Paul Vogel is now the Columbia County Economic Team's (CCET) full-time executive director.
Vogel has been leading CCET and its COVID-19 response since April as the interim director since the retirement of former director Chuck Daughtry earlier this year.
“Paul has proven his worth as a dynamic and innovative leader during the recent challenging months," CCET board president Robert Blumberg said in announcing the appointment. "He has the skills to work productively with businesses and industries of all sizes, as well as local and state elected leaders. We are excited to have him at CCET’s helm as Columbia County’s businesses rebound from the pandemic, and move into a brighter, more prosperous future."
Blumberg said CCET has a responsibility and mission for business retention, expansion, and economic growth.
"Business retention takes on a whole new meaning during a health and economic pandemic,” Vogel said. “Right now, helping uplift businesses, local organizations, and communities is as important as business recruitment – another part of our job."
Vogel said CCET is focused on balance in the local economy, recovering, building resilience, and coming out of the pandemic different and stronger.
Vogel has instituted a daily email update with information and links to COVID-19 resources and other news of interest to businesses and industries. According to the CCET, with the participation of Columbia County, the county fair board, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and others, Vogel is administering a program in which local businesses may obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) at cost.
More information is available at smallbizhub.columbiacountyoregon.com
“The impact of COVID to businesses, workers, families, and lives is enormous,” Vogel said. “All the more important that we come through this stronger and even better positioned, leveraging the advantages we have here to thrive in the evolving normal.”
Comprised of businesses of all sizes operating in Columbia County, representatives of public entities, and other economic development advocates, Vogel said CCET provides services that support the creation, growth, and retention of Columbia County businesses. CCET also oversees the enterprise zone program, the "Keep It Local" campaign, and the Columbia County Tourism Initiative.
“There is a lot of economic opportunity here," Vogel said. "Certain effects of the pandemic even enhance opportunities. I’m looking forward to Columbia County having less opportunity and more actualization. Every one of my experiences with the CCET board and so many others throughout the county makes me believe that can happen. I feel privileged to be part of a true team that is fighting for Columbia County’s economy right now with a very intentional path-way to a brighter future.”
To reach the Columbia County Economic Team, call 503-410-1061.