The Yakima County Development Association will enhance the income, quality of life, and employment stability of Yakima County residents by retaining, expanding and recruiting new business and industry.


Jonathan Smith

Executive Director

Jonathan is a Certified Economic Developer with thirteen 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 companies locate or expand new operations. These companies have invested over $1.5 billion in facilities and equipment and have created approximately 1,700 jobs.

Jon also has experience with infrastructure development and has helped secure over $35 million of grant and loan funding for job creating projects. This includes funding for rail, water, sewer, roads, electrical infrastructure and fiber optics.

Some of Jon’s most rewarding work has been coordinating workforce development programs between businesses and educational institutions. These training programs resulted 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 the 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 designed to encourage the location of new business and manufacturing facilities 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 manages the YCDA’s web and social media initiatives, marketing, and outreach.

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.

Monica Caoile

Investor Relations Manager

Monica joined the YCDA Team in 2019 managing YCDA’s investor relations and fundraising campaigns.

Caoile is an essential part of the organization as she provides an avenue for consistent communication and feedback from YCDA investors and stakeholders.

Monica’s background includes the Memorial Foundation where she worked as Community Engagement Coordinator. She headed up the Passion for the Village Fundraiser to bring awareness to the services provided at Children’s Village. She held stakeholder meetings for community members to learn more about the programs offered at North Star Lodge and Cottage in the Meadow. Caoile also led the Foundation’s golf tournament in partnership with Children’s Miracle Network to raise money for the NICU unit at Virginia Mason Memorial. During her time there, Monica broke records by raising more money for these programs than had ever been done in the past.

Before the Memorial Foundation, Monica managed a local business for 15 years. She led a staff of 40 employees and learned first-hand the challenges and rewards of running a business.

Caoile brings a wealth of skillset including written and interpersonal communication, research, fundraising, leadership, creativity, logistics, and problem-solving. All of which are important to leading the efforts as the Investor Relations Manager.

Monica attended Central Washington University where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations with a Minor in Nonprofit Organization Management.

Jess Camacho

Communication and Events Manager

Camacho is our newest addition to the YCDA team as the Communication and Events Manager.

Jessica’s has more than six-year of experience in the marketing and communication industry and is currently leading the efforts as Central Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Chair of the Board of Directors.

Previously, Jess was Yakima Valley Tourism’s Public Relations Manager where she strategically planned communication campaigns to promote the Yakima Valley as a visitor destination, adding to the overall economic impact of tourism to the Yakima Valley.

Before Yakima Valley Tourism, Camacho was the Senior Account Manager at Field Group Marketing Agency where she led marketing campaigns for several regional organizations and businesses including Pacific Northwest University, Hotel Maison, Salud Family Health Centers, USA Hops, Xochimilco, Yakima Police Department, and many more.

During her time at the University of Washington, Camacho worked at St. Jude Children’s Hospital as a regional event marketing intern. As a Gates Millennium Scholar, Camacho was able to study Cross-Pacific Identity in Tahiti, French Polynesia; Social Business in India; Communication Technologies in Low-Resource Environments in Ghana, Africa; and Mass Media in Italy. She graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a Minor in Diversity.

Sarah Truglio

SBDC Business Advisor

Sarah Truglio joined our team in 2018 when she was hired by Washington State University to be the region’s new Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Advisor.

Previously, Sarah was with the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce for six years. Her areas of specialization include business startup and management, marketing, customer service, community building, and business planning. Sarah is also certified in business incubation management.

Located in the YCDA offices, Sarah serves Yakima, Kittitas, and Klickitat Counties as a Business Advisor. SBDC advisors provide in-depth business counseling and coaching for new companies and existing businesses in areas such as financial analysis, business planning and expansion, market research, and exporting. These services are offered to clients at no cost.

James A. Fisher


James joins us from the US Navy through the WorkEx program. He is joining us for three months as part of a program to assist military members gain crucial business skills during their final months in the military to help make a smooth transition.

James is here to learn as much as he can about the local business community and is helping us in a wide array of tasks. Currently he has been working to create databases that help employees sort data to more efficiently perform their crucial roles. He is also driving data visualizations to assist local government make big picture grant funding decisions.

During his time in the Navy, he served on the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, and then at Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific in Bangor, WA. He obtained his BS in Economics from Penn State in the spring of 2020. He gained experience managing complex programs and is bringing that experience to the Yakima County.