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Alison Hero Powers: Restaurateur

PortTherapist Townsend Wedding sage & FarmerGuild Kit Siem

Port Townsend Wedding Reiki Guild

lndscaper Shiela Puccini Mari Friend Siemion: Massage Therapist & Farm Restauranteur Alisonfarmer Hero Powers •

masseuse orma Jean Young: Master&Reiki Teache


himacum Cattle Rancher Julie Bog in iela Puccini: landscaper Mari Friend: R trailblazer Restaurateur CATTLE RANCHER Reiki Wedding Guild Port Townsend Julie Boggs: Chimacum Cattle Ranche •

Master Reiki Teacher Norma Jean Young Alison Hero Powers: Restauranteu Mari Friend • landscaper Shiela Puccini

Wedding Guild Port Townsend

What’s in your boudoir?

Women in Business Profile

Christine Burnell ARNP

Christine Burnell ARNP opened a private practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner in November 2005 in Port Townsend. Christine’s impetus to start a solo practice was to provide care in a relaxed setting that could be comprehensive and patient friendly, without the time constraints that larger organizations often impose on providers. She focuses on promoting health and wellness and preventing illness. Christine sees all ages and especially enjoys working with families to meet their health care needs. As a nurse practitioner, she can provide physical exams, write prescriptions and diagnose and treat health problems including but not limited to diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, overweight issues, gastrointestinal complaints, intimacy and mental health issues. She consults with specialists and refers as necessary. Christine does some simple procedures including skin biopsies and simple laceration repair.

Azaya Wellness Center 1441 F Street Port Townsend (360)385-0800

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PORT HADLOCK MEDICAL CARE Primary Care • Urgent Care Massage Therapy Onsite testing for protime “INR” cholesterol and blood draws HPV & Shingle Vaccines Available Most insurances accepted. Cash pay/sliding scale.

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• Bath, Body & Beauty • Lingerie, Linens & Nightwear • Aromatics, Oils & Perfume

922 Water St. PT 379-1437

A Dozen reasons to Trust the Women in the Business of Real Estate

TOWN & COUNTRY Front: Kathy Morgan, Karen Carr Middle: Mary Ann Miller, Lynnette Holloway, Anne McLaughlin, Beatrix Veenhouwer, Christie Brown, Stephanie Austin Back: Holley Carlson, Carol Wise, Nikki Lawson, Dee Caparelli Not pictured: Linda Tilley & Susan Kay Wilson

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Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

To Port Townsend, We’re

Women with passion

“Kerry” Kerry Robinson, Commercial Loan Officer Frontier Bank’s Port Townsend Office

However, for the record, we’re Frontier Bank: • With offices throughout the Pacific Northwest • Bringing you unsurpassed service from dedicated employees • Providing Commercial Loans, Cash Management, Online Banking, and more Port Townsend Office 2200 West Sims Way Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-9911

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Where People Really Make The Difference

Alison Hero-Powers Restaurateur ...................................................4 Port Townsend Wedding Guild ...........................................6 Julie Boggs Cattle Rancher ........................................8-9 Kit Siemion Farmer & Masseuse ............................. 10 Mari Friend Trailblazer ...................................................... 12 Norma Jean Young Master Reiki teacher .......................... 14 2008 Women in Business Special Section Editor: Allison Arthur Lead Production: Kathy Busic THE LEADER 226 Adams Street Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-2900 Website: Published continuously since Oct. 2, 1889 Port Townsend Publishing Company Scott Wilson, Publisher Copyright 2008

face of grace BED & BREAKFAST INN

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“I had adult acne when I was referred to Julie last year. Not only is my acne gone, I was told recently my skin looked air-brushed!” Rebekah Beringer, Chimacaum

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Women owned & operated for 19 years!


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The Uptown Center for Natural Medicine 1233 Lawrence • Port Townsend 2008 Women in Business ✴ 3

Alison HeroPowers Silverwater – more than a place to eat By Melanie Lockhart


rowing up in an Italian family and spending time around the dining room table with excellent food and good company was the most important part of each day for Alison Hero-Powers. It was when she felt most at home. It was that sense of family and community that led Alison to help develop the philosophy of the Silverwater Café. Written on the restaurant’s menus, the philosophy states that “in this fast-paced, often overwhelming world in which we live, there need to be places that people can equate to that feeling of going home. A place to recharge. A refuge where you can duck out for a moment, relax, eat a great meal, capture a smile, and remember to take in a deep breath.” In the 19 years since the Silver-

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water opened, Alison has experienced the ups and downs of co-owning a business. It has been a constant effort with one major goal: to make the restaurant feel like a home away from home. Though it hasn’t always been easy, for Alison every moment has been worthwhile. The beginning As a child, Alison’s first inspiration was her grandmother Lucretia Flores. Now 90 years old, Flores still cooks from scratch for herself every day. She shared her passion for cooking with her granddaughter. “Alison has always been enthusiastic about wanting to cook,” Flores says. “As she got older, I taught her how to make some of the dishes my mother made. I’m so happy I inspired her.” Alison began cooking professionally at age 12, with two jobs as a prep cook – one at The James House and one at a restaurant outside of town called The Victorian Inn. When Lonny Ritter opened Lido, Alison worked for him from the beginning until he closed the restaurant’s doors. “Lonny brought a new sense of cuisine to the Olympic Peninsula,” Alison says. She continued to develop her art of cooking, looking up to American chef Alice Waters and following in her footsteps

