PROSPER with us!
Are you ready to PROSPER?
A PROSPER Volunteer may be calling YOU to ask if you could spare an hour of your time to an interview that will allow SOREDI to keep abreast of changes occurring in our local economic climate. It is our goal to continue to address the needs of your business, even as those needs change.
SOREDI's new PROSPER Outreach team will function as a sub-committee of our already existing Business Recruitment & Retention (BRR) Committee. PROSPER Volunteers are SOREDI Members that have committed their time, expertise and energy to helping us increase the effectiveness of our outreach to local businesses.
All interview responses will be kept in strict confidence. Feel free to read our confidentiality agreement. Each member of our team is committed to the health of your business. Please download a copy of the questions that will be asked in the interview.
Take a look at our team below and be prepared for them to be calling you. Of course, if you have any immediate business need, please call the SOREDI office at 541-773-8946 right away!
Meet the PROSPER Team
Director, Admissions and Marketing, Avamere at Medford
Staff Accountant, Kosmatka Donnelly & Co, LLP (KDCO)
John began his career in public accounting in 1987, but it took several hiatus’ in private industry to gain the type of experience John felt was a necessity to advise clients in the public arena. John has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Accounting with a minor in Criminology. John is a Certified Public Accounting candidate and is currently studying to pass the exam. While at KDCO, John has gained invaluable experience working for a variety of clients in different industries and in implementing accounting systems in QuickBooks, Peachtree, ACCPAC and MAS90.
Jeff D. Benham
SVP-Credit Review Manager, Umpqua Bank
Jeff has been in banking for the past 32 years. For the better part of that time he has been involved in commercial lending. Jeff is a native Oregonian spending most of his life in Southern Oregon. He is a graduate of Southern Oregon University, back when it was known as SOC. Jeff has been a resident of Medford since 2002 when he moved his family here to work for Umpqua Bank.
Director, Rogue Valley International Airport – Medford
Bern has been with Jackson County since January of 1994. His career in aviation management started at Salt Lake City International in 1978. He began as a police officer, writing tickets on the curb and worked his way into manager of operations. In 1986 he became the airport director at Tri-City International in Saginaw, Michigan. He grew with that airport for three years. In 1989 he became director of aviation at Lubbock International-Texas. Both Tri-City and Lubbock had record years during his tenure. After four years in Lubbock, Bern opted to join the aviation team in Jackson County. Since taking the position as director with the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, passenger numbers continue to be on the rise with record growth. Air service has increased from two to eight major hubs, and a new $40 terminal project has been completed.
As an Accredited Airport Executive with the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), Bern previously served as President for the Northwest Chapter and was the recipient of the 2005 NWAAAE Airport Executive award.
VP Commercial Banking Team Leader, Sterling Bank
Chris has called himself a Southern Oregon native since moving to the Rogue Valley in 2001. He was drawn to Southern Oregon after working on his family’s ranch in Williams during summers away from College. After transfer and graduation from SOU with a degree in accounting he joined WaMu’s Commercial Banking Division in 2002 where he became trained in all things related to Commercial Banking. He left WaMu in 2004 to join Sterling Bank where he now leads the Commercial Banking Team serving Southern Oregon. Chris has developed many close business relationships over the last 10-years which allow him to partner with his customers offering suggestions and assistance in supporting their business growth and success.
CFS* Financial Advisor, Rogue Federal Credit Union
Gary served on the board of the Oregon Employers Council, and participated on the original steering committee that started the Rogue Valley Business Resource Fair which has been held annually each year since. More recently, Gary served as President and Board Officer of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Rogue Valley. After graduating from Rogue River High School, he obtained his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Southern Oregon University. Gary is currently employed as a CFS* Financial Advisor at Rogue Federal Credit Union. *Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. ("CFS"), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS:are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. The Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.
Broker/Owner, Coldwell Banker Commercial NW
Tom is the current chair of SOREDI’s Business Recruitment & Retention committee and has over 27 years’ experience with commercial real estate. A graduate of the University of California at Davis, Tom has experience in corporate relocation, investment analysis and land acquisition. A licensed principal broker in both California and Oregon, Tom has consistently been a top producer and built loyal client relationships. Tom has two daughters currently living in New York City and Portland, and he lives with his wife of 27 years, Melissa, in the Applegate Valley. He is Board Chairman of Rogue Retreat, and also a certified SCUBA instructor.
