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Downtime with Colleen Padilla

Colleen Padilla, executive director of Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Jason E. Kaplan Colleen Padilla, executive director of Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development

The executive director of Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development gets out — a lot.


When I am not working


I get outside. Long walks in the woods of Jacksonville or any of our fabulous nearby trail systems, including backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail — just 40 miles to go and I can finally proudly say I’ve hiked the entire Oregon section.

What I am watching


I mostly watch the news and perhaps a drama now and then. I’m not terribly loyal to any particular show, but if I can manage to stay up late enough, I like to watch Bull and The Good Doctor. Unless you count Hallmark or Monk on a rainy Saturday.

JEK 8643

Latest download


Less is more for me. A colleague recently quipped something about a “digital detox,” and I thought, “Wow, that’s me “— like, all the time, choosing to unplug.

Must-have gadget

OK, so I am a late adopter for new technologies and have very few gadgets. My first answer might have been my apple slicer, but the iPhone has truly added incredible efficiencies to my life.

No place like…


Jacksonville. Cute shops, great coffee, incredibly friendly people and a slower pace of life — just minutes from home. But then that could also describe all of Southern Oregon.

What I am reading


I read the the Bible every morning as it is foundational to every aspect of my life. Unstoppable — Running the Race You Were Born to Win by Christine Caine; The One Thing — The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller; Essentialism — The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.



Most memorable vacation


Tent camping all over Oregon with my dad. Hiking miles down into canyons in Eastern Oregon to fish for trout (well before I even liked to hike), hunting for arrowheads, digging up old bottles and square-headed nails, and of course, four-wheel driving on rutted backroads that seemed to go nowhere.

Business role model

Two Southern Oregon business leaders who come to mind: Norm Kester, Quantum Innovations, and John Underwood, Timber Products. Both gentlemen are relentless in identifying and implementing great ideas for their own businesses while helping other businesses also prosper. They are essentially the founding fathers of our region’s Business Education Partnership and inspire us to continually improve.

Fondest memory growing up


Learning how to ride a motorcycle when I was in elementary school, and then riding all the backroads of southwest Jackson County after middle school and high school — maybe even before I had a driver’s license!

Southern Oregon’s economic revitalization in a nutshell


Lots of great thinking and pioneering spirit, but sometimes in our fierce independence, we can be fragmented. We have room to grow together and be more cohesive in our approach toward measurable outcomes. The region is geographically and culturally diverse with so much more to offer than most know.



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Kim Moore

Kim Moore is the editor for Oregon Business magazine.

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