George, Nickols join VS&H

Priscilla George has joined Varner Sytsma & Herndon, CPAs as a full charge bookkeeper. She has over eight years of full-charge bookkeeping experience.
   Ryan  C.  Nickols, CPA has joined the staff of Varner Sytsma & Herndon, CPAs. He graduated from Western Washington University in 1997 and has worked in both public and private sectors of accounting since graduation.
   Varner Sytsma & Herndon is an accounting firm located in the Barkley District, providing accounting and tax services for clients located throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.

Dorn completes online portfolio
   Net Solutions North America and Western Washington University Business and Economics student David Dorn recently teamed up to complete an online Web portfolio that captures the creativity and innovation in all of Net Solutions projects.
   Dorn, who is in his final quarter at Western Washington, became an intern in January of 2007 as part of his Management 414 class. His duties included being the project manager for creating a Web site for Arlis’s Restaurant and creating a new online Web portfolio.

Local PT appointed to board
   Elizabeth Hampton PT, BCIA-PMDB, of Core Therapeutics Physical Therapy in Fairhaven, has been appointed to the Specialization Academy of Content Experts in Women’s Health by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties.
   Hampton will be working with a national team of clinicians and researchers in the field of women’s health physical therapy to write the board certification exam in women’s health for the American Physical Therapy Association. This is a significant step for physical therapists who work with pelvic pain and elimination disorders, as this important clinical work will be recognized as a board certified clinical specialty.
   Hampton is certified through BCIA as a specialist in pelvic floor dysfunction biofeedback, is Pilates Rehabilitation Certified through Polestar Pilates Education and teaches nationally for the Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute ( She joins her colleagues, Jane Richardson MS, PT, COMT and Brenda Mitchell, PTA in providing physical therapy clinical services at Core Therapeutics Physical Therapy in Fairhaven.

Imus attends jewelry company conference
   Lisa Imus of Bellingham, a Star Leader with Silpada Designs, recently attended the Silpada Designs 2007 Leadership Conference, Feb. 8-11 in Nashville.
   Lisa Imus qualified for the Silpada Designs annual Leadership Conference, by reaching sales and recruiting goals set by the company. Imus was one of approximately 400 women of the nearly 18,000 Silpada Designs sales representatives from across the country who attended the conference. Silpada Designs’ Sterling Silver jewelry is sold exclusively through independent sales representatives throughout all 50 states.

Aubrey Van Loo earns agent’s license
   The Oltman Insurance Agency to announced that Aubrey Van Loo recently earned her Property and Casualty Insurance Agent’s license.
   Van Loo joined Oltman Insurance as a CSR (customer service representative). As a newly licensed agent, she will be responsible for handling all lines of personal insurance such as for homeowners, automobiles and boats.
   Van Loo is a graduate of Lynden Christian School and presently resides in Bellingham.
   Oltman Insurance is a full-service lines insurance agency that has been in business since 1932. It is located at 2417 Meridian St., Suite 102, in Bellingham.

Coldwell Bank hires Bockwoldt
   Coldwell Banker in Bellingham has hired Jamie Bockwoldt as its newest sales associate. Bockwoldt is the former Internet sales manager at Northwest Honda, and is a Bellingham native. She recently completed her three-month training, specializing in residential real estate.

Birch Equipment owner featured on cover of national trade magazine
   Sarah Rothenbuhler, owner of Birch Equipment Rental & Sales, is featured in and on the cover of the March 2007 edition of the nationally distributed Rental Management Magazine.
   Rothenbuhler’s company provides tools and equipment on a rental and sale basis to the contractor and manufacturing market and is the largest provider of home-improvement equipment in the Northwest.

Forest Named Loan Officer at First Horizon Home Loans
   The Bellingham office of First Horizon Home Loans continues to expand with the promotion of Lori Forest to loan officer.
   Forest was a marketing specialist for five years with First Horizon before her appointment as a loan officer. She graduated from Sehome High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from American University in Washington, D.C.
   Forest is qualified to help homebuyers and contractors select the most appropriate loan from a wide range of options, including jumbo, interest-only and adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) loans. She also can arrange residential loans for purchases, refinances and new construction, as well as home equity lines of credit.

Geyer attends affordable-housing forum
   Local professional planner Bill Geyer, AICP, attended a forum on affordable housing conducted by the Seattle District Council of the Urban Land Institute on March 8.  More than 350 design professionals and government leaders discussed the lack of affordable housing and the social implications for a community.  Government officials and private developers cited economic trends where it is increasingly difficult for in-city workers to afford an in-city home. Workers face a choice of higher prices for in-city housing or driving greater distances to obtain affordable housing, with the impact felt the most by low and moderate income families.  Conference attendees were provided data and tools to use for addressing housing affordability in their community.
   Geyer is an 18-year member of the Urban Land Institute, an organization of 34,000 members founded in 1936 whose mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide ( He maintains professional certification by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), previously served as the planning director for the city of Bellingham (1985-91) and currently owns Tembe LLC, a Bellingham planning and building company.

