Keeping Up With People


Colophon Cafe appoints sustainability director

Leah Peterson was appointed as the director of sustainability programs for the Colophon Café in Fairhaven. She has worked at the restaurant on and off for five years and is currently an environmental studies student at Whatcom Community College, where she is working to initiate a food waste program.


Foundation honors 3 retirees, adds new members

St. Luke’s Foundation recently honored three retiring board members and welcomed three new board members. Retiring from St. Luke’s board were Carol Dittrich and Margaret Millers who were both founding board members in 1982. John Moore, who has served on the board since 1983, is also retiring.

Filling the vacant board positions are Matt Rose, COO of Northwest Radiology/Mt. Baker Imaging, Betty Miller, computer services for Bellingham school district, and Leslie Farris, publicity chair for Bellingham Dollars for Scholars Foundation and an active member with many other groups in the community.

Also, after 11 years of leading the organization, Chuck Beard announced that he would be retiring as executive director of St. Luke’s Foundation in July 2008. During Beard’s tenure the Foundation’s endowment has grown by $3.4 million and over $4.7 million has been invested in Whatcom County health care. The Board is currently conducting a search for a new executive director.


Peoples Bank promotes Holleman

Lisa Holleman of Peoples Bank in Lynden was promoted to senior vice president of finance.

Holleman, who has been with Peoples Bank for more than 15 years, has been the bank’s controller since 1999. In her new position she will be responsible for accounting, financial analysis, fiscal reporting, and budgeting for the bank. Holleman graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Central Washington University and is a graduate of the Bank Administration Institute’s Graduate School of Bank Financial Management. Holleman is currently attending Pacific Coast Banking School, a graduate school focused on bank management, and is active with Junior Achievement as a classroom advisor.


Ski to Sea photographer selected

Jon Brunk Photography was chosen to be the official photographer for the 2008 Ski to Sea Festival. Brunk Photography will photograph the Junior Race, May 17, and the Ski to Sea Race, May 25. Brunk has photographed the race for 22 years.

Brunk, who has lived in Bellingham since 1985, moved here from Skagit County where he worked at the Skagit Valley Herald. His photographic experience dates back to 1972 when he started working at newspapers in the Bay Area.


Twedt receives ChFC designation

Paul D. Twedt, CLU of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, received his Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation from the American College.

With a ChFC designation, Twedt has received one of the most extensive educations available for financial professionals. More than 41,000 individuals have attained this distinction, a program that includes all of the courses in Certified Financial Planner Certification Curriculum, and builds on that knowledge with advanced coverage of estate, retirement, and other financial planning applications. As a managing director with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Twedt is part of a network of specialists offering a wide array of insurance, investment products and services.


3D Corporation appoints project manager

Ryan Pavitt was promoted to project manager at 3D Corporation. Pavitt is one of 3D’s many network engineers. With his success in network implementation as well as his organizational skills, Pavitt fit the criteria for the newly designed role of project manager.


Business Bank promotes 6

Business Bank has recently promoted six employees. David Andrews, chief credit officer, and Rob Woods, chief financial officer, were both promoted to the position of executive vice president. Todd Anderson was promoted to senior vice president of real estate lending. Caren Howard, real estate loan support, Karen Mitchell, real estate loan officer, and Kristi Hennessy, cashier, were promoted to the position of assistant vice president. 


Physical therapist attends advanced workshop

Bellingham physical therapist Julie DePaul, PT, BCIA-PMDB, certified in biofeedback for pelvic floor dysfunction, recently attended the Visceral Manipulation Workshop for the Thorax, level 4.

Visceral manipulation is a manual therapy in which light, specifically placed pressure encourages normal mobility, tone and tissue motion of the internal organs and their connective tissue.

DePaul has been a physical therapist in Bellingham for 30 years. She owns HEALTHY FOCUS Physical Therapy in the Discovery Park center where she focuses on orthopedics and women’s health physical therapy.


Archer earns ACSR designation

Shari Archer of Oltman Insurance Agency in Bellingham recently earned her Accredited Customer Service Representative (ACSR) designation.

The ACSR designation is awarded to individuals who successfully complete the ACSR training program and pass examinations that test an individual’s ability to assist clients with their insurance needs.

Archer, a graduate of Sehome High School, has been with Oltman Insurance since 1996.


SBDC adds Grimstead

Western Washington University’s College of Business and Economics’ Small Business Development Center (SBDC) added Eric Grimstead to its staff of business advisors.

Grimstead has more than 15 years of experience in marketing, business development and accounting. He has owned a marketing and Web-development company for the past seven years; during that time he worked with clients in the manufacturing, retail, and service sectors. Grimstead has experience in Internet marketing, copywriting and direct mail, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Puget Sound.


