November 2019 Business Connections

Page 1



Business Connection

Volume 11, Issue 11

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce

Mortuary science can be an often overlooked career choice for students we learned on our tour through the crematory at Longview Memorial Park Funeral Home for our October Business After Hours event. See more photos on page 31.

Chamber CEO’s Message By Bill Marcum

Career Expo Brings Future Workforce, Business Together Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Team Bill Marcum, CEO Amy Hallock Project Manager Pam Fierst Office Manager Joelle Wilson Social Media Services

Kelso Longview Business Connection is published monthly by the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Road • Kelso, WA 98626 • 360-423-8400 To advertise, call Bill Marcum, 360-423-8400 or email bmarcum@ Ad Deadline: 20th of each month


he Cowlitz and Wahkiakum County Career Expo is Nov. 14 at the Cowlitz County Conference Center. What is it? And, what is the goal?

There are several reasons for a Career Expo, but the main reason is to educate our youth. By the end of a student’s eighth-grade year they are asked to start thinking about a career pathway choice. We asked ourselves, how could a student make such a big decision with so little knowledge of the options available to them, especially the options local businesses offer? Then we started thinking–if we could give students three consecutive years, eighth, ninth and 10th grade, to attend a countywide Career Expo, by the time they became juniors and seniors they should have a solid idea of what jobs or careers are available right here in our area. This idea got started last year when I had the chance to speak to graduating seniors at a local high school. I asked, how many students would be interested in a job at PeaceHealth, our county’s largest employer? To my amazement out of 125 kids, five raised their hand. Those five kids wanted to be doctors or nurses. I asked some of the kids sitting next to those five kids why they didn’t raise their hands? The response was as I expected, “Well, I don’t want to be a doctor or a nurse. I want to work on computers, be a technology

specialist or a security officer.” I told them of the 1,600 jobs at PeaceHealth about 700 are healthcare providers; the other 900 are jobs in technology and security. The security department, I said, probably has close to 20 people working in it. One young man asked kind of angrily, “How would we know that?” Launching a Solution It was a gut punch I knew needed to be addressed. The Chamber has the duty to help our businesses find qualified talent, but if the talent does not even know the jobs exist we have a serious problem. That is why the Chamber started the website cowltizbec. com to get businesses signed up to participate in the education process. Businesses have signed up to send speakers into classrooms, host tours of their facilities, provide job shadow opportunities for students, judge DECA competition and provide internships. That was the first step. The second step is to do more regional events like the Career Expo. We needed to streamline the number of career expos and job fairs happening in our area so those on the front lines could be more efficient with their time and reach a larger number of our local students. Jill Diehl, Longview schools, and Melissa Boudreau, Kelso schools, are part of the Chamber Education Foundation. They For more Career Expo, see page 3

in Cowlitz County


current openings.


f 3.18 is the average GPA of LCC transfer students attending Washington public universities

Did You


f 81% of LCC Professional-Technical Graduates are employed in less than one year

Millwright, Electrician, Pipefitter, Instrumentation, KNOW Production, and other positions E M P L O Y E R S | LTHANK O C A L S T UYOU. DENTS ? Thank you for allowing us the privilege of doing f Associate degree holders earn 19% more on average than high school graduates

f Over $18 million in Financial Aid awarded in 2013-14 f Over $500,000 in LCC scholarships available

business in the Kelso-Longview area.

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We’re all about Student Success!


Growing Jobs. Expanding Trade.

2013 report from the Boston Consulting Group and the Washington Roundtable on jobs in Washington State.

“The Advising and Nursing staff has helped with my self-esteem and confidence and I believe that I am capable of achieving anything, which I wasn’t 100% sure about when I started this journey. My success has everything to do with coming to Lower Columbia College and being accepted, for who I am. I know I am in charge of my future.”

The LCC Student Success Fund helps students who are most at risk for abandoning their higher education goals due to financial hardship. The fund helps with:

Dan mtvcontracting. We have room for 80 local businesses to Frazier inform our 8th, 9th360-749-3107 and 10th graders from every school • Tuition not covered by other aid

Angela Gates, recipient of the 2015 Transforming Lives Award

• Textbook expenses • Testing Fees

Licensed Bonded MOUNTVC853D6 district in Cowlitz County on what you do, what careers&are available in your organization and COLUMBIA COLLEGEstudents that they can be what education is needed to be hired into those jobs.LOWER Show our local s heating and cooling systems provide successful in our own region! Help educate our kids for futureChoice! employment and ensure your Thetheir Smart nd comfort and saves you up to 50% on continued growth and success. ctric heating bill. With an $800 rebate from • Emergency childcare expenses • Emergency transportation

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Make a difference with your corporate support or individual donation to the LCC Foundation’s Student Success Fund.

To support the Student Success Fund contact

1600 Maple Street, Longview, WA 98632 PUD, installing a ductless heat pump has een this easy and affordable.

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Cowlitz County Conference Center Longview, WA

Over 1000 local students!

Career Expo, continued from page 1 were super supportive when it came to tackling this issue. They welcome the input and professional knowledge our business people have in our area. They grabbed a hold of a countywide Career Expo and, with the help of Educational Service District 112; they contacted all the Cowlitz and Wahkiakum county school districts and got all the eight, ninth and 10th-grade teachers to participate. They have done an amazing job, wow! We have more than 2,500 kids coming on Nov. 14.

Education & Training Government & Public Administration Hospitality & Tourism Law Public Safety Corrections & Security

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Health Science & Medical

Architecture & Construction Manufacturing Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Scientific Research Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

Agriculture, Food Production & Natural Resources

Getting Businesses To Step Up The next step is getting businesses signed up to attend. The ESD 112 and the Southwest Washington STEM Network like the idea so much they agreed to cover the cost for this first year to see how we do and the lessons we can learn. That said, there is no cost for a business to attend other than employee cost to work the table, educating the students.

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Visual/Performing Arts  Audio/Video Technology  Communications 

As a Chamber, we’ve been out recruiting businesses. My goal was to have 80 businesses attend. As of Oct. 29 when I wrote this column we were a bit more than 75 percent there with 61 businesses ready to reach out to those 2,500 students. The last day to register is Nov. 6. The ESD 112 and the school districts have prepared a passport for each student. The passport works like a roadmap for students providing them space to write questions and comments, noting career pathways and offering a place for each employee to initial off as students stop by a table to learn about a business. It is NOT about just signing a student’s passport; it is about educating these students on the careers available at your business and the education necessary to qualify for those careers. Fine-tuning the Details Each student will have a name badge and on that name badge will be a colored circle, maybe two circles. The circles indicate a student’s interest in following the pathways established by Washington state schools (see photo on this page). Each business will receive colored pathway circles to place on their banner identifying them with a career that matches the pathwaya. The system will help students walking through the expo easily identify businesses who offer jobs/careers in their future area of interest. Our hope is students will match the colored circle on their name badge with the colored circle of a business and engage with the business about those opportunities within the business that are of interest to the student. The Expo kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and runs until 1:30 p.m. I want to say again with more than 2,500 students bused in to attend we believe this is a win-win for all involved. If you are interested in registering please call 360-423-8400, and get ready for a very busy, but rewarding four hours. Keep this in mind... 10,000 baby boomers retire every day. Locally some of our companies will lose up to 70 percent of their workforce over the next 10 years, meaning those eighth, ninth, and 10th graders will be in their early to mid-20s looking to fill those jobs.

