Keeping up with People


Village Books staff member takes on new role, “odd” title

Cindi Williamson has recently been named Chief Executrix at Village Books in Bellingham’s Fairhaven District.  Faced with dozens of incomplete projects and scores of ideas for new ones, Village Books decided to create the new position, which is a cross between an administrative assistant and a project manager.

Williamson, who joined Village Books as a seller in 2005, has previously worked in both of those roles in the construction and medical fields. 


Meyers named SuperLawyer once more

Barry M. Meyers, a Bellingham Certified Elder Law Attorney, has been named a 2008 SuperLawyer by Washington Law and Politics magazine. Meyers was also named a SuperLawyer in 2007.

In order to be named a SuperLawyer, the magazine mails more than 17,000 ballots to active lawyers in the state, examines the background and experience of candidates, evaluates indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement, and then reviews and evaluates candidates by a blue ribbon panel from their practice area. Only 5 percent of the lawyers in Washington are recognized as SuperLawyers.


Brunkow named literary finalist

The Pacific Northwest Writers Association has selected attorney Brian Brunkow as a finalist in its 2008 literary contest. Brunkow’s work titled “Copyright Overview: Small Business and Music Licensing” is entered under the article/essay/short memoir category. Brunkow volunteers with the Washington Lawyers for the Arts and is a board member for the American Museum of Radio and Electricity in Bellingham.


Varner Sytsma Herndon Accountant Becomes CPA

David Long of Varner Sytsma Herndon (VSH) recently became licensed as a Certified Public Accountant at the Bellingham firm.

He started as a public accountant in 2006 after earning a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). He started his second career after 23 years in the U.S. Coast Guard. Long assists VSH clients with various accounting and taxation needs.

With more than 20 employees, including a dozen CPAs, VSH offers expertise in a broad range of accounting and financial-planning services. Business clients range from small family operations to large international corporations.


Brown speaks about why struggling is overrated

Tshombe Brown, a business coach of addressed the Whatcom County Association of Realtors on June 18 at its monthly lunch meeting at Northwood Hall. Brown’s speech was called “Why Struggle is Overrated and What You Can Do About it.”


Williams awarded for community service

Whatcom County received two state awards at Washington’s 2008 Behavioral Healthcare Conference in Yakima.

Gary Williams, who recently retired as Health and Human Services supervisor with the health department, was recognized for his more than 40 years of work with the mentally ill and homeless. Williams was the recipient of one of three statewide Hero Awards recognizing outstanding efforts to serve the needs of the mentally ill.  Special acknowledgment was made of Gary’s efforts with other community members to create the Whatcom County Behavioral Health Triage Center, Rainbow Center, Homeless Service Center and mentally ill offender reentry programs


CITC names four new graduates

Four employees of Andgar Corporation have graduated from Construction Industry Training Council’s Sheet Metal Apprenticeship Program. Bo Harvey, Brent Brown, Derek Tjoelker, and Kyle Ekema attended graduation ceremonies at Meydenbauer Hall in Bellevue.

CITC’s Sheet Metal Apprenticeship is a state registered four-year program that consists of 9,000 hours of on-the-job training and 800 hours of classroom instruction. Topics of NCCER curriculum include; advanced trade math, blueprints and specifications, triangulation, air balance, SMACNA standards, field measuring and cutting, refrigeration principles, layout and fabrication.


Rabatin set to verify green credentials of homes

Tally Rabatin, design manager/co-owner of DreamMaker Bath and Kitchen in Bellingham, recently became certified to verify the green credentials of houses for the National Association of Home Builders.

Rabatin meets with builders, conducts inspections and documents performance tests to determine whether a house meets the criteria of the NAHB’s National Green Building Program. Rabatin evaluates seven aspects of a home seeking certification from the National Green Building Program: site, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, homeowner education and global impact.


Yarkosky appointed store manager of
Sehome Village Haggen

Sue Yarkosky has been appointed store manager of the Sehome Village Haggen. Yarkosky joined Haggen, Inc., in 1989 as a bookkeeper and has been steadily promoted and honored since then. She has been a store manager for the company at Auburn and Federal Way since 2000.

Yarkosky now manages the Sehome Village Haggen’s employees, operations and support of community activities.

Haggen, Inc. operates 33 supermarkets in Washington and Oregon under the Haggen Food & Pharmacy, TOP Food and Drug and Larry’s Market names.


New reverend coming to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

The Bishop of Olympia, The Right Reverend Gregory H. Rickel, and the Vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church are pleased to announce the appointment of the Reverend Canon Jonathan Weldon as Canon Missioner for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

By appointing a canon missioner to St. Paul’s, the office of the Bishop, the Canon and the Congregation of St. Paul’s have entered into a special relationship of support and oversight during a period of extended transitional work.

Most recently, Father Weldon served as Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of Oregon. He has also served as a vicar and a rector in Eugene, Oregon.


New ownership headed to Unity Group

The Unity Group, a northwest Washington insurance and employee benefits firm, is pleased to announce Jennifer Ortmeyer, Andy Billingsley and Russ Wildenberg have been offered ownership in the firm. Ortmeyer and Bilingsley are specialists in the Employee Benefits division and Wildenberg is a specialist in the Property and Casualty division.

The Unity Group, headquartered in Bellingham, is the largest independent insurance agency in the northern Puget Sound area. It provides comprehensive services for businesses including commercial coverage, employee benefits and retirement planning.


Clem to bring property and casualty expertise to
Unity Group

The Unity Group, is expanding its Property and Casualty division with the addition of a new team member—Zach Clem.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Washington, Clem was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers and enjoyed a brief career with the organization before retiring due to injury. Clem’s role at The Unity Group will be to work with local businesses, helping to develop and manage their property and casualty programs.


The Socrates Group adds full-time business development manager and two WWU interns.

The Socrates Group is pleased to announce the addition of a full-time business development manager and two management of information systems majors from Western Washington University.

Steve Fife joins The Socrates Group as a full time business development manager. A recent transplant to the Bellingham community, Steve brings 15 years of experience marketing within the high tech industry with companies such as Compaq Computer and IBM.


Pierce to retire from WWU

George Pierce, vice president for Business and Financial Affairs at Western Washington University announced he will retire from his position in December.

Pierce has provided strong and dedicated leadership for his division, which has been at the forefront of many of Western’s achievements, including providing a modern campus infrastructure for students, faculty and staff. His leadership in implementing sustainability, campus safety, and emergency management initiatives has placed Western among the leaders in higher education nationally. 

Business and Financial Affairs provides a range of crucial services to Western, including oversight for construction, renovation and maintenance of university buildings and maintenance of its grounds; development and oversight of the capital budget; campus safety, human resources and environmental health and safety.


Brown joins SPIE as global development head

Andrew J.W. Brown joined SPIE as senior director for global business development. A long-time member of SPIE and other photonics organizations, Brown came to SPIE from ACUlight Corporation, a laser development and manufacturing company near Seattle.

Previously, Brown held leadership positions at Falcon Medical, a medical instrumentation and startup company, and served as executive director of a nonprofit adult literacy program.


John L. Scott Bellingham Welcomes
New Managing Broker

J. Lennox Scott, chairman and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate, welcomes Michael X. Ford as the new managing broker of the company’s Bellingham office.

Ford started his real estate career in 1994 at the John L. Scott Laurelhurst office. In 2000, he moved to the John L. Scott Belltown office where he was managing broker. In 2005, Ford decided to join Cascade Partners, LLC, returning to John L. Scott in January 2008 to serve as managing broker of the Burien office.

John L. Scott Real Estate was founded in 1931 and has more than 4,000 sales associates in 145 offices in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.


Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood Hires New
Policy Coordinator

Stephanie Kountouros has been hired by Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood as Public Policy Coordinator.

Stephanie’s experience includes radio-television and social service work with domestic violence, people living with AIDS, chemical dependency and mental health as well as child survivors of abuse and street youth.


Halle to start as Space Administration and Management director at WWU

Western Washington University’s Office of the Provost recently appointed Francis Halle of Vancouver, British Columbia, as the University’s new director of Space Administration and Management.

The director of Space Administration and Management is a new position, which reports to the provost and works collaboratively with all WWU units to develop and coordinate the use of state-funded institutional space, initiates and coordinates the planning for relocations and reassignment of space and develops major and minor capital plans and supporting material.


Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Adds Three
to Bellingham office

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage recently added a trio of experienced home mortgage consultants to its Bellingham staff.

Claudia Abbott, a lifelong Whatcom County resident, has 21 years of experience related to real estate. In addition to 10 years in banking, Abbott has spent seven years with a title company and four years in real estate sales.

Ferndale resident Heidi Goodman has 12 years of experience in financial services, including seven years as a loan consultant.

Hendor Rodriguez, a Birch Bay resident and fluent in Spanish, has worked in the mortgage industry for five years after graduating from Montclair State University in New Jersey.


Dale Jenks appointed business development manager at Credo Construction

Dale Jenks has been appointed business development manager at Bellingham-based Credo Construction, Inc.

Jenks, who has 24 years of experience in commercial, residential and light industrial projects, joined Credo Construction in 2007. He soon was promoted and now focuses on sales and client relationships for the growing company.

Credo Construction is a general contractor that also has divisions in Hawaii and British Columbia.


Aluminum Chambered Boats names Jim Moore as president/COO

Jim Moore has joined Aluminum Chambered Boats ( ACB) Inc., in Bellingham as president/COO. As former president of Renaissance Marine Group, Weldcraft and Lund Boats, Moore brings extensive knowledge and nearly 35 years of industry experience to ACB. Moore will oversee the company’s day-to-day operations, streamline production processes and grow sales across all three product lines: government, commercial and recreational.

ACB is an aluminum boat manufacturer in Bellingham. ACB builds patented, high performance aluminum boats for government, recreational and commercial use.


Coonc promoted at Whidbey Island Bank

Whidbey Island Bank is pleased to announce that Alina Coonc has been promoted to branch manager at the Northwest Avenue branch in Bellingham.

Coonc previously served as a real estate lender in Whatcom County working with local Realtors, builders and buyers. Prior to Whidbey Island Bank, Coonc held a variety of management and lending positions at community banks and mortgage companies in the Whatcom area.

Whidbey Island Bank is a full-service bank, serving local Northwest communities from 19 branch locations across Island, San Juan, Skagit, Whatcom and Snohomish counties.


Smith earns EcoBroker distinction

Garrett Smith earned his EcoBroker Certified® designation in May, 2008.  With an EcoBroker® designation, Smith has broadened the range of real estate opportunities he’s able to offer his clients.

Whether the transaction involves environmental assessment and mitigation or the opportunity to reduce utility bills, he’s now in a position to help.


Deltalok Washington Adds Senior Account Executive and three college interns

Bellingham-based Deltalok Washington welcomes Jaelyn Falcone as senior account executive and Julianne Lynch, David Nash and Danielle Paskewitz as college interns in marketing and sales.

The Deltalok Vegetated EarthScaping System is a patented, green-engineered, fully-interlocking, geotextile soil-bag. The Deltalok system dramatically decreases a project’s carbon footprint. The Deltalok system is the only patented system that allows the client to vegetate the resulting wall or slope with nearly any vegetative species they desire.


Awards and Anniversaries


SPIE Newsroom wins award for technical content

SPIE Newsroom, the news and technical research Web site of SPIE, is the recipient of a 2008 EXCEL Award from the Society of National Association Publications (SNAP). The newsroom site was recognized in the editorial content category for the second year in a row. The Web site publishes short technical articles, industry and society news and product information from the world of photonics. Multimedia content includes video interviews with prominent researchers.

SPIE, an international optics and photonics society advancing light-based technologies, is headquartered in Bellingham and was founded in 1955.


Local contractors honored by Puget Sound Energy

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) recently honored two local contractors at the utility’s second annual Powerful Achievement Awards ceremony. Given to the top professionals who install energy-efficient lighting in small businesses throughout PSE’s service area, the awards recognize work which takes advantage of PSE’s small-business lighting rebate. Energy Conservation Services, a division of North Coast Electric in Bellingham, won a silver award. Brite Solutions of Ferndale won an award for best customer experience.

The silver award is presented to those who save between 500,000-1.0 million K over the course of a calendar year. The best-customer-experience award recognizes participating contractors for high customer satisfaction and installation quality.

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