What would it take for Lane County to boast a world-class small business ecosystem? We are fortunate in Lane County to have an abundance of business resource agencies and organizations. There is almost no roadblock a business could face that doesn’t have someone whose job it is to help them through it. Yet businesses will most often say that the resources they need either don’t exist or can’t be accessed. We can change this narrative.
Lane SBDC Director, Robert Killen, will discuss what is necessary for a robust and resilient small business ecosystem and how Lane County can take a leading role in establishing one and introduce us to Lane Business Link. Lane Business Link is an initiative of Lane Small Business Development Center (SBDC) that brings together resource partners in a searchable database for businesses throughout Lane County. We connect businesses to resources, advisers, funding, and education. We also monitor the business support ecosystem, convene regular summits of the partners, and share educational opportunities and information.
In 2016 a small group of small business support organizations convened to discuss strategies for improving the impact of their collective efforts. One of those strategies grew out of the Business Resource Matrix that had been assembled by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. The group shared the Chamber’s Matrix to improve agency collaboration, and crafted an infographic that served businesses of the Eugene/Springfield metro area.
In 2019 Lane Small Business Development Center, one of the original resource partners, began expanding on the original database for the purpose of providing similar support for businesses throughout Lane County. This website is the result of those collective efforts.
Born in La Grande, OR I grew up in Wallowa until a Junior in HS when we moved to Springfield in 1963. Graduated from Thurston HS, Lane Community College, and the University of Oregon. Served in the US Army Security Agency from Jan 1968 to Oct 1971.
Tresa and I have been married for 46 years. Raised our two Daughters, Maria and Marcia, here in Springfield and are now fortunate to have them and their families (6 grandchildren) also living in Springfield.
My lifetime of work has been in the private sector except for a brief period when I served as a Regional Business Development Officer for Oregon. I have worked in manufacturing, retail, economic development, software contact center management, land use consulting, public relations and communications and others.
Previously served on the Springfield City Council and as Mayor. Have served as State Representative for HD 12 since January 2013. Currently serve as Chair of the House Economic Development Committee, serve on the Natural Resource Committee, the Behavioral Health Committee, Oregon Growth Board, the Road User Fee Task Force, the DMV modernization oversight committee and on the Interoperability Executive Committee. Previously I have served on the Joint Transportation Committee, Joint Student Success Committee, Joint Carbon Reduction Committee, Health Care, Veterans and Emergency Preparedness and many others during my time in the Legislature.
• grew up in rural and urban communities in the Midwest and California before moving to lane County 35 years ago, looking for a more family friendly environment to raise my daughters.
• While a stay-at-home mom, I volunteered regularly in their classrooms, coached their Kidsports teams, and worked part-time in retail while completing my undergraduate education at Lane Community College.
• later, I earned a B.A degree in Management at Northwest Christian (Bushnell) University.
• My husband of 23 years is a Vietnam veteran and retired business owner.
• We have lived in Springfield for 22 years.
• I consider myself a board (of directors) junkie and enjoy road trips, singing along with musicals, and the challenge of different puzzles.
• While developing a 26-year public transportation career from a part-time, union bus operator to my current role as executive director of a rural transit agency in Cottage Grove
o expanded my Involvement as a volunteer
o co-owned a leadership development business
o built strong relationships with city, county and social service agencies through management of projects like
• the UO Duck Shuttles,
• Project Homeless Connect,
• and Western Oregon Women’s Conference.
• As a business leader,
o I have served on several Lane Transit District Advisory Committees;
o the Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce Board and its Tourism and Ambassador Committees;
o Cottage Grove Community Development Corporation;
o Main Street Cottage Grove Board;
o Beds for Freezing Nights Board;
o and Rotary Club of Cottage Grove Club President/Interact Advisor.
o In support of our veterans, I am a Reboot Recovery board member.
• In 2007, Mayor Kitty Piercy presented me with the First Citizens Award for Project Homeless Connect for helping advance the City Council homeless elimination agenda.
• Later in 2014, the Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce recognized I with the First Citizen Award and her agency, South Lane Wheels, was named Business of the Year in 2015.
Springfield City Club will host a forum for the candidates for House District 7. Their biographies at below. At this moment, the Republicans candidate, Cedric Hayden, is deployed as a wildland firefight in Butte county, California, and may not be able to appear. We are attempting to find an appropriate alternative if that remains the case.