Public Announcements


Two Oregon Economic Development Agencies Merge

The Oregon Economic Development Association has absorbed the Association of Oregon Redevelopment Agencies, retaining its name while inheriting new responsibilities.

August 15, 2017

Portland, Oregon – The Oregon Economic Development Association (OEDA), a professional trade organization that supports economic development practitioners in the state, has absorbed the Association of Oregon Redevelopment Agencies (AORA), an organization that supports best practices among the state’s urban renewal agencies. OEDA will continue to function under the same name, and will inherit functions of AORA including professional development, education, litigation, and assisting the League of Oregon Cities.

"I’m thrilled we’ve accomplished the merger between our Association and the Oregon Association of Redevelopment Agencies," said Jon Stark, senior director of Redmond Economic Development Inc and president of OEDA. "It will provide members a broader spectrum and further competencies of the catalytic programs that foster growth in our respective communities and Oregon’s broad based economy."

Thanks to the merger, the two organizations will benefit from more visibility in advocacy, better resource sustainability and development, and will be able to unite under a single executive director, Stark said.

"In reality, the two organizations are more similar than they are different," said Justin Douglas of Prosper Portland and the president of AORA. "Both are committed to ensuring that Oregon municipalities have the tools and resources to invest in projects and initiatives that create jobs and deliver on local priorities." He said the AORA members voted unanimously to merge to OEDA.

"Merging the two organizations will provide greater capacity to the collective organization and will strengthen the value received by our membership," said Stark.

About OEDA: OEDA is a statewide non-profit that champions a balanced, prosperous, and robust Oregon economy. It advocates for economic development strategies that support its members’ organizations. It is recognized as the primary champion for the creation of a balanced, prosperous, and robust Oregon economy.

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2017 Legislative Session Wrap-up

We are pleased to share with you the 2017 OEDA Legislative Session wrap-up from OEDA's government affairs team at Tonkon Torp.

Special thanks to Rocky Dallum at Tonkon Torp for his efforts on behalf of OEDA members all session, as well as OEDA Government Affairs Committee Chair Chad Freeman.

You can read the full session wrap-up here.


OEDA is now accepting entries for the 2017 Excellence in Economic Development Awards




OEDA's Awards of Excellence in Economic Development recognize the state's best economic development programs, projects, partnerships, marketing materials and the year's most influential leader.

Applications for OEDA’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards program are available. The Awards can give:

  1. Credibility to your organization

  2. Recognition of your team's hard work

  3. Greater exposure for your community

Nominate your successful program, partnership, promotional materials, and even an outstanding leader. Take a look at category descriptions, program details and past recipients. Download your entry packet and get started.

Awards will be presented at the 2017 Annual Conference in Lake Oswego, Oregon on October 22-24, 2017.


Upcoming event opportunities

Here are event opportunities that OEDA members may be interested in attending. Click on the links below to learn more.

Rural Development Initiatives will host and convene a community collaborative Business Retention and Expansion Summit, connecting rural communities to share and learn best practices for supporting local businesses. Communities will engage in hands-on-learning by sharing stories and best practices from the field and take away action steps for implementing community-based solutions that support local business development. 

The Workshop will bring in outside economic development experts and speakers geared toward building local capacity and knowledge regarding the following topics:

  • BR&E 101: How to Support Your Community's Greatest Asset, Local Businesses
  • How to Build and Sustain Locally Driven Business Development Activities
  • Discover Strategies and Models for Supporting Small Business Workforce Challenges
  • Learn How to Create and Implement Collaborative Business Development Strategies 

Post-workshop will include follow-up coaching and assistance from RDI through 2017. Download flyer


September 6-7, 2017

Cost: $55

Chemeketa Community College Polk Center
1340 SE Holman Ave
Dallas, OR 97338


Register now


Congratulations to the 2016 Awards of Excellence in Economic & Community Development winners

2016 Awards of Excellence in Economic & Community Development

Efforts by organizations and individuals to create more high-quality jobs, develop more vibrant communities, and generally improve the quality of life in their regions were recognized at the Oregon Economic Development Association’s 2016 Annual Conference held in Sunriver.

Winners of the awards were selected based on innovative programs or practices in their respective categories. Congratulations to this year's award winners: 

  • Business Development Success of the Year: Daimler Trucks North America, EDCO, and the City of Madras

    Pictured: Kaz Kawamoto, Construction Manager at Daimler Trucks North America with Kristin Retherford, OEDA President.


  • Economic Development Leader of the Year: Renate Mengelberg, Economic Development Director for the City of Canby

    Pictured: Renate Mengelberg, City of Canby with Kristin Retherford, OEDA President.

  • Outstanding Marketing and Promotions: Partnership for Economic Development in Douglas County, Run to Roseburg campaign

    Pictured: Wayne Patterson, Run to Roseberg with Kristin Retherford, OEDA President

  • Outstanding Collaborative Partnership: Oregon RAIN

    Pictured: Caroline Cummings, Oregon RAIN with Kristin Retherford, OEDA President

  • Legislator of the Year: Senator Brian Boquist and Representative Caddy McKeown

    Pictured: Senator Brian Boquist, District 12 Dallas with Kristin Retherford, OEDA President

    Pictured: Representative Caddy McKeown, District 9 Coos Bay with Kristin Retherford, OEDA President


2016-17 OEDA Officers & Board Announced

November 2, 2016

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2016 OEDA Annual Conference in Sunriver!

At the 2016 Annual Meeting in Sunriver, the membership of the Oregon Economic Development Association (OEDA) approved the 2016-17 Board of Directors:

• Mary Bosch (Rural Development Initiatives, Inc)
• Jody Christensen (McMinnville Economic Development Partnership)
• Bill Clemens (PacifiCorp)
• Ryan DeGrofft (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation)
• Kevin Greenwood (Port of Newport)
• Leigh Anne Hogue (Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce)
• Melissa Hunting (PGE)
• Shawn Irvine (City of Independence)
• Jamie Jonhk (City of Woodburn)
• Sarah Means (Lane County)
• Jill Miles (Business Oregon)
• Matt Miller (Greater Portland, Inc)
• Tom Nelson (Corvallis Benton County Economic Development)
• Greg O’Sullivan (Klamath County Economic Development Association)
• Kate Porsche (City of Redmond)
• Kristin Retherford (City of Salem)
• Jon Stark (REDI/EDCO)
• Nate Stice (Regional Solutions)
• Connie Stopher (South Coast Development Council)

At its regular Board Meeting following the Annual Conference, the OEDA Board elected the following officers for 2017:

President: Jon Stark (REDI/EDCO)
Vice President: Sarah Means (Lane County)
Treasurer: Kate Porsche (City of Redmond)
Secretary: Matt Miller (Greater Portland, Inc)
Past President: Kristin Retherford (City of Salem)

A full OEDA Board roster, with officers, can be found here.