Keeping up with People, January 2009


Spinelli and Lytle honored for service

Paul Spinelli recently celebrated 30 years with Moles Family Funeral Homes and fellow employee Dennis Lytle celebrated 20 years with the company.

Spinelli is the Funeral Home manager for the Bayview Chapel. He grew up in Kitsap County and attended mortuary school in Mt. Hood, Ore. where he received his funeral director/embalmer license. In 1978, he and his wife, Vicki, moved to Bellingham and began work with Moles’ Bayview location, which was then called Jones Funeral Home.

Lytle is the funeral director. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer and he also works at Moles’ Bayview Chapel location. He attended the University of Wisconsin and later the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, where he received his license. In 1987, he moved to Whatcom County and began working for Moles.


Hanacek receives Divorce Financial Analyst certification

Gene Hanacek, a senior financial adviser with Ameriprise Financial in Bellingham, has achieved the professional certification of CDFA through The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts™.

Hanacek trained to provide financial information and assistance to include evaluating the tax implications of dividing property and the settlement options for dividing pensions, marital property and awarding of child and spousal support.

Due to an increase in divorce cases, the institute trains professional financial planners, CPAs and attorneys to determine the financial needs and outcomes for couples after divorce.


Lynden accountant elected president of state chapter

Bill Pate, an accountant and owner of Bookkeeping Solutions NW in Lynden, recently was elected president of the new Washington Chapter of the National Association of Tax Professionals.

Pate has more than 20 years of experience in taxes and accounting. Bookkeeping Solutions NW, founded in 2002, is located at 1897 Front St. and offers accounting, payroll and tax preparation services for business and individuals.

The new Washington state chapter will offer tax professionals opportunities to network, share information and concerns, participate in continuing-education seminars and follow state tax legislation issues, Pate said. NATP members also dedicate themselves to a high code of ethics and professional conduct.


WWU faculty receive awards for published research

Ten Western Washington University faculty members have received 2008 Dennis R. Murphy Faculty Research Awards from the College of Business and Economics.

This year’s recipients are Brandon Dupont, Deepinder S. Bajwa, David R. Fewings, Steven Globerman, John M. Krieg, L. Floyd Lewis, Paul Storer, Wendy Wilhelm, Nicholas Wonder, and George Zhang.

The awards range in value from $300 to $1,000 and are funded entirely by supporters of WWU’s College of Business and Economics through the Western Foundation. The awards recognize exemplary faculty papers that were accepted for publication by a refereed journal between Sept. 1, 2007 and Aug. 15, 2008.


Sands, Adkins receive Realtor awards

The Whatcom County Association of Realtors recently presented its fourth-quarter awards to Jim Sands of RE/MAX Whatcom County and Loren Adkins of Whidbey Island Bank.

Sands was named WCAR’s Realtor of the Fourth Quarter. Sands, a Whatcom County native, specializes in resident and commercial sales at RE/MAX’s Bellingham office. Sands has 25 years of experience in owning and managing businesses, is a certified negotiating expert and a member of the Commercial Broker Association.

The WCAR selected Adkins as its Affiliate of the Fourth Quarter. Adkins, a real estate loan officer for Whidbey Island Bank, has 27 years of sales and management experience, including the last 21 years in Whatcom County.


Wallace appointed whole health manager

Shelley Wallace has been appointed whole health manager for Haggen Food & Pharmacy stores.

Wallace will relaunch Haggen’s WellAware program, which offers free health, cooking and nutrition classes, nutritional counseling and other food-related information. She has a master’s degree in public health and is a registered dietitian with the American Dietetic Association.

Wallace previously worked 10 years for the Bristol Bay Area Health Corp. in Dillingham, Alaska, primarily as its director of health education.


Wallin recieves 30-year award

The Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC) recently recognized Bob Wallin of Bob Wallin Insurance for his 30 years of participation in advanced education. Wallin earned the award through a series of examinations and has maintained his CIC designation by annual attendance at an approved continuing education program.

