Outreach to Community

The students in the classes  described on the instruction page (BA 498, BA 464, BA 465, BA 460), with my guidance, have completed more than 90 projects for the local community over the last two years.  These projects have help forge a much stronger bond with the community.  I’m also involved in a number of projects that help local economic development.  The details of all these activities are covered below.

Urban Renewal Advisory Committee (URAC), La Grande, Oregon

I currently serve on the URAC for the city of La Grande, OR. La Grande receives ~$300,000 in urban renewal funds annually to remove blight, promote economic development in the downtown core, and La Grande Business Park. The committee reviews proposals and makes recommendations for the city council (the Agency). Sample projects we have funded include: the expansion of Cinco de Mayo, the bowling alley on Jefferson Avenue, the Landing Hotel, the Pennington project (Odd Fellows Hall renovation), the Liberty Theater, two expansion stage companies in the business park, and many others.

Facilities Study Committee, La Grande School District, La Grande, Oregon

The school district is considering a bond to upgrade several school buildings and facilities. We are considering the use of the Maintenance Building as the home of a new Accelerator for entrepreneurial ventures.     Facility Condition Assessment Report

Economic Development Planning

One of the first projects we completed in BA 498 was for the Union County Economic Development Corporation (UCEDC). We prepared baseline economic data for the county and built a SWOT analysis. At this time I also created a draft economic development model for the county (still evolving). Building on this theme we have done many economic development related projects for the State of Oregon, Union County, the city of La Grande, the city of Union, and many local businesses. Please see the Instruction page for more detail on the projects we have completed for BA 498.

I’ve presented to the Union County Board of Commissioners on the topics of economic development and the Buffalo Peak Golf Course. I’ve participated in coordination meetings, the Business Summit for Economic Development in Union County, and made an economic development presentation for the city Mayors in Union County. I’ve also had the opportunity to attend meetings with the Elgin Lions, and the Island City, City Counsel, with (former) Country Commissioner Jack Howard. Student teams, under my guidance, have explored creating a (dry land) Port in Union County, alternative used for the La Grande Airport, and scenarios for improving the appearance and community value for Buffalo Creek Golf Course, among others.

We are currently working on a strategic planning exercise for the Kids Club. This is a low income child care center operated by Community Connection of Northeast Oregon (non-profit).  This operation has struggled financially and may have to shut-down without our help.  We were asked to work on this project by County Commissioner Matt Scarfo.

Other projects that we have committed to working on include:

There are plenty of other community partners in need that we can serve…

Student Technology Expanded Programs (STEP)

Created and delivered an Internet technology overview 2 years in a row for over 200 students who come to EOU for the STEP conferenceThe focus was on current trends, techniques, and careers in technology.

Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

I created an innovation exercise for FBLA students visiting EOU.  I also conducted an informal seminar for FBLA students at Stanfield High School to discuss business programs at Eastern Oregon University. I’ve served as a judge for the statewide competition held in Portland, OR many years. I have also coached local teams headed off to compete at Nationals.


Please see the Contribution to Institution page for more information on entrepreneurship and the Entrepreneurship Club (eClub).  In addition to the activities of the club we have also created a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Eastern Oregon Ventures (EOV), to help create and nurture the entrepreneurial ecosystem in eastern Oregon.  EOV co-sponsors events with the eClub and has worked with the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) on several grant applications.  The goal is to bring a Center for Entrepreneurship, and related programs, to our region.


Purchased a Christmas wreath from Megan Counsell’s daughter for a 4H fund-raiser. 🙂