Industry and Economic Development - A panel session addressing future workforce needs, skills gaps and the potential for business growth opportunities in the gorge.

Education and Workforce Training - A panel session on how the P-20 education system, including our workforce partners from Washington and Oregon can identify ways that education and industry can be better connected to prepare a qualified workforce in the gorge.

Industry and Economic Development Panel

Jeff Nicol - Panel Moderator

Jeff is the regional director for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Columbia Gorge Community College. A resident of Hood River since 2006, Nicol has become highly engaged with the Columbia Gorge business and tech communities. With academic degrees in business administration and economics, his background includes rich professional and entrepreneurial experiences, everything from working in the Silicon Valley high-tech sector to starting his own Oregon-based data protection consultancy, serving as chief financial officer to a Bingen-based manufacturer, facilitating a Stevenson-based software startup, and volunteering for countless local charitable, government and professional organizations.

Jeff Nicol is Regional Small Business Development Center Director. Nicol has also served on the Hood River Planning Commission, Hood River City Council, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District and Gorge Chapter of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network.




Girish Ganjyal, Ph.D., MBA

Dr. Girish Ganjyal is a faculty in the School of Food Science at the Washington State University (WSU). Girish received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in Food Processing. After graduating from UNL, he worked as a Principal Scientist at MGP Ingredients, Inc. in the areas of protein and starch modifications and extrusion processing. Later he worked at PepsiCo in their Advanced Research Team on extrusion and frying processes, before joining WSU. Girish has over 9 years of industry experience in food ingredients, process technologies and food product development. Girish currently offers extension and research services for food companies of all sizes and types through the WSU Food Processing extension and research programs. Girish is based in Pullman, WA.






Ed Freysinger

As chief executive for Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, Ed Freysinger leads health care services throughout the Columbia Gorge. With his diverse skills, ranging from hospital administration to human resources to physician practice management, Ed draw’s in community partners. Together, they help provide high quality services that are both accessible and more affordable to people they serve. In the midst of both state and federal health care reform, Ed’s experience will help Providence’s Columbia Gorge services adapt to changes required and become and even stronger health care provider.

A native of Michigan, Ed received a master’s degree in health service administration from the University of Michigan. He enjoys small community hospitals that allow you to be close to the patients and play a significant role in the overall health and development of the community.

Ed joined Providence in 2007, initially as a leader in human resources and then utilizing his experience to lead the affiliation and integration between Providence and Willamette Falls Medical Center in Oregon City, Ore. The child of a hospital administrator; in April 2011 Ed began his current role as chief executive officer for the Providence Columbia Gorge Service Area. Services provided include long term care, hospital, clinics (primary care and specialty), hospice and senior living and care.

Ed is a visible leader, engaging staff at all levels. He uses the information he gathers from personal interactions and 360-degree feedback and surveys to make adjustments to his management style and approach. He has extensive experience partnering with physicians and values the key role they play in the delivery of services and overall improvement of the health of the community. Ed engages physicians and medical staff in early dialogue concerning direction and guidance of services, programs and quality of health care in the community. Ed leads by establishing a respectful team environment where the team members focus on their role in the achieving aligned goals. He sees his role as the leader to establish a collective vision and embody the values of the organization, so the team can be successful.

Ed is married and has two daughters. His wife, Debbie, is a certified nurse anesthetist at Oregon Health and Science University.

Charlie Guthrie

Mr. Guthrie reports directly to the Insitu CEO. As the CTO, Charlie is the overall focal point for new technology at Insitu and provides technology development and sourcing coordination with Insitu’s Programs activities and Engineering operations. Mr. Guthrie has in-depth experience and responsibility in the business management, technical leadership, and new business development of numerous advanced weapon system projects both directly and through project managers and personnel reporting to him. These programs include a matrix of efforts ranging from basic system technology implementation, through aerospace vehicle conceptual design and preliminary design of integrated weapon systems, to hardware implementation, and flight test of research and development experiments. Mr. Guthrie has design experience across a broad range of air vehicle types, including most types of military aircraft, missiles, and space vehicles (e.g. fighters, bombers, UAVs, ISR, transport, commercial mod, missiles, cruise weapons, hypersonic vehicles, reentry vehicles, etc.) Mr. Guthrie has extensive experience in the classified areas of signature control. Mr. Guthrie has significant experience in evaluation and projection of foreign technologies, capabilities, designs, and operational systems.