Alison Hero-Powers (center) holds her son Antonio “Nino” Powers, 4, next to her grandmother Lucretia Flores, 90, at the Silverwater Café. Nino insisted on wearing his chef’s hat and apron because he’s convinced he’s a better cook than his mother, who co-owns the restaurant. Flores and Nino are two people who inspire Alison the most. Photo by Melanie Lockhart

“We’re not here to own a restaurant. We’re here to provide a meeting place that feels like a home away from home. We’re dedicated to making the world a better place.” Alison Hero-Powers by focusing on fresh, organic, locally grown ingredients. “She broke the way,” Alison says. “She put a new face on the culinary map for women.” Though she never anticipated owning her own restaurant, Alison’s life turned in a new direction when she opened the Silverwater Café at the age of 24. “I never really saw it coming,” she says. “It just sort of evolved.” Building Alison and now ex-husband David Hero began selling fish and chips at the old ferry dock in Port Townsend after they were married. Since they needed a commercial kitchen, they rented the N.D. Hill Building on Quincy Street. Soon they decided that since they were

renting out the building, they might as well open a restaurant. The couple opened the Silverwater Café in October 1989 with a staff of 10. By April 2004 they had outgrown their location, and subsequently purchased the then window-less first floor of the old Elks Building, built in 1889. A year’s worth of reconstruction and design transformed the old posh lounge and nightclub into what is seen today. Added stress came when the couple realized they were 100 percent over budget

with the relocation project. “It felt like we were playing Monopoly with all of our cards turned upside down,” Alison says. The owners weren’t alone, though. They enlisted the help of the community they loved so much. “It was like the restaurant was on parade down Water Street,” Alison says. “The community helped with everything. Sanding, carrying furniture – everything.” The building was designed specifically to encompass a home atmosphere, with some materials recycled during the construction process. The banister and railing in the restaurant’s mezzanine section, along with the menu holder in front, were designed using some of the building’s original framing material. The front counter is made with a solid slab of cherry wood, while the old shooting See SILVERWATER, page 15

Connect with Alison Hero-Powers Alison typically works six days a week at her home away from home. She mentors employees and strives to perfect her cuisine. Contact her at the Silverwater Café at 360-385-6448.

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2008 Women in Business ✴ 

Port Townsend Wedding Guild

A passion for getting together, making wedding dreams come true By Allison Arthur


t was the first-ever Port Townsend Wedding Show that united a handful of businesswomen a year ago. Like the dreamy weddings they worked so hard to put together, they’ve stayed together, deciding to join hands to form the Port Townsend Wedding Guild, a group of business owners dedicated to helping each other help others stage a picture-perfect wedding. “We put Room B together at the wedding show, and we all had so much fun with the ladies from Making Memories and each other,” explains Susan Grant, owner of Dream City Photography and one of the organizers of that first-ever show. She then realized she had so much fun that she wanted to keep the women together. Grant called the women together in January of this year to start planning for the next wedding show and talk about marketing projects. By March, members began joining hands. “The wedding business is a woman’s business,” Grant says of founding the guild, which has grown in the last year to include women from almost a dozen businesses in Port Townsend – from florists and caterers to a minister and slumber party vendor. Once they started talking, the women realized that they could pool their marketing money and advertise not just their own businesses but Port Townsend as a destination wedding mecca. Toward that goal, they have been meeting at Grant’s home this summer to plan how they will be part of the Seattle Wedding Show in January. The guild also is putting together a second Port Townsend Wedding Show set for October in Port Townsend. Grant says she’s been told that the Port Townsend Wedding Guild is one of the first guilds of its kind in the state. “There are other guilds in the universe, but

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Members of the Port Townsend Wedding Guild meet regularly to connect with each other on trends, news and just because they enjoy eating good food and talking. Photo by Ben Herndon most of them are more formal and they have speakers and a luncheon, kind of like a chamber of commerce thing,” Grant says. Meetings of the Port Townsend guild are decidedly laid back and usually involve a lot of food and conversation. Lorilee Houston, wedding and event coordinator for the Bishop Victorian Hotel, views the guild in keeping with the smalltown attitude of Port Townsend, with businesses helping businesses, people helping people. “If there’s anything you need, let me know because I know other businesses that can help if I can’t,” Melanie Bozak, owner of Crafts Cottage, says she tells people all the time. And that’s exactly what Grant likes about the group. It’s not about competition. It’s about cooperation. Passion And it’s about passion. “Everyone who is in this group has a passion for what they are doing. They are living heart-centered lives,” says Grant. Look around, they all say one evening during a guild meeting

“Everyone who is in this group has a passion for what they are doing. They are living heart-centered lives.” Susan Grant at Grant’s home overlooking Port Townsend Bay, where the smell of chicken teriyaki drifts into the living room and the conversation. “My business is more womenoriented too, and I have some of the best customers in the world,” Bozak says of her crafts shop. Grant says she always takes time to get to know her clients before she takes their photographs, and it’s not uncommon for her to be invited to visit with them later, after the big event. “I feel like I’m going to be adopted,” the wedding photographer says of becoming involved, in a professional way, with the people whose kisses and “I do’s” she snaps for posterity.

