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Index of Advertisers

Agi Bofferding, Stearns Lending A Kidz Dental Zone Allen’s Fine Woodworking Aniche Cellars Artisans Ashley Neff B Gorgeous Bisnett Insurance Bobbi’s Way Carol Annala, Don Nunamaker Realtors Cascade Acupuncture Cascade Eye Center Cathedral Ridge Winery CenterPointe Bank China Gorge Chris Vail-Rollins, Don Nunamaker Realtors Columbia Bank Columbia Gorge Pregnancy Resource Center Columbia Laser Skin Center Curtis Homes Curves Daniel’s Health & Nutrition Del Carpine Automotive Repair Detailedly Dickey’s Store Director’s Mortgage Duckwall Pooley El Puerto de Angeles III Expertec Feast Genevieve Long GPSI Green Pastures Farm G Willikers Happy Tails Boarding Kennel Hearts of Gold Caregivers Hood River Care Center Hood River Jewelers Hood River Liquor Store Hood River News Sales Team Hood River Stationers Hood River Supply Hood River Taqueria ICS Immigration Law Indian Creek Family Eye Care Infinite Graphix Insitu Jola’s Joleen Wampler


JULY 2017

40 5 6 38 38 44 7 56 53 7 32 35 31 21 29 25 48 9 3 43 41 25 23 23 55 11 15 34 32 31 51 40 32 55 33 27 44 33 6 49 55 24 39 7 27 32 12 24 43

Kidsense 34 Klickitat PUD 32 Kula Chiropractic 38 Laurelbrook 2 Les Schwab Tires 41 Linda Holloway, Jafra 40 Little Oak Montessouri 44 LulaRoe, Nicole Reiss 23 Marla St. John, Hood River Chiropractic Center 33 McCoy/Holliston Insurance 37 Michele Jasperson, Farmers Insurance 45 Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce 54 Mugs 25 Nobi’s 13 NorthShore Medical Group 6 51 Northwest Natural Gas Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union 43 Parkdale Facials 33 Petal Perfect 31 Phelps Creek Winery 9 Pietro’s Pizza 21 Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital 17 Pure Romance 32 Riverview Community Bank 47 Ruddy Duck 16 Sandy Branham, Mid-Columbia Directory 41 Scoops & Smiles 47 Skyline Hospital 19 Soluna 16 Sparkling Creations 2 Staci McCarthy 55 Stave & Stone 48 Tacy’s Place Boutique 40 Taqueria Los Amigos 25 The Denture Specialist 13 The Gift House 33 Gorge Magazine 49 The Today’s Chalet Salon & Spa 6 Trellis 25 Tropical Illusions 25 Up Front Hair Design 33 Volcanic Bottle Shoppe 48 Waucoma Bookstore 24 White Salmon Family Practice 45, 53 Willow Salon 24 Windermere 54 Wink Lash & Wax Bar 7 45 Yoga Samadhi

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mugs Coffee and Trellis Fresh Flowers by elaine bakke

There’s a new word created just for Bingen business owner Blaire Carroll — Florista. Blaire is the owner of Mugs Coffee (barista) and Trellis Fresh Flowers (florist). And, although she is the owner of two businesses, she is first and foremost a mother. “I’ve chosen careers that allow me the opportunity to do what I love and still be a mom,” she said. Blaire always knew she wanted to work for herself, but her youngest son turned out to be the catalyst for her self-employment. “When my son was born with extensive medical issues (VATERS Syndrome) it was virtually impossible to be a ‘good’ employee. I hated being that employee that was always calling in sick. With the unpredictability of my son’s health, I wasn’t dependable. I wanted to own my own business so that regardless of what was going on with him I could always have him with me. First and foremost, a mother first,” she explained. When Blaire opened Mugs Coffee six years ago, she did so knowing that it was a small piece of her life’s puzzle. “I had always had a dream to own a coffee/flower shop. In college, my business plan was entitled ‘Café de Fleur’ — a place where peo-




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ple could come enjoy a cup of coffee and sit among the flowers.” And at Mugs, that’s what customers can do. There are always fresh flowers in the shop and the outdoor patio is nestled among shade trees. “In life, we need to make more time to do such things; to stop and smell the flowers,” she said. Operating Mugs created one piece of Blaire’s puzzle, but there was still something missing. When Trellis Fresh Flowers was put on the market, Blaire, who grew up in a flower shop as a young girl and worked as a floral designer through college, made an offer to purchase the business. And, because the Trellis shop lease in White Salmon was expiring, Blaire had the opportunity to relocate the business to Bingen — two doors away from Mugs. She finally got her coffee/flower shop…albeit in two separate businesses. Having the businesses located right near each other has been a lifesaver for Blaire. “I think I’m making my own personal path in the sidewalk, running back and forth between the two shops.” And some days it’s really like that — running back and forth between the two businesses. As the owner to both Mugs and Trellis, Blaire wears many aprons. Her mornings consist of baking at Mugs and teasing the regulars. “I make the coffee and wait on the patrons before prepping the day’s specials and organizing the day’s catering,” she said, noting that women in business

Mugs is more than just a coffee house, it’s a café. A café serving homemade pastries and soups and sandwiches, breakfast burritos, wraps and paninis, including gluten-free items. Mugs caters for corporate events, open houses, rehearsal dinners and holiday parties. “Mugs is such a busy place, mornings fly by and before I know it, it’s time to mosey down to the flower shop,” said Blaire Since Trellis is a full-service florist, Blaire’s days may consist of around town deliveries, designing custom bridal bouquets, meeting with brides, and helping grieving families with sympathy pieces. When things settle down, Blaire tries to end her day with a little paperwork — tallying sales and day end reports, and making lists. “Lists for the next day for both shops help me prepare,” she said. Blaire’s biggest advantage in running both businesses has been her staff. “I love being a boss, but having been an employee many times over, I try to never forget what it was like being one, to be in their shoes. I strive to train and equip my employees in such a way that they feel valued and appreciated,” she said. Blaire also believes that you are the company you keep; retaining staff who are joyful and supportive has been a part of her success. “People I would want to be around whether for a cup of coffee or a bouquet of flowers,” she said. “It’s not always easy balancing,

life and work, and I understand that more than anyone,” she said. “I love what I do. Making people happy makes me happy. At the end of the day, I want to know that what I did mattered.” Blaire knows a cup of coffee may not seem like a lot. But it is, if that coffee was served with a smile and that smile was the only kind thing someone had all day. Or if listening to an employee share their hopes and dreams, encourages and challenges them to be their absolute best. Or if designing a one-of-a-kind bridal bouquet makes a bride feel breathtaking, Blaire is honored to be part of it. “All these things, all these little day-to-day, seemingly inconsequential things matter. I get to show

myself, my sons, my staff and my customers that when we get the opportunity to do what we love, anything is possible.” Blaire is a wife, a mother, a florist, a baker, a caterer, a Buford lover (shop dog), a Rupert lover (French Lop bunny), and a horse lover to two big boys (Dirty Harry and Dirty Bob). When she’s not working, she spends time with her husband and her sons on their “hobby” farm. She enjoys gardening, horseback riding, mountain biking, skiing, and occasionally boating on non-windy days. A little tidbit about Blaire — she loves the color blue. “At the end of a long day, I just enjoy putting my feet up with a glass of wine and cuddling with my boys with a good movie.”

