Ian Reid

How do your colleagues describe you?

Curious. Great listener. Loves strategic thinking. Likes handy work. Ian wants to understand how people and things work. He likes to help others and understand how they feel.

Why do you do what you do?

Because I can! I think everyone’s role matters. However big or small we think ourselves. I also love systems. They are omnipresent and impact everyone all the time, which leads me to the butterfly effect. Flap your wings, more things happen than you could ever imagine. Flap them again, who knows what goodness it will bring!

Bio:

Ian has held positions both as an intrapreneur and entrepreneur in various industries. For over a decade, he worked closely with small, medium and larger enterprises both in economic development counseling and guiding entrepreneurs to launch, grow, and transfer their business, and as co-founder of a business processes consulting firm that went from two to twenty-six employees.
He completed a master’s degree in user research and experience to better understand the dynamics of human needs, that he believes ultimately fuels business and the economy.
Filled with curiosity and endless ideas, he launched multiple web businesses, managed teams, and helped in aligning vision and everyday actions for many organizations.

Eric Stromquist

How do your colleagues describe you?

My colleagues describe me as “ethical, practical, even-tempered, and kind”, and most often “a good listener” and “a patient teacher.”

Why do you do what you do?

Taking paths less traveled has led me to some interesting places and pursuits, but of all the things I’ve done, teaching has been my favorite. Owning a small business is more complicated and difficult than people imagine and being able to draw on my academic knowledge and real-life experience to help people be successful is both satisfying and fun.

Bio:

Eric spent over 40 years around the Portland restaurant scene, starting as a server with McCormick & Schmick’s while completing his BS degree at PSU, then becoming director of their retail products division. He co-founded Hot Lips Pizza in 1985, also working as a consultant and instructor at Portland’s SBDC. He joined Western Culinary Institute in 1996 as an instructor, eventually becoming VP of Academic Affairs before co-founding Oregon Culinary Institute in 2006 where he served as President until 2015.

In 2019, after a lifetime in Portland, Eric moved with his wife to Astoria where he is looking forward to engaging with his adopted North Coast community to help small businesses be successful.

Jim Mejias

How do your colleagues describe you?

Jim has great energy and is a wonderful addition to the team.

Why do you do what you do?

I love hearing stories about how someone got their a-ha moment, or how they caught lightning in a bottle for their business. You learn so much and gain a new perspective and appreciation for what it means to strike out on your own. I find assisting in that process very fulfilling!

Bio:

Jim moved to Oregon in 2017 and found his way to the Oregon Coast in early 2021 to join the SBDC as their marketing specialist. He was born and raised in New Jersey (don’t ask him his opinion on pizza) and has a strong background in marketing and social media. With experience in commercial filming, live streaming and tourism marketing; he has a passion for finding a story to tell and always has something to say. Jim volunteers time with both The Dalles Sister Cities Association as well as the Seaside Library Foundation in his spare time.

Rocio Lizarraga Simmons

How do your colleagues describe you?

My colleagues describe me as a passionate Latina who is genuine, outdoorsy, and really cares about the community she lives in.

Why do you do what you do?

I enjoy sharing knowledge and experience with others and have engaged in teaching opportunities all my life. I am excited to help people with how to start, run, or improve their business because that’s what I did for almost 20 years. My husband and I owned and operated Haystack Lodgings for almost 20 years in Cannon Beach and Seaside.

Bio:

Rocío moved to Portland, Oregon in 1993 after graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Universidad del Noroeste in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. She has worked as a translator and interpreter for the last 25 years. Rocío and her husband developed a property management business that grew to own and manage 4 hotels in Cannon Beach and Seaside. Rocío gained her business experience on the job doing everything from front desk, customer service, managing staff, purchasing supplies, developing breakfast menus, etc. In addition to this, Rocío volunteered her time with Consejo Hispano from 2004 to 2020 as a board member and as a volunteer for various programs.

Meyer Freeman

How do your colleagues describe you?

Meyer possesses the wide-ranging skillset, relentless drive and steady disposition necessary to successfully serve the small business owners of Clatsop County.

Why do you do what you do?

I am excited to reconnect and reengage with the community that was so supportive of me and so instrumental in shaping my life and career. I am grateful for the opportunity to support my community in such a vital role.

Bio:

Following a 20-year career in Portland with Sport Oregon, Meyer returned to Clatsop County and joined the SBDC as an Adviser. He grew up in Knappa and has a passion for supporting those who are working to build successful businesses – and by extension, build successful, stable and fulfilling lives. At Sport Oregon, Meyer managed day-to-day operations, including staffing, finances, marketing and core organizational duties. Meyer received his undergraduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1999 and a MBA from Willamette University in 2007. He has served as a member of the Advisory Board of non-profit Playworks Pacific Northwest since 2010.

Hermenegildo Ochoa

How do your colleagues describe you?

Hermes knows what clients are going through. He has a compassionate style that makes it easy for clients and colleagues to work with him.

Why do you do what you do?

Our community grows stronger when everyone has opportunities. The opportunities are there, we just need to connect people to them, and that’s where I can help.

Bio:

Hermenegildo Ochoa has an extensive background in the Business Services industry in Mexico. He spent many years as the owner of an insurance agency and banking and finance, specializing in Capital Access and Financial Reports. He has an extensive background in business, including teaching financial administration and human resources at Tecnologico de Tijuana and Centro de Estudios Cristobal.

Ochoa recently owned his own retail food business serving Clatsop and Pacific (Washington state) counties, giving him a perspective on the importance and need to serve this fast growing demographic. He has a passion for serving the Latino business community, and continues to expand the reach of the Center by his outreach, connections and communication, relying on a customer service model involving flexible scheduling to meet the needs of the client.

Jessica Newhall

How do your colleagues describe you?

My colleagues describe me as “knowledgeable, personable and deeply committed to advancing entrepreneurial success in Clatsop County”

Why do you do what you do?

Entrepreneurs are the engine of our economy particularly here in our rural community.

Bio:

Jessica has more than twenty years of business experience that, when combined with her BS in Business Administration from the University of Colorado, make her uniquely suited to supporting the challenges small business owners encounter every day. Her coaching approach is drawn from experience in overseeing the strategic, financial and day-to-day business operations of a small business. She is dedicated to helping clients overcome barriers and devise solutions for long-term success. She is also an active community leader and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Seaside Chamber of Commerce and the Assistance League of the Columbia Pacific.

Tammy Lambert

How do your colleagues describe you?

“We’re so happy to have Tammy on our team. She has great customer service, and communication is one of her strengths.”

Why do you do what you do?

“Lifelong learning comes in many forms, and education enables clients to become more fully empowered, which will strengthen them, their business and ultimately our economy. That’s what I call a win-win!”

Bio:

“Lifelong learning comes in many forms, and education enables clients to become more fully empowered, which will strengthen them, their business and ultimately our economy. That’s what I call a win-win!”

Kevin Leahy

How do your colleagues describe you?

“Kevin is a very positive person, has high energy and is a tireless advocate for the success of SBDC clients and the business community.”

Why do you do what you do?

“I have had the experience of running a very large business in a corporate environment and also owning my own small business for several years, and feel that the combination of large and small business experience has allowed me to be uniquely qualified to assist businesses of all sizes and complexities.”

Bio:

Kevin has extensive experience in retail, having served 18 years as a senior executive at a national chain with more than 75 stores, as a retail store owner and partner in a national franchise.

Kevin is the Director of the CCC SBDC and has served as Executive Director of the Clatsop County Economic Development Organization (CEDR), a one-stop for local businesses. He also sits on the Cabinet of CCC, representing the education and workforce needs of the business community.