Keeping up with People


Two agents join RE/MAX Whatcom County

Slo Pitch Pub and Casino owner Jas Gill and Doug Wilson joined RE/MAX Whatcom County in June. Gill has 13 years of real estate experience in the United States and Canada, and Wilson has been a real estate agent for three years.


Western graduates join LaborWorks

Two Western Washington University graduates have joined LaborWorks Industrial Staffing Specialists. Amanda Sell, who has a bachelor of arts degree from Western and a master of arts degree in organizational leadership from Chapman University, joins LaborWorks as branch manager. Karen Martin, who has a bachelor of arts degree from Western, is the new assistant branch manager for the staffing specialists.


Everson gets new family boutique

Mollie Pike opened the Full Circle Family Consignment Boutique July 7 on Main Street in Everson. The store will provide brand names with a large selection of new and recycled clothing, baby gear, toys, jewelry, accessories and small furniture. Pike, who lives in Maple Falls, has worked for Key Bank before becoming a stay-at-home mother of two.


Community Food Co-op hires new general manager

The Community Food Co-op hired Jeff Voltz as the new general manager in June. Voltz has more than 25 years in the grocery industry, including nine years as CEO and president of PCC Natural Markets and executive director of Farming and the Environment, a nonprofit organization that works to support farmland for organic agriculture. He has also served as executive director for DownHome Washington, an organization providing financial, marketing, and entrepreneurial support for microenterprise businesses, and he has been a board member for Frontier Natural Products.


Hanson earns securities license

Janet Hanson of Asset Advisors, LLC received a general securities license in June. Hanson has been with Asset Advisors since 2004 as an intern from Western Washington University and graduated from the college in 2006 with a degree in economics. Hanson will be the client services manager for Asset Advisors, and will place securities trades, monitor and update client accounts and maintain compliance records.


Western professors receive $300,000 grant

Western Washington University chemistry professor David Patrick and physics professor Brad Johnson received a three-year, $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research in plastic electronics, which is looking into ways to replace silicon in conventional electronics with organic molecules.


Bellingham CAO moves to Colorado

City of Bellingham Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Malcolm Fleming accepted the position of city manager for the city of Louisville, Colo., in June. Fleming has family ties in the Louisville area, prompting his decision to apply for and accept the position. Former Mayor Mark Asmundson appointed Fleming to the position of CAO in March 2005. Fleming will remain with the city of Bellingham through the end of July. Bellingham Mayor Tim Douglas is looking at plans to transition to a new CAO, but no decision has been announced.


Medel joins Keith Cox Autobahn

Dino Medel has joined Keith Cox Autobahn as the general sales manager for the local independent car dealer. Medel had worked for 12 years with Homestead Northwest in Lynden. He will manage the sales team and the Independent Certified Pre-owned program at the dealership.


Peoples Bank gets new vice presidents

Roxanne Bilski has joined Peoples Bank as vice president and retail sales manager. for the 25 retail branches located in Western and Central Washington. Bilski has more than 20 years’ banking experience, including 12 years as regional sales manager.

Peoples Bank promoted Troy Wills to assistant vice president and branch manager for the Barkley Village branch inside Haggen Foods. Wills has been with Peoples Bank since 2005.


Taylor takes a step toward CISR designation

Suzanne Taylor, a customer service representative for the Bob Wallin Insurance agency, completed the Certified Insurance Service Representatives (CISR) Agency Operations course on June 6. The insurance course was one of five parts required for Taylor to receive CISR designation by the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research of Washington.


Bellingham photographer launches website

Professional photographer Jeanne McGee launched a website in June to feature her various fine art portfolios. The website, at, will feature her Fine Art Decor line, which she has been working on during the past five years.


Bellingham resident receives aesthetician degree

Bellingham resident Katy Denooyer received an aesthetician degree from the Evergreen Beauty and Barber College in Everett in June. Denooyer has worked for eight years as a laser technician and patient care coordinator with the Centre for Facial Plastic and Laser Surgery. The aesthetician degree will allow her to add facials, complete waxing services, eyebrow and eyelash tinting to her list of treatments. Denooyer is also a specialist in laser hair reduction, Fotofacial skin rejuvenation, wrinkle reduction, Vascutouch lesion and vascular therapy treatments. 


UW recognizes Bellingham resident

The University of Washington awarded one of five Distinguished Staff Awards to Bellingham resident Cynthia St. Clair, the director of marketing and public information for the university’s school of music. St. Clair received $5,000 for the award, which is awarded annually to outstanding classified and professional staff at UW. St. Clair has worked for UW for 27 years. She has worked for the school of music since 1999, distinguishing herself through her writing and photography in publications for the department.


SPIE leaders urge Congress to support science education

SPIE President Brian Culshaw and CEO Eugene G. Arthurs met with members of the House Science Committee in June to praise them for approving $21 billion for the National Science Foundation and renewed support for the American Competitiveness Initiative. SPIE is an international society of scientists and engineers based in Bellingham.


Rescue gear manufacturer celebrates 40 years

The Seattle Manufacturing Corporation, based in Ferndale, celebrated 40 years in business at the end of May. The corporation has provided mountaineering, rescue gear to professional and sport climbers, mountaineering guides, rescue personnel and industrial safety professionals since 1967.


