SOREDI is blessed to have a dynamic 28-member Board of Directors that enthusiastically ensures that SOREDI is efficient and effective in our vision, mission, and activities. As such, they’ve led the charge in the last year to review what we do and why we do it. And after conversations and robust discussion, we solidified our vision: to become the most business friendly region on the west coast.
Staff then devoted a session of brainstorming to unraveling our core values and competencies to come up with our own internal statement of purpose. In other words, we really wanted to know what compels each of us to show up with a smile every day, address each other by our trail names or cartoon characters (yes, we do that!), and heartily go after the next thing, big or small, that helps a budding startup, an existing business, or prospective new company take the next step in their journey.
So what compels us? You. The answer is you. You are the reason SOREDI exists. We strive for a vibrant business community because it will lead to increased vitality and opportunity for you and all the citizens of Southern Oregon.
Collaboration formed this agency 32 years ago. This cohesiveness, shared values, and a spirit of strategic “doing” to help the next business prosper (whether that results in a tidy metric we can quantify or not), keeps us engaged. Every day.
So after throwing many great ideas on a white board, prioritizing them, and even assigning some fun graphic “bugs” to illustrate the agency’s personality – bird dogs, Swiss army knives and rascals, to name just a few – we cracked the nut and came up with something freshly authentic and perhaps, a little unconventional, for our official core values statement:
We are responsive, ridiculously tenacious and resourceful rascals, persistent in taking the next step to advance every private enterprise. Brainstorming session complete. Job done.
But then just as we thought we’d wrapped a tidy bow on our creative and passionate work, Rick Hood, our former Venture Catalyst, captured the essence of our passion succinctly and said “that is just roguediculous.” Pause here. Really, pause!
Roguediculous! It immediately resonated with us and turned into a word that not only described our spirited and wildly serious perspective on business development, but also spoke to the rugged and untamed nature of our outdoor culture. Our official definition:
Roguediculous: Unbelievable, preposterous, excessive positive activity, accomplishment or innovation in the vicinity of the Rogue River (i.e. in Southern Oregon, as defined by Jackson & Josephine Counties).
Its obvious connection to our beautiful location along the Rogue River? It is a marketer’s dream. Not many places in the United States can use the name Rogue like we can!
Moreover “roguediculous” has become our moniker for every amazing, business-friendly, over-the-top action taken in our region beyond our core functions as an economic development agency. Enough to embroider it on hats, stamp it on agendas, and say it like it came directly from Webster himself.
And perfectly, it moves beyond our office walls to also describe you and your passion to tenaciously pursue all that is good for Southern Oregon. It’s not just SOREDI’s personality; it is our regional autograph, our collective stamp and seal of approval on all things that lead us toward becoming the most business friendly region on the west coast.
How about fifteen unique and autonomous jurisdictions coming together in support for a regional vision of Southern Oregon as the most business friendly region on the West Coast? Unheard of. Unprecedented. Roguediculous!
Or the City of Medford asking the state legislature to support a regional economic strategy for, not just themselves, but ALL of Southern Oregon? Unselfish. Big picture. Roguediculous!
Or how about four independent institutions of higher education (RCC, SOU, KCC and OIT) deciding to cooperate in securing grant funding together and facilitating the transfer of student credits more seamlessly? Crazy? Risky? Nope…downright roguediculous!
Are you feeling inspired? Do you see an opportunity to raise the bar? That is roguediculous!
Want a hat? Write me!
(that’s my trail name)
Colleen Padilla, Executive Director