“The professional dedication and commitment represented by Bob Wallin sets the standard within our industry,” said Dr. William T. Hold, president of the Society of CIC.


Mahoney promoted to project manager

Kevin Mahoney has been promoted to project manager at Blu Sky Creative Services of Bellingham. He has more than 10 years of experience in both Web design and computer programming and is knowledgeable in application design, search engine optimization and database management.

Mahoney also is responsible for 3-D graphics and video compositing for Web-based video solutions at Blu Sky Creative Services.


Yunker named assistant vice president for Student Affairs

Susanna Yunker has accepted additional responsibilities, with a change of title effective immediately to assistant vice president for Student Affairs and registrar at Western Washington University.

Yunker will assume the duties of registrar previously held by Joe St. Hillaire, who recently retired.

Since 2001, she has served as the assistant vice president for Student Affairs Academic Support Services at Western. Prior to coming to Western Washington University, she was the university registrar at the College of William and Mary from 1999 to 2001; and served as registrar at Boise State University from 1976 to 1999.


Rosenberg appointed interim Public Works Director

Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike has appointed Tom Rosenberg as interim Public Works director, beginning Jan. 1, 2009.

In his 29 years with the city, Rosenberg has held three Public Works assistant director positions, most recently serving as the assistant director of special projects. Rosenberg replaces Dick McKinley, who recently accepted a position as Public Works director for the city of Tacoma.

Pike said the selection process for a permanent Public Works director will begin in early 2009.


Ramel joins Sustainable Connections

Sustainable Connections recently added Alex Ramel as Policy & Energy manager.

In his new role, Ramel will facilitate the implementation of clean, renewable and efficient energy strategies. Ramel holds a B.A. in Environmental Policy from Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment and brings a wealth of experience to his new position.

He comes to Sustainable Connections from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, where he helped local governments conduct greenhouse gas emissions inventories, develop local climate action plans, and identify the most effective steps to reduce climate pollution.

Prior to ICLEI, he worked for the city of Bellingham ’s Office of Environmental Resources, where he developed Bellingham’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and helped to implement the Bellingham Green Power Community Challenge.


Spear hired as Horizon Financial CFO

Greg B. Spear has been hired to be the chief financial officer for Horizon Financial Corp.

He has more than 24 years in the banking industry and was previously the CFO and vice chairman for Columbia Bancorp and Columbia River Bank.

“We are excited to have Greg Spear join our management team,” said CEO Rich Jacobson. “Greg has built a stellar reputation over the years, and we look forward to welcoming him to Bellingham. He will be a tremendous asset during these tumultuous times.”


Two local nurses win “Nurse of the Year” awards

Shevaun Rudkin-Clark and Madonna Reinke, both nurses at St. Joseph Hospital, were honored at the 2008 Nurse of the Year ceremony hosted by March of Dimes.

Rudkin-Clark is the coordinator for the Center for Joint Replacement and was awarded in the innovation/creativity category. When the center opened, she prepared the organizational structure and operations for the center in a very short time frame. She has also created numerous creative patient programs to educate patients pre-and post-op, and facilitates a monthly performance improvement process team with all of the hospital’s departments.

Reinke, who is now retired after more than 49 years at the hospital, was honored as the 2008 Legend of Nursing. Reinke was known for having a strong work ethic, and being compassionate, kind, and supportive with a great sense of humor. She wore many hats over her career — charge nurse, labor and delivery nurse, special care nursery nurse and mother baby nurse.


Teske named director of Bellingham Farmers Market

Caprice Teske has been named the new market director for the Bellingham Farmers Market.

She is taking the reins from Robin Crowder, who managed the market for six years and ushered it through a period of tremendous growth.

Teske spent the last five years working at the Whatcom Volunteer Center as a volunteer program director. Her varied work history includes experience in sales and marketing, project planning, grant management and leadership. Teske spent two years serving on the board of directors from 2003 to 2005 and also volunteered her time in a wide variety of positions for the market.


