Tag Archives: Bend

Washington Trust Bank: New to Central Oregon, Not New to Banking

Washington Trust Bank Logo

Bend, Ore., October 14, 2021: EDCO welcomes Washington Trust Bank to Central Oregon. Washington Trust Bank is the largest privately held, full-service commercial bank in the Northwest, serving markets in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. As suggested in their slogan, New to Central Oregon, Not New to Banking, they have been in business since 1902 and remain focused their key values of exceptional service and dedication to the communities they serve.

We sat down with Cory Allen, Senior Vice President – Team Leader Central Oregon, to learn more about Washington Trust Bank, the local team, how they can help businesses and more.

EDCO: Tell us about Washington Trust Bank’s Central Oregon Team

Cory Allen: We have a team of five banking professionals that bring a combined 75 years of experience servicing Central Oregon communities. We’re aiming to increase our team to 12 members, upon moving into our new office location at 1203 NE 3rd street.

EDCO: How can you help businesses and who is your ideal client?

Cory Allen: We can help anyone. No matter the size, complexity of their financial situation, or industry, we are a highly experienced group of banking and financial professionals that thrive by creating unique, customized solutions to meet each of our clients’ individual needs. As an example, Washington Trust has been an exceptional provider of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans throughout the Pacific Northwest, funding over 8,000 loans to local small businesses in need across the region. We’re dedicated to the health and success of the communities we have the privilege of doing business in, and we’re excited to offer our services to Central Oregon.

EDCO: What attracted Washington Trust to Central Oregon and what do you bring to the region?

Cory Allen: We were attracted to Central Oregon for its unique mixture of exceptional growth in a variety of sectors including healthcare, manufacturing, and technology, as well as, the quality of life the region offers.

We offer our full breadth of banking services to the Central Oregon community with our team of experienced bankers. Our goal is to be the premier provider of commercial, mortgage, private and retail banking serving the Central Oregon community.

EDCO: What makes Washington Trust unique?

Cory Allen: At Washington Trust, we pride ourselves on going above and beyond to provide exceptional financial services to our customers. We’re not your typical bank, we take the time to truly understand our customer and their businesses and create customized financial solutions for them. None of our customers are put in a box or pre-set template, we understand everyone’s financial situation and business is different and requires tailored solutions. We’re from the Pacific Northwest and our Central Oregon team is made of exceptional professionals.  We are so proud to work in Central Oregon and we’re dedicated to the success of our clients.

EDCO: Any recent news you’d like us to link to?

Cory Allen: For more information on our PPP lending efforts, I’d encourage businesses to read a Q&A interview of our president, Jack Heath with the Associated Press to learn more about what it means to us as well as Jack’s article in the Spokane Journal of Business to hear about his outlook on our economy.

EDCO: How do you support EDCO and why?

Cory Allen: We’re supporting EDCO because we believe that the success of our economy is determined by the health of our local small businesses. We’re proud to partner with EDCO to help provide the knowledge, resources and counsel necessary to help local businesses chart the best path forward for their future.

EDCO Announces the BVC 2021 Growth Stage Finalists


BEND, OR – October 7, 2021 Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announces the Growth Stage finalists presenting at the 18th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) taking place Thursday, October 21 – Friday, October 22, 2021.

The Bend Venture Conference, the largest Angel conference in the West, is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship, bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders, both virtually and in-person in Bend, Oregon.

Companies in the Growth Stage have previously won investments ranging from $100,000 to $2,500,000. The below companies join the finalists previously announced in the Impact and Early Stage categories.

In alphabetical order, the five Growth Stage finalists are:

  1. DeepSurface (Portland, OR) – A risk-based predictive vulnerability management platform that contextualizes vulnerabilities within a business’s digital infrastructure.
  2. Lora DiCarlo (Bend, OR) – Sex tech products using advanced technology to mimic human touch and movements.
  3. Portl – (Eugene, OR) An innovative tech platform dedicated to empowering creators with equitable tools for monetizing content and building community.
  4. PupPod – (Hood River, OR) – A multispecies gaming platform that provides dogs with software-driven, positive reinforcement games and humans with a powerful tool to be great pet parents.
  5. The Run Experience (Bend, OR) – A daily fitness app with daily audio runs and training programs designed to build a healthy running habit.

Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 18th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 18th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past five years, more than $10 million has been invested in 40 companies as a result of the conference. This year’s conference will take place October 21-22, 2021, gathering entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders. bendvc.com

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. edcoinfo.com


EDCO logo, Mount Bachelor landscape


Data compiled by EDCO Shows Top Public & Private Regional Employers

Bend, Ore. – April 1, 2021 – Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is pleased to announce the 2021 Central Oregon Largest Employers List, complete with breakouts of the top employers in each Central Oregon community. This data, collected by EDCO annually for the past 20 years, is the most comprehensive major employer list in Central Oregon.

This year the top 50 private companies collectively employ nearly 21,000 Central Oregonians, or roughly 21.9% of the region’s 2020 annual average total non-farm employment of 95,790. St. Charles Health System tops the list again, employing over 4,600 people regionwide.

According to the Oregon Employment Department, 77% of Oregon establishments have nine or fewer employees and the average private establishment employed roughly 11 people in 2020.

“Our team is especially appreciative that our private and public employers were willing to provide this information given the events of the past 12 months,” said Roger Lee, CEO of EDCO. “The top employers list provides a perspective of the important role larger organizations play in our economy even as most jobs still come from small, often young businesses.”

When evaluating the region for investment and new or expanded operations, companies often turn to EDCO for information about the existing employment base and largest private employers from both the traded-sector (manufacturers, high technology and professional service companies) and non-traded sector (retail and commercial businesses, education, healthcare, hospitality, construction, etc.). EDCO’s regional list features private (for-profit and non-profit) employers, while those at the community level include both private and public employers.

To view the lists in their entirety, click on the links below:

2021 Central Oregon Largest Employers
2021 Central Oregon Largest Employers – Bend
2021 Central Oregon Largest Employers – Redmond
2021 Central Oregon Largest Employers – Jefferson County
2021 Central Oregon Largest Employers – Crook County
2021 Central Oregon Largest Employers – Sisters
2021 Central Oregon Largest Employers – Sunriver_La Pine


Data for the lists is self-reported and not audited, so are only to be used as an informational guideline. Some businesses chose not to participate in these lists and are therefore excluded.

About 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 www.edcoinfo.com.

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.

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 www.edcoinfo.com.    

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 https://mybbsi.com/. 

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: 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.

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: LeadMethod Immersed in Bend

August 20, 2019 – In 2013 LeadMethod Founder & CEO Justin Johnson moved from Seattle to Bend. Unsure how to immerse himself in the business community, he reached out to EDCO for resources that allowed him to connect with many local leaders, influencers and mentors.

One local resource he connected with was the Bend Venture Conference, and in 2017 LeadMethod walked away from the annual angel investing event with over $485,000 in funding. The winners of the largest Angel Conference in the West kicked their growth into high gear. The money raised from BVC allowed LeadMethod to increase its staff by 50% and move into a new 5,000 square foot office space, giving them both the manpower and room to scale the business while also adding the ability to test new and innovative ideas.

LeadMethod, a creator of the first channel revenue optimization software, allows manufacturers and distributors to get more information on the leads provided throughout the entire sales cycle. With 25% of their customers surpassing $1 billion in revenue, they continue to gain industry trust worldwide while expanding their footprint in Bend.

For more info on LeadMethod, visit: https://leadmethod.com/

Move: Aquaglide Bounces Over to Bend

August 8, 2019 – Last year Aquaglide, one of the world’s premier inflatable water sport product companies, was in the process of being acquired by outdoor industry powerhouse Kent Watersports through Connelly Skis, one of Kent’s iconic brands. EDCO worked with Aquaglide providing location options, cost comparisons and more, to show Kent Watersports the many benefits of relocating Aquaglide to Bend.

After months of back and forth discussions, Kent Watersports was convinced that the move was a financially responsible decision and great for their employees. One year later Aquaglide now operates its headquarters from Central Oregon, with a team of 10 who were hired locally. For Aquaglide, the lifestyle and ability to attract the top-level talent that Central Oregon provides was the defining factor in relocating to Bend.

For more information on Aquaglide and their products, visit their website: https://www.aquaglide.com/