Oregon Business Development Commission

The Oregon Business Development Commission oversees the agency's activities to ensure a coherent, integrated approach to economic development and a continuous policy direction that can transcend changes in executive and legislative leadership.

There are additional boards, councils and commissions associated with the agency and its programs, these include:
Oregon Innovation Council
Oregon Small Business Advisory Council
Oregon Broadband Advisory Council
Infrastructure Finance Authority Board
Oregon Arts Commission
Oregon Cultural Trust

2014 Meeting Schedule

Jan 24
Apr 4
May 23
June 27

July 25
Sept 5
Nov 21

Agendas are available from the resource page and calendar of events as they become available.

Members of the public who wish to comment should contact the department at least one week prior to the meeting so that written comments may be included in the meeting materials.

Erin Flynn

Appointed Sept 2013
Term expires June 2016

Erin FlynnErin Flynn is Associate Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at Portland State University. In this role she aggregates and connects university assets—human capital, research, technology and innovation—with strategic business and civic partners to deliver on the region’s highest priority economic, social and environmental goals.

Over the course of her career, Flynn has excelled as a national strategy and policy consultant, a city government official and a higher education executive. From 2007-2011, she served as Economic and Urban Development Director at the Portland Development Commission. Prior to moving to Portland in 2007, she led a national consulting practice specializing in regional economic and workforce development. Her clients included regional business and civic organizations, state economic and workforce agencies and national and local foundations.

Flynn received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA with honors in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Nkenge Harmon Johnson

Appointed Sept 2013
Term expires June 2016

Nkenge Harmon JohnsonNkenge Harmon Johnson is a small business owner and attorney. She co-founded Harmon Johnson LLC, a full-service law firm assisting Oregon families, businesses and organizations. The firm provides services in civil litigation, criminal defense, crisis management, public affairs strategy and advocacy. Harmon Johnson also owns and operates a commercial property development and management company.

Harmon Johnson has experience in international trade, small business development and government. She has served as the Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative responsible for creating and executing the strategy to communicate the benefits of U.S. trade agreements and enforcement to the public, businesses, manufacturers, farmers, ranchers and labor across the country. Previously, Harmon Johnson worked in both chambers of Congress, including for the U.S. Senate Majority Leader.

Harmon Johnson serves currently on the executive boards of the Oregon Women Lawyers Foundation and the Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association. Along with her husband, attorney Erious Johnson, she regularly volunteers with civic and community organizations near her hometown in Salem.

Harmon Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Florida A & M University, a Master of Business Administration from Trinity University and a Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law.

Win McCormack

Appointed July 2012
Term expires 2016

Win McCormack is the President of McCormack Communications, LLC, which publishes the Tin House literary quarterly and oversees Tin House Books and the Tin House Literary Workshop held annually at Reed College. He is a principal in MediAmerica, Inc., which publishes Oregon Business magazine and Oregon Home magazine, and also produces print publications and an online magazine for Travel Oregon. McCormack also has been a principal in several national magazines, including Art and Auction and Military History Quarterly.

McCormack currently serves on the boards of Oregon Humanities and the Oregon Tourism Commission. He received a B.A. in Political Science from Harvard College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon.

Anne Root

Appointed February 2008, reappointed July 2011
Term expires June 2015

RootAnne Root is the co-owner and general manager of Eden Valley Orchards, an historic orchard property, and EdenVale Winery located in Medford, Oregon. Prior to acquiring Eden Valley Orchards, Root was in the fields of business and real estate management and wireless technology products and services.

Root serves on the Asante Finance Committee, Southern Oregon University Foundation Board of Directors, the Medford Parks Foundation and other various community projects. Anne is a native of Montana having grown up in Wyoming before moving to Southern Oregon to pursue higher education. She is a 1990 cum laude graduate of Southern Oregon University. She specialized in global marketing and competitive strategy as a Rotary Fellowship Scholar in the Master of Commerce program at Wollongong University in Australia.

Gregory Semler

Appointed March 2010, reappointed July 2013
Term expires June 2017

Gregg SemlerGregory Semler is the President and CEO of Lucid Energy, a company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, that harvests power using a turbine that turns inside water pipes. Prior to joining Lucid Energy, Gregg was the co-founder of the first clean technology venture fund in the Northwest. The Portland, Oregon-based Pivotal Investments was the first venture capital firm in the Northwest that focused on delivering superior financial return through investments in companies that would be leaders in the emerging sustainable economy.