L to R: Pat Tanner, Holly Webster, Dania Guadarrama, Alondra Gomez, Desi Zeller, Katie Leininger & Liz Medrano. Not pictured: Sonia Castillo & Sue Fogle.

419 State St. Ste 4 Hood River 541-387-8688

1935 E. 19th St. Ste 200 The Dalles 541-296-8901

A publication of the Hood River News and White Salmon Enterprise

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Providing neighborly healthcare since 1974

Stevenson (509) 427-4212 White Salmon (509) 493-2133

Jenn, Ruth, April

Open Saturdays and weeknights until 7pm

875 Rock Creek Drive SW Stevenson, WA 98648


Cami, Jori and Lou lou

2149 Cascade Ave. Hood River 541-386-1991

212 Skyline Drive White Salmon, WA 98672

Your Talented White Salmon Crew

Back row: Samantha, Avary, Wendy, Nicole & Shelley. Seated: Hanna & Hayley. Not pictured: Brindi.

Call us for specials or an appointment 509-493-3995

1000 SE Jewett Blvd. White Salmon, WA


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l o r a C n na la A

Your Best Friend for Real Estate in the Gorge!

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416 Oak St. 541•701•1368 9-5pm seven days a week

Bertha Logsdon

Immigration Counseling Service Fostering Access To Justice Through Low-Cost Legal Representation For Immigrants.

SPA SP A SER SERVI VI CE CES S IN C LUD L UD E : FFAC A C IAL S, S , L AS H E XTE N S IO N S, S, L A SH & B R ROW O W TIN TIN G G,, FUL L BO DY D Y WAXIN W AXIN G, G , MASSAG MAS S A G E AT I N G AN G E L IN A O R RGAN FEA T U R IN G AN IC S K IN C ARE Products Pr oducts hand-cr hand-crafted afted with ffresh resh ingr ingredients edients in Bend, Or Oregon egon

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L-R is Brenda Orozco, Marisela Prado, MariRuth Petzing and Diana McDougle.

(541) 399-8029 women in business



216 Columbia Street, Hood River, OR 97031 To learn more or donate go to:

A publication of the Hood River News and White Salmon Enterprise

july 2017 7

Crystal beam

beam excavating and A-1 septic Tank service by Patrick mulvihill

Few days are the same for Crystal Beam. Beam plays all sorts of roles at Beam Excavating and A-1 Septic Tank Service, a company owned by her husband, Chad. “I do a little bit of everything,” Beam said, explaining that some days, you can find her at the office, coordinating marketing and other duties. At other times she’s out in the field, installing a septic line or driving a dump truck. The variety poses a wardrobe challenge, she said, due to her unpredictable daily setting. “I really don’t know how to dress (for the job),” she joked. Beam grew up in the Columbia River Gorge. She graduated from The Dalles High School and went on to work for a decade as a school bus driver for Hood River County School District. Last year, following the birth of her third daughter, she shuffled over to duties at the Beam family business, where she’s been working since. Beam started by helping out Chad at the company, then proceeded to tackle many duties. Beam’s expertise behind a wheel — she has a commercial driver’s license — came in handy at her new career, where she often drives heavy machinery and rigs. She explained that the company began as a small excavating business but progressed and branched out to multiple services that tie in with residential and commercial development, from demolition to utility and foundation work. Since the company started, it has grown from one employee to 10. (Beam Excavating acquired A-1 Septic about a year ago.)


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Services the company provides run from residential remodels to commercial damage repairs and everything in between, the Beam website explains. Backhoes, dump trucks and track hoes make up some of their gear lineup. Snow removal kept the company occupied during the long, snowy winter of 2016-2017. “We try to stay busy all year round,” Beam said, with employees working throughout the seasons. Crystal and Chad have three daughters: Josee, Charley Rae, and Hazen, born about eight years apart from each other. Beam Excavating and A-1 Septic has been active in the community, Beam explained, and some of the causes the business supports via

donations or sponsorships include athletics, the county fair, and law enforcement. A highlight of her job is working outdoors, and that’s also where she spends much of her free time. She and Josee, who is a Hood River Valley High School student, have competed in rodeos around the Northwest, and the family still trains barrel racing horses. It can be difficult to fit in time for rodeos — especially for travel — but, “I just won’t give up, I love it,” Beam explained. Recently, she took a bit of time off work to travel to Glenwood for a morning slack event. One of Beam’s favorite aspects about her job is working with families who fulfill their dreams by moving into new homes.

Celebrating our 10th anniversary of collaboration with our Burgundian winemaker ALEXANDRINE ROY This year’s International Pinot Noir Celebration features Phelps Creek as Alexandrine presents at the “Grand Seminar”, joining four other renown Burgundians making wine in Oregon.


1850 Country Club Rd. Hood River

541. 386 . 2607

COLUMBIA GORGE PREGNANCY RESOURCE CENTER All Services Offered are Free! •Pregnancy Tests •Pregnancy Options Counseling •Pregnancy/Parenting Coaching & Support •Education on Fetal Development •Resources for Maternity Wear •Resources for birth to 12 months

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L to R: Carol Wagar, Gaby Ugarte, Linda Millan O’Dell, Janette Harrington

1936 12th St. #100 • Hood River • 541-386-1050 women in business

HOOD RIVER: Monday & Tuesday 10 – 12, 1 – 5 Wednesday & Thursday 10 – 12, 1 – 6 THE DALLES: Tuesday & Wednesday 1 – 5 Thursday & Friday 1 – 6

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3206 West 6th St., Suite 300 • The Dalles • 541-296-0650

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july 2017 9

Catherine DALBEY Human Resources Director by Kirby neumann-Rea

Education is in her blood, but Catherine Dalbey’s career was partially an accident. Dalbey, human resources director for Hood River County School District, is married to T. Dalbey, fifth-grade teacher at May Street Elementary. They have a son, Hugh, 13, an eighth-grader at Hood River Middle School, and a daughter, Anna, 9, a fourth-grader at May Street. Dalbey’s mother was a teacher, but education was not what she set out to do. “I feel like I’ve been lucky in life, that opportunities presented themselves, though I haphazardly fell into the career of teaching,” Dalbey said. She moved to Hood River 17 years ago, spending her first year as a part time kindergarten teacher and part time migrant preschool recruiter. She taught fifth grade at Pine Grove Elementary for three years, then went to Wy’east as vice principal and then principal for a total of 11 years, taking on her current role two years ago. She graduated from high school in


