Culligan Northwest hired Janie VanderBrink as its new human resources and marketing coordinator. VanderBrink will be responsible for human resources management, community outreach, and customer follow-up. She will also be enhancing the company’s information technology systems.
VanderBrink grew up in Whatcom County and graduated from Meridian High School before earning her Human Resource Certification from Bellingham Technical College. She is married to Dan VanderBrink, who serves as a CT-5 Maintenance Technician for Comcast.
Baron Telecommunications hires wiring expert
Baron Telecommunications has hired Owen Simons to implement the company’s growing cabling services. Simons has international experience in cabling, with background in installation, splicing, termination testing and troubleshooting of burial (underground) cable. He has been a project manager in South Africa and worked extensively in Canada with installation and termination of voice projects, Cat5E and Cat6 data cable.
Trans-Ocean appoints Monica Stone
Trans-Ocean Products, Inc., a seafood processor headquartered in Bellingham, has appointed Monica Stone to the position of business development manager – Western Region. Based in California, Stone’s responsibilities include key account management and the supervision of Trans-Ocean’s broker sales force throughout the entire western United States.
Stone previously served as southwest regional sales manager for Sorrento Lactalis, Inc., headquartered in Buffalo, N.Y. Previously, she held the positions of Territory Manager, District Manager and then Retail Sales Manager for food broker Kelley-Clarke in Diamond Bar, Calif. Stone, who resides in Dana Point, Calif., serves on the board of directors for the Dairy Deli Bakery Council of Southern California.
Two join Barron Smith Daugert
Dennis R. Williams and Steve Brinn have joined Barron Smith Daugert, PLLC, the law firm that continues the business, real estate, estate planning, and commercial/real estate litigation practices of the former Brett & Daugert, PLLC.
Williams first joined the firm in 1981. He left in 1987 to serve as corporate counsel for Allsop, Inc. He returned to private law practice in 1992. Williams re-joins Barron Smith Daugert to focus on business formation and transactions and estate planning. Williams practiced as a CPA from 1966-1981 and says that his previous accounting experience gives him an added perspective when advising clients.
Steve Brinn is also an alumnus of the firm; he was managing partner of Brett & Daugert from 1977-1992. Brinn has returned to focus on finance and strategic business and real estate matters with emphasis on complex transactions. After leaving the firm in 1992, Brinn spent 15 years working as a business executive for Trillium Corporation, BootJack Management Company, LumenIQ, and Clario Medical Imaging. His hands-on experience with business plan development, financial management, and day-to-day business operations makes him uniquely suited to counsel business clients.
Banner Bank promotes Kelling
Banner Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Erika Kelling to branch manager of its Barkley Boulevard branch in Bellingham. Kelling has worked for Banner Bank for over nine years, most recently as a customer service manager at the downtown Bellingham branch. She earned an associate’s degree from Whatcom Community College.
The new Barkley Boulevard branch, conveniently located off of Sunset, opened as the sixth Banner Bank location in Whatcom County in May. Employees at the Barkley Boulevard branch look forward to celebrating with the local community during the week of June 25th when they will host various grand opening activities including a ribbon cutting on June 27 at 4:30 p.m.
Net Solutions and Peoples Bank sponsor event
Patrice Valentine and Jessica McCaslin of Net Solutions NA, along with Troy Wills and Amy Nicol of Peoples Bank, sponsored the April Whatcom Young Professional’s Evening Social. The evening brought together approximately 85 emerging business leaders of Whatcom County to the Extremes Sports Bar and Grill to provide them the opportunity to build business relationships in a fun social setting. The Whatcom Young Professionals has grown to more than 200 members since it started last June.
Fairhaven Realty adds Jim Sands
Jim Sands has joined Fairhaven Realty. Born and raised in Bellingham, Sands attended Bellingham High School and Everett Junior College and joined the U.S. Navy in 1968. Sands has been in the customer service industry all his working life as manager of the Cliff House and Bull Shed Restaurants; owner/operator (with his brother John) of the Boss Tweed Restaurant and owner/operator of the Dirty Dan Harris Restaurant in Fairhaven.
Northwest Computer adds accounting manager
Susan Sanvictores is the new accounting manager for Northwest Computer, according to company CEO John D’Onofrio. Sanvictores formerly served as comptroller for Robert Young and Associates as well as business manager for the Toyota Center Arena and Three Rivers Convention Center in the Tri-Cities area.
