Notes from Colleen’s Desk – Lost and Found

Lost and Found

Notes from Colleen’s Desk:

February 8, 2024

There may be nothing as upending as a lost dog. Particularly when the beloved pet belongs to your granddaughters, is not wearing a collar, is afraid of just about every human being, and may not be particularly street smart. On the upside, I think that over a recent very long seven-day period I may now know every street name in northeast Medford.

I am a self-professed late adopter of technology and am not necessarily a big social media fan, preferring to interface with my fellow sojourners in person, pick up on all those non-verbal cues, and hopefully skip miscommunication. However, there is a time to let go of your nonsensical behavior and pull out all the stops. I opened my Facebook page to shout to the world “missing grand dog, and we are desperate!”

I’ll cut to the chase. A very frightened Harley Quinn was rescued on day seven after six nights out, mostly due to many a friend and a stranger posting her whereabouts, including fabulous snippets from doorbell technology.  More specifically, thank you Maurice at Banner Bank on East McAndrews for rescuing our elusive furry friend and calling animal control.  We arrived with great elation to have found her safe, albeit full of burrs, ticks, and dirt.

I was grateful to have even been there for that moment, having previously been scheduled for foot surgery, which had been canceled that very morning.  It was rescheduled for just 5 days later.

Since I am writing, after a long hiatus, I happily report that I came through what was an extensive foot reconstruction surgery. I am at home and on the mend as I am non-weight bearing for a bit, recovering some of my own lost time while out searching for the now found dog. I am glad to report, too, that I have lost hold of those crutches and have found a great new affection for my “knee rover.”

To be fair to Harley Quinn, she probably thought she was just on a great adventure traversing many miles between southwest and northeast Medford and didn’t know she was lost! I ponder exactly what circuitous route she might have taken to navigate crazy traffic and possibly Interstate 5! Based on what we do know of her whereabouts, she had obstacles, threats, and a few sleepless nights.

We probably all bemoan the times in which we feel like we have lost momentum on something – whether personal or professional. For SOREDI, there are some new acquaintances in our mix who may not know why the agency exists and what we have been up to of late. As I was recently upended by a lost dog, we were all upended a few years ago by world events that caused us to pivot, tackle new things, lose a little momentum on what was our normal routine, lose sleep, and for many indeed, experience great loss.

Despite the business upheaval, and the ongoing struggle at times past to find meaningful timely, and nimble resources to offer the business community, SOREDI has not lost its way and is on mission still after nearly 37 years of service – a One Rogue Valley mission – to help companies launch, relocate, and prosper in Southern Oregon. With great confidence, our north star is still business development.

As we continue to navigate ahead, we are looking forward to our annual State of the Rogue Valley Breakfast, February 29, 7:45 – 11am, at the Rogue Valley Country Club. Scheduled are presentations from an Oregon State economist and national site selector, along with insights from two moderated panels comprised of local business professionals. Register here: 2024 State of the Rogue Valley Breakfast – SOREDI

Local industry partners, in a moderated panel session with SOREDI board member Breanne Eagles of Moss Adams, include Brent Kell of Valley Immediate Care, Dave Morrison of Met One, and Alex and Konny Knecht of Pacific Wall Systems.

SOREDI Secretary/Treasurer Kaycee Miller of Rentec Direct, will moderate a partner panel with Ruth Swain from the RCC SBDC, Sandra Slattery from the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, Heather Stafford from Rogue Workforce Partnership, and Jim Teece of Project A, Inc.

We will also be providing you with a detailed 3-year publication of outcomes for our region, respective to our One Rogue Valley Strategy

Spoiler alert! Here is one snippet from our report that I hope will intrigue you to come and learn more. In the 3-year reporting period, SOREDI processed 19 unique enterprise zone applications for property tax incentives respective to their expected new capital investments and new job creation – both of which are required by the Oregon Legislature. Capital Investment – $120,883,538. Jobs created and retained – 613. Wage Impact -$30,663,486. Total impact – $151,547,024.

SOREDI is not asleep at the wheel. However, as said before, we may have lost some sleep a night or two!

Like me, you may find a new year to be prime time to clean up and purge old records, clothes, habits and more. To my great delight a very special record was found again in my office – the SOREDI type-written 1987-1988 budget – which I had previously tucked away for just the right moment. Wanting to find new strength for our ongoing passion to be wildly serious about business development, I did a quick comparison of revenues, staff, and public support between that first budget and our fiscal year end budget on June 30, 2023.

In June 1988, 47.62% of the agency’s total revenues for its first full year of operations was jurisdictional membership, supporting one staff member and programs with total revenues of $220,500. Compare this to June 2023 when 27.24% of agency revenues were derived from jurisdictional support for five staff members and programs, and total revenues were $784,422.  We started nimbly, added relevant programs and skilled staff over time, and have diversified our revenues to become less dependent on any one source.

SOREDI is in a strong position today to take on some heavy lifts for our region’s economic prosperity. We are seeking to hire a grant coordinator in the next quarter, as well as another business development manager.

We are finding our momentum again. As importantly, the value and impact of your support – both in financial resources and personal engagement – is not lost in the hearts of this nimble and effective agency – and we are thankful.

Find your way to the One Rogue Valley Breakfast event on February 29. We look forward to seeing you and leaping into a brighter regional future together.


Colleen Padilla, Executive Director






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