Keeping up with People


Hardy & Associates joins associations

Hardy & Associates joined the National Association of Independent Real Estate Brokers and became Whatcom County’s only member of the Independent Broker’s Association in July. Owners Blain and Jill Hardy, who have 23 years of real estate experience between them, said the associations will bring referrals from other brokers about people moving to the Whatcom County area.


Mt. Baker Red Cross announces new board members

The Mt. Baker chapter of the American Red Cross announced three new members to its board of directors in July. The new members are Port of Bellingham real estate development manager Shirley McFearin, Curt Russell of the Lummi Nation’s Native Safety and Rebecca Crowe of Farmer’s Equipment. The three new board members join Chair Larry Goodrich, president of Goodrich and Associates Inc., Vice Chair Ross Clawson from Homax Products, Dan Kier of ConocoPhilips, Lou Weltzer from the BP Cherry Point Refinery, retired law enforcement officer Bruce Haley and CEO of Mt. Baker Imaging Matthew Rose.


Peterson attends remodeling conference

Matthew Peterson, owner of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen in Bellingham, attended the company’s national conference in July. The four-day conference provided Peterson with tips and knowledge on how to improve and expand his business, from financial management to time management.


Keller Williams agents earn designations

Keller Williams Western Realty agent Pete Holeman earned the accredited buyers representative (ABR) designation, awarded by the National Association of Realtors.

Suzanne Magnusson earned the senior real estate specialist designation, training that fewer than 1 percent of realtors nationally have taken. The training gives her knowledge specific to the needs of seniors when searching for homes.

Real estate agents Dale Serbousek and Nick Snow received the graduate realtor institute (GRI) designations in July. The designation recognizes the top performers in the real estate industry nationwide.


Keller Williams adds six new agents

Christopher Walton has joined Keller Williams Western Realty as a sales agent. Walton is a Washington state native and has three years of real estate experience and was formerly a mental health counselor. Two-year real estate veteran Erin Swedberg also joined Keller Williams in July. Grant LaMothe, who has a background in property management, also joins the team. Johanna Serbousek speaks fluent Spanish and joined Keller Williams also in July. Former paralegal and Skagit County resident Jessica Brester is another new agent. Former landscaper Mark Nienaber rounds out the new hires as another new real estate agent.


Burton named interim dean of Western’s CBE

Western Washington University named Brian Burton interim dean of the College of Business and Economics. Burton is currently an associate dean at the university and will serve a two-year term as dean of the college. Burton replaces Dennis Murphy, who had been dean of the college since 1982 and retired last year. Burton earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and forensic studies and an MBA and doctorate in strategic management from Indiana University.


Saturna Capital hires three

Jim Gibson, Peter Nielsen and Chris Norman have joined Saturna Capital. Gibson, previously the chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Premier Agendas Corp., is the new chief financial officer for Saturna. Nielsen joins Saturna as a senior investment analyst. Nielsen previously was an assistant portfolio manager and finance manager for BC Investment Management Corporation. Norman is Saturna’s new systems analyst, and will be responsible for database programming, web programming and business logic analysis and design. Norman previously worked for the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.


First American Title staff changes

First American Title & Escrow of Bellingham has appointed Tammy Walker, who has been with the company for 15 years, the supervisor of the escrow department. Elizabeth Thompson, who has worked for First American in Western Washington for eight years, passed the limited practice officer exam in April and has been promoted to escrow officer. First American also hired Georgina Reed as a receptionist, Terry Steiner and Jaime Concannon as escrow officers and Celeste Bailey and Leanne Geise as escrow assistants.


James receives EcoBroker certification

Fairhaven Realty’s Michael James has earned EcoBroker certification through a program that trains Realtors on the energy and environmental issues that affect real estate transactions. The designation gives James knowledge to understand issues and have the resources to help buyers and sellers make environmental-friendly decisions.


Assist2Sell promotes Thetford

Assist2Sell Home Buyers & Sellers Advantage has promoted Realtor Tami Thetford to manage the Assist2Buy division. Thetford, who has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Western Washington University, has experience with RE/MAX Whatcom County and The Muljat Group.


Changes conducted at Whatcom Symphony Orchestra

Concert lecturer Cecil Isaac and artistic administrator Mary Passmore have retired from the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra. Isaac, who gave the “story behind the music” talks before every symphony concert, will be replaced by Western Washington University music history and theory professor Dr. Edward Rutschman. Passmore will continue to play cello in the symphony and will be replaced by current music librarian Pat Nelson. Nelson has played principal bassoon for the orchestra for eight years, is the director of the chamber of the Mount Baker Youth Symphony and teaches music classes at Whatcom Community College. WSO violinist Tim Freeman, who is completing his degree at Western’s Fairhaven College, will replace Nelson as the music librarian.


ICU promotes Karber, hires Vance

The Industrial Credit Union promoted Petra Karber to the position of human resource coordinator. Karber has been with ICU for five years, and will be responsible for implementing human resource policies, maintaining the work environment and overseeing benefit and compensation packages. ICU has also hired Matt Vance as the marketing coordinator. Vance was previously an intern for the Washington Credit Union League, where he led a campaign to promote financial literacy education for students. Vance is a Western Washington University graduate with a bachelor’s in business administration with an emphasis in marketing.


Halliday elected to WTC board

Robin Halliday has been elected as chair of the board of directors for the Washington Technology Center. Halliday has served on the board of directors since August 2002 and has more than 25 years of management with small technology companies through the DIS Corporation, which provides business systems to agricultural and construction equipment companies. She is also the president of the Technology Alliance Group. The board of directors of WTC is the governing arm of the group of business and academic leaders appointed by the governor of Washington.


Bellingham Athletic Club adds DeRoche

The Bellingham Athletic Club has hired Erik DeRoche as a new personal trainer. DeRoche recently completed his doctorate in chiropractic at the Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Ore., has a master’s in exercise science from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s in exercise physiology from West Virginia University. DeRoche is a professional triathlete and is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist. At the BAC downtown location, he will specialize on athletic performance, rehabilitation and injury prevention.


Kuepfer new network services manager at 3D

3D Corporation has hired Paul Kuepfer as its network services manager. Kuepfer has 12 years of technology support experience, including with Santa Clara University and Pharmacia. Kuepfer will be working with 3D’s network support clients to improve communication, customer service and project management.


Bruner promoted to manager at TeaQuent Stop

Alex Bruner was promoted from his position at the Spice Hut to manage its sister store TeaQuent Stop in Bellis Fair mall. Bruner will be responsible for sales and marketing at the store, which offers more than 100 varieties of teas from around the world, as well as tea accessories.


RE/MAX agents earn designations

RE/MAX real estate agents Matt DeSpain-Tonjes and Scarlett Bourcier have attained new professional designations. DeSpain-Tonjes trained with Bob Schwarz, the creator of the staged homes concept, to receive the accredited staging professional designation. Bourcier, who has 12 years of sales experience, completed training for the accredited buyer representative designation.


Rogers hired as manager of ReUse Works

The nonprofit appliance salvage organization ReUse Works has hired Thoren Rogers as the manager and job coach. Rogers is a former RE Store assistant manager and is a lifelong resident of Whatcom County, attending Ferndale High School, Whatcom Community, College and receiving a bachelor’s degree from Fairhaven College at Western Washington University. Rogers will train people at ReUse Works placed there by social service agencies and community-based education programs as well as managing the business.


Kohler to run new Banner Bank pocket branch

Banner Bank has hired Lowanna Kohler as the assistant vice president/branch manager for the new Sehome pocket branch on Samish Way next to Blockbuster video. Kohler worked for Bank of America in Bellingham before joining Banner Bank. The Sehome Banner Bank, which will open in late August, is based on a concept making the branch look more like a café than a bank. It will have the amenities of a normal bank but with a lounge, plasma television and beverages. The branch is designed to attract college students — Western Washington University sits just up the hill, and the area is home to many college-aged students.


Elefson promoted to assistant vice president of Peoples Bank

Peoples Bank promoted Rusti Elefson to assistant vice president. Elefson, who graduated from Washington State University, has been with Peoples Bank since 2002 and was promoted to secondary marketing manager in 2003, a position she will retain along with her new title.


Bodman leaves Western provost position

Andrew Bodman has resigned from the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs at Western Washington University. Bodman will teach urban and physical geography in Western’s Huxley College of the Environment in fall 2008.

Bodman has been in his current position since 1999, but has been applying for positions at other schools in recent years, including president of Eastern Washington University. No appointment for his vacant positions at Western have been announced.


HoGlin receives multicultural market certification

Travis HoGlin has received the multicultural market certification from Countrywide Home Loans. The certification demonstrates HoGlin, who works out of the Barkley Village office of Countrywide Home Loans, has advanced knowledge of the company’s multicultural home loan programs. HoGlin can be contacted at 788-2403 or


Countrywide Home Loans hires loan officer, two production assistants

Countrywide Home Loans has hired Josh Henry as a loan officer at the Barkley Village office. Henry graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in math and economics, and has worked for Whatcom Educational Credit Union.

The Barkley Village office has also hired Reanna Montgomery and Lisa Ferry as production assistants. Montgomery, a Western graduate who recently worked for the Whatcom Land Title, will assist home loan officer Luke Kaemingk. Ferry will assist home loan officers Travis HoGlin and Alycia Jackson.


Taylor to manage Custom Cushions and Foam

Rachel Taylor, manager of Dream On Futon Company’s cover manufacturing operations since 1997, will manage the store’s new branch, Custom Cushions and Foam, at 1101 N. State St., in the alley behind Depot Market Square. Taylor is the daughter of Dream On Futon owner Nancy Taylor.

The new store will feature a wide selection of foam types and densities for homes, boats, RVs and custom projects. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 671-3972.


Northwest Washington Theatre Group adds two board members

Cliff Thies and Marilyn Timmer have joined the Northwest Washington Theatre Group board. Thies joins as an honorary member and Timmer is the new fundraising spokeswoman. Both have worked in production for the nonprofit group.


Maguire to design two rain gardens for Bellingham businesses

The Philbin Group Landscape Architecture firm’s Molly Maguire is focusing on incorporating rain garden designs into two Bellingham businesses. The rain gardens, which reduce environmental damage from stormwater runoff, will be installed at Wilson Motors above Whatcom Creek and at Padden Trails near Lake Padden. Maguire is a project manager for the Philbin Group and has worked there for two years. The projects will be the first large-scale rain gardens in the Whatcom County area.


Zender and Williams join Philbin Group

Kerri Zender and Garrett Williams have joined the Philbin Group Landscape Architecture firm after recently receiving degrees in landscape architecture. Zender, who graduated from the University of Idaho, studied wetlands, new urbanism, public parks and commercial and residential design. Williams, a previous intern for the Philbin Group, graduated from Washington State University and has worked on an urban design for the Mount Vernon waterfront.


Valley Land and Homes welcomes McKenna

Arnecia McKenna brings her 25 years of sales and marketing experience to Valley Land and Homes, Inc. as an associate agent. McKenna will help customers find real estate in the Nooksack, Everson and Sumas areas of Whatcom County.


Unity Group adds employee benefits account manager

Sheri Morgan joined The Unity Group in July as an employee benefits account manager. Morgan has more than a decade of experience with employee benefits, including the last three working with school districts.


Nyblade moves practice to Gateway Centre

Psychologist Elizabeth Nyblad, Ph. D., moved her practice to the Gateway Center Executive Suites at 1313 E. Maple St. Suite 226 in early July. Nyblade has been practicing clinical, school and forensic psychology in Bellingham since 1981, but will focus her practice on individuals, couples and families dealing with relationship issues. She also plans to use the conference facilities at the Gateway Centre to hold seminars and classes on relationships.


RE/MAX adds two agents

Brandon Nelson and Kym Boettner-Billings joined RE/MAX Whatcom County in July. Nelson, a former custom home builder and licensed home inspector, is in his second year in real estate sales. He is the awards chairman for the Ski to Sea Race and, along with his wife, Heather, is an avid sea kayaker.

Boettner-Billings has been a real estate agent since 1999 and has the accredited buyer representative designation. She specializes in equestrian properties and is a 4-H horse leader and superintendent of the 4-H barn at the Northwest Washington Fair.


Whidbey Island Bank hires new senior vice president

Peter Cutbill has been promoted to senior vice president of Whidbey Island Bank. Cutbill is a Bellingham resident and has been with the bank since 2001. Cutbill is also board president of the Downtown Renaissance Network and works with the business program at Whatcom Community College.


Alcoa Intalco hires two managers

Alcoa Intalco Works hired Rob Macdonald and Joe Blair to its Ferndale management team. Macdonald is the new maintenance and engineering manager after working for Lockwood Green and Golden Northwest Aluminum. Blair is Alcoa Intalco’s new human resources manager, and was previously the industrial relations manager at Alcoa’s Tennessee location.


Fairhaven Realty adds two

Fairhaven Realty added Garrett Smith and Gary Patchin as Realtors in July. Smith, a former chef, has been in Bellingham for nine years, where he has owned a painting business for new and remodel construction projects. Patchin is graduate gemologist and has extensive experience in jewelry appraisals and sales. He founded and ran the Gemological Laboratory of Pennsylvania, from which he recently retired to pursue his real estate career.


Neighborhood Mortgage recognizes Schiavone

Neighborhood Mortgage named Stacie Schiavone as the top mortgage consultant of the second quarter of 2007. Schiavone has been with Neighborhood Mortgage since 2005 and has worked to educate herself thoroughly in the mortgage business though continuing education courses with the National Association of Mortgage Brokers.


Chris Jorgensen named head golf professional at Sea Links Golf Course

Chris Jorgensen has been named the head golf professional at the newly renovated Sea Links Golf Course in Birch Bay. The course has been closed since August 2004, and was reopened in late June by Homestead Northwest, which also owns Homestead Farms Golf Resort in Lynden. Jorgensen was previously an assistant golf professional at Homestead Farms.


Horizon Bank promotes two

Horizon Bank promoted Jay Kaemingk to senior vice president and team leader of the Skagit County Commercial Center and Kelli Holz to senior vice president in early July. Kaemingk has more than 32 years of commercial banking experience. Holz, who has worked for Horizon the past 18 years and is a certified public accountant and the bank’s controller, received the bank’s Chairman’s Award for the 2007 fiscal year.


Business advisor joins Small Business Development Center

Andrew Natale joined Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center in July as a business advisor. Natale has more than 22 years of experience as a small-business owner. He has been a consultant for health food stores, managed several restaurants and taught small-business management courses at Northern Arizona University. He has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California and is a former member of the Southern Nevada Executive Council.


Christensen participates in community master plan conference

David Christensen, AIA, LEED AP, of Christensen Design Management (CDM) participated in the July Developing Master Planned Communities: Reinventing for the Future conference in California. The conference, sponsored by the Urban Land Institute, dealt with topics such as sustainable development, higher density development, new ideas of resort communities and marketing strategies. Christensen also has partnered with Steve Price of Front Street Partnership for a new consulting division of CDM called Charette Studio.




American Business Women’s Association awards three scholarships

The Peace Arch chapter of the American Business Women’s Association awarded three scholarships of $1,000 each to local high school seniors. Alicia Fisher and Lauren Hyman of Blaine High School and Cecilia Schuch-Page from Ferndale High School were the recipients.


Smith Barney recognizes financial advisor’s accomplishments

Smith Barney named Max Shelton to the Blue Chip Council, which recognizes financial advisors who meet professional standards and complete training programs within the first five years of working with the firm. Shelton has worked for Smith Barney for more than four years after graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in business management. He works with clients to develop financial planning strategies focused on wealth management, managed money, estate planning, retirement and education planning.


Giuseppe’s and Nimbus win Bite of Bellingham

Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant won Best Bite at the July 18 Bite of Bellingham for its tortellini stuffed with gorgonzola cheese and topped with a creamy sauce. Nimbus Restaurant won the Most Original prize for its vegetarian B.L.T., which won Best Bite at last year’s Bite of Bellingham. The sandwich, a veggie take on the time-tested original, has brioche, avocado mousse, tomatoes, lettuce and shitake “bacon.” More than 2,000 people attended the Bite of Bellingham despite inclement weather.


Beatty receives Toastmaster’s recognition

Waddell & Reed financial advisor Jodie Beatty has received the Competent Communicator award for exceptional achievements in the Toastmaster’s International communication program. Beatty received the recognition after a series of 10 public speeches about financial planning, women-specific issues in retirement and money management.


Greenhouse celebrates 35 years

The retail home store Greenhouse celebrates 35 years of being in business in August. Chris Foss and Foster Rose started Greenhouse as a plant store in 1972 and introduced house wares and home furnishings in the late 1970s. Greenhouse will hold its annual anniversary sale Aug. 23 through Sept. 3.


AWB honors Rep. Erickson

The Association of Washington Business honored Rep. Doug Erickson, R-Bellingham, with the 2007 Cornerstone Award for his efforts in support of Washington’s business community. The association presented awards to 45 state legislators for their votes that support business in the state. To receive the award, legislators must have a pro-business voting record — a measurement set by the AWB — of at least 80 percent. Out of the 45 legislators honored, 44 are Republican and one a Democrat.


Curnow awarded fellow status

The American College of Forensic Examiners Institute awarded Curnow & Curnow CPA Jack Curnow fellow status. The designation is awarded to individuals who are able to meet stringent requirements in forensics knowledge, skill, training and experience.


Related Stories