Dance instructors recognized
On March 24, three U&ME Dance instructors, Mary Simler-Evans, Nathan Simler, and Elliott Scott, tested their Ballroom Dance knowledge with internationally renowned coach and National Examiner Diane Jarmolow. Over the past five years, these instructors have certified starting at Associate level and worked their way up to the highest recognized level of certification, Grand Master.
Elliott Scott tested in the American Style Smooth Master level and passed. The Smooth dances include the American Tango, Viennese Waltz, Slow Foxtrot, and Slow Waltz.
Siblings, Mary Simler-Evans and Nathan Simler tested in the American Rhythm Grand Master level. American Rhythm includes such dances as the Mambo, the East Coast Swing and the West Coast Swing, Cha Cha, Bolero, and the Rumba. Mary and Nathan passed their exams with high honors and are currently two out of three people in the entire United States to pass this exam, internationally certifying them through Dance Visions International Dancers Association (DVIDA) and the National Dance Council of America (NDCA).
Jake Squires State Farm Insurance Agency adds two
Jake Squires State Farm Agency has announced the addition of Bradly Venables and Kimberley Woods. They will be joining Jake Squires and Nancy Leavitt in assisting and servicing clients with all aspects of insurance and financial needs.
Both Venables and Woods have earned their Washington state property, casualty, life and disability insurance angent’s licenses and have completed State Farm requirements in all fields including becoming State Farm Bank certified.
Venables is a native of Monroe and a recent graduate from Western Washington University. He comes to State Farm from Hertz in the Bellingham area.
Woods is a longtime resident of the area and comes from a career in the travel industry. She most recently worked with HRG North America.
YMCA welcomes new board members
As it enters its centennial year, the YWCA of Bellingham welcomed new members Rosalinda Guillen, executive director of Community to Community, Kristie Lundstrom, of the Bellingham-Whatcom Chamber of Commerce and Industries staff, and Kathy Newport, principal of Blaine Elementary. They were elected to the board at the YWCA annual meeting in April.
Directors also selected new officers: President Jo Collinge, Vice President Kay Ingram, Secretary Jay Johnson and Treasurer Sherry Partlow. Continuing members are Sharon Coss, Diane Hagen, Kathryn Hanowell and Michelle Zimberoff.
Team Potter joins Avalon Realty
Local real estate agent Jeff Potter has recently moved his team of agents to Avalon Realty, in Bellingham. Potter said he signed on with Avalon broker Sharon Crozier because of the unusual opportunities for his team, citing Avalon’s residual system of sustainable income.
Crozier said Potter’s background in teaching, and his certification to offer clock-hour classes will benefit all Avalon agents.
Team Potter includes licensed agent/assistant Brianna Radke and agents Amber Lindsey, Christopher “CJ” Allen, Douglas Hornsby and Harry Singh.
Net Solutions reps hold website workshop
Patrice Valentine, Jessica McCaslin, and Shane Angus of Net Solutions North America held their first Extreme Website Makeover Workshop on April 18 at the Best Western Lakeway Inn. The workshop worked with business professionals who already have a website but wanted some tips and tricks on making it more profitable. The workshop taught the 18 participants how to work with the website they have.
Peter James Photographic Art appoints new director
In preparation for the introduction of new marketing programs tailored for local businesses, Peter James Photographic Art has hired a new director, Michelle Hancock.
As associate director, Hancock will be involved with optimizing current production, integrating new systems and educating the public about new programs.
With 15 years’ experience, she will work with clients to increase the profitability of their businesses and provide personalized service.
Caldwell starts Heating Green company
In January, Jeff Caldwell of Bellingham started Heating Green, a heating business focused on LEED products. The business, located at 1015 Railroad Ave. #213, focuses on its key product, Enerjoy infrared radiant heating panels. These LEED products are placed on the ceiling of homes, offices, shops or any area where comfort is desired.
Van Slyke qualifies for Topper Club
Rollo Van Slyke, owner of the Rollo Van Slyke Farmers Insurance Agency, located at 518 E. Magnolia St., has qualified as a Topper Club agent by Farmers Insurance for the 18th consecutive year. As a company reward, Van Slyke has been invited to Portland, Ore., to attend the 2007 annual meeting of Farmers top sales producers during 2006. The Topper Club award is given to agents for consistently high sales volume of auto, home, life and business policies, plus high client retention, service and profitability.
