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.

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 Manager

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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 Manager. 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 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. 

Peter Owens

Project Specialist

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Peter B. Owens is originally from the East Coast, having grown up in Syracuse, NY, and first moved to the Chico area in 2017. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. As Project Specialist, Peter assists in the design and implementation of a variety of CED research projects, produces written reports, maps, and other media, and supervises CED research assistants. Peter is passionate about issues of poverty and inequality, both historical and contemporary, and is excited to be working with the CED to help address the socioeconomic needs of North state communities. In his free time, Peter loves to hike and bike around Northern California, cook, read, and spend time with family.