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Business Management & Administration Finance Information Technology Marketing Retail Sales & Service

Program is Bigger Than the Chamber and Reaches Well Into the Future Vickei Hrdina – Director of STEM Initiatives, Southwest

Washington STEM Network and LASER Teaching and Learning, answers our questions on the STEM Network and Career Fair What is the Cowlitz County STEM Network? The Cowlitz/Wahkiakum STEM Network is a regional subgroup of the Southwest Washington STEM and Career Connected Learning Network. The Network draws together representatives from K-12 education, workforce development, business, industry and higher ed to develop and scale opportunities for students to engage in career-related learning and develop STEM-relevant skills. Together, our goal is to find ways for every student to experience multiple career pathways beginning in kindergarten and continuing throughout their career that lead to family-sustaining jobs. What is its role in the Career Expo? For schools, the Network provides resources to prepare students to have authentic conversations with employers before they come to the Career Expo. For businesses, the Network provides guidance and tools to best prepare for interacting with students and communicating opportunities. We also provide financial and marketing support and will share the event widely through our local and state communication structures. How do you anticipate the Expo will benefit students? The goal of the Career Expo is to open student’s eyes to the possibilities for career pathways here in the region and beyond, and give them a sense of hope and a vision for their future. November 2019 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 3

Cowlitz Economic Development Council By Ted Sprague CEO

Numbers Tell Us Where We Are and Where We May Be Headed

As you can imagine, I receive many interesting articles on the state of the economy, trends, outlooks and the like, and from time to time, it makes sense to share consensus data on where we are now and where we are headed in the future nationally. Much of the information in this article is taken from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which recently held its annual Automotive Outlook Symposium (AOS). The event brought together more than 60 economists and analysts from business, academia and government. The growth rate of industrial output was a very strong 4.0 percent in 2018, partly reflecting the effects of federal tax reform. However, the support from tax reform appears to have waned, as the annualized growth rate of industrial production was–3.5 percent over the first five months of this year. The housing sector continued to modestly improve in 2018. Housing starts went up from 1.21 million units in 2017 to 1.25 million units in 2018—a gain of 3.3 percent. Housing starts eased in 2019, to an annualized rate of 1.24 million units over the first five months of the year. This pace falls short of the nearly 1.4 million annual housing starts that the U.S. averaged during the 1990s. The unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent in May 2019—below prominent estimates of the natural rate of unemployment (i.e., the rate that would prevail in an economy making full use of its productive resources). The economy added 19.0 million jobs between

February 2010 and May 2018, and strong gains continued—over 2.3 million additional jobs were added over the 12 months ending in May 2019. Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), had increased slightly from a reading of 2.1 percent in 2017 to 2.2 percent in 2018. But by May 2019, the year-over-year rate of inflation had eased to 1.8 percent. According to this year’s AOS consensus forecast, the economy is expected to grow at a solid but moderating pace in 2019 and 2020: The growth rate of real gross domestic product is predicted to be 2.3 percent in 2019 and 1.9 percent in 2020. The unemployment rate is anticipated to remain below 4 percent through the end of 2020. Inflation, as measured by the CPI, is projected to decrease from a rate of 2.2 percent in 2018 to 1.6 percent in 2019 and then edge up to 1.8 percent in 2020. The housing sector is predicted to improve over the forecast horizon. Real residential investment is anticipated to expand by 0.5 percent in 2019 and then by 1.9 percent in 2020. Housing starts are expected to decrease to 1.21 million units in 2019, but then increase to 1.24 million units in 2020—still below what is viewed as their long-term trend. The final thing to keep in mind is all of these trends and predictions can change rapidly in our ever increasingly global economy.

Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Frank Panarra, President

Ken Botero Longview City Council

Bruce Pollock Bicoastal Media

Bianca Lemmons, President Elect Cowlitz County Title

Bob Crisman Gallery of Diamonds

Tom Rozwod NORPAC

Chris Roewe, Vice President Woodford Commercial Real Estate

Rich Gushman Gibbs & Olson

Ted Sprague Cowlitz Economic Development Council

Neil Zick, Treasurer Twin City Bank

Marlene Johanson Red Canoe Credit Union

Lisa Straughan Express Employment Professionals

Michael Claxton, Legal Counsel

Wendy Kosloski Teague's Interiors

Michael Vorse Minuteman Press

Foster Farms

Walstead Mertsching

Nick Lemiere, Executive Board Edward Jones

Nancy Malone Mayor of Kelso Cherelle Montanye St. John/PeaceHealth

4 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2019

Dennis Weber Cowlitz County Commissioner


Did you know the Port, Schools & Businesses educate students on career opportunities? Port businesses interested in exploring internships or project work for students are encouraged to connect with the Kalama School District. Did you know that businesses at the Port of Kalama employ more than 1,200 people? When you drive by the Port you may not see a lot of people or corporate neon signs, but Port of Kalama businesses combine to create a formidable employment community in Cowlitz County. From family-owned ventures to Fortune 500 companies, there are over 30 industries conducting global business and commerce including import/export, manufacturing, marketing, welding and fabrication, steel manufacturing, recycling, trucking and myriad other commercial and industrial enterprises. They choose Kalama for its ideal location in the heart of the Pacific Northwest and proximity to highway, railroad and the Columbia River. The annual Kalama Career Fair offers students a program to learn about the companies in Kalama and throughout Cowlitz County, the wide range of careers available here, the skill sets required, and the pathway to obtaining those jobs. The event, which is organized like a trade show with booths and spokespeople, invites local businesses to participate and share tips on what students should be thinking about and learning in order to secure their job and career path. Now, as an extension of that career learning, the Port of Kalama is working with the faculty of Kalama Schools to engage the business community in quality internships for students. The key is offering real world experience and activities that will further the career education for Kalama high school students. Local businesses interested in exploring on-the-job opportunities and internships for students, should call 360-673-5212 or email Cory Torppa, Career and Technical Education Director at the Kalama School District, “We have a strong commitment to our community—we exist to create economic opportunity for our region, now and into the future,” says Mark Wilson, executive director at the Port of Kalama and a collaborative partner of the Kalama Career Fair. “It is important for us to help create a balanced opportunity for students to learn about a range of careers and business opportunities— we are encouraging any Port businesses who may have jobs or projects for local interns to offer our kids an invaluable learning opportunity.”

In The News

Rural jobs outlook falling behind while urban areas thrive

Job growth in urban areas was 1.5 percent from 2012-2016, and 0.8 percent in rural areas for the same time frame, according to the state Employment Security Department.

Association of Washington Business’ (AWB) first Rural Jobs Outlook found a significant portion of Washington’s economy falling behind, while urban areas thrive.

Median home prices in urban Washington averaged about $106,000 more than rural areas in 2016.

To address this challenge, AWB hosted two Rural Jobs Summits in 2017 to convene employers, state lawmakers, chambers of commerce, ports and others to work on solutions.

Job growth in rural areas is about half compared to urban areas, median home prices are lower, and unemployment is higher. Yet the health of Washington’s rural economy remains important to the state overall, which includes about a quarter of all jobs statewide. The report can be accessed here on AWB’s website at rural_jobs_outlook “Rural Washington is the foundation for many employers and its health is critical to the overall health of our state economy,” AWB President Kris Johnson says. “Agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and many family businesses create jobs and pay taxes that support public schools, law enforcement and other services across the state. Our rural communities face challenges, but we believe they are worth investing in.”

The summits produced five top concerns, including: •

Workforce. Skilled workers are often hard to recruit and retain in rural areas

Tax fairness. Manufacturing needs a tax system that applies incentives fairly

Regulatory reform. Reforming the regulatory climate is needed to spur economic development in the rural areas

Infrastructure. Expanding and maintaining infrastructure in rural areas is critically lacking

Broadband. There is a significant gap in reliable and accessible broadband in rural infrastructure across the state

Report highlights include: •

The urban-rural economic divide has grown more pronounced since the Great Recession.

Washington’s rural areas lag behind urban centers in area like unemployment, job growth, median wages and home prices.

To learn more about AWB’s rural jobs work, please visit rural-jobs/.

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ARTRAGEOUS Art and Music Gone Wild! Sunday, November 10th 2:00 p.m.

IMAGINE an artist creating a masterpiece before your eyes in mere moments. Accompanied by captivating vocals, intricate choreography and exciting audience interaction—Artrageous takes you on a unique visual journey packed with wild inspiration, creativity and fun! This troupe of artists, musicians, singers and dancers pay tribute to a variety of art forms, pop icons and musical genres culminating in a gallery of fabulous finished paintings. The result? A one of a kind crossover experience! ARTRAGEOUS is an interactive art and music extravaganza unlike anything you have ever experienced. Be prepared to be a part of the show! Live Music, Live Art, over-the-top family fun! Tickets $30-$40, Students $20. Dorothy Gevers-Wojtowych

DESIGNATED RECIPIENT: NORTHLAKE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. $2 of each ARTRAGEOUS ticket sold will help fund the CISPUS Outdoor Learning Center Field trip for 4th & 5th graders.


The 40th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition is BACK! 26 Days, 22 Shows, 18 Venues, 32 comedians from the U.S., Canada, UK, and Japan. It’s America’s biggest touring comedy festival and you’re a part of it. *Ages 18 and up, please. Tickets $35.

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The Executive Corner By Frank McShane Square Peg Consulting

Side-Stepping the Problem Employee

This may come as a surprise, but unfortunately not all employees are fully engaged and contributing value to the bottom line and company culture. While instances of misfit employees are not unusual, dealing with these situations quickly and effectively can be a challenge.

Google Images

What are the Symptoms? There are a number of symptoms that there is a problem employee in your organization: • Unusual employee turnover in an area or department • Customer service or quality problems increasing • Tardiness or absenteeism increasing in a specific area While indicative, these symptoms often show up late when damage to performance and morale has already been done. The most proactive symptom that I have seen is when people in a department, process, or organization begin to try and work around someone. They go outside of the normal process to get things done, sometimes making excuses for the problem employee – or just suffering in silence. When you see this symptom, it is time to act.

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Why are these issues not addressed? The reasons for not addressing a problem employee situation generally fall into one of three categories: • Culture – the culture of the company is very forgiving and keeps giving people the benefit of the doubt beyond reasonable chances. • Avoidance – leadership doesn’t want to have the difficult conversations or want the short-term hassle of having to replace someone, particularly if they are a high dollar contributor. An example would be a high earning salesperson who is toxic with their co-workers. • Accountability – leadership does not hold people accountable for their results or their behavioral impact. What are the costs of side-stepping? The obvious cost of tolerating poor performance is the financial impact to the company – lost sales, quality issues, re-work, and customer issues. The less obvious cost, but even more expensive in the long run, is the damaged morale and related productivity of good employees who see negative results or behavior go unaddressed. In short, you get what you tolerate. What are your options? As leaders, you have a couple of options regarding how to deal with a disruptive employee: 1. Wait to see if the problem gets resolved, hoping that peer pressure or another supervisor will make a difference. My experience here is that the situation does not get better by itself – it usually gets worse. Damage to morale and productivity continues and may get past the point of no return. 2. Address the negative results or behavior as soon as you see people starting to adjust around the person. This should start with a frank one-on-one discussion with very specific observations of the results or behavior that you have observed. Layout specific expectations for what changes you want to see and a clear timeline. This would be followed up by observation, checking with other employees, and a scheduled review session to gauge progress. If progress has been made, great! That is the time to acknowledge the effort and reinforce your expectations. If no improvement has occurred, then it is time to make a change. Your talented employees will thank you with increased engagement and productivity. Frank McShane is president of Square Peg Consulting. For questions or comments, please contact him at or 360-562-1077.

Calendar Wednesday November 6 – 7:30-9am Education Foundation Goodwill November 6 – Noon Government Affairs Committee

Lower Columbia College By Chris Bailey President

Earn a Bachelor of Applied Science in Teacher Education at LCC This fall, in its 85th year, Lower Columbia College (LCC) initiated its first baccalaureate

Guests: Kurt Sacha, Andrew Hamilton

degree, Bachelor of Applied Science, Teacher

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Education (BAS-TE). Offering both certification and non-certification options, this pro-


gram was created in response to huge local

November 7 – 7:30-8:30am

demand for elementary, pre-kindergarten and

Ambassadors Meeting Columbia Bank Monday

early childhood education teachers.

of application and transfer of credits. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to two of the initial cohort of 23 students. Both students expressed that the pathway to being a teacher would not have been open to them except through this local program. Built for the adult learner, the program has both on-line

The program’s development was partially the result of the “40 for 2020” visioning events held

November 11 – Noon

a few years ago. The educators at the event said

Chamber Executive Board

that there was a critical need to recruit and re-

Mill City Grill

tain teachers, particularly at the elementary level. Given LCC’s state and national reputation


for its early childhood education programs,

November 12 – 5:30-7:30pm

a teacher education program (preschool-8th

Business After Hours

grade) seemed like the best option for LCC’s

Stewart Title

have a more seamless transfer at LCC in terms

first bachelor’s degree.

and in-class options. It allows people to balance school, work and family commitments. One member of the fall cohort, Jade Jennings, put it this way: “LCC has opened a door for students like myself, who did not think their dream of becoming a teacher was possible. Without this program, I would have almost undoubtedly had to put my dream of continuing my education on hold... Commuting to any university was just out of

The response from the area school districts has

the question. Many people like me, because

November 19 – Noon

been amazing. All of our local districts submit-

of family and work obligations cannot travel

Chamber Board Meeting

ted letters of support during the lengthy degree

a distance to pursue a four year degree. This

Mill City Grill

approval process. Each district has also com-

new degree program will provide a qualified


mitted to provide the student teacher opportu-

and sustainable workforce for our local schools


nities necessary for the degree. In return, we are

from local people who are firmly planted in

November 22 – TBD

developing future teachers who will likely want

our community. It will improve our commu-

to live and work in this community.

nity and culture from the ground up with ex-

Quarterly Membership Lunch TBA Wednesday-Thursday

The BAS-TE program also has several significant benefits for the students. Our baccalaureate

November 27-November 28

tuition is significantly cheaper than most other

Chamber Office Closed

institutions. Students also can save on expenses

Thanksgiving Holiday

by studying closer to home. The participants will get experience and exposure to potential employers in the local area. Students can also

Every Wednesday Chamber Connections KEDO/1400 AM or 99.1 FM 3-4pm Stream live at

choose to be certified in elementary education or choose the non-certified option and work in early childhood programs like Head Start. Finally, many of our students are already comfortable with Lower Columbia College and will

ponential possibilities. Local teachers for local students.” The program will reside in the Lower Columbia Regional University Center, housed on the LCC campus. At the center, more than 80 baccalaureate, masters and doctoral programs are currently offered in conjunction with several university partnerships. Lower Columbia College is also currently exploring another potential Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Organizational Leadership. LCC Proud!

November 2019 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 9

City of Kelso

City of Longview

By Councilman David Futcher

By City Councilman Ken Botero

Voting in local elections counts The first Tuesday of November is always a big day. Not only is there an ever-entertaining Kelso City Council meeting that night, but also we all get the opportunity to participate in the political process by casting a ballot. Sure, it may not be the same kind of event it once was when we had to physically get to the polling location, but having the opportunity to effect change in our government is important. In an “odd-year” election like this one, some voters figure if there’s no presidential race, there’s no reason to vote. I disagree. It’s great to vote for the president, but you’re one of millions when you do that. And frankly, you probably all know up front which way the state is going before the night arrives. But when it comes to the local races like we have to consider this year, your vote makes a much more significant difference.

Giving thanks for our community Thanksgiving is a time to join family, friends and our communities and give thanks for the blessings and freedoms we enjoy everyday. I, as well as our community leaders, citizens of Longview, and our Longview city staff, are all grateful for an awesome community and the positive direction we are taking in becoming a quality of place. At times things might get heated, but eventually we, as a community, make things better. The awesome strength of our community comes from you our

Not only is local politics where “the rubber meets the road” in the

citizens’, business leaders and staff ’s positive vision. I am grateful

political system, but local politics is much more likely to touch you

for ALL of our citizens in Longview and look forward to the posi-

on a day-to-day basis. The decisions you make and the people you vote for locally may help determine how comfortable your daily commute is, and whether you’re going to get a ticket from a camera along the way. You can help shape the safety of your community, and determine if that library is going to be able to run another year. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir, but please take a minute to make sure you get your ballot submitted in time. You do make a difference.

tive feeling of home in our community. In past posts I have always given the positive view of our quality community with all of our assets. If we stop to take a deep breath and realize how fortunate we really are, WE can stand proud and be thankful for our many blessings and friendships. There comes a time when we need to put politics aside and realize how special we all are, and as we celebrate a special Thanksgiving day, don’t forget to reach out to those in our community who may be less fortunate, our giving spirit and care is what makes Longview that quality of place.

Residential & Commercial

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, our businesses, and citizens as a member of the Longview City Council.

10 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2019


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Business Toolbox By Jerry D. Petrick Certified Business Adviser

Thinking About Buying Or Selling A Business?

On a regular basis I work with buyers and sellers of businesses. In this article, I thought I would walk you through some considerations from my point-of-view when helping you in buying/selling a business. As you read this, think about it as if you were in the position to buy or sell a/your business. The business purchase or sale situation presents an opportunity to educate the client to the reality of the situation. Among the issues I seek to assess and assist with are: • Seller motivation and Goals • Buyer capability and motivation • Education on the business buy/sell process SELLER MOTIVATION AND GOALS For the seller, I want to know, “Why you are selling?” and we will almost always have to dig beyond the initial reasons. Many times it is an act of desperation or surrender rather than a valid exit strategy. A rule of thumb in the M&A (mergers and acquisitions) game is that sellers decide to sell two years AFTER they should have.

PACKAGING A BUSINESS FOR SALE The initial sales material includes a description of the business and a summary of assets included by category and sales and profit figures for the past three years. It should also include a mention of added value intangibles like leases, patents and contracts, again, without the details. Expense details and customer lists should never be disclosed at this point because they can be very damaging in the hands of a competitor and encourage a potential buyer to become one. “When can I talk to the employees?” is a question buyers will ask and sellers should consider long before they do. It is part of that packaging for sale. Identifying key personnel and making them part of the transition plan MUST be done before the business can be marketed. A seller may be hesitant to put an asking price in the initial sales material for fear of precluding a higher offer but the buyer of anything wants to know the price early on. There is nothing wrong with the strategy of putting the asking price at the high end, leaving room to negotiate, but asking much more will shut out any potential buyer with the business savvy necessary to operate the business.

In small business, there is a huge difference between exit and escape, the latter being almost always at a loss. Businesses without revenues are generally only worth break-up value.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) advisers cannot act as agents and most brokers will not handle the smallest of business deals. Often the most likely buyers already have a relationship with the business–stakeholders like employees, competitors, customers and suppliers.



The private sale of any business, regardless of size, follows a certain procedure. People think they can streamline the process for a very small business sale transaction and cut right to the sale. That is very dangerous.

Buyers should also be alerted to seller “tricks” that appear to add to valuation but have a cost after the sale. Deferring maintenance or capitalizing it instead of expensing, buying sales by sacrificing margins, infusing owner cash and cutting necessary staff or owner salary below market are common tricks. Many of these do not show until due diligence–by historical comparison or measure against industry standards.

The steps to successful business buy/sell are: 1. Seller chooses sale as exit strategy 2. Seller packages and markets business 3. Buyer does initial evaluation 4. Buyer submits conditional offer 5. Negotiation and acceptance 6. Due Diligence 7. Final negotiation 8. Execution of Purchase and Sale Agreement 9. Transition of ownership and operations Skipping any of these essential processes may result in a sale, but it will always cause problems after the sale, likely for both parties. The first three steps involve valuation of the business. First and foremost, a valuation provides a reality check on the feasibility of a purchase or sale so the overly optimistic buyer or seller is stopped before a lot of time and resources are wasted. 12 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2019

THE OFFER NOTE: The following is not a substitute for competent legal and/or accounting advice. The advice of these professionals should be sought prior to taking any actions in these areas. No contract is legally enforceable without an offer and acceptance. The buyer’s offer is the first step to the deal to transfer the business. Unfortunately, there are many wrong ways to make the offer. A buyer should never offer to buy “the business” without defining what that is. Otherwise it is perfectly legal for the seller to remove any assets and claim they were not included in the deal. The buyer may not have had access to the asset records or depreciation schedule before making an offer. The fact that the seller refused to provide them until an offer is made is not a red flag. The offer must also be conditional to protect the buyer’s interest. For more Petrick, see page 13

Petrick, continued from page 12 Common conditions include: • The purchase price stated above will be allocated as follows: Land $xxx–cannot be depreciated so buyer would want a lower valuation. The seller may feel opposite as the increase over basis is a capital gain at lower tax rates than ordinary income Buildings $xxx–depreciated over 29 years from original build date. Generally the buyer will depreciate over the remainder, probably with a different basis. A transfer price over the seller’s basis is a recapture of depreciation, taxed as ordinary income to seller. Equipment $xxx–generally depreciated in five to 10 years from in-service date. Generally the buyer will depreciate over the remainder, probably with a different basis. Allocation over seller’s basis is a recapture of depreciation, taxed as ordinary income to seller. Inventory $xxx–expensed as it is sold. Usually priced below cost, which was a write-off to seller in prior accounting periods, without affecting buyer. Goodwill $xxx–depreciated over 15 years from the transfer so buyer usually wants to minimize this allocation. Allocation over basis is a capital gain to seller, so sellers usually want to maximize goodwill value. This component is often negotiated fiercely. Transition Services (services provided by seller after the sale to facilitate transition to new owner) $xxx–expensed over the time services are rendered, ordinary income to seller. It is common that the payment for the allocation for transition services be done when services are rendered according to terms, not at the closing. Non-Compete Agreement $xxx–expensed over the life of the contract. Like transition services, payment may be deferred. Note: There is quite a bit of leeway in valuing transition services and a non-compete agreement because they are intangibles. Often these components can make up for slack in negotiations over the value of hard assets. Purchase price allocation is often overlooked but has huge long-term implications! • This offer is valid until noon on <date>. If it has not been accepted in writing by seller by that time, it shall be considered withdrawn and have no binding effect. • From the date of seller’s acceptance of this offer, buyer shall have <number> of days to perform due diligence of the business, during which period buyer shall have full access to all business records and assets. Optional: Buyer shall execute a non-disclosure agreement in favor of seller at the commencement of due diligence. • A closing will take place no later than <date>and a purchase and sale agreement, which shall include any of these conditions still applicable, shall be executed at that time. Optional: There may be agreed compensation (penalties) if there is a failure to close. • From the time of acceptance until the closing of the transaction, seller shall not make any but normal and reasonable transactions and may not increase his or her salary and benefits nor sell or remove any assets of the business without buyer’s written approval. • If there is an agent who is due a commission on this transaction, the payment of said commission will be the responsibility of the seller, personally, not through the business. • The offer is subject to verification of financial data previously pro-

vided to buyer and sales at or above $xxx and net income at or above $xxx for the most recent fiscal year. • All business equipment is in serviceable condition (a demand for a seller warrantee for 30-90 days past the closing is common here). • All inventory is saleable. Damaged or obsolete inventory has been written off by seller over the course of business as provided by generally accepted accounting principles. • There are no liens, judgments or pending legal actions against the company. There are no existing violations of code or law. Seller shall be personally responsible for the cost of remedy to any such undisclosed contingencies. • The seller has the legal right to make the transaction. • Seller will discharge any tax liabilities of the business existing at the time of closing, or file a short-term tax return forthwith, post-closing, and personally pay any taxes due. • Seller will provide <specific> transition services after the closing– e.g. training/consulting. • Seller will execute a <specific> non-compete agreement within the purchase and sale agreement. • This offer is subject to buyer securing approval for a bank loan no later than <date> in the amount of $xxx to finance the proposed transaction. This condition may state a maximum interest rate or other terms. This type of condition may also be made for investor capital. For a business entity sale (versus asset sale): • The <legal entity> is in good legal standing and all required filings have been done and fees paid to the date of the closing • The trade debts of the company do not exceed $xxx • All other debts of the company do not exceed $xxx • The trade receivables of the company are at least $xxx and will be assumed by buyer at the closing • Seller is responsible to file short-year income state and federal tax returns for the company and satisfy all income tax obligations as of the date of closing. • Seller shall be personally responsible for the accuracy of all tax filings for the company up to the closing date and shall indemnify buyer for any underpayment of taxes up to the closing date. Once the conditional offer is accepted (in writing), it is binding on both parties, but it provides the buyer with protection. If any situation is subsequently discovered that violates any of the conditions, the buyer can invalidate or amend the offer. If the seller has been forthright and honest and has run the business properly, he or she should not be concerned with any but the condition on financing (bank loan). Before the seller accepts the offer, he or she should do a credit check on the buyer, perhaps running the deal by his own bank. Otherwise, the seller risks wasting time that could be used to get a qualified buyer. DUE DILIGENCE At this point in the business buy/sell process, there should be no holds For more Petrick, see page 14 November 2019 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 13

Petrick, continued from page 13 barred (locked file drawers) by the seller. Restrictions on access to any part that constitutes the entity to be sold are a red flag deceit warning. One possible exception is customer identity. A seller is justified in keeping that confidential until the closing, but the distribution of sales should be revealed. If, for example, one customer is responsible for a third of sales, that bears looking into to assess the likelihood of continuity. One aspect of due diligence that must be addressed, and possibly negotiated, is access to employees. For reasons of continuity and stability the seller may not want employees to know their employer is in play. On the other hand, the buyer may want to be sure key employees will stay with the business. The scope of due diligence follows the size and nature of the transaction. A review of financial records may be sufficient for a deal under $100,000, but transactions over $1 million usually extend to an audit of receivables and payables, environmental surveys, mechanical inspection of production equipment and verification of the value if intangibles like patents and know-how. Due diligence is where deal becomes real and there is no “I did not know” excuse for the buyer afterward. Buyers should be cautioned not to rely too heavily on tax returns. Yes, one is less likely to lie on a tax return than on the internal books, but the purpose of tax returns is only to minimize taxes. Looking at expense detail that does not show on tax returns is the best way to spot deferred maintenance, margin shrink and emerging problem expenses. The buyer should be willing to execute a non-disclosure agreement at the start of due diligence. Refusal to do so should be taken as a bright

red flag to the process. NEGOTIATION While seller financing may make the sale possible, it is usually seller’s last resort. It should be noted that the tax advantage to the seller for installment purchase only exists if the seller is a cash basis taxpayer. Individuals all are, but any business with an inventory must be an accrual basis taxpayer. An accrual basis taxpayer recognizes all of the income and pays all of the tax in the year the transaction takes place, regardless of when payment is made. This adverse tax situation arises when there is an asset sale by an accrual-based business. PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT This is the final step that formalizes the transaction and negotiation should be well over. There is no substitute, no matter how small the deal, of having an attorney experienced in P/S contracts participate. There are “canned” contracts available, but the parties are not likely to understand the long term implications of the clauses without legal counsel. For help buying or selling a business contact your local SBDC adviser for confidential assistance. This article was prepared by Jerry Petrick, MBA, and Senior Certified Business Adviser with the Washington State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Jerry provides no-cost, confidential business advisory services by appointment. He can be reached via email

