Author Archives: Edcoevents

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.


Radian Weapons Announces New Location in Redmond


BEND, OR (November 16, 2017) – Salem-based Radian Weapons recently announced plans to move their production facility and headquarter operations to Redmond, OR. They are currently in the process of hiring multiple positions to round out their new facility, with start dates as early as December.

After searching for years for a new, expanded facility, Radian Weapons chose to relocate to Redmond based on the breadth of workforce, available manufacturing space, and the quality of life the region has to offer – many of the same reasons three-million people vacation in Central Oregon annually.

“Ultimately, Redmond came out as the best place to relocate our operations to,” Joshua Underwood, CEO of Radian Weapons. “Growing up visiting Central Oregon as a kid, it was always a goal to one day live here. After seeing the manufacturing and arms ecosystem that is emerging, we knew we wanted to be a part of it. And being able to hire passionate residents that live our company’s lifestyle was a must.”

Founded in 2009 as AXTS Weapons Systems, Radian Weapons manufactures innovative rifle accessories, including the Raptor charging handle and Talon safety, and now complete high end AR15s. Radian prides itself on delivering innovative products that are made to the highest possible manufacturing standards.

The quality of their manufacturing has attracted buyers from across the globe. This new facility will allow Radian Weapons to expand their production to better meet the demand they’ve had over the last few years. In addition to the jobs that are currently posted on their website, Radian Weapons plan to hire up to twelve new positions in the next twelve months.

“We’re truly excited to have Radian Weapons join our existing mix of companies in this sector,” said Jon Stark, REDI’s Senior Director. “The high quality products they manufacture are well-renowned in their industry and we’re proud to be able to say they’re Made in Redmond.”



Funds Will Support Kids, Families and Economic Opportunities for All

BEND, OR.  (November 15, 2017) – Last week Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) and Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend (BGCB) teamed up to host the Third Annual Civil War Rally & Auction, raising more than $190,000 to support our kids, our families and economic opportunities for all. The event, held at The Riverhouse on the Deschutes, brought business leaders, parents, community members, coaches, players, and alumni together for a night of spirited rivalry and fundraising in support of the two non-profits.

EDCO and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend believe that successful economic development begins with healthy families and kids. The foundation of healthy families is gainful employment. Together, they form a strong partnership that fulfills the promise of a thriving community. BGCB’s youth development programs ensure that the economic opportunities EDCO creates today will be met by the emerging workforce of tomorrow.

With the help of sponsors, volunteers, staff, partners, talent, donors, and 450 attendees, The Riverhouse on the Deschutes was transformed into a football stadium, complete with the energy and excitement of the Civil War game. Event highlights included over 200 live and silent auction items, gourmet tailgating food, referee auctioneers, on-field announcers and sportscasters, field turf and sponsor box seats, Summit High School Pep Band, emcees Meg Sinclair and Evan Dickens, on-field Reporter Shanan Kelley, former University of Oregon Running Backs Coach Gary Campbell, and so much more.

“As we reflect on the Civil War Rally’s third year, we are blown away by the community’s support. There is a level of dedication and energy around this event we rarely see elsewhere,” said Roger Lee, Executive Director for EDCO. “A huge thanks to everyone involved. This is truly a collaborative venture.”

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend are thankful for the generosity of our community and sponsors during the Civil War Rally,” noted Amanda Gow, Executive Director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend. “We are proud to offer safe, supportive, outcome-driven programs to the youth in our community which we would not be able to provide without this incredible event!”

About the Partnership
Successful economic development creates a strong base of middle-class jobs and a diverse, stable economy. It also begins with healthy families and kids who have the support they need to secure careers and pursue their education. Together, Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend (BGCB) form a natural partnership that fulfills this promise of a thriving community.

The BGCB provides parents with quality, affordable youth development programs after school and all summer long so they can go to work confident their kids are in a safe positive and caring environment where they can learn and grow. Boys & Girls Clubs’ academic success and career readiness programs are preparing the next generation for higher education as well as the nation’s workforce. It is a long-term investment and one that ensures the economic opportunities EDCO creates today will be met by the emerging workforce of tomorrow.

About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend (BGCB) seeks to enable and inspire all young people, especially those who need it most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. At their two locations, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend offers youth ages 5-18 life-changing programs, focusing on Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles and Character & Citizenship. For more information, visit

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. For more information, visit

For Press Inquiries:
Elise Rossman
Director of Marketing and Communications, EDCO
541.388.3236 x6

Shawn Manon
Marketing & Stewardship Director, Boys & Girls Club of Bend
541.617.2877 x5




BEND, OR (November 7, 2017)Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) just announced the speakers for the final PubTalk of 2017 on Thursday, November 16, 5 pm at McMenamins in Downtown Bend. Tickets are on sale now and available via Eventbrite here.

EDCO’s Central Oregon PubTalk 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. Where Beers and Business Collide!

Keynote Speaker

Dan Vetras, CEO Kollective Technology

Dan Vetras has over 30 years of experience in business and technology leadership roles. As CEO of Kollective, he oversees day-to-day operations globally and is actively involved in building long-term relationships with their customer base. Prior to joining Kollective, Dan was President and CEO of Visible Technologies, a leader in social media intelligence solutions, where he doubled the overall business and opened European operations. Prior to that, he was President and CEO of Talisma Corporation, President and CEO of Captura Software and he also served IBM as Vice President of worldwide consumer software sales upon its acquisition of Edmark Corporation. He also spent seven years in sales management and business development positions at Lotus Development Corporation/IBM in Philadelphia, London, Boston, and Seattle.