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Colorado, attended Bucknell University in Pennsylvania with a double major in psychology and Spanish and a minor in Russian. Dalbey gained her emergency teaching license while living in Denver, and her teaching degree from Metropolitan State College of Denver, in a joint program with Metropolitan School District. After graduating from Bucknell, she was home at her parents when she read a classified ad saying the Denver Metropolitan School District needed teachers. “I was surprised I got the job. I told them I was interested, and I spoke Spanish, and I had no degree, but was interested in working with kids. They said, ‘Can you start next week?’” “I called my mom and told her I was hired and she asked, ‘Did they provide you a lesson plan book?’ I said, ‘What’s a lesson plan book?’ I had a lot to learn real quick.” She started teaching pull-out ESOL, with small groups of kids from all over the world — a total of 27 languages. “I cried a lot. But I have a lot of fond memories,” she said. “Ironically, a couple of kids contacted me via Facebook, including one in Indonesia. They survived me as a teacher, they gave me a lot of grace.” She achieved her Master’s in administration from Concordia University after she came to work in Hood River. After years in teaching, a profession dominated by women, she women in business

shifted to administrative roles that traditionally has been carried out by men. “There are more and more principals and women in central offices, but I think there are still come hurdles for women in these positions. I think it’s perception. Assumptions are often based on perceptions and those can be difficult to overcome at times,” she said. “For a lot of people, the attitude is, ‘Men are the leaders of schools,’ and many of our parents come from traditional upbringing.” It was an attitude she learned to wait out. Dalbey serves on the district negotiation team and serves as de facto communication directors, as well as risk manager (including facilities, field trips and student activities, and potential exposure via Community Education programs). She administers job descriptions and employee reviews, with the emphasis currently on ensuring consistency from building to building in how principals and other supervisors assess job performance. Her current work is still new to her. She takes Oregon School Personnel Association summer classes and stays in contact with fellow professionals. “It’s kind of a tight knit network, a lot of people I can call on who are a lot more experienced than I am in human resources. “It’s fun to learn new stuff. The change from being in the building to here, change is good. I felt reenergized. But I miss the kids a lot.” A publication of the Hood River News and White Salmon Enterprise

july 2017 11


Every day, Insitu employees volunteer to make their communities the best they can be, helping to build something better for all of us.


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in Denture Care!



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Esme, Nobi’s Assistant Manager, holding Vermillion with her two daughters: Melissa and Valerie. Florence, Manager, holding Harmony.

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july 2017 13

The next Door, inc. by ben mitchell

For Janet Hamada, social work is a calling — one she knew she needed to answer ever since she was a young girl. “Growing up on the south side of Chicago, I always saw need,” she recalls. “And I was also very privileged to travel as a kid, so I saw tons of need all over the world and really, I knew I was going to be a social worker when I was 13. It was always going to happen.” Hamada, who now lives in Hood River, is the executive director for The Next Door Inc., (TNDI) a local nonprofit that provides a litany of social services through the more than two dozen programs under its umbrella, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Klahre House Alternative School, family services for new parents, wellness programs, and Promoviendo Prosperidad, which provides education, business planning resources, and guidance to help Latino entrepreneurs set up or expand their businesses. TNDI was founded in 1971 in Hood River, but also has a location in The Dalles and offers programs throughout the Gorge. Though Hamada is a Chicago native, she has lived in the Gorge for well over a decade, and says she has always considered Hood River her “second home.” In the 1960s and 1970s, Hamada’s extended family moved out to the Gorge, and she came out west to visit her relatives in the summer. She currently lives with her husband, Steven Glatter, who works in IT as a custom database developer, and their two children: Melanie, 12, and Elana, 10, both of whom attend Westside Elementary. They also have two stray cats and two shelter dogs: Scruffy and George E. Peeps (the cats), and Francis and Berkeley (both from Hood River Adopt-a-Dog). Hamada has been executive director of TNDI for nearly 10 years — the latest position in her long social work career that started 27 years ago. Her first job out of college (Hamada attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where she earned a degree in American/U.S. Studies/Civilization) was working in the copy room of Children’s Home Society of Washington in Seattle, “because I knew I’d have to start from scratch. So, even with a Bachelor’s, I just took a $6 an hour job, making copies, answering phones, sorting mail.” She got promoted, becoming an administrative assistant and then a counselor before heading back to school at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she earned a Master’s in social work. Hamada’s career in social services has taken her to many places. She traveled to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba during the mass exodus of Cubans in 1994, where she worked on refugee resettlement. She moved to Miami to continue that work, and then took a job with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami-Dade


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County. Then, she moved to Chicago to be back with family and worked with The West Side Health Authority where she “was primarily working with African-Americans in an extremely impoverished inner-city community.” By 2004, Hamada was serving as a consultant in Chicago to nonprofits, when family would once again bring her back to the Pacific Northwest. “My grandmother at the time… was at Down Manor. She had moved out of her house and was in independent living, she was in her 90s. I was very close to her. We were only going to come out for a summer and clean out her house and spend some time with her, but then I found the job and we decided to stay and raise a family here,” Hamada says.

The job was program manager at Nuestra Comunidad Sana, a health promotion nonprofit that merged with TNDI in 2002, which she said was “the only job I would have taken,” at the time, noting that she “truly believe(s) in health promotion and community health workers.” After three years as program manager, Hamada was promoted to executive director of TNDI in 2007. As executive director, Hamada spends about 50 percent of her time on internal functions, such as employee supervision (TNDI has 68 of them, 53 of which are full time), making sure programs are accomplishing goals and objectives, and that they are doing so within budget. The other half of her time is spent on external functions such as fundraising,

marketing, grant writing, community relations, and sitting on numerous boards. “One of the things I love about the job is that it’s something different every day,” she says. Unlike many social workers with a long career, Hamada has spent all of her 27 years in the employ of nonprofits, which she says help fill a gap that government organizations can’t, or can’t do as efficiently. Fundraising can be a challenge, though, as Hood River’s influx of wealth, particularly over the past 1020 years, can obscure the fact that there is still a large need for TNDI’s social programs. “Hood River is a big contradiction. We have incredibly rich and incredibly poor, and a lot of our rich depend

on our poor, but the rich aren’t necessarily reminded of it… but as we grow as a tourist Mecca, people think that everything is rosy,” she explains. “But we have farm workers who pick our fruit, and dishwashers who work in our restaurants, and chambermaids in our hotels, that are making minimum wage, if not lower. So, the need is there — extraordinarily so.” But despite the challenges that come with a social work job, and the effort she puts into her career, Hamada argues that she takes more than she gives. “I consider it extremely selfish,” she says of her work, “because every night I get to go home and feel good about what I’ve been able to — hopefully — able to accomplish… it’s an extremely fulfilling profession.”

Quality pears from the famous Hood River Valley



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A publication of the Hood River News and White Salmon Enterprise

july 2017 15

Celebrating Our First Harvest of Fourth Leaf Pinot Gris Fall 2017

o L una S

Cheryl Park, CEO




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Elaine Adsit, M.D. Alicia Ross, M.D.

Olivia Ullrich, N.P. Becki Rawson, N.P. Stacey Campbell, P.A.

Jodi Ready, M.D. Janet Sjoblum, M.D. Maria McCormick, M.D.

Kayla Nixon, N.P. Laura Weyli, M.D. Alison Roberts, N.P.

Michelle Edwards, P.A. Stephanie O’Conner, N.P.

Here’s to the women providers in our Providence Hood River clinics. For them, it’s more than an office visit. It’s building a relationship, not filling out forms. It’s answers. And trust. It’s providing experiences exceeding expectations. It’s people living healthy, happy lives.

Karen Ikins, N.P. Helene Geraci, N.P.

