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Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden make a stop on statewide 2022 Manufacturing Roadshow

"The bus is the Oregon way at its best," wrote Sen. Ron Wyden in signing the 2022 Manufacturing Roadshow Bus at Heritage Specialty Foods in Milwaukie.PMG PHOTO: ETHAN M. ROGERS - Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, signs the 2022 Manufacturing Roadshow Bus at Heritage Specialty Foods in Milwaukie.

It's not every day that both of Oregon's U.S. senators rub elbows at a Milwaukie business, but Heritage Specialty Foods made it onto a distinguished list of Oregon employers during this year's Manufacturing Roadshow.PMG PHOTO: ETHAN M. ROGERS - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden shakes hands with employees of Heritage Specialty Foods in Milwaukie.

Sen. Jeff Merkley on Aug. 12 joined the group of nearly 50 attendees, including Clackamas County politicians and business leaders, on a private tour of the family owned-and-operated facility.

The Manufacturing Roadshow, organized by Oregon Business and Industry from Aug. 3-17, toured such well-known businesses as Intel, Tillamook Creamery, Pacific Seafood, Georgia-Pacific, Hewlett Packard, Oregon State University, Weyerhaeuser and Oregon Tech.PMG PHOTO: ETHAN M. ROGERS - U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley dons a lab coat and disposable blue hair cover to tour Heritage Specialty Foods in Milwaukie.

"As a family owned and operated business," said Shane Hendren, president and CEO of Heritage Specialty Foods, "we have seen firsthand how people-first manufacturing can transform lives. We are excited to welcome OBI's Roadshow to our new production and distribution facility, and hope to share our company's goals, values, the challenges we face, and our commitment to our community."PMG PHOTO: ETHAN M. ROGERS - U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley meets with Angela Wilhelms, president and CEO of Oregon Business and Industry.

Merkley arrived moments before Wyden but neither senator wasted a moment jumping into the event, shaking hands and sharing thoughts with invited attendees.

Angela Wilhelms, president and CEO of Oregon Business and Industry's members from over 1,600 Oregon businesses, was on hand to bring together politicians and business leaders, while keeping the focus on the Heritage Specialty Foods team.

Hendren led the group in donning disposable blue hair covers, which looked much like thin paper shower caps, after putting on lab coats and covering beards with little white paper upside-down shower caps. Merkley, wearing his well-worn cowboy boots, kept to the front of the crowd and engaged with other tour participants.

Hendren then took the group into the depths of the Heritage Specialty Foods operation and handled questions from the assembled tour of at least 30 participants. Heritage Specialty, which has over 30 years of experience in manufacturing of fresh food, specializes in proprietary recipe development.

Oregon Business and Industry, founded in 2017 through a merger of Oregon's statewide business organizations, members employ over 250,000 Oregonians from all sectors of industry and across all parts of Oregon with more than 80% of members comprising small businesses like Heritage Specialty Foods.PMG PHOTO: ETHAN M. ROGERS - Shane Hendren, president and CEO of Heritage Specialty Foods, leads a tour with U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley.

The Roadshow hit over 30 cities in 11 days and covered 2,000 miles of Oregon roads, byways, highways and freeways to shine a light on Oregon's diverse innovation economy.


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