bud blake, executive director

Bud Blake is the Executive Director for the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition (PNDC), a non-profit organization connecting defense industry business development to regional businesses oriented toward growth in the Pacific Northwest region.

 Bud served in several key leadership roles dedicated to the nation and local communities. After serving 25 years, he retired in 2013 from the US Army as a Lieutenant Colonel, primarily in the Military Intelligence field for Conventional and Unconventional forces. After his tenure in the armed forces, he was elected to the Board of County Commissioners for Thurston County (2014-18). In his latest key leadership position, Bud was the Director of a Behavioral Health Administrative and Services Organization conducting business development collectively with five counties of clinics and program services assisting the client population and greater community.

PNDC exists because previous business leaders, over 20 years ago, saw a need for an organization to assist the collective community to keep pace with changes, especially the supplier-to-business relationship and cost reductions. Bud is committed to these efforts in order to create growth ranging from the Pacific Northwest region down to your organization. Bud is known for two hallmarks: listening and action to cut through red tape and bureaucracy. He frequents all social media platforms and extends an open-door policy for the face-to-face interaction.

Email: [email protected]

Leslie Everson, CPA/Finance Director

Leslie Everson joined PNDC in January 2014 as an independent contractor performing the Coalition’s accounting and finance functions.  Leslie, a CPA, has spent over 20 years working in public accounting and industry, primarily serving small to medium size businesses.  A native of North Dakota, she graduated from the University of North Dakota and then lived in Minnesota and Nevada.  She and her husband, Dave, live in Gladstone, OR and have two grown daughters.  They enjoy traveling and spending time enjoying Oregon’s great outdoors.  Leslie served on the Gladstone School Board for eight years, and also served on the Gladstone Education Foundation Board of Directors.  She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Oregon Society of CPAs. 

Email: [email protected]


Denise Ryser, director, market development

Denise leads PNDC’s efforts to support member businesses, by developing sales growth opportunities in direct defense and security sales and building a strong and connected supply chain in these industries. Her background in government relations, partner support, and business development make her a trusted advisor to the PNDC community. With a keen focus on member needs, Denise’s recent projects include supporting the launch of the Pacific Northwest Mission Acceleration Center (PNW MAC), leading delegations to defense focused trade shows in London and Washington D.C., and supporting PNDC’s Advocacy Committee to connect Pacific Northwest businesses with their elected officials to communicate legislative needs and impacts.

Email: [email protected]


Karlee Keith, manager, marketing & events

Karlee Keith joins us with over 10 years of event experience. Most recently, Karlee was the Events & Program Manager for the Association of Washington Business where she played a key role in the growth of AWB's events and sponsorships. Prior to her role with AWB, she was an Event Marketing Representative for ALSAC St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where she facilitated and implemented all fundraising efforts throughout the state of Montana for St. Jude. She is a graduate of Western Washington University with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. 

Email: [email protected]

Bailey Simpson, Office Manager & gcap procurement counselor

As the Office Manager for PNDC, Bailey manages the membership database, assists members with a variety of needs, and helps in organizing office affairs. She has over a decade of experience in customer service and joined PNDC in 2016. As a Procurement Counselor for GCAP, Bailey assists Oregon companies with SBA certifications and registrations, and assists clients with setting up Bid Match profiles.

Email: [email protected] | [email protected]

Tyrell Trimble, Marketing & Membership Coordinator

Since receiving his Bachelor of Science in Music Business from Southern Oregon University, Tyrell has immersed himself in the rapidly evolving world of online content creation and digital marketing. Having worked in journalism, product photography, and social media marketing, Tyrell has frequently been referred to as something of a Renaissance Man. Tyrell joined PNDC October 2021 to help create inhouse marketing materials and manage the newsletter. When not in the office, Tyrell spends his days curating an ever-growing collection of VHS tapes and practicing piano. 

Email: [email protected]