Olson hired as Peoples Bank vice president

Jeff Olson joined Peoples Bank as vice president of sales and production for real estate lending. Olson will provide sales planning and production support to the bank’s 32 loan originators throughout the Puget Sound region and Wenatchee. His primary office will be in Bellingham at the bank’s real estate loan center in Cordata.

Olson, who recently relocated to Whatcom County from the Bellevue area, has 37 years of experience in financial services, 32 of which have been focused on sales management, business development, recruiting, product development and market expansion. His initial five years in the banking and mortgage industry were spent in the direct production of residential term and construction loans. Olson is involved in the community as an advisor and sponsor of the Washington Homeownership Center and as a member of the King and Snohomish Master Builders Association, and in the past has been a volunteer for the King County Habitat for Humanity.


WWU professor to lead international effort

Western Washington University associate professor Nicholas Zaferatos was named the principal investigator of the EuroMed Sustainable Communities project, an effort sponsored by the European Union to build sustainable economies across cultural and political boundaries.

The island of Kefalonia, Greece, with its ancient ties to the Mediterranean olive-oil industry, will be one of the first test-case subjects in the EuroMed Sustainable Communities project led by Zaferatos. The project will use olive oil, an ancient commodity long traded throughout the region, as a test-case subject.


Grant promoted to sales director

Elizabeth Grant, president and manager of the Stewart Title Bellingham office, was promoted to Region C sales director for Stewart Title. She will take experience in management, escrow, sales and marketing to her new position working with the affiliate operations in Alaska, Washington and Oregon to grow market share in the region. Grant, with 24 years experience in the title industry, has been the president of the Bellingham operation for five years. She will vacate her local position when a qualified replacement is found.


Levy appointed as adjunct professor at
University of Manitoba

Jason Levy, Western Washington University assistant professor of disaster reduction and emergency planning at the Huxley College of the Environment, was appointed as an adjunct professor in the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) at the University of Manitoba.

The NRI is one of the world’s most prestigious institutes for natural resource management and sustainable hazard mitigation.

Levy was appointed to a three-year term with the institute Feb. 1. He will supervise doctoral student Sayedur Rahman at the NRI, and participate in the formulation and execution of graduate-studies policy and provide advice on the choice of thesis/practicum topics for graduate students. During his term at the NRI, Levy will remain a full-time faculty member at Western.


Kennedy, Palmer join Wells Fargo Private Client Services

Ron Kennedy and Shannon Palmer were added to Wells Fargo Private Client Services as private bankers. As private bankers, Kennedy and Palmer will provide customized and creative banking solutions to clients in Skagit, Island, San Juan and Whatcom counties.

Kennedy will be based in Wells Fargo’s Anacortes banking store. He previously worked as a corporate banker and senior relationship manager with Citibank/Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase. A Conway resident, Kennedy earned a bachelor’s degree from Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., and a master’s in business administration from Boston University. He is fluent in German and Czech.

Palmer will be based in the new Wealth Management offices in Bellingham and will serve customers primarily in Whatcom County. She recently worked as a premier banking and investments client manager for Bank of America. A Birch Bay resident, Palmer earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Montana. 


WWU professor receives neighborhood research grant

Kyle Crowder, a Western Washington University professor of sociology, received a two-year, $141,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue his investigation into the effects of neighborhoods on families.

Crowder’s research, done in conjunction with his collaborator Scott South at the State University of New York at Albany, specifically looks at how the neighborhood in which you live changes your opportunities and outcomes, especially in adolescents.


Manpower names Callahan high performance
sales person

Mary Lou Callahan, branch manager for Manpower in Bellingham, was recently named to Manpower’s Circle of Stars, a national recognition program that honors high performing sales/service people that excel above and beyond their peers. Callahan earned her place at the Circle of Stars Recognition Event by being among the top 10 percent of branch managers in Manpower’s North American organization.

Callahan joined Manpower in 1993 and has 20 years of experience in the staffing industry and HR. She has earned the Circle of Stars recognition for 3 of 4 years, since its inception in 2004.


Nims to lead WCC women’s basketball program

Whatcom Community College announced Piper Nims as the new head women’s basketball coach. A graduate of Whatcom and Western Washington University, she earned a bachelor’s degree in recreation in 2005. Nims played basketball at Whatcom, completing her eligibility, and then served as an assistant coach at Whatcom for three consecutive seasons. During the 2007-08 season Nims served as Whatcom’s interim head women’s basketball coach.

Nims led the 2007-08 team to an 8-8 record in the North Region of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) in her first year as head coach, and had a 12-14 overall record.