Carolyn S. Hill
Chief Executive Officer, Southern Oregon Visitors Association
A native of Portland, with a professional background in writing, Carolyn moved to Southern Oregon in 1989. Prior to joining SOVA in 2003, Carolyn spent five years in program management and marketing at the Medford Chamber of Commerce/VCB; ran a successful marketing and communications consulting business; was part of the original marketing team for the Pacific NW Museum in Ashland; and served as adjunct faculty and assistant director for an NEH-funded program at Southern Oregon University’s Center for Shakespeare Studies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Linfield College; a Masters in Fine & Performing Arts from SOU.
Founder, The Oregon Green Expo
Susan has 20 years of marketing experience in the media, banking, healthcare, technology industries, and marketing for small business, non-profits, and economic development. In the past few years, she has developed a passion for green and sustainable business – including roles as co-founder of the Oregon Green Expo, Marketing Manager for Rogue Valley Clean Energy Works and facilitating green/sustainable economic development and job growth through the Southern Oregon Green Jobs Council. She has been a key organizer in many large events including the Oregon Green Expo, a large technology fair, several large races, and the Silicon Orchard Evening event. She was the co-founder of the Southern Oregon Telecommunications & Technology Council (a non-profit technology group), the Southern Oregon Green Jobs Council and organizer of Rogue Valley Green Drinks - a monthly green business networking opportunity.
Andrea bring an extensive and varied marketing, communications and planning background to the PROSPER team. From manufacturing, finance and real estate to not-for-profit and healthcare, her expertise in developing awareness and building programs is matched only by her love for this community. Andrea and her husband Scott have lived and worked locally for more than 16 years – and they are loving every minute of it. Andrea majored in Marketing and Art History and minored in Journalism. She holds two masters certificates in PR, from Marylhurst University and the Public Relations Society.
Regional Operations Director, SAIF Corporation
David has over 22 years’ experience in workers’ compensation, all with the SAIF Corporation in a variety of roles. He has served on SOREDI’s Business Recruitment & Retention Committee for numerous years. As Regional Operations Director, he works closely with economic development to provide rate comparisons and trend information. David is an avid runner and resides in Medford.
CPA, MT, Office Managing Partner, Moss Adams LLP
Mike has 34 years of experience in public accounting. As a tax specialist, Mike concentrates primarily on business and tax planning for closely held companies and their owners. His areas of expertise include C-corporations, S-corporations, Partnerships/LLCs, and individuals focusing on comprehensive tax planning and compliance. Mike’s industry specialization is with manufacturing and distribution companies. Mike graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration. Mike received his Masters of Taxation from Portland State University. He is a member of the Medford Rotary and currently serves as a Director. He is on the Board of Directors of SOREDI, Sustainable Valley Technology Group, and Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Owner, Greener By Design
A native Oregonian, Heather was raised in Coos Bay, graduated from the University of Oregon, and has lived and worked in Portland, Bend, and, since 2009, Medford. She started Greener By Design in 2003 after 15 years in marketing, design, and construction management. Her focus on sustainability in construction practices led her to become a Sustainable Building Advisor and LEED AP, which allows her to consult for general contractors, architect and building owners. Greener By Design also provides marketing and public relations for businesses that have a strong sustainability mission. In her free time, Heather is a gardener, flyfisher, and seeker of back roads adventures to meet the characters of our diverse NW diverse landscape.
CEO/President, Confident Staffing
Rebecca has been a Human Resource Consultant and Staffing professional for over 25 years. She provides staffing services in many varied industries throughout Oregon and Washington as well as offering Direct Hire and executive placement services nationwide. Rebecca lives on a 40-acre ranch in Rogue River where she raises chickens and gardens in her spare time. She enjoys traveling to Portland, where she spends time developing her clientele throughout the Northwest and enjoys the cultural opportunities that Portland and the rest of our beautiful state offers. Rebecca has an extensive history of Community and Business Service which includes: Oregon Employer Council Board; Society for Human Resource Management; American Red Cross Board, Easter Seals; Direct Marketing Association, Oregon Board of Directors; American Staffing Association.
