by | Mar 22, 2016 |

Our Story

Located in south eastern Washington State and north central Idaho, the Palouse encompasses both communities regardless of the state line and connects Moscow, Idaho, home to the University of Idaho, and Pullman, Washington, home to Washington State University. Known for rolling hills and dry-land farming, the area produces much more than an abundance of grain crops. Intellectual capital is the latest commodity springing up in the area.

History – The Latah County Economic Development Council, Southeast Washington Economic Development Association and the two regional universities, University of Idaho and Washington State University, created the Palouse Knowledge Corridor as a forum to plan for the growth of and promote the intellectual and creative capital associated with these land-grant, research universities and the high-tech industries in this region known as the Palouse. Events have been held to convene discussions and understanding of the assets in the region, provide networking opportunities for companies and university research teams, address obstacles to progress, and other topics of interest. There are three repeating events each year; Spring and Fall Business Showcases and the Be the Entrepreneur Bootcamp.

Leadership of the Palouse Knowledge Corridor is provided through the two co-chairs, one from Idaho and one from Washington. The Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from the two universities, the cities of Moscow and Pullman, Latah and Whitman counties, Moscow and Pullman Chambers of Commerce, Southeast Washington Economic Development Association, and business leaders from the region.

Vision: unify efforts to create economic opportunities on the Palouse.

Mission: to match innovation with opportunity, promote the assets of the Palouse, and foster collaborative efforts with universities, private sector, economic development agencies, and governments

Our Board

Co-Chair, Tom Lamar

Tom-Lamar-3Tom Lamar has served as a Latah County Commissioner since January 2015. Lamar previously served on the Moscow City Council from June 2007 to January 2015.

Since 1990, Lamar has been the executive director of Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute, a broad-based conservation organization and Nature Center based in Moscow. In that role, he has worked with many Latah County landowners on stream restoration projects on their properties. He is a founding member of the Latah Trail Foundation and taught Conservation Leadership for six years at the University of Idaho.

Lamar holds a master’s degree from Washington State University and a bachelor’s from the University of Delaware. He has lived in Latah County since 1985. He helped raise three talented daughters, all of whom graduated from Moscow High School and are alumnae of the University of Idaho.

Co-Chair, Nathan Weller

Nathan Weller is the Pullman City Council representative on the PKC board. He is interested in the unique possibilities of cooperation between businesses, government, and various organizations in a region with cross border universities, a regional airport, and supportive cities and counties. Born in Pullman, Washington, Nathan has had the opportunity to travel and work in a variety of industries including technology, construction, agriculture and research in locations ranging from Europe, Australia, and Mexico, and now brings that experience and knowledge back to his community and region. Nathan attended Washington State University and earned a B.S. in Psychology and graduated from the University of Idaho with a Masters degree in Bioregional Planning and Community Design. He built a small business in 2007 at the age of 25 and was elected to serve Pullman City Council the following year. Through his travels, work, and school he has gained a wide base of knowledge and friends in many areas and is focused on helping the region that has raised him.

Secretary, Teresa Dillon

Teresa-Dillon-3Teresa Dillon has been employed at the University of Idaho since 2008. Initially serving as a management assistant in the President’s office, she was recently promoted as assistant to AVP of Economic Development and Director of Research Administration. As a University of Idaho graduate in Education, she taught English, writing, and math for 22 years in southwest Idaho before resigning from teaching and relocating to Moscow. Although she has enjoyed her years as a successful educator, she has always looked forward to the challenges and rewards of new endeavors or opportunities that present themselves.

Treasurer, Francis Benjamin

Francis-Benjamin-3Francis is the Washington State University representative, past co-chair of the Palouse Knowledge Corridor, and current co-chair of the Be The Entrepreneur Bootcamp. He came to the region in 1979 to attend the University of Idaho and now engages his engineering, psychology, theology, and political science degrees to design psychological research experiments which answer relevant complex questions. His Political Interaction research lab works to discover ways to improve the current political process. Francis served on Pullman’s City Council from 2003-2015 where he specialized in Economic Development. He is a former president of the Southeast Washington Economic Development Association and former president of the Association of Washington Cities.

Marie Dymkoski

MarieAs the Executive Director of the Pullman Chamber of Commerce, Marie Dymkoski is responsible for a full range of activities coordination of the program of work; organizational structure and procedures; motivation of volunteering; income and expenditures; maintenance of membership; employment, training and supervision of staff; interpretation of policy; and long and short range planning. Marie enjoys the work of the chamber and believes that the Palouse is the best place to live, work and do business. Marie has served on the PKC board for six years, three as co-chair, and has lived in the town of Palouse, Washington for 28 years.

Sarah McKnight

sarah-mcknight-bwSarah McKnight graduated from WSU in 2004 with a BA in Education, she is currently the Whitman County Managing Director for Southeast Washington Economic Development Association. Sarah is a Whitman County native, enjoys living on the Palouse and being involved in local communities. Currently, Sarah serves on the Colfax City Council, Waddell & Reed Financial Advisory Board, and the Economic Development Tourism & Events Commission.

Tony Bean

tony-bean-bwTony Bean currently serves as the Executive Director of the Pullman Moscow Regional Airport. Bean previously served the State of Montana, Aeronautics Division as Manager of the Yellowstone Airport, located in West Yellowstone, Montana from 2006 to 2011. Prior to his work as an airport manager, he was a Lead Security Officer for the Transportation Security Administration. He also interned at commercial service level airports in Helena, Montana and Jacksonville, North Carolina. He served as an Aviation Ground Support Equipment Technician, a Cryogenics Equipment Technician and Instructor in the United States Marine Corps, leaving the service as sergeant and instructor at Cherry Point, North Carolina. Tony holds a BS in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University and is a Certified Member (C.M.) of the American Association of Airport Executives.