Assistant coaches Jim Freeman and Amy Visser will continue their participation in the program.


McCoy promoted to manager

Monique McCoy was promoted to call center manager of North Coast Credit Union’s Mount Vernon branch. McCoy has more than 10 years of financial institution experience. She started her call center career in 1998 when she worked with all aspects of member service before being promoted to member service quality coach.

McCoy joined North Coast Credit Union in 2004 as a senior member service representative in their call center.  For the last 3 years, she has served as assistant branch manager of their Mount Vernon branch and senior member service representative in their Bellingham branch. McCoy has served on the safety committee and currently serves on the credit union’s marketing team and community support team. She is also a member of Whatcom Young Professionals. 


Murray attends international convention

Realtor Meredith Murray recently returned from Atlanta, Ga., where she attended her second “Family Reunion,” Keller Williams International’s annual convention. Along with 8,300 other agents from across North America, Murray attended educational break-out sessions as well as the keynote address by marketing expert and author Seth Godin. While in Atlanta, Murray received her first KWI award — a bronze medal for gross commissions earned in 2007.


Ramsay to continue as chief of police

Mayor Dan Pike appointed interim police chief Todd Ramsay to the position of chief of the Bellingham police department.

Ramsay has served since the end of January as the interim, replacing Randy Carroll who retired. Prior to being appointed interim chief, Ramsay served as deputy chief of police, a role that serves as second in command for the 167-employee department.

As a member of the department’s command staff since 2002, Ramsay has overseen all operational and personnel aspects of the department, including patrol, investigations, drugs, criminal intelligence, crime prevention, budget, facility management and internal affairs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Washington State University, is a graduate of the School of Police Staff and Command at Northwestern University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives Program, and has completed numerous other continuing education and certification programs.


Leavitt joins American Family Insurance

Nancy Leavitt of Lynden was appointed as a full-time agent for American Family Insurance Group, which opened in Bellingham on March 10 and provides auto, home, life and commercial insurance.

Leavitt, a Whatcom County resident who has worked in the insurance industry for four years, will serve Whatcom and Skagit County residents. She is also a member of the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce and a board member for the Northwest Washington Theatre Group.


Chiropractor gains sports certification

Steve Noble of Noble Sports Chiropractic in Bellingham earned the designation of certified chiropractic sports physician.

Noble attended a minimum of 100 hours of a post-graduate program focusing on physical fitness and the evaluation and treatment of injuries encountered in sports. He also passed a comprehensive written examination. Only 4,000 others worldwide received the designation, which was awarded by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians.

Noble, a graduate of Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore., is trained in several techniques particularly suited to the treatment of athletes of all ages and abilities.

Noble’s business, founded in 2006, recently moved to Gateway Centre Executive Suites at 1313 E. Maple St.


Bank of America hires Yonally

Sharon Yonally was selected to join Bank of America Mortgage as a mortgage loan officer. Yonally, who has more than 20 years of experience working in the local mortgage market, specializes in mortgage planning, educating and assisting clients. As an industry authority on both fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, she works closely with clients to customize their loan to address their personal long and short term financial and investment goals as well as payment and equity objectives.


Advanced Sports Chiropractic moves

Bob Curtis recently moved his chiropractic practice, Advanced Sports Chiropractic, to Cornwall Avenue. A licensed massage therapist will join him in April to provide relaxation, deep tissue and Swedish massage.

Curtis, who specializes in injury treatment and performance enhancement, provides individualized chiropractic care for everyday sports enthusiasts, professional athletes and individuals throughout Whatcom County regardless of age or activity level.

Curtis plans to kick off the move with an open house on April 25.

Bellingham selects new fire marshal

Bellingham Fire Chief Bill Boyd has selected Jason Napier as the new Bellingham fire marshal. Napier, 37, replaces 64-year-old Don Smith, who is retiring after 26 years of service, the last three as fire marshal.

Napier brings a broad range of experience and expertise gained from 15 years with the Kent Fire Department. As a deputy fire marshal in Kent, Napier provided fire prevention/development services. One of the first in the country to be certified as a fire marshal by the International Code Council, Napier also holds certifications as a building official, alarm technician, fire investigator, instructor, and public educator. Napier also has a strong background in emergency scene operations and technical rescue.


Burns joins Northwest Ecological Services

Analiese Burns partnered with Vikki Jackson and Michele Bodtke to provide biological consulting services under Northwest Ecological Services, LLC, (NES), a small, local, service-oriented environmental consulting firm.