RMC hires project manager and intern architect
   RMC Architects has two additions to their architectural staff, Douglas Southworth and Peter Niles.
   Southworth is a project manager for the firm and is currently working on St. John the Evangelist Parish in Seattle, the Ryzex Group office expansion in Cordata, and a high-end residential project in Edgemoor. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Environmental design at Yale University.
   Southworth’s previous experience includes designing high-end residences and educational facilities for 18 years at Henry Klein Partnership in Mt. Vernon, Wsh. He also worked on residential design for Robert Venturi, FAIA, who received the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1991.
   Niles is LEED Accredited Professional (LEED) and an intern architect for the firm. He will be working on design and support for a variety of RMC projects. Currently, he is working on a new Fellowship Hall for Trinity Lutheran Church, space planning for city of Bellingham municipal facilities, and a room data project for 20 academic buildings at Western Washington University.
   Niles holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Japanese Studies from Brandeis University and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. He attended prerequisite courses in architecture at Harvard University Extension prior to studying for his master’s degree. Niles had his own design firm in Berkeley and, most recently, worked as a project designer for Adaptations/A1 Builders.

Jack Curnow passes CPA exam
   Curnow & Company, P.S., a Certified public accounting firm, announced today that Jack W. Curnow has passed all four sections of the CPA exam. Curnow joined Curnow & Company in 2005. He has eight years of experience in accounting and finance and held positions with two Fortune 500 companies. His previous job titles included asset manager, senior financial analyst and field auditor.
   His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas Tech University with a minor in business management. In addition, he completed his accounting major requirements at Western Washington University in order to sit for the CPA exam.

Northwest Computer hires Laxton
   Northwest Computer has announced the addition of Candice Laxton to the company’s business consulting department.
   Laxton was previously the co-founder and managing partner of Abacus Design Communications LLC, a strategic brand and visual communications firm in the San Francisco Bay area. She has also served in leadership roles at Microsoft and Adobe Systems, and as a delivery principal and senior creative director for Luminant Worldwide, where she was responsible for client development.
   Northwest Computer, a Bellingham-based corporation, provides business and technology consulting, services and products to clients across the United States. They were recently named Whatcom County’s Small Business of the Year.

Chiropractors merge practices
   Dr. Robert Affolter and Dr. Sandra Schable have recently joined practices at 2200 Pacific St.
   Affolter is a second-generation chiropractor who has been practicing in Bellingham for over 21 years. He earned his degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic, and has additionally trained in several upper cervical and full spine techniques.
   Affolter has used his chiropractic knowledge to advance the profession by serving on a national panel to revise chiropractic clinical guidelines.
   Furthermore, he has written a book on chiropractic technique, and has published and presented research papers at an international level. He also teaches chiropractic philosophy. His practice focuses on restoring health to those for whom other methods have proved insufficient.
   Schable has been in practice in Bellingham for five years. She had a prior practice working with the Amish in Illinois. She graduated magna cum laude from Logan Chiropractic College and has attained master status in knee chest upper cervical adjusting. She has been on several chiropractic mission trips to Jamaica, Costa Rica, Kenya, and Ghana.
   Schable serves on the board of directors for the Chiropractic Society of Whatcom County, Garden Street United Methodist church, and Whatcom Women in Business. She is a member of Womens Professional Network and Washington State Chiropractic Association. Her focus is on patients with fibromyalgia, and on improving general health in everyone through chiropractic care.
   Both doctors can be reached at 733-1660.

Five RE/MAX agents earn accreditation
   Agents Charley and Luanne Highlander, Cherie Kukhahn, Matt McBeath and David Mooney received Accredited Buyer Representative designation upon completing continuing-education programs.
   Luanne Highlander previously earned her Certified New Home Specialist and e-Pro designations. Charley Highlander is a listing and buyer’s agent. McBeath has four years of real estate experience. All three are based at RE/MAX Whatcom County’s Lakeway office. Kukhahn works out of the RE/MAX Lynden office and concentrates on residential and land listings. Kukhahn earlier had obtained the Accredited Sellers Representative designation. Mooney previously attained the e-Pro designation. He has 20 years of experience, including the last four at the RE/MAX Ferndale office.

