Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is pleased to announce the hiring of Robyn Sharp as its economic development manager for Bend, replacing Nate LiaBraaten in the role, effective Monday.
“As a respected local leader, we are excited to welcome Robyn to our team. She brings a professional background to this role different from her predecessors, but similar problem-solving and relationship-building skills to produce results,” noted Roger Lee, EDCO executive director.
Sharp’s career has been highlighted by a number of leadership positions within higher education and the non-profit sector.
She holds a bachelor of science in Business Administration from Oregon State University, where she majored in marketing. A standout student athlete (and a Sweet 16 showing in the national NCAA basketball tournament), she was recruited by OSU first to coach and later, as Associate Athletics Director, to oversee nine intercollegiate athletics programs.
Between these appointments, she held positions as Director of Championships and Assistant Commissioner for the Big Eight Conference. She later returned to OSU as the first Director of Development for OSU Cascades Campus, where she helped establish the OSU Cascades Campus Foundation and Corporate Partners Program.
Prior to that role, Robyn was the Assistant Executive Director of the Oregon School Activities Association – her first foray into the non-profit world. She returned to the sector as the first Executive Director of the City Club of Central Oregon, playing a lead role in converting the idea to a funded and operating organization. Most recently, Sharp was the Director of Development, Intercollegiate Athletics, for the University of Nevada Foundation.
Through a services agreement, the City of Bend provides funding for the Bend Manager role within EDCO. Critical activities for the position are outreach to Bend-based traded-sector companies to help them grow, as well as marketing and recruitment of new companies from outside the region. The Bend Manager works closely with City of Bend administration, including Bend Business Advocate Carolyn Eagan, who has increasingly been taking on structural and cultural changes within city departments to make the city’s processes friendlier and more predictable for businesses.
“I’m eager for Robyn to start. We have a number of initiatives and projects in the pipeline and she will play a critical role in seeing many of those to fruition,” said Eagan.
Mid Oregon Personnel conducted a professional search on behalf of EDCO for the Bend Manager position, spearheaded by area manager Sam Lambert. A hiring committee representing different community and business perspectives reviewed and interviewed finalists.
“This position generated considerable interest inside and outside the Central Oregon region,” said Lambert, “and we were fortunate to have a number of very talented finalists from which to choose.”