Mosiman joins RBC Dain Rauscher
Justin Mosiman has joined RBC Dain Rauscher as a financial consultant in its Bellingham office. As a financial consultant, Mosiman helps individuals and corporate clients create and implement comprehensive wealth management plans that focus on accumulating, protecting and transferring wealth.
Smith earns property, casualty license
Brooke Smith of Bob Wallin Insurance recently earned her property and casualty insurance agent’s license. She joined the agency as a receptionist in October 2006, joining her father, Von Smith, one of the firm’s principal owners. Her responsibilities will include office reception and customer service for the personal lines department. Smith is a graduate of Bellingham High School.
Lodder earns certification as window fashions specialist
Debby Lodder, owner of Edwards Drapery & Interiors, has earned the designation of specialist from the Window Fashions Certification Program.
Lodder is only the second person in Whatcom County to earn the designation. She passed an examination, attended workshops and spent 50 hours on a project involving the interior-design challenges of a fictional room. To complement the written portion of the project, Lodder presented a design board complete with CAD drawings and a room layout.
Lodder also recently attended the International Window Coverings Expo in Washington, D.C. She learned about new technologies, design for an aging population and environmentally friendly products and design principles.
Templeton launches Loannetter in Bellingham
Susan Templeton, a Bellingham mortgage planner, recently launched Loannetter in downtown Bellingham.
Loannetter is located in Suite 102 of Morse Square at 1015 Railroad Ave. Templeton, a state-licensed independent mortgage loan originator, has four years of experience in the field. She specializes in loans for the purchase or construction of homes, including condominiums, but also can assist clients seeking to refinance loans or invest in commercial real estate. Templeton previously operated as a local affiliate of Loan Network, but started Loannetter to give clients more options, especially with FHA and VA loans.
Seven join Elements Design staff
Due to growth and expansion, Elements Design Center has made several additions to the design staff. Joining the company are Brian Roche, Jana Jensen, Danny Steiger, Kellie Rutherford, Lorie Russell, Holly Fleming, and Veronica Major.
Roche comes to Elements Design Center with a strong background in construction, education, customer service and sales. Roche’s past work experience includes Service Learning Department Coordinator at Home Port Learning Center where he taught cabinet making and wood working.
Jensen, a graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle, has 13 years of interior and tile design experience. Most recently from 23rd St. Interiors, some of Jensen’s commercial projects may be seen around the area, including the Morse Square Condominiums, The Hilltop Restaurant, Cypress Place Condominiums, and Backyards in Mount Vernon.
Steiger, formerly of West Side Building Supply, comes to Elements as a cabinet designer with more than 3 years’ experience in contractor sales and cabinet design.
Rutherford, also previously with 23rd St. Interiors, grew up in her family’s interior design business and has over 10 years experience in the industry. She specializes in eco-friendly/green products, spec housing interiors and commercial projects.
Russell, with six years’ experience, has worked for Erickson Interiors and 23rd St. Interiors. She is a residential interiors, home remodeling, and spec housing interiors specialist.
Fleming is a residential design, home remodeling, color and staging specialist. With three years’ experience in the industry, she previously worked for Nordstrom and 23rd St. Interiors.
Major joins Elements Design Center as a cabinet designer. She is a graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle with five years of cabinet design experience. Before moving to Bellingham, she worked for custom home builder, Estate Homes and U-Build-It in Mill Creek. Most recently she was employed with 23rd St. Interiors.
State Realtor association honors Austin, elects two local agents to board
Christy Austin, Bellingham branch manager of American Home Mortgage, has been named Affiliate of the Year by the Washington Association of Realtors.
Austin has been active in the Whatcom County Association of Realtors for 13 years, serving on various committees and as 2006 chair of the Banking and Finance Committee. Austin qualified for the state award by being named the county association’s Affiliate of the Year.
The WCAR also had two members elected to positions on the state association’s board. Jon Soine, an agent at Windermere Real Estate in Bellingham and president of the WCAR, also will serve as vice president of government affairs for the state association. David Hovde, an associate broker at Windermere’s Bellingham office, is the state association’s treasurer-elect for 2008.