Laura Whiting, P.A. Molly Olsen, M.D.

creating creating healthier healthier

communities, together communities, together

P R O V I D E N C E women in business




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H O S P I T A L july 2017 17

Customer Service Manager, Riverview Community Bank By ELAINE BAKKE

Like many college kids needing money to pay rent and buy groceries, Cindy Jewell went to a bank for help. Only instead of getting a loan or a line of credit, she got a part time job. And, so began her 18-year career in banking. That first job was as a teller for Wells Fargo in Spokane, where she was attending Eastern Washington University. “A friend of mine worked there and recommended me for the job. I enjoyed helping people and have always enjoyed finance/accounting, so it seemed like something I would like,” Cindy said. Cindy spent five years with Wells Fargo, split between its Spokane and Seattle branches. During that time, she was promoted from teller to service manager. She then worked for Bank of Washington as an assistant manager. The birth of her first daughter (she has two amazing girls) brought her back home to White Salmon where she was “lucky enough” to find a part-time job with Riverview Community Bank. “After growing up in the Gorge, I know it’s a great place to raise kids. After my first daughter was born, I moved home to be closer to my family. I started working at Riverview three months after moving back,” the Columbia High School graduate said. Over the past 12 years with Riverview, Cindy has worked as a part time teller, full time teller, and since May of 2016, the White Salmon branch customer service manager. “With both of my kids in school, when the customer service manager opening came up, I was ready for the increased hours and figured it would be a great way to show my daughters the benefits of sticking with a company. And, after having done similar work for previous banks, I felt ready for the added responsibility,” she said. Riverview Community Bank has 20 locations from Goldendale to Longview, but most of Cindy’s time is spent in the White Salmon branch. She does, however, attend monthly meetings at the bank’s operational center in Vancouver. Although White Salmon’s branch hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Cindy starts her day right after dropping her daughters off at school and works until at least 5:30 each evening. Most of Cindy’s training has been on-the-job training. Riverview offers many online courses, as well as in-house training sessions in Vancouver, which she tries to attend. “I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing managers who have also taught me a lot of what I know. I believe the best way to truly learn and understand something is to jump right in,” she said.


JULY 2017

Cindy jewell

A publication of the Hood River News and White Salmon Enterprise


Cindy is also willing to ask questions and solve problems for customers. “I may not know how to get something done, but I always know who to call for help.” “Cindy is a perfect example of the success that is achievable when one strives to be the very best that they can be. She is in a constant state of learning, assessing and applying best practices. Her progress over the years speaks for itself,” said Dale Connell, branch manager. As a customer service manager, Cindy is responsible for the staff in White Salmon. That includes scheduling, training and hiring new employees. She opens new accounts (checking, savings, IRA, etc.), helps on the transaction line as needed, and offers customer service such as helping balance check books, disputing fraudulent transactions and looking up statement information. “I truly love helping people with their banking. I especially like helping people learn how to keep track of their finances and to feel confident about their banking,” she said. She’s also in charge of the operations/auditing for the branch, insuring that it is in compliance with current procedures and policies. In addition to opening personal accounts, Riverview also offers business, trust and estate accounts. Riverview is a community bank and as such it gives back to the local communities it does business in. “The culture of the bank is very different from what you would find at a national bank and here in White Salmon we strive to have a welcoming, friendly WOMEN IN BUSINESS

atmosphere at all times.” The friendly atmosphere applies to staff as well, with Cindy and Dale trying “to ensure that the staff wants to come to work, not that they have to. We like to have fun at our branch and try not to have that stuffy bank atmosphere.” Halloween is one of the bank staff’s favorite times of year. The staff picks a theme and decorates the whole branch, hoping to impress the judges from Vancouver since this is a competition that Riverview branches can participate in. “We have won several times and love to impress the judges. We really want to win this year since we took last year off,” she said. Besides being a single, working mom, Cindy is a lifetime quilter and an avid reader. “I never thought I was creative until my mom got me a sewing machine when I was 19 and helped me make my first quilt. While I stick to traditional patterns, I love playing with fabric color and designing my own layouts. Reading and quilting both provide a great way to relieve stress at the end of a hard day.” That daily stress is also minimized by the bank’s customers. “I really enjoy working with the public and love that I have my special customers who will wait for me to help them out. It’s also been fun watching kids grow up — the kids who used to come in for suckers are now the ones opening their first checking accounts as they head off for college.” “I didn’t set out to have this career, but I’m happy it found me,” Cindy said.





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A publication of the Hood River News and White Salmon Enterprise

JULY 2017 19

Brigham terrie



Brigham Fish Market By KIRBY NEUMANN-REA

At the counter, on the fish scaffolding, or at the poker table, the Brigham sisters feel at home. In the three years since it opened on WaNaPa Avenue, Brigham Fish Market has become one of Cascade Locks’ biggest success stories. It is really a family success story. Kim and her husband James Campbell own the business; integral to the operation are Terrie, their father Robert, and Uncle Daniel. In addition, aunts and uncles and cousins from the Brigham and Campbell sides all contribute to the fishing. “Relatively well,” Kim said when asked how the family operation is going. “We all work really well together. You hear the horror stories of family businesses, but we’re the other end of the spectrum.” Adds Terrie, “Aunts, husbands, cousins all help out, it’s really an extension of the family.”


JULY 2017

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Kim said, “The only bad thing is if anything happened we’d have to be closed because we’re all family.” She said the biggest single challenge is scheduling: “Definitely the scheduling.” The market last month received the Entrepreneur of the Year award from Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation at a luncheon in Pendleton, bringing home a plaque and a cash award, from a field of 15 nominees, for its community work, carrying on of traditions, “and being the only operating Native business on the river, off the reservation,” Kim said. Prior to opening the shop, Terrie spent 20 years in cosmetology, and still works part time at Salon Bella in Stevenson.

Kim worked 20 years as dealer at Wild Horse in Pendleton, but came back to fishing, and still does tournaments in the off-season. Terrie has three children: daughters Jordan, 25, and Isabel, 10, and son Elliot, 7. Kim’s children are Brigham Campbell, 18, and daughter Peighton, 17. The market opened with chowder available at limited seating. A little over the year ago, the Brighams expanded the restaurant menu, starting with a selfcontained fryer, and added tables inside and on the sidewalk, and picnic tables with a river view on west side of the building. The retail is busy in the summer with locals and visitors alike, “but

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it doesn’t keep us going through the winter,” Kim said. “That’s what gets us through the winter, feeding people in Cascade Locks.” On ice are halibut, cod or salmon, with salmon fresh from the river a huge seller; currently available are fresh sockeye, steelhead and summer salmon caught by the Brighams and other tribal members, and halibut from Alaska. Terrie said, “Kim is the face of it, Dad and I do the commercial fishing, Kim does the scaffolding fishing, and everyone fills in where they’re needed.” “We grew up doing it and I love it. I can work here a hard day and go down there and work a couple of hours,” Kim said. “ — And it’s relaxing,” Terri fin-

ishes her comment. “Being next to the water is nice,” Kim said. “My Dad and my Grandpa had the four boys, they grew up fishing, and my Mom, and we as kids had our own boat out on the river. They called us ‘The Crabettes.’” Asked if the name stuck, she said, “No, definitely not.” Being women in this business is not much of a factor, the sisters said. “Most of the time it’s not. It’s not like it’s pointed out, ‘Look, there’s women working,’” Terrie said. “We’re just here doing a job, work we definitely enjoy. Kim’s here most of the time. I’m out on the river. That’s my happy place.”


