Julie Harrelson, CEO of the Harrelson Group, Fund Manager of Cascade Angels, has a beloved penchant for taking selfies with entrepreneurs, investors and people of Oregon who support building a strong Oregon through entrepreneurialism. This blog continues a series of selfies + blogs about the amazing people she’s met in the last couple of years. #julieselfie

Kim Vierra is a world traveler, entrepreneur, instructor at OSU Cascades and a kind and engaged community member. I had the chance to visit Kim and her class in Tykeson Hall. The class had small teams of students, all engaged in creating a company. Having a four-year university in Central Oregon is a great thing and Kim has done a great job encouraging connection between the business community and OSU Cascades.

Julie Harrelson and Kim Vierra, Business and Management Instructor at OSU Cascades

Can you describe your international business experience and how you got to Bend? 

My husband Brian (EDCO Venture Catalyst) and I lived in Southeast Asia for over 10 years, five of which were in Vietnam starting our company, Phat Tire Ventures, and five working for an HR consulting firm in Singapore.  We knew that Bend was where we wanted to land when we repatriated in 2012.  We met here many years before that, running down Paulina Peak, and had a destination wedding here in 2002.

What do you teach at OSU Cascades and why?

I teach management and business classes.  A few days ago I got a thank you note from a former student of mine that graduated last term, saying she landed her first ‘real’ job.  She shared that she went into the field she’s in because of my class, and thanked me for the work that I do. Honestly, nothing makes me happier than knowing that the classes I teach help in some small way to grow the future leaders of our business community.

What are three pieces of advice you would give to an aspiring entrepreneur?

  1. Recognize that entrepreneurship is a team sport.
  2. Surround yourself with great teammates that complement your skills.
  3. Get out there and get after it together.

What is your favorite sport and what have you learned from doing it?

My favorite sport is running. I’ve learned that if you train too hard, you will burn out and get injured, never making it to the starting line (been there, done that). Alternatively, if you train too little, you may walk the last six miles of a marathon (been there, done that, too).  The sweet spot in training is elusive, but as with life, there is one. And you know you’ve hit it when you get to the start line healthy and you finish strong.