The success of Opportunity Knocks is largely attributed to the passionate, knowledgeable and trained volunteers that serve as team Facilitators. As leaders of their teams, they provide their members with a structured agenda with a strategic focus producing action items for each of the team’s members.
Some of the benefits that Opportunity Knocks Facilitators experience include: Taking pride in helping team members flourish in their business undertakings, Gain insight and learn new skills and practices that improve their professional abilities and contribute to the broader community well being by helping team members improve their business functioning, which then has a positive impact and ripple effect community wide.
If you have an interest in learning more about becoming an Opportunity Knocks Facilitator, please contact Michele O’Hara, Executive Director at [email protected]
For the past 14 years, Valerie has overseen the marketing for Brooks Resources, one of the region’s oldest and most respected real estate development companies. In her role as the Director of Marketing, she manages multiple strategic marketing plans and day-to-day tactics including events, campaigns, digital marketing and PR. In addition to volunteering for OK, Valerie is a board member of the Family Access Network Foundation Board and serves as the administrator for Building a Better Bend.
Retired executive with experiences across sales, marketing and general management (CEO), high tech and marketing services industries, three start-up companies and two Fortune 1000 companies, operating from the U.S. and Europe, with frequent travel to Asia. Also have done some sales and marketing consulting, and created and taught a class in the Portland State University graduate program on the use of market research to improve the process of innovation. I am currently active with two non-profits, in addition to my work with Opportunity Knocks.
Caleb is a Principal at Bend Accounting PC, a full service accounting firm in Bend.
Andrea, who is still working in retirement, is the owner of Sage Coach, Inc.. An expert in leadership and entrepreneurship, Andrea brings 41 years of business experience to her work. She works with C-level executives, movers and shakers in Human Resources, entrepreneurs, and all leaders. She is the author of An Entrepreneur's Trail Guide and Play to Your Strengths. She has been a Master Certified Coach since 2003, and loves facilitating her OK1 Team. She is an avid reader, a desert hiker, and an amateur watercolor artist.
Linden Gross is a bestselling writer, successful writing coach and blog coach, and the founder of the One Stop Writing Shop. Drawing on her editing and writing background, as well as her experience with and love for teaching, she helps make her clients' messages and writing sound like them—only better. Tapping into her love of travel and background as a national journalist and travel writer, Linden is also the driving force behind Oregon LocalGetaways, where people can find great deals on drive-to destinations.
Georell Bracelin helps businesses brand, plan, market and promote. A Central Oregonian for nearly 20 years, she is the owner and marketing strategist behind Gb2 Agency, a full-service advertising agency. Georell has worked over the years with many small and large Central Oregon businesses and has launched several businesses along the way, including a successful snowboard brand for female riders. Currently, she calls on these years of experience and adventure to help her put together irresistible and creative marketing strategies and campaigns for her clients.
Sonja Donohue is the Executive Director of The Center Foundation. She is an expert in delivering results in sales and marketing through relationship building and proven marketing strategies. Her specialties include: ustomer service, strategic planning, team building, communication and interpersonal skills.
Guy Vernon is an advisor at Vernon Property Management and the owner of Vernon Construction. He has been in business for over 30 years and is a longtime member of Opportunity Knocks.
Lucy is the Director of Professional Services at Agency Revolution.
Carole is the Owner and Operator at La Rosa, an Authentic Mexican Kitchen.
April holds an M.A. in Applied Anthropology with an emphasis in Visual Anthropology. Over the last 15 years, April's work has taken her across the world and close to home in marketing companies and social service agencies. April's passion is to help companies and organizations define and capture their uniqueness, to reach their audience and stand out from competitors. April owns O'Meara Photography.
I have been involved with Opportunity Knocks for 20 years and an account executive at Centro for 18 years. Being involved in supporting Central Oregon businesses and not for profit organizations has created so many amazing, collaborative relationships. I am honored to co-facilitate OK 9 and serve a very dynamic team of young, bright and achieving entrepreneurs!
I am a partner in Eclipse Engineering and the Branch Manager of the Bend, Oregon office. I am a licensed civil engineer and licensed structural engineer in the State of Oregon and have an engineering license in 41 US states, DC, and Guam.
Erin is the Membership and Events Manager at EDCO, Economic Development for Central Oregon.
