News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Economic development director moving on

Caprielle Lewis, who has served as the Sisters area director for economic development for Central Oregon (EDCO) for the past eight years, has accepted a new position with Business Oregon.

As of October 18, Lewis will be the Central Oregon Regional Development Officer (RDO), replacing Carolyn Meece who recently retired. In her new position, Lewis will work in close partnership with EDCO. She and Regional Finance Officer Thomas Schnell will regularly attend EDCO meetings as representatives of Business Oregon.

“I have built strong relationships throughout the region and the state over the last eight years, and I look forward to continuing to leverage those relationships creating new opportunities for Central Oregon,” Lewis said.

Business Oregon’s mission is investing in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. One primary focus is to support the retention and expansion of existing Oregon businesses particularly within traded sectors, and to assist in fostering a dynamic startup and entrepreneurial environment. They work to recruit companies from outside of Oregon to come here and fill supply chain gaps and grow target industry clusters with emphasis on creating economic growth and employment opportunities in communities.

Lewis, as part of the State’s economic development team, will continue to focus on proactive and substantive partnerships with private, public, and nonprofit organizations like EDCO. According to their website, “This team serves as the front door to a suite of services to identify opportunities and address challenges related to business growth and community development.” RDOs also assist with infrastructure and cultural arts projects.

Lewis will be reporting to Melisa Drugge, who is the regional development manager in charge of all regional officers throughout the State. According to Lewis, Business Oregon works with about 70 different programs whose goal is building a strong, resilient, statewide economic foundation.

For the time being, Lewis will be working remotely in Sisters due to COVID-19 restrictions. There is a state office in Bend that includes the Regional Solutions office, located near the EDCO regional office. She anticipates numerous trips to Salem. Her new position covers Jefferson, Crook, and Deschutes counties as well as the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.


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