Author Archives: Edcoevents

EDCO’s April PubTalk Speakers Announced

2018 PubTalk Speakers Announced


BEND, OR (April 10, 2018)Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) has announced the speakers for the next PubTalk on Thursday, April 26, 5 pm at McMenamins in Downtown Bend. Tickets are on sale now and available via Eventbrite here.

EDCO’s Central Oregon PubTalk, held the fourth Thursday of the month, is a happy hour aimed at bringing together different facets of the business community in one place to network, share ideas and further local businesses.

Keynote Speaker
Kate Delhagen, Founding Partner, 
Oregon Sports Angels
Kate Delhagen moved to Oregon in 1999 to help launch Lucy Activewear. She draws inspiration daily from Oregon’s state motto, “She Flies With Her Own Wings.” Recently, Delhagen founded a new Oregon-based angel investor group, Oregon Sports Angels, comprised of sports & outdoor industry veterans, accomplished entrepreneurs, and investors. She’s worked for Nike, Rodale Press, Forrester Research, Lucy, and Starwave, and is an active investor and advisor to several Oregon startups. She’s an avid runner, former pro triathlete, and lapsed basketballer.

Company Pitches
Karen Bonner, Co-Founder and CFO, 
Red Duck Foods
Red Duck Foods is a premier sauce company with offices in Bend and Portland, founded by three grad students who believed regular condiments didn’t cut the mustard. Red Duck’s product line brings an artisan approach to whole, honest ingredients while offering a unique, unexpected twist on familiar flavors. As one of only 252 certified B Corp food companies worldwide, Red Duck is a mission-based business with a commitment to sustainability and transparency. The company’s 11 organic sauces and condiments are currently available in 2,500 locations in 48 states and 4 countries.

Jason Wiener, Founder and Chief Awesome Officer, Hyperdrive
Hyperdrive makes people better drivers via a connected car “game” by improving fuel economy and decreasing drive time. In its current form, Hyperdrive is a website, a mobile app, and an OBD II adapter that connects to any vehicle built after 1996. On first use, the app can improve a drivers fuel economy between 10 to 20%.

Company Update
William Warne, Founder and Partner, 
KidRunner is the world’s only hands/arms free, high performance, multi-terrain kid jogger so parents can keep running the way they’ve always loved to run. In 2017, their product launch sold out. They are following that success by adding partners that will enable KidRunner to scale and grow faster. Their 2018 release is selling fast and will be delivered to a growing team of new customers by the end of May.

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Networking – Drinks and appetizers
6:00 pm to 6:45 pm Company Presentations
6:45 pm to 7:30 pm Keynote Speaker

Cost and Registration
$25 EDCO & OEN Members
$35 Non-Members
Become an EDCO Member here.
Admission includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine, or soda).

Title Sponsors


March 2018 PubTalk Speakers Announced

2018 PubTalk Speakers Announced


BEND, OR (March 7, 2018)Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) has announced the speakers for the next PubTalk on Thursday, March 22, 5 pm at McMenamins in Downtown Bend. Tickets are on sale now and available via Eventbrite here.

EDCO’s Central Oregon PubTalk, held the fourth Thursday of the month, is a happy hour aimed at bringing together different facets of the business community in one place to network, share ideas and further local businesses.

Keynote Speaker
Maggie Hubbell, VP of Operations,; former CEO, Agency Revolution
With over 15 years of executive leadership experience in software startups and entrepreneurial companies, Maggie will take the stage to talk about how just last year she led SaaS company Agency Revolution and a staff of 30 through a successful strategic acquisition. A process she compared to “getting a college degree in 60 days.”

Maggie is currently VP of Operations at, a Portland-based behavioral messaging platform used for automating personalized customer communications with clients like Trello, The Knot, and Codecadamy.

This keynote will focus on the roller coaster of leading a company through an acquisition, the adaptation needed to close a deal, and the ability to embrace the challenges and breakthroughs that inevitably come along the way.

Company Pitches
Ken York, Founder and President,
LifeExec is a life management platform dedicated to ensuring communication between you and your loved ones in any situation. LifeExec securely stores important information and can build private plans that are ready to deploy during significant events like an accident, a death, travel, or having a baby.

