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Supplement of the Lynden Tribune and Ferndale Record.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nooksack Valley grad represents Downtown Seattle District in State House...............C4

Edaleen Dairy sees increased success in retail brand ............................. C14

Roger DeBoer's Cloud 9 Sports continues to grow ..................... C10


The people behind the progress

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record


Table of contents 2: For Greg Neufeldt, Lynden Floor & Design just a starting point 4: Nooksack graduate represents downtown Seattle in state House 6: Freeze-drying plant moving into vacant Ferndale building

   A progress theme in February each year gives us a chance to dig out some extra local stories and do a special section that illustrates the upbeat, can-do success attitude of local people in many ways.    We routinely come across individuals, businesses, organizations and enterprises in our Whatcom County coverage area about which we’ll say, “That deserves a story.” If it’s of immediate news interest, you’ll see it in print right away. Otherwise, the idea might get saved up for such an edition as this one, fitting a broader perspective of progress.    These stories provide an inside view of the people who help to make this the thriving and delightful place that each of us has chosen to call home. We hope you will enjoy. — Calvin Bratt, Tribune editor

8: Dan Powell has brought upgrades to Lynden YMCA 10: Coach Roger DeBoer runs sports-supply business too 14: Edaleen Dairy makes adjustment to adapt to change 16: African-born Lyndenite splits time as plumber, student and missionary 18: Ryan Bajema casts First Reformed Church's outreach vision 20: FastCap in Ferndale models lean principles 22: Cadets organization for boys stays true to values


Roger Roosendaal, owner

Gary Honcoop, owner

360-398-2800 5977 Guide Meridian, Bellingham, WA 98226





Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record


Greg Neufeldt running more than just Lynden Floor Design One of the men behind the Dutch Village Mall remodel has plenty more going on in Lynden By Tim Newcomb

Greg Neufeldt, owner of Lynden Floor & Design (facing page), has his hands involved in multiple Lynden-area business ventures that provide activity for the Lynden community. He is the owner of the Wiser's Furniture building on Birch Bay-Lynden Road, which opened in March 2013, and part of the leadership team revitalizing Front Street's Dutch Village Mall. (Tim Newcomb/Lynden Tribune)

LYNDEN — The reach of businessman Greg Neufeldt has a trifold stretch in Lynden.    While most known as the founder and owner of Lynden Floor & Design, Neufeldt is also one of the men behind the Dutch Village Mall remodel and the owner of the building that now houses Wiser’s Furniture. His reach proves diverse.    Neufeldt, 50, who now lives in Everson, moved from Canada — he still owns real estate there — and started Lynden Floor nearly 20 years ago from scratch. Neufeldt bought the 2017 Front St. site and built the building there about a decade ago, now offering 10,000 square feet of showroom and warehouse space for all things interior design. Roughly five years ago, Lynden Floor expanded to Bellingham.    “We really took on a recommitment to customer service and who we were dealing with,” Neufeldt said. “You need fair pricing, but if you have exceptional customer service you’ll have a successful business, in my mind.”    Now Lynden Floor sells and installs — the business is split about 50/50 between retail and installation — with a renewed focus on interiors, whether floors, custom cabinets, kitchens or more.    Even with Lynden Floor doing well, Neufeldt had hopes to build on his parcel of property on the north side of Birch Bay-Lynden Road still within Lynden city limits. Those hopes fell flat when the real estate market took a tumble in 2008. But a few years later, with Wiser’s Furniture nearby bursting at the seams, Neufeldt struck a deal, building and opening a new building in March 2013 to house Wiser’s.    The lease agreement continued to grow during planning and now, other than some storage area retained by Neufeldt, Wiser’s has taken up all of the 20,000-square-foot building.    “It has been excellent,” Neufeldt said. “It provided a purpose (for the property).”    The agreement allowed Neufeldt to produce a building and create activity for the city, all while giving Wiser’s a new home they are “very happy” with.    But finishing off a new building for Wiser’s wasn’t the only big move Neufeldt

