Seven Whatcom County women in business recognized

The Whatcom Women in Business announced the finalists for its 33nd annual Professional Woman of the Year award.

The finalists are: Kim Feerer, founder and director of Cedar Tree Montessori School; Pam Reed, owner of Alicia’s Bridal and The Formal House; Carol Frazey, president of Fit School, Inc.; Siobhan Murphy, certified public accountant at Thrive Business Group; Becky Raney, COO of Print & Copy Factory; Pinky Vargas, Bellingham City Council member and energy efficiency outreach manager at Puget Sound Energy; and Emily O’Connor, executive director of Lydia Place.

The Whatcom Women in Business board will announce its Professional Woman of the Year at its annual awards banquet and auction on Tuesday, Oct. 27, at the Lakeway Inn in Bellingham. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and dinner is at 7 p.m.

Tickets to the banquet cost $65 and will be available online soon, according to a press release from the Whatcom Women in Business. Event proceeds go the group’s scholarship and charity funds. The Whatcom Women in Business grant $20,000 in educational scholarships to young women each year, and every two months the group donates $1,000 to a local charity.

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Here’s more information about the finalists from a press release:

Carol Frazey, President of Fit School, Inc.

Carol Frazey is the president of Fit School, Inc.. Her mission is to educate and motivate individuals to make small changes each day to live healthier lives…and to have fun while doing it!

Siobhan Murphy, CPA of Thrive Business Group

Siobhan Murphy, of Thrive Business Group, is a Bellingham CPA who is devoted to helping companies and individuals experience financial success in the business world, and in their personal lives. She and her team provide professional services including accounting, bookkeeping, tax planning and preparation, business consulting, and financial management. Thrive Business Group’s mission is to provide advice and services that save clients time and money so they can personally and professionally THRIVE.

Becky Raney, COO of Print & Copy Factory

Becky Raney started Print & Copy Factory in 1992, and quickly grew it to a team of over 72 employees working 3 shifts. Becky is a 4th generation Whatcom County native and has great passion in helping business owners with marketing concepts for their business success. Also Becky loves to be involved with community as a volunteer, donor/supporter and a board member on many different organizations

Pinky Vargas, Bellingham City Council, Ward 4. Energy Efficiency Outreach Manager, PSE

I was raised in a big family that not only supported each other, but enjoyed doing it; and I think of Whatcom County, like family and I love to support it as much as I can. As an Energy Efficiency Manager with PSE I work in conservation, renewable resources and energy policy, and on City Council I’m concerned with economic vitality and quality of life. It’s important to me to ensure our citizens are thriving in a place we can all live work and play and it’s an absolute honor to serve my community.

Emily O’Connor, Executive Director of Lydia Place

Emily O’Connor is the Executive Director of Lydia Place, a nonprofit working to end homelessness in our community since 1989. Emily earned her Master of Social Work from the UW and has dedicated herself to the causes of homelessness, domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and poverty. Emily serves on various local boards and committees, is a mother of two, loves the water, and is passionate about advocating for those in need and making our community a healthy and vibrant place for everyone.

Kim Feerer, Founder & Director of Cedar Tree Montessori School

Kim Feerer is the founder, director and lower elementary teacher for the Bellingham nonprofit Cedar Tree Montessori. Started in 1999 with eight students, the school at 2114 Broadway currently serves 69 students, preschool through sixth grade, with ten staff members. Kim enjoys partner dancing, hiking, and running.

Pam Reed, Owner of Alicia’s Bridal and The Formal House

Pam is well known in the area as the owner of Alicia’s Bridal & The Formal House, a family business that has styled Whatcom County weddings for over 55 years. She has hosted the Bridal Inspirations Wedding Expo for the last 22 years, which showcases local wedding vendors, presents NW Washington’s largest fashion show, and benefits charities like ALS. When she’s not pulling strings to get a bride’s dream dress in early or choosing a new accessory line, Pam can be found serving on the board of Blue Skies for Children, working in her garden or cooking up savory Italian food.

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