Will Harlan, Founder and CEO, SeatDreamzzz
SeatDreamzzz was first conceived after many long and restless flights from San Francisco to London. Realizing the need for a sleep mask that blocked out light and also helped promote a position for deep sleep while in transit, SeatDreamzzz was born.

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm Networking – Drinks and appetizers
6:00 pm to 6:45 pm Company Presentations
6:45 pm to 7:30 pm Keynote Speaker Presentation

Cost and Registration
$25 EDCO & OEN Members
$35 Non-Members
Become an EDCO Member here.
Admission includes appetizers and a free beverage (choice of beer, wine, or soda).

Title Sponsors

2018 PubTalk Title Sponsors


Facebook Data Centers Contribute Nearly $6 Billion in GDP

Facebook Prineville Data Center

Study Finds Domestic Facebook Data Centers Have Contributed Nearly $6 Billion in GDP, Support Thousands of Jobs, and Spur Growth of Clean and Renewable Energy

–  Prineville Data Center has seen an investment of more than $1 billion and has more than
200 full-time workers –

Prineville, Ore. – March 1, 2018 – A new study, conducted by RTI International and released today, found that Facebook’s four operational domestic data centers—located in Prineville, Oregon; Fort Worth, Texas; Altoona, Iowa; and Forest City, N.C.—have contributed $5.8 billion in GDP to the U.S. economy since 2010.

The study, entitled “The Impact of Facebook’s U.S. Data Center Fleet,” also found that the data centers benefit local communities by driving investment in renewable energy and providing impactful grants that support local schools and nonprofits.

From 2010 to 2016, these four data centers spent approximately $4.2 billion, with the largest contributions going to the construction, wholesale trade and real estate sectors. The study also found that, due to Facebook’s commitment to hiring and sourcing materials locally, for every data center job, there are five jobs supported elsewhere in the economy. Additionally, for every $1 million in Facebook’s operations spending, there are 13 jobs supported in the economy.

In Prineville, Facebook has already made a capital investment of over $1 billion in the campus. In December 2017, the company announced construction of two new buildings for an additional investment of hundreds of millions of dollars. This translates into keeping construction crews busy for another four years, plus additional full-time jobs as the data centers come online.

As of September 2017, Facebook’s data center operations in Prineville employed more than 200 people working full time, with approximately 75 percent of these workers living in Prineville/Crook County.

“Facebook’s economic impact in Prineville has been tremendous. The community, led by the city and county, recognized the strategic need to diversify its rural economy via the data center industry,” said Roger Lee, CEO of Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO). “When Facebook broke ground in 2010, unemployment in Crook County was at 17 percent—the highest in the state. Today, it sits at 6.5 percent and continues to edge lower. Facebook and Prineville have found fantastic partners in each other.”

In addition to the data centers’ economic impact, the report also addresses Facebook’s impact around energy conservation and renewable energy. Facebook data centers are among the most advanced energy- and water-efficient facilities in the world, utilizing 38 percent less electricity and 50 percent less water than an average data center.

This commitment has resulted in not only a significant reduction in CO2 emissions and the use of grid-generated electricity and water, but it also has spurred others to invest in renewable-energy resources in the states hosting the data centers. To date, Facebook has brought more than 500 MW of new wind and solar energy to the grid, with more coming online this year.

Facebook’s Prineville Data Center campus was its first wholly owned real estate, and its energy- and water-efficient design provided the template for the company’s subsequent data centers.   It also led Facebook to create the Open Compute Project and to open-source its designs for other companies to use.

Community impact is also detailed in the report and reflects Facebook’s commitment to playing a positive role in the places where it operates. Since 2011, Facebook has awarded more than 290 grants supporting projects that put the power of technology to use for community benefit, help improve education at all levels and encourage the community to participate in local activities.

In Prineville, Facebook has donated almost $1,470,000 to qualified nonprofits and Crook County schools through community action grants and local donations, including the support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.  Almost 25 percent of the grants have gone to Crook County elementary, middle and high schools, for a total $345,000.

