'Resource Wednesdays' for small businesses starts this week

LA GRANDE — Small businesses and entrepreneurs have a new way to make connections and find answers about running a business.

The Northeast Oregon Economic Development District announced the start of "Resource Wednesdays" on the last Wednesday of the month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ignite Center for Entrepreneurship, 104 Depot St., La Grande. The first event commences this Wednesday.

Representatives of Eastern Oregon University Small Business Development Center, the city of La Grande and the development district will be available to answer questions and provide information about programs and resources that can help small businesses start, grow and succeed, according to the announcement. Other resource providers will be available at each gathering in an open house-style event. Business owners can come and leave at any time during the events.

Lisa Dawson, executive director of the development district, stated Resource Wednesday will not be formal but provide the opportunity to meet with others and get the information.

Island City Elementary getting new principal

ISLAND CITY —The La Grande School Board at its recent meeting named Brett Smith as the new principal for Island City Elementary School. Smith takes on the roll starting July 1.

Smith for the past one-and-a-half years has worked as the assistant principal at La Grande High School. He will succeed John Tolan, who will retire at the end of June. Tolan has served as Island City’s principal since 2002 and is completing his 40th year with the La Grande School District.

Smith joined the district in the summer of 2018 after spending six years working as an educator in Texas. He came to La Grande from Waller High School, where he was its assistant principal. Waller is 42 miles northwest of Houston.

Smith was born in La Grande and grew up in Baker City. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Lamar University,

"I'm very excited to have this opportunity,'" he said.

He praised the work Tolan has done as principal.

"He will leave some very big shoes to fill," Smith said.

He said leaving La Grande High School will be difficult because he has enjoyed working with its staff, students and parents.

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