Our goal is to contribute to the economic vitality of the community by increasing the number of jobs and improving the local quality of life. To accomplish our goal we work to retain our local businesses and aid them in expanding as well as recruit new businesses to the area.
To that end we have assisted over eighty firms locate here, which provide over 2,300 jobs to our community. In addition, we have worked with over 250 local firms, helping them to expand or strengthen their operations. Finally, the EDC partners with 100’s of members in business, government, and community groups to solve transportation, utility, and regulatory problems.
Our main mission is to persuade businesses to locate, expand, and remain in this area rather than in any other location. Our marketing efforts are focused on specific industry strengths our community has: wood products, food processing, glass, plastics, chemicals, telecommunications, and healthcare. Our outreach efforts to recruit these companies include: electronic advertising, search engine optimization, trade shows, direct e-mailing, and other methods.
Business retention and expansion (BRE) is a core program of the Lewis Economic Development Council. This program is designed to keep existing businesses in the community. To do this we reach out to business districts, commercial & industrial areas, and specific industries throughout the county and learn how to help these companies stay in our area. These visits often begin with the history of the organization, include tours to better understand the business, and end with requests to assist their business.
The BRE program is also designed to help existing businesses expand their operations in our community. Like the retention part of the program we reach out to business districts, commercial and industrial areas, and specific industries. Our expansion visits are focused though on providing any needed assistance to help the business grow. This often includes helping companies find properties, connecting potential deals for their business growth, or even helping them make connections to save money and be able to hire more employees.
Matt MatayoshiExecutive Director
Carries out the will of the Board of Directors. Leads, coaches, develops, and evaluates the programs of the staff. The Executive Director is the liaison to membership and the community.
Marrianne SchumacherOffice Manager
Manages the organizations membership databases. Schedules, plans, and provides administrative support in meetings, conferences, and events. Manages daily office operations.
Eric Sonnenberg Manager, Business Recruitment & Expansion
Manages and conducts consistent outreach to the community’s existing businesses to cultivate relationships, understand needs , and prevent closure and/or relocations.
Dan Rich, Tin Men Supply
Duane Evans, Port Blakely Tree Farms LP
Reggie Hamilton, Hamilton Rock
Mike Alexander, Security State Bank
Mark Anders, Port of Chehalis
Stuart Cavness, First Allied Securities, Inc.
Peter Abbarno, City of Centralia
Julie Shaffley, Port of Centralia
Roger Fish, Coalview LTD
Bob Guenther, Thurston, Lewis, Mason Labor Council