The Manufacturing Economy of Metro Eugene
Time: Noon to 1:15 pm
Venue: Arcimoto Factory --- Important note: The venue has changed since it was first reported. The correct venue is below.
311 Chambers St
According to the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, Lane County is home to over 500 technology companies, which employ nearly 4,000 people; 173 food and beverage companies, which are expected to grow at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the economy over the next five years; and over 200 wood products manufacturing companies, employing over 7,000 people.
During the City Club of Eugene’s 2023-2024 program year, we’ll be hosting a series of programs designed to understand the fullness of Eugene’s economy – its opportunities and challenges, its dynamism and constancy.
We’re starting with a conversation about the manufacturing economy of our region, hosted by Arcimoto at its Eugene factory, and featuring three amazing panelists from different sectors within manufacturing.
We hope you’ll join us for this in-depth look at a key component of our region’s economy and we hope you’ll stick around for a factory tour and a free test ride in one of Arcimoto’s FUV’s (that’s fun utility vehicle).
Chris Dawson is the Chief Executive Officer of Arcimoto. Chris has extensive experience in the electric vehicle (EV) space, having been working on the development of EVs for on-road, off-road and the battlefield for the last 10 years.
Prior to joining Arcimoto, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Nikola Tesla Co., an engineering services company; the Chief Technology Officer for HNO international and Tesla Aerial Robotics; as well as Chief Engineer on various U.S. Department of Defense projects.
Chris began his work in the EV space at Tesla, where he held positions of increasingly progressive responsibility, culminating as Senior Manufacturing Engineer and Maintenance Manager. In these roles, Chris led manufacturing and sustaining engineering teams for Tesla on battery production, the Model S/X line and Model 3 general assembly.
A former U.S. Navy submarine nuclear chemist and helicopter flight instructor, Chris holds an MBA from University of Denver and a BS in Nuclear Technologies from Excelsior College.
Title: Oregon Community Relations Manager
Organization: Sierra Pacific Industries
Courtney Griesel is the Oregon Community Relations Manager for Sierra Pacific Industries. Courtney began her career in public sector service, economic development, and non-profit global consulting, focusing on traded-sector industry support and growth, land and community development, and public private partnerships.
In her role with Sierra Pacific Industries, one of the largest, family-owned, private forest management and wood products manufacturing companies in the US, her focus spans areas of community education, engagement, and partnerships, legislative engagement, workforce development, and regulatory and community policy development.
A graduate of the University of Oregon (B.S.) and Gonzaga University (Masters), she has been a resident of Lane County since 2000 and enjoys spending time traveling with her family, jogging, and playing the piano and guitar.
Avril Watt was born and raised in Northern Ireland. After graduating high school she spent 10 years in various public sector roles. In 1996 she pursued an opportunity to spend one year attending college in the U.S. and this evolved into a Bachelor of Theology degree.
In 2004 Avril earned an MBA and accepted a management role in Human Resources with an electronics manufacturing company in Portland, OR. In 2013 she became the HR Manager at Astec’s (formerly Johnson Crushers International, Inc.) Franklin Boulevard site in Eugene.
In 2019 she assumed the role of Operations Manager and in early 2020 was promoted to General Manager.