Although there were only four members of the guild at a recent meeting, the conversation was constant and upbeat – and the meetings always involve food. “It’s almost old European,” says Bozak of the group. “There’s something about Port Townsend that relaxes people,” chimes in Houston. Someone tells a story about a Michigan couple who googled a place to get married that had mountains and water. The couple got married at the Inn at Port Hadlock and then fell in love with the area and decided to move to Port Townsend. Stories like this abound at the meetings. The levity is broken by someone asking whether a man in business – say, a jeweler – would be accepted into the guild. “It would take an unusual guy who would want to hang out with all these women,” says Grant, whose husband had made a polite exit as the meeting started. But, adds Grant, she doesn’t envision the guild becoming a bureaucracy, and so, yeah, a man in a wedding busines

probably would be accepted. There is, after all, the Puget Sound Express, a business that wants to be included in wedding packages the women are putting together for the Seattle Wedding Show. “We’ll probably call men in business ‘guild partners,’” says Grant. “We don’t want to be exclusive. We don’t know what we’ll call the inner circle. We don’t want to be called the board of directors. The queens of this or that, or wise women,” Grant suggests. In fact, she says, the wedding ladies include “guild founders,” who are active decision makers; “strong supporters,” who are supportive but might only occasionally attend meetings; and “fresh faces,” new businesses that would like to be mentored by others. When you get down to it, because the women are meeting together regularly, they are not only learning about each other’s businesses – and supporting each other with business know-how – they are getting to know each other as people. The women say they are sensitive and understanding when they hear of a woman going out of business because of a life-changing event, be it a death or divorce or financial woe. And while there is more discussion of the economy, Houston says, “They used to say women in a down economy always had time for a new lipstick.” “Weddings are still less expensive here,” Houston adds. “People will always get married,” says Grant. And when they do, the Port Townsend Wedding Guild will be here for them.

Connect with Port Townsend Wedding Guild For more information on the Port Townsend Wedding Guild, contact Susan Grant, owner of Dream City Photography, at 360-379-0947 or susan@ Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

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Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

Online Gallery 2008 Women in Business ✴ 

well as for other farmers’ animals. “I spend a lot of time deciding which bull to use,” she says, referring to the many journals on her kitchen table. “You have to figure out what people are going to want two years ahead. “If I had had a bull by Mijtty In Focus I would have gotten $2,000 more per calf,” she says. “By the time I read that, my cows were already bred.”

Julie Boggs:

Fourth-generation Chimacum Angus farmer nationally recognized By Allison Arthur


ulie Boggs wasn’t allowed to belong to the Future Farmers of America as a young girl. Only her two brothers were. Now 60, Julie Boggs owns and manages West Brook Angus, which includes a herd of 60 purebred Black Angus on 300 acres in the Chimacum Valley, the same property where she was born and raised. She not only belongs to a number of farm associations dominated by men, she’s also president of the Western Washington Angus Association. And she’s known nationally for her purebred Angus, animals she oversees from inception to slaughter. Asked if she’s the first woman president of the Western Washington Angus Association, she

son County Conservation District. Finding her out in the field where her Black Angus are grazing, you might catch her staring out over the farm on a still summer morning as she makes her rounds doing chores. She can name every one of the ear-tagged and numbered animals, tell you which one just became a steer and is probably sore and not happy to see her, identify which bull likely will fetch the best price at an upcoming market, and call out to the heifer munching on leftover mown hay. “One of my favorite movies is ‘Gone with the Wind,’” Boggs says as she surveys it all. She admits she can relate to Scarlett, who came back to fight for a Southern plantation called Tara after the Civil War. “Probably a lot of people don’t see what I saw in that movie. I think I do see things differently than a lot of women,” she admits. Boggs sees the world through the eyes of a farmer – not a woman farmer necessarily, but a farmer. Boggs is not inclined to

“You have got to follow your heart and be willing to make sacrifices. Don’t go into debt when something needs to be done.” Julie Boggs seems somwhat surprised by the answer, “Why, I believe I am.” With modesty, she’ll also acknowledge that she represented the state at a national Angus convention a few years ago. She’s also a member of the Western Washington Cattlemen’s Association and the National Cattlemen’s Association. Notice the “men” in those two associations. She’s involved in the Grange. And she’s the only woman supervisor on the Jeffer-

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discuss the politics of farming. But she admits that farming is becoming more difficult as the price of fuel and feed rises and as regulations made by politicians, not farmers, impact her livelihood. Setting all those things aside, Boggs simply loves what she’s doing and is willing to teach others the business. Starting out Boggs says she learned a lot growing up on the farm. She’s

a fourth-generation Chimacum farmer from a family of six. Her father, Wally Westergaard, worked at Cenex and was a fire commissioner. Her grandfather Christian Westergaard worked the farm. Her greatgrandfather Henry Blanchard was a county commissioner. “I always knew I loved the farm and wanted to farm,” she says. She was the only one in her family to pursue a farm business. Boggs also squeezed in a second career as a school bus driver for the Chimacum School District. Between weekday bus shifts, she juggled chores on the farm. After 28 years of driving bus, she retired to full-time farming. And there are lots of chores every day. She admits that when she has to write them out for her husband, East Jefferson Fire Rescue Interim Chief Chuck Boggs, he’s amazed at what she does, even though he’s the one who got her started with a single cow almost 30 years ago. A bull in one corral needs to be quarantined because it has ringworm. Two bulls that have been weaned from their mother are tied up and being trained so they can be shown. Four cows are being fed differently because they are to be slaughtered at the end of the month. And the bull that’s for sale needs to be fed separately from the heifer and calves. “When things have to be done, they have to be done. You can’t just quit or go out to the movies,” she says. “When you do become a farmer, it’s what’s in your heart,” she says. “You work it the way it works for you. I’m not an early riser,” she admits. Breeding One of her favorite chores is picking which bull semen to use to artificially inseminate her heifers. This is a part of the business

Julie Boggs enjoys the smells and feel of the pasture where her purebred Black Angus graze.

Julie Boggs tends to her herd on the farm in the Chimacum Valley where she was raised. Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

Photos by Allison Arthur that is risky, a bit of a gamble. Photos of each bull are displayed with data called “expected progeny difference,” information about the bull’s parents as well as its progeny, the weight of the animals it produced, whether the cow gave birth easily, and other details. The trick is to find the right bull to match the right heifer to produce a champion Black Angus down the line. It’s something Boggs loves doing, and she’s good at it. One of her bulls fetched $6,000 at market several years ago. The yearlings receive ultrasounds to check on marbling and rib eye size and other desired meat attributes. “You can use it to choose to keep it as breeding or not. It kind of gives you a picture of your breeding stock,” Boggs says of the ultrasound technique. Boggs went to school to learn to do artificial insemination, which she has done for more than 20 years for her own Angus as

Women farmers Although selling stock isn’t something a lot of women do, Boggs says more women are going into farming. “More and more women are getting into it. I encourage young girls to find a way to follow their heart,” she says. Chelsea Benner is leasing a heifer from Boggs to show at the Jefferson County Fair, which kicks off a five-county fair season that will end with the state fair in Puyallup. There are no women-only associations for Angus farming, and when Boggs goes to shows and events these days, “I have to go up against the ‘Big Boys Club.’” When she was young, she did it all in 4-H, just as Benner is doing now. As a young girl, Boggs showed cattle, horses, did sewing and cooking, “anything they’d let me do.” She’s been a 4-H leader for 25 years. “When Chuck and I got married I showed quarter horses. Then Chuck wanted to get a cow and so we got a cow,” she recalls of how it all started. In 1980 she joined the American Angus Association. Two decades later, one of the baby bulls she owned fetched $6,000. She’s had a reserve grand champion calf at a Spokane show that sold for $4,750. Although Chuck might have started her out with one cow, Julie now manages 60 Black Angus on the farm. Chuck is the man behind the woman at the helm. “Chuck is part of the program here. He does whatever I need him to do,” she laughs. Julie recently mowed and raked a hayfield,

Julie Boggs says her husband, Chuck, is the one who suggested getting a Black Angus, and he still stands behind her, baling hay and helping out. Chuck says he suggested only “one cow,” not a herd of 60, but he’s planning to retire one of these days and help her.

and Chuck will bale it. “He’s so good about whatever I need. He’s very supportive,” she says, adding that her career firefighter husband also has worked to make sure that his profession treats women fairly. Advice she would give anyone wanting to go into the business? “You have got to follow your heart and be willing to make sacri-

Farm life involves a lot of chores, but Julie Boggs says she isn’t an early riser. She works when she’s needed and has a routine that even her firefighter husband Chuck Boggs finds challenging. fices. Don’t go into debt when something needs to be done.” Along with raising prize beef

cattle, Boggs also is proud of raising son Aaron, who now works for and travels the world, and daughter Carmen, a graphic designer. Boggs says the work ethic and honesty they learned through farm life has helped them in their careers. Boggs also acknowledges that she sometimes struggles with her work. “I sometimes have to sell a heifer or a cow that I really like because she isn’t doing her job,” she says. To stay true to what she is doing, those difficult choices must be made, she says. They are decisions all farmers must make year-round. “You know, I could go to a gym to work out, but I do this,” she says while moving from one farm chore to the next as her faithful dog Chloe and her son’s dog Kobe sit in the back of a pickup and wait patiently for her to be done. Chloe keeps her eyes on Boggs all the time. “I need to stay active. I get sick if I sit still,” she says. Being a farmer keeps her in her prime these days, a half century after she was told women had no future in the business. – Allison Arthur is a reporter with The Leader, where she covers county government, land-use and health issues. Contact her at