Earlier this month, the data center announced the newest Facebook Prineville Local Community Action Grants, giving $204,870 to 20 outstanding Crook County nonprofits and schools supporting short-term, high-impact projects that address critical community needs. The grants included $45,000 to Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) to help fund the construction and upgrading of Prineville’s Lower 66 trail system, creating an easy three-mile trail accessible to strollers, walkers, cyclists and others; $23,000 to the Crook County High School Computer Science/Technology Department for a experiential learning project around disassembling old computers and replacing the outdated components with modern hardware; and $19,900 to Humane Society of the Ochocos to fund design plans for a more modern and efficient facility.

“Crook County High School has received a number of community grants from the Facebook Prineville Data Center over the last six years, enabling many enriching and engaging learning experiences for the students of Crook County High School,” said Michelle Jonas, Principal, Crook County High School.  “We are proud to partner with Facebook to improve the lives of our students, and are very grateful for their support.”

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


The Local’s Story: Laird Superfood

Composite Approach

The Local’s Story: Laird Superfood

Did you miss our Annual Luncheon back in February? We highlighted three local companies who are helping bring jobs to Central Oregon.

Catch a glimpse at how these two Central Oregonian’s lives became much easier after securing careers at the newly headquartered Laird Superfood facility in Sisters.

Thank you to our video partners for making this series possible:

Applications Open for OEDA Executive Director Position

Executive Director (ED) – Oregon Economic Development Association (OEDA)

Acumen Executive Search is a boutique recruiting firm specializing in finding the right person for our client companies. Our clients enjoy increased retention and productivity with lowered expenses due to the quality of candidates and services we provide.

Acumen has partnered with Oregon Economic Development Association (OEDA) for the placement of their newly created position – Executive Director (ED).

About OEDA The Oregon Economic Development Association (OEDA) is seeking a qualified Executive Director who can lead and grow the organization.   OEDA is a statewide non-profit membership organization that works to support its members – the state and local economic development professionals who are on Oregon’s front line in diversifying and expanding the state’s economy.  OEDA believes the success of Oregon’s Economic development is accomplished through its core values of advocacy, education, and collaboration.  More information about OEDA can be found on our website at

OEDA has been newly created by merging the Association of Oregon Redevelopment Agencies (AORA) and Association of Oregon Industries (AOI), both operating now under the OEDA brand.  OEDA is seeking an Executive to manage the day-to-day details of bringing our two organizations together, and who can grow into the Executive Director role ultimately serving as the face of the organization in our larger association over the next three to five years.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for OEDA’s programs, expansion, and execution of its mission. They will initially develop deep knowledge of field, core programs, operations, and business plans.

If you are or prefer:

  • Skilled in implementing the day to day nuts and bolts of an association
  • Able to communicate effectively with Oregon governor, political leaders and CEO’s
  • Focused on expanding membership
  • Co-ordinating and administering board activities
  • Managing the details of merged financials
  • Coordinating and supporting OEDA’s lobbyists
  • Grow OEDA to become the leader in economic development association in Oregon, two year interim 1099 position with potential to evolve to a permanent position thereafter.

OEDA may be for you.

OEDA is looking to add a newly created position – Executive Director (ED).  This position will help develop and implement a new 5-year strategic plan for the merged organizations, helping bridge the urban/rural divide, and help launch a new professional development program in partnership with the professional development committee.

This position is not geographically constrained and the ideal candidate could be located anywhere in Oregon, however proximity to Salem helpful.  The ideal candidate will also have familiarity with Oregon, an interest in public policy, public speaking, and marketing, a strong attention to detail, and be a competent fiscal manager.  Experience in economic development welcome but not required.

In the Executive Director (ED) position, you will be responsible for:

Leadership & Management:

  • Work with Board President to develop and monitor Board meeting agendas and actions relevant to organizational priorities
  • Attend and participate in Board of Directors meeting
  • Maintain, influence and engage with, while continually improving relationships with constituent groups
  • Ensure excellent delivery of programs, program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals
  • Actively engage and energize OEDA members, board members, committees, partnering organizations, and sponsors
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio of each committee; seek and build board involvement with strategic direction
  • Oversee and direct day-to-day office functioning
  • Coordinate leadership and financial management of OEDA’s pay-to-lay teams; Team Oregon and the Urban Renewal Committee
  • Manage Team Oregon activities, including but not limited to coordination of Team Oregon logistics such as outbound travel, billings, and collections
  • Manage Urban Renewal activities such as internal coordination for legislative meetings and soliciting and managing contracted services for work products such as an update to the Best Practices Manual, white papers, etc.

