SOAR Board of Directors

Meetings & Minutes


Board Officers

Craig Ladkin, President
Craig Ladkin is the Managing Director at Focus Investment Banking and has twenty-five years of experience managing complex financial transactions between private, public and non-profit sectors in a variety of industries. He has advised on transactions from the very large down to the very small. He has advised and managed the transactions for country treasuries and many multi-national corporations and financial institutions. At FOCUS Investment Banking, Mr. Ladkin concentrates on the middle-market mergers and acquisitions and capital raising transactions in the bio-sciences, IT, energy, aerospace and general industry. He holds an MBA in International Finance and Marketing from the London Business School in London, England and a B.Sc. in Geotechnical and Petroleum Engineering from the University of British Columbia.

Ross Hoag, Vice President
Retired. Former Director of Engineering, Cloud Cap Technology/UTC Aerospace. Ross Hoag was one of the co-founders of Power4Flight. Power4Flight was formed to address the powertrain reliability, durability and affordability issues that have been the Achilles heel of every aircraft program since the advent of the Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS). Ross also co-founded Cloud Cap with the idea of developing a highly integrated and end user programmable autopilot/flight management system for small UAS integrators. Ross was also part of The Insitu Group, Advanced Nagivation, Tektronix and Doodlebugging.

Michael B. (Mike) Short, Treasurer
Michael Short is a Vice President and Commercial / Ag Lender at Bank of Eastern Oregon. His role includes originating and overseeing commercial and agricultural loans. He is the President of the Round-Up City Development Corporation, and has served on their executive committee since 2003. Michael is a longtime resident of Pendleton. His 30 years of success in banking and economic development in Northeastern Oregon bring a valuable regional perspective to the SOAR board.

Collins Hemingway, Secretary
Business & marketing consultant, business author, pilot. Collins has worked for and helped create startup companies, held senior management positions in high-growth companies, was director for international marketing and business development for Microsoft’s fastest-growing division, and served as interim president for an aviation leasing company. He wrote the initial strategic vision document for civilian UAS applications for Oregon, co-authored the business plan based on that vision as well as the application for the Oregon business development grant, and led the creation of Oregon’s Economic Impact Assessment for the FAA Test Site application. (Bend, OR.)

Other Board Members

Roger Lee, Executive Director, Economic Development of Central Oregon
Roger has been the Executive Director of EDCO for the past 15 years, and has worked in the industry since the early 1990s including both rural and urban areas. He got his start in business development for the Seattle/King County Economic Development Council and later was the Director of economic development for Baker City/County in Northeast Oregon. His industry experience includes employment at Hewlett-Packard Co., and Idaho’s largest electric utility, Idaho Power. Roger currently serves on the Board of Directors for 7X24 Exchange (data center/mission critical industry), is an executive committee member of the Governor’s Regional Solutions Team (RST) and is a past board member of the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP), Oregon Economic Development Association and Pacific NW Economic Development Council and Opportunity Knocks. At EDCO, Roger is responsible for the tri-county area’s economic development strategy, business recruitment, oversight of the organization and its six offices, and development of special projects including industrial parks, expansion of commercial air service and creation and improve the overall business climate.

Skip Newberry
Skip is the President and CEO of the Technology Association of Oregon (TAO) and is a frequent speaker on technology trends and topics, economic development, public-private partnerships and civic innovation. Before joining the TAO, Skip served as an economic development policy advisor to Portland Mayor Sam Adams, where he helped create Portland’s first comprehensive economic development strategy in 16 years, recognizing software as a key industry cluster. While at the City of Portland, Skip’s projects included the adoption of the nation’s first open source software procurement policy at the municipal level, an award-winning regional open data initiative and the development of resources to support entrepreneurship, like the Portland Seed Fund. Previously, Skip was a corporate and IP attorney and entrepreneur.Skip is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of TECNA, Technology Councils of North America, which is a global network of technology and entrepreneurship associations, and he serves on advisory boards for Wells Fargo and Worksystems, Inc. Skip is also a 2012 recipient of the Portland Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award. When he’s not working on behalf of the region’s tech industry, Skip enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with his family.

Tammy Dennee, CMP, CAE
Tammy Dennee resides with her husband in Dallas, Oregon. She serves the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association as their Legislative Director and has been in this role since January 2015. She and her husband, Michael, are transplants to the mid-Willamette Valley from Pendleton, Oregon where they resided for 18 years.
Tammy has spent the majority of her career championing the issues of importance to Oregon’s agricultural producers at the State and Federal levels. Prior to joining the staff at the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association, she was the Executive Director for the Oregon Wheat Growers League. Her total time in service to the wheat industry spanned 17 years. Between the wheat and dairy industry, she was a private consultant for a renewable energy client and also a mental health provider.

She contributes time and energy to her local fair as a member of the Board of Directors, the Oregon Ag in the Classroom Foundation as the President, the REAL Oregon Steering Committee, Denim & Diamonds Steering Committee, Salem Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee, and numerous committees for the Salem Downtown Rotary Club. Tammy was recently invited to join the SOAR Oregon Board of Directors.

Tammy and Michael have raised two young adult children and are now empty nesters. They enjoy spending time with family and friends and volunteering their time annually to the Pendleton Round Up (because that is what locals do).

Gale ‘Jake’ Jacobs, Executive Director, ORAVI
Jake Jacobs is executive director of Oregon Aviation Industries (ORAVI) and is a board member of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems (AUVSI) Cascade chapter.

ORAVI is a non-profit trade organization of 100 corporate members focused on aviation economic development across the state of Oregon. The group conducts industry meetings, represents aviation to the legislature, works closely with the Oregon Department of Aviation and is connected with many other economic development organizations.

Jacobs’ aviation background includes: US Navy plane captain and mechanic in VS-38 anti-submarine squadron on the USS Hornet; Instrument rated private pilot with 2,800 hours; aircraft owner for 20 years; owns a small drone; Director of Sales and Marketing at Flight Dynamics (now Rockwell Collins) airliner head up displays; and Director of sales at ARNAV – general aviation navigation systems.

As an entrepreneur, he co-founded of two high tech companies and was an executive at several startups. His large company experience includes 25 years of management positions at Olivetti, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) and Tektronix.

He served as SBDC Business Advisor at Blue Mountain Community College for 8 years and Economic Development Manager for the City of Baker City for 2 years.

He holds a BA in Management from Marylhurst University where he was named outstanding alumni in their centennial year and has attended a wide range of corporate training programs.

Member of Lake Oswego Rotary, Columbia Aviation Association, Oregon Business Council Aviation Cluster, Portland Navy league, AOPA, Angel Flight West, many economic development groups and has previously served on several non-profit boards.

Conflict of Interest Statements