Dan Ripke


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Dan Ripke, a native of Northern California, holds a BS in international business, a BA in French, and a master’s studies in business administration from California State University, Chico. He has worked for the Center for Economic Development and the Northeastern California Small Business Development Center since 1988, serving as director for the center’s 21-county service region. In this capacity, he provides economic development and planning technical assistance to over 20 percent of the state of California. Dan is a member of the International Economic Development Council, the California Association for Local Economic Development, and the National Association of Development Organizations.

Michael Suplita

Michael SuplitaAssociate Director of Research

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Michael Suplita grew up in Oroville, CA and attended high school in nearby Durham, graduating in 2005. He started attending California State University, Chico in the fall of 2005, and started working at the Center for Economic Development in May 2009 as a student research assistant. He began by answering research assistance requests, and working on the research team producing the 2009-10 County Profile Series. Michael graduated CSU Chico at the end of May 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental economics and has since become a full time employee at the CED, taking on the role of project manager. Michael spends his time working on several different projects including County Profiles research assistance requests, business assistance requests, and applied research and profile workshops. In the coming months, most of Michael’s time will be spent as the contact person for CED’s newly launched Market Intelligence for Small Business Program. When not at work Michael enjoys watching sports and spending time outdoors. He loves to hunt, fish, and practice archery. Michael is dedicated to conservation, especially of the northern California wetlands. His interest in agriculture, conservation, renewable energy, and wildlife compelled him to choose environmental economics as his major in order to eventually approach current environmental issues from an administrative and decision making standpoint. Michael has valued his time at the CED because it has given him a chance to learn more about the demographics and local economies of northern California communities, and now he has the opportunity to apply that knowledge to their effects on the environment. As his career at the Center continues, Michael aspires to utilize his education and unquenchable interest in the northern California environment to conduct important research on the relationship between changes in the environment and local economies.

Kristine Caldwell

Kristine-CaldwellAdministrative Manager

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Kristine is a Chico native who brings years of accounting, contract administration, and project management experience to the CED team. She took an early interest in history and politics, and graduated from CSU, Chico in 2005 with a degree in Political Science.  She then worked for seven years as a baker and cake decorator at local bakeries. She later worked for a local general engineering contractor where she learned accounting and contract administration while acting as the administrative liaison between the office, project managers, architects, subcontractors, material suppliers, and clients. Kristine also has extensive experience in property management; at a local property management firm, she managed multiple homeowner association properties with responsibilities including financial management, maintenance/construction management and budget preparation and tracking. In her free time, Kristine enjoys snow skiing, snowboarding, stand-up comedy, cooking and baking, and working on her small walnut orchard here in Chico.

Ryan Miller

Ryan MillerProject Manager

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Ryan G. Miller is a Chico native and CSU, Chico graduate who returned to Chico in 2014 to work and teach at CSUC. Ryan holds dual degrees in geography and economics from CSUC, as well as a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Washington in Seattle.  Ryan started his career at the CED as a student research assistant in 2011. As a student research assistant, Ryan worked on the broadband data mapping and analysis project housed at the CED at that time, which cultivated a deep interest in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to answer important economic questions. Ryan currently works at both the CED, and its sister organization, the Geographic Information Center (GIC), on a variety of projects that involve the intersection of spatial and economic data. At the CED, Ryan creates mapping content for the monthly newsletter, and provides mapping and technical support to the CED’s applied research projects.  Ryan also serves as adjunct faculty in CSUC’s Department of Geography and Planning, teaching such courses as Physical Geography, Geography of the American West, and Global Economic Geography.  In his spare time, Ryan likes to read, bike through Bidwell Park, and enjoy the bounty of the beautiful Sacramento Valley at local farmers markets.

Meagan Weaver

Project Specialist

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Meagan Weaver is a Chico native and CSU, Chico graduate. Meagan started her undergraduate studies at Butte Community College before transferring in the spring of 2014 to California State University, Chico. Meagan began working at the Center for Economic Development in March of 2014 working on answering research assistance requests and gathering market intelligence research. After graduating from CSU, Chico with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, she has since begun working at the CED as a Project Specialist. Meagan supervises student research staff to help ensure the production of quality applied research products.  Meagan is also an experienced event coordinator, having assisted with CED’s 2016 annual economic forecast conference, and serving as the lead coordinator for the upcoming 2017 conference.  Meagan is also responsible for CED document design and production, and has introduced innovative updates to many of the CED’s recent publications. In Meagan’s spare time, she enjoys hiking with her dog and biking around Chico. 

Dillon Johnson

Project Specialist

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Dillon Johnson was born and raised in Forest Ranch, a small town in the foothills northeast of Chico. He attended Butte College and Humboldt State before transferring to California State University, Chico where he recently graduated with a BS degree in Agriculture Business. He began working for the Center for Economic Development (CED) in 2013, where he has been able to work on a variety of projects related to agriculture. He has also had the opportunity to develop a program called Bringing Education in Agriculture and Nutrition to Students (BEANS), which provides access to nutrition and agricultural exposure to local students. He also assisted publishing the “The Contribution of Agriculture to Northeastern California’s Economy” in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In 2015, Dillon began working as the Market Manager for the North Valley Food Hub (NVFH). During his time with CED and the NVFH, he plans to broaden his knowledge of agriculture and local food systems while strengthening his skills in data collection, research analysis and project management. Dillon is thrilled to work in the region he grew up and hopes to build meaningful ties within the community and work on projects that support the local economy. In his spare time, he plays recreational basketball and softball and likes to soak up the beautiful Northern California outdoors by fishing and backpacking. Dillon also enjoys snowboarding, archery, golfing, kayaking, attending sporting events and spending time with his friends, family and pets.


Jennifer Joyce

Administrative Assistant

Jennifer Joyce is a rural Northern California native born and raised in Modoc County. She is completing a Master’s in Nutrition Education in spring 2017. She brings four and a half years of administrative experience from her work through the Center for Healthy Communities, another CSU Chico nonprofit state and federally funded organization. As the lead administrative employee Jennifer has worked with budget tracking, preparing audit reports, payroll, e-filing, and interoffice communication. In her free time Jennifer enjoys singing and being active through weight lifting, Pilates, yoga, biking, and running.