The largest, most successful, global companies in the world trust Kollective’s Smart Peering technology. Their innovative platform makes producing large-scale live-streaming events and software upgrades possible using peer-to-peer technology, cutting bandwidth usage for over  4.5 million users globally.

Company Pitches

Christian Rea, Founder & CEO PixyPics
PixyPics is a website where you can create unique, customizable photo gifts. They’re giving 20% of profits to charities as the first b-corp in the photography industry.

Lindsey Pate, Founder & CEO Glass House Grown
Glass House Grown produce high-quality medical cannabis following strict protocols rooted in scientific method to ensure products are not only safe, but also provide full medical benefits.

Company Update

Shape (previously Steady Budget)’s flexible software platform syncs with data from Google Adwords, BingAds, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads to create solutions for digital marketers.

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

The Bend Venture Conference Awards $1.65 Million To Eight Companies



Eight Companies Across Three Competition Categories Take Home Investments & Cash Prizes


BEND, OR – October 20, 2017 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) hosted the 14th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) to a sold-out crowd at the Tower Theatre in Downtown Bend. Over the past two days, 14 companies presented their ideas to over 600 attendees in hopes of gaining investments from prominent funds. Of those 14 finalists, eight companies walked away with funding totaling $1,650,000 in both investments and cash prizes. Side investment deals are still being finalized.

Over the past four years, the Bend Venture Conference has awarded more than $7,600,000 million to 30 companies, completely reinventing Oregon’s angel and venture investor landscape. This year’s award breakdown is as follows:


Growth Stage Competition

The Growth Stage competition, which included companies that have a proven concept and initial revenues, had five different winners.

  • Winners of BVC, LLC, Investment Awards*:
    • LeadMethod (Bend, OR), creator of the first channel revenue optimization software, was awarded an investment of $110,000+.
    • Handful (Wilsonville, OR), the creators of flattering, versatile lifestyle products for women, was awarded a secondary investment of $100,000.
  • Winners of Business Oregon Awards:
    • Drone Complier (Portland, OR), providing government compliance management solutions to companies in the Drone Industry, was awarded $200,000.
    • Levrum (Corvallis, OR), BVC semi-finalists and creators of a program that more efficiently deploys emergency services, was awarded $175,000.
    • LeadMethod received an additional $150,000.
    • InvestiPro (Bend, OR), creators of a cloud-based, fully-automated workplace investigation platform, was awarded $150,000.
  • Winner of Cascade Angels Fund Investment Award:
    • LeadMethod was awarded an additional $175,000.
  • Winner of an Elevate Capital, Credo Investments & TiE Oregon Award:
    • Handful received an additional $250,000.
  • Winners of Portland Seed Fund Investment Awards:
    • LeadMethod received an additional $50,000.
    • Handful received an additional $50,000.
    • Drone Complier received an additional $25,000.

*The investment arm of the conference, BVC, LLC, awarded the Growth Stage investments following considerable due diligence of each of the five presenting finalists. The investment included $10,000 from Oregon Community Foundation and $25,000 from Oregon Growth Account. Investments are still being finalized, with the final amounts to be announced in the coming months.


Social Impact Competition

The Social Impact competition, which included for-profit companies with an integrated social or environmental mission, had one winner awarded by the Social Impact LLC. This is the third award given by the Social Impact LLC in two years.

  • Winner of Social Impact, LLC, Investment Award*:
    • Green Theme International (Portland, OR), creators of sustainable and water-free textile and fabric finishing techniques, was awarded $110,000+.

*The social impact investment arm of the conference awarded an investment following considerable due diligence of each of the four presenting finalists. This investment included $25,000 from Oregon Growth Account and $15,000 from Craft3. Investments are still being finalized, with the final amount to be announced in the coming months.


Early Stage Competition

  • Winner of the BendBroadband Business Early Stage Competition:
    • BladeRunner Energy (Bend, OR) won the $17,500 BendBroadband Business Early Stage cash award. For this competition, conference attendees voted on the company they believed could benefit the most from the money. BladeRunner Energy creates a micro-hydro technology based on biomimicry that harnesses renewable energy from the natural flow of water.
  • Winner of a Business Oregon Award:
    • BVC Finalist Voilà (Bend, OR) was awarded $85,000. Voilà creates specialty instant coffee sourced from top US roasters, delivered monthly.

Over half of the BVC’s presenting companies received funding. The event’s two big winners receiving the most in funding are LeadMethod, walking away with over $485,000, and Handful receiving $400,000.

“The Bend Venture Conference continues to evolve and advance Central Oregon as a great place for startups and entrepreneurs. The quality of companies that continue to apply and present at BVC is overwhelming,” said Brian Vierra, EDCO’s Venture Catalyst. “Over the past four years, we’ve announced numerous winners – almost all our finalists are ending up with some type of funding or mentoring as a result of the conference. Our goal is to move all these companies towards the next step in their lifecycle.”

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. More than 600 attendees, six funds, 32 prominent investors, and 89 companies participated in 2016’s conference, where nearly $4 million was invested in 10 companies.

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. For more information, visit

2017 Title Sponsors:

BVC Early Stage Award Sponsor: