Inland Business Catalyst 55

Page 1

Chris Bornhoft

Windermere Manito Commercial, Lead Broker for Commercial Real Estate Starlen Properties, President & Managing Member Photo by Ryan Lindberg

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Vol. 9 Issue 5 September - October 2013

On the cover

Chris Bornhoft

Photo by Ryan Lindberg

departments Editor’s letter 6 The BOMB 9 Hot of the blog 10 Business close-up 11 Travel like a pro 12

14 How’s Business Mountain Gear’s founder Paul Fish went from climbing mountains to climbing international business fame by doing what he loves most.

Feature 22 20 Under 40 It’s ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ for us at Catalyst as we share our Top 20 picks of the fastest rising business stars (as well as some of the coolest humans) under the age of 40. Read on to fuel your professional jets with some of the highest-octane inspiration out there.

38 Through The Trenches Instead of falling into a depression after the recession forced him out of a job, Jeff Bray fell into the virtual world of WarCraft. Although he was kicking butt in the popular role-playing game, the lack of a real life job and looming financial concerns thrust him into business for himself; he’s been winning ever since.



16 Collaboration Schweitzer Mountain Resort partners with 12 resorts across the West to create the Powder Alliance, offering free skiing benefits to anytime pass holders from other participating Powder Alliance areas in a move that’s good for their customers and their business.

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Making It Happen


hen I posed the question, ‘What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals’ to this year’s 20 Under 40 winners, their replies spoke loudly to the opportunity for driven professionals to make good things happen in their careers and in our community. Their answers also reminded me of a woman I know well. Without fail, every time she saw or became aware of a professional ‘door,’ she bravely strode up and rapped on it. When the person on the other side opened the door, even just a sliver—regardless of the anxiety she may have felt, or the whisper of self-doubt—she fiercely accepted without (outward) hesitation. She did this through the birth of babies, the loss of loved ones, divorce, and other hard knocks. She made it happen. Occasionally, through conversations with professionals within her industry, she would create the opportunities, the doors, on the spot. She has continued to rise within the ranks of her industry and was recently promoted to a level of responsibility that may be a first in her industry within our



Vol. 9 Issue 5 September - October 2013

region. I know this woman’s story well, because it is my own. But this story could be yours, as well. It certainly is a common theme for this year’s 20 Under 40 winners. Our Top 20, along with the other professionals featured in this issue, are living up to—and far exceeding—our expectations; they are insanely talented, ambitious, creative, persistent and every single one of them has taken risks as great as the achievements we are honoring on our pages; they’ve knocked on doors, stood ready for the tasks that awaited; often, they created their own doors. I hope their stories serve as confirmation and inspiration for your own professional pursuits and lend you a peek inside the vibrant business scene we have brewing in our region. As I have worked to re-launch Catalyst (we believe the business community deserves a gorgeous magazine published in its honor), I am making my way into a larger office space and expanded responsibilities which now encompass being editor of Prime Magazine and the soonto-be re-launched Washington State Magazine, as well as business writing for Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living. Add that to my duties as Spokane CDA Woman editor and that makes my career cup runneth over. I am grateful for the honor to lend a voice to so many sectors of our community, to highlight and celebrate the incredible community for which we make our homes, raise our kiddos, and grow our businesses. I would love to hear your story, so please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email. As a community, we are in this together; I’m just the lucky gal that gets to help the stories reach the light of day. Cheers to business and the people making it happen,

Editor Stephanie Regalado Creative Director Senior Designer David Crary Photography Ella Herhilan Sara Story Diane Maehl Ryan Lindberg Rick Singer Sarah Katherine Darin Burt Contributors Matt Behringer Darin Burt Rachelle Chapman Ed Clark Julie Happy Cheryl-Anne Millsap Account Executives Cindy Guthrie Maria Alauddin Arika Whiteaker Jeff Richardson Kristi Folk Business Development Emily Guevarra Bozzi Operations and Finance Manager Kim Morin Traffic Manager Arika Whiteaker Marketing and Events Director Felicty Houston Publisher & CEO Vincent Bozzi Co-Publisher Emily Guevarra Bozzi

Find us on

facebook View our e-magazine

Stephanie Regalado

Inland Business Catalyst magazine is published bi-monthly by Bozzi Media. 104 S. Freya St., Suite #209, Spokane, WA 99202-4866 Phone: 509.533.5350 | Fax: 509.535.3542 All contents © 2013. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Neither Bozzi Media nor Inland Business Catalyst magazine assume responsibility for errors in content, photos or advertisements.

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Olive+Boone Millenary


rin Haskell’s career started in the marketing and advertising world, researching product and business development. An avid lover of the arts, she soon found her passion for design by studying architecture and interiors. She also studied in London and interned for Stella McCartney, giving her an opportunity to understand the many sides of the fashion industry. Her bold and geometric aesthetic and love of mid century modern designs influences her work as a milliner. Every Olive + Boone she creates has extensive thought and inspiration behind it. Haskell’s designs have been featured in multiple editorial and wedding websites and she’s made and shipped custom pieces for women near and far, from her home in Spokane to the fashionable streets of Paris. Olive + Boone (named for her 2 dogs) honors the craft of millinery while implementing modern design approaches to make a product suited for any woman that is tailored, daring and most of all, chic. IBC: Why Spokane? Haskell: I grew up in Spokane, Lewis and Clark HS alum, left when I was 18 for college in Arizona and moved around to other cities after graduation for 10 years. I had to leave for many years to realize the allure, and I have had great appreciation for the community since coming back. Everyone has been so generous with their time and advice and I feel so honored to be a part of such a gracious city. I love the seasons, endless amounts of outdoor activities and the geographic location. It’s a truly beautiful playground. Our market is to online clients all over the US and parts of Europe; however, the Spokane support has been tremendous. We want to help put Spokane on the map; this city has tons of potential. Sometimes you have to give the 509 a little TLC, it will pay off and love you right back. Why hats? I’ve always loved hats; you never have a bad day (or bad hair day) wearing a topper. It’s a conversation piece and something you will have for a long time. My geometric aesthetic and love of mid-century modern designs influence my work as a milliner. Every O+B has extensive thought behind it.

What are your future goals for the business? Our showroom is opening in October (228 W. Sprague) and will house all of our production. We love Spokane and we plan on staying here forever. We are also launching a men’s line and baby wear in the very near future. There is this glorious shift happening today where consumers are demanding more quality over quantity. Additionally, good design and the creative process is celebrated and appreciated. We think that’s a beautiful thing. Our goal will continue to add value to all of our handmade products so our customers understand all that goes into each piece.

Owner: Erin Haskell

Visit: 228 W. Sprague Call: (509) 953-2018 Write: Surf:

Photo credits: For Owner shot (with sewing machine), photography is Jed Conklin (crop out watermarks), Model images by: Oriana Layendecker

September - October 2013



A Driving Force in Local Commerce Mobile Food Vendors


By Julie Happy isiting Portland or Seattle, chances are you will run into a community block of assorted Mobile Food Vendors. Sustainable vibrant cities are embracing this culinary trend and Spokane is amongst them. Currently Spokane is re-writing the rules for mobile food vendors in the City to make the regulations work better with today’s model of doing business. Portland and Seattle speak to Economic Development, growth and sustainable cities in their Urban Planning that includes Mobile Food Vending. They have fully embraced this trend and their culinary options have gone crazy. Portland Mobile Food Carts offer selections of empanadas, gourmet salads, lamb with polenta cake, and even a breakfast waffle wrap! Seattle mobile food carts offer such selections as pulled pork with cilantro, Turkish tacos, lemon grass pork, Native American tacos, and fili beef steak banh mi. Spokane is not to be outdone by these larger cities which is why they are taking a fresh look at how inviting the City is to Mobile Food Vending. There are already some great options such as a “Couple of Chefs” who offer Fried Mac and Cheese, a newcomer who sells Waygu Beef, some of the best tacos around from Taco Tumbra and all those vendors at our 30 plus year history of Pig Out in the Park. Spokane has their standard hot dog vendor like every major city as well; our hot dog guy can usually be found in front of the downtown Bank of America. Why do we care about Mobile Food Vending? The City of Spokane would like to encourage more mobile food vending in our city, especially in City neighborhoods. Affordable and culturally-diverse street food can improve public safety and street life, increase access to local food, and create new business opportunities. The benefits include economic vitality, an opportunity to owning a business, and pedestrian friendly streets. The experience of other cities shows that food vendors attract foot traffic to commercial districts—which means increased sales and a more vibrant retail business overall. By offering low-cost, culturally-diverse foods for people on the go, they typically complement— rather than compete— with sit-down restaurants and give people more reasons to frequent local shopping districts. In a recent Portland survey, 58% of business owners in downtown Portland, Oregon—which is known for its vibrant street food scene— found food vendors increased foot traffic, and 66% of business owners citywide had a positive perception of food vendors. Spokane is changing for the better. The beautification happening in the Gateways and freeway locations, the new City District development, the new City Drive, and much, much more is moving the City of Spokane in a very exciting direction. Mobile Food Vending is just one more way in which we are embracing a sustainable and vibrant downtown city culture.




awn of the Donut is an affordable, fun and zombie obsessed shop. Their facility bakes fresh donuts daily. They pride themselves in creating a tourist attraction in Spokane, with dedicated customer service and interesting/intriguing delicious donuts.

IBC: Why Zombies? Why donuts? Jayy: What’s a better fit? Zombies and Donuts are infatuating and fun. Why not combine both? Both manager and owner are zombieobsessed individuals living their dream with this donut shop. How has business been? Support from Spokane has been amazing, even more so the support from surrounding areas. Tourism is a focal point in opening the shop in Spokane, WA. Business was chaotic the first few weeks now we are steady and developing routine returning customers. What do you look most forward to in this venture? Providing entertainment with our theme, and above the norm fresh made daily donut options. What are your future goals for the business? Opening more locations—spreading smiles everywhere via our donut options and interesting theme. Dawn Of The Donut Inc.

Hot Off the Blog

Manager: Jayme (Jayy) Marie De Boer Visit 3402 N. Division Call: (509) 328-1764 Write: Surf:

@ Inland Northwest Business Watch By Matt Behringer

Here is a look at some new businesses coming to the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area from the local business blog, Inland Northwest Business Watch. Bohme

Spokane Valley Mall is set to get another new fashion retailer with the future opening of Bohme Boutique. It’s a Sandy, Utah based chain of women’s clothing boutiques. The chain will occupy a space on the first floor of the local mall. Tenant improvement work has already begun, and the store will open sometime this fall. Bohme Boutique operates 15 stores in addition to the store opening here. The chain sells a wide variety of women’s clothing items ranging from tops to accessories and more.

Evergreen Bistro

Evergreen Bistro is the latest addition to the North Spokane dining scene. The restaurant officially opened in early August and features pizzas and traditional bistro style fare. It also offers a good beer and wine selection including many local beer and wine options. Evergreen Bistro is located at 1902 W. Francis Ave in Northwest Spokane. They can be reached at (509) 326-5758.

Rumor Mill

Could Trader Joe’s be coming to Coeur d’Alene? The rumor of a Trader Joe’s grocery store opening in Coeur d’Alene is one rumor that I cannot prove or disprove, but it has heated up a lot lately. Trader Joe’s is a grocery store chain based in Monrovia, California with over 360 stores. Trader Joe’s has operated a store in the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center in Spokane for the last couple of years. The rumor calls for a store on the city’s north side but it’s a bit difficult to confirm because Trader Joe’s is one of the harder companies to figure out future plans. However, one thing Trader Joe’s does respond to is social media; hence the reasoning behind a local Facebook group called Bring Trader Joe’s to Coeur d’Alene. Inland Northwest Business Watch is a local business news and info blog written by Matt Behringer. The blog features what’s new with area businesses. You can find it at or on Facebook. Matt can be reached via e-mail at

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able to get the training needed to enter the welding field quickly instead of spending up to two years or more in school. The program is based on industry needs, concentrating on job-specific training with hands-on instruction and little classroom time. Each school is equipped with 15 individual weld booths. “The welder training program at OXARC is continually updated to keep pace with changes in the industry and new technologies,” says Marketing Manager Ron VanDyke. “Our goal is to provide quality training in key skill areas in the most practical, justifiable time frame. We concentrate on making your welding experience meaningful, enjoyable, and useful.” Tuition includes tools and material needed for the course, as well as qualification testing to American Welding Society (AWS) and Washington Assoc. of Building Officials (WABO) certification. Courses cost $3,000.00 with discounted tuition when taking more than one course. OXARC School of Welding is licensed as a Private Vocational School by the State of Washington. OXARC’s welding school is a division of OXARC, Inc., a welding and industrial supply company, with 20 locations throughout Washington, Idaho and Oregon. OXARC, Inc., 4003 E. Broadway Ave., Spokane, WA 99202, (509) 535-7794,

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merald Outdoor Advertising understands the need for instant impact, and their new Billboard Posters give marketers the opportunity to reach the widest audience possible. Smaller than your standard billboard, the 10’5” X 22’8” Billboard Posters deliver large-scale exposure with multiple units strategically placed to maximize your advertising potential. Billboard Posters are purchased in “showings” or quantities of

multiple units with traffic counts equating to various levels of market penetration. For example, a “50 showing” is 16 billboards with traffic counts equal to 50% of the population of the Spokane Metro area (approx. 200,000). Quick to install across multiple locations, Billboard Posters are an ideal choice for launching new products, announcing shows and events, radio and TV promos and grand openings. “They are perfect for any type of advertisement campaign where you need an immediate blitz that will saturate the market, and present numerous impressions very quickly,” says sales manager Rhonda-T Warren. Billboard Posters are made of 100% recyclable vinyl, and digitally printed in full color. They are ideal for one-time use, which keeps production costs much lower than traditional long-term billboards. Posters can deliver your advertising message to thousands of customers at a rate any business can afford. Emerald will provide all of the support necessary to build the most effective outdoor campaign for your business and budget. From design to installation, Emerald will make outdoor advertising easy and accessible for any business. Call Rhonda-T and find out more! Emerald Outdoor Advertising, (509) 327-0103, www.emeraldoutdoor.comm

September - October 2013



Travel Like a Pro By Cheryl-Anne Millsap

Stay Safe

Frequent business travelers are familiar with the airline safety briefing before takeoff. But just like flying, hotel safety goes beyond just knowing where to find the nearest exit. Here are a few tips for playing it safe in any hotel room:

Many travelers don’t realize there is a security risk with some older hotel room-door peepholes; it’s possible to peek into the room as well as out. At check-in, before entering the room, examine the peephole. If you’re not comfortable with what you can see from the outside, and there is not a cover on the inside of the door, place a piece of transparent tape over the hole from the inside. This also protects you from peepholes that might have been tampered with. For extra securit, keep a small rubber doorstop in your travel kit. This can be placed under the room door from the inside. Don’t keep your key in the little sleeve identifying the room number. If you lose the key, anyone who finds it can use it to open your door. I put one key in my wallet and the other in a pocket. If you need a reminder, write the room number on a business card and keep it in a separate place. Women who travel frequently often ask for a room on an upper floor. If that isn’t possible and you’re in a ground-floor room with windows that open, it’s easy to secure the window by placing the hotel information binder or some other sturdy item between the window and the frame. This prevents the window from opening completely but can be removed in case of emergency. In a fire or other emergency you’ll be asked to leave your room. Don’t get locked out. At check in, always request two keys. Before going to bed, place a room key in your purse or the pocket of your robe. Be prepared. I carry a small flashlight whenever I travel. Before going to sleep I place it on the bedside table. My watch, rings, passport, room key and any other valuables go in my purse, ready to grab on my way out the door. Take cover. A friend—who learned the hard way—passed along this tip: If you like to wear as little to bed as possible, be sure you have something handy to slip into if roused by an emergency. After spending several chilly hours in the diner across the street from her hotel while firefighters combed the building, wearing whatever she could grab in the dark, she always travels with pajamas and slippers. If the hotel provides a robe, put it near the bed before turning out the light. Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer whose audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of ‘Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons’ and can be reached at


From Speed of Light Computer Solutions

By Rachelle Chapman

Is Your WiFi Wide Open? Failing to enable encryption on your WiFi network allows anyone within range of your wireless router to join your network. If file and printer sharing are also enabled, random passersby may be able to sift through everything on every computer on your home or office network. Unencrypted WiFi also allows eavesdropping on your Internet traffic even if the snoop is not connected to your network. Data passing between a computer and a wireless router is broadcast in all directions as far as several hundred feet. Moochers on unsecured WiFi networks may slow the traffic of authorized users, or even download illegally while leaving the network’s owner with the legal consequences. For these reasons, it’s vital to set up your wireless network to use one of the encryption methods built into all wireless routers. Bonus Tip: Run a speed test every once in a while, and make sure you’re getting the level of service you’re paying for. We recommend the free speed test at For more information, or assistance with IT issues, call Speed of Light Computer Solutions at (509) 844–7573.





Vote & You



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Prize: Send us your completed survey and you could win a FREE COLOR AD (1/3 page) in Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living or Inland Business Catalyst. If already advertising with us, your ad size will be increased.

2013 Best of Business nominations Give us your opinion about the Inland Northwest businesses and the services they provide. Ballots must be mailed or faxed (509-535-3542) to our office by October 15, 2013. Only one entry per person will be accepted. Your name, address and phone or e-mail must be included, and at least 50 percent of the ballot must be completed for us to count it and for you to qualify for the prize. Personal information will not be used for soliciting of any kind. Attempts at ballot stuffing will be eliminated from the results. All categories may not be reported in the accompanying article. Results will appear in the January / February 2014 issue. 1. Best Employment Agency

12. Best Public Relations Agency

23. Best Credit Card Processing

34. Best Maintenance & Janitorial Service

2. Best Local Business Man

13. Best Print Design Business

24. Best Business Banking

35. Best Office Design Company

3. Best Local Business Woman

14. Best Web Design Business

25. Best Credit Union

36. Best Travel Agency

4. Best Sign Company

15. Best Computer Repair Business

26. Best Business Security System Providers

37. Best Gift Basket/Gift Service Business

5. Best Business Startup (one year or less)

16. Best Printing Company

27. Best Commercial Realty Company

38. Best Clothing Store for Business Apparel

6. Best High-Tech Firm

17. Best Networking Events

28. Best Business Insurance Firm

39. Best Office Building / Office Park

7. Best Engineering Firm

18. Best Wholesale Coffee Service

29. Best Office Supply Business

40. Best Restaurant for a Business Lunch

8. Best Commercial Architectural Firm

19. Best Florist

30. Best Office Furniture

41. Best Telecommunications Firm

9. Best Commercial Photographer

20. Best Accounting Firm

31. Best Trade Show Displays

42. Best Catering Business

10. Best Commercial Construction Company

21. Best Collection Agency

32. Best Dry Cleaning

43. Best Event Facility

11. Best Advertising Agency

22. Best Law Firm or Lawyer

33. Best Promotional Products Provider

44. Best Place to Host a Company Party

Name: __________________________________ Phone:_____________________ Business: ________________________________ E-mail: _____________________ Address: ________________________________ Or enter online at ________________________________

Deadline: 10/15/13 Tear out and FAX 509-535-3542 or Mail to: CATALYST

Tapio Yellow Flag Bldg Suite #209 •104 S Freya Spokane- October WA 99202-4866 September 2013 13



Mountain Gear’s

Paul Fish By Ed Clark


2901 E. Trent Ave., Spokane, WA 99202



he outdoors have beckoned Paul Fish since he was a 16-year old high school student in California. His school had an outdoor program that he took part in, and fell in love with hiking, mountaineering, camping and simply being out in nature. His early career was centered on the outdoors; he became a custom pack builder, selling his gear out of his house and out of his car. When he moved to Spokane in 1983, he set up shop in a building at Sprague and Division with a budget of $3,000. His dad and brother helped him build out the space so he could build custom packs and sell them. He named the business Mountain Gear and went door to door presenting his products to manufacturers, getting to know them all. His business grew from the very beginning and because of his vast knowledge of high quality outdoor equipment, particularly for mountaineering, customers asked him for recommendations and had him find the equipment for them. He was a very small entity at the time and went to his manufacturing friends and had them advance him merchandise “they could afford to lose.” His reputation for expertise grew, and the store expanded into a full-fledged retail establishment selling niche brands that people couldn’t get elsewhere. His business philosophy was simple, yet powerful: the most important

thing of all is to give the customer the best experience, in the store and on the trip. Fish began ordering merchandise daily, and then weekly. His relationships with his suppliers strengthened. He was able to offer customers the latest in innovative gear; his merchandise was always ahead of the curve, because he used the gear himself, experimenting with various products. In addition to the retail side of the business, Fish began placing mail order ads in magazines and advertising the store locally. He credits many mentors, one of whom was Barb Beddor, with teaching him how to market his business. His customers suggested he publish a catalog with the various products Mountain Gear offered, so in 1991 the first small Mountain Gear catalog appeared. It was a major turning point for the business. The catalog propelled the sales to new heights and today Mountain Gear publishes six different books in the millions of copies. Another turning point came in 1995, again prompted by customer demand, when the company developed a transactional website at Business started booming with 5,000 products offered on the website. Now, after 30 years of steady growth, Mountain Gear’s sales are in the millions of dollars.

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Bradley Crockett While Mountain Gear sells all kinds of outdoor gear: clothing, footwear, tents, ski and water sports equipment, sleeping bags, packs and more, they are still a major force in climbing gear and hardware, offering the best brands available. Climbers worldwide revere the company. And the harder the climbing route, the more customers prefer Mountain Gear. Seventy percent of the climbers who have scaled the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each of the seven continents), and eighty percent of those who have climbed K2, are Mountain Gear customers. The expertise, innovative products and passion for the outdoors that Paul Fish developed early on, still drive the company today.

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Ed Clark is the owner of The Clark Company, a Spokane-based advertising, public relations and media business serving a wide variety of retail, commercial, industrial, hospitality and entertainment clients throughout the Western U.S. He produces the radio and e-newsletter “How’s Business” report as well as the “Entertainment Spokane” television, radio, newspaper and e-newsletter report. You can sign up for the popular weekly emails at spokanehowsbusiness. com and He can be reached at (509) 838-4080. September - October 2013


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Powder Alliance 12 Resorts

across the West Unite for Pass Holder Benefits


inter explorers unite! Twelve resorts across the West have joined forces to create the Powder Alliance, offering free skiing benefits to anytime pass holders from other participating Powder Alliance areas. Along with Schweitzer Mountain Resort, the twelve mountains include: Crested Butte, Snowbasin Resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Stevens Pass, Timberline, China Peak, Mountain High, Arizona Snowbowl, Mt Hood Skibowl, Angel Fire Resort, and Bridger Bowl. “There were two attractive reasons for partnering with the Powder Alliance; increased destination visits and added value for our season pass holders. The majority of resorts involved in the Powder Alliance are not within Schweitzer’s drive market and will require overnights stays, that ancillary spending will be a positive economic boost for both Schweitzer and Sandpoint. The Powder Alliance also benefits Schweitzer’s pass holders by giving them the opportunity to ski 33 days for free throughout the West,” says Sean Mirus, Schweitzer marketing director.




Photo Credits: Schweitzer Mountain Resort

As a Powder Alliance member, you are free to ski about the Western United States and find the best snow conditions & limitless vertical feet at resorts throughout California, Colorado, Utah, Washington and more. Powder Alliance benefits are free with a season pass. There are no membership fees, no collective pass prices, no additional charges of any kind. Guests simply show an anytime 2013/14 season pass from any participating Powder Alliance area and

Schweitzer Mountain Resort Takes Part in New Powder Alliance receive free skiing benefits up and down the West coast. “The Ski Industry has been trending toward a partnership model over the past few years. Between Vail’s Epic Pass and the Mountain Coalition, the Powder Alliance is a way to stay competitive and continue to add excellent benefits to our season pass holders,” says Sean Briggs, marketing manager at Schweitzer. Visit for details on participating resorts, special offers, and answers to frequently asked questions. Guests can also see who has the snow by following the Powder Alliance on Facebook or Twitter. September - October 2013


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Staci Clary | (509) 599-5291

adam scoggin

Located at River Park Square, Above The Olive Garden 221 North Wall Street, Suite 226 509.290.5604 Open Wed - Sat, 11am - 7pm

September - October 2013


Judges Brandon Tanner

Brandon Tanner is a successful entrepreneur and corporate executive with a technology background that spans software, hardware, and service solutions for business and government. He co-founded APerfectWeb, acquired in 2004 by Next IT, member of the Senior Management team at SprayCool, currently VP of Sales & Marketing at IT-Lifeline.

Heather Byrd

Heather Byrd is the director of development & communications for The Salvation Army. As one of the largest social service nonprofits in the area, Heather handles the overall marketing, fundraising, community relations, special events and corporate partnerships for the organization. Heather also currently serves as the President for the Junior League of Spokane.

Jeremy E. McGee

After serving a mission for the LDS church Jeremy deferred college to open Zerorez in Spokane, for what has become one of the franchises flagship locations. Jeremy stepped into a mentoring consulting roll at Zerorez Franchising Systems and opened a 2nd franchise in Tri-Cities, WA. He is also partner in a Spokane startup called Beardbrand ( Most importantly he is a Father and a Husband.

Karene Garlich-Loman

Building relationships while creating ease and comfort has been Karene Garlich-Loman’s specialty throughout her diverse career. Karene jokes that she’s done everything from flipping burgers at McDonald’s to running highly successful marketing and advertising campaigns for national companies to making dreams come true. As a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Tomlinson, she takes pride in providing the most comprehensive marketing campaign for her sellers.

title sponsor



event sponsor

8th Annual 20 Under 40 By Stephanie Regalado


Every year, Inland Business Catalyst seeks your nominations for 20 “under 40” up and coming professionals in the Inland Northwest who affect the most positive, innovative changes in our local business community. The following list of candidates, painstakingly narrowed from over 70 nominations, represent the top 20 under 40 nominated catalysts who were recognized by our readers and confirmed by our panel of ‘20 Under 40 Hall of Fame’ judges, Inland Business Catalyst publisher, Vince Bozzi and me, your editor. Historically, we like to focus on professionals who exhibit a commitment to community, with a penchant for turning risk into growth, and who appear to be on a professional trajectory toward greatness (if they aren’t already right there!). We’re proud to present the 2013 list of 20 exceptional professionals under age 40. Their enthusiasm, dedication and style serve as inspiration to us all to be catalysts in our own lives and professional endeavors.

September - October 2013


Angie Everstine, 39 Owner, Principal and Project Manager Design Source Photo by Sara Story Photography


esign Source is an award winning interior planning and design firm providing consulting services to businesses though out the region, seeking innovative solutions and project management expertise for their remodel and new construction projects. What you do: As Project Manager, I lead clients through the design process; collaborate with architects/engineers/ contractors to produce construction drawings; monitor construction work. As Principal, I follow industry and business trends; shape our business development goals; motivate our team; support our innovative design culture; build relationships with current, former and future clients. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? I realized my dream of working for a large firm in a big city like Seattle or New York was not really what I wanted. My dream was actually to be a part of a community and make a difference on a smaller scale. Design



Source gave me that opportunity. Since joining the firm in 1996, I have transitioned from part-time intern to designer to project manager to principal and in January of 2013 to my ultimate role of owner when the ownership transition of the successful, established interior design firm I helped shape was completed. When did you fail, and what did you learn from that experience? I fail when a client is given exactly what they say they want. I have learned to question, analyze and think more about the solution in an effort to push clients to new ideas and concepts with their spaces to improve efficiencies, and go beyond their expectations. What are your hobbies? Reading about mid-century modern homes, new innovative sustainable products and concepts, new technology for 3D drawing, industry magazines and progressive business magazines like Fast Company and Inc. Raising two girls ages six and eight keeps me pretty busy as well, I spend a lot of time watching basketball and soccer, playing board games, assisting with homework, and volunteering in their classrooms.

Bart Mihailovich, 30 Spokane Riverkeeper Center For Justice Photo by Rick Singer Photography


pokane Riverkeeper is a program of the Center for Justice. Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore the health of the Spokane River watershed and to defend our right to a clean Spokane River. What you do: My work to protect the Spokane River takes many forms: I advocate for stronger policies and legislation to address water pollution and enforce clean water laws. I educate the public about threats to the river, and give the public a voice in policymaking processes. I spend time out on the water conducting vigilant surveillance of the Spokane River watershed. In essence, I act as the eyes and ears of the Spokane River watershed. Describe one thing that you learned from a fellow employee that helps you now. I’ve had numerous colleagues over the years; other Waterkeepers from around the country and world all say the same thing, and that is to never lose sight of what’s right

and what you’re in it for. I’m honored to say that I get to wake up every day to go to work to protect the Spokane River. It’s something I take very seriously. In this job, there are distractions; there are places where compromise or a blind eye could be easier. But never do I lose sight of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I go to work every day for all of the people who are just like me, who enjoy the River now, and who want that resource to exist for their children and their children’s children. What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? In my trajectory, from starting an environmental news website to becoming Spokane Riverkeeper, I’ve found that my efforts are more impactful then they would in bigger cities like Seattle or Portland. Spokane is ripe for innovation and fresh creativity. It’s a place that ignites with just a spark.

Beth Vercic-Scott, 31 Physician Recruiter Rockwood Health Systems Photo By Diane Maehl


ockwood Clinic is a progressive, physician managed and expanding multi-specialty clinic, established in 1930 and consists of over 300 providers with expertise in over 30 specialty areas and locations. They are the area’s largest outpatient clinical and regional referral center. Rockwood Clinic, Deaconess Hospital and Valley Hospital have joined forces to transform healthcare in our community by developing Rockwood Health System, an Integrated Healthcare Delivery System. What you do: My role as a physician recruiter is to identify and bring high quality, well-trained and talented physician’s into our health system and community. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? Going overseas to play professional volleyball in Germany. I knew it would take me “off my tracks” to start working in the healthcare realm, but playing professional volleyball after college volleyball was always a dream of mine. I played for one season in Konstanz, Germany on the Switzerland boarder; it



was an amazing experience that I will never get to do again. When did you fail, and what did you learn from that experience? I didn’t complete my undergrad to go play volleyball overseas. Although I don’t regret the decision, I put a “halt” on finishing my degree. I went back in 2010 and finished my undergrad in Organizational Business & Management at Whitworth University at night while working full-time. Looking back, it was the best experience to be an adult student; I met other great professionals and got to apply the business tactics learned directly into the workforce. What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? Spokane has numerous attractions for young professionals to “set footprints” and create a career while also starting a family in a safe and thriving community. There are many young, entrepreneurial-minded professionals who stay in Spokane after attending our Spokane universities, which adds economic value back into our local community.


indermere provides commercial sales and leasing services and through Starlen Properties, they own and operate 110 apartments and rentals throughout the region. What you do: I provide commercial real estate development and financing experience. Whether it be acquisition, sales, financing, construction or leasing; I ensure the project is successfully completed. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? In real estate I’ve taken several risks in purchasing land and apartment complexes. Many times these projects require quite a bit of renovation and strong management. Being organized and reinvesting the profits have helped keep the investments in good condition. The ability to obtain quality financing is very important. At the end of the day, you are only as strong as the weakest link. Building a strong team is the key to success. Where do you expect to be with your career in five years? I would expect to be developing, selling and leasing projects around the region, my goal is to partner with other smart investors who want to be involved in quality real estate investments that produce steady returns. What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? Spokane is just the right size and has a sense of community you won’t find in larger cities. Spokane offers the ability to get know your customers and colleagues; you get to see them at social events and out in the community. What are your hobbies? I love golf and being near water, I also have kids and their activities usually trump my hobbies! My wife Marianne and I do like to be out and about in downtown, dining out with our friends and having fun. I love to travel, but my favorite place is right here in Spokane.

Chris Bornhoft, 38 Windermere Manito Commercial, Lead Broker for Commercial Real Estate Starlen Properties, President & Managing Member Photo by Ryan Lindberg


onald McDonald House Charities of Spokane provides a “home-away-from-home” for families from outside of Spokane who have children and infants who are in medical crisis. By providing a comfortable place to stay and a community of support, we take care of the whole family, ultimately providing the best environment for children to get well. What you do: I help to tell the story of families who depend on our services, and encouraging people to be a part of our mission. As the communications director I do that through managing all external communications. As part of the development team, I work with donors and potential donors to show how their gifts enable the work that we do. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? Leaving a job and a team that I loved at Gonzaga’s School of Business to take my current position at RMHC Spokane. It was difficult, but it has absolutely paid off. I’m blessed to come to work every day and do something I love for an organization that I believe in. That’s the dream. Describe one thing that you learned from a fellow employee that helps you now. When I first started working in development, someone told me to remember that my job was to ask for gifts on behalf of those who don’t have the power to ask for themselves. That has really shaped how I look at the work I do. What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? There are a lot of veteran business professionals who seem genuinely interested in supporting and mentoring young professionals. I have been fortunate to have some truly incredible mentors. What are your hobbies? Cooking. Long walks with my husband and our dog. Redecorating our 1970’s rancher. And reading—I don’t think there’s anything better than a good book.

Colleen Fox, 27 Marketing & Communications Director and Planned Giving/Major Gifts Officer Ronald McDonald House Charities of Spokane (RMHC Spokane) Photo by Rick Singer Photography September - October 2013


Gaia Borgias Brown, 28

Executive Director Inland Northwest Aerospace Consortium (INWAC) Photo by Sara Story Photography


NWAC is a regional alliance of advanced manufacturers, service providers, educators and affiliates that work in concert to support the growth and success of the Inland Northwest aerospace cluster. What you do: I am focused on helping grow our local aerospace supply chain while simultaneously coordinating a regional procurement office that facilitates new business opportunities. This collaborative sourcing model has rapidly gained the recognition of worldwide strategic partners and helps further position the Inland Northwest as a dynamic player within the industry. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? I thrive in the gaps created by disruptive technologies in rapidly expanding markets. In this space there is no roadmap, there is no predecessor, there is no job description. One must invent the structure that defines success and put everything on the line to see it through. My forays into various industries have led me to see that there are universal commonalities within sys-



tems struggling to adapt. For me, this is a land of opportunity where youth and flexibility can be great assets. When did you fail, and what did you learn from that experience? In school, I was so driven to succeed as an individual that I failed to recognize the value of a diverse team. I missed out on opportunities for friendship, for collaboration and for inspiration. Somewhere along the way, I realized that singleminded determination is a lonely and ineffective approach. Where do you expect to be with your career in five years? I’m attracted to the aerospace industry because it is such a relationship-based global marketplace. Over the next 5 years I hope to spend more time overseas, exploring opportunities for international trade. What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? There is much to be done, and space to do it. For an eager entrepreneur, this is a delicious combination!


imply Northwest is a premiere full-service gift boutique with unique specialty gifts and exquisite gourmet gift baskets for every occasion. They also provide corporate gift services, promotional items for businesses, convention coordination and home decorating consultation. What you do: I am involved at every level and with every department. I assist customers in my retail shop, I help design our beautiful gourmet baskets, and I merchandise our products throughout the store to create a welcoming and homey ambiance. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? Rebranding the Simply Northwest look has been a major yet exciting risk. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on updating the logo and I believe that it is one which will appeal to both a new generation of customers and will be a refreshing change to our loyal existing customers. Where do you expect to be with your career in five years? I expect to be the successful owner of Simply Northwest whose reputation has become known as the number one place to go when you want excellent service and unique specialty gifts What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? There are many successful business mentors in Spokane that truly believe in and want to help the young professionals of the community. We have so many great organizations that promote and offer great networking events and opportunities; they are vital to helping young professionals succeed. What are your hobbies? As a mom to an almost 2-year old boy, the majority of my non-work hours are spent being a mom and a wife. I love every minute of it! Being a mother is the greatest gift and I have never felt more fulfilled than when I am with my Son. I also enjoy spending time with my extended family playing games, spending time at the lake and creating new memories.

Denielle Waltermire-Stuhlmiller, 32 Owner Simply Northwest Photo by Diane Maehl


nleashed Online Media offers online advertising planning, placement, and optimization services for businesses and advertising agencies. They specialize in 100% real-time online media with publishers like Google, Facebook, and Display Exchanges. What you do: As I see it, my role at Unleashed is to provide the vision and energy to keep the company growing and vibrant. This includes planning and building technology for our systems, developing effective strategies for our client’s campaigns, and overseeing operations. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? My firm was starting to gain a strong reputation as a provider of search engine optimization (SEO) services at a time when demand for SEO from small businesses was really starting to pick up. At the same time our research indicated that Google intended to make big changes in the world of SEO that would greatly impact our business model and bottom line. We made the difficult decision to walk away from over $100K of opportunities and start focusing only on paid media placement online. This has allowed our team to become experts in online advertising and we ended up with a much more focused and high-performing business as a result. Where do you expect to be with your career in five years? I hope that my career has a positive impact on the lives of our clients, and that traditional ad agencies all over the country can look to us as a trusted partner for their online media needs. Personally, I hope to spend more time writing, working on technology projects, and continue to advocate for a free, fair, and vibrant internet for all people. What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? Access. Spokane is a small enough community that you can talk with incredibly talented business and government leaders more readily than in larger markets, yet it’s large enough to make sure that those interactions matter.

Chris Reilly, 30 CEO Unleashed Online Media Photo by Capture Perfect Photography

September - October 2013


Christopher Bell, 35 Managing Broker/Corporate Counsel | Partner NAI Black Commercial Real Estate | Barrister Court Reporting Photo by Sarah Katherine of Pictorian Photography


AI Black, Spokane’s largest and oldest commercial real estate brokerage and management firm, is a member of NAI Global, a worldwide network of commercial real estate brokerage companies with over 350 offices and 8,000 agents around the world. What you do: I am a managing broker assisting my clients with the acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate. I have handled every type of commercial real estate transaction from negotiating new leases on multiple sites for a new market restaurant concept to negotiating the acquisition of a downtown high-rise office tower. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? After being an attorney on the Westside, I made the tough decision to leave family, friends, and a stable position at a law firm to pack my life into a U-Haul trailer, move into my uncle’s basement in Spokane, and take the risk of leaving a salaried position for the cutthroat commission only world of



real estate. After many sleepless nights of worrying about where the next deal and paycheck was going to come from, last year I had a record year having the best one year total commissions for a commercial broker at NAI Black. When did you fail, and what did you learn from that experience? I wake up every morning unemployed until I pick up the phone. As a commercial real estate broker, it takes 1,000 no’s before we get that one yes from a prospective buyer or seller. When you eat what you kill meaning you get paid for what you accomplish, it creates a motivation and passion to keep charging forward. What book has had the greatest effect on you professionally? Julia Childs and Jacques Pepin, Cooking at Home. Everybody needs to have a release to unwind from the daily grind and cooking is my release. Julia Child’s voice makes me smile every time I open her cookbook.


he Glover Mansion/Red Rock catering is the biggest catering company in the Inland Northwest. The Glover Mansion/Red rock catering provides catering for multiple venues across the Inland Northwest, including providing exclusive catering for the Glover Mansion, CenterPlace in Spokane Valley, Chateau Rive at the Flour Mill, and the Fox Theater. What you do: As executive chef I have many different roles. I’m a leader to my culinary team as well as all of our staff. I love leading my culinary team to prepare the best catering for my customers. It is also my job to come up with new menus throughout the year with new fresh ingredients and new recipes for all of our customers. There are so many aspects to being executive chef and I love my job and making my customers happy. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? I take risks with new recipes and new ingredients; I think the risks I’ve taken are what makes me a great chef. I’m always looking for new ideas and new ingredients to make my food better and better. Describe one thing that you learned from a fellow employee that helps you now. My boss Bob Adolfson has taught me so much, he taught me management skills for managing my culinary crew and taught me a great work ethic, everything he has taught me has made me the chef I am today. What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? I think the business environment in Spokane offers so much for anyone looking to strive in their profession. What are your hobbies? When I’m not working I love spending time with my family, my wife and children are so important to me. We love going on walks, riding bikes, going on family trips, basically anything we do together is what I enjoy the most.

Jason Hoy, 37

Executive Chef The Glover Mansion - Red Rock Catering Photo by Ryan Lindberg


e2 Solutions work as management and prevention experts. Me2 helps companies, nonprofits, and individuals survive Oh Crap! Moments—everything from management mistakes to impossible deadlines, PR disasters to product failures. What you do: I’m a corporate firefighter and executive-level janitor—I put out fires and clean up messes! I help struggling nonprofits with fundraising crises, Mom & Pop businesses bootstrap, and I coordinate crisis communication, legal, and management responses for corporations. I also teach classes, write eBooks, podcast, and blog about crisis management. When did you fail, and what did you learn from that experience? The first time I fired a client, I was a mess for months. We’d become friends, but it became obvious they couldn’t be honest with me, or themselves. I was shocked at how much it hurt, so much that I seriously doubted whether I was cut out for this. But I learned how to fail spectacularly and then try again, even when it hurts. I see a lot of clients struggle because it’s taboo to even acknowledge that emotional side of business, so I try to be very open about it. Describe one thing that you learned from a fellow employee that helps you now. I knew this brilliant, insane guy named Matt—think Russell Brand crossed with Stephen Hawking. My job was specifically to keep his craziness in line, but I was really the mess. Matt saw right through me and wrote this note: “Mer, you’re being a freaking idiot. Your anxiety is holding you back more than your mistakes ever will. It’s not really safer. It’s not worth it.” What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? I’ve never lived anywhere that had so few barriers between industries and people. Do good work, and it’s easy to build a reputation here, but it’s also easy to break one if you aren’t careful, honest, and if you don’t keep your ego in check.

Meredith Hutchison Hartley, 29 Director of Making It Work Me2 Solutions(Me.Squared) Photo by Diane Maehl

September - October 2013


Desiree Seghetti, 24

Vice President of Operations Commellini Estate Photo by Sarah Katherine of Pictorian Photography


stablished in 1941, Commellini Estate is a third generation venue and event restaurant. We offer a private location, creating the perfect setting for weddings, corporate events and other special occasions. What you do: I’m responsible for marketing, human resources, operations, and event coordination. Among others, these duties include designing and creating the website and marketing materials, coordination with suppliers, and inventory management. My current project is working with my team on launching the first Commellini product line, featuring several homemade sauces and meatballs. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? One risk was taking on a failing business just after graduating from UW rather than seeking out a more secure corporate position. Commellini Estate was started by my greatgreat aunt and uncle in 1941, but my family leased out the business between 1977 and 2009. In 2009, the business was really



struggling and the opportunity presented itself for my family to take it back. Since then the business has grown and has won Best Venue in Spokane two years in a row. When did you fail, and what did you learn from that experience? One mistake my family and I made early on was outsourcing a critical aspect of the business to someone who didn’t have our best interest in mind. Since making the adjustment we have been extremely diligent about who works for us and with us. We now have an unbelievable team of people who work very hard and make each event a success. Describe one thing that you learned from a fellow employee that helps you now: If your dreams require no risk and don’t scare you, then they aren’t big enough. What are your hobbies? I enjoy running, biking, hiking, rock climbing, and thrift shopping. I am currently training for my second half marathon this October. I also love spending time with family and friends at our cabin on Deer Lake.


hitworth University is a private educational institution offering 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. What you do: Talent acquisition. I recruit individuals seeking to propel their careers through graduate management instruction and training from an institution that provides an education of mind and heart. Describe one thing that you learned from a fellow employee that helps you now: While difficult to manage and form, collaboration is key to implementing positive change. Rich Hadley, CEO, Greater Spokane Incorporated, has an innate ability to foster and form collaborative partnerships that bring investment to our community. I now take what I learned from working with him and seek to do the same in my endeavors, specifically as the lead coordinator for the Inland Northwest Business Plan Competition, which to my knowledge is now the largest collaborative competition between universities in the northwest. What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? A chance to prove themselves. I believe Spokane is small enough that if you make a name for yourself as being someone that is reliable, results oriented, ambitious, and respectful, opportunities for advancement within great companies will present themselves. What are your hobbies? I like to say that I was born of the mountains and baptized in the wild rivers of Idaho. Any free time I have is spent outside. I am an avid skier and golfer, so if you need a fourth as part of your company team at any of the charity golf events I’m available. Recently, I purchased a road bike, so lookout Centennial Trial! I have fancy clip-in pedals and padded spandex shorts, and I’m coming for you! When I’m not on the slopes, links, river, or trail I’m at any one of our region’s small town festivals—Lind Combine Derby, anyone!?

Tate White, 29

Assistant Director | Graduate Studies in Business Whitworth University | School of Global Commerce & Management Photo by Diane Maehl


he ISAAC Foundation provides resources, workshops, and financial grants for interventions and services to families who have children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders living in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas. What you do: My most favorite role is working with families as a sounding board, support system and resource for services. It is a great feeling to be able to help families get through those dark times by helping them get connected to services and therapies that will help their child affected by autism be the best they can be. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? Following my heart to create The ISAAC Foundation was a huge risk. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my son Isaac. But starting this Foundation would mean that I would need to relive the saddest, darkest day of my life, over and over. I took the risk before I could second-guess my decision. Over the years I have found that the pain never goes away and that some days are more painful than others but the risk was WELL WORTH the pain. I like to think that a small piece of Isaac now lives in the hearts of these children touched by The ISAAC Foundation. Where do you expect to be with your career in five years? In five years I hope to break the $1,000,000,000 mark for grants awarded to children for autism related therapies and services. I also hope to continue to grow the support and resources offered to families and begin to offer supports and resources to neuro-typical siblings whose lives are greatly impacted by having a brother or sister diagnosed with autism. I really see siblings as unsung heroes. They face so many challenges and make countless sacrifices and still keep a smile on their face and love in their heart for their brother or sister living with autism.

Holly Lytle, 37 Founder and Executive Director The ISAAC Foundation Photo by Sarah Katherine of Pictorian Photography September - October 2013


Jonathan Mallahan, 28

Director of Community & Neighborhood Services Division City of Spokane Photo by Ryan Lindberg


he City of Spokane is a municipal organization. Our mission is to deliver efficient and effective services that facilitate economic opportunity and enhance quality of life. What you do: I manage the City of Spokane’s community-oriented departments and services including citizen-engagement, customer service, social services and community centers. I serve as part of the City’s executive management and contribute to organizational direction and leadership. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? Early on, I was given an opportunity to step into a public leadership role with the City. The risk of public failure was intimidating, not to mention the risk of disappointing my colleagues who would be relying on my to perform well in this role. Working with the department team, I gained experiences in success and failure that have helped make me a more effective manager and employee. When did you fail, and what did you learn from that expe-



rience? I worked with what I thought to be a representative group of stakeholders to develop a policy solution to an ongoing problem. The group worked well together and came up with an excellent recommendation based in solid research and proven best practices. In making the assumption that our group represented those who were interested in the policy, I failed to identify an important stakeholder. This stakeholder was caught off guard when the policy came forward for consideration and was understandably concerned and frustrated. I learned that unless we take the time to examine our assumptions, our customers’ needs and ourselves, we might be failing in ways we aren’t even aware of. What are your hobbies? I love to run, read, cook great food, home improvement projects that are far outside my level of ability. These activities are the best when I get to do them with my wife, Ali, with the exception of ambitious home improvements, which are generally discouraged.


umerica Credit Union offers a full line of financial products and services, including mortgages and business products. They serve the hopes and dreams of those who live or work in the state of Washington or the Idaho Panhandle. What you do: I work with a team to oversee and manage our efforts in business development and community involvement for my region, which includes Spokane, West Plains, Hayden and Coeur d’Alene Idaho. I specialize in the Educational and Small Business communities. I created and oversee our University Outreach Programs that include Gonzaga, Whitworth, Eastern, North Idaho College, and The Community Colleges System of Spokane. When did you fail, and what did you learn from that experience? Early in my career, I was passed over for a management promotion at FirstBank. When I asked why I was not considered, I was told that they were not aware I had any interest in that position. I believed that if you are really good at what you do, you can expect meaningful rewards to be handed to you. My boss at the time told me that if you want something, you must pursue it and have the drive and passion for it, but also vocalize it. The lesson that I learned was to stand up and let people know what I want, ask them what steps I need to take to get there, and then ask for their guidance and mentorship. What book has had the greatest effect on you professionally? Numerica’s vice president Michelle Grabicki gave me the book Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood, because I have a 3-year old and a 1-year old. She told me to find the balance between home and work life. I learned that our interactions, both professionally and personally, come down to simple truths: be kind, honest, firm, and caring. Then everything will fall into place naturally and organically.

Manuel “Manny” Hochheimer, 32 Business Development Manager Numerica Credit Union Photo by Sara Story Photography


ario & Son is a locally owned and operated company inspired by a heritage of fine Italian craftsmanship. They have been servicing the Inland Northwest as a full service stone fabrication company since 1991. What you do: My role is to maintain and oversee all aspects of the business’ image and internal structure. I work to improve operational systems, processes and policies. I support better information flow and management, business processes, and organizational planning. I juggle various tasks simultaneously while handling immediate problems or needs that arise unexpectedly. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? Moving from Seattle to Spokane after graduating with my BFA in Interior Design from the Art Institute of Seattle. When many new graduates were planning to move to the city to find employment in a weakening economy, I was doing just the opposite. After eight months of persistence, reality checks, and wine—I was a proud member of the Mario & Son team. Describe one thing that you learned from a fellow employee that helps you now: A former employer once told me that change defines our success. Throughout my career I’ve learned three valuable lessons about change: 1) A staff can not show their full potential until their leaders see a need to change. 2) Change creates chaos that only the tenacious can accept. 3) Resistance to change will limit your opportunities. What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? Spokane is full of opportunity to those who seek it and is full of growth right now. My generation is on the forefront of the business frontier and it is up to us to make a difference. Spokane provides a unique work and play atmosphere. The area’s low costs of living, outdoor recreation, buy local attitude, education and communications all create an exceptional place to live.

Sierra Campos, 27 Operations Manager Mario & Son Photo by Sara Story Photography September - October 2013


Ryan Stemkoski, 30

Interactive Director/Principal at Zipline Interactive Adjunct Instructor in Graphic Design at Spokane Falls Community College Photo by Capture Perfection Photography


ipline Interactive is a boutique interactive advertising agency. Zipline specialize in creating user-friendly and informative online experiences and websites that generate business for its customers. What you do: I oversee the interactive division of Zipline Interactive. I am responsible for recruiting and training talented developers, developing new business, leading organizational innovation, and spearheading our research and development efforts. Where do you expect to be with your career in five years? Zipline Interactive is doing really well and I expect my role to evolve as we continue to grow and expand our operations. We recently opened an office in Vancouver, Washington and are in the process of scouting other Northwest markets for additional expansion opportunities. In addition to my position at Zipline, I have several other projects I am currently involved with including a couple of smaller niche businesses, a pair of rental properties, a church



plant in Airway Heights, and a position as an adjunct instructor at Spokane Falls Community College. Although my biggest career goal for the next five years is to do less. I have spent the past 10 years operating at 100% capacity, filling every second of the day with business meetings, projects, emails, networking events, and board meetings. My wife Kayla is pregnant with our first child and I plan to cut back, allowing me to focus on what is most important, being the best father and husband I can be. What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? I love Spokane. I moved here 10 years ago to go to Eastern Washington University. When I arrived here form Western Washington I never pictured myself staying more than a day after graduation but now I can’t picture myself leaving. I have found Spokane to be a great place to live and work. Spokane has an active business community, a great cost of living, and more recreational opportunities than any place I have ever been.