Dean Kinzer

D-Kinzer-3Dean Kinzer is currently serving his first term as a Whitman County Commissioner and has served on the Pullman School Board since 2001. Dean graduated from the University of Idaho with a BS in Agricultural Education. He grew up in the Genesee area and moved to Pullman in 1974 to start leasing the farm that he is still farming today.

Gina Taruscio

ginaGina came to Moscow in May of 1994, three days after graduating from the University of Oklahoma. After completing her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Idaho, Gina spends her time in Moscow working with and for business.  From directing the University of Idaho Business Technology Incubator through the year 2000, then working with SEL, BioTracking, and Express Professional Staffing, to leading and supporting the Moscow Chamber of Commerce board since 2012, Gina has worked with and for locally owned businesses throughout her career.  Gina serves on the SMART Transit board, the Partnership for Economic Prosperity Board, and the Moscow Farmers Market Commission. She and her husband, Todd, are avid gardeners, and new grandparents. Gina also enjoys singing in her band “Voodoo City Radio.”

Jeremy Tamsen

jeremy-tamsen-bwJeremy Tamsen is the University of Idaho representative for the Palouse Knowledge Corridor. He is an alumnus of the University of Idaho College of Law and the University of Colorado Denver. He brings to the Palouse his passion for new technology and his expertise in handling intellectual property, developed over more than a decade of experience working with small businesses. Jeremy is driven to grow the Palouse as an intellectual and commercial center, and he is excited to help the PKC make a big impact in the region.

Jim Boland

jim-boland-bwJim came to Moscow from Idaho Falls in 1972 to attend the University of Idaho.  He graduated in 1978 with a degree in Animal Science and after a brief time away from the Palouse, returned to Moscow and the UI, earning a Master’s of Business Administration in 1983.  Jim has owned and operated C&L Lockers in Moscow since 1988 and Hog Heaven Sausage Works since 2010.  He has also served as president of the Rendezvous in the Park for eight years, and as a board member for many more.  Jim also served on the City of Moscow’s Planning and Zoning Commission.  He is a musician, and enjoys practicing and performing with his band “The Intentions.” Boland and is also an avid bicyclist and skier. and has recently completed the Tour Divide, a 2,750-mile bike trek.  The Tour begins in Banff, Canada and ends at the Mexican border.  He was appointed in January 2015 by Mayor Lambert to fill the remaining term vacated by Tom Lamar.  He was then elected to a four-year term in November 2015.


Platinum (>$2,000)

Appearances Marketing & Promotions
Carmel Minogue, CPA
City Of Moscow
City Of Pullman
Crimson Commerce Club (C3)
Latah County
Palouse Commercial Real Estate
Pullman Regional Hospital
Stoel Rives
Tri-State Outfitters
UI College of Engineering
UI Executive MBA Program
UI Idaho Entrepreneurs
UI Technology Transfer
WSU College of Arts & Science

Gold ($1,000)
Alturas Analytics
Banner Bank
College Cabs
Emsi, LLC
Landeck & Forseth
Port Of Columbia
Pullman Chamber of Commerce
Southeast Washinton Economic Development Association

Bronze ($250)
Whitman County

Individual Member ($100)
Columbia Bank


Interested in joining the Palouse Knowledge Corridor?  There are many great reasons to join. Listed below are the benefits each sponsor/member receives when they join at a particular level. The Palouse Knowledge Corridor is a member driven organization. Members and sponsors input influences the programming made available to the region.

Platinum (>$2,000)
• Recognized on the main page of the PKC web site
• Recognized at all PKC events
• Media Sponsor Profile

Gold ($1,000)
• Recognized as a gold sponsor on the PKC web site
• Recognized at PKC events

Silver ($500)
• Recognized as a silver sponsor on the PKC web site
• Recognized annually at PKC events

Bronze ($250)
• Recognized as a member on the PKC web site
• Recognized annually at PKC events

Individual Member ($100)
• Recognized as a member on the PKC web site

Student ($10)
• Recognized as a member on the PKC web site

Members at all levels will be listed on our website (unless indicated otherwise). Bronze and above will be listed in our programs. *Gold and above will be publicly recognized at our events. **Platinum will be profiled in our media sponsorship.

Founding Members

Amplicon Express, Inc.
City of Moscow
City of Pullman
Comtech AHA Corporation
Latah Economic Development Council
Moscow Chamber of Commerce
Pullman Chamber of Commerce
Southeast Washington Economic Development Association
University of Idaho
Washington State University

Palouse Demographics

The Palouse Knowledge Corridor (PKC), crossing the Idaho-Washington border and comprising Latah and Whitman counties, expects to add over 1,000 residents in the next 5 years, pushing the population well over 75,000 by 2012. Workforce-aged inhabitants between the ages of 20 and 64 make up 65% of the total population.
The University of Idaho and Washington State University’s location eight miles apart in these two counties make for a high demonstrable concentration of knowledge and innovation as indicated by patent generation. The Palouse Knowledge Corridor consistently generates more patents per 1000 people than the nation (see right).

The region also shows an especially high concentration of educated residents as indicated by educational attainment data for 2006 (below). Twenty-one percent of residents 25+ hold a graduate degree compared to ten percent at the state and national level.

Further, both universities show completions of key degrees in either innovative, high-tech, or regionally relevant programs. The 2006-2007 program year saw 1185 degree completions within the Business Management & Marketing major, 647 within Engineering, 393 within Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 267 in Agriculture & Agriculture Operations, and 102 within Computer & Information Sciences. The following graph demonstrates graduates by program and award level.

SOURCE: Data and Analysis by EMSI (www.economicmodeling.com)

Photo credit: Gary J. Kohn GJK Imagery