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record

2014 PROGRESS EDITION made in 2013. A Lynden Floor shoot-off business, Elements Hospitality, needed some wiggle room to house employees, so Elements co-owner Tim Broersma helped convince Neufeldt that the Dutch Village Mall was exactly the place.    Elements started as a natural extension, almost accidental, if you can call a wise business move accidental. After Lynden Floor successfully completed a remodeling job for a timeshare company in Birch Bay, the company wanted to sign them up for more work. Elements grew from there. Now, with over 40 employees and its own business that spans the western United States, Elements outgrew its home in the Lynden Floor & Design Lynden office.    And while the Tribune has chronicled Broersma’s desire to renovate and restore the mall to its former glory, albeit with a fresh perspective, it wasn’t until Elements needed space in a hurry that Neufeldt finally agreed with Broersma.    “I had my mind set on expanding this (Lynden Floor) building and Tim had his mind set on the Dutch Village Mall,” Neufeldt said. “I told him you have got to let that slide.” But when the mall went for sale and Lynden Floor already started taking up the extra 4,000 square feet it expanded into next door to its Bellingham location off Hannegan Road, Neufeldt started thinking Broersma might just be


right. Plus, any expansion at the Lynden Floor building would make parking difficult and limit future Lynden Floor needs.    That’s where a purpose-built building made sense again for Neufeldt. “I’ll make moves based on an ability to have income or fulfill a purpose and our purpose is putting Elements in there,” Neufeldt said. Plus, Lynden Floor really needed all the space it already has.    And while the community supports Lynden Floor, Neufeldt and Broersma both hope the revitalization of the Dutch Village Mall helps the community, both with an anchor tenant that keeps a growing business in town and a new hotel and local retailers. “Our intention was never to save downtown, but it is nice to see (the mall) advance like the rest of the strip,” Neufeldt said. “People know Lynden for the windmill.”    So, sure, there’s a bit of a commitment to the people in Lynden in the business move. But helping people is a part of Neufeldt anyway. He personally — and with his business — supports an orphanage in Haiti, traveling there every year to help assess needs and support work there.    From supporting work in Haiti or with the roughly 70 jobs he has created here, serving is “who we are, who I am and we are purposed to do that, to support people, families and communities.”

2014 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business Timeless

130 Years

129 Years

3002 W. Illinois • Bellingham 756-6200

2004 Main St. • P.O. Box 38 Ferndale 384-1411

113 6th St. • Lynden 354-4444

108 Years LTI Inc./ Milky Way

106 Years

104 Years

Lincoln Mercury

Christian School

Mills Electric

1256 N. State St. Bellingham • 733-8630

8631 Depot Road Lynden 354-2101

1820 James St. Bellingham 734-2640

9390 Guide Meridian Lynden 354-2632

4430 Pacific Hwy Bellingham 734-0730

98 Years

94 Years

93 Years

93 Years

92 Years

Ferndale School District

Education is Timeless! • 383-9207

122 Years

Whatcom Family YMCA

Washington Tractor 830 Evergreen St. Lynden 354-2186

Morse Steel

Snapper Shuler Kenner Insurance 501 Front Street, Lynden 354-4488

Ferndale Record

Diehl Ford

126 Years

Lynden Tribune “We believe in community news.”


123 Years

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Bellingham 734-5400

103 Years

WM T. Follis Realtors

Yeager’s Sporting Goods

Fussner Monuments

108 Prospect St. Bellingham 734-5850

3101 Northwest Ave. Bellingham 733-1080

7346 Guide Meridian Road Lynden 318-1111

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record



Nooksack Valley grad Brady Walkinshaw, 29, in state House Living on Capitol Hill, he represents Seattle's downtown 43rd District By Calvin Bratt

New member Brady Walkinshaw speaks in the Washington State Legislature. (Courtesy photo/Washington State House Democrats)

   When the 2014 Washington State Legislature was gaveled to order on Jan. 13, a 2002 Nooksack Valley High School graduate sat in the chambers as a brand-new representative of downtown Seattle’s 43rd District.    Brady Walkinshaw, who grew up on Sumas Mountain, is just 29 years old.    Walkinshaw was appointed to the House of Representatives following the election of Ed Murray as Seattle mayor last November. Rep. Jamie Pedersen in the House was named to Murray’s Senate seat, leaving a vacancy that was filled with Walkinshaw’s selection by the King County Council.    While the core neighborhoods of Seattle — the University District, Wallingford and Capitol Hill, where he lives — are now his designated constituency, Walkinshaw said in an interview that he knows his roots are defi-