Keith Cox Autobahn hires new assistant
   Lora TeVelde will work as the new assistant to Rick Strotz, Autobahn’s service manager. TeVelde worked previously as the office manager for Priority One Nutritional Supplements in Lynden. TeVelde lives in Everson with her husband, and has three children.

Pete Brands to take part in federal surveying program
   A Bellingham man is among the first group of 69 professional land surveyors nationwide to receive a new federal certification from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Pete K. Brands, P.L.S., who is employed by Pacific Surveying & Engineering was among the beta test group of selected land surveyors to participate in the new program called CFedS, for Certified Federal Surveyor.
   The CFedS program, which has been approved by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, was designed specifically to enhance the level of knowledge and expertise in the professional land surveying community for survey work performed on federal lands and especially on Indian trust lands. To earn the CFedS designation, professional land surveyors must complete approximately 120 hours of course materials prepared by the BLM’s national training center in Phoenix, and pass the certification examination. To maintain the certification, a CFedS must complete 10 hours of continuing education annually.

Horizon Bank hires three new employees
   Horizon bank hired Joe Boyd, Dan J. Barrington, and Nancy Knutson to meet the growing market in Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties. Boyd was hired as assistant vice president and retail office manager for the Ferndale office, and has 20 years’ experience within the banking and financial services industry. Barrington was hired as assistant vice president and retail office manager for the Edmonds office and has six years of financial experience. Knutson was hired as assistant vice president and retail office manager of the Mount Vernon office. Knutson brings over 20 years’ experience in the customer service and banking industry.

Three real estate agents join RE/MAX
   Noel Brown, Kristi Lovick Coy and Mallina Wilson have joined Whatcom County’s RE/MAX. Brown, based at the Lakeway office, has 18 years’ experience and has earned the Accredited Buyer Representative designation. Coy, also based at the Lakeway office, has 19 years’ experience and Certified Residential Specialist designation. Wilson, based out of the Ferndale office, has three years experience and the Accredited Buyer Representative designation.

Adventures NW hires Jackie Reed
   Adventures NW, the region’s outdoor recreation, lifestyle and sports magazine, has hired Jackie Reed as their new ad accounts manager. Jackie, who has lived in Whatcom County since 1986, was most recently an advertising sales representative at The Bellingham Business Journal. Before that she was at both the Skagit Valley Herald and The Bellingham Herald and has been in ad sales for over 15 years. Reed is a Western Washington University graduate and a runner, triathlete and outdoor enthusiast who lives in Bellingham with her husband and daughter.

Newlight named investment consultant
   Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) announced J. Michael Newlight, branch manager and financial advisor in its Global Wealth Management Group (GWMG) office in Bellingham, has completed an investment consulting training program conducted by Morgan Stanley, a financial services firm, and The Wharton School, a finance school.
   Newlight has been a financial advisor for more than 25 years and holds a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., and has completed graduate work in economics at Western Washington University. He lives in Bellingham with his wife.

Valley Cabinets hires David Monks
   Valley Cabinets Kitchens & More, showrooms located in Bellingham (the Irongate neighborhood) and Mount Vernon, has hired David Monks as their new field manager. Monks’ responsibilities include project management and sales support. Monks has worked several years in the construction and cabinet industry.

Elizabeth Thompson Joins Morgan Stanley
   Elizabeth Thompson has joined Morgan Stanley’s Global Wealth Management (GWMG) office in Friday Harbor at 235 Blair Ave. Suite A, as vice president and financial advisor. Formerly with D A Davidson for eight years, Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business from University of Colorado. Thompson currently lives in Friday Harbor.

Eastwood appointed as Event Manager
   Hilltop Restaurant Catering of Bellingham has appointed Tami Eastwood event manager. Eastwood, a Bellingham native who now lives in Ferndale, has 10 years of experience in sales and marketing. She earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and a bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University.
   Eastwood handles sales, management and administration for Hilltop Restaurant Catering, which saw revenues double last year and expanded its kitchen to accommodate the growth.

Goodrich named to Leaders Council
   Larry C. Goodrich, CFP, branch manager at the 12 Bellwether Way office of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., has been named to the firm’s 2007 Leaders Council in recognition of providing outstanding guidance and service to the investing public and exemplary professional growth. It is his 24th year of recognition.
   Leaders Council honors are presented only to those financial advisors who demonstrate an extraordinary level of commitment to clients through personal service and professional integrity.
   Goodrich joined Raymond James in 1982 and has 38 years of financial and investment experience. He offers a comprehensive range of financial planning and investment services for individuals and businesses. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., is a national investment firm providing financial services to individuals, corporations and municipalities through more than 3,400 financial advisors in 2,000 offices throughout the United States.