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Jessie page

Hood River Stationers By Trisha Walker

Jessie Page, owner of Hood River Stationers, knew of and loved the store long before purchasing it from Sue Hull two years ago June 1. “It was definitely one of my favorite stores to come into,” she said. Page has kept a lot of what has made Hood River Stationers a downtown landmark since 1959, what she calls “office, art, home and paper.” But she and her staff have also worked hard to update the inventory and give a fresh feel to the space by bringing in more home gift items. The result: “We get comments all day long about how happy and bright the store is,” Page said. It’s also more than a stationery store. She’s thought about changing the name … but with the store’s longstanding presence downtown— she’s the third owner, and Hull owned it for 35 years — she’s decided to keep it. She gets numerous visitors who come in with their kids or grandkids to buy stickers, just as they did when they were children, or tell stories of how they used to work at the store. “The store has a wonderful, amazing local


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following,” Page said. “The support of locals to this store — I’m blessed. It’s good. Even this winter, when you couldn’t get downtown, you couldn’t park, locals made a point to come and support local businesses (and) shop downtown.” That support doesn’t surprise her. “When you love where you live, you love to support where you live,” she said. “And we love to support locals — it always comes back,” she added. “It’s not just Hood River, it’s Gorge-wide. It’s good to give back.” Hood River Stationers is best known for having something for everyone, and for every occasion. Page carries Baggallini handbags, “great Hood River swag stuff” like fun t-shirts, and an art section that includes pastels, watercolors and sketchbooks. “I hear all the time, ‘I didn’t expect you to have this,’” she said of the store’s wide-ranging stock. When buying new merchandise, Page looks for items she’s never seen before to keep inventory fresh for the varied customers who shop at the store. She also listens to what customers request. “We keep a list behind the counter,” she said. “We have 3-year-olds to 95-yearolds, all looking for something,” Page said. “We have to keep that in mind.” Meeting customers, visiting and WOMEN IN BUSINESS

helping them get what they need is a highlight of owning the store, she said. “I like the store. I love helping people. It’s a fun atmosphere — it’s a good job to have to go to everyday,” she said. “The community has welcomed us, being new business owners, the community and the downtown community.” The hardest part is balancing what she loves to do — be out in the front of the store helping people — and what she has to do in the store — which includes being in the back, running the office. The experience gained from owning and operating Hood River Stationers has helped with another business venture — Page and husband CJ purchased Morgan Paint, located on the Heights, on Oct. 1, 2016. “My retail experience (at Hood River Stationers) definitely has helped me there,” she said. The couple has kept the staff at Morgan Paint the same. “And the Morgan’s (Jean and Kevin) were wonderful to buy the business from,” she added. “Having two businesses, we’re busy,” she said. “We have to be very organized with our time.” The Pages moved to Hood River from Sitka, Alaska, in 2000, and have two children: Jake, 15, and Brooke, 10.

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3409 Odell Hwy, Odell JULY 2017 25

Michelle dowdy Willow Salon By Trisha Walker

Michelle Dowdy’s Willow Salon is a not-so-secret secret on the Heights. “People tell me all the time they don’t realize there’s a salon here because they don’t see it from the road,” she said of her 12th Street shop, located at 1204 Nix Drive. She gets a lot of referrals — and has a lot of extended families and friends as clients, from as far away as Astoria, Newburg and Walla Walla. She has seasonal clients, too. “I’ll start off with one family member, and then they’ll refer their daughter, and then their husband, and then the kids,” she said. “I may have several generations of the same family, and then get the cousins.” Dowdy and her daughter, Jade, moved to Hood River nine years ago in June. Dowdy grew up in the Portland area, living Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia and Germany as a young adult. She was in Atlanta when she became a single parent of a baby, and decided it was time to move back home. “Atlanta didn’t seem like the place to raise her by myself,” she said. First moving to Portland, the two moved to Hood River when Jade, now 16, reached school age. “I knew we’d need to move to find better public schools, and there were opportunities for me here in Hood River,” Dowdy said. “I checked out schools first, then after school care, and last I looked at my career needs. I have enough determination that I knew if my daughter was taken care of, I’d figure the rest out.” Mother’s Day weekend, she brought Jade to Hood River for the


JULY 2017

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League, he said to his dad, “My hat’s too tight. Time to see Michelle!” She’s also had “great clients along the way who have given me great business advice,” she added. “Don Nunamaker in particular — he’s always been quite a champion for me.” She also enjoys communicating with clients to make sure they are getting exactly what they want. “Communication is huge in what I do because you have to make sure we’re truly on the same page,” Dowdy said. “I believe you need to spend time communicating or you won’t end up with the desired result.” Sometimes clients don’t know what they want — but they do know what they don’t want. And that’s fine, too. “There’s a huge value in that,” she said. “Knowing what they don’t want is just as important as knowing what they do want.” She’s available for clients Monday through Saturday. For more information, call the salon at 541436-0886, or visit the Willow Salon Facebook page at

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first time. When Dowdy asked what her then 6-year-old thought, she said, “Change is good. Let’s do it.” “I’ve never lived or worked anywhere like the community here,” Dowdy said. “Hood River is a true community.” She’s been in the Nix Drive location for 8 years, and as sole proprietor for 6. She’s made a point to make it a comfortable place for all clients. “It’s his and hers,” she said. “It’s not for the old, it’s not for the young. It’s just comfortable.” Hair is her main focus — she especially loves color — but she also offers manicures, pedicures, body waxing, facial waxing and custom facials. “I can be busy for nine hours and have two clients,” she said. It’s a rule that she won’t answer the phone when she’s working. “They’ve set aside their time for me, so I have to do that for them as well,” she said. At Willow, she enjoys being able to utilize all of her licensing. Usually in a salon, everyone specializes in one aspect of the business, she said, but she is able to take care of all needs in one space. It’s what’s helped her build close relationships with clients. “You see them through milestones, the happy times and sad times,” she said. One favorite story: A father and son who come in together for monthly haircuts; when the boy was 5 and in Little

A publication of the Hood River News and White Salmon Enterprise

JULY 2017 27



Insitu Government Relations Manager By Elaine Bakke

Jill Vacek has the best of both worlds — the fast-paced life of an Insitu employee and the slow, laid-back life at home above Lyle. Jill began her career right out of high school, working as a florist in her hometown of Lodi, Wisc., a town that draws many parallels with White Salmon in its population and schools — Jill graduated with about 70 classmates. After a year, she attended a community college getting her start in communications. She then decided she needed more adventure in her life, so she joined the U.S. Navy. It was during her training at the Operations Specialist (OSA) school in Dam Neck, Va., that she met her husband, Josef. And, ironically, because it doesn’t happen often, they received orders to Bremerton Naval Base in Washington. “I like to say it was fate,” Jill said. A knee injury prompted an honorable medical discharge for Jill. While her husband continued his stint in the Navy, Jill continued her studies at a local community college. Following his tour, the couple married and moved to Florida, where he could study aerospace engineering at EmbryRiddle Aeronautical University. Jill chose that opportunity to enroll at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications with an emphasis in public relations. Her new career path took her into the world of marketing where she was employed by MTS Medication Technologies in St. Petersburg, Fla. The couple missed the Pacific Northwest, however, so when an opening became available in the Pacific Northwest, Jill jumped on the opportunity and the pair moved to the Seattle area. During this time, her husband worked in the unmanned industry, principally with autonomous underwater vehicles. But then he heard about Insitu, applied for a job and was hired by the company in 2006 as one of its early engineers. When the couple decided to have a family, they sold their house in Poulsbo and moved to the Lyle area. All the while, Jill kept working as an account executive for MTS, traveling about three weeks per month. “I realized how important family was to me and didn’t want to travel as much anymore,” Jill said. “Shortly after my son was born, I searched for another career that didn’t involve so much time away from home.” In 2008, just prior to its merger with Boeing, Insitu hired Jill as an independent contractor in its marketing department — a department comprised of two employees at the time. She was then hired on full time at the end of 2008. WOMEN IN BUSINESS