OW Adventures, considered the best tour operator in the world by National Geographic and Travel+Leisure, guides adventure vacations domestically and to over 20 countries worldwide. What you do: I direct all of the marketing, public relations and sales. This includes the management of all of the brands that are part of ROW Adventures family of companies including: both international and domestic divisions of ROW, Sea Kayak Adventures (sea kayaking tour operator), River Dance Lodge (Idaho’s Outdoor Adventure Resort), the RAC (the local halfday, one-day trip and rental company who most people around Spokane know ROW as), Silver Bike Tours (self-guided bike tour company), and Red Mangrove USA (Galapagos Islands lodge tour company). What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? The biggest risk is when I got out of owning a golf tournament planning company and joined ROW Adventures. It was a moment where things just started to take off, however when the position opened at ROW Adventures, I decided to take a risk. ROW has provided a lifestyle, flexibility and challenge that golf tournament planning would have never delivered. Not only from a professional standpoint, but from a personal one, ROW has helped shape new values and instill old ones. What are your hobbies? Learning how to be a dad. I have an exciting job that takes people all over the world, a job that helps people learn about new cultures and people. A job that helps people find something that was missing along life’s journey and reconnect with a spouse, kids or even parents. In the end, I’ve found that people ask about rapids or wildlife when inquiring about an adventure, but what they really want is to create lasting memories with their loved ones. I always tell the staff, “Parents don’t take kids to Disneyland to see Mickey Mouse, they go to Disneyland to see the expression on their kids face when they are looking at Mickey Mouse.”

Brad Moss, 32

Director ROW Adventures Photo by Sharee Moss


ayman Law Firm, PLLP is a general civil practice firm that serves individuals and business in areas of business law, construction, civil litigation, and personal injury. What you do: I primarily handle litigation cases involving business and construction disputes. I’ve represented both individuals and business as plaintiffs and defendants. I also love to help people form new businesses, or buy or improve an existing business. It is rewarding to help others resolve disputes and pursue their professional dreams. What risk have you taken in your profession and how did it pay off? Going to trial is always risky because the verdict could go either way. However, taking numerous cases to trial has given me confidence and the experience to better advise and represent my clients inside and outside of the courtroom. When did you fail, and what did you learn from that experience? Trying cases creates an objective “win/lose” and I have failed before to get the outcome that I was fighting for. Failing certainly keeps me humble and it reinforces my commitment to work intensely for my clients. But worse than trying something and failing is missing an opportunity because you are afraid of the potential of failure. I’ve learned there is less regret in putting yourself out there and falling short than in playing it safe and wondering what could have been. What do you feel Spokane’s business environment has to offer young professionals? Spokane is a great place for young professionals because the city is large enough to provide diverse opportunities but it still has the small town feel where you can really get to know people in the community, especially in a specific field. What are your hobbies? I love doing new things with family and friends. I’m always looking for an adventure and I enjoy good competition. I also enjoy watching my kids play sports and getting outdoors to do activities like mountain biking, snowboarding and hiking.

Bradley Crockett, 33 Associate Attorney Layman Law Firm, PLLP Photo by David Crary September - October 2013


Text and Photo by Darin Burt

Through The


Jeff Bray of International Floor Coverings Job Loss, World of Warcraft, and an Entrepreneurial Dream 38



eff Bray is a success in the world of business. In the World of Warcraft, he’s a warrior, a warlock and a thief. “This is ‘nerd speak,’ but I was a level 85, top-tier raider in my realm,” says Bray. Brays escape into the virtual world came after the recession hit and he was told his ‘services were no longer required’ by the big box retailer where he had worked for nearly a decade as a commercial flooring salesman. Being fired was a shock. Especially considering that Bray had never before been unemployed. His first job was washing dishes when he was 15. Like anyone out of work, Bray applied for unemployment benefits and sent out some resumes. He had enough money set aside, so rather than go banging on doors for a new job, he decided it was time for a little vacation. “I’m an early bird, and you can pump out a lot of resumes in an hour,” Bray says. “The kids were gone to school, and so I started playing World of Warcraft.” Doc Fuzz was a Warlock, named so because of Bray’s 15 years in carpet sales; Jägermeister was a thief, named after Bray’s beverage of choice; Booyah was his Warrior, who’s name came from the exclamation Bray would make whenever he made a big sale. “I was playing eight to 12 hours a day, and on the weekends I would play till four in the morning and I wouldn’t be able to see straight,” Bray says. His wife Ashley finally called him out. As Bray recalls, “She said, ‘your office stinks and there are beer cans everywhere!’” The turning point came at Christmastime when money was tight and Bray realized he hadn’t seen his kids for months while he was locked in battle in a virtual world. “I thought, ‘If I put the same amount of time and effort into a job, I’d be making bank!’” Bray turned his quest to a job search, but found nothing promising. That’s when he decided it was time to take advantage of his experience and go into business for himself. “I knew the flooring industry and the products. I also knew there was a need for customer service that the big box stores don’t provide,” Bray says. “With those things in mind, it was very easy for me to start a business that could be successful.” Floor Coverings International opened

Copy/Print/Scan Solutions Let us help you acquire your dream machine. in December 2011 in an 800 square foot commercial garage with no heat and outdoor plumbing. Bray focused his marketing efforts on fairs, networking events and home shows. But the real impact came from good old word of mouth. “I’ve been in Spokane my whole life, and people here do business with people they like. It’s about who does a good job,” he says. “We knocked on doors and did a lot of business to business marketing. We said, ‘We know you need flooring and we’d like a shot at it.’” “We were selling so much carpet, it was coming in one door and out the other. It was crazy,” Bray adds. “We did $1.1 million in sales our first nine months in business.” International Floor Coverings quickly outgrew its humble beginning. The business has since transformed into a fullservice commercial and residential flooring company with offices, showroom

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“This is ‘nerd speak’, but I was level 85, top-tier raider in my realm,” says Bray, 39. and warehouse. There are six full-time employees with up to 18 full-time subcontractors. New are mobile showroom vans that bring product samples to clients’ homes for the ultimate in customer service. “We’re happy with what we’ve created, but its got it’s challenges. It’s gotten really busy, and it may even have grown a little too fast,” Bray admits. “Learning to be a business owner isn’t just about sales; it’s about running a business, cash flow and those types of things. You just have to roll with it, batten down the hatches and cinch up your belt.” “I’m more proud that I support anywhere from 10 to 20 families in the Spokane region. I know that because of what happened to me, I’m going to keep these guys employed and keep their families happy. It’s about the people I have working for me from the warehouse kid that cuts the carpet to myself and everyone in between. We do the right thing day in and day out.”

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