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]
Preston’s early career was spent in sales, marketing, business development and management for Hewlett Packard, Advanced Micro Devices, and Price Waterhouse Management Consulting Services. After that, he made the transition to Silicon Valley startups in such roles as business development, product development and information technology. Today Preston is the CEO of Five Talent Software, a Bend-based company focused on custom websites, mobile apps and custom enterprise application development.
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 is the owner of Sage Coach, Inc. A sage expert in leadership and entrepreneurship, Andrea brings 36 years of business experience to her work. She works with C-level executives, movers and shakers in Human Resources, and all leaders. She is the author of An Entrepreneur's Trail Guide.
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.
S.J. has had a diverse career including co-founding and serving as an executive (Vice-Chairman, CEO, President, Executive Vice President) for several companies in the software, mobile and web services sectors, and in the medical technology diagnostic and treatment sectors. In addition to serving in executive management positions throughout his career he has also served on or currently serves on a number of boards for private, publicly-traded and not-for-profit companies.
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.
Jim started four businesses in Minneapolis, the fourth one growing to 200 employees. He is the author of six books on small business including Small Business for Dummies, one of the nation’s top sellers in its category. He has founded four nonprofits in Bend, including TEDxBend and Opportunity Knocks, and has also completed three nonprofit turnarounds. Jim is currently Board Chair of Humm Kombucha, Boys & Girls Club and Opportunity Knocks and has facilitated hundreds of OK team meetings since OK’s 1996 founding.
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.
Kelsie is a marketing professional with more than 10 years of experience leading growth marketing and brand strategy. She's currently Head of Marketing for the leading SaaS Operations platform for IT teams. Prior to joining Intello, she led in marketing and revenue roles in both B2B and B2C industries.
Lucy is the Director of Professional Services at Agency Revolution.
Carole is the Owner and Operator at La Rosa, an Authentic Mexican Kitchen.
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.
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.
Ali is the owner of Cammelletti Consulting and has been independently consulting with businesses on customer service and sales for over 20 years. The hospitality industry has been her foundation for 30 years with a strong focus on relationship building. Ali offers one on one coaching with leaders, sales teams and guest service teams as well as presentations offering focused topics ranging from trust building to practicing conflict transformation.
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.
I have spent the last 13 years within the banking industry. I started as a teller with Wamu while going to school at U of O for business. Quickly I found that I needed more to keep my career going and moved into a banker position. Since that time I have worked for Wamu, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, and now US Bank in many positions from licensed investment banker to management positions. I now work as a business specialist at US Bank helping businesses find the lending and operational services they need as well as networking within the community to connect businesses to resources that will help them grow and prosper.
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.
I've spent the past 20 years starting and running several small businesses. Some have been flops and some have been successful and through it all, I've learned that I'm addicted to entrepreneurialism! After creating and operating 3 businesses simultaneously for 6 years I finally decided to slow down and I recently sold 1 of them. I'm now focusing my attention on growing my current business, IYN Stands, which is a manufacturing/e-commerce business. I'll also be finishing my last year at Rock Springs Ranch, as I'm in negotiations of selling this business as well.
Having bootstrapped her previous company from the ground up, Stephanie appreciates the challenges that being the CEO, CFO, marketing director and the chief bottle washer can bring. After successfully selling her business in 2018, Stephanie has shifted her focus to mentoring other budding entrepreneurs who seek her experience in systems integration, customer service, sales pipelines and culture creation. With a penchant for small business development, Stephanie is now consulting with other owners looking to launch, grow or sell their companies.
Adam is the Executive Director for the OSU-Cascades Innovation Co-Lab. With over 10 years of experience in startup acceleration, small business development, and technology transfer, Adam is an expert at building initiatives that support innovators, entrepreneurs, funders, and their communities.
Adam earned his juris doctor from Duquesne University and a bachelor's degree from Penn State University.
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.
Lindsey Pate, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Glass House Grown, studied biology at Sonoma State University and was recognized for many contributions as a student leader. Lindsey was awarded a National Science Foundation grant during her undergrad program to study invertebrate endocrinology at the University of Southeast Alaska. After graduating, Lindsey followed her passions as an Outdoor Leader with a focus on at-risk youth in the back country. Since making the transition to cannabis, she has become an active voice in the Oregon cannabis community: meeting with county planners, speaking at legislative public hearings to address the needs of cannabis producers and processors, and participating on the Marijuana Advisory Committee for Deschutes County.
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.
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.
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.
Jen is the owner of Rusk Coaching & Consulting. For more than 30 years, she has helped nonprofit organizations achieve success in the areas of planning, organization development and fundraising. She currently serves on the board of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon.
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.
I founded Peare Media after a career in PR that included booking clients on TV with Barbara Walters, Anderson Cooper and Dr. Oz. My team and I work with celebrity status brands who are ready to leverage their established name and proven success record into profitable online lead generation in the online marketing world.
I mentor and coach Emerging Entrepreneurs and agency owners and transform them into strategic storytellers to unlock new opportunities, scale your impact and own your influence.
BS in Education & Military Science; MS in Logistics Management; Veteran, Business Owner and Director of the Sunriver - La Pine Economic Development for Central Oregon. Married with four daughters (24,19,19,10) and passionate about the power of positive reinforcement in the workplace.
Jen is the owner of Jem Raw Organics