Susan has been a mainstay of Umatilla County as the founder and CEO of Eastern Oregon Business Source having worked with hundreds of clients providing strategic business planning, personnel mentoring, grant writing, successful workforce initiatives and nationally recognized, award-wining economic development programs.
Susan grew up in rural Mt. Vernon, Ohio in the middle of farming country where her dad was a factory worker for 38 years. Dad & Mom taught her the importance of school, how to be independent, and the essential role of family. Susan and her husband Dr. Andrew Bower met in high school, spent time apart and then came together again with both graduating from Otterbein University. Married in 1990 with a commitment to family and the vows they made to each another have pulled them through the good times and the tough times.
After starting a family in Ohio, they moved to Spokane for Andrew to begin his surgical practice where Susan became an adjunct teacher for Whitworth University and volunteer at the kids’ pre-school. Having grown up in a small rural town, Andrew and Susan wanted something different than a big city for their children’s hometown. In 2005, the Bower family moved to Pendleton to bring their son Nicholas and their daughter Rebecca up in a small town, rural community. Both children went through the public school system with Nicolas graduating from Pacific University and Rebecca a public health student at Whitworth University.
Joining Umatilla County
While Nicholas and Rebecca were going to school, playing sports, and making friends, Susan and Andrew began establishing themselves as community servants, business owners, and a family ready to make a difference. Andrew immediately got busy in his general surgery practice and Susan volunteering to serve on several boards, committees and projects.
Susan soon began her own business which allowed her to use her economic expertise to help non-profits, businesses, industry and governments like the City of Pendleton and Umatilla County work through big decisions, write successful grants, and develop sustainable funding programs. Most of the programs and best practices remain to this day, some receiving national recognition.
Susan’s business serves clients from across the country, but the team is most proud of the work they have done to serve organizations throughout Umatilla County and Eastern Oregon. Under her leadership, more than $5 million has been brought into the region, hundreds of students have been exposed to opportunities for work after high school, and over 150 managers from a number of industries in the county have become better leaders.
Susan aspires to be a Umatilla County Commissioner to bring her expertise to make our county the best place to live for all residents while Andrew is eager to continue building St. Anthony Hospital’s surgery department by recruiting more physicians and bringing additional medical expertise to the community. At 53, Susan and Andrew have plenty of time to continue to give back to the community they so love, have no immediate plans for retirement and long-term plans to remain in their Umatilla County home, hopefully as grandparents.
Umatilla County Commissioners Candidate forum at the Vert Auditorium in Pendleton. Hosted by AAUW and the East Oregonian.
Umatilla County Commissioners Candidate forum at the Arts Center in Pendleton. Hosted by the Umatilla County Board of Realtors.
Umatilla County Commissioner candidate forum at Armand Larive Middle School in Hermiston. Hosted by the Umatilla County Republicans.
Register to vote or check your registration at www.oregonvotes.org.
Make sure your ballots are returned by 8 p.m. to be counted!