McMinnville Economic Development Forum – February 28, 2017

The McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce hosted it’s 2017 Economic Forum on February 28th featuring local economic development expert, Jody Christensen, Executive Director for McMinnville Economic Development Partnership, James LaBar, Regional Solutions Coordinator – Mid-Valley for the State of Oregon, and Pat O’Connor, Regional Economist for the Oregon Employment Department.

Panelists addressed what is happening around the state and gave the behind the scenes numbers, innovative initiatives, and how they will impact Main Street McMinnville. Panelists spoke on how state-wide issues can influence local business decisions and impact future business cycles. A Q&A session followed the panel discussion giving the public the opportunity to ask relevant questions.

Just in case you missed it,  you’ll find it here. Just click on the image and or the link to view. Thank you to KLYC for the coverage. 

Click here for presentation slides.



Linda Hays and Hopscotch Toys for MACC Blab


Linda Hays has owned our local toy store since 2003. She is passionate about community and local economy. She is a voracious learner on the subject of Shopping/Spending Local and has spoken at the annual convention of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, and several local civic organizations about spending locally. She served for six years on the board of her trade association, two as board chair, has served on countless committees, as well as having served on the board of the McMinnville Downtown Association.


McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce members are busy!  They are busy opening and operating businesses in our community that make this such a great place to live.  But they also want to be well informed, yet how do you get away from your work to attend another forum to get all the information there is to know?

A Priority of the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce is to provide Awareness and Education to our members.  And we think that this new platform of Cyber Forums is a great way to do it!

Here you will find past forums that you can watch any time, at your leisure, or even take them on the road with our Sound Cloud podcast channel.  This is a new venture for us, so sometimes there are little glitches, but overall we believe you will both enjoy and be enlightened by the information we bring to you.

As always if you have ideas or feedback about programming we would love to hear it!  Please email with your thoughts.



J.L. Wilson comes with a 16-year history in public affairs and lobbying as past Executive Director of NFIB/Oregon and past Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at Associated Oregon Industries. Wilson has been a full-time lobbyist representing primarily business interests since 2000. Prior to that, he served as Legislative Director for two Speakers of the Oregon House.

How the McMinnville Chamber is connected to PA Counsel and J.L.

For the past 2 years Nathan has served on the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce (OSCC).  As a result of careful strategic planning and direction setting OSCC retained the services of PA Counsel as both a management arm for OSCC and as head lobbyist for the organization.

Working in tandem with Alison Hart, J.L. has been instrumental in identifying key issues that OSCC would weigh in on and follow closely on the Legislative Agenda.  The 2016 short legislative session was the second session with OSCC actively engaged in the capital and in informing the Chamber of Commerce in the state about all the work that needs to be done.

J.L. will cover some of the wins this years, the losses, and why he is passionate about OSCC and the vision for what the future may hold.

Don’t have time to watch the video?  Take us with you on Soundcloud, or listen in on your mobile device!

Dr. Olsen will be discussing the new McMinnville School District Bond, how the Long Range Facilities Task Force came to the decisions on the bond, and what the community should know about this bond.  Some of the questions we will answer: Why not a second high school?  What will the overall impact on property taxes be?  Why doesn’t that state provide funding for facilities?  What type of opposition are you hearing and what is your answer for that?

There is a PowerPoint presentation for the audience to follow along with if you wish to do so.  Unfortunately our program does not allow for screen sharing (yet) but the PowerPoint can be found here.

Facilities Bond

Facilities Bond Presentation

Make sure to visit the McMinnville School District website for information and updates.  There is a Town Hall scheduled for the evening of March 10th.  More information on that meeting can be found here.

I would also love your feedback on what types of programs you would like to have presented in the near future.  Who do you want to hear from, what questions do you have that we can find the answer for you?  Do you want to be interviewed as well?  Please email with your suggestions and queries.

If you have trouble viewing this window, please go to the YouTube channel here.

Jeff Knapp with Visit McMinnville –

Jeff is new to his role but hitting the ground running.  Visit McMinnville has absolutely exploded with a video that, much to Jeff’s surprise, went viral and in just 3 short weeks and has been seen over 107,000 times!

But that isn’t the end of it.  In this interview Jeff describes some of the goals and focuses of Visit McMinnville, how businesses can expect to be impacted by the increased tourism, and what we can do to prepare for that.

The Chamber is excited to pioneer this beta technology with  Think of this like two people having coffee, but you get to listen in to the conversation in a safe and unobtrusive way.

There are a few hiccups with the audio, so if you hear a little crackle or echo do not be concerned, it is not your equipment.  Like I mentioned above, this is new and beta, and we’re giving it our best shot to make sure it is a tool of value to our members.

If you have follow up questions for Jeff about what he talked about here, or to have him present to your organization, you can reach him through Visit McMinnville’s website at

I would also love your feedback on what types of programs you would like to have presented in the near future.  Who do you want to hear from, what questions do you have that we can find the answer for you?  Do you want to be interviewed as well?  Please email with your suggestions and queries.


Click here to read the 2016 Visit McMinnville Business Plan