Author Archives: EDCO

EDCO’s Resource Check-In Podcast Episode #1


EDCO’s Resource Check-In Podcast Episode #1

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 #1 welcomes EDCO CEO Roger Lee and EDCO Sisters Area Director Caprielle Lewis to chat about strategies local businesses are taking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more episodes, click here.

There’s Good News, Too: Humm Kombucha

There’s Good News, Too: Humm Kombucha

EDCO’s launched a series of quick videos highlighting local companies working and pivoting through the COVID-19 crisis.

Humm Kombucha was in the middle of launching a new game-changing product when the COVID-19 crisis hit. Hear from CEO Jamie Danek on how the company has been able to pivot in the face of the pandemic, including hiring workers from another local manufacturer facing layoffs.

Thanks to BBSI for helping us share this story.

For more videos in this series, click here.

Bend-Redmond Ranked #1 Best Performing Small City For An Unprecedented Four Consecutive Years

2020 Best Performing Small City



BEND, OR (February 28, 2020) – Los Angeles-based Milken Institute released its 2020 yearly findings to the Best Performing Small Cities study, naming the Bend-Redmond MSA the Best Performing Small City in the country for the fourth consecutive year. Over the past 20+ years, no other large or small metro has held the #1 ranking more than two years in a row.

All nine key indicators the Milken Institute uses to compile these listings ranked in the top 30 out of a total of 201 small U.S. metros. The report specifically mentioned high-tech GDP growth and high-tech GDP concentration as contributing to the region’s economic expansion, sectors Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) has dedicated both emphasis and effort to over the past decade.

Roger Lee, EDCO’s CEO, noted “We have come to anticipate this report as both a measure of success for our economic development work as well as a barometer on areas we can improve upon. I’m particularly proud of the manufacturing employment growth cited in the report: over 2,100 new jobs since the previous year. Additionally, in the past eight years overall manufacturing jobs have grown by 60% and total wages by nearly 90%. This report further proves EDCO’s efforts are creating a positive impact on our regional economy.”

Below is an excerpt from the report, which can be found in its entirety here:
“For the fourth year in a row, Bend-Redmond, OR, ranks first on the Best-Performing Small Cities Index. All of its indicators rank in the top 30. Clear standouts are the first-place ranking for five-year wage growth, second-place ranking on five-year job growth, and fifth-place rankings on five-year high-tech GDP growth and high-tech concentration. Once more, the metro posted high ranks in its five-year metrics with consistent high ranks in its one-year indicators. The metro’s five-year ranks should remain a source of strength for the near term. While the metro has lost a few spots on the number of concentrated high-tech industries (LQ > 1), its diverse economy is anchored by more traditional industries.”

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

2020 EDCO Annual Luncheon February 13 featuring Lindsey Pollak


BEND, OR (January 28, 2019)Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) will host its Annual Luncheon on Thursday, February 13, 2020, from 11:00 – 1:30 pm at The Riverhouse on the Deschutes. Tickets and tables can be purchased online here.

EDCO’s Annual Luncheon is a tradition providing the Central Oregon business community an opportunity to hear nationally recognized business leaders discuss current and future economic trends and business best practices.

Keynote Speaker
Lindsey Pollak
New York Times Bestselling Author & Multigenerational Workforce Expert

The Remix: How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace

Lindsey Pollak is the leading expert on Millennials and the multigenerational workplace. Her book, The Remix, is a positive approach to organizational change, taking practices embraced by older generations (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers) and alters them to better appeal to Millennials, Gen Zs and younger generations so everyone can succeed together.

Pollak combines the most recent data from a variety of authoritative sources with her own original research, as well as detailed case studies from her Fortune 500 clients (Citi, Estee Lauder, GE, JP Morgan, and more). She outlines the ways businesses, executives, mid-level managers, employees, and entrepreneurs can handle situations that may arise when diverse styles clash and provides clear strategies to turn generational diversity into opportunity.

Generational change is impacting all industries, all types of organizations and all leaders. This luncheon is essential for anyone who wants to survive and thrive both today and into the future.

Cost and Registration
$79 EDCO Members
$94 Non-Members
Become an EDCO Member here.

Tables and tickets can be purchased online here. Table Sponsors receive ten luncheon tickets plus recognition prior to and during the event.

Title Sponsor: OSU-Cascades, Keynote Sponsor: Jones and Roth CPAs and Business Advisors


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


We’re Hiring – Redmond and Jefferson County Internship Coordinators

Photo of Mount Bachelor

**These positions have been filled.**

Not one, but two new positions have just been posted!