Boettner and Wilson receive real estate certificates

Kym Boettner and Rachael Wilson, associates at RE/MAX Whatcom County, recently earned designations from the Washington Association of Realtors, REBAC and the National Association of Realtors.

Boettner earned the Graduate Realtor Institute designation that is awarded to professional real estate practitioners who complete three 30-hour classes. The material covers every facet of real estate practice from the laws that apply to transferring real property to how to effectively market homes for sale.

Wilson has been awarded the Accredited Buyer Representation designation. She was required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in buyer representation and an elective course focusing on a buyer representation specialty.


Dyrland wins Farmers Insurance award

For the third year running, Farmers Insurance agent Erik Dyrland has been selected as an “Elite Commercial Agent.”

This Farmers Insurance designation requires that agents attain elevated standards, including higher levels of planning, execution and dedication to customer service. Dyrland is the only Farmers agent north of Everett to have received the elite honor in each year of its existence.

Dyrland continues to be named to the highest levels of standing by Farmers in programs such as Topper Club and Elite Commercial Agent. Farmers also deemed him an “Unsung Hero” recently for his continued volunteer service to the community.


Beia and Bouma hired at D.P. Thomas Consulting

D.P. Thomas Consulting has hired Leslie Beia and Kelley Bouma as college planning consultants to expand its college planning services.

Beia attended East Lansing High School in her home state of Michigan and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Evergreen State College in 2002. She brings a background of project management and marketing to her new role and is also currently the owner of a small local business offering move management services.

Bouma is a Whatcom native who graduated from Squalicum High School in 2001. She graduated from Bellingham Technical College in 2003 and brings 10 years of local customer service experience to her work.

Both Bouma and Beia will assist parents of college-bound high school students on all phases of college financial planning and applications.


Snapper Shuler Kenner Insurance hires three new employees

Pauline Black, Kassi Simonsen and Pat Rowe were recently hired at Snapper Shuler Kenner Insurance.

Black was hired as a new personal lines producer for the Bellingham office. She comes with more than 10 years of experience.

Simonsen was hired as a new receptionist in the Lynden office. She previously worked at the SSK real estate office.

Rowe, with 31 years of experience in the insurance industry, has chosen to join the Lynden office as a commercial-customer service representative.

Also, Rod Starkenburg, a 12-year property and casualty insurance agent in the Snapper Shuler Kenner Lynden office, has recently earned his “Certified Insurance Counselor” designation.

And, Daun Botta Pillo has earned the Certified Insurance Specialist in Construction (CISC) designation. She is one of two people in Washington to achieve this designation.


Nash and Nelson complete training

Isaac Nash and Bruce Nelson of Audio Video Excellence in Bellingham have recently completed the Tech 1 Training from the Control4 Integration Institute, certifying them to install the company’s whole house integration system.

Nash has seven years experience as lead technician with AVX and has travelled nationwide installing fully integrated audio/video, and lighting control systems for residences and corporations.

Nelson, a Whatcom County native, has 35 years in the electronics industry and has been part of the AVX team for two years.


White completes insurance certification

Christopher White, a five-year property and casualty insurance agent in the Snapper Shuler Kenner Bellingham office, recently earned his “Certified Insurance Counselor” and “Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist” designations.

Started in 1969, the “CIC” designation is meant to provide excellent programs of practical value to the best insurance and risk management agents in the country, enabling them to continually work to bring greater knowledge and value to their customers.


Tans-Ocean Products announces leadership changes

Trans-Ocean Products Inc., one of the country’s largest processors and marketers of surimi seafoods, announces that long time company president and Bellingham resident Rick Dutton has been named president of Westward Seafoods of Seattle.

Dutton was Trans-Ocean’s first employee in Bellingham when the company opened a plant on the city’s waterfront in 1985.

Trans-Ocean also named Yasuaki Kawakita of Bellingham the new president of Trans-Ocean Products. Mr. Kawakita, who has been executive vice president at Trans-Ocean since 2005, will be responsible for continuing to build the company’s sales in the surimi seafood category as well as through expansion into new product categories, such as smoked salmon.