Mr. Guthrie has served as a member of the National Academies Research Council on several studies including, the "Future Air Force Needs for Survivability: Stealth and Speed", and the NASA sponsored "Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics: Foundation for the Future".

Mr. Guthrie received his BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas, and in 2009 was inducted into the 'Aerospace Engineering Alumni Honor Role'.

Mr. Guthrie was honored as a Boeing Tech Fellow In 1997. Mr. Guthrie was honored as a North American Aircraft Engineer of the Month in 1987 and a Rockwell Engineer of the Year in 1988. He was selected by the Los Angeles Chapter, National Management Association (NMA) as North American Aircraft’s Manager of the Year in 1993 and the Southern California Area Council NMA Manager of the Year in 1994.

Mr. Guthrie has served as an Industry Board Advisor to the Aeronautical Engineering Department at the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo School of Engineering. Mr. Guthrie also has supported several universities with their graduate and undergraduate aerospace engineering programs including; University of Kansas, Naval Post Graduate School, and Cal State Long Beach.

Mr. Guthrie, along with his wife Cheryl, has started a small boutique winery in Washington State. Mr. Guthrie is a motorcycle enthusiast, and an avid civilian pilot and aircraft owner with over 3000 flight hours. He has refurbished both a 1940 WACO UPF-7 biplane and Bellanca Decathlon. Mr. Guthrie is a motor racing enthusiast, has supported the successful capture of numerous world speed records at Bonneville, and personally held several class records at El Mirage and Muroc Dry Lakes.

Amanda Hoey

Amanda Hoey is the Executive Director for Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD), a bi-state regional economic development entity supporting the Columbia Gorge region of Oregon and Washington. MCEDD has a strong history of growing successful economic initiatives, beginning with formation of the agency in 1969. Under Amanda’s leadership, MCEDD has diversified regional economic initiatives to include additional opportunities for access to capital and regional cluster development. Prior to MCEDD, Amanda worked in small business development, developing youth entrepreneurship opportunities. She returned to the Gorge, where her family is involved in dryland wheat production. Amanda graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Whitman College. She serves on the boards of the Rural Development Initiatives, The Dalles Riverfront Trail, Columbia Center for the Arts, and Old St Peter’s Landmark Church.




Education and Workforce Training Panel

Stu Watson - Panel Moderator

Stu Watson has been a member of the Board of Directors of Columbia Gorge Community College since 2007, representing Hood River County. After working for 24 years as a reporter and editor with newspapers in Montana, Alaska and Oregon, Stu Watson spent three years with two Internet startups, then started his own communications consulting company in 1997.

He and his wife, Kathy, later formed Watsonx2. While continuing work for clients such as The Oregonian, Seattle Times, Oregon Solutions, Mid-Columbia Medical Center, Locus Interactive and Maryhill Museum, Watson since 2005 has also helped his wife operate first one, then two restaurants - Viento, in Bingen, Washington (since sold), and Nora’s Table, in Hood River, Oregon.

Watson has volunteered widely in the Gorge, serving as a mentor to two young men through Rotary, as president of the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce, as coordinator for the Hood River Downtown Business Association, and on the boards of the Hood River Lions and the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association. He loves to windsurf.