A publication of the Hood River News and White Salmon Enterprise

JULY 2017 28

As Insitu’s marketing department grew, Jill took on more of a communications role and was soon named communications manager for the company. In that role, she led internal and external communications and visitor and community relations. This job also included traveling through supporting trade shows and conducting interviews with reporters. She was off to cities like Abu Dhabi, Doha, Paris, London, and of course cities throughout the U.S. “I was still gone quite a bit,” she said. Under a new leadership team with current-CEO Ryan Hartman at its helm, Jill said the communications department was expanded once again to put an emphasis on community relations. “Ryan saw the need for our com-

pany as a whole to connect with the community and be more transparent,” Jill said. “Since I had been in communications for so long, I was eager to not only ensure Insitu’s message aligned with Boeing, but to use it to educate the community on who we are and what we do.” As a result, Jill was named government relations manager, overseeing a team of four. Although her office is still located in the “Winery Building” of Insitu where it has always been, her main job is essentially lobbying (she still travels to D.C., Olympia, Salem and occasionally trade shows). Jill is also a board member with the Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce and the White Salmon Valley Educational Foundation. “I feel extremely fortunate that Insitu supports me and employees

company-wide with the time and resources to give back to the Gorge community,” Jill said. Her department as a whole is making a real effort to be more visible here in the Gorge. Those efforts have included putting up new community pages on the Insitu website where area residents can learn more about everything the company is doing in the community. Prior to that installation in December, the Insitu website was primarily designed for businesses or job seekers. Her department, in collaboration with the human resources, has also expanded the company’s internship programs and is emphasizing “Active Fridays” for Insitu employees. The Active Friday program allows employees get to know each other in non-work or community activities,

like skiing, hiking, wine tasting and many more. “In any promotion, you have to go out of your comfort zone,” Jill said. “But I have help and support from management. My greatest challenge is making sure my team is happy. I’m only successful if they’re successful.” Once Jill leaves work, she is able to enjoy all the Gorge has to offer. “I like to be with my family. We enjoy hiking, snowboarding, mountain biking, the typical Gorge activities, she said. “We have 10 acres and our current project is building a zip line for our son. I like entertaining guests, too. “I have the best of both worlds. I have a professional career working with great people and then I can be home in 20 minutes to have my serene escape.”

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JULY 2017

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Normy VEGA

Empanadas Maria Elba By GRACE WHITMORE

When Normy Vega would enjoy the delicious smell of fresh empanadas as a child, she never thought that one day she’d have her own business selling the South American pastries. Vega moved to Hood River in 2000 from Santiago, Chile. She now lives with her husband, Pablo Vega. Her son, German, lives in Seattle, and her daughter, Victoria, lives in Hood River as well. Vega’s parents also live in Hood River, along with more extended family. “When I came here, I didn’t speak much English,” said Vega. She had left a previous career as an accountant in Chile, and wasn’t sure what to do for work in Hood River. Remembering how much she enjoyed making empanadas with her grandmother, she decided she would open her own empanada business. Vega began practicing and perfecting her empanada recipe. “With time, I learned the techniques of my grandma,” said Vega. Once her kitchen was full of the same delicious smell of her grandmother’s empanadas, she knew that she was ready to open the business. Empanadas Maria Elba opened and began selling many varieties of Chilean empanadas, including beef, chicken, and even pizza style. The secret to their popularity is in part their fresh ingredients and imported Chilean spices, and in part the hard work that goes into WOMEN IN BUSINESS

A publication of the Hood River News and White Salmon Enterprise

JULY 2017 30

them by both the Vegas. These South American pastries are a very popular food in Chile, and have a symbolic meaning. They traditionally include different kinds of fillings, and most common is “pino,” ground meat with onions. Empanadas Maria Elba travels to many different venues including the Hood River Farmers Market, Portland Rose Festival, and the county fair. Vega would like her business to be based in Hood River in the future, because she loves living here. Although when she first moved to the area, she wasn’t so sure about the small town life. “I never thought I could live here. Everything was so quiet,” said Vega. “Now, I appreciate everything we have here. Santiago is a lot of people.”

She enjoys the peacefulness and the beautiful sights of The Gorge. Through her business, Vega has worked to give back to the community by helping with local fundraisers. “If an organization needs a fundraiser, we can help,” said Vega. Empanadas Maria Elba has been an important part of many school fundraisers, donating a portion of their profits to schools like Westside Elementary. When first starting her business, Vega noticed that there weren’t many options for South American food in Hood River. One day, her dream is to start selling food from other countries besides Chile “so people know more about South American food.”




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The Dalles, 541-296-1101 Hood River, 541-386-2402 www.Cascade

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Chris Barbour, OD, PhD B. Jeffrey Pulk, OD, FAAO John D. Willer, DO Board Certified Ophthalmologist


The Pilates Studio of Hood River By Trisha Walker

Virginia Thomas, owner of The Pilates Studio of Hood River, located in Columbia Gorge Physical Therapy, has been in the fitness field for decades — as a fitness trainer and massage therapist — but when she discovered Pilates and its emphasis on the body’s core, she knew she’d found something special. “The movement part was so different,” she said. “In personal training, everything is so distal — there’s not a lot of core work emphasis.” Living in Florida and working with a large percentage of senior citizens, she noticed how well Pilates helped clients recover from injury. With its emphasis on core, Pilates “translates more when you get older,” she said. “When people have injuries, it aligns easier on joints. It’s a more fluid movement, and with functional equipment, there’s a lot of options. “Movement is a lot better for the human body than rest most of the time,” she said. Some of that equipment is spring-based,

Virginia with client Christa Giordano. WOMEN IN BUSINESS



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which“can help assist you on things, or make it harder,” she added. “It helps facilitate stretching.” To become a Pilates instructor, she had to complete the 600-plus hours of training required for certification by Power Pilates. “It fit well with my personal training background,” she said of the certification process. What most people don’t know about Pilates, she said, is that it is “more isolating work, stability work and more center-related. “Most movement goes distal to core,” she said. “Pilates goes core to distal. The thought is, if your core, your center, is strong, then anything you do out here distally” — she motions outward with her arms — “you’ll be more stable and

have less injury. “The most significant part about it is you’re really training deep core muscles, the ones that support the pelvis and spine,” she said. “With a strong core, there’s so much you can do.” She also likes the flexibility that comes with being a Pilates instructor. “You can teach forever and take it everywhere,” she said. “I have all this equipment, but you don’t need equipment to teach the principals of Pilates. You just need a mat, really.” Relationships with clients is what she enjoys most, however. “I have clients who have been with me since day one. And I enjoy seeing people progress, or getting

out of pain — they come because they have a problem and stay so they can keep playing,” she said, referring to the many sporting activities available in the Gorge. “It’s a little weekly checkup of the body — paying attention to what the body is telling them. It’s mindfulness — not yoga-spiritual, but body.” Thomas lived many places before calling Hood River home. She grew up in Rhode Island and spent some time in Aspen, Colo., and northern California before moving to British Columbia. From there, she moved to Florida, where her mother was living — and where she was introduced to Pilates. And from there, she moved to Hood River. She has worked with profes-


sional body builders, America’s Cup captains and Olympics mountain bike teams, but she’d also worked with a range of physical abilities. The Pilates Studio of Hood River is her second Hood River studio — her first, established in 2006, was at Flow Yoga. Then, in 2010, the space in Columbia Gorge Physical Therapy opened up. Owner Bettina BardinSorensen “has always been a believer” that Pilates and physical therapy “are a natural fit,” Thomas said. “We refer to each other a lot. “I love working here in relation to CGPT,” she continued. “The comradery in this building is very important to me, and it translates into the community. I feel fortunate. I love my space.”