If you have a passion for connecting people and making an impact in your community, this is a great opportunity for you to serve as either the Internship Coordinator for Jefferson County or the Internship Coordinator for Redmond. In many aspects, these roles serve as a matchmaker for businesses and students of all levels.

For more information on both positions and how to apply, see below.

Redmond Internship Coordinator **This position has been filled.**

Jefferson County Internship Coordinator

We’re Hiring – Bend Area Director

EDCO Hiring Central Oregon

**This position has been filled.**

Make a significant impact within the Central Oregon Business community by joining Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) as the Bend Area Director. This role is the business retention and expansion (BRE) and recruitment specialist for the Bend Area. Directly responsible for working with the City of Bend and specifically with the Bend Economic Development Advisory Board (BEDAB) this role will be outward-facing in the community in sharing how EDCO benefits our region as a whole.  With equal parts strategic and tactical/administrative, we are seeking a roll-up-your-sleeves, no-task is too big (or too small) partner to truly make an impact within the Central Oregon business community.

Here are a few key goals for you in this position:

  • Coordinate & perform outreach to the 600+ traded-sector businesses within Bend and nearby unincorporated areas.
  • Play a part in strengthening and diversifying our economy by recruiting and retaining businesses that represent a wide array of industries.
  • Advocate for business needs with the City & Deschutes County staff, elected officials and funding agencies.
  • Represent EDCO on the BEDAB and work closely with the City Economic Development Department.
  • Flourish as part of a small, cohesive, talented, passionate, and accountable team of professionals.

Please send a cover letter, resume, salary requirements, and professional references with the subject line “Bend Area Director EDCO” to our recruiter: In your cover letter, please describe why you think you could be the person for this job and what you’ve accomplished in your career that closely relates to this role.

For the complete job description, click here.

Deschutes Public Library: A Great Resource for Small Businesses

Pictures of Deschutes Library from outside

Bend, Ore. – December, 4, 2019: If you own or are looking to start a business in Central Oregon, there’s a good chance you know Liisa Sjoblom, a community librarian whose work focuses on supporting the business community, nonprofits and those seeking employment. Liisa helps customers with business planning by researching market and industry data. She also assists nonprofits with information on grant opportunities and individuals who are looking to update their resumes.

We sat down with Liisa for a brief Q&A to learn more about how the library is helping small businesses.

EDCO: What resources do you have available for small businesses?

Liisa: The Deschutes Public Library offers a suite of online Small Business Resources that can help with all aspects of your business including industry research, consumer demographics and information about competitors. Access to this information is through the library’s business research site.

EDCO: Are there any costs associated with using these resources?

Liisa: No. All resources and services are free to use. Most resources are available 24/7 from home or office with the use of your library card.

EDCO: How can someone learn more about using the resources?

Through the library’s Book-a-Librarian Service. You can set up a time with a librarian to learn how to use any of the resources. You can also request information for your particular business endeavor. We can pull data and push it out electronically to you and then meet to discuss the findings. We also provide referral services to the business support network in Central Oregon.

EDCO: Tell us about the newly launched business newsletter?

Liisa: The first quarterly edition of Business News went out to subscribers in October. It is for anyone interested in small business development in the region. It features business resources and services available at your library and beyond. Find out about new books and online resources from the library plus other information about library partners and featured websites.

EDCO: How has your partnership with EDCO helped you in your role with the library?

Liisa: Networking and referrals are the most important piece of my work with EDCO. The ability to network with business owners and entrepreneurs at PubTalk, the Bend Venture Conference and other EDCO sponsored events have been invaluable. I’m constantly making connections and talking with people about what the library can offer at these events. I make referrals to EDCO with people that I work with and in turn, I receive referrals from EDCO for their clients. I also make liberal use of the Central Oregon Community information they compile annually. 

EDCO: Any final thoughts about providing support to the small business community?

Liisa: I like helping people fulfill their dreams as they start planning their new business ventures. It’s exciting to hear about what people are planning and then see those businesses succeed. It’s all about connecting people with the information that will make them successful.

Other Library News: 

Growing for the Future
The library is preparing for its centennial celebration in 2020. As the population in Deschutes County continues to grow, the library invites local residents to join in on a series of forums scheduled throughout the county. Here, residents will have the opportunity to be a part of interactive discussions with the library architects regarding future renovation, expansion and enhancement plans for the local libraries. Provide thoughts and insight into your library needs including space, collections, programmings, and services. A list of scheduled forums can be found here.

START: Volitant Consulting

Bend, Ore. (December 5, 2019) – Volitant Consulting is a new company specializing in Amazon marketing, advertising and product sales for local, national and international product-based businesses. Their main goal is to simply be a relief factor for businesses trying to make it in Amazon’s competitive, ever-changing sales environment. Volitant Consulting launched just over a year ago in a home office with three dedicated, energetic and forward-thinking entrepreneurs who have hit the ground running.