Business & Corporation Law

Attorney Michael Claxton Licensed in WA & OR

Attorney Brian Brault LL.M. in Taxation

Walstead Mertsching serves businesses of many sizes and in various stages of development. Whether your company is a small sole proprietorship or a large corporation, we can provide assistance and guidance. Utilizing a solutions-oriented approach toward achieving defined objectives, our goal is to allow our clients to successfully execute their business plans. • Formation, Reorganization, and Dissolution • Mergers and Acquisitions • Purchases and Sales • Succession Planning

14 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2019


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Kelso Public Schools

Longview Public Schools

Superintendent Mary Beth Tack

Superintendent Dan Zorn

CTE for the 21st Century

Thank you for the support

The mission of Kelso Public Schools is to prepare every student for living, learning and achieving success as a citizen of our changing world. Earlier this month, we gave the community an opportunity to see an example of how we’re putting that mission into action. Major modernization of Kelso High School’s career and technical education (CTE) areas was part of the bond measure voters passed in February 2018. After months of planning and construction, the upgraded facilities were open for public viewing on Nov. 1.

Over the past year my columns have largely dealt with information about the school bond measure. With this column, I wish to take a moment to tell you about my journey with the bond measure and extend my gratitude to you.

Three million dollars was spent to update welding and fabrication, construction technology, engineering, automotive diagnostics and repair, and culinary arts. These areas are now more closely aligned with industry standards to give our students training and education that will better prepare them for the world of work. Classroom updates include: •

Eighteen welding booths

Multiple 3D printers

Oversized plasma table

Four auto repair booths

Commercial kitchen

We’re excited to continually improve the educational opportunities we offer our students and we’re so grateful for the way the Kelso community supports and enhances our efforts to prepare every student for living, learning and achieving success.

1157 3rd Avenue, Suite 218

1157 Longview, 3rd Avenue, WA Suite 98632 218 1157 3rd360.952.3100 Avenue, Suite 218 Longview, WA 98632 Longview, WA 98632 360.952.3100 360.952.3100 16 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2019

The incredible support of the Kelso/Longview Chamber of Commerce is greatly appreciated. I am blessed to be the school superintendent in a community with a Chamber that recognizes the importance of the work being done in our public schools. Your support extends well beyond the bond measure to include our career/ technical programs, legislative advocacy, and literacy advancement. Thank you for being our partner in this essential work. Put simply, school systems with strong community support perform better. The process and effort of placing a bond measure on the ballot is significant and requires the help of many people. It can take a year or more to properly develop and put forth a bond. The most significant part of the bond measure has been informing the community. In the past year, I’ve personally done more than 40 school bond presentations to various groups. My sincerest thanks goes out to all the groups for taking time to let me present bond information and for asking so many insightful questions. Overall, the groups were very supportive of the school district and had many questions, not just about the bond, but also about our schools in general. Schools touch the lives of so many people in our community and the positive impact is evident when talking with people. Most people seem to realize our school facilities are in significant need of repair and updating. Many of the adults I talked to attended elementary school 30 or more years ago in a local school that hasn’t been updated since then. I can’t count the number of times someone said, “I went to Northlake Elementary (or other school) as a kid and it needed major repairs back then.” My journey with the school bond measure reinforced my belief in the teachers, support staff and administration in our schools. We have a fantastic group of dedicated professionals, who work very hard with our kids every day. People get into the education business to help kids and want every advantage possible to help and support students. I appreciate their passion for the job and the substantial effort they put into it. The bond information process has mostly been great, but parts have been tough too. After being on the radio every month, with numerous newspaper stories being published about the bond, the district website and social media pages full of information, printed flyers at schools and so much more publicity, I still run into folks who haven’t heard much about the bond. In today’s fractured media landscape it is tough to reach people. I’ve been told countless times how great our printed bond information materials are, and what a good job we’ve done informing the public. Even so, I wish we could reach more folks. It is humbling to think of how many people contributed in some

For more Longview Schools, see page 17

Longview Schools, continued from page 16 way to getting bond information out to the public. For example, a team of employees volunteered a personal vehicle that they decorated for the Go Fourth parade. A group of about 10 or 12 volunteers ran the entire parade route handing out free bookmarks to kids to promote literacy and bond information to adults. We passed out almost 2,000 bookmarks and bond fliers at the parade. I am deeply grateful for the tireless work of so many community volunteers. School board members, who do not get paid to be on the board, volunteered at information booths at Go Fourth, the Cowlitz County Fair and Squirrel Fest. One board member shot and produced informational bond videos. Another board member volunteered to be the chairperson of the bond advocacy committee. I spent a rainy evening after work waving signs with another board member. The level of board commitment, support and willingness to work for our kids is inspiring.

“First Class Service at Fibre Federal.” “Fibre Federal has assisted us with several of our business needs. They are knowledgeable, friendly, and go out of their way in assisting us with our stringent business needs. We appreciate all they do for us.”

And speaking of performing better–educational achievement results are on the rise at Longview schools. Test scores are improving and high school graduation rates continue to be higher than the state average. If you have questions about the school bond, or anything else, please give me a call. Thanks again for supporting our schools!

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November 2019 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 17

Cowlitz County Commissioners By Dennis Weber

On Board With Five-Point Plan to Close the Gaps in Homelessness?

The people of Cowlitz County are to be congratulated for their generous response to the homeless crisis that seems far too common in our day and economy. Most of the local 1 percent who annually lose their homes due to economic, social, behavioral health and other medical reasons are offered a rather robust $4 million continuum of care and assistance from nine1 faith-based and social service agencies. In the past year, two new organizations–Faithful Servants and Family Promise–have been created to join the other groups who have been around for many years. Continued community support– through both private contributions and tax-supported grants–for these organizations is strong and should be encouraged. Our Homeless Rate Four Times the State’s–One significant reality is that our 1 percent is not the standard for homelessness throughout Washington state. One percent of Washington’s estimated 8 million people would equal 80,000. But if one Googles “Homelessness in Washington state,” the number comes back at only 22,300, onequarter of 1 percent! To be sure, half of them are in Seattle and they remain a significant challenge there. Tarnished Emerald City–But Seattle has a booming economy with ample resources to resolve their problem–if they have the political will to do so. Sadly, as evidenced in KOMO-TV’s video “Seattle is Dying,” their leaders haven’t figured it out yet. Perhaps this month’s election results will bring change to the tarnished Emerald City. Pretty much the same comments describe the Rose City–Portland. Cowlitz Success Story–With our high-poverty/high-unemployment economy producing homelessness at four times the state rate, our record of success in helping more than 90 percent of our homeless is quite remarkable. It is all the more so considering the obstructionist anti-growth policies directed at the working men and women in this county by Puget Sound power elites controlling our state government and their local apologists. In my opinion, they are guilty of ignoring the needs of Cowlitz County. Our Homeless Campers–Nevertheless, here among the homeless are around 50-60 left behind in the mislabeled “encampments,” some hidden in plain view and others blatantly invading public parks and facilities. Among them are predators and drug pushers who need to be driven away. The rest are victims who are considered by the federal government as “chronic homeless”–severely afflicted individuals whose multiple behavioral health disabilities require focused attention and professional treatment. About another 40 to 50 are reportedly getting the assistance they need to stay out of those dirty, unsafe, illegal camps. Five-point Plan–I invite others in local business and government to join me in considering a five-point plan to close the gap, a plan that could be described as an Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove, as we seek to end our reputation as a willing dumping ground for the region’s homeless while creating successful, life-transforming programs. Limited funding is now available through recently passed HB 1406 Affordable Housing2 legislation: 18 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2019

1. Authorize and direct the county Health Department to use the fullest extent of its considerable power to assist law enforcement agencies in shutting down unlicensed camping on both public and private properties, consistent with the county emergency declared two years ago. The violations of public health and environmental laws are serious enough that ignoring them places the public at growing risks of a return of deadly, medieval diseases. 2. Authorize the county Human Services Department to assume management of the Coordinated Entry program by developing a new assessment tool that can be administered by any homeless service-provider in order to determine how serious the challenges facing homeless individuals seeking help are. Such an assessment would have to meet state guidelines and would be used to link the individuals with the appropriate level of care. But at a minimum we should be asking two questions that could help facilitate family reunification: “Where are your kin?” and “What school did you last attend?” 3. Secure funding for a medical transition group home for homeless patients released for rest and recuperation from local emergency rooms or urgent care clinics. Such housing could not only reintroduce the patients to a safe, warm place to live and heal but also to treatment and counseling available to address their homelessness. 4. Secure funding for a few more therapeutic group homes (not long-term shelters) for the chronic homeless–at least one for men only and one for women only–to model the success of the existing group home in Longview that provides professional counseling and treatment and has had close to 100 percent success at ending homelessness for their residents. (Such therapeutic supportive housing would be eligible for HB 1406 funding.) 5. Continue support for expanding peer-counseling programs for families and individuals with less severe needs. The largest and newest providers are being effective with this approach for those whose disabilities may not need a higher-level of professional treatment. (Such therapeutic supportive housing could also be eligible for HB 1406 funding.) Many elements of this program are being discussed and we are really a lot closer to a solution than recent headlines and social media postings would lead readers to believe. But just as in Seattle, it will still take strong, intentional, bi-partisan political will to make it happen. Inaction is not an option unless you want to mimic the Seattle experience. Who’s on board? 1 These eleven include Community House on Broadway, Emergency Support Shelter, Longview Housing Authority (dba HOSWA), Lower Columbia Community Action Program, Salvation Army, Love Overwhelming, Kelso Housing Authority, Habitat for Humanity, Oxford House, Faithful Servants, and Family Promise. 2 Washington State Department of Commerce estimates there will be at least $284,000 annually available through HB 1406 guidelines beginning on 2020.

Friday, December 13, 2019

6:00 pm

at The Civic Circle in Longview

Costume Contest: Friday, 5:30 pm at the Monticello Hotel Packet Pickup: Thursday, December 12, 10:00 am - 5:30 pm at the Monticello Hotel Late Registration: Day of Race: 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm


th year






to register * by November 30

Register online at

Norman Agency

E V A S the DATE

Come drink!




Raffles ners! Prizes to win

Register Online!

Taco bar

6pm8pm at Kelso Eagles


Mind Your Own Business (at the Library) By Chris Skaugset Director – Longview Public Library

Cooking Up a Few Tasty Reads

As I write this, Halloween is almost upon us and with it comes the beginning of the holiday season with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, and New Year’s Eve. What this season, and all of these holidays has in common is food. People gather together with friends and family to celebrate these specific holidays or just to spend time with the people that they care about. Food is tantamount to this. Whatever you are celebrating, or not celebrating, food plays an integral role in our lives and in our traditions. I’ve gathered some of the latest cookbook and cooking titles that you can find at your Longview Public Library. We have a large collection of cookbooks from specific cuisines to baking and everything in between. Come in and see what you can discover, and eat, today. Cook to Thrive: Recipes to Fuel Body and Soul by Natalie Coughlin. Coughlin is one of the most decorated Olympic athletes in history with a long, successful career as a swimmer. She is also an avid home cook who has competed on cooking competitions varying from Chopped to Iron Chef America. In this book, she shares her passion for a healthy lifestyle including delicious food. You certainly can’t argue with her success.

Ricker with JJ Goode. Ricker, chef/owner of Portland’s iconic Thai restaurant, Pok Pok, has published his second book this time focusing on noodles. From iconic dishes like phat thai and phat si ew to lesser-known treasures like kuaytiaw reua (boat noodles), noodles represent many of the most delicious and satisfying dishes in the Thai culinary canon, including noodle soups, fried noodles, and khanom jiin, Thailand’s only indigenous noodle. Filled with stunning food and location photography and the thoughtful, engaging storytelling that has earned Ricker legions of fans, this book is an instant classic for armchair travelers and lovers of Thai food and culture. The Complete Vegan Cookbook: Over 150 Whole-Foods, PlantBased Recipes and Techniques by the Natural Gourmet Center. I think that the title tells it all. If you are vegan, want to become vegan, or are just interested in finding out what all the fuss is about, this is the perfect book for you.

Making Spirits Bright

Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook by Carla Lalli Music. Music, food director and columnist at Bon Appétit magazine, shares her inventive take on food shopping and cooking in this exciting and inviting collection. A gifted writer with a passion for cooking and a reverence for maintaining the integrity of ingredients, Music inspires readers to try her approach of in-person shopping for star ingredients to center meals around (shop small and often, she advises) while using online sources for shelf-stable staples to keep on hand. Home cooks looking to expand their repertoire with vibrant and easy meals need look no further than this remarkable, flavorsome new collection.

We are successful because of our customers. Their trust and continued business allows us to give back to our communities. In 2019, we donated $1.5 million to local nonprofits and volunteered 4,714 hours to help our neighbors in need. Thank you for your support so we can continue to improve the lives of those around us.

Dinner for Everyone: 100 Iconic Dishes Made 3 Ways–Easy, Vegan, or Perfect for Company by Mark Bittman. The first major new work from the man who taught America How to Cook Everything is truly the one book a cook needs for a perfect dinner–easy, fancy, or meatless, as the occasion requires. He shares 100 essential main dishes, each with easy, vegan, and all-out recipes as the mood or occasion requires. Whatever the experience level, craving, or time constraint, home cooks will find exactly what they need to prepare all their favorites with confidence and enthusiasm. Rooted in the author’s philosophy of using efficient cooking techniques, fresh ingredients, and basic equipment,-and written in his signature to-the-point style, this book is a one-stop, indispensable reference for life's ultimate question: What's for dinner?

Pok Pok Noodles: Recipes from Thailand and Beyond by Andy

Kelso 1000 South 13th Ave. 360.423.7800 Longview 927 Commerce Ave. 360.423.9800 | 800.455.6126 |

Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC

Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food by Ann Hood. In this warm collection of personal essays and recipes, best-selling author Hood nourishes both our bodies and our souls. From her Italian American childhood through singlehood, raising and feeding a growing family, divorce, and a new marriage to food writer Michael Ruhlman, Hood has long appreciated the power of a good meal. Hood tracks her lifelong journey in the kitchen with 27 heartfelt essays, each accompanied by a recipe (or a few). With Hood’s signature humor and tenderness, Kitchen Yarns spills tales of loss and starting from scratch, family love and feasts with friends, and how the perfect meal is one that tastes like home. November 2019 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 21

Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments By Bill Fashing Executive Director

Intelligent Transportation System: A Smart Choice for Local Safety Cowlitz Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG) was recently told that the Longview/Kelso/Rainier Intelligent Transportation Architecture passed the third-party audit process following its recent completion. 23 CFR 940 and equivalent FTA policies specify the requirements for regional Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) architecture development use and maintenance. The statute specifies that all ITS projects must adhere to the regional ITS architecture. It also specifies that the architecture should be developed consistent with the transportation planning process and the Metropolitan Planning Organization long-range transportation plan. CWCOG will continue working with transportation stakeholders in the Longview-Kelso-Rainier Metropolitan Planning Area to improve the use of intelligent systems to assist in regional transportation enhancements. The ITS architecture is available for review at this link. A regional ITS architecture is essential for deploying, integrating, and operating technology-based improvements to the transportation system. ITS technologies help to advance transportation safety and mobility and improve the movement of goods and services by integrating communication technologies into the infrastructure and connected passenger and commercial vehicles. Maintaining and implementing an ITS architecture will help prevent potential crashes, keep traffic moving, decrease the negative environmental impacts of the transportation sector on society, and help to prepare the region for connected autonomous vehicles.

• Public Transportation Coordination • Public Transportation New Technology

ITS Example, Source: CoralSales.Com

As part of the process, more than 40 public and private stakeholders have been identified that can benefit from and help to implement a coordinated and integrated ITS architecture. During the October 2018 and following meetings, stakeholders helped create an inventory of existing or planned ITS elements.

Based on the ITS inventory and input from stakeholders on future needs, a list of ITS services has been created. ITS services are the things that can be done to improve the efficiency, safety, and convenience of the regional transportation system though better information and new technologies.