Connect with Julie Boggs Julie Boggs sells her purebred Black Angus to friends and others. She also is willing to share her knowledge of the farming business. The locker beef business currently provides beef for 46 local families. Contact Boggs at 360-732-4335 or

2008 Women in Business ✴ 9

By Viviann Kuehl


ard work, commitment and a desire to serve the community all contribute to a successful business endeavor, says Quilcene’s Kit Siemion, who manages two businesses. Siemion enjoys an alternate lifestyle, juggling a successful inside business of massage and an outside business of organic farming. “I’ve always been an obsessively hard worker, and I love it,” she explains. Siemion owns and operates South County Massage at 51 Old Church Road in Quilcene and also is principal partner of Coastal Gardens, a family farm that sells produce to The Food Co-op in Port Townsend. Siemion started her massage business in July 2001. After the first six months, it has supported her. As a licensed massage practitioner, she enjoys seeing clients leave her office improved, whether that means healing, pain relief, relaxation, stress relief, treatment of accidental and chronic injuries, or maintenance of good health. The particular techniques she uses depend on the client’s particular needs. She accepts trade and insurance, working four to five days a week. A client suffering from a fall found Siemion’s massage to be the only thing that alleviated her pain after seeking help through MRI, chiropractors, acupuncture, cortisone, X-rays and doctors. “It was the first time I could sleep through the night in five months,” the client reported. “They know there’s a problem, but they can’t find it. There’s inflammation there somewhere.” Technique Massage works in many ways, explains Siemion. It helps nutritional uptake, improves circulation, and releases adhesions in soft tissues. She describes her massage technique as a basic Swedish massage with deep tissue, trigger point, shiatsu, lymphatic drainage, myofascial release, infrared light therapy, and electrocrystal rebalancing, for which she is internationally certified. “It works with electromagnetic

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Kit Siemion


eggs, brassicas, corn, beans, peas, beets, potatoes and tomatoes. “I worry about getting my hands clean for massage, but it if I can’t work in the garden I get crazy. That’s my stabilizer, so I wear gloves now,” says Siemion. Siemion, 50, is passionate about the earth, health and justice. Currently her top passion is the war in Iraq, because that impacts all the others, she says. “It is such a big elephant in the room, and it’s criminal what our government is doing. I see the connection between people being unhealthy and government policies favoring profit. Our citizens suffer deeply because of it. Our children and the elderly are suffering because of it.” She makes weekly calls to elected officials to express her views. “We citizens have enabled this. A healthy and educated public is essential,” notes Siemion.

Hard work

Kit Siemion sits outside her house in Quilcene and enjoys a moment of peace. and sound frequencies to balance body frequencies through crystals,” explains Siemion. “Everything has a frequency. Wood trim in a house does, walls do, and so do bodies. Being out in the world, with all the frequencies there are, can get to a body. This helps to bring the body back to work at a natural, healthy frequency. The specific frequency is determined by the body with a sound level meter.” These treatments create subtly profound changes and a sensation of well-being, she says. “People that I’ve tried it with say how good and different they feel. They can’t say exactly how, but they love it.” It can take years for bodies to develop chronic conditions, notes Siemion, so she doesn’t expect single massage treatments to become life-changing events. “I am a partner in health,” she explains. “I like to be in partner-

“People need to follow their passion when they do a business. That’s what makes it successful.” Kit Siemion ship with people who embrace their situation and take responsibility for their health.” “People need to follow their passion when they do a business. That’s what makes it successful,” says Siemion. “It really helped being in a community where people knew who I was, where I had relationships. Desire to contribute to the

Photo by Viviann Kuehl

community in some capacity is important to business and a healthy, vibrant community. That’s really the challenge. Everybody finding the way that they can contribute.”

Other passions Siemion’s other business is a 2-acre organic farm, begun when she first moved to Quilcene in 1991. “We are blessed with this amazing fertile soil and are able to sell to the community and to the Co-op in Port Townsend,” says Siemion. Siemion grows a variety of fruits, vegetables and nuts that she and her family like to eat. Produce includes raspberries, garlic, shallots,

Health and justice may be in her genetic heritage, speculates Siemion, pointing to her greatgreat-great-great-grandfather Thomas Kitteridge, who was a medical officer at Bunker Hill. Ten generations of doctors are in her family. “Education, health and justice have been a strong component in my family history,” says Siemion, “and that has affected me a lot.” Siemion’s father started a successful manufacturing business 58 years ago that has grown to 800 employees. Prior to her current businesses, Siemion managed tree planting, did landscaping and taught gymnastics. She is now in her third year of service on the Quilcene School Board. “For business, people need to work their butts off ; they have to work hard,” says Siemion. “People can be creative, consistent, passionate. Americans have these qualities and need to resort to them to have a good business, but hard work is the first thing. “It’s a good way to make a living. I love using my hands and I love working with people. I love health and education,” says Siemion. “Everything is just so entwined.” – Viviann Kuehl has been freelancing for The Leader since 1980. She’s a Quilcene resident and educator. She can be reached at 360-765-4321 or

