Notes from Colleen’s Desk: Frosting on the Cake

Let’s just eat frosting and sit in the sun.

I could stop right there and that would be enough. At the end of a full week, sometimes, that sounds rather appealing doesn’t it? Especially right now, while we are enjoying such a strong tease of the coming Spring in Southern Oregon. This is a time we relish every year.

It doesn’t matter if the week was full of ups and
downs, or all successes, or perhaps, mostly disappointments.  Let’s put some frosting on whatever may have transpired and celebrate. Tomorrow is a new day.

It’s not our birthday, like it was for my twin grandchildren last month (pictured), nor do we have a specific anniversary or milestone to celebrate. But let’s eat cake anyway …or just the frosting! Let’s relish the small victories.

If you have been tracking with SOREDI over the last several months, you will know that we have been waist deep in the process to create a new roadmap for our region. Engagement with a consultant, beginning well over a year ago, helped us dig deeper and look more broadly than any time before – beyond the scope of the traditional and historical work of SOREDI.

An extensive number of interviews and focus groups, site visits throughout the region, and a data-informed look at our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats culminated last November in the release of our One Rogue Valley strategic plan. That milestone, which also aligned with our expected 5-year update to our Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), is hands down good reason to eat cake and celebrate.

But the harder part is now at hand – implementing the tactics outlined in the strategy to create measurable and pertinent outcomes, one slice at a time.

Last Friday, the One Rogue Valley Coalition (1RVC) – a passionate group of regional partners, businesses, agencies, educators and staff – gathered for its second monthly meeting to prioritize efforts and identify the next steps in each of the 5 initiatives within the CEDS.

Over 40 Southern Oregon advocates, including SOREDI staff, are committed to making our two-county region the most business friendly it can be – one slice (tactic) at a time. The active amount of participation we are experiencing in this effort, is yet another reason to celebrate and eat cake!

Southern Oregon is already a desirable, and amazing place that many engaged citizens and stellar businesses call home. Is there room for improvement? Yes. How can we make it more attractive for new and existing businesses? This is the objective of the One Rogue Valley Coalition – to make measurable, relevant improvements that lead to increased vitality and resilience for the entire region.

Every one of the 1RVC members – including a few elected leaders (Josephine Commissioner Darin Fowler, pictured here, attending our recent SOBC) – have a full plate already and could inarguably declare they just don’t have time to participate. Yet they come ready to engage, ready to do their part to collaborate, and ready to move forward in creating a standout, unified region.

And even when the meeting is over and some of us are simply ready to embrace the weekend, many linger a little longer to continue the conversation, brainstorm yet another idea, and encourage others in their independent endeavors. There is an energy in this group that is exhilarating – like extra frosting on the cake and sunshine on our shoulders!

Our region is blessed with ridiculously tenacious individuals. They are the frosting on the cake. We like to call partners like that Roguediculous!

We are convinced that even when we face a multitude of complex challenges yet to be solved, it’s the people, partnerships, collaboration, and  sense of community that will make our region stand out. And we want to say thank you to every member serving on the One Rogue Valley Coalition. You inspire us anew!

Want to engage in a group like that? There is still room for you – just let us know and we will plug you in appropriate working group. You show up and we will bring the frosted cookies!


Colleen Padilla, Executive Director
(Trailname: Spur)








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