Notes from Colleen’s Desk: Yellow Highlights and Daffodil Delights

I love a good highlighter. And I am overly proud of my set of pastel highlighters which I use every morning when I sit down to journal my thoughts, aspirations, and prayers.   No two colors can be used back-to-back, either. I am kind of particular about that.

But when something really strikes me as important to call out, whether of a personal nature or professional one, I will grab that big bright yellow one. Moreover, I might even underline it. And while yellow is not my favorite color in general (sorry duck fans), it certainly knows how to shine and bring a little cheer, as well.

With the grass greening up, Spring is looking good at my house, and I am plotting the season’s first barbecue.

My bright yellow daffodils are blooming, and I am feeling energized. There is just something about that row of daffodils lining my front flower bed that brings great delight, signals hope, and a bright future. Those daffodils are like yellow highlights in my journal, drawing me to really pay attention – something big is coming, namely Summer!

That big ball of energy in the sky we call the sun, has the same effect on me. You might even catch me singing a rousing but very off-key rendition of “Sunshine on My Shoulders Makes Me Happy” during my 2–3-hour weekly rendezvous with my lawn mower.

Spring also signals that it is time to till the garden, fertilize, and very, very carefully consider how many zucchini plants do you really need to plant. This is especially important if you are a household of just one. You risk peril in becoming a zucchini pusher in the office.

Or you could risk having your wheelbarrow mistakenly thought to be free (and consequently stolen) when you opt instead to fill it with your over-abundant bounty and roll it out to the driveway with a cardboard sign that says “free.”  True story for another time!

This year I am strategically deciding to skip the garden all together in favor of other equally delightful spring and summer adventures. The garden is going to take a hiatus and remain fallow because I am opting out to hike more, camp, and take random road trips. Yep, no surprise here – as you all know I am truly an outsider.  I will be counting on other friends and family to bring me a zucchini now and then. And lots of cherry tomatoes.

Last summer on a hike with my master-gardener sister, amidst a wonderful array of wildflower brilliance, we got to chatting about favorite colors and what flower seemed applicable if we were to choose one as our trail name.  Yes, SOREDI team – you may have a flower office name in your future.

 Turns out that my sister Trooper’s (trail name) favorite color is yellow and while she is certainly drawn to sunflowers, she would not choose that for her flower name. She thinks it is a bit too showy – she’d prefer to show up in a larger bouquet of many beautiful flowers and contribute as part of the gloriously fragrant bunch.

At SOREDI we are also feeling energized as many long-awaited pieces are falling in place to finally to bring hope and new life to the business community ravaged by the September 2020 wildfires. We feel like we have been unduly and quite impatiently sitting on our hands and waiting, and it is probably a fraction of what displaced citizens and business owners must still be feeling. A few weeks ago, we announced our new Disaster Recovery & Resiliency Liaison Terrill Roper.

Today – I am pleased to announce a special partnership with the City of Phoenix. Yes, notice that this point is highlighted!!  While we don’t have every detail coordinated as yet, we are excited to have a place at the Civic Center in Phoenix to land once a week – every Thursday April 15 through June 24. And beyond if necessary. It is a remarkable and timely collaborative effort. We’ll be there to listen to business owners from throughout the south valley share their story so that we can understand the needs and/or constraints to their business recovery and rebuilding effort, identify resources, and make connections.

SOREDI Is wildly serious about business development, rebuilding our vital business community, and the lives associated with each one of those cherished businesses.

However, we won’t be showing up all alone like the showy sunflower; we will be more like that row of yellow daffodils in my flower bed instead, bunched together in full bloom ready to serve together. Our collective aim is to be fragrant bouquet of hope and help every company recover, rebuild, and become even more resilient in the future.

A few of the partners we will collaborate with to do this important business outreach include Energy Trust of Oregon, Pacific Power, Avista Utilities, Business Oregon, United Rotary, Collaborative Publishing Solutions, multiple bank partners, workforce development agencies and more. We’ll have coffee in hand thanks to the generous and energizing spirit of Human Bean and Dutch Bros, so please share this news with every impacted business you know.

Lastly, we are going to indeed gather as family, friends, and fans for our 34th annual “family reunion” meeting, in the spirit of One Rogue Valley, on June 30 at the Blue Heron Park in Phoenix. It will be a picnic in the park with food trucks, stories of resilience and hope, and opportunity to keep looking ahead to sunnier tomorrows and a bright future.

Here’s to all the blooming daffodils and the reminder of better days ahead. We are here to help you map out your yellow highlighted path forward. Please call our offices anytime – (541) 773-8946.


Colleen Padilla, Executive Director

Trail Name: Spur


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