Connect with Kit Siemion Kit Siemion has found her passion seeking peace and justice while managing a massage business and farm. Contact her for a massage or for more information about her work at 360-765-4754. Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

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Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

360.385.9963 2008 Women in Business ✴ 11


By Carol Fischbach

t’s not about the transaction. It’s about building relationships. That’s Mari Friend’s bottom line. No fuss. No frills. Kayaks on the walls. Tents hanging from the ceiling. Her shop is packed with virtually everything you’d need for a backpacking, kayaking or outdoor adventure. There are even items for indoor needs. It has the essentials. No glitzy, tourist-attracting, cutesy displays in Sport Townsend. Staples are the hub of its existence. Customers can wander from Patagonia shorts to backpacks to Teva shoes, maps, earmuffs and back to clothing. Employees are friendly and helpful. Sport Townsend’s owner since 1990, Mari Friend also is open, friendly and inviting. She makes no bones about who is her target audience: She is here to serve the people of Port Townsend. Her name reflects her attitude. She’s passionate about PT’s loyal residents who want to shop locally. She aims to please and does so by stocking her store with items that the locals need. Friend trains her staff to be as knowledgeable as she is. She’s just as likely to help you see what you don’t need – or perhaps already have – or she might even send you down the street for something else rather than sell you one of her own products. A whim If it were about financial gain, Friend probably would have remained in San Diego and continued her teaching career. Instead, on a whim, she offered to buy this business because she couldn’t bear to see Port Townsend lose its only backpacking supply store. Trail Head, as it was known then, was owned by a Port Angeles resident who eventually felt the rigors of the daily drive and decided to close its doors. Friend wondered why she thought a commute from San Diego would be any less demanding than one from PA, but she

12 ✴ 2008 Women in Business

Mari Friend

Sport Townsend is about adventures, relationships

Mari Friend, owner of Sport Townsend, works with employee John Page. Friend finds inspiration in working with and helping people. Photo by Carol Fischbach

“Start small; gradually build up so you don’t incur debt. If it doesn’t work for you, then you won’t lose a lot.” Mari Friend could not resist filling a need. She partnered with Bonnie Wong, then owner of Touring Exchange, a bicycle touring business. The two started off their new year together hauling backpacking supplies

from Taylor Street to their new location on Water Street. That was Jan. 1, 1991, and the rest, so they say, is history. Part of her comfort as a woman in business comes from a family that didn’t abide by the 1950s socio-typical roles of men and women. Friend and her two sisters and one brother were expected to wash dishes, mow the lawn, attend college and pursue their hearts’ desires. Thus, Friend found herself safely ensconced as a teacher, blazing the trail for kids braving the frontiers of math and PE. Summers at camp, however, were her forte – she figures she spent the equivalent of five years in a sleeping bag. When she wasn’t sandwiched in her bag, she was bicycling all

over the world, which eventually led her to Port Townsend. Thinking at first she could be a long-distance business owner, spending summers here and letting Wong handle the local details, a high employee turnover soon presented a turning point. Her love of the outdoors, tender heart for an orphaned business, and quest to leave behind a life she felt wasn’t her own led her to the decision to take a major leap. The year 1994 found her making two big moves – Sport Townsend

to its current location and Friend to Port Townsend. Start small Disclaiming any business acumen, Friend believes luck has played the biggest role in her success. She says she has “learned on the job,” beginning with her partnership with Wong, whom she bought out in 1996, to “accidentally” stocking her store with things the locals like, to her move to Water Street, and currently to her new computer system, which is now her biggest challenge. Her advice to new business owners? “Start small; gradually build up so you don’t incur debt. If it doesn’t work for you, then you won’t lose a lot.” Embedded in the PT business community, she cites local business owners who inspire her, such as Marilyn Staples, Carol Hasse and Sue Arthur, among others. And true to her word about the importance of locals, Friend is an easy mark for Port Townsend fundraising activities. She also prides herself on hiring resident teens, who remain loyal and return even when they find their “real jobs.” Not satisfied with simply blazing trails at Sport Townsend, Friend’s adventures continue with her membership in two rowing clubs, Tuf as Nails and Rat Island Rowing and Sculling Club. The companionship calls to her as much as the activities. She firmly believes that people should live where they want to retire in order to establish a firm foundation of what is most important to her – the people in her life. “There is more continuity to be with friends as you age,” she claims. “It’s not about where you are but who you’re with.” In personal life as in business, it’s about building relationships. – Carol Fischbach is a freelance writer who lives in Port Townsend. She has a corporate background in marketing and public relations. She also is a bead artist. Reach her at

Connect with Mari Friend Mari Friend’s business, Sport Townsend, is at 1044 Water St. in Port Townsend. Call Friend at 360-379-9711 or visit Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