An example of ITS in the region SR 4 Ocean Beach Highway–West Main Realignment Traffic Signal Interconnect The City of Longview project proposes to interconnect traffic signals in the City of Longview on Ocean Beach Highway with traffic signals in Kelso to improve overall corridor operation and safety. The project would be phased over three years. Efforts will be underway beginning in 2020. Phase I: Replace traffic signal cabinets on Ocean Beach Highway at 9th Avenue, Triangle Mall, and 15th Avenue. Interconnect 9th Avenue, Triangle Mall, and 15th Avenue with Ocean Beach Highway/Washington Way/West Cowlitz Way.

ITS supports improved road system performance, Source: TMACOG

The development team has aligned the ITS architecture with policies and strategies identified in the recently updated 2045 Regional Transportation Plan. The policies include: • Multimodal Freight Capacity and Efficiency • Regional Coordination • Enhance Existing State Routes • Modernize and Expand Public Transportation 22 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2019

Phase II: Replace traffic signal cabinets on Ocean Beach Highway at Olympia/Kessler, Nichols and Pacific. Extend interconnect from 15th Avenue to Pacific. Phase III: Replace traffic signal cabinets on Ocean Beach Highway at NW Nichols/Lowes, 30th Avenue and 32nd Avenue. Extend interconnect from Pacific to 32nd Avenue. The project will directly address Longview’s No. 1 collision issue, rear end collisions at traffic signals. Rear-end collisions are addressed with more efficient traffic signal operation. New traffic signal controller cabinets will have the capability of providing transit signal priority if and when needed by RiverCities Transit for transit vehicles.

tuesDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2019


HOLIDAY MIXER Cowlitz County Event Center Floral Building


5:30 PM ’Til 7:30 pm --------



in advance $35 at the door

food - beverages - music -AND dozens of raffle prizes --

Register online at

PRESENTED BY: Applied Applications Int’l

Ribbon Cuttings

Realty One Our Ambassadors welcomed Darrell and Pam Whittle with Realty One Group Pacifica to the Chamber family.

Getting Ahead We closed out October with a warm welcome for Lower Columbia Head Start.

See more photos on the Chamber’s Facebook page or click here.

24 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2019

Ribbon Cuttings

Burgerville Mathew and Brian cut the ribbon on the opening of Burgerville.

An A Grade We joined the City of Kelso in recognizing improvements to Grade Street and their inclusion in the Six Rivers Trail. November 2019 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 25


Fri., Jan. 24, 4 pm - 9 pm and Sat., Jan. 25, 10 am - 8 pm

Cowlitz County Convention Center


Mount St Helens Event Sponsor $10,000

Logo on all marketing material as sQuatch Fest Sponsored by “Your Business Name” Named on all radio, print and social media advertising 10' x 10' booth space at the event Logo on website, Facebook, newsletter and print advertising 100 collectible tickets to event with lanyards

Hoffstadt Bluff Sponsor $2,500 • Logo on marketing material & social media • 25 tickets to attend both days • Display banner and booth space at event

Hoffstadt Bluff Sponsor Options • Cornhole Tournament - Battle of the Borders D Kids’ Cave CalPortland • Kids’ Cave -Slogo OLon • Tickets - logo on back of tickets • Brew Mtn Beer Fest - S banner OLDin beer fest Life Mortgage D • Mug SponsorS-O logo L on mug Hop-N-Grape • Decorations - banner in MSH room • Speaker Sponsor - banner on stage

Ape Cave Sponsor $500 • Logo on print ads • Exposure on social media • 5 tickets to sQuatch Fest Ape Cave Sponsor Options • Drink tokenS- O logo on token MiLL CiTY GRiLL LD • Wristband - logoSon Antidote Tap House D OLwristband • ICE Sponsor

Columbia River Sponsor $1,000

• • • •

Logo on print ads, mention on social media Banner displayed at event 10 tickets to sQuatch Fest Vendor table

Columbia River Sponsor Options • Volunteer T-shirts S - logo on back JSquared OLD • Wine GlassesS- O logo LDon glass The Office 842 • Stage - banner on stage • Friday Night Speaker Dinner

Elk Meadow Sponsor $250 • Supporter of sQuatch Fest • Logo on print ads • 2 tickets to sQuatch Fest

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Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce 105 N. Minor Rd Kelso, WA 98626 (360) 423-8400

Workforce Southwest Washington Julia Maglione Director of Communications

Veterans Are An Untapped Source Of Talent For Your Business

In today’s tight labor market, if your company is having difficulty finding candidates to fill your open jobs, consider veterans. Focusing on recruiting and hiring veterans has been a successful strategy for several local companies.

ing. While other employees may act as if the sky is falling, the veterans in your company will be looking for work-arounds and solutions to handle the unexpected. As they say in the Marines, “improvise, adapt and overcome.”

Two of my co-workers at Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) are Navy veterans. In meetings, they are among the first to volunteer to help with a project and I know they will always meet their deadlines.

4. Shortened learning curve. Their prior work experience means veterans can be more productive for your company in a shorter time. Performing under the stress of tight schedules and limited resources, veterans know how to complete tasks correctly and meet deadlines.

Navy veteran Alyssa Joyner is WSW’s Senior Project Manager for Manufacturing. She says the Navy taught her “leadership skills, teamwork and managing stress under pressure.” Joyner says, “They expect so much out of you that you either jump in and do it or get pushed to the side to do the ‘not so fun’ jobs.” Joyner spent her time on the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) as a quartermaster or navigation expert, performing ship control, driving, plotting, handling bridge watch duties and maintaining deck logs. She says, “My time in the Navy taught me relationship building. Having to manage relationships, not just with peers in my department, but others around the ship and with my chain of command. I can completely relate my job now with my time in the military and feel I am the better for it.” Joyner works with local manufacturers to assess their workforce needs and help them develop solutions to recruit, train and retain employees. Her military background interacting with diverse groups enables her to effectively collaborate with individuals across all departments of a company. Communications training helps her explain options, including funds to help offset training costs for new hires or improve the skills of existing workers and how to build a talent pipeline by connecting with young adults. Besides prior work experience and a strong work ethic, veterans have skills and qualities that could be good for your business. A few of the ways your company could benefit by hiring veterans: 1. Soft skills. While many of the technical skills learned in the military are transferable, perhaps even more important are the soft skills, such as effective communication, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving. Businesses often tell us they can train a new employee to do a job. Finding candidates that can interact professionally with others, show up on time ready to work, and have what some would call “common sense” is becoming increasingly less common. 2. Leadership. Veterans know how to effectively interact with a variety of people, from higher ranking officers to teammates and subordinates. Whether managing up to a supervisor or the business owner, collaborating with teammates or supervising subordinates, veterans understand how to work cooperatively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and manage for results in tough situations. 3. Adaptability. Things don’t always go as planned. A delivery disappears, computers crash and key employees call in sick. Keeping cool and being level-headed during a crisis is part of military train-

5. Team player. Few jobs make teamwork as imperative as the military where your safety, literally, is in the hands of your unit or battalion. If you don’t work as a team, someone could get hurt or worse. Veterans carry that training into their civilian lives and it will serve your company well. Along with knowing how to work as part of a group, veterans understand the value of accountability on both the individual and team level. Successfully completing the mission or task is their goal. In addition to gaining a skilled employee, your company may qualify for federal and/or state tax credits by hiring a veteran. An internet search will provide additional sites and information, but a few to consider include: • Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a Federal tax credit available to companies for hiring individuals from certain targeted groups. WOTC incentivizes workplace diversity and facilitates access to good jobs. Learn more at small-businesses-self-employed/work-opportunity-tax-credit. • Wage Reimbursement. Your company may qualify for up to $5,000 in wage reimbursement if the veteran you hire receives on-the-jobtraining. WorkSource must screen the candidate and certify they are eligible for the program before their first day of work with your company. • B&O or PUT Credit. Receive a credit against your Business and Occupation (B&O) tax or Public Utility Tax (PUT) when you hire an unemployed veteran for full-time employment. See details at • Recognition. If you’ve hired a veteran since 2017, sign up for YesVets to be recognized for your support. Go to for details. Hiring veterans is a great way for your company to tap a skilled and diverse talent pool. With Veterans Day approaching, it’s the perfect time to give it a try. Julia Maglione is the Director of Communications for Workforce Southwest Washington an organization that Invests in human potential by funding services that help individuals gain skills to find a good paying job or advance in their careers and helping companies attract, train and retain workers. Reach her at ••• This article originally appeared in the Vancouver Business Journal, reprinted with permission.©2019 November 2019 | Kelso Longview Business Connection 27

Longview Downtowners By Lindsey Cope President

Downtown Holiday Season Kicks Off With Small Business Saturday Nov. 30 I sure do not know where this year has gone, but this last quarter is going out with a bang for downtown Longview! September and October brought important anniversaries! Congratulations to Ashes and Embers, Golden Ladder Interiors, Realty One Pacifica, J Squared Barrel House, Posh on Commerce, Mill City Grill, and Niche! It also brought us new members and businesses! Welcome Nutrifit, Trendeavor, Beautiful People, Children’s Discovery Museum, and more! We are thrilled at their enthusiasm, and their passion for locating and participating in downtown!

