New York Time’s Bestselling Author Zach Mercurio
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Tickets $10 REDI & EDCO Members; $15 Non-members; $200 VIP virtual lounge
Register here.


Title Sponsors
BendBroadband logo, Central Oregon Community College logo, First Interstate Bank logo


About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)
Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders, whose mission is to create middle-class jobs in Central Oregon by: recruiting new employers to move to the region; helping entrepreneurs start new, scalable businesses; and working with businesses that are already here to grow their operations. For more information, visit

About Redmond Economic Development, Inc. (REDI)
Redmond Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), in collaboration with EDCO, is a private, non-profit corporation established in 1987 as a partnership between private business and the public sector to encourage economic development in the City of Redmond, Oregon. Its mission is to create prosperity through community and business development. REDI serves as an advocate for Redmond’s industrial companies and assists them by providing information about Redmond as an area for business, relocation, or expansion. For more information, visit

About Zach Mercurio
Zach Mercurio is one of the leading experts on the role of purpose and meaning in organizations, work and life. Through speaking, consulting and research Zach has helped diverse organizations and individuals around the world understand how purpose and meaning unleashes human potential to create thriving organizations and lives. Zach is the author of The Invisible Leader: Transform Your Life, Work, and Organization with the Power of Authentic Purpose and is the founder and author of, the popular blog on purposeful leadership. He is also a regular contributor on purpose for the Huffington Post and other international media outlets. For more information, visit

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EDCO’s Resource Check-In Podcast Episode #3


EDCO’s Resource Check-In Podcast Episode #3

EDCO’s Resource Check-In Podcast updates the Central Oregon community with info and different resources that are available during this crisis. We realize there is no one-size-fits-all solution for your business, but we hope you walk away with some helpful tips.

Episode #3 welcomes Jon Stark, Redmond Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) Senior Director, and Damon Runberg, Regional Economist at the State of Oregon Employment Department, discussing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the future of our region, and how to prepare to reopen your business.

For more episodes, click here.

EDCO Welcomes Don Myll As New Bend Area Director

EDCO logo, Mount Bachelor landscape


BEND, OR (May 5, 2020) – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is pleased to welcome the addition of Don Myll as Bend Area Director, effective immediately.  

In his role, Don is responsible for supporting EDCO’s mission of creating a diversified local economy and a strong base of middle-class jobs in Central Oregon. His focus will be on guiding employers outside the region through the relocation process of moving to Bend and working closely with existing local traded sector companies to help them grow and expand while supporting the broad range of industries that comprise the backbone of the Central Oregon economy. 

Throughout Don’s career, he’s helped lead successful venture capital, private equity and public healthcare companies as both CFO and CEO including Correctional Medical Group Companies, Vericare, ImplediMed, Ambit Biosciences, AMN Healthcare Services, and Daou Systems. He’s worked in companies ranging from startups with virtually no initial revenue to those with nationwide operations and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, guiding both finance and corporate support.

“Don brings great C-level financial and business leadership experience to the role, which we think is perfect timing given our current economic climate,” said EDCO’s CEO Roger Lee. “He has been busy in his first weeks on the job reaching out individually to more than 150 companies to discuss how the current economic situation is impacting them and ways we can help.” 

EDCO would like to thank BBSI, spearheaded by Area Manager Eric Strobel and Recruiter Kat Gardner, who conducted the professional search for the Bend Area Director position. A hiring committee representing different community partners and business perspectives participated on the hiring panel. 

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)
EDCO is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders, whose mission is to create middle-class jobs in Central Oregon by: recruiting new employers to move to the region; helping entrepreneurs start new, scalable businesses; and working with businesses already located here to grow their operations. For more information, visit    

About BBSI
BBSI started as a staffing company in 1972 and evolved into a Professional Employer Organization. Over time, we saw that we could make a much bigger impact for our clients by facilitating different conversations with business owners. Helping them see what they couldn’t see before is what drives us. So, we changed the way we do business. Today, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with business owners and are relentless in our pursuit of their success. For more information, visit 

EDCO’s Resource Check-In Podcast Episode #2


EDCO’s Resource Check-In Podcast Episode #2

EDCO’s Resource Check-In Podcast updates the Central Oregon community with info and different resources that are available during this crisis. We realize there is no one-size-fits-all solution for your business, but we hope you walk away with some helpful tips.