Weaver joins Haggen, as wine merchandiser
Kevin Weaver has joined Haggen, Inc. as its wine merchandiser, responsible for supplying wine departments at all 32 Haggen Food & Pharmacy and TOP Food & Drug stores in Washington and Oregon.
Weaver has 20 years of experience with restaurants and grocery stores. He most recently was with Wild Oats Markets, where he was the wine category manager and purchased wine and beer for 82 stores in 24 states. Weaver now is based at Haggen headquarters in Bellingham.
Shelton achieves wealth advisory designation
Max Shelton, a financial advisor with Citi Smith Barney, has earned the firm’s wealth advisory specialist designation. This is part of Smith Barney’s goal to provide professionals with ongoing continuing education to further enhance and broaden their knowledge of financial planning concepts and strategies.
Shelton has been a member of the financial services industry for four years. He provides a full suite of investment services to individuals and high net-worth clients focusing on portfolio management, managed money and retirement planning.
Whidbey Island Bank adds two loan officers
Whidbey Island Bank has announced that Alina Valieva-Coonc has joined the bank as a real estate loan officer and Maia Halvorsen has joined as sales manager for residential real estate lending.
Valieva-Coonc is an experienced real estate lender in Whatcom County. She has previously worked with local Realtors, builders and buyers in real estate lending positions at Whatcom area community banks and mortgage companies.
Halvorsen has 15 years of real estate lending and sales experience in Skagit and Whatcom counties. Most recently, she was in real estate lending at Horizon Bank. Previously, Halvorsen served as an associate broker, specializing in new construction and condominium sales.
Robertson, Pipenko awarded scholarships from Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart’s Community Manager Cindy Daily has presented Maria Robertson of Ferndale High School and Vitaly Pipenko of Mount Baker High School with a Sam Walton Community Scholarship. Robertson was awarded on May 23 and Pipenko on June 6. Each student received a $1,000 one-time, non-renewable award.
Bellingham massage therapist gains geriatric certification
Sheila King of King Therapeutic Massage in Bellingham has earned the designation of Certified Geriatric Massage Therapist.
King achieved the advanced certification level through Day-Break Geriatric Massage Institute of Indianapolis, Ind. She attended classes, gained lab experience with geriatric clients and passed a written examination. King is the only massage therapist in Whatcom County with Day-Break’s geriatric certification.
King, a licensed massage therapist since 2003, has an office in the Bellingham Towers.
Marr new VP at VibrantUSA
VibrantUSA, an insurance agency specializing in serving the needs of the Medicare population, has named a new vice president and agency manager.
Renee Marr, LTCIS, will assume the responsibility of the day-to-day operations of VibrantUSA. In addition, she will maintain and develop relationships with more than 25 contracted insurers.
Marr is a licensed insurance agent with extensive training in Medicare and more than 13 years experience in the fields of Medicare insurance, retirement planning, healthcare reimbursement and tax law. She is a graduate of Western Washington University.
Keser joins RE/MAX Sudden Valley
Carole Keser, a real estate agent with 17 years of experience, recently joined the Sudden Valley office of RE/MAX Whatcom County.
Keser, also a broker since 2002, serves buyers and sellers in all areas of real estate. Her strengths include marketing and negotiations. A former president for a chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors, Keser now is a member of the Sudden Valley Steering Committee.
Parks to manage Cordata Co-op
The Community Food Co-op has announced that current grocery assistant manager Terry Parks has accepted the new position of store manager for the Co-op’s Cordata store.
The Co-op will soon break ground for its second Bellingham location at Cordata, making the role of store manager vital to hiring new staff and setting schematics for the new store. In determining product layout design, Parks will work closely with department managers to ensure the best use of space.
Parks comes to this new position having graduated from Western Washington University in 2004 and has now worked at the Co-op for six years. He previously worked as a team leader for Whole Foods and as an assistant store manager at United Grocers.
Rose brings speed portraits to market
Phil Rose of Phil Rose Photography has opened a portraits studio at the Bellingham Public Market.
Speed Portraits with Phil Rose, which features eight-minute maximum portrait photography sittings replete with lights and backdrops, will take place on the first Tuesday of every month, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Bellingham Public Market. The first Speed Portrait session kicked off at the Public Market, located at 1530 Cornwall Ave., on June 5.