For the past 50 years, Ron Ford has been leading businesses, technical teams, organizations and individuals in accomplishing significant missions. His experience includes senior management positions with a Fortune 50 company, President and CEO of three high technology small businesses and a distinguished 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force where he was a command pilot and attained the rank of Colonel. During his Air Force career he accumulated over 2700 hours of flying time including over 200 combat missions in Vietnam. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Central Oregon Veterans Ranch (COVR), and as Director of Research and Development for the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center. He has served as a teacher, facilitator and counselor to over 250 veteran couples suffering from PTSD, and is a certified by FranklinCovey as a facilitator of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Principled Centered Leadership.
Ron holds a Master of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Rob Little founded Cairn in the spring of 2014, combining his passion for the outdoors and his interest in changing the way that brands and consumers interact in the industry. As an MBA student at the Wharton School of Business, Rob studied creative retail applications in other industries and brought to life in Cairn the elements that he thought were most relevant for the outdoor market. Prior to launching Cairn, Rob worked as an operations engineer for Lockheed Martin in their Space Systems and Aerospace divisions. Rob is a former Peace Corps Volunteer, having spent over two years building infrastructure projects in Latin America. Rob has a bachelor's degree in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College. During his occasional breaks from Cairn, Rob can be found backpacking, skiing, biking, and paddle boarding with friends, his wife Betsey, their two daughters, and their Cairn terrier, Rocco.
Todd Laurence is a sales leader in the technology industry, and an Adjunct Instructor for general business classes at OSU Cascades in Bend. He has sold complex enterprise solutions and built sales teams globally for two decades. His industry expertise spans open source software, large scale analytics, cloud infrastructure, robotics, artificial intelligence, supply chain/manufacturing, and even food/ag tech. Todd's sales leadership includes roles at both global technology giants and early stage hardware/software startups, two of which achieved successful IPOs. He has deep expertise in Latin America, where he has closed business deals and delivered keynotes in fluent Spanish at conferences throughout the region. Todd also manages a small family foundation dedicated to "venture philanthropy”, whose mission is to provide seed grants and mentoring to promising early stage non-profit organizations. Todd received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Princeton University, and earned an MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA. He is an avid runner, alpine skier and outdoor enthusiast.
Sarah Pool is the Co-Founder & CEO of Take Two Foods. Prior to Take Two, Sarah was the Founder & CEO of Pacific Superfood Snacks, which successfully exited to Made In Nature in 2014. She has won awards such as Entrepreneur of the Year and Top Women Run B Corps, and has spoken at events and to organizations across the country, including TEDx, World MUSE, and the National Honor Society. Sarah is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley (M.A., B.A.). where she was also Captain of the Women's Basketball team.
Suzanne has more than 20 years of experience working with some of the world’s biggest brands. She’s worked extensively in healthcare, high-tech and consumer industries. Her career extended ultimately to consumer products where she honed her skills in brand storytelling, competitive positioning, and content strategy as a regular partner with Nike Brand North America and Nike's various brands such as Jordan. She's a copywriter by trade and, in her downtime, an adjunct professor for local colleges, including COCC. She owns Bell Marketing Group (BMG), a full-service marketing and branding agency with core competencies in marketing and branding strategy, creative copywriting, public relations and digital content.
Josh Bostock has 16 years in banking with a passion for helping small businesses grow and succeed. He currently works as a Business Specialist with US Bank helping educate and advise companies on their financial needs as well as connecting them to the extensive resources within the Central Oregon community.
A self taught technologist, focusing on the integration of technology and software in the workplace and daily life. I started acKnowledge Security & IT to begin building the much needed bridges between technology and reality. My goals are to facilitate the acceptance of technology and empower users in applying it to the modern day business or life. Above and beyond - my aim is to provide exceptional support & guidance; bringing technology in - to work for YOU!
With over 30 years building outdoor brands, Gary’s entrepreneurial career began in the emerging snowboard industry, and was augmented by work and collaboration with companies including Helly Hansen, Sessions, Nike, KIALOA, Homeschool Snowboarding and more. In 2014, he founded Bend Outdoor Worx (BOW), the first independent outdoor accelerator in the US, to help mentor and grow early and growth stage outdoor companies, and has become known as a community leader and advocate for the outdoor industry. A serial entrepreneur, Gary is also a founding partner in Tokyo Starfish, a vertically integrated cannabis business with production, wholesale and four Oregon retail locations. He was a founding member of the Oregon Outdoor Alliance (OOA), as well as Cascade Cannabis Association (CCA), a cannabis industry organization for Deschutes County. He is also a board member of the Oregon Entrepreneurial Network. representing Central Oregon in both outdoor and cannabis industries through business collaboration and political representation.
