Call us today (509) 575-1140

right dark green arrow.

Meet the YCDA Team

Who We Are

The YCDA mission is to enhance the income, quality of life, and employment stability of Yakima County residents by retaining, expanding and recruiting new business and industry.

Meet the YCDA Team

Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith

Executive Director

Jon Smith joined our team in 2015.

Jonathan is a Certified Economic Developer with sixteen years of rural economic development experience. His key accomplishments include successful recruitment of national and international companies and assisting local businesses with expansions and exporting projects. In total, Smith has helped over twenty-five companies locate or expand new operations. These companies have invested over $1.6 billion in facilities and equipment and have created approximately 1,700 jobs.

Jon also has experience with infrastructure development and has helped secure over $40 million of grant and loan funding for job-creating projects. This includes funding for rail, water, sewer, roads, and electrical infrastructure.

Some of Jon’s most rewarding work has been coordinating workforce development programs between businesses and educational institutions. These training programs result in hundreds of local residents receiving the training and skills they need to be successful in local family-wage jobs. Additionally, Jon has worked with small businesses and rural communities to help develop main streets and spur business growth in distressed areas.

Smith is a past chair of the Washington Economic Development Association and a board member of the South Central Workforce Development Council and Yakima SHRM, the local professional HR Association. He has a Master’s Degree in Communication & Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Communication with a minor in Economics from the University of Idaho.

Joe Schmitt

Joe Schmitt

Economic Development Manager

Joe Schmitt joined our team in 2015.

Schmitt is responsible for developing marketing programming that is designed to encourage the location of new business and manufacturing facilities to relocate or start in Yakima County. Schmitt also works with local employers to attract technical and professional employees to the area as well as implement strategies to improve regional workforce preparedness and talent retention. As part of his duties, Joe meets with site selectors and attends trade shows to pitch Yakima County as a good place to establish a business.

Schmitt has an undergraduate degree in English from Washington State University and brings over a decade of entrepreneurial success as well as extensive public relations, outreach, marketing, and media experience to the position.

Headshot Terry Edmands

Terry Edmands

Investor Relations Director

Terry joined our team in 2022.

Bio coming soon.

Yani Cisneros

Yani Cisneros

Bilingual Small Business Support Specialist

Yani joined our team in 2020.

She worked tirelessly to provide small business relief grants to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cisneros brings three years of bilingual advertising experience and a total of seven years working with small business owners in the Yakima Valley.

Following the administration of over $13 million in grant funding, Yani transitioned to the position of Bilingual Small Business Support Specialist. In this role, Yani guides small business owners towards available funding and resources to help them continue operating safely and recover from the pandemic. She also provides customized technical training workshops for owners needing the basic tools to operate their business successfully.

Yani is actively involved in the business community – Cisneros currently holds the Chair position for the Central Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Carmela Solorzano

Carmela Solorzano

Communication & Events Manager

Carmela Solorzano joined our team in 2021.

Carmela brings a wealth of experience to the YCDA team. For over 19 years, she worked for the Yakima Herald Republic. Her last ten years were in management, with her last two years as Director of Sales where she led her team working with small to medium size area businesses in developing strategies for reaching potential customers in both traditional print and digital marketing campaigns. Carmela is excited to continue connecting with local businesses. 

Carmela uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. She enjoys spending her free time cheering on her two boys from the sidelines at their sporting events.

Carmela co-chairs the Crystal Apple Awards celebrating excellence in education in the Yakima School District. Carmela has an Associate of Arts degree from YVC and has most recently completed the Advanced Business Certificate Program through UW Foster School of Business.

Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith

Executive Director

Jon Smith joined our team in 2015.

Jonathan is a Certified Economic Developer with sixteen years of rural economic development experience. His key accomplishments include successful recruitment of national and international companies and assisting local businesses with expansions and exporting projects. In total, Smith has helped over twenty-five companies locate or expand new operations. These companies have invested over $1.6 billion in facilities and equipment and have created approximately 1,700 jobs.

Jon also has experience with infrastructure development and has helped secure over $40 million of grant and loan funding for job-creating projects. This includes funding for rail, water, sewer, roads, and electrical infrastructure.

Some of Jon’s most rewarding work has been coordinating workforce development programs between businesses and educational institutions. These training programs result in hundreds of local residents receiving the training and skills they need to be successful in local family-wage jobs. Additionally, Jon has worked with small businesses and rural communities to help develop main streets and spur business growth in distressed areas.

Smith is a past chair of the Washington Economic Development Association and a board member of the South Central Workforce Development Council and Yakima SHRM, the local professional HR Association. He has a Master’s Degree in Communication & Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Communication with a minor in Economics from the University of Idaho.

Joe Schmitt

Economic Development Manager

Joe Schmitt joined our team in 2015.

Schmitt is responsible for developing marketing programming that is designed to encourage the location of new business and manufacturing facilities to relocate or start in Yakima County. Schmitt also works with local employers to attract technical and professional employees to the area as well as implement strategies to improve regional workforce preparedness and talent retention. As part of his duties, Joe meets with site selectors and attends trade shows to pitch Yakima County as a good place to establish a business.

Schmitt has an undergraduate degree in English from Washington State University and brings over a decade of entrepreneurial success as well as extensive public relations, outreach, marketing, and media experience to the position.

Joe Schmitt
Headshot Terry Edmands

Terry Edmands

Investor Relations Director

Terry joined our team in 2022.

Bio coming soon.

Yani Cisneros

Bilingual Small Business Support Specialist

Yani joined our team in 2020.

 

She worked tirelessly to provide small business relief grants to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cisneros brings three years of bilingual advertising experience and a total of seven years working with small business owners in the Yakima Valley.

Following the administration of over $13 million in grant funding, Yani transitioned to the position of Bilingual Small Business Support Specialist. In this role, Yani guides small business owners towards available funding and resources to help them continue operating safely and recover from the pandemic. She also provides customized technical training workshops for owners needing the basic tools to operate their business successfully.

Yani is actively involved in the business community – Cisneros currently holds the Chair position for the Central Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Yani Cisneros
Carmela Solorzano

Carmela Solorzano

Communication and Events Manager

Carmela Solorzano joined our team in 2021.

Carmela brings a wealth of experience to the YCDA team. For over 19 years, she worked for the Yakima Herald-Republic. Her last ten years were in management, with her last two years as Director of Sales where she led her team working with small to medium size area businesses in developing strategies for reaching potential customers in both traditional print and digital marketing campaigns. Carmela is excited to continue connecting with local businesses.

Carmela uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others to work hard and succeed. She enjoys spending her free time cheering on her two boys from the sidelines at their sporting events.

Carmela co-chairs the Crystal Apple Awards celebrating excellence in education in the Yakima School District. Carmela has an Associate of Arts degree from YVC and has most recently completed the Advanced Business Certificate Program through UW Foster School of Business.

Give us a call!

Have more questions about how
we can help your business thrive in Yakima?

Scroll to Top