Awards and Anniversaries
Parks department receives award
The City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department received an Award of Excellence in the Park Category for Taylor Dock and Upland Park from the Washington Recreation & Park Association. Park and Recreation professionals, facilities and parks, special programs, and recreation media from throughout Washington state were recognized with 2007 Professional & Spotlight Awards from the Washington Recreation & Park Association (WRPA), honoring public agencies and individuals for outstanding and unique achievements. The Spotlight Awards ceremony took place at the recent WRPA annual conference in Blaine on April 19 at the Semiahmoo Resort.
Volunteer receives top Girl Scout honors
Becky Panton of Bellingham was recently honored with the Girl Scouts’ prestigious Silver Totem Award for dedication and commitment to helping young girls grow courageous and strong. The Silver Totem is awarded for providing extended and outstanding service directly to girls and/or for providing enriching and inspirational programming to girls in Girl Scouts – Totem Council.
Administrative Professional of the Year Awarded
The Bellingham Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) announced Christina Van Wingerden as the recipient of the 2007 Administrative Professional of the Year award. Van Wingerden was recognized and awarded at a luncheon held in celebration of administrative professionals throughout Whatcom and Skagit counties on April 25 at the Bellingham Golf & Country Club.
She began her career as an administrative professional 25 years ago. She has been employed at Western Washington University for the last 20 years, where she is currently the administrative services manager for the Viking Union/Student Activities/Dean of Students offices.
Smith named ‘Super Lawyer’
J. Bruce Smith, a principal partner in the Bellingham law firm Barron Smith Daugert, has been named a Super Lawyer by Washington Law & Politics magazine. Each year Washington Law & Politics surveys lawyers throughout Washington state and conducts additional research to identify lawyers who are recognized by other lawyers for the quality of their work and professional achievements. Only 5 percent of the lawyers in Washington are named Super Lawyers. The list of Super Lawyers is published as a special section in the June edition of the magazine.
Smith is recognized for his expertise in estate planning law. He has been licensed as an attorney since 1977, and limits his practice to estate planning, the preparation of wills and trusts, estate and trust administration and the planning of charitable gifts. He is also listed in “Best Lawyers in America,” and is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Five local lawyers selected as Washington ‘Super Lawyers’
Washington Law & Politics Magazine included five Whatcom County lawyers in its 2007 list of Washington "Super Lawyers." Frank Chmelik of Chmelik Sitkin & Davis P.S.; Dean Brett of Brett & Coats; Philip E. Sharpe Jr. of Adelstein, Sharp & Serka; J. Bruce Smith of Barron Smith Daugert; and Barry M. Meyers Attorney at Law were selected as the 2007 Super Lawyers.
Each year, Washington Law & Politics Magazine compiles a comprehensive list of outstanding lawyers in more than 50 areas of practice. The 2007 Super Lawyers selection is based on surveys of more than 16,000 lawyers across Washington state. Considered among the best in their profession, Super Lawyers represent 5 percent of the practicing lawyers in Washington state.
Dorr named Ron Battles Excellence Award winner
Tom Dorr, director for Western Washington University’s College of Business and Economics’ Small Business Development Center (SBDC), has been named a recipient of the Ron Battles Excellence Award by the Washington Small Business Development Center Network.
The award was presented in honor of Dorr’s dedication and excellent service to businesses in Whatcom County. In recognition of Dorr’s being awarded the prestigious Ron Battles award, he also was honored by Western Washington University’s Board of Trustees on April 20.
Sehome Village Haggen celebrating 15th anniversary
The Sehome Village Haggen store in Bellingham is celebrating its 15th anniversary with three events in June.
An anniversary celebration is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 2. It will include a barbecue fundraiser — a bratwurst and soft drink for only $2 — for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Whatcom County. The Haggen store also is participating in the first Sehome Village Block Party, a farewell party for WWU students that is scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. on June 9. The festivities include a fundraiser being organized by a group of WWU business students. A meal of a bratwurst, chips and a beverage will be offered for $3 with all proceeds going to Invisible Children, which advocates for children in Northern Uganda.
The anniversary celebration concludes with the second Studyrama. WWU students are invited to prepare for spring quarter finals from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. June 10-12 (three nights) at the store’s Market Street Café. Free studying supplies, Red Bull beverages, Baker’s Breakfast Cookies and fruit will be offered. Clearwire will provide free wireless Internet access. The first Studyrama, held before fall quarter finals, drew 340 students over two nights.