Our Staff



As Executive Director, Michael is responsible for the overall direction and management of the organization. Prior to being named Executive Director of the Thurston EDC in 2004, Michael served as the Vice-President of the Snohomish County Economic Development Council from 1992 – 2003.

Michael’s career has spanned over 20 years in economic development with an emphasis on rural economic development strategies, business recruitment and attraction, community development, and community growth strategies.

Michael currently serves on the boards of the following organizations and agencies: Thurston Chamber of Commerce, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, Morningside, Thurston Regional Planning Council, and the Technical Advisory Committee for Foreign Trade Zone 216.

Michael has a degree in geography from Western Washington University.



Celia directs and oversees the Center for Business & Innovation, a partnership between the EDC and South Puget Sound Community College.  The CB&I serves as a point of entry and catalyst for business development, and a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Celia has worked with, and on behalf of, small- and medium-size businesses for over two decades.  From launching the EDC’s original Business Resource Center, to serving as Director/Certified Business Advisor for the SPSCC Small Business Development Center, to advocating for business and improving regulatory awareness as the Small Business Liaison for the Department of Labor & Industries, Celia has demonstrated commitment to local business growth and profitability. Additionally, Celia is an adjunct faculty member at SPSCC, periodically teaching small business classes, is a certified SCORE Mentor, and was the primary writer of the Washington Small Business Guide.

Celia has an MBA from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.



Tiffany is the Program Director for the Washington Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), a statewide program that increases the number of firms successful in the government marketplace.

Tiffany joined the EDC team in November 2007. She has a BA in Communication from Western Washington University and a Master’s in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College. She is a Leadership Thurston County Graduate (class of 2007), an active Rotarian, and serves as Region 10 Director for the National Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers.



As the EDC’s Program Manager for Thurston Energy. Wayne’s role is to manage the Thurston Energy program and work with local contractors and homeowners to drive investments in energy efficiency through rebates and incentives provided by the State of Washington and the WSU Energy Program. His work promotes energy savings and green and healthy housing.

Wayne has returned to the EDC after being Outreach Coordinator and Senior Energy Advisor at Puget Sound Energy. Wayne was part of the original Thurston Energy team in 2010 where he served as Energy Manager for the program.

A Thurston County native, Wayne has a passion for energy efficiency, green and healthy homes, local economics, and customer service. Wayne is glad to be back and is excited to be an integral part of strengthening our Thurston community.



As WCWB Program Manager, Traci is responsible for managing the program, and for marketing the program to stakeholders and clients throughout its service territory across Washington State. Traci joined the Washington PTAC team in May 2013. as the Program & Outreach Coordinator.



As Community Development Manager, Aslan’s primary role is to connect with business and partners in the rural part of the county to support their growth and development. He is also charged with helping to support and grow the business infrastructure for the agricultural and food systems sector in the community. He joined the Thurston EDC in January 2016.



Lissa McClanahan joined the EDC as Finance Specialist in July 2015 after years of experience in public accounting and small business accounting environments. She provides full-service accounting to the EDC and CB&I, manages the financial aspects of the organizations’ many grants and contracts, creates financial statements and other management reports, and provides budget leadership. Lissa has an ATA in Accounting from Olympic College.



As the Business Growth Strategy Manager, Daryl is responsible for providing technical training and assistance to clients of the CB&I. He is the lead counselor and trainer for the ScaleUp Thurston program, with a focus on growth strategy development and organizational design. He will provide additional counseling and training support to programs of the CB&I, ensuring that all clients who walk in the door are served well.

For the past 25 years, he has started, managed and sold businesses in retail, manufacturing and service industries. In addition, he served as the EDC Business Resource Center Manager from May 2012 – March 2014. He studied business development through the E-Myth Business Mastery Program, and is a PBCA Certified Business coach. Daryl is an active member of Gateway Rotary, and received his DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) designation from Toastmasters International in May 2014.



As Project Manager, Kyle supports all the programs of the EDC. Kyle manages site location cases for business that are looking at either expanding their business within Thurston County or relocating their business to Thurston County. Additionally, he keeps track of statistics and demographic information pertaining to the local and regional economies, responds to requests for information, conducts business outreach, assists in educating and preparing military service members during their transition and retirement, and works on various projects that align with the mission of the EDC. He originally joined the EDC as an intern from The Evergreen State College in April 2012.

Kyle moved from his hometown of Battle Ground Washington to Olympia Washington to become a student at The Evergreen State College and an avid soccer player for the Geoducks. At The Evergreen State College, Kyle emphasized his studies in Business and Economics with a minor focus in Urban Planning and Political Science. He is also an entrepreneur who loves to take ideas and turn them into reality.



In her role as business coach for the Washington Center for Women in Business, Christine’s main focus is to provide support, counseling and mentorship for women business owners. She has an extensive background in business management, business coaching and mentoring, with previous experience with the South Sound Women’s Business Center and the Puget Sound Women’s Business Center. She joined the Thurston EDC in October 2016.



Dale has a broad background in working with small business, purchasing and contracting. Early in his career, he was a corporate buyer in the retail industry, serving over 200 stores in 11 western states. He purchased both domestic and imported goods in purchasing posts he held with a number of firms. He worked as an embedded consultant in several small businesses and has an outstanding record of profitability.

More recently Dale was a manager of centralized purchasing for the State of Washington Department of Enterprise Services. Now retired from state service, Dale joined the Thurston EDC team in May 2015. Today Dale is enjoying this new post where works with local businesses and local resource partners. Dale has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Washington in Ecology and Economics. He holds lifetime CPPB and CPPO public purchasing certifications.



Before joining the EDC in January 2017 as a PTAC Government Contracting Specialist, Kate spent 30 years in the Southwest assisting small businesses expand their customer base and develop their workforce. Over the years, she has provided sales development strategies, proposal writing consultation,  and project management of multi-media e-learning training. Her most recent position was working as part of the Arizona PTAC team in Phoenix, Arizona.

As a full time PTAC counselor Kate is responsible for meeting with small business owners who wish to learn about or expand their government contracting business. She provides training and personal counseling as well as helping the business develop a strategic plan for locating and landing government contracts.



George joined the Thurston EDC in February  2016 as the Veterans Microenterprise Program Outreach coordinator. He became PTAC Program Coordinator in January 2017. He serves as the point person for database management to ensure proper reporting for the program. He helps respond to general client inquiries, can help clients navigate the System for Award Management (SAM). If you wish to request PTAC in a speaking engagement, in event promotion or partnership agreements, or to get you content added to our calendar or blog, please contact George. George has a BA in Business Administration from Washington State University. George has worked throughout the state when he was the Education and Training Coordinator for the Washington State Department of Commerce.



As program assistant, Gene supports our workforce, business retention and research activities. Gene is currently enrolled at Evergreen State College, and has been with the Thurston EDC since September 2016.



As the Office Coordinator, Ryan is responsible for managing the daily operations and providing logistical support to the EDC. Ryan works with staff members providing administrative assistance on projects and events. He provides a warm welcome to the community members visiting the EDC, works with clients scheduling appointments with business counselors, and assists phone callers by listening to their needs and referring their call to the appropriate staff member or program.

A native of Thurston County, Ryan graduated from River Ridge High School in 2009 with a focus on Office Administrative Support.  Before joining the EDC in January 2016, Ryan spent five years working in Consumer and Community Banking as a Teller for a large Financial Institution. Ryan lives in the Yelm area and enjoys spending his time away from the office hiking with his dog and friends.