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924 Washington Street, PT (360) 379-1222 Open Everyday! 2008 Women in Business ✴ 13


Master Reiki teacher By Viviann Kuehl


or Norma Jean Young, business is not about money. It’s about life forces. “I would say to women about business: ‘Have the courage, have the courage to go ahead and do your business, and let it be your good business about bringing goodness and truth and beauty forward in life. Make sure you love it, and get a circle of advisers. There has to be what has heart and meaning for you in business or it will drag you down.’” That advice is informed by Young’s own path to her business, Reiki Center of Origins, and life coaching. Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is an ancient oriental method of healing and reenergizing bodies through direction of life forces or a biofield hands-on therapy, directing life force, or “ki,” into the body. It’s not something Young even knew about while growing up in the Willamette Valley near Eugene, Ore. After graduating from Seio High School, she went off to nursing school at the University of Oregon.

Norma Jean Young (right) says her central inspiration was her great-grandmother Vi Hilbert, an Upper Skagit Tribe elder, who told her “Come! Drink from the well that never runs dry” and “Trust spirit 100 percent.” Photo courtesy of Norma Jean Young

14 ✴ 2008 Women in Business

A self-described perfectionist in her studies, with scholastic honors and the arrogance of youth, Young became disgusted with what she felt was the lack of moral integrity in the medical field, and she left the nursing program for medical social work and music therapy. It was during this time that Young met a Reiki practitioner at a dinner gathering. She was suffering sub-scapular chronic pain in her left shoulder, and the man touched her arm in the course of a conversation. The pain was relieved. “I couldn’t believe that touch could do that, but it was very definite. This was something pretty amazing,” recalls Young. She began to get involved with Reiki, taking an introductory class and getting treatment from a master. “I didn’t believe much in self-care. I was always giving to others,” she says. Intuition In her first class, Young intuited that she would become a primary healer in Reiki, but she could see no reason to think that, and had no practical application for that feeling. Struggling to make a living, she took a job selling jewelry. Coming home from a sales trip, Young recalls wishing that she had a job like that of her Reiki master, and then thought, “What am I doing selling bangles and baubles?” She came back from a trip to a Reiki healing circle, gave up her job and began to commit herself to Reiki. “I love to study and learn,” says Young. “I want to give in the best way I can.” After taking the second level course and apprenticing three years, she became a Reiki master in 1985. Young began to pay more attention to her intuition. “I would trust my flashes of intuition, but I didn’t know how they would happen,” she says. “I was arrogant. Reiki had to show me over and over.” Young realized a need to bring real healing into hospitals, a tender consciousness of healing

Young relaxes after discussing her Reiki Center of Origins. in hospitals, as she puts it. “That’s been a deep conviction,” she says. In 1988, Young began teaching Reiki healing courses to nursing and medical schools, including “Introduction to Subtle Energy Medicine; Reiki in Medical Practice” at Harvard. She began to lecture on Reiki to hospitals and medical groups around the country. For 10 years, Young spent little time at home as she traveled to teach and treat people across the United States and in 14 countries. Healing In 1990, a planned vacation trip to Indonesia became a working experience when she met an Indonesian woman at a Reiki conference in the Netherlands. The woman, a new Reiki master, was going home to work with lepers. Young asked to go with her. The experience was profound for Young, and the lepers achieved remarkable healing. “I kept asking, how do I get into all this stuff? To this day I don’t know,” says Young, who adds that hers is a lifestyle business,

“Make sure you love it, and get a circle of advisers. There has to be what has heart and meaning for you in business or it will drag you down.” Norma Jean Young following the flow of service. “I honor everyone coming to Reiki in whatever way they can. I dedicate my life to seeing more competent Reiki masters, willing to serve.” Young says that whenever she

Photo by Viviann Kuehl has cried out to heaven – asking, “Why does it have to be so hard?” – something has come along. She strives to functionally integrate the family of humankind, learning from indigenous peoples and developing a global Wisdom-Keeping Grandmothers project in addition to her medical Reiki practice. Young, 63, now a resident healer in Brinnon for three years, travels to Seattle’s Vitalia Holistic Health Center twice a month to do Reiki treatments there. “I’m grateful that I make a living now. Every time I’ve said I need to give it up, I need to get a regular job, something has come up. It works out. I don’t starve. What’s important is that people get the healing.”