We sat down with Volitant’s Founder and CEO Justin Coats and one of their clients, Nail Magic, to hear how Volitant Consulting is directly helping them.

EDCO: Tell us more about the services you provide?

Volitant: Our services range from hourly consulting for businesses on a tight budget, companies that need anything from project help to full account management, PPC advertising management (utilizing machine learning to be the most efficient with our clients’ ad spend), E-commerce strategy, and other Amazon-related needs. We love working with companies who have a concern for family, the environment, personal health & well-being, and other products that encouraging healthy living.

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

Volitant: It was a natural step for me being a Bend native. After moving around a lot, being in the Marine Corps, getting my helicopter commercial rating, and being a deployed professional UAV pilot, I wanted to be home. My family wanted me home. So, I took this skill of managing Amazon accounts, something I’d been doing for a few years already, and started inquiring with local businesses. Once I noticed the deep need there was no holding me back, being able to take the stress of Amazon off local companies’ plates is what drove me to start my business. I’ve always called Bend home, born here and raised here and eastern Oregon. It really is amazing to be so involved with what keeps Bend growing. It’s local businesses. Not to mention everything we have in our backyard. Why wouldn’t you want to be here?

EDCO: What is it about Central Oregon’s startup ecosystem that has helped you?

Volitant: You know, there is such a buzz around the Central Oregon startup community, between EDCO’s PubTalks and other events, Bend Young Professionals, the OSU-Cascades Innovation Co-Lab, Opportunity Knocks, along with many other entrepreneur meetups. There is so much information and help out there. I haven’t even tapped into all of it yet but it’s been such a help. Navigating the do’s and don’ts for a young start-up, where your focus should be, how to best manage financials when you’re bootstrapping. Any question you have, any need you have, someone in this amazing community has been there and done that, just ask.

EDCO: Tell us about some projects you’ve worked on since you launched your business, including any success stories and lessons learned.

Volitant: The ball started rolling through several local companies that were pulling their hair out with Amazon, tried Amazon and failed, or were operating at a loss just to show up and protect their brand. Once they heard we could help, it was a done deal and we haven’t slowed down. With our expertise, drive and positive energy, we had one client see a 358% sales increase year over year.

We also specialize in IP enforcement. This is the biggest pet peeve of mine in the Amazon landscape. Talented individuals create an amazing product, start a business around that product, list it on Amazon (because you’re missing millions of buyers if you don’t) and then BAM! They find an infringing product, a counterfeit, or copyright, trademark infringement or worse, an infringement on their patent. We’ve helped a local company remove over 600 infringing products in 2019 thus far. This is definitely one of those enjoyable projects you write home about and makes you feel good!

One of my favorite clients and success stories is Nail Magic, based in Redmond. They’ve been with us for over a year now. When we first partnered, their sales were declining. Within a month, we turned that decline around, making it positive by 50%. Now, a year later, we are seeing over 80% growth AND we are getting ready to take them internationally!

Some lessons learned? Part of this process is looking and planning into the future. Right now we’re laying the foundations for growth in 2020 that will require hiring and training several new employees.

EDCO: What makes Volitant Consulting different?

Volitant: We have a unique trait that sets us apart from any other agency we’ve encountered – we care! That caring goes into our services and how we treat our clients which is why we’ve developed our own Brand Protection Strategies. We have developed close relationships with several IP lawyers to create processes that help companies enforce their IP on a platform that has previously made it nearly impossible to enforce. We also enforce trademark, copyright infringement and illegal reviews.

We also partner with several other digital marketing agencies. Having strategic partnerships allows us to offer the full package for product companies, which not many marketing agencies can say.

EDCO: How did you hear about EDCO and has the organization helped you and your business?

Volitant: We actually learned about EDCO while attending a PubTalk. We quickly realized that EDCO was going to be a vital catalyst in connecting us with local companies. EDCO has helped Volitant Consulting develope relationships with people who have the resources to help local businesses for financial help, business lawyers, banking, etc., as well as connecting us with local product companies looking to sell or who are currently selling on Amazon. EDCO has been such a great help and encouraging force for me to get out there, try new things, take meetings, push the limits and make it happen! Thank you!

Q&A with Megan Straughan, Nail Magic’s CEO 

EDCO: How did you hear about Volitant Consulting?  

Nail Magic: We heard about Volitant through Molly Renner, Owner at Sublime Creative Agency. We had been working with her for a couple of years and were seeing progress business-wide.  We wanted change our social media strategy and look into increasing our Amazon presence. She said I found a local guy who knows Amazon. Our reaction was that is so incredible and is he crazy? Amazon is a beast and finding someone who specializes in their system was a gift.