Candy Armstrong

Candy is the superintendent for North Wasco County School District, a 3,000 student district located in The Dalles, serving a 358 square mile area in Wasco County. She has served as superintendent since 2004 when the district was formed through the consolidation of two smaller districts. Candy is a member of the Community Outreach Team, a team that mirrors the community's overall approach of working together to resolve issues impacting the community and surrounding region. The team works together to introduce and/or update potential partners at both the state and federal level on local efforts to enhance the quality of life in The Dalles and surrounding region. Candy serves on the Executive Committee for the Confederation of School Administrators as a regional representative and on the Vision and Policy Committee. She currently is Co-Chair with Shelley Berman for the Re-imagining grades 9-14 Work Group.





Marla Edge

Marla Edge is the Director of Academic Agreements at Oregon Tech. In this current role, she serves the institution as the primary contact for all of Oregon Tech’s educational partners. She coordinates all partnerships that promote smooth transitions for student success. These partnerships foster relationships that promote dual enrollment with community colleges, program-to-program articulation, and accelerated credit opportunities for high school students. Along with her over 30 years of dedication to Oregon Tech, Marla serves on multiple State and National committees. Her recent appointments include: Serving on a national committee on Transfer and Articulation, The Oregon Association of Career and Technical Education Board, and The Chair of the State Oversight Committee for Dual Credit.






Michelle Giovannozzi

Michelle Giovannozzi possesses over 20 years' experience in adult education and training, including 8 years with the Corporate and Continuing Education department at Clark College. She currently serves as Clark's Director of Corporate and Community Partnerships. Prior to Clark Michelle was employed as an Executive Director and Human Resource Consultant for Business Computer Training Institute (BCTI), based in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Ms. Giovannozzi holds a Bachelor's degree from Princeton University and a Masters of Science in Human Resource Management from Seattle Pacific University. She is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Clark County. Michelle maintains Professional Human Resource certification from the Society for Human Resource Management and is a member of the Southwest Washington Human Resource Management Association, the Portland Human Resource Management Association and the American Society for Training and Development. She serves on the Boards of Directors of Leadership Clark County and the Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools. Michelle also serves on committees for the Southwest Washington Regional Health Alliance, the Healthy Living Collaborative and the Citizens Committee for Good Schools. In addition, Ms. Giovannozzi is an active volunteer with Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee.

Michelle's passion for the intersection of education and business drew her to the Corporate and Continuing Education Department at Clark College. As the Director of Corporate and Community Partnerships she connects businesses and individuals with resources, creating opportunities for the College to further impact the local community. Giovannozzi manages a team that delivers leading edge corporate training, eLearning and consulting services.

Dan Goldman

Before coming to Hood River County, Dan Goldman was the Director of Curriculum and Instruction and the Director of Elementary Programs in the Tigard-Tualatin School District where he directed all K-12 district curriculum, instruction, assessment, instructional technology and school improvement efforts.

Dan has been an educator for 19 years beginning his career as a special education teacher working with students with severe behavioral and emotional handicaps in residential settings in Washington State and in Oregon. He worked in the Portland Public Schools as a school psychologist and Teacher on Special Assignment at the elementary, middle and high school levels and holds Masters degrees in School Psychology and Educational Leadership.

Dan has presented extensively at the regional, statewide and national levels on literacy development, positive discipline practices, race and schooling, Response to Intervention, formative assessment, and servant leadership. He co-authored the Oregon's Technical Assistance Guide to Response to Intervention programming, is on the Board of the Oregon I Have a Dream Foundation, and is a member of Rotary.

Dan moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1991 from a small town 60 miles from New York City and lives in Hood River with his wife, Nicole, and their two daughters.

Larry Large

Larry Large is a professional educator with more than 40 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member and an administrator. He received his bachelor's degree from Portland State College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. While finishing his graduate work at the University of Oregon, Larry worked as associate dean of students and director of financial aid. Beginning in 1972, he served as vice president and dean of students at Willamette University. During his 10 years at Willamette, he also served in other capacities, including a brief tenure as acting president in 1978.

After Willamette, Larry was appointed vice-president for public affairs at Reed College, a position he held for five years. After Reed, Larry served the University of Oregon as vice president for public affairs and development, and later was appointed vice chancellor of the Oregon University System. Several years later, he returned to Reed where he served as executive vice president before accepting an appointment as president of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia in 1998.