Dave Green of Ferndale has been promoted to vice president and general manager. Green, a 10-year veteran of the company and vice president since 2007, will assume a larger role in overall company management while continuing to lead operations at the Bellingham processing facility.


Martin recognized for volunteer efforts

Banner Bank presented real estate loan officer Josh Martin with the 2008 3rd Quarter award for “Doing the Right Thing” as a result of his involvement with Whatcom County Fire District #7.

“It is a great feeling to be recognized by my employer for my volunteering, which I am very passionate about,” Martin said.

In recognition of Martin’s community involvement, Banner Bank has presented him with a plaque, a day off with pay and a $1,000 donation to the charity of his choice. Martin has chosen to give his donation to the Ferndale Volunteer Firefighter Association.


Banner Bank hires Robinson as branch manager

Banner Bank has hired Mary Kay Robinson to manage their downtown Bellingham branch.

In her new role, Robinson will be responsible for working with Banner Bank customers to meet their personal and business goals. She has more than 20 years of banking experience.

Prior to joining Banner Bank, she served as vice president and branch manager for Washington Mutual and was a loan officer for Horizon Bank. Most recently, she worked as the executive director for the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, where she will continue to serve as a consultant. Robinson is a graduate of both the University of Wisconsin and the University of Northern Colorado.


Merris elected 2009 President of Whatcom County Association of Realtors

J.D. Merris of Keller Williams Realty will be the next president of the Whatcom County Association of Realtors.

Merris, a Realtor since 2001, has been active in local and state real estate organizations. He also is a Certified Negotiation Expert and has earned the Green Designation of the National Association of Realtors.

Other WCAR officers for 2009 are: Don Elliott, John L. Scott Real Estate, vice president; Michele Boudreau, RE/MAX Whatcom County, secretary; Janet Armstrong, Peoples Bank, treasurer; and Mark Brown, Windermere Real Estate, past-president.

Also, two WCAR members have been elected as officers of the Washington Association of Realtors in 2009. Jon Soine of Windermere Real Estate will be the vice president of governmental affairs and David Hovde, also of Windermere Real Estate, will be treasurer.

Officers and directors will be installed during WCAR’s annual awards banquet Saturday, Jan. 10, at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal.


Awards and anniversaries


Gone Diving receives outstanding dive retailer award

Gone Diving, a local dive shop, was named an “Outstanding Dive Retailer” by McNett Corporation at the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association trade show in Las Vegas in October.

The shop was acknowledged for their excellent, knowledgeable service about McNett products to the great benefit of their customers. The award was presented to shop owner Charlynn Sutton by Duane and Nancy McNett, owners of McNett Corporation.


G.B. Enterprises celebrates 30 years

Power systems manufacturer G.B. Enterprises recently celebrated its 30-year anniversary of making high quality power systems for the cable TV and communications markets.

“In the three decades since we opened our doors, we have outgrown multiple facilities, expanded operations to include a second facility in Suwanee, Ga., and grown our total manufacturing and warehouse space to more than 200,000 square feet,” said CEO Grace Borsari. “We have always built powering products with an uncompromising commitment to quality and reliability, and that has helped us experience tremendous and consistent growth. Now is the time to celebrate and look forward to 30 more years of continued quality, reliability and growth.”

GBE incorporated on November 7, 1978, in Bellingham and is a member of The Alpha Group.


Boundary Bay Brewery ties for best brewery

Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro tied with Seattle’s Elysian Brewing for the Best Brewery in Washington state award. The award is a reader’s choice poll taken every year by the Northwest Brewing News. The brewery also won the Best IPA award.


Whatcom Family & Community Network wins state award

The Whatcom Family & Community Network has won the Family Policy Council Exceptional Results Award for making significant inroads with “hard to serve” problem families and problem behaviors.

The group was acknowledged for its family programs, which apply effective strategies based upon the landmark Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) study plus the work of leading neurobiologists regarding the enduring effects of maltreatment on a developing child.

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