Community Success Stories
Port of Cascade Locks Opens New Light-Industrial Park
An $850,000 loan from the Port Revolving Loan Fund helped the Port of Cascade Locks Open the Herman Creek Facility
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In order to advance critical job creation and economic development activities, industrial development must occur without lengthy approval processes through multiple agencies. The 2011 Legislature reviewed the permit processes at state agencies, and is creating an environment where agencies work together to meet a 120-day timeline.
To oversee this process, the Economic Recovery Review Council (ERRC) was created along with two, distinct programs which the council has oversight. The council is made up of agency directors from five state agencies: Business Oregon, Environmental Quality, Land Conservation and Development, State Lands and Transportation. The council also must include a representative from an affected local government if requested.
Chris Harder, Director
Chris Harder is Director of Business Oregon, appointed by Governor Kate Brown in March of 2016. Chris leads the agency in its work to help businesses grow in Oregon and see that economic opportunity is reaching each corner of the state. Prior to that Chris served as economic development director of PDC, Director of Economic Analysis for the North Carolina Department of Commerce and a Senior Budget Analyst in the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management.
Chris has master's degrees in City and Regional Planning and Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Puget Sound.
Dick Pedersen, Director
Dick is the Director of Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality and has been serving in that role since June 2008. Prior to that and beginning in November of 2007, he was DEQ's Acting Director. He started his career with DEQ in September 1996 as Manager of the Environmental Cleanup program. He also was Manager of the DEQ Water Division's Watershed Management Section; Division Administrator for the Land Quality Division; Region Administrator of DEQ's Northwest Region; and Deputy Director.
From 1993 to 1996, Dick was the U.S. Department of the Interior's project manager for a major natural resource damage assessment of a mining area in Northern Idaho. Prior to that, Dick worked 18 years for the state of Montana. His last position there was Manager of the state's Superfund and Natural Rescue Damage programs.
Dick has a Bachelor's degree in Combined Science (Biology and Chemistry) from Carroll College in Helena, Montana.
Jim Rue, Acting Director
Jim Rue is the Acting Director of the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. Prior to joining DLCD in October of 2009, he spent 10 years working to reclaim and remediate the Ross Island complex of islands in Portland, eventually arranging a donation to the city of Portland. Rue is the third generation of his family to own and operate a small farm in Silverton, where he currently resides with his wife. He has a Master of Forest Science and a Master of Business Administration from Yale University.
Mary M. Abrams, Director
Mary has been the Director of the Oregon Department of State Lands since the end of October 2012. Prior to becoming director she served as Country Director for the U.S. Peace Corps from 2006 in Niger, Rwanda and Zambia. From 1999 to 2006, Abrams worked for the Oregon Department of Environmental quality as a senior water quality specialist and as a division administrator. She also held positions as a watershed manager and as the Endangered Species Act coordinator with the city of Portland and as a research faculty member at the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology. Abrams holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in soil science from the University of California, Davis, and graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in agronomy.
Matthew Garrett, Director
Matthew Garrett is the Director of the Oregon Department of Transportation, leading its 4,600 employees and managing its $4.07 billion biennial budget.
Before assuming the directorship in December 2005, Matthew served as Local Government Liaison, Chief of Staff and as the Portland Region manager for ODOT.
Before joining the ODOT staff in 1997, Matthew served on the personal staff of U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield from 1994 to 1997 in both his Washington, D.C., office and as an Oregon field representative.
Matt is a graduate of George Washington University and holds a Bachelor's degree in political science.