Justin is the Owner & Strategist at Citizen+Co., a brand identity and strategy consultancy. They guide brands through the process of deeper self discovery, inspiring the creation of more compelling and socially-impactful brands and cultures. They are on a mission to build brands that are good for society – the kind that value people, progress, and purpose above all else. In a world dominated by brands that only want to sell, they urge brands to have a higher mission. To be less a like a company and more like a cause.
Outside of work, Justin loves spending time with his wife and two children, and also facilitates public conversations about de-centering Whiteness and dismantling systemic racism through awareness, introspection, and policy support.
Meg Chun is the co-founder and current President of Bend Surf. Prior to launching Bend Surf in 2021, Meg was the CEO and co-founder of KIALOA Paddles where she held a myriad of leadership positions for over 20 years. At the end of 2018 she led the team successfully led the team through the sale of KIALOA Paddles to Werner Paddles.
Prior to living the life of a business owner, Meg spent the first 15 years of her career as a Special Education teacher. Today she blends the skills she acquired as a teacher with her business experience and also spends time consulting, coaching and mentoring others.
Meg is a member of the U.S. Bank Advisory Board, a legacy board member of the Oregon Outdoor Alliance, a board Member of Terra Frma and a co-facilitator of an Opportunity Knocks business group. She is a coach and an active racing member of Bend Oregon Outrigger Canoe Club.
Meg works and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband Dave where she shares her passion for paddling and enjoys the many outdoor activities that Central Oregon has to offer.
As CEO of Kollective I am actively involved in understanding the needs of our global customer base, building a world-class team, and driving an agile and innovative culture. I have 30 years of successful experience in business and technology leadership including three previous CEO stints at Visible Technologies, Talisma, and Captura as well as executive Sales positions at IBM and Lotus.
Having grown up in the Northwest, I was grateful to eventually make my way to Bend, OR approximately fourteen years ago to not only raise a family with my better half, but to co-found a software company, Manzama, here in Central Oregon. My wife and I enjoy enjoy all the great things Bend, Oregon has to offer as well as raising our two kids and two dogs in this great community. I exercise my passion for coaching as part of the staff for the Freshmen Football Team at Summit Highschool and by providing sand volleyball clinics for middle school kids.
I work for La Pine Park and Recreation District as the adult programs director and the facilities director. I have spent the majority of my career in marketing and organizational development, both in the private and nonprofit sectors. Additionally, I have been a pastor for more than 20 years.
Even though I'm a licensed engineer and I no longer participate directly in the construction industry, I take pride in the title of "builder" more than any other. In school I learned the fundamentals of building; in my first job I was a part of teams that built over $2.7B of industrial and commercial projects; and now I invest my time in building a team to deliver value to our local business clients and our community.
Marisa is the Communications Director for the Deschutes River Conservancy and a professional photographer specializing in portraits and events Marisa has a Bachelor’s of Arts in French Literature from the University of Oregon which has allowed her to travel the world teaching language and taking pictures. Marisa is passionate about community, connection, creativity and collaboration.
I am principal of Ruth Williamson Consulting. I have lived in Bend for 25+ years and have a deep affection for this landscape, and for this community. I have worked closely alongside civic and non-profit agencies with a passion for collaboration and connection. Additionally, I have served in elected leadership and volunteered on numerous boards. I have a 'crush' on Bend, Oregon.
Brenda Speirs is the Queen Bee at Buzztag, a boutique corporate gift and brand merchandising agency with big-firm capabilities. Most days you’ll find her searching tirelessly for standout promotional products that tell her clients’ brand stories. Because to Brenda, it’s not just about slapping logos on stuff. It’s about how people feel when they receive a branded item. It’s about providing customers with a new favorite coffee mug that will hold their morning fuel or an unbelievably comfy hoodie that they wear around the house every single weekend. It’s about making people say “I love this.”