Interconnect expands staff
   Felicity Dye has been named General Manager of Bellingham-based Interconnect Systems of Northwest Washington. Dye brings 24 years experience in management, marketing, merchandising and customer service, working most recently with Haggen Inc.
   Dawn Schelinski has been promoted to Lead Technician at Interconnect Systems, after passing the Convergence Technologies Professional (CTP) Examination. She is fully certified in the Vodavi, Inter-Tel and Panasonic Product lines and has worked at Interconnect for 8 years. Rick Lobb has been hired as Network Engineer at Interconnect Systems, bringing 15-years of Information Technology experience. Lobb previously worked for Pan Pacific Development, Wall Data, EDS, Paradigm 4 and Pacific Northwest Bank.
   Interconnect Systems was founded in Bellingham in 1979 and serves the telecommunication needs of clients from Seattle to the Canadian Border.

Jean Behr joins Moss Adams
   Moss Adams LLP welcomed Jean Behr to the firm as senior accountant in the audit department in February. Jean received her degree in accounting from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., and spent the last year as an independent consultant.
   Moss Adams LLP Bellingham provides accounting and consulting services to public, private, and not-for-profit entities in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, construction, international, food/agriculture, financial institutions, and gaming operations.

Three new people join Volunteer Center Board of Directors
   Trish Manley, Russ Whidbee and Cheryl Collins have joined the Whatcom Volunteer Center’s Board of Directors. The center’s mission is linking volunteers with organizations that meet community needs. Manley is the owner of a local flower shop. Whidbee is a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial. As Visitor Services Manager, Collins oversees 30 volunteers at Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism.
   During the year, board members assist with planning and the event-day management of Heart and Hands, a volunteer recognition event; The Human Race, a fundraiser for local nonprofit organizations; and Make a Difference Day, a community-wide day of service.

Northwest Film School students selected to work in Los Angeles
   Six students from the Northwest Film School in Bellingham were invited to work on Albert Pyun’s feature film, From Beyond, shooting in Los Angeles.
   Erik Dinnel, Jennifer Fischer, Erik Hoofnagle, Joel Klineburger, Michael Kutcher and Jordan Montreuil were selected for work in Santa Monica, Griffith Park and the Mojave Desert. Michael Kutcher was named to the position of 2nd assistant director, and all other students were scheduled to work in entry-level positions as production assistants.

Whatcom Sports Commission adds four board members
   The Whatcom Sports Commission added four new members to the board of directors: John Gibb, president of Chemco; Timothy Krell, Whatcom County manager of First American Title Company; Wendy Keneipp with The Unity Group; and attorney J. Bruce Smith.
   The WSC is a nonprofit corporation that builds and operates recreational facilities in Whatcom County. The WSC currently operates the Northwest Soccer Park and the Sportsplex Ice and Indoor Soccer Arena.

Logos Bible Software creates new positions, hires four
   Logos Bible Software of Bellingham created three new positions and hired four new people to expand design and editorial departments.
   Sean Boisen was appointed senior information architect, and was formerly with BBN Technologies in Cambridge, Mass. Dr. Steven Runge was named scholar-in-residence and formerly owned Academic Construction in Bellingham. Andy Anderson was hired as the national sales manager for field sales and was formerly employed with Lynden Door. Justin Bailey was also previously employed with Lynden Door, and was named the dealer account manager for Logos Bible Software.

Explorations Academy announces five new board members
   Explorations Academy has added new members to its board of directors. Geof Morgan is the executive director of the Whatcom Family and Community Network and has worked for the Opportunity Council, Evergreen AIDS, and the Bellingham Child Care Center. He has started many fine programs, including the Best Self program. Sarah Atkinson is a 2004 graduate of the WWU Human Services program and is currently a licensed real estate assistant working at RE/MAX Realty’s Lakeway office. Becky Withers is a professional grant writer and fundraiser employed with the Whatcom County United Way campaign. Kirstie Massey grew up in a military family, spending most of her youth in Oak Harbor. Massey is currently a risk management administrator at the Bellingham Wal-Mart store and is pursuing a degree in emergency management.
   Kerri Rhodes is an Interactive Producer for Tool House Design Company and lives in Bellingham with her husband and two children.
   Explorations Academy is the only fully accredited independent high school in Bellingham.

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services director retires
   Kathleen Marshall retired as executive director of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County after 10 years as director. Karen Burke has taken over as executive director. Burke was formerly the director of Lummi Tribal Court.

