Kathryn Rutledge

How do your colleagues describe you?

When I needed something done right, Kat was the one to do it!

Why do you do what you do?

I know from experience that owning a business can be lonely and terrifying at times. I love being able to provide hope and joy to small business owners and encouragement to entrepreneurs for I believe the entrepreneurial spirit is essential to growing a thriving community!


Kat Rutledge has a decade of experience supporting small business owners, entrepreneurs, innovators and those who want to be. She currently serves as the Associate State Director of the Oregon Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network. Prior to this she served double-duty as the Director of the Klamath Community College SBDC as well as the founding Director of Klamath IDEA, an entrepreneurial ecosystem-system building initiative in rural South-Central Oregon.

Kat holds a bachelor’s degree in Business & Economics from Eastern Oregon University and is an Oregon Certified Economic Developer (OCED). Prior to her public service she spent 15 years as an HR professional in banking and corporate America. She then ventured into owning her own business supporting regional employers with HR and conflict management services. She has taught HR, economics and conflict management at the high school and community college levels and has been a judge for InventOR, a collegiate competition for Oregon innovators. She presently volunteers as a pitch coach for Klamath IDEA and serves on the Craft3 CDE Advisory Board.