A Few Words from Jim – February 2023

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Where did January go? How is it already February? Lots going on.

1. We now have two paper choices in Jackson County filling the void left by the closure of the Medford Mail Tribune. Read more on Page 38.

2. SOU and Asante are seeing record breaking philanthropy. Embedding a culture in your business of giving back is important to the economic well being of Southern Oregon. Read more on Pages 26 and 34.

3. Base, The Black Alliance and Social Empowerment group I shared with you last February has launched an opportunity page to help Southern Oregon businesses, non profits, commissions and committees seeking diversity in leadership post their openings and direct them toward the Southern Oregon Black Community. Page 5.

4. Ken Trautman, Co-Founder and CEO of People’s Bank announced his retirement and the board (of which I proudly serve on) has named bank president Julia Beattie to succeed him as CEO. This is a story I’ll go deeper on as Ken retires on July 1st, 2023 but how cool is it that the CEO of Southern Oregon’s largest community bank is going to be Julia. I’m so proud of her and excited to see how she leads the bank forward as Ken steps back. Page 21.

5. I noticed on the screen shot of the Grants Pass Daily Courier that is on Page 38 that Grants pass High School has hired it’s first female principal in school history. As proud as I am of the bank and Julia stepping into her new role as CEO, I’m also taken aback about how Women in Leadership roles are still not the norm in all of Southern Oregon. That’s why Dena and I support the Women’s Leadership Conference and encourage you to attend.

6. My friends at Common Block Brewing teased on social the other day that they are expanding 75 miles away from Medford and that the building had a cow on it. I knew exactly where that was and got very excited for them. They are opening this summer a second location in the historic Crater Lake Creamery Building in Klamath Falls, where Klamath Basin Brewing Co. — which closed in November 2021 — served locally-made brews for over 15 years. Plans for the sizable brewpub include 250 guest seats and a 15 barrel (466 gallon) brewing system, similar to operations at the Medford location. Common Block will begin renovating the 7,500 square foot building this winter, and plan to offer the same menu in Klamath Falls with wood oven- fired pizzas, beer-inspired entrees, shareable plates, and kid-friendly fare. And of course, craft beer.

7. The Jackson County Expo is putting on a world class music festival called Rogue Music Fest (RogueMusicFest.com) June 16-17, 2023 with Country Superstars Eric Church and Carrie Underwood as the headliners. 7 more amazing artists will be announced soon. This is a huge undertaking and very exciting. Hotels, Campgrounds, Restaurants and Food Trucks will be slammed with business as over 10,000 festival goers flock to Southern Oregon to enjoy the weekend of entertainment in an intimate setting. Get your tickets today at https://roguemusicfest.com/.


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