Century 21 adds three sales associates

Theresa Reavis and Gary and Shannon Medearis have joined Century 21 Bay Properties as sales associates. All three recently completed licensing as real estate agents and will specialize in Whatcom County residential property sales.


Realtor joins Fairhaven Realty

Bellingham native Aeden Hunter has joined Fairhaven Realty.

Hunter graduated from Bellingham High School, attended Whatcom Community College and earned a bachelor’s degree in communication at Western Washington University. Hunter also teaches bass and guitar lessons and plays in the cover band SpaceBand.


Copiers Northwest appoints new manager

Copiers Northwest has named Rob Sloan as marketplace manager in Bellingham. Sloan has worked for 15 years with office equipment sales.


Doug Ogg draws Roswell incident cartoon

Cartoonist Doug Ogg, creator of the nationally syndicated cartoon “Ogg’s World,” was commissioned to create a cartoon for the 60th anniversary of the Roswell incident.

Roswell has been notorious since the rumor spread that the small New Mexico town was the site of a 1947 UFO crash.

Ogg’s cartoon, “Return to Roswell,” was limited to 1,000 signed and numbered prints. The Bellingham resident was a special guest of the July 5-8 festival in Roswell to sign the prints.


Dirty Dan Harris Restaurant gets new flavor in kitchen

The Dirty Dan Harris Restaurant in Fairhaven has named California Culinary Institute Academy graduate Joao (Gio) d’Aquino executive chef.

D’Aquino was previously the sous chef of the Silver Reef Casino, and has served as a line cook for the Harbor House in San Diego and the food production manager of the Silicon Valley Marriott Hotels.


Bellingham funeral director elected president of association

Rob Westford, funeral director and owner of Westford Funeral Home and Cremation, has been elected president of the Northwest District of the Washington State Funeral Directors Association. The Northwest district encompasses Whatcom, Skagit, Island and Snohomish counties.

Westford is a third-generation owner of the funeral home, founded in 1907.


Spring Creek Community hires new assistant administrator

Mountain West Retirement Corporation has hired Claudia Blinder as the assistant administrator of the Spring Creek Retirement and Assisted Living Community in Bellingham. Blinder will assist Administrator Mark Robinson with the operations of Spring Creek and will be responsible for marketing the community.

Blinder received a degree in psychology from the Appalachian State University of North Carolina, where she was a caregiver while a student. Blinder has also managed a dementia community in Bellingham.


Chef offers an escape from the kitchen

Chef Lawrence Mason has launched a new business called A Culinary Escape designed for busy professionals and families to give them a break from having to cook.

Mason works with customers to create a menu and then does the rest, from shopping to cooking to cleaning. Meals are prepared and then stored in the freezer or refrigerator.

A Culinary Escape prepares meals on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly time schedule.


Western chair steps down after 21 years

Dr. Bruce Wonder, who has chaired the department of management in Western Washington University’s college of business and economics steps down after 21 years. Wonder received a Ph. D. from the University of Washington and began teaching at Western in 1981.

Dr. Matthew Liao-Troth replaced Wonder in June. Liao-Troth received a Ph. D. from the University of Arizona and teaches negotiation and organizational behavior at Western.


Coldwell Banker adds four

Coldwell Banker Miller-Arnason has announced the addition of Mike Parry, Rich Kittinger, Colin Lowin and Sally Farrell to the real estate team.

Parry joins Coldwell Banker as a sales associate, transferring his abilities from the automotive industry. Kittinger and Lowin have worked as a team for years at NorthHaven Real Estate. Farrell is a life-long Bellingham resident and was the top seller for Avalon Realty in 2006.


Two complete certifications for business advisors

Kevin Hoult and C.J. Seitz completed certifications as certified business advisors for Western Washington University’s small business development center.

The six-month intensive training, sponsored by the Washington small business development center in Spokane, will allow Hoult and Seitz to mentor small local businesses.


Law office moves from California to Bellingham

Attorney Brian Brunkow recently relocated his practice from San Diego to Bellingham. Brunkow’s practice focuses on residential mortgage and compliance with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.

Brunkow graduated from the Seattle University School of Law in 2000, volunteers with Bellingham’s Street Law Program and is a member of the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce and Whatcom Young Professionals,. He will also be an assistant football coach at Bellingham High School for the upcoming 2007 season.


Literary Council receives donation from local author

Christina Dodd, a New York Times bestseller and Bellingham local, donated $5,060 to the Whatcom Literacy Council to support 12 students and train five tutors in 2007. Dodd has committed to giving the same amount for three years as a part of the council’s Literacy for Life program.

Dodd, a romance novelist, has written 32 full-length novels with two more on the way. She has had two books on the Times bestsellers list, including her most recent release, “Tongue In Chic.”


Muljat Realtor receives senior specialist designation

Muljat Group Realtor Rebecca Reich received the Seniors Real Estate Specialist professional designation from the Senior Advantage Real Estate Council.