2014 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business 91 Years

Parberry’s NW Recycling

89 Years

Muljat Group North Realtors

87 Years

Oldtown-1419 C St. 1515 Kentucky St. • Bellingham 733-0100

505 Front St. Lynden 354-4242

315 Cherry St. Sumas 988-2681

4th Generation Family Owned & Operated Business Lynden - 354-3232 Bellingham - 734-3840

85 Years

83 Years

82 Years

81 Years

Van’s Plumbing & Electric

Sumas Drug

85 Years

85 Years

Sanitary Service Louis Auto & Company, Inc (SSC) Residential Glass Recycling & Garbage Collection • FoodPlus! Shredding • Jobsite & Event Services • Facebook / sscinc 21 Bellwether Way, Suite 104 734-3490

79 Years

S&H Auto Parts

Maple Leaf Auto Body

312 Third St. Lynden 354-2171

Whatcom Veterinary Hospital

5610 Pacific Hwy., Ferndale 384-0212

8123 Guide Meridian Lynden 354-4468

210 Main St. Lynden 354-2104

78 Years

78 Years

76 Years

76 Years Western Roofing

Price & Visser Millworks Inc.

2040 Vista Drive • Ferndale 384-1584

3705 Irongate Rd. • Bellingham 734-1830

2536 Valencia St. Bellingham 734-7700

Cargill Ferndale Grain 5744 3rd St. • Ferndale 384-1101

Whatcom Educational Credit Union

5659 Barrett Rd. • Ferndale 676-1168

Willand’s Tech-Auto

Andgar Corp. 6920 Salashan Pkwy, #A-102 Ferndale 366-9900

76 Years

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record

2014 PROGRESS EDITION nitely in the terrain of Whatcom County.    “It’s where my family still is,” he said. “I had a lot of great teachers up there. That is one of the best small districts in the state.”    The route that took Brady to this point is a bit circuitous. After high school — where he was ASB president and homecoming king — he went to Princeton University in New Jersey. He spent time as a Fulbright Scholar in Honduras, where he founded a small not-forprofit focused on education and youth development in urban slums. The organization was recognized by UNESCO in 2011 as an Organization for Peace. For four years until his legislative appointment, Walkinshaw was back in Seattle with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation heading up development efforts in Brazil and Africa.    Matt Galley, Brady’s former coach and teacher at NVHS, says he wasn’t surprised in the least to hear that this alum, just 12 years away from his Pioneers mantle, is now in the state Legislature.    “He really was a different kind of kid in terms of his understanding of the big picture,” Galley said.    A broader perspective of things came to Brady Walkinshaw via his parents. His father, Charlie, is the founder of Experience International, an agriculture-related nonprofit run from the family Cabrant Road property. His mother, Vicki, an immigrant from Cuba years ago, oversees English language learners in

the Nooksack district.    In fact, Brady spent a year abroad, in Costa Rica with his family midway through high school.    Walkinshaw was in sports — including baseball with Galley as coach — and he remembers plenty of the typical high-energy experiences of being a kid with friends, such as hiking, go-karting and just “driving around.”    Yet he could take on projects very seriously too. Galley recalls that a food drive organized by Brady in leadership class raised three or four times the normal amount, propelled by his enthusiasm.    “He was just a really driven kid and a really goal-oriented kid,” Galley said.    His mother says that Brady did indeed show his political bent at an early age, 4 or 5 — organizing books on the floor about states and naming his first dog George Washington.    On the personal side, “Brady was always really genuine, very compassionate, and fun. He really stands up for what is right,” she said.    There was something the homefolks didn’t know about him back then, though: Brady was gay.    Walkinshaw says in a January KUOW story that it wasn’t until he got to the different environment of New Jersey that he realized he had an option in orientation and “saw other people who were positive role models for me.”


Brady Walkinshaw receives congratulations after his first sponsored bill was passed on Feb. 11. (Courtesy photo/Washington State House Democrats)    It so happens that the seat he occupies in the House has been held by a gay man since 1987, first Cal Anderson, then Pedersen and Murray.    Walkinshaw said the experience of his first 30 days in the Legislature has been “wonderful.” He serves on judiciary, transportation and higher education committees, and on Feb. 11 saw his first sponsored bill

pass the House. It allows community colleges to award honorary baccalaureate degrees.    He was already familiar with his Capitol Hill neighborhood since his paternal grandparents lived there, he said, and during his time with the Gates Foundation he also got involved with a number of community See Walkinshaw on C7

2014 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business 76 Years

74 Years

70 Years

69 Years

68 Years

Ferndale Ready Everson Auction Market LLC Mix & Gravel Inc.