Following his retirement from Oglethorpe in 2005, he accepted a two-year appointment as interim president of Sierra Nevada College. He also served as interim president at Willamette University during spring semester 2010.

Currently he is the president of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities, and as a former adjunct faculty member at the University of Oregon is recognized as an expert on higher education finance. Larry also serves on numerous not-for-profit boards, including the board of the Oregon 529 College Savings Plan.

Concurrently with his other assignments, Larry has served as strategic planning and merger consultant for several institutions of Higher Ed.

Jerry Lewis

Dr. Jerry Lewis has worked in the White Salmon Valley School District for 17 years. He has served in many roles during that time including High School Career and Technical Education Teacher, Career and Technical Education Director, Computer and Networking Support, District Technology Director, Deputy Superintendent, and Superintendent. He received his Superintendent’s Certificate from Washington State University and his Doctorate in K-12 Teaching and Leadership from Walden University. He was a former business owner in the Puget Sound area prior to moving into a career in education. White Salmon Valley School District is a rural K-12 district with a student enrollment of approximately 1260 students. The district is working hard to develop a world class instructional system that provides a quality education for each student and prepares them for post-secondary opportunities and life’s goals.



Dale Peinecke

Dale Peinecke (PINE-uh-kee) was appointed as the 24th Commissioner of Washington's Employment Security Department in January 2013.

Before joining Governor Inslee's cabinet, Dale accumulated more than 37 years of experience in the aerospace and materials industries. This included executive positions at Giddens Industries, Neuvant Aerospace, The Aerostructures Corp., Contour Aerospace and Alcoa. He has been engaged in Lean implementation efforts since 1985.

His interest in hiring skilled workers spurred him to get involved in the state's workforce development system. In 2006, he was elected to the first of three consecutive terms as board chair for Snohomish County's workforce development council, and he remained on the board through 2012.

He also served on the advisory board for the M.B.A. Program at the University of Washington - Bothell from 2006 to 2008.

Dale grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and has lived on both sides of the Cascades during the course of his career. He earned a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University and a master's in manufacturing engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Lisa Nisenfeld

Lisa Nisenfeld was appointed the Director of the Oregon Employment Department by Governor Kitzhaber in September 2013. She comes to the job with over 30 years of experience in workforce and economic development in both the public and private sectors.

For the previous two years, she was president of the Columbia River Economic Development Council in Clark County (CREDC), WA, which provides leadership and resources to foster business growth. The CREDC is responsible for helping grow jobs and investment in Clark County through business recruitment, business expansion, entrepreneurship development and advocacy for a competitive business climate, including great school systems.

Prior to that, she spent 10 years as Executive Director of the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council (SWWDC) which coordinates workforce development partners in Southwest Washington and manages a variety of workforce development funds.

Prior to joining the SWWDC, Lisa was a principal of Working Designs, Inc., a consulting company specializing in strategic planning and workforce development. She also was Director of Workforce and Target Industries for the Portland Development Commission for nearly ten years, building an expertise in workforce and economic development synergies.

Currently Lisa serves on the board of directors of Education Northwest as well as the Leadership Council of the National Skills Coalition. She is also a charter board member for nConnect, a non-profit that links schools and businesses to promote science and mathematics achievement and careers. She is a 2012 recipient of the Iris Award, given to women of achievement in Clark County.

Lisa a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Lewis and Clark College.

Dawn Woods

Dawn Woods is the Quality Improvement Director of the Early Learning Division and has worked almost 20 years on improving the care and education for young children. Dawn has been with the State of Oregon for the last 8 years working to improve state systems to support high quality care and education for children in Oregon.

Prior to her work at the State of Oregon, Dawn began her career as an assistant teacher in a nationally accredited program at Western Oregon University. She later served as the Director for nine years and worked with the training team to develop and train practitioners one serving children with disabilities in typical preschool settings. She worked on several federal, state and regional grants. Dawn has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Special Education.