Benton-Franklin Council of Governments (BFCG) is pleased to announce the selection of Stephanie Seamans as its new Executive Director to lead the agency formed in 1966 into the future. The BFCG provides a regional forum for transportation planning as well as economic and community development, with 17 members including Counties, Cities, Ports and other agencies within the region. BFCG is designated as the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Regional Transportation Planning Organization for jurisdictions within Benton and Franklin Counties. Additionally, the BFCG is designated by the Economic Development Administration as an Economic Development District (EDD), which includes working with the jurisdictions on their plans and projects, and provides loans of up to $300,000 for small businesses.
“As a third generation Tri-Citian, I am so proud to be serving in the community I grew up in. This is a new chapter for BFCG and I want us to make a difference for the jurisdictions and entities we serve. I have spent time establishing relationships with our BFCG members’ leadership and staff throughout the years, and appreciate their confidence in me. We all see that there are a lot of irons in the fire in the community and a lot of work to be done. The membership agencies are doing great things on their own, but sometimes need a wider forum for discussion of regional priorities and activities. It will be my purpose to elevate our agency to bring the best service and value we can to our core activities for our members.”
After earning an accounting degree at the University of Idaho, Stephanie began her professional career as a Certified Public Accountant with Baker & Giles, in Pasco. She went on to live in
Pendleton for fifteen years working in Tribal Economic Development. Although a government position, it also involved many facets beyond finance and allowed her to dive into transportation and infrastructure development, corporate recruiting, project management, workforce development, budgets and financing, grant management, and overall business management.
During her time at the Umatilla Tribes she worked with various State and Federal agencies on local and regional projects, including working with the surrounding cities and ports. She also served as a longtime Executive Committee member and past President of Greater Eastern Oregon Economic Development Corporation, which serves seven eastern Oregon Counties. Stephanie managed the startup and operations of many of the Tribe’s non-casino businesses, including their Coyote Business Park and Cayuse Technologies. For twelve of those years, she also partnered with another CPA to operate a small CPA firm.
In late 2015, Stephanie returned home to the Tri-Cities to be closer to family and became the Community and Economic Development Manager at BFCG, working with the EDD and BFCG’s loan programs.
“After working with Ms. Seamans in her role as Interim Executive Director since October I have been able to observe her genuine caring, concern and commitment to have this agency provide the highest level of service to the communities and jurisdictions the BFCG serves. Stephanie brings a wealth of diversified experience to BFCG and is excited to implement her vision to enhance and expand the services the BFCG offers as prescribed by her Board of Directors. I, along with my fellow Board members, am excited to see how she will lead her team into a new and successful chapter in the history of the Benton-Franklin Council of Governments.” said Skip Novakovich, BFCG Board of Directors President.
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