The EDC had an exciting and successful, first ever, “Smart Tank” pitch competition sponsored by Centralia College, Orin Smith Family Foundation, The Industrial Commission, Century 21 Lund, and Shelton Structures Inc. We would like to thank the community for their participation and attendance at the event. The EDC is also highlighting Pettibon Systems and Young Gun Northwest as contributors of our community’s economic development. We look forward to the continued interest and growth in business opportunities headed our way.



Smart Tank
Lewis County’s first ever pitch event, Smart Tank was a successful partnership between the Lewis EDC and Moonshot at Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (NACET). This event was a great success due to the support of our sponsors: The Centralia College Foundation, The Industrial Commission, Century 21 Lund, and Shelton Structures. We were excited to have 27 entrepreneurs participate in the workshops. On Friday, June 8th, all qualifying applicants were invited to participate in an all-day series of workshops to refine their business pitches. Participants learned from successful business experts from NACET, including Kiersten and Scott Hathcock, Paul Thomas and Dan Kasprzyk. Participants with the most scalable businesses presented their pitch to a panel of judges on Saturday, June 9th. A wide range of prizes, including cash, business mentor scholarships, and memberships to Chehalis Co-works were presented to winning teams. There were many winners of this year’s competition. First place went to Aaron Prothero for his truck light testing system and first scholarship was given to Ashlynn Gallagher for her Zika test kit, “Identifi.” Every participant, whether a winner or not, walked away with advice, guidance and information from the voice of experience. They came away from the event knowing their next steps and expressed an enthusiasm to pursue them.
Business startups require intensive assistance. Because of this, the EDC is committed to assisting startups. We will continue to follow up with our participants throughout the year as their companies grow and expand. Through this weekend’s event we have identified that we can grow a culture of entrepreneurship in our community. The number of small business owners and entrepreneurs is not only surprising, but their quality of products and ideas is promising.


Business Retention and Expansion

Pettibon Systems
The Pettibon System is a multi-faceted business in Chehalis that focuses on manufacturing, distribution and education of patented spine and posture equipment and procedures to correct and maintain spinal curves. Many “Pettibon Docs” use the Pettibon tools for their patients to utilize at home to maintain the postural curves of their spine eliminating pain and prolonging mobility. For many years Dr. Burl Pettibon was known globally as “The Father of Spinal Bio-Mechanics” and his methods of educating other doctors how to understand the human body in 3 dimensions earned him the status as the last living legend in the world of Chiropractic right up until his death in December 2017. 
Dr. Pettibons passion for business, land development and construction made a good fit for his step-son Chad O’Mealy to step in and maintain the business and multiple land developments. Chad’s specialty for many years has been in construction and building materials with an emphasis on Insulated Concrete Forms otherwise known as ICF. Chad, with his sister Helene Pettibon manage the business on the Jackson Highway and Hideaway Estates in Packwood, the family’s home away from home.You can learn more about the company at:
Young Gun Northwest
Brett Daugherty used to work at a cushy job in Seattle until life circumstances allowed him to grow one of his hobbies into his current company, Young Gun Northwest. The genesis of his company started off with him doing minor custom work until his first big client came along. A local police department needed to redo the look of their vehicles, so Brett wrapped 30 or so vehicles in the new design. The department was so impressed with his work that Brett started receiving word of mouth orders from a number of organizations. 
Today Young Gun Northwest handles just about everything from designed shirts, to embroidered hats, to truck and trailer wraps for cars. His small company is so busy that they have outgrown their current location and are looking to expand. He hopes to expand in to a bigger 5,000 square foot building where he can hire more employees and service more customers. The EDC is working hard to help this business find a place to expand. You can learn more about them at: