Southern Oregon Business Conference

Industry Panel: Norm Kester, Quantum Innovations; Jim Teece, Project A; Tom Dobry, Lithia Motors; Cindy Mayo, Providence Hospital; Adam Cuppy, Craterian Theater.

Manufacturing: Norm Kester, Quantum Innovations — Has 40 employees.

Holds major patents for various technologies. Entrepreneurial, grew first company, earning a million dollars in four years.

Makes coatings for eye glasses that reduces eyestrain. We have customers all over the world, it took us 8 years to find a customer in Oregon.  Now we have three. Our culture is weird, a little bit strange. We don’t have titles, books are opening, including my wage.

Our minimum wage is $12.85, voted by the employees. The effect on the bottomline is $489 per pay period.  We’ were one top companies to work for in 2012 small company; moved up last year to mid-size. We’ll be back next year.

If we have strong manufacturing base here, it protects from ebbs an flow of economies.

Emerging manufacturing — reshoring, bringing  jobs back from foreign countries. Having the technology to support the reshoring is necessary and that’s what’s important.

For first time since it was being tracked, 470,000 business died in 2013, 400,000 born.

3D printing from Nike shoes, to a liver, to an ear (put it on a head, and it works). You can have a broken arm fixed with a 3-D printer.

We need to invest in tech and innovation, one is investing in training for the technology. When I was in high school I learned typing and basic computers.

3-D modeling needs to be taught in schools.   We need to double the size of  SOREDI.

We are constantly applying for patents, we have intellectual knowledge that can’t be turned into a commodity.

Jim Teece — e-commerce

Electricity and the Internet Report Card:

Bandwidth  A

Hosting     A

Programming  A

Marketing  C

Security    C

Redundancy C

Government  C

We’re sending a lot of the marketing work we do out of the valley.

When Target gets hit, FBI says everyone should expect to get hit.

We need redundancy multiple times.

Government gets C, we’ve got to keep investing. We made an investment 15 or so years ago in a fiber network, growth we’re seeing now is because of that investment.

Defining e-Commerce

Buying online: Goods, services, donations, tickets.

When you go to Britt or film festival you are doing e-commerce.

We live online, that is a form of e-commerce.


$500 million to $1 billion in e-commerce here already and we need to grow that.

Priority based budgeting; Memory bistro, Reading about me; and Global eCommerce

Phone service, hosting, ISP and made in Southern Oregon

What Software says made in Oregon?


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    Greg Stiles

    Covering the Southern Oregon business and economy since 2001. Read Full
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