Spring brings busy BBJ bees


There’s nothing like the springtime to bring everyone out of their offices and back into the world!

April was a busy month around the BBJ, as we were out participating in all sorts of events around town. The month started off with yours truly co-hosting a session at the Whatcom North Rotary Club Career 2009 Conference on April 2. The conference invited 500 students from 15 different high schools and community colleges to the Whatcom Community College campus to hear professionals talk about their industries. BBJ alum and current Bellingham Herald Business Editor Dave Gallagher and I wowed high schoolers with our vast experience and knowledge and gave them sober warnings about getting into journalism in an age when they’re closing daily newspapers left and right. We then gave the students reporter notebooks and asked them to interview us as we role-played a natural disaster. It was a fun exercise, as inevitably the first mistake they all made was to forget to ask our names to attribute quotes. Yes, it’s true, ladies and gentlemen, that to be a reporter does at least take enough skill to remember to ask the name and spelling of the people you talk to.

Later that day was the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce and Industry Spring Business Showcase at the Sportsplex. Sarah Drues, Isaac Bonnell and I enjoyed walking around, tasting the excellent food from the vendors, and networking with businesses.

Then on April 17, the BBJ crew participated in Sustainable Connections’ spring business conference, titled “The Future of Business.” I had the opportunity to introduce the film segment of the conference, and we were all inspired by the great speakers. It truly seems that the Pacific Northwest is continuing to be on the forefront of the emerging green economy.

The BBJ crew also used the conference as an opportunity to launch our new video capabilities. The BBJ is becoming multi-media, and hopefully by the time you read this we will have our video of the conference up on our Web site. We are joining the 21st century and becoming a multi-media empire: video, print, slide shows, and very soon social media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogging. Stay tuned for more of that in coming months.

As part of that, on our Web site this month you will find a slide show of a waterfront tour by Isaac Bonnell, and another slide show by Lance Henderson of the April 15 Fountain District Urban Village meeting.

And while we were learning about the future of green jobs and LEED construction at the Sustainable Connections conference, our famous Upfront Theater player-in-residence, Galen Emanuele, was performing at the Chicago Improv Festival during the week of April 12-17 — and because of a fundraiser with Ryan Stiles, he was able to enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to the Windy City to perform and watch dozens of improv acts from around the world. Of course Galen’s group, Rooster, was the best group there, but we all knew that would be the case.

So yes, we’ve been busy running around in the crazy April weather (Will it hail? Should I wear sunscreen or bring an umbrella, or both?). But it’s been good to get out and about town.


Vanessa Blackburn is the editor and publisher of the Bellingham Business Journal. She can be reached at vanessa@thebellinghambusinessjournal.com.

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