Owner, Ultra Pure Water, Inc.
Robert moved to Oregon in 1990 and comes from a varied background in farming, landscaping, and blacksmithing. Robert bought Ultra Pure Water in 2007 after being an Ultra Pure delivery driver for four years. Always eager to learn new things, Robert loves to meet other business owners and learn from their experiences as well as share his own.
Workforce Analyst, Oregon Employment Department
Ainorua has an equivalent of Master’s Degree in Economics from Moscow State University (former USSR) and the University of Stockholm in Sweden. She has worked in the field of economics for almost 18 years. In addition, Ainoura was responsible for the Human Resource department in a family business in Colorado.
Since 2001, Ainoura has been employed as a Workforce Analyst (or Employment Economist) for the Oregon State Employment Department (OED) in Medford, serving Jackson and Josephine counties. As a representative of OED’s Economic and Workforce Research Division, she serves local businesses, government entities, media and job seekers. Ainoura’s job is to help customers find and use relevant economic intelligence as a basis for making informed and educated decisions.
Business Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo
Anthony was born and raised in the Rogue Valley. After serving 4 years with the United States Marine Corps in San Diego, he moved to Corvallis to attend Oregon State University to pursue his bachelor’s degree in business. During that time he began working for Wells Fargo as a personal banker. Longing to return to the Rogue Valley and give his kids the same experience he had growing up, he and his family moved back to the beautiful Rogue Valley. He currently lives in Rogue River with his wife and 3 children and is continueing his successful career with Wells Fargo. In addition to serving on SOREDI’s Business Recruitment & Retention committee, he serves as secretary for Junior Achievement.
Director of Direction, InfoStructure
Raised in Ashland, Jeff completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Marketing at Southern Oregon State College (now SOU) in 1994.
Jeff has been involved in numerous business ventures and partnered with two others to purchase InfoStructure in 2003. Based in Talent, InfoStructure is a telephone service provider, offering traditional local & long distance phone service, web conferencing, conference calling, business VoIP and SIP trunking, as well as business and residential Internet services. Jeff invests his personal and company resources in community support efforts as often as possible. Over the years he has donated time and money to projects and organizations such as Boy Scouts of America, Rotary International, CASA, Compassion International, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Crater Foundation, Red Cross, Kids Unlimited, Hearts with a Mission, Mobility Unlimited, Sparrow Clubs and many more. He reports that all of this pales in comparison to his flourishing family that is now 3 kids strong with a fourth on the way. Placing God and family first in life has led to blessings in all his ventures.
President & CEO, Project A
Jim and his company Project A – a custom software, web, e-commerce and mobile solution provider with offices in Ashland and Medford– has been serving local and global customers since 1990. Jim is also president & CEO of Ashland Home Net, the largest internet service provider in Ashland providing high-speed Internet, cable TV and phone service. In addition to hosting Tech Talk, the longest running local TV show in Southern Oregon, Jim is actively involved in the community including past and current board positions with the Asante Foundation, the SOU Foundation, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, and the Ashland Independent Film Festival to name just a few.
President, Medford Fabrication
Bill Thorndike Jr. has been with the family corporation, CSC, Inc., the holding company for Medford Fabrication since 1976, where he was elected President in 1987 and Chairman in 2004. Medford Fabrication offers a diverse range of metals fabrication, assembly, installation and finishing services to multi-national companies across the globe from its headquarters in Medford. In addition to his role as Chairman of Medford Fabrication, Bill serves as a member of numerous boards and commissions in the Rogue Valley and around the State of Oregon. These include current roles as Commissioner and Treasurer, Port of Portland; Vice-President, SOREDI; member of the Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon Community Board; Vice Chair, Asante Health Systems; and Chair, Pacific Retirement Services.
If you would like to join the PROSPER Team, please call or e-mail Colleen Padilla
at the SOREDI Office for more details.Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (SOREDI) >> Expand or Relocate >> PROSPER Initiative