Consultant Jim Beaver opens PR firm in Ashland

ASHLAND — Jim Beaver, former chief communications officer for Southern Oregon University and The Evergreen State College, has opened a public relations firm called Beaver Communications.

The consulting company specializes in civic engagement, issues management and strategic communications.

In the 1990s, Beaver owned The Communications Group, which served local governments in the West, public agencies, medical practices and corporations.

The Communications Group and independent graphic designer Laura Kay won a national award for creating the brand identity for Lithia Auto Stores. The firm also collaborated with Rogue Design Group to develop the brand identities for Jackson County, the Ashland Fiber Network and many other businesses and organizations in Southern Oregon.

Beaver Communications' consulting services include communication audits, strategic communication planning, public event and project management, media training, media relations and crisis communications, and collaborates with other creative professionals to produce print, online and video campaigns.

He began his career as a broadcast journalist, reporting at NBC radio affiliate KING in Seattle. He anchored and reported for NBC-owned and operated radio stations in San Francisco.

His website is He can be reached at or 541-840-8441.

Harry & David hopes firms bite on regular fruit delivery

Harry & David has added a new product line, hoping to reach health-conscious consumers.

The Medford gourmet food and gift company is targeting businesses that strive to promote healthful eating in the workplace with its Bulk Fruit Program.

Harry & David hopes to go directly to companies, offering fresh pears, apples, bananas and peaches, along with other fruit. Companies can order fruit weekly, biweekly, monthly, seasonally or one time. Pricing varies by fruit, season and frequency.

According to a new survey by Virgin Pulse and Workforce Magazine, 87 percent of employees state that wellness positively impacted work culture, and 96 percent of employees participate to improve their own health, making improved health a bigger motivator than financial incentives. Nearly nine in 10 employees indicated an active health and wellness program makes an organization an employer of choice. Overall, the study found, organizations are not meeting employee demand for access to physical-activity programs, healthful food choices and on-site gym facilities or fitness classes.

While many parts of Oregon are experiencing average to better than average growth, the latest Oregon Regional Economic Indexes show the Rogue Valley continues to grow at a below-normal pace.

The indexes, compiled by the Oregon Economic Forum, show the Portland Metro and Eugene-Springfield regions consistently post above-average growth numbers, and traditional positive cyclical dynamics increasingly are taking hold in both areas.

The unemployment rate is a substantial negative weight on the Rogue Valley measure, but unemployment has fallen to normal or below normal levels in other regions. Both Salem and the Rogue Valley were negatively affected by weak labor force numbers.

Cider judges love dem apples from Applegate

Apple Bandit Hard Cider from Applegate claimed Best of Show in the 2014 Portland International Cider Cup last weekend.

Apple Bandit, owned by Blair Smith and Marcey Kelley, also won a Gold Medal in the Common Sweet Cider category.

Compiled from staff reports

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