Connect with Norma Jean Young Norma Jean Young is training about a dozen students in Brinnon and is teaching a course in Port Townsend in September. A retreat on Orcas Island is planned for October. Contact her at 360-796-0584 or through Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

Silverwater Continued from page 4 range underneath the building converted into a wine cellar. Maintaining the vision isn’t always an easy task. “There are so many aspects to this job, with thousands of things to do all the time,” Alison says. “It encompasses everything – cooking, entertaining, business management, counseling, even carpentry 101.” One of the greatest challenges for Alison, originally, was getting people to go out to eat. “People used to eat out only on special occasions,” she says. “Now they go out more frequently, which raises the culinary bar. People expect more out of restaurants now.” She also battles the rising costs of fuel and food. Washington is dead last in the country for restaurant profit margins, so cooking everything from scratch with organic, primarily local food gets expensive, she says. “We try to keep prices affordable for customers.” Still, the good outweighs the bad, and Alison credits a lot of that to her employees. “I love working with the people I work with,” she says. “It truly feels like a second family.” Making a difference One of the things Alison enjoys most about her job is working with teenagers. She has employed hundreds of teenagers over the years, striving to provide mentorship to the youths in the community. She teaches the teens a work ethic and hopes to help them gain professional experience that will aid them with whatever they want to do later in life. The teens don’t fit into any particular mold, Alison says. She works with a wide range of personalities, from shy students to cheerleaders. “We look for teenagers who are eager and enthusiastic,” Alison says. “It’s not about how much skill or experience they have – we can teach them that. They have to want to work and learn.” She has taken the mentorship beyond the Silverwater, working with students at the high school and teaching about cooking. Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader

“The older I get, the more I realize we all need to help strengthen our community,” Alison says. “Providing healthy places for children should be one of our highest priorities.” Alison hasn’t only given back, though. By investing in the community, she has developed relationships with numerous people. She says she receives hundreds of calls a day about reservations, catering, and from people who just want to ask questions. The community has given her a lot to be grateful for, she says. “I feel really privileged to be part of so many people’s stories,” Alison says. “I’ve been involved with weddings, anniversaries, and people even get engaged here. It’s breathtaking.”

“I love working with the people I work with,” she says. “It truly feels like a second family.” Alison Hero-Powers Silverwater as a stage With Alison’s help, the Silverwater staff strives to uphold the statement of purpose shown to every employee who is hired. The statement talks about the restaurant being a stage, with the customers as the audience who come to escape the pressures of life. Employees, of course, are the performers. Alison recently hired Amanda Steurer as floor manager at the restaurant. Steurer grew up in Port Townsend and studied acting at New York University. She went on to work alongside Mario Batali as well as with Wolfgang Puck in Maui, but knew she wanted to come back home. “Alison sent me the statement of purpose and I thought ‘wow, that’s where I’m supposed to be,’” Steurer says. Steurer says she admires Alison not only for opening a

For 24 years, Dinah Reed has been teaching and providing for all ages and still going strong!

business at such a young age but also for maintaining an atmosphere that goes above and beyond most restaurants. Support Family remains the number one priority in Alison’s life. She spends as much time as she can with her husband, Patrick, and their 4-year-old son Antonio “Nino” Powers. She’s even teaching Nino to cook. His favorite thing to make is pizza, and Alison says he makes the dough. “I cook the pizza on the barbecue,” Nino says, complete with cheese, black olives, artichoke hearts and mushrooms. He’s also a big fan of potatoes. “I can’t reach the oven yet, so I can’t cook the topatoes,” Nino says. “But I watch my mom cook the topatoes. And I help pick the topatoes.” Alison’s support system goes beyond her husband and son. Ex-husband David Hero remains a good friend, and the two work together as co-owners of the restaurant. “My husband jokes about David being the husbandin-law,” Alison says. Her mother, Diane Thompson, has also been with her every step of the way, and Alison says she appreciates everything her friend Heather Pollock has done for her as well. Though she may not have much time for pursuing new hobbies or enjoying old ones, Alison says that friends and family – especially Nino – keep her life centered. For her, the Silverwater isn’t just a job or a place to eat. It’s a second home – one that she shares with her staff and her beloved community. “We’re not here to own a restaurant,” Alison says. “We’re here to provide a meeting place that feels like a home away from home. We’re dedicated to making the world a better place.” – Melanie Lockhart is a summer intern at The Leader. She was born and raised in Port Townsend and will complete her journalism degree from Central Washington University in August. Contact her at

How old were you when you learned to knit at Dinah’s? Dinah Reed and Annabelle Teal

Dinah Reed & Annabelle Teal

1821 Irondale Road, Port Hadlock, WA 98339

Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri., Sat.: 10-5; Wed.: 10-7; Sun: 12-5 Email: • Phone orders always welcome. 360-385-5230

We’re Excited to Join the Women in Business!

Stephanie Davis, Kelli Conrads & Jenny Davis 1038 water Street, Port TownSend 360•385•9708

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Realtor, Eco-Broker

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2500 W. Sims Way Suite 201, Port Townsend

■ Member Jefferson Co. Association of Realtors, and serves in these subcommittees; Government Affairs Chair, Board of Directors, Finance Committee, PR Committee ■ Alternate State Director for WA Association of Realtors ■ Supervisory Committee member at Quimper Community Credit Union ■ EcoBroker and member of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild

2008 Women in Business ✴ 15

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WANTED Do you know these women?

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You should. They’ll get your business known in these parts. Correctly identify the women outlaws who had these nicknames (by 10/31/08), and receive 10% off your next display ad in The Leader!

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Women in Business 2008  

The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader's 2008 Women in Business magazine.

Women in Business 2008  

The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader's 2008 Women in Business magazine.