EDCO: How has Volitant helped you?

Nail Magic: Volitant understands the Amazon system and the way to correctly handle their requirements. We were struggling to understand how to grow with them and the unique dynamics of the Amazon platform. It is unlike any other customer we have dealt with. Volitant has and continues to assist us in growing our business. We have seen growth of over 80% compared to last year and went from selling on average 770 pieces a month to selling on average 1,341 pieces a month. We are also in the early stages of expanding the Amazon business globally with our next stop to be the United Kingdom.

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EDCO’s PubTalk Returns Thursday, November 21

People laughing at McMenamins, PubTalk logo, EDCO logo



Bend, Ore. (November 12, 2019)Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) has announced the speakers for the next Central Oregon PubTalk at McMenamins in downtown Bend on Thursday, November 21, at 5 pm. Tickets are on sale now and available via Eventbrite here.

EDCO’s Central Oregon PubTalk is a happy hour bringing together different facets of the business community to network, share ideas and further local businesses.

Keynote Speaker

Matthew Davie, Chief Strategy Officer, Kiva
Financial exclusion is a global problem: 1.7 billion adults lack access to even a basic savings account. Over the past 15 years, Kiva — a US-based non-profit — has worked to debunk the myth that poor people are not creditworthy by facilitating over $1.5 billion in micro-loans in 94 countries. During PubTalk, Matthew will cover Kiva’s history, the systemic challenges that prevent poor people from accessing financial services and the efforts currently underway at Kiva to leverage emerging technologies like blockchain to build an inclusive system for the future.

Company Pitches

Lora Haddock, Founder & CEO, Lora DiCarlo
Lora has over a decade of experience in healthcare, and after an honorable discharge from the US Navy she enrolled in a pre-med program. A self-described “anatomy geek”, Lora became fascinated with the psychological, physiological and anatomical aspects of the female orgasm. She left med school to design functional product specifications determined to produce the perfect orgasm, drawing on years of research and anatomical data she gathered from hundreds of women. She founded Lora DiCarlo in 2017 and began her journey towards launching new physiologically appropriate women’s health and wellness products.

Carly Kiselycznyk, Founder & Founder, BrainChild Technologies
BrainChild Technologies is creating the first tool to help parents check their babies for hearing loss with their smart pacifier platform. Hearing loss during early childhood can mean missing a critical window for language development, and yet there is a lack of accessible tools for regular screening at this important stage. BrainChild fills this gap with age-appropriate behavioral assessments of hearing, starting by measuring sucking behavior in response to sound. They aim to make hearing tests better, faster and cheaper.

Company Update

Jamie Bianchini, Co-Founder & CEO, LuDela
LuDela presented and won as part of the Early Stage competition during the 2018 Bend Venture Conference. They created the world’s first remote-controlled real-flame candle with auto-ignite & extinguish, timer, safety features, scent-on-demand, and an impactful social mission.

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Networking, drinks and appetizers
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm Company Presentations & Keynote

Cost and Registration
$26 EDCO & OEN Members (Become an EDCO Member here)
$36 Non-Members

Admission includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine, or soda).

Title Sponsor Logo's

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


There’s A Lot (of Beer) Brewing in Central Oregon

Legend Cider Kegs representing the large brewing in Central Oregon

Brewing in Central Oregon is having its heyday. And it’s not just beer being brewed here. It’s also craft cider makers and distillers

According to a recent article in the Portland Business Journal, Central Oregon’s brewing and distilling industry is seriously outboxing its weight. Of the state’s Top 25 craft beer brewers by volume (146 in all), 10 are based in the tri-county area, including Oregon’s largest brewery, Deschutes Brewery.

Four of the top 25 distillers call Central Oregon home including the State’s second-largest, Bendistillery.

Plus, four of the top 15 cider manufacturers are based in Central Oregon, including the second largest, Avid Cider.

Earlier this year, C+R Research ranked Bend, Oregon third in the U.S. as the city with the most breweries per capita – just behind Portland, Maine, and Asheville, North Carolina.

Currently, Central Oregon has 41 Breweries, Distilleries and Cider Makers and they continue to receive major awards. In 2017, Sunriver Brewing Company won the Small Brewing Company of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival, among other awards. Oregon Spirit Distillers has received multiple awards from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition for their craft whiskeys, gins and absinthe. And that’s just the tip of what’s been awarded.

Central Oregon is brewing some serious beers, ciders and liquors. If you’re in need of some hands-on taste testing, the Bend Ale Trail is a great place to start.