Olympic Networks Executives, LLC (ONE Group, LLC) was launched in 2005 by key leaders of a transformational economic development initiative called Clallam Networks. Using VE principles and tools, this initiative dramatically reversed a 30-year history of economic decline in Clallam County on the north Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.
Clallam Networks recognized a critical need in the region for targeted programs to identify, develop, and grow local business opportunities. From 2006 to 2009, ONE Group guided the launch of a business incubation program and the creation of a regional entrepreneurship strategy. By implementing aspects of the VE Innovation Ecosystem, the region of about 70,000 residents saw the creation of the Olympic Peninsula Entrepreneur Network (OPEN), initiation of a local angel investment group and the launch of business plan competitions through the privately funded Entrepreneur Challenges for adults and youth.
In partnership with VE, ONE Group also has utilized their economic development expertise in several regional projects in Southern Illinois and Northern New England and created the Incubator@Lincoln Center and the Entrepreneur Institute in Port Angeles, Washington.
Jim Haguewood began working at age 12 in the family restaurant business. After graduating with a BA degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management from Washington State University, Jim returned to his hometown as the President of his family’s Haguewood’s Restaurant, which he owned and managed for 20 years. During this time, Jim served as President of the Port Angeles Downtown Association, which was successful in downtown redevelopment, and started a Main Street Program. In addition, he invested in the region’s economic growth by developing sub-divisions, performing general contracting and owning multi-family complexes.
As Clallam Economic Development Council Director from 2000 to 2005, he and the ONE Group led the rejuvenation of the region’s economic development strategy, creating business cases and empowering hundreds of private sector business leaders. Jim also is known for his insightful and entertaining presentations at numerous economic development conferences.
Neil Gamroth graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BBA in Management and then served in the Army during the Vietnam War. He has held executive level positions in Fortune 500 companies in paper conversion, food and cosmetics. Neil’s management of manufacturing operations in multi-national locations exposed him to a wide variety of plant designs, start-ups, engineering of plant production lines, product designs, cost control methods and ISO standards. He saved a dying, family-owned spice business by reopening and winning concessions from a Teamsters contract, then restructuring the operation and product lines to triple company sales in four years.
Neil and his wife started two of their own businesses while he held upper level management positions in the plastics industries and electronics assembly operations. After retiring, Neil’s volunteer work in Sequim, Washington helped advance the economic recovery of the region. This work included a wide variety industry cluster initiatives with the local economic development agency, SCORE, and the creation of a business incubator in Port Angeles.