Before co-founding Pivotal Investments, Gregg was a clean technology entrepreneur with more than 20 years of chief executive experience at advanced technology companies. His experience includes successfully financing high-growth companies, executive recruitment, management of product development efforts, acquisitions, strategic alliances, OEM partnerships and direct-to-consumer marketing and distribution.

Semler has been operating clean technology companies since 2000. He was president and CEO of ClearEdge Power, a Portland, Oregon-based privately financed company that creates fuel cells for industrial and residential power applications. Before that, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of PolyFuel, a Silicon Valley company creating fuel cells for portable, and consumer electronics applications.

Semler earned a Master of Business Administration from The Amos Tuck School, Dartmouth College and a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in New York.

Fred Warner

Appointed July 2013,
Term expires June 2017

Fred Warner Fred Warner has been the Chairman of the Baker County Board of Commissioners for the past 11 years and is currently a trustee for City County Insurance Services. Prior to his election to the County Commission, Warner operated a large cattle ranch in Baker Valley for 28 years.

Warner's past appointments include service on the Legislative and Board Committees for the Association of Oregon Counties, the Oregon State Commission on Children and Families and the Baker County Economic Development Council.

Junki Yoshida

Appointed February 2008, reappointed March 2011
Term expires 2015

YoshidaJunki Yoshida formed his first company in 1982 selling a "secret recipe" for a teriyaki-based cooking sauce. Since then, Yoshida has established a powerful conglomerate of 17 diverse companies with more than 300 employees under the Yoshida Group umbrella. In 2000, Yoshida sold the name and distribution rights for the Yoshida line of sauces in North America to Heinz USA. Yoshida Food Products became Yoshida Foods International, which continues to produce and package all Yoshida products with a major focus to international growth.

Yoshida is a member of the Children’s Cancer Association, Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature, a trustee of Ronald McDonald House Charities NW and board member of Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation. He has won numerous awards, generously supports an endless list of community and charitable organizations, and travels the globe as an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker.

Senator Betsy Johnson

Appointed November 2005

Senator Betsy JohnsonBetsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) is serving her second term in the Oregon Senate. She joined the Senate after being appointed to fill the District 16 position formerly held by Sen. Joan Dukes. The appointment came as Sen. Johnson began her 3rd term in the Oregon House of Representatives.

A licensed commercial pilot of both fixed and rotor-wing aircraft, she founded Transwestern Helicopters, Inc., in 1978. The helicopter division of the firm was sold in 1993 and the company, now known as Transwestern Aviation, Inc., is managed by her husband, John Helm.

Sen. Johnson has served on numerous local, regional and national boards and commissions, including the Oregon Health Sciences University Foundation, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, the Oregon Public Broadcasting Foundation, the High Desert Museum and is a former Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Sen. Johnson currently serves on a number of regional boards: she was most recently elected as a member of the Board of Visitors, Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. She also serves as the Vice-President of the Samuel S. Johnson Foundation.

Sen. Johnson received her undergraduate degree in History from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and her Law degree from the Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College.

Representative Tobias Read

Appointed January 2011

Senator Betsy JohnsonTobias Read is serving his third term as State Representative during Oregon's 2011 legislative session. He is pleased to represent the residents of House District 27, which comprises parts of Beaverton, southwest Portland and parts of unincorporated Multnomah and Washington counties.

Rep. Read is Co-Chair of the committee on Transportation and Economic Development as well as a member of both the committee on Revenue and Redistricting. In addition to his committee assignments, Rep. Read serves as an ex-officio member of both the Oregon Business Development Commission and the Oregon Innovation Council. He was elected as the House Democratic Whip by his colleagues.

Before becoming a State Representative, Rep. Read worked two terms at the Oregon Capitol as an aide to former Rep. Bryan Johnston. His political experience also includes service in Washington, DC, as an aide to U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers during the Clinton Administration.

For more than a decade, Rep. Read has been working to keep Oregon a great place to live. As a development officer for Willamette University, he built partnerships with business and community leaders to find innovative solutions for strengthening both the community and the University. In his current job as a product developer of kids' footwear for Nike, Rep. Read helps one of Oregon's only Fortune 500 Companies maintain its position as a world leader, bringing jobs and business home to Beaverton.

Top of page