Vander Giessen Nursery

Lynden Sheet Metal Inc.

Curt Maberry Farm

401 E. Grover St. Lynden 354-3097

837 Evergreen St. • Lynden 354-3991

729 Loomis Trail Rd. • Lynden 354-4504

144 River Rd. Lynden 354-1410

7291 Everson Goshen Rd. Everson 966-3271

68 Years

67 Years

67 Years

66 Years

65 Years

Americold 406 2nd St. Lynden 354-2138

65 Years

Larson Gross CPAs & Consultants Lynden • Bellingham Burlington 734-4280

Northwest Propane LLC 8450 Depot Rd. • Lynden 5494 Barrett Rd. • Ferndale 354-4471

64 Years

Kulshan Veterinary Hospital PLLC 8880 Benson Rd. • Lynden 354-5095

Hinton Motors 8139 Guide Meridian Lynden 354-2129

62 Years

Meridian Equipment

Ferndale Dental Clinic Dr. Braden G. Miller, Dr. Ronald D. Dahl,

5946 Guide Meridian Bellingham 398-2141

Dr. Anthony A. Gardiner, Dr. Richard V. Tucker

61 Years

60 Years

Les Schwab Ferndale

VanderPol & Maas Inc.

1731 LaBounty Dr. Ferndale 380-4660

228 Bay Lyn Dr. Lynden 354-3000

100+ years of Experience 384-1271

Wagter’s Automotive Service

8747 Northwood Rd. • Lynden 354-2500

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record



Freeze-drying plant going into idle Ferndale industrial spot Company plans to process local berries this year at former meat packing facility By Mark Reimers

American Freeze Dry intends to begin operating out of the former Portal Way meat packing building in June. (Mark Reimers/Ferndale Record)


Manufactured Homes & Park Models on Display

(360) 354 - 8577

Mentio n this ad for 5 extra door p rize entrie s

7324 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264

Spring Open House March 14-16 Door Prizes Savings Specials Refreshments Sat. March 15th visit with Manufacturer Reps & Site Contractors

Ferndale’s Portal Way entrance is getting a new tenant with big plans for participating in the local berry industry.    American Freeze Dry, located at 6025 Portal Way, intends to be operational in the former meat packing building by June or July of this year.    Gord Cheema, company president, said the business is a perfect fit for the local industry.    Cheema’s company is currently retro-

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record

2014 PROGRESS EDITION fitting the 50,000-square-foot facility formerly operated by Ferndale Meat LLC. The conversion to freeze-drying processes will take up every bit of the large building, he said.    Cheema’s last corporate position was with the Canadian company Fraser Valley Packers, a large-scale berry processor based in Abbotsford. He sold his stock in that company just over two years ago. However, he still owns berry farms of his own on both sides of the border.    The plan for the Ferndale facility, Cheema said, is to provide the best of what the North American market can offer: quality berries along with high food safety and quality processing.    The freeze drying market is currently heavily influenced by Chinese processors, Cheema said. That means quality standards and food safety are hard to guarantee for local growers who want to freeze-dry part of their harvest.    “Health and safety standards are what sells product on this continent. We think we can compete with (China),” Cheema said.    North American food safety standards are just a start, however. Cheema said he is also confident that his drying process will be the best available, retaining 99 percent of the fruit’s nutritional value.    The conversion process has been intense, Cheema said, a process led by his

chief technology officer Bob Denk. That’s mainly because of the length of time the former meat-packing facility has been idle and the high food quality standards required.    However, the location right next to the Interstate 5 Portal Way exit couldn’t be better, Cheema said, providing easy access to Canadian, Seattle and Eastern Washington growers and markets. The close proximity of ocean ports is also a big plus.    Cheema emphasized that his new facility will be designed to complement local berry packers, not compete with them, by adding value to their product lines. Cheema will simultaneously be a potential customer of local fresh and frozen berry producers.    “First and foremost, I’m also a berry grower,” Cheema said. “We need to get as many products out there as possible utilizing our local berries.”    Cheema said he doesn’t know of any other region that can grow such a high quality berry product and also process at such a high standard of safety.    The American Freeze Dry plant will initially employ about 30 people. Eventually, full production will require a higher level of staffing, as Cheema has plans for a round-the-clock operation.    For more information about American Freeze Dry, visit