Episode #2 welcomes Tom Schnell, Business Finance Officer with Business Oregon, and Zak Sundsten, VP and Senior Commercial Relationship Manager with Umpqua Bank and a member of EDCO’s Board of Directors, discussing PPP, EIDL and other business resources.

For more episodes, click here.

There’s Good News, Too: BlackStrap

There’s Good News, Too: BlackStrap

EDCO’s third video in the ‘There’s Good News, Too” series highlights another Central Oregon business working and pivoting through the COVID-19 crisis.

BlackStrap has been making facemasks for the ski and snowboard industry since 2008. In just five days they were able to pivot, keeping their staff employed while also hiring on additional workers. They’ve also been able to save over 90,000 lbs. of fabric from going into the landfill.

For more videos in this series, click here.

There’s Good News, Too: Personalized Nutrients

There’s Good News, Too: Personalized Nutrients

EDCO’s second video in the ‘There’s Good News, Too” series highlights another Central Oregon business working and pivoting through the COVID-19 crisis.

Sisters-based Personalized Nutrients has seen an uptake in business during the COVID-19 crisis. Because of this, they’ve been able to hire on additional staff, are working hand in hand with other Sisters companies and are supporting local restaurants by providing employee meals.

For more videos in this series, click here.

A note from EDCO’s CEO

EDCO logo, Mount Bachelor landscape

EDCO Friends,

It can be said that the fallout from COVID-19 is as though each state in the nation is experiencing a class five hurricane at the same time, for weeks on end. With a steady stream of new stay at home measures, we know the impact to our economy is going to get worse before it improves. And even as we expect April to be a very rough month, there are a few rays of light amidst the storm.

We’ve met one-on-one (virtually) with traded sector businesses across the region and have been inspired by their ability to quickly adapt, innovate and rapidly change their operations in an ever-shifting environment. And while we offer advice and help to navigate resources/aid, many are already on the right path to stabilization – the first step towards survival. We’ve seen great creativity in businesses “extending the cash runway”.

Here are a few common themes that businesses are implementing:

  • Reaching out to key people who can lower their short-term cash burn rate, starting with:
    • financial institutions (banks, credit unions & other lenders) to ask for temporary suspension of mortgage, working capital loan payments or to access additional cash resources
    • landlords to talk about temporary rent deferral
    • material suppliers, distributors and customers to adjust payment terms
  • Reducing operational costs real-time to adjust to falling (or even zero) revenue by:
    • enacting voluntary pay cuts, strategic furloughing, or when absolutely necessary, cutting staff (while at the same time keeping connected with those former employees)
    • renegotiating terms on A/P and A/R
    • suspending or cutting back on discretionary spending like marketing and advertising until the appetite for consumer/customer purchasing returns
  • Figuring out new ways to conduct business and/or shifting operations to provide different products and services

The solutions found by small business owners in the coming weeks is key to our future economic rebound.

There has been a great deal of press and emphasis on federal government support and local efforts to help carry our most impacted businesses through what is still an undefined period of time before things return to some degree of normalcy. These resources are important and act as a lifeline to many companies – assuming the dollars get to businesses in need on a timely basis. At the same time, there is not enough money in the U.S. Treasury, let alone local government and philanthropy, to cover all the impacts created by overnight shut downs of huge parts of the economy.

We are releasing two series (podcast available here; innovation series available here) that will provide details about local companies, their stories and what we are constantly learning. Our hope is that these pieces will spark ideas for creative solutions in our business community.

EDCO has made a conscious decision to remain at full staffing to provide the help needed to our traded sector businesses through this time. Please don’t hesitate to contact any member of our team at our five offices across the region with requests, or to share information about what you are doing to adapt and innovate.


Roger Lee