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Feast By Elaine Bakke

Wanting to offer her own growing children a healthy, quick snack, Jenessa VanDeHey was quick to join forces with her husband in opening Feast Market & Delicatessen in White Salmon. “After years of working in the food industry from farms, to grocery stores, pubs, and fine dining I took eight years to focus on being a stay at home mom with my two kids (now a 12-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son) while my husband (Shawn Simmons) continued to work in the food industry. As life got a little bit crazier, as it does when you are raising a family, we were always wishing there was a place in town to grab a quick bite to eat that was healthy and you could feel good about feeding to your family,” she said. When the couple saw a location on East Jewett Blvd. up for lease, their “wheels started spinning. “We decided to open up Feast, a convenient store-size market that you could get essentially everything you need to create a healthy, delicious meal or just pick up a pre-made feast to take home,” she said. She added the couple wanted to create a place where people could get something fast without it “being fast food.” As owner and manager of Feast, Jenessa does everything that goes into a mom and pop style small business — hiring, training, ordering, dish washing, customer service, human resources — the works! And since Feast is open seven days a week, you can find Jenessa there almost every day during the busy lunch rush at the counter or making sandwiches. In the evenings, she spends her time scheduling, ordering, sending catering quotes, all the while hanging out with her kids. “Running Feast came pretty natural to me because it is easy to sell something that you enjoy and are passionate about,” she said. “Food has always been a huge part of our family — we love cooking, trying new recipes and entertaining.” Working as a husband/wife team does have its ups and downs, however. “Our kids never had to go to day care because we just worked opposite schedules. We also never run out of things to talk about on our day’s off,” she said. “The downfall is that because we worked opposite schedules there was a long time where we


Jenessa vandehey

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were unable to spend much time together as a family.” Now that her kids are getting older, and Feast has a solid crew of employees including the chef/baker husband/wife team of Laura Avalos and Jorge Barajas, the couple get to spend more time together. The kids are also starting to show interest in the store and “you might see them helping out this summer.” Feast specializes in fresh, madefrom-scratch deli salads, soups, baked good and deli sandwiches. The store uses all natural and organic ingredients. “Our family has multiple food sensitivities so we understand how hard it can be to eat out for some folks. We have done our best to create a menu that has something for everyone including lots of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options,” Jenessa said. In addition to the deli, Feast offers fresh local, natural and organic meats and sustainable seafood like wild king salmon. The market is stocked with local foods such as farm fresh eggs, raw honey and artisan cheeses. You can find organic and specialty items, produce, beer, wine and even

locally made gifts. “Knowing where the food we put on our table comes from is really important and being able to offer real food to our community is fun,” she said. She did note, however, that being a small business can have its disadvantages. “We don’t get the bulk pricing the big chain stores often do. This makes it hard to compete with the big guys, but we try to get our pricing as low as we can for our customers, which sometimes means very little or no profit on some items.” Feast is a great place to stop in for a quick, hearty and healthy meal after biking, hiking or rafting — something Jenessa knows all about since she too enjoys hiking, camping and being outside with her kids and dog whenever she can. Jenessa grew up in the Portland area, only moving to the Gorge about 12 years ago to be closer to her family. “We knew that White Salmon would be the perfect place to raise a family, work and play,” she said. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people through Feast. Feeding people just makes me happy!”

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Linda fifer Dream Street By Patrick Mulvihill

Linda Fifer went from being a customer at Dream Street Boutique to the store’s owner. Fifer had grown attached to the store and found herself visiting frequently. However, former owner Fonda Netcher announced plans last year to move away from Hood River. One day, Fifer got a phone call from Netcher, who went on to suggest she buy Dream Street. Fifer came out of retirement when she and her husband, Mike, bought the business in July 2016. Since then, Fifer has put her own stamp on the 209 Oak St. establishment. Paintings by Fifer and her daughter, Tiger Brooke, adorn the shop, lending a personal touch. The store’s clothing displays are often themed around a particular color, such as rose red and sky blue. “This is more of a project of


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love and entertainment and fun than it is work,” Fifer said of her experience. The colorful women’s clothing shop specializes in a variety American made clothing brands, from flashy to comfortable. One line is aptly named “Comfy,” and the store supports a variety of sizes. “We adhere to comfort,” Fifer noted. The store also sells an array of fashion accessories. Linda and Mike moved from Pennsylvania to Oregon about 49 years ago. She worked for more than two decades as floral manager at Safeway before retiring. She still makes flower arrangements from time to time — but now she does it for enjoyment instead of a duty of employment.

Similarly, her ownership at Dream Street allows her to work at the store, but not 100 percent of the time, she said. At its helm, Dream Street enjoys the same manager from previous ownership, Brenda Roark, who has been with the store about 19 years. Fifer and Roark — and occasionally Fifer’s daughter and a volunteering family friend — make up the team at the small shop. Family plays an important role at the shop. Fifer said that her daughter visits and gives an artistic touch, plying her background in costume design, sewing and art. Mike helps out as “fixer” and handyman, providing technical solutions at the building. When asked about obstacles re-


lated to her job, Fifer described finding parking for customers as a concern, as well as this year’s long winter, which impacted downtown businesses. Fifer noted that a business behind Dream Street shares an entry and ties nicely with the boutique. That locale is HiLights Salon and Day Spa, also under new owner-

ship, by Tammy Pauley. Since embarking on ownership at Dream Street, Fifer has enjoyed her experience. She likes the social side, interacting with the public and helping “people finding something to wear that will make them feel better. “It’s been a fun adventure,” she said.

Did you miss out on this year’s Women in Business? Don’t procrastinate, call today to reserve space in the 2018 edition. 541-386-1234 • Hood River News

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duckwall snyder Duckwall Fruit By Ben Mitchell

When Sara Duckwall Snyder was a teenager, she looked forward to getting out of the Hood River Valley and seeing more of the country, but in her heart of hearts, she knew she would always be back. “At age 18, nothing was special about this place,” she says, “but at 30, and gaining different perspectives, there’s a lot that’s special.” Snyder is now the senior accountant at the family business, Duckwall Fruit, a prominent pear packing house in Odell that has been family-owned and operated since 1919. Snyder is the granddaughter of founder John Duckwall and is the daughter of company president Fred Duckwall. She has been the senior accountant at Duckwall Fruit for the past few years. Snyder was born and raised in Hood River, graduating from Hood River Valley High School in 1997. She lives in Hood River with her husband, Nelson, who works for an architectural sheet metal company in Portland. They have two kids: Nora, 9, and Davin, 8, who attend May Street Elementary School, as well as a nine-year-old terrier mix named Nana. Growing up in the Gorge, Snyder spent summers working at the family business, answering phones, doing front office work, and anything else that needed to be done. It wasn’t all work, though. “Duckwall has always been home; I grew up here. My dad would come in and work and my brother (Nathan, who also works at the company, serving as assistant production manager) and I would have free range of the plant, roller skate through the WOMEN IN BUSINESS