The designation shows Reich has the knowledge and experience to help seniors sell the family home, buy rental property, manage capital gains and estate taxes, move to a senior community and assist with other real estate issues commonly dealt with by the elderly.


Litzia hires new network technician

The network solutions firm Litzia has hired Rick Schessler as a network technician. Schessler, co-founder and former co-owner of the Archer Ale House in Fairhaven, has completed extensive network and technology training for Windows, Unix and Novell networks. As a network technician, Schessler will use his technical expertise to provide remote and onsite application and computer networking support to Litzia customers.


Essence of Bellingham photo competition winners announced

Three local Bellingham photographers have won awards in the second annual Essence of Bellingham photo competition. Kristin Emmet won first place for her photo “Viva la Bellingham,” Sandi Heinrich won second for her photo“405 Holly Street,” and John R. Kienast Jr. won third for his photo “Fog Distant.”

Mayor Tim Douglas will recognize Emmet, Heinrich and Kienast July 16 at the Bellingham City Council meeting. The Whatcom Museum will also add the winning shots to its photographic collection.

More than 400 photographers entered in the contest, 29 of whom received recognition for their work. To see the photos entered in the competition, visit


Western chemistry professor receives grant for cancer research

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Western Washington University chemistry professor James Vyvyan $204,473 to research a possible treatment for liver cancer.

Vyvyan will research look at ways to synthesize a naturally occurring chemical compound from the fruit of the Cananga odorata tree, native to the Philippines and Micronesia. The chemical has shown to be effective against two types of liver cells, but is available in only limited quantities.


Northwest Mortgage adds husband-wife team

Trevis and Kari Chambers have joint the lending group at Northwest Mortgage. Trevis has more than 20 years of sales and management experience and Kari has more than 17 years of customer service experience with collections and medical billing.


Technology Alliance Group adds Western dean to board

Dr. Arlan Norman, the dean of the college of sciences and technology at Western Washington University, has joined the board of directors for the Technology Alliance Group (TAG) for Northwest Washington.

Norman leads the consortium for technological development and innovation at Western, an initiative at Western proposed as an integral part of the university’s involvement with the waterfront development.

Norman has been the associate dean for natural sciences at the University of Colorado and is an inorganic chemist who researches phosphorus compounds.


Magazine names local lawyer super

Washington Law and Politics magazine has named Barry M. Meyers a 2007 SuperLawyer. Five percent of Washington attorneys are named SuperLawyers which are chosen through an exhaustive process including background checks and ballots from active Washington lawyers.

Meyer is one of 10 Washington certified elder law attorneys. He provides legal advice and guidance for the elderly and has practiced law since 1983. He has been the president of the Washington chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a board member of the Bellingham Technical College Foundation, Visiting Nurse Home Care and Elder Service Providers.


Western names new director of alumni association

Western Washington University has named Deborah DeWees as the senior director of university advancement and the executive director of the alumni association.

DeWees has been the director of development for the college of business and economics and has been with the Western foundation for nine years. Before her tenure at Western, DeWees was the executive vice president for advancement and the executive director of resource development for Edmonds Community College. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Marywood College and received training to be a certified fundraising professional from the University of Indiana.




Bob Diehl receives dealer of year award

Bob Diehl of Diehl Ford received the Robert P. Mallon dealer of the year award May 16 at the annual convention of the Washington State Auto Dealers Association. Diehl is the third-generation owner of the dealership and has served on the association’s board of directors since the early 1980s.

Diehl is active in the Bellingham community, having served as president of the YMCA and the Bellingham Rotary Club. He is also the vice chair of St. Joseph Hospital.

A committee of dealers selects the recipient of the dealer of the year award from Washington state auto dealers who have not only made contributions to the auto industry but also to the community.


Western professor awarded certificate for Canadian studies

The International Council for Canadian Studies awarded Western Washington University professor Don Alper a certificate of merit May 23 for his work in the field of Canadian studies. Alper is the director for Western’s center for Canadian-American studies and a professor of political science.


Bergsma-Evans wins real estate lender award

Horizon Bank named Tiffany Bergsma-Evans the winner of the real estate lender of the year award. Bergsma-Evans generated $17.5 million in residential home loans for the 2007 fiscal year for the bank.

Bergsma-Evans joined Horizon Bank in July 2005 and serves as the chairman of the Whatcom County Association of Realtor’s Habitat for Humanity committee.


Dyrland receives another Toppers Club award

Erik Dyrland has qualified as a Topper Club Agent by Farmers Insurance for the 19th time in his 20 years as a Farmers agent. Dyrland has successfully established the third largest Farmers agency in Washington state. The Topper Club is given to agents for consistently high sales volume of auto, home, life and business policies, plus high client retention, service and profitability. Only 900 of the more than 17,000 Farmers agents nationwide qualified to receive ‘Topper Club’ honors in 2006.


Rud Browne receives entrepreneur of the year award

Rud Browne, chairman and founder of Ryzex, received the Ernst & Young 2007 Entrepreneur Of The Year award in the manufacturing category in the Pacific Northwest. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic, growing businesses. An independent panel of judges selected Browne and gave him the award at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year gala event at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers June 22. 

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