Chris Kratsch is the founder of The Robert Axle Project. A bicycle component and accessory manufacturer producing solutions which inspire travelers, families and commuters to use their modern bikes for local adventures or trips around the world. His background is in account management, forecasting and sales experience in the outdoor industry with Metolius Climbing additional experience in manufacturing while at Outback Manufacturing.
LeeAnn is a recovering corporate attorney and founding partner of Allyship in Action. She has served Central Oregon as the family law facilitator for the Deschutes County Circuit Court and was an active member of the state’s Family Law Advisory Committee’s sub-committees on court education and domestic violence. She also provided services to Central Oregon as the bilingual Spanish-English legal advocate for Saving Grace, where she led efforts to expand outreach and access for marginalized communities and provided anti-oppression trainings for domestic violence advocates across the state and region. LeeAnn earned her B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University, her M.A. in International Development from American University School of International Service, and her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law. She was a founding editor of The Modern American, a publication dedicated to diversity and the law, and is a certified anti-racism trainer.
Simply an artist at heart, Melissa loves the outdoors and finds inspiration in the raw beauty of nature. She grew up in the wild Alaskan wilderness and holds a special place in her heart for all things untamed. She is most passionate about the creative arts, cultivating community and helping others -- so she built a business around it. At Inspired Melissa, she gets to work with inspired professionals whose businesses are fueled by a passion to serve. Her services include launching new businesses, branding, graphic design, website development, and project management. Melissa also manages the Northwest Crossing Saturday Farmers Market, she sits on the Board of Directors for Bend ConnectW, and she leads local women's groups.
I am the co-founder of The Haven, School Board Partners (www.schoolboardpartners.org), Cascade Relays, the Cascade Relays Foundation (www.cascaderelays.com), and Strengthening Central Oregon PAC (www.scopac.net). I am also the Chair of the Bend La Pine School Board, and on the Board of TEDxBend (www.tedxbend.com) and Oregon RAIN (www.oregonrain.org). I was born and raised in Bend and am deeply committed to ensuring our community is inclusive, innovative, sustainable and vibrant. I am mother to two beautiful little girls and wife to my best friend, Scott Douglass.
Kecia has been the Executive Director of Camp Fire Central Oregon since 2013. Previously she was in the business sector for 20+ years managing small businesses in the investment and photography industries. She is enjoying applying her business expertise to breathe new life into the organization and revitalize and grow its programs and outreach in the community.
Scott is a member of International Managerial Accountants, International Business Brokers Association and is currently a Certified Managerial Accountant candidate. He has experience in domestic, international, public and private companies in the manufacturing, medical, tech, retail, education, service and nonprofit sectors. At ProCFO, Scott serves in CFO roles, accounting, business acquisitions and consulting. He has also founded, been on boards of directors, invested in and been an advisor of a number of companies.
I work with organizations that need a Chief Operating Officer but can't afford an experienced candidate full time. I provide a fractional model where I work with 2 - 3 businesses at any given time, serving as a part-time Chief Operating Officer who can help them with strategic planning, leadership, staff development, project management, and much more. In short, I drive execution for key initiatives and priorities to move the needle and to help organizations transform from striving to thriving!
Driven marketing and public relations specialist with an analytical mind and 10+ years of experience in live events, Broadway and concerts. Success in selling events with audiences ranging from 40 to 40,000, using traditional and non-traditional mediums. Experience with both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Currently focusing on bringing jobs to Central Oregon through EDCO. Loves Bend, hiking, biking, and the outdoors!
Julie N. Lyche has lived and worked in Central Oregon for more than 20 years and has been the Executive Director of the Family Access Network (FAN) since 2003. She has worked with community agencies for over 25 years as a funder and agency provider, focusing on issues involving children and families.
Dominic has a 20+ year career in helping brands with development and execution of Product, Packaging, Brand and Marketing strategies. The results of his work have engaged new target customers, increased market share and driven product innovation for large CPG, Direct Market and Start-up companies. In addition, Dominic has 16 years of experience with Harry & David where he was responsible for all Product Development and Branding for 3 national brands, 3 e-commerce platforms and 250 retail stores as well as wholesale and B2B sales channels. Dominic manages his own consulting and project services company (DeMaria Consulting) where he collaborates and integrates into organizations, solves problems and helps companies grow and achieve their goals.
Jen is the owner of Jem Raw Organics