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cold rooms that didn’t have fruit in them anymore — of course, you can’t do that nowadays, but it’s always felt like home,” she remembers. Like other high school seniors, though, Snyder was ready for a change after graduation, moving to Tacoma, Wash., where she attended University of Puget Sound, earning a Bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in administration and a minor in economics. One of Snyder’s very first jobs didn’t have much to do with her degree: writing for, a website that covered the sport of paintball. “Out of college, I wasn’t sure what to do yet, and there was an ad in the paper that said, ‘Love sports? Love people? Enjoy fun?’ or something to that nature, and I was like, ‘Well, I enjoy all those things,’ but it didn’t say

anything about paintball, so I called them and got an interview,” she says. “I’ve always enjoyed writing,” she adds. “It’s always been kind of my outlet, even here (at Duckwall), you’ll find things typically that are written, are by me, just because I enjoy it.” It wasn’t Snyder’s only foray into paintball media — she also wrote for a paintball magazine in Chicago called P8nt, a gig she got while attending DePaul University, where she earned a Master’s in elementary education. In addition, she taught first grade while in grad school. “I’ve always wanted additional education. I love learning,” she explains regarding her decision to get her Master’s. After grad school, Snyder moved back to the Northwest, settling in Portland, where she ran an early learning center. Eventually,

though, she felt the Gorge calling her home. She moved back in 2009. “I think it was time; we wanted to raise our kids here and I felt a place would probably open up soon for me to come back to the family business,” she says. Snyder started working at Duckwall a day or two a week on project work, such as helping implement a payroll system change and scanning technology at the plant that tracks all the company’s bins, pallets, and boxes. Eventually, she transitioned to full time, taking over for another family member, the late Margaret Weathers, who retired in 2013 after 46 years with the company. As senior accountant, Snyder spends a lot of her time cost accounting and figuring out the charges for the growers that make up

the packing house’s fruit pools. She also does IT work and other assorted duties as they come up. She emphasizes that she is just “one small cog in the wheel of wonderful women and men” who help make the company work, with her noting that “every position is so vital for us to run.” While others may balk at the idea of working with family members, Snyder says it’s one of the best things about her job. “The thing I enjoy most is working for my dad. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for a better person to lead a company,” she says. “He is an incredible mentor. He leads with thoughtfulness, with such integrity, and kindness, and he cares truly about everyone who works here — all 500-plus employees… I hope one day I can be half the leader he is.”


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Show what you know. And start really communicating with your patients and clients. Dr. Genevieve Long (503) 734-6853


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Suzanne baumhackl Solstice Wood Fire Café By Kirby Neumann-Rea

All seasons feed the passions of food and community for Suzanne Wilson Baumhackl of Solstice Wood Fired Pizza Café. The Baumhackls arrived in Hood River in 2005 and have forged a prominent place in the local restaurant scene. They took over the former Red Fish Blue Fish gallery in Bingen in late 2006 and opened the café in February 2007. The restaurant’s popularity, fueled largely by the mobile pizza ovens, led to the move in 2010 to the newly-built Port of Hood River building they now call home. The restaurant leased the former Knead bakery in downtown Hood River for its catering kitchen two years ago, and is looking at other ways to expand, according to Suzanne. They had lived in San Francisco, Suzanne working in finance and Aaron for an educational non-profit that got inner-city kids out into the woods For Suzanne, as a young woman, a formative experience was when her grandfather took her to eat at a fine restaurant in Boston and said, “order anything;” she chose lobster, finding it a near-religious experience. She began to search out culinary experiences, filling binders with restaurant business cards. (She shed the binder few years back in a “purging” phase, a decision she now regrets.) Suzanne and Aaron met in San Francisco, and discovered a mutual love of restaurants. Her first date with Aaron was at Aujour’d’hui, a French restaurant, and while the veal was a bit exotic for her tastes, she sensed that Aaron was the one. At that point in her life, however, she had decided she would become a mother, but on her own. She told Aaron of this, and he said, “Well, keep me in the running.” His acceptance intrigued her and empowered her, and taught her “the power of speaking aloud your strongest desire. When you do it puts that into motion.” They would marry in 2004 and take a belated honeymoon a few years later, Suzanne pregnant with Jenner, driving north through Oregon in search of a new home. They saw Ashland, Eugene, Bend, Portland and other places, but decided Hood River was the ideal destination. The couple now has two sons: Jenner, 11, and Rune, 8. “We knew one person in Hood River, Lindsay Betts,” who was then owner of South Bank Kitchen (where Boda’s Kitchen is now). Betts hired Aaron to run her kitchen, while WOMEN IN BUSINESS

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Suzanne continued doing financial consulting part-time. “We were itching to start our own business,” she said and found the old gallery space in Bingen. Solstice enjoyed its 10th anniversary in March, seeing steady growth from Suzanne and Aaron and a few family members, to 105 employees, including seasonal, between the restaurant and the growing catering business — a full-time equivalent of nearly 50 workers. “Our goal all along: to get other people involved and invested,” she said. She has helped out in a variety of volunteer roles, including Columbia Gorge Peace Village, from its start 11 years ago. She retired from finance this year, and is able to devote all her working hours to the restaurant.

“Our vision is to connect ingredients close to the source and buy them from people who operate their business with the same intention, and to personally connect to the community. We have a reverence to this place and to the earth, and people who live here, and want to do the best possible job we can.” (Solstice’s first employee was Ben Saur, who owns Saur Farming in Hood River. Saur came to the Baumhackls wanting to learn how to make bread dough in the traditional way. Saur Farming is one provider of local produce for Solstice.) “It’s important to us to get as many people into the payroll as we can,” she said. “We lose money in the winter, in order to keep people employed. That is built into our business model.”

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'LVFRYHU<RXU$GYHQWXUHÂŤ  Experience Ours! We invite you to visit the sunny side of the Gorge in Klickitat County. The Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce manages the Visitor Center located in the Park & Ride at 1 Heritage Plaza, White Salmon, WA. Stop in and find out what there is to do, see and taste in this area. Maps, guides and plentiful information resources available for our guests. Some highlights of your visit may include scenic hikes or drives, wine tasting, river rafting, cross country skiing, amazing museums and galleries, fishing, observing the stars, farmers markets, alpaca farms, bird watching, antique stores, microbreweries, historic sites, community events and so much more!


Darlisa Black, Diane Ferguson, Linda Murray, Tammara Tippel, Cindy Park We welcome you to become a Mt. Adams Chamber member and let us help to promote and grow your business. Our active networking events are an excellent opportunity to showcase what you do. Email us at / Visit our website at / Call us at 509-493-3630

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Hood River Stationers

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Staci L. McCarthy, Attorney Licensed in OR, WA and CA Family Law and Civil Litigation

702 Columbia St. Hood River OR 97031 541-436-4660 541-436-4661(fax)

Hwy 14 • Bingen, WA • 493-2636, Ext. 18 55

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Bisnett is an independent insurance agency representing multiple carriers

Lanene Reins 541-386-1161 Ext. 302

• Auto • Home • Business • Agriculture

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Women in Business 2017  
Women in Business 2017  

Profiles on Women in Business in Hood River, Oregon.