Burns, a LEED Accredited Professional and Professional Wetland Scientist, is experienced in native landscape design, naturalized stormwater plantings, wetland and stream assessments, mitigation design, Endangered Species Act compliance, and park master planning. She previously owned her own business and decided to join NES to expand her client services.


Ferndale Chamber of Commerce gains board members

The Ferndale Chamber of Commerce recently added board members who will help in planning community activities and supporting economic development.

New board members are Doug Meyer of Pacific Continental Realty, Pete Harksell of Pete’s Auto Repair, Ted Stiles of ConocoPhillips-Ferndale Refinery and Aaron Thomas of Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa. Also, Bob Bell of Ferndale Mini Market and Darby O’Neil, CPA, were re-elected to board positions.

This year’s Ferndale Chamber of Commerce officers were also decided. Wayne Galloway of Les Schwab Tire Center-Ferndale is president; Michael Culberson of Quizno’s Sub is first vice president; Jason Britain of Realty World is second vice president; and O’Neil is treasurer.


Dworkin, Swanson join Belcher Swanson Law Firm

Peter Dworkin and Scot Swanson joined Belcher Swanson Law Firm, P.L.L.C. as members of the firm in January 2008.

Dworkin has been with Belcher Swanson since 2006 and has practiced law in Bellingham for more than seven years. He will continue to focus his practice on representing individuals, contractors and businesses in the areas of commercial, real property and construction disputes litigation.

Swanson has been with the Belcher Swanson since 2004, previously working as an associate with Anderson Hunter Law Firm in Everett. He will continue to focus his practice in areas of real property, land use, development, and condominium law.


Museum of Glass honors local artist

In collaboration with the Tacoma Museum of Glass, Bellingham resident David Wight will be sculpting molten glass into cresting and barreling waves at the museum as part of its Guest Artist Program. The program allows the audience an opportunity to see him work.

Wight graduated from Washington State University with a business degree and went on to The Pilchuck Glass School to follow his dream of sculpting water out of glass. Wright, who was born and raised in Bellingham, sells his glass waves to more than 30 galleries throughout the country.


Goff gets promoted

Cameron Goff of Ferndale was promoted to the position of operations manager for Deception Pass Tours. Goff has been with the company since its inception, serving as a naturalist aboard the hourly tours of Deception Pass Bridge and surrounding area.

Goff, who will now be responsible for oversight of customer service, is working toward becoming a U.S. Coast Guard Certified Captain.


Pace attends Keller Williams convention

Nancy Pace recently attended Keller Williams International Family Reunion in Atlanta, Ga. The annual convention was attended by approximately 9,000 Keller Williams Realtors from across North America. Agents attended educational breakout sessions covering negotiation, home staging and other essential business-related courses.

Discussion of the current real estate market dominated most sessions. And, unlike the six states where foreclosures dominate the market, Washington — 49th out of 50 states in the number of foreclosures — and Whatcom County are expected to continue to experience a normal buyer’s market through 2008.


Murray gets ABR designation

Meredith Murray of Keller Williams Realty in Bellingham recently earned the Accredited Buyer Representative designation in a three-day course. She is now one of more than 40,000 active members of the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council of the National Association of Realtors, which is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals that focus specifically on representing the real estate buyer.


Business Bank hires Willett

Rachael Willett recently joined Business Bank in the role of business development, where she will be involved in marketing, new accounts and sales. Willett, who graduated from the College of Idaho in 2003, is an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Mount Vernon, serves as secretary on the Burlington Little School board of directors and is a member of Skagit Young Professionals’ leadership team.


Sloan finalist in Make It Your Own Awards

Susan Sloan, health information specialist for Whatcom County Health Department, is a top 20 $10,000 finalist for the Make It Your Own Awards.

Sloan’s project, Making Health Our Own, seeks to bring community residents together to provide a broad spectrum of citizen input on health issues. The award will be used to hold a three-day conference to get citizen input for the development of a comprehensive health plan.

The Case Foundation is now inviting America to go online and vote for the final four, each of whom will be awarded an additional $25,000 in grant dollars to help.


Van Slyke earns ‘Elite’ status

Rollo Van Slyke, owner of Rollo Van Slyke Farmers Insurance Agency, Inc. on Magnolia Street in Bellingham, qualified as an ‘Elite’ Agent during 2007. ‘Elite’ status is awarded to agents for consistently high sales volume of commercial insurance policies, plus high client retention, service and profitability.


Ellison recognized as consumer finance champion

Stew Ellison, senior financial advisor at the Bellingham office of Merrill Lynch, was recognized as a 2007 Merrill Lynch Consumer Finance Champion. This is the second time he has been recognized.  The designation is given to the top 7 percent of all Merrill Lynch financial advisors for mortgages, home equity, credit and lending. 