Finances, Fundraising & Communications:

  • Develop a budget proposal in collaboration with the Executive Committee for Board review and approval
  • Oversee and direct financial procedures and practices for the organization in accordance with accepted accounting practices and OEDA policies.  Assist in delivering on commitments made to Sponsors; support existing program operations
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand.  Utilize external presence and relationships to garner new opportunities
  • Champion board fundraising efforts

As the position grows and evolves over time, the Executive Director (ED) will be expected to:

  • Expand the role and responsibilities to focus on organizational sustainability and growth strategies
  • Update and implement the strategic plans
  • Build partnerships, establish and expand positive relationships with Sponsors and political and community leaders
  • Be an external presence that publishes and communicates program results with an emphasis on the successes of OEDA programs

Desired Qualifications

The ED will be thoroughly committed to OEDA’s mission. All candidates should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience.

Specific requirements include:

  • Advanced degree, ideally an MBA, with at least 5 years of people, program, or project management experience; track record of effectively leading an organization or program
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs. Be exemplary in the execution of member support, such as invoicing, communications, website updates, account and budget management, records management, meeting management, etc.
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate and inspire existing board member relationships
  • Marketing and public relations experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed
  • Able to align tactical efforts and annual goals with long-range strategies

If interest in the Executive Director (ED) position, please send the following to  Proposal Requirements Proposals should describe your experience related to the specific responsibilities listed in this Request for Proposal.  Proposals should include the following elements:

  1. An introductory cover letter
  2. Name, background, and experience including client references for similar activities (contact persons, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers)
  3. A statement of qualifications including a complete list of services you can provide
  4. A cost proposal should include assumptions as to number of hours, cost per hour and incidental expenses (e.g. travel) required to carry out the primary responsibilities listed above
  5. A sample of marketing, promotional or conference materials, newsletters or other communications you may have produced which you feel might give ODEA a better understanding of your capabilities

Additionally, please address the following in your submission by describing:

  1. how you might deal with some of the challenges facing ODEA in the future with respect to membership, financial resources, and use of new technologies
  2. your familiarity with economic development, association management and your knowledge of managing a statewide, non-profit organization
  3. your experience creating, or in maintaining membership databases and websites
  4. your unique style of management as it pertains to working with Boards, long-range planning, and your personal style in interacting with members
  5. how you would like to be involved in providing direction to ODEA, how you would provide assistance and support to new members or executives, and how you might get “inactive” members more involved
  6. how you would provide proactive added value and excellent customer service to OEDA
  7. how you would see ODEA’s role in diversifying and expanding the state’s economy over the next five years


If interest in the Executive Director (ED) position, please send your responses to

Past BVC winner Jama Software acquires Portland analytics company Notion

Past Bend Venture Conference winner Jama Software has acquired Notion, a Portland-based analytics company. The entire Notion team will join Jama’s 150 employee team to expand its analytic capabilities. Notion uses multiple data sources to understand business information and team metrics.

Turning business information into actionable data is tricky, and this is where Notion excels. Notion’s technology will become part of the Jama platform. Jama creates software that helps companies produce complex products for industries such as aerospace, automotive, and medical. The acquisition will enable Jama to incorporate analytics into its lifecycle management, customer service tools, and product development best practices.

For more information, read the entire article here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
As the largest angel conference in the West, BVC takes place in beautiful downtown Bend at the historic Tower Theatre, creating a high level of entrepreneurial activity and energy. Throughout the day attendees hear company pitches, break away for lunch to continue high-level networking at nearby restaurants, and take an active role in voting to determine the Early Stage winner.

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 that are already here to grow their operations.

University of Oregon’s Sustainable City Year Kicks Off First Small City Pilot Project in La Pine

La Pine, OR – Jan. 15, 2018) On Friday, January 13, the City of La Pine hosted the official kick-off for the first Small City Pilot Project through the University of Oregon. University of Oregon faculty, La Pine City staff, and representatives from the Ford Family Foundation kicked off the Small City Pilot Project in Oregon’s youngest city. In total, the Pilot Project will complete seven projects in the City of La Pine over the winter term.

