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Mid-Valley Region: Marion, Polk, and Yamhill Counties

photo of James LaBarJames LaBar, Mid-Valley Region Coordinator

James earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Cincinnati and Master’s Degree from the University of West Florida. He spent the past 12 years at the Salt River Project in Phoenix, Arizona working in government relations and gaining experience in the water, power, and telecom industries. Most recently, he was a Committee Administrator for the Oregon Senate’s Business and Transportation Committee. James grew up in New Jersey and enjoys playing soccer and doing anything that helps him stay fit for his next game.

​​Mid-Valley Regional Solutions Office 

Mid-Valley Regional Solutions Team

Governor’s Coordinator

James LaBar

Business Oregon, Regional Development Officer

Dennie Houle

Business Oregon, Regional Project Manager

Michelle Bilberry

Environmental Quality, Department of

Mary Camarata

Land Conservation & Development, Department of

Angela Carnahan

Transportation, Department of

Jae Pudewell

Agriculture, Department of

Gary Neuschwander

Employment Department, Oregon

Patrick O’Connor and Thomas Erhardt

Fish & Wildlife, Department of

Brian Wolfer

Parks & Recreation Department

Ryan Sparks​

State Lands, Department of

Kirk Jarvie

Water Resources Department

Mike McCord

Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments

Renata Wakeley

Mid-Valley Regional Solutions Advisory Committee

​Senator Winters has lived in Salem for 40 years, and has served in the Oregon Legislature since 1998 as both a Representative and a Senator.

​Lane Shetterly is a partner in the law firm Shetterly Irick and Ozias, where he began his law practice in 1981. From 2004 through 2007, Mr. Shetterly was the director of the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. Prior to his appointment to the department, Mr. Shetterly served seven years in the Oregon Legislature.

Mr. Shetterly volunteers his service on several boards of directors of nonprofit organizations including Oregon Community Foundation, Western Oregon University, Legal Aid Services of Oregon, Oregon Law Center, Oregon Environmental Council, and Salem Health.
Ms. Christensen is the Executive Director of the McMinnville Economic Development Partnership, and served as President of the Oregon Economic Development Association.​

First elected to office by Independence voters in 1998, Mayor McArdle is also serving as Director of Development at Linn-Benton Community College.
Since being elected in 2012, Mr. Pope has served as a Polk County Commissioner. He also currently serves as a board member of the Association of Oregon Counties and the Association of O&C Counties, among other organizations.​

Ms. Figley was first elected to the position of Woodburn Mayor in 2002. Prior to being elected Mayor, Ms. Figley served on the Woodburn City Council from 1990-2002, was Council President from 1998-2002, and was on the Woodburn Parks and Recreation Board from 1984-1990. Other positions held by Mayor Figley include serving on the Mid-Willamette Council of Governments, acting as an I-5 Corridor Representative, and serving on the Mid-Val​ley Area Commission on Transportation. Ms. Figley received her BA from the University of Michigan and a JD from the Oregon School of Law.

Stan began serving his first term as County Commissioner in January 2015. Stan has been a small business owner for 7 years and an independent financial professional for over 30 years. Stan has lived in McMinnville since 1984 and has been deeply involved volunteering in different organizations throughout the county. He currently serves on the McMinnville School Board and also represents both Yamhill and Polk Counties on the Oregon School Board Association Board. Stan was one of the founders of the McMinnville Athletic Club and the McMinnville Wine and Food Classic (SIP). He has also served on the Board of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and is currently on the Administrative Council for St. James Church. Stan believes the involvement of individuals is essential to making our county a great place to live, work, and raise families. He is convinced that many wonderful outcomes are the direct result of individuals and small groups coming together to solve local problems and enhance a community’s quality of life.

Steve Powers, Salem City Manager, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Political Science from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois and a Master in Public Administration from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. He has extensive governmental experience including four years as the City Administrator with Ann Arbor, Michigan, fifteen years as County Administrator with Marquette, Michigan, two years as County Coordinator with Martin County, Minnesota and seven years as Assistant County Administrator/Assistant to County Administrator with Jackson County, Oregon.​

Committee Appointment: Chris Mercier, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde​
Chad Freeman is the head of the Strategic Economic Development Corporation (SEDCOR) and previously served as an Executive Officer with the Oregon Business Development Department. Mr. Freeman earned an undergraduate degree in Finance, and a Masters in Business Administration from Colorado State University.

Julie Huckestein is the President of Chemeketa Community College. She joined Chemeketa in 2001, serving as the Vice President/CFO. She spent 14 years at Linn-Benton Community College, and worked for the Community Services Consortium and an accounting service providing accounting, tax, and business services to small businesses and non-profits.​​
Kevin Cameron was appointed to the Marion County Board of Commissioners in June 2014 after serving more than nine years in the Oregon House of Representatives. Commissioner Cameron has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry as an employee, manager, entrepreneur and business owner. As a commissioner he focuses on economic development issues.