State honors WWU’s Morse

The Washington State House of Representatives honored Western Washington University President Karen W. Morse, noting her many achievements and contributions to higher education and the state.

Rep. Kelli Linville (D-Bellingham) moved for adoption of a resolution at the House of Representatives that described Morse’s accomplishments. Morse, who is in her 15th year as president at Western, will retire this September. The House approved the resolution.

Linville also honored Morse’s husband, Joe, for his “love and support” and the many ways he, too, contributes to the “Western Experience.”

On Feb. 11, the Washington State Senate also honored President Morse, citing her 15 years of service.


Arpin Van Lines announces prime agent of the month

Arpin Van Lines recognized Moving & Storage Solutions, Inc. in Bellingham as its prime agent of the month for January 2008. Moving & Storage Solutions, Inc., a family owned company started by David and Kim Powell in 1995, has been a member of the Arpin Agency family since May 2003.

Criteria for the agent of the month award is based on increased business with the van lines over the previous 12 months, low customer damage claims, maintaining outstanding customer services scores, maintaining a strong financial position with Arpin Van Lines and maintaining a strong safety record.


Weitzel gains recognition

Chris Weitzel, a Realtor with RE/MAX Whatcom County, recently attended the 2007 RE/MAX Regional Awards Ceremony in Seattle. Weitzel was recognized as the sixth top RE/MAX Realtor in the entire Pacific Northwest, an area that consists of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, and fifth top RE/MAX Realtor in Washington. Locally, Weitzel is the number one RE/MAX Realtor in Whatcom County for 2007 and has consecutively been the top RE/MAX agent in Whatcom County since 2002.


2 Goodriches, 2 achievements

Larry Goodrich, CFP from the Bellwether Way office of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., was named to the firm’s 2008 executive council in recognition of providing outstanding guidance and service to the investing public, and exemplary professional growth. This is his 25th year of recognition.

Executive Council honors are presented only to those financial advisors who have demonstrated an extremely high level of commitment to clients through personal service and professional integrity.

Goodrich, who joined the firm in 1982, has over 40 years of experience in the financial services industry. He offers a comprehensive range of investment and financial planning alternatives for individuals and businesses.

Matt Goodrich, who served as a financial advisor at this branch, was recently named co-branch manager of the Bellwether Way office. He is a registered principal and financial advisor with more than 10 years of experience in the financial services industry.


Banner Bank recognizes 37 employees

This year, 37 Banner Bank employees from across the Pacific Northwest received 2007 Banner’s Best awards. The employees were recognized for their performance in exceeding personal and bank-wide goals and for their caliber of customer service.

Among the 37 is Bellingham recipient Ken Larsen, the senior vice president/RE administration manager. His award includes a personal gift, recognition for his branch or department and a trip for two provided by the bank.


Awards and Anniversaries


Pak Mail earns dual awards

Pak Mail, the packaging and shipping center in Barkley Village, received two awards at the company’s annual convention.

The locally owned and operated company received the President’s Award from Pak Mail Centers of America for outstanding achievement and growth in its operations for 2007. The second award was in recognition of Pak Mail’s support of and service to other Pak Mail stores and the Pak Mail system in 2007.


Copy Source gains national recognition

In recognition of the economic power of multicultural businesses,, recently named Copy Source as one of the top diversity- owned businesses in Washington. The companies named, which represent Washington’s top multicultural earners, are sought after by major corporations wishing to increase spending with diversity-owned companies.

Copy Source will be honored at a special awards ceremony at’s 8th annual multicultural business conference April 23 – 25 at Disney’s BoardWalk resort in Orlando, Fla.


StonWest celebrates 15th anniversary

StonWest, which was the first granite and marble facility in the area and started operating in 1993, recently celebrated its 15-anniversary.

StonWest has contributed to projects such as Memorial Park and the Roosevelt Park renewal project. The company has also supported youth groups by providing material donations for their community projects.

Additionally, StonWest participated in the annual Whatcom Home & Garden Show to further public education of granite, marble and other natural stones.


Sound Shredding & Recycling achieves
security certification

Sound Shredding & Recycling, a Whatcom- and Skagit-owned document shredding firm, achieved AAA certification for its mobile shredding services from the National Association of Information Destruction (NAID).

The certification is the highest industry standard for mobile shredding companies and involves meeting the industry’s most stringent qualifications. Currently, Sound is the only locally owned company to offer NAID-certified on-site shredding.

To maintain the certification, Sound must pass annual audits. To carry out the service, it uses a mobile shredding truck that can securely destroy up to 5,000 pounds of documents per hour.

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