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|Wednesday, November 01, 2006|
Leading an evolution
The sharp pencil and sharper eye of Cow Creek chairman Sue Shaffer is transforming her tribe.
By Robin Doussard
She strides ahead of you at full steam as she whisks through the Cow Creek tribe’s Roseburg headquarters. You try to be polite and rush to open the next door. After all, she is a tribal leader and approaching 85. Forget it. She reaches the door first, swings it open and you follow at a fast clip, learning quickly, like everyone around her, to swim fast or get to shore.
To meet Sue Shaffer, a quiet, dignified woman made just a little taller than her five feet by the trademark steel gray hair bundled atop her head, is to also know this: She might be small, she might be a grandmother, and she might indeed be “the old girl” she calls herself, but she is all business. Shaffer calls herself a tight-fisted child of the Great Depression and it was that fist that famously set the tribe on its path to becoming the powerful economic engine that it is today: Douglas County’s third-largest employer with 1,600 jobs and a payroll of about $40 million.
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