Jackie B Peterson spent her early years in the Midwest but came to Oregon in 1959 when her father transferred here for work. She has been an Oregonian ever since. She is a graduate of Beaverton High School and Willamette University where she was the only female in the Economics Department. In those days’ women were pretty well relegated to careers as teachers, nurses or secretaries but Jackie wanted something different. Eventually she found Accounting and as a young mother went to night school at Portland State to get her accounting credentials to be able to sit for the CPA exam. People rarely pass that exam the first time, but Jackie did. Then she learned she still had to do two years of internship work for a CPA firm to get her license but as she applied to local firms she was told that at the tender age of 32 she was too old to be hired as a trainee. She eventually found a local firm that hired her but told her she would have to secure the work that she would do as they were just starting up and needed clients. Jackie did just that and learned that she loved to market. Not something that can be said for many financial professionals.
As soon as she got her CPA license (1976) Jackie opened her own firm and became active in the profession. She was chosen to be a member of AICPA professional committees a rare happening for a woman in those days and she served on national committees for the next 16 years. Eventually her firm grew to four partners and a total of 15 staff and was well regarded in the area. During those years Jackie became active in the Portland Chamber of Commerce and was elected its first woman Chairman of the Board in 1994. Later Jackie sold her interest in the firm to her partners and moved on into business consulting which led her to work at the Small Business Development Center at Portland Community College. She has now been with the SBDC for 20 years- 13 years as a full-time instructor and 7 years as a retired part time advisor/instructor.
In 2005 Jackie turned her attention to tiny one-person creative businesses and discovered there was no training materials to help them be successful. It was generally thought that the only way to financial success was as a traditional business with employees, staff and documented structures; none of which worked well for creatives. This led Jackie to do extensive research then write her “fill in the blanks” workbook, Better, Smarter, Richer for solo businesses. The SBDC adopted the book as part of their curriculum and Jackie soon realized that a subset of solopreneurs was those over 50 who are systematically being downsized from businesses due to globalization, Ageism, and mergers and acquisitions. Many of those over 50 are seeking ways to support their families and their lifestyle and often finding themselves unemployable, they turn to entrepreneurship. This is the new world of encore entrepreneurship and it is in that arena that Jackie is now focusing her efforts.
Jackie now divides her time between her business, Better, Smarter, Richer, and working part time for the SBDC. Through her consulting company she has an on-line program called Best Beginnings which is a 7-hour webinar series to help people figure out what they love to do and how to monetize that passion.