Certified heirloom instructor to teach in Bellingham
   Elaine Yancy of Whatcom County has completed training to become a Martha Pullen Bernina licensed teacher. Martha Pullen, host of the PBS TV series “Martha’s Sewing Room,” selects a few sewing teachers internationally to instruct the concept of heirloom sewing. Yancy will be teaching classes about elaborate christening dress, home decorating projects, and more at Yvonne’s BERNINA in Bellingham.

Wagner named President & CEO at Whidbey Island Bank
   Whidbey Island Bank promoted John L. (Jack) Wagner to president and chief executive officer. Wagner assumes his new role from Michal Cann, who remains president and CEO of Washington Banking Company (NASDAQ: WBCO), the holding company for Whidbey Island Bank. Previous to Whidbey Island Bank, Wagner served in several executive capacities, including president of Talbot Investment Company, president of Resource Pacific and president of Bank of Washington. Wagner joined Whidbey Island Bank in 1999 as senior vice president and regional manager in Whatcom County. He was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2004. Wagner and his wife, Claudia, reside in Bellingham.

Clarke named to Million Dollar Round Table
   Co-owner of Culligan Northwest Eric Clarke was named to Culligan International’s Million Dollar Round Table. The award recognizes sales achievements that gross in excess of $1 million. Culligan International Company is a worldwide innovator of residential and business water-treatment solutions.
   Culligan Northwest features bottled water services, water-treatment systems, pumps and well services to Whatcom, Skagit, Island and San Juan counties.

New associate added to Hugh Lewis firm
   Hugh Lewis, attorney at law, added Matthew P. Hammatt as an associate of the firm. Matt earned his law degree from the University of Wisconsin and is admitted to practice of law in the states of Illinois, Wisconsin and Washington. He previously practiced in Chicago as an intellectual property associate with the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, as well as serving as counsel for True North Communications, Inc., where he was responsible for contract and license negotiations and counseling in the areas of advertising, marketing, copyright, trademark, promotions and entertainment law. He will focus on the areas of condominium and community association development and association representation.

Heiner named President Emeritus
   The Whatcom Community College board of trustees bestowed on Harold Heiner the title of President Emeritus of the College effective July 1. Heiner will retire June 30 after 23 years as WCC president. Kathi Hiyane-Brown will take over as president on Aug. 1.

Pickett joins Bellingham Business Banking
   Josh Pickett has been named Business Banking relationship manager serving business customers in Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties. Pickett, a team member with five years of financial services experience previously worked at Wells Fargo Financial as a credit manager. Pickett, a Bellingham resident, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Western Washington University

Awards & Anniversaries

Hampton awarded Circle of Excellence Award
   Hampton, the national brand of mid-priced Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites hotels, has awarded the Hampton Inn Bellingham Airport, located at 3985 Bennett Drive as one of its national Circle of Excellence Award winners. The property is designated as being in the hotel chain’s top 10 percent in service, product and quality among more than 1,400 Hampton properties.
   Circle of Excellence Award winners are selected annually by the Hampton brand. The criteria for receiving this award is based on customer feedback measured through guest satisfaction surveys about the hotel, as well as product quality and service scores measured quarterly by the company. The Hampton Inn Bellingham Airport is among only 123 hotels in the entire Hampton brand to receive the award, which includes a trophy plaque to display in the hotel’s lobby and special designation in the company’s hotel directory used by guests to select and review hotel selections.

Coast Landscape wins Merit Award
   The Washington Association of Landscape Professionals awarded Coast Landscape, Inc. of Bellingham a Merit Award for the Moen Residence on Dykstra road in Lynden. The Merit Awards recognize landscape installation and maintenance contractors, architects, designers and project owners who have joined in producing landscapes of merit.

Allstate financial representative wins award
   David Gould, Bellingham Allstate financial representative, received the “Honor Ring” in recognition of achieving high standards of customer satisfaction, retention and financial services in 2006. More than 150 awards were given throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii, and the award has been Allstate’s symbol of achievement for more than 40 years.

Smith wins AIA Washington Council’s highest honor
   Zervas Group Architects Principal Mike Smith was awarded the Jennie Sue Brown Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Institute of Architects Washington Council. The award recognizes lifetime achievement, volunteer capacity and statewide contribution. Smith has been a Zervas Group partner since 1987 and is the first person in the 108-year history of the AIA Washington Council to be elected twice to the executive board.

WDA teacher receives national award
   Whatcom Day Academy science and math teacher Misty Nikula was one of four teachers nationwide selected to receive the 2007 Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence. The award will be presented to Nikula at an award dinner in Seattle on May 10. The Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence recognizes educators of grades K-12 who have made extraordinary science-teaching contributions and who have had a significant impact on the lives of their students. The selected winners each receive a cash award of $5,000 and the school receives a grant of $5,000.



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