Business Saturday, Nov. 30! Small Business Saturday is a national movement started by American Express to encourage people to shop “small” through the holiday season. We will begin promoting events and deals from our Longview Downtowners at We are confident that as details are released our amazing community will hold off some Black Friday shopping and instead purchase gift cards and other goods from our amazing businesses. Also, there will be at least one “pop-up market” in Mill City Grill. It is going to be such a fun day downtown!

October also brought about Halloween and our annual Trick or Treat Downtown Longview. This year, more than 50 businesses participated in handing out treats to hundreds of local kids. The sidewalks were filled with excitement and a sugar rush!

Our next meetings are scheduled for Nov. 14. Our 8 a.m. meeting will take place at the Creekside Café and our 3 p.m. meeting location will be announced shortly. All who are interested in the promotion, preservation and development of downtown Longview are welcome to attend!

As October turns into November, we are again gearing up for Small

Come see, shop, eat, drink and play in historic downtown Longview!

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There’s a Difference. 28 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2019

2019 January 15: Specialty Rents February 12: Port of Longview March 12: Business and Tourism Expo April 9: Three Rivers Christian School May 14: Lifeworks June 11: Antidote July 9: Three Rivers Eye Center August 13: Mary’s Bar & Grill September 11: Silver Star October 8: Steele Chapel November 12: Stewart Title December 10: Holiday Mixer

Business After Hours and

Open House

Please join us at our NEW location! 1011 Washington Way, Longview Tuesday, November 12 5:30pm ~ 7:30pm Enjoy good food, beverages, door prizes, networking and more!

NO COST TO ATTEND! Register today at or call 360.423.8400

Business After Hours

Putting the 'Fun' in Funeral Home

Thank you to Longview Memorial Park Funeral Home, Cemetery, Mausoleum, Crematory and Steele Chapel for hosting our Business After Hours Oct. 8. Guests were able to tour the new crematory, pose for photos with the Grim Reaper, enjoyed a feast from Summerland Catering and of course, there were giveaways.

See more photos on the Chamber’s Facebook page or click here.

November 2019 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 31

New Members Add your business to our growing membership – Call 360-423-8400 Today!

Jimmy Johns Jennier Heirman and Charles Arent 1808 Washington Way, Ste 120 Longview, WA 98632 360-749-1633

Business Association with opportunities to promote

• Membership Directory

trade through Chamber socials,

• Tax Deduction

special events and committee participation.

• Newsletter

• Annual Meeting and Banquet

• Business Card Display

• Networking Events

• Use of Chamber Logo

• Committee Participation • Business Contacts • Quarterly Membership Meetings

Representation through action committees, candidate forums and up-to-date action alerts.

• Civic Representation

• Legislative Representation

• Monthly Business After Hours

• Issues Tracking and Information • Task Forces

Business Services include marketing for your business,

• Candidate Forums

referrals and access to Chamber

• Legislative Update Breakfast

publications and research data.

• Demographics Publication

• Mailing Labels • Membership Window Decals • Member Referrals • Ribbon Cutting • Website Links • Member to Member Discounts 32 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2019

Packages Basic Membership Package – $275 or $26 per month. Bronze Membership Package – $500 or $46.66 per month. Silver Membership Package – $1,000 or $86.33 per month. Gold Membership Package – $2,500 or $211.33 per month. Platinum Membership Package – $5,000 or $416.66 per month. Diamond Club Membership Package – $10,000 or $834 per month. Nonprofit Package – $180 or $18 per month.

Welcome Back!

The Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce would like to give a SHOUT OUT and a big THANK YOU to the following loyal members for renewing their partnership with us.

Beacon Hill Rehabilitation Bob Beal Insurance Agency Inc. – State Farm Building Industry Association of Clark County Cascade Select Market Columbia River Reader Davis and Associates, CPAs, PS Eldon Robbins Auto Sales, Inc. Longview Downtowners North Pacific Paper Corporation/NORPAC Performance Sheet Metal, Inc. Prographyx Stageworks Northwest Stewart Title Super 8 of Kelso/Longview Three Rivers Mall Youth and Family Link November 2019 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 33

Chamber Connection

Healthy Choices Health Coaching mother-daughter team Melyssa Roe and Alicia Mathson.

Cast a Line

Blair Johnson and Joel Booth with Longview's Double Trouble Guide Service gave us a few tips for fishing season.

Brian Brault, Walstead Mertsching law office

Cody O'Conner, Longview Parks and Recreation

Pam Kong, Hopscotch Toys in The Merk in Longview

Leslie Slape, Stageworks Northwest Theatre

“Your Chamber Connection“ EVERY Wednesday

Stream live at Local guest and current events 34 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | November 2019

Hosts of the Show: Carey Mackey, Red Canoe Credit Union; Karen Sisson, Stewart Title; Shawn Green, ServPro Longview/Kelso and Marc Silva, Columbia Bank . Would you like an opportunity to be on Your Chamber Connection or to have more information about the qualifications of an open house or ribbon cutting? Contact Bill or Amy at the Chamber 360-423-8400

Chamber Connection

Major Larry and Captain Julie Feist, corps officers with The Salvation Army Longview Temple talked about the holiday work the organization has planned.


The Freedom Market's Porf and Shane swung through our studio.

Paul Bricknell, executive director for Cowlitz Chaplaincy.

See more photos on the Chamber’s Facebook page or click here.

November 2019 | Kelso Longview Business Connection | 35

October Ambassador of the Month Carrie Medack Diamond Residential Mortgage

Medack Measures Up For Chamber Honor Carrie Medack with Diamond Residential Mortgage has earned the Chamber’s October Ambassador of the Month honor. Carrie answered all our questions. Family? Married to Dave since 1980; two married sons; three bonus grandchildren How long have your been an Ambassador? Since 1991 What prompted you to be an Ambassador? To network and meet new people. It started with the Red Carpet Committee that evolved into the Ambassadors. At first, it was to help with my job, but soon it became fun! What do you like most about volunteering with the Ambassadors? Getting to meet the new businesses that are coming to town and be part of a great group of people who all want to give back to the community in some way. The Ambassadors is a very fun group of people! Your favorite Ambassador story? When we welcomed Rick Winsman to the Chamber with a pajama party his first morning on the job. It was also pretty funny when one of the gift items at the Ambassador gift exchange was some marijuana. Do you volunteer with any other organizations? The Kelso-


Longview Elks What are you most proud of? My marriage and my kids. What do you like to do for fun? Travel. We love to take trips in our fifth-wheel and go glamping! Love wine tasting. I enjoy cooking and entertaining friends. Also enjoy going to the many fun little tasting rooms and restaurants here in town – J Squared, Anecdote, Roland, Red Kitchen, Hop-N-Grape to name a few. Birthday date? Jan. 4 Favorite snack? Jerky/nuts – especially macadamia Chamber Ambassadors, known as the Red Coats, are an integral part of the Chamber of Commerce. The Ambassador team is made up of active Chamber volunteers whose responsibilities include meeting and greeting at Chamber events, welcoming new members and assisting at ribbon cuttings and community events. Ambassadors juggle busy professional careers while making time to assist the Chamber at a variety of events year long. If you would be interested in wearing a red coat and representing the Chamber, contact CEO Bill Marcum at the Chamber office.

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Kelso-Longview Business Connection monthly newsletter is published the first of each month, posted electronically on our website and over 6,400 emailed to local business professionals, city and county officials. To be included in this monthly email, call the Chamber office at 360-423-8400.

th each mon

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All ads include full color and any design work. Deadline is the 21st of the month prior to publication. Digital files: PDF is preferred. JPEG accepted at high resolution(at least 300 dpi). Non-Members of the Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce, please add 30% to above rates. To advertise or request additional information please contact Amy Hallock at 360-423-8400 or or CEO Bill Marcum at 360-423-8400 or

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