Sustainable City Year is a program through the University of Oregon Sustainable Cities Initiative to improve Oregon communities by partnering university students and community leadership and staff. The Sustainable City Year Program gives students the opportunity work hands-on outside the classroom to inspire change in Oregon communities.

Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) has partnered with the City of La Pine to assist with two economic development focused projects in the City of La Pine. EDCO works with the City of La Pine, the Lundquist College of Business, and University of Oregon to better understand the workforce in Central Oregon and the best industry targets for the Finley Butte Industrial Park in La Pine. Both of these projects are designed to help the City of La Pine and EDCO work together to recruit targeted companies to La Pine.

The City of La Pine and EDCO understand that Finley Butte Industrial Park has great assets for economic development, including easy access to a population cresting 100,000, large publicly owned industrial sites, and low-cost power. However, the economic development projects completed through the Sustainable City Year program will help the City of La Pine understand how to use both assets and liabilities of the community to better recruit industry into the city. As the workforce continues to drive location decisions, it is more important now than ever for La Pine and EDCO to understand what skills existing citizens hold and how citizens can apply skills to higher wage, traded sector jobs.

La Pine is the first Small City Pilot Project by a large gap. Before the Sustainable City Year Program came to La Pine, the smallest partner community was the City of Redmond. Thanks to The Ford Family Foundation, La Pine will be the first City of less than 10,000 to partner with the Sustainable City Year Program.

Bend-Redmond Tops Milken Institute’s Best Small Cities List Second Year in a Row


BEND, OR (January 11, 2018) – The Los Angeles-based Milken Institute released their 2017 yearly findings to the Best Performing Small Cities study, affirming for the second year in a row the Bend-Redmond area as number one in the country.

Of the nine key indicators the Milken Institute uses to compile their listings, six of these improved over the Bend-Redmond MSA’s 2016 ranking, showcasing our area’s stellar economic performance. The report noted a diverse set of high-tech industries as continuing to sustain our area’s economic expansion.

“It is rare that a metro claims the #1 position two years in a row,” noted Roger Lee, CEO with Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO). “In 2017, our area topped the nation for GDP growth, experienced the 2nd fastest job growth, and came in 6th for population growth. While the Milken Institute’s report sites EDCO’s role in this ranking, successful economic development is a team endeavor and many organizations and coordinated efforts are to be congratulated.”

Below is an excerpt from the report, which can be found in its entirety here:

“The Bend-Redmond, OR, area remains the top performing small region, held aloft by the second highest job growth among its peers for both 2016 and the five-year period 2011-2016. The region has a high quality of life and easy access to outdoor recreation, drawing in tourists and new residents alike. Demand from these new residents has been contributing to higher housing prices, and the precipitous fall in values experienced during the recession has been more than made up. The presence of the Oregon State University-Cascades campus is helping to create a skilled local workforce, valuable to the diverse local high-tech industry. The collaborative business community tries to foster an entrepreneurial environment and has developed solid support structures for new firms and startups in pursuit of broad-based growth.”

The Water Kefir People’s Probiotic Beverages Available Across Central Oregon

TWKP's different flavors

BEND, OR (December 27, 2017) – Bend-based probiotic drink company The Water Kefir People have partnered with renowned natural foods distributor UNFI to increase their product availability across the Pacific Northwest.

Five flavors of the beverages are currently available in stores around Central Oregon, with locations being added to California and Washington in the New Year. Their product line includes five flavors: Hibiscus Rosehip, Dragon Fruit, Lavender Blueberry, and EDCO’s two favorites Turmeric Ginger and Strawberry Basil. The sodas are all natural, GMO-free, dairy free, organic, and kid-friendly.

A healthy alternative to popular beverages, The Water Kefir People offer positive change to the masses. Most beverages do not offer much nutritional value, let alone beneficial probiotics. The demand for tasty probiotic beverages is growing rapidly and The Water Kefir People look to lead this exciting new category.

The Water Kefir People pitched their company idea to a sold-out audience at the March 2017 PubTalk. Since then, they have been growing their producing and distributing their products throughout the Pacific Northwest. Moving production to Bend has allowed them to grow, while also remaining true to their small batch roots.

So next time you are grocery shopping, pick up a bottle or two. Your body (and taste buds) will thank you.

For more info on the company, visit The Water Kefir People’s website.

And for more information on how EDCO can help your start-up, check out our resource page.