Walkinshaw: Considers civil rights, social justice

Continued from C5 groups. That included the Democratic Party organization of the 43rd District, recruiting new precinct committee officers.    Somewhere along the way last summer, as Murray was running, Brady decided that he would like to pursue the political realm himself. He beat out two other candidates to win, and he intends to run in the fall to keep his legislative seat.    Walkinshaw told KUOW he looks at is-

sues “through a civil rights and social justice lens,” and he lists higher education, transportation, women’s reproductive rights and immigrant rights as his top priorities.   Footnote: The 98-person state House of Representatives now has four members who graduated from north Whatcom schools: Rep. Jason Overstreet, R-Lynden, 1992 Lynden High School; Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, 1993 Meridian; Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, 1997 Lynden Christian; and Brady Walkinshaw, D-Seattle, 2002 Nooksack Valley.

2014 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business 58 Years

Dutch Treat Restaurant

58 Years Overhead Door

56 Years

55 Years Westside

54 Years

Charlie’s Auto Body

Building Supply

Bromley’s Market

206 3rd St. Lynden 354-2003

202 Ohio St. • Bellingham Est. 1921 in Hartford, IN 734-5960

901 Evergreen St. Lynden 354-2172

8353 Guide Meridian Lynden 354-5617

315 Cherry St. Sumas 988-4721

54 Years

52 Years

52 Years

51 Years

50 Years

New York Life Insurance 517 Liberty St. Lynden 354-4433

50 Years

Dodsen’s IGA Market Inc. 3705 Mt. Baker Hwy • Everson 592-5351

Fairway Cafe

Mt. Baker Fireplace Shop

Vavra Auto Body

Z Recyclers Inc.

1273 Sunset Ave. • Bellingham 676-1383

411 Nooksack Ave. Nooksack 966-4444

6129 Guide Meridian Lynden 734-5986

49 Years

49 Years

48 Years

48 Years

1677 Mt. Baker Hwy • Bellingham • 734-4455

910 W. Front St. • Sumas 988-9631

205 Liberty St. Lynden 354-4277

3455 Alm Rd. Everson 966-4142

1726 Front St. Lynden 318-1302

Marr’s Heating & Air Conditioning

Valley Plumbing & Electric

Van Loo’s Auto Service

Edwards Draperies

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record



Big makeover for Lynden YMCA Around $100,000 worth of new equipment recently brought into the Drayton Street location By Braulio Perez

Lynden High School friends LaKrista Buckley and Ana Laura Rodriguez work out on the new Matrix units. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

Family Care Network

We Take Care Steve Alexander, MD Hannah Bujak, MD Oliver Bujak, MD Margaret Burden, MD Robin Caldwell, MD Karen Goodman, ARNP John Gunningham, MD Larry Hartwell, MD John Hiemstra, DO Bruce Pederson, MD Teresa Reiger, ARNP Sarah Stewart, ARNP

Lynden Family Medicine and Birch Bay Family Medicine are dedicated to meeting the medical needs of the north Whatcom County community. The Physicians are all Diplomats of the American Board of Family Medicine, and our Nurse Practitioners are nationally certified in the specialty of family medicine. As family physicians and practitioners, they serve people in several areas of expertise, including pregnancy care, women’s health care, health care for children, adult medicine, care of the elderly and minor surgery. We are two local clinics making community connections for compassionate and coordinated care. For more information about Family Care Network clinics and locations visit

Lynden Family Medicine

1610 Grover Street, Suite D-1, Lynden • (360) 354-1333

Birch Bay Family Medicine 8097 Harborview Rd., Blaine • (360) 371-5855

When members of the Lynden YMCA walk into the Drayton Street building, it doesn’t take long to see the changes that are afoot. First off, you immediately spot a brand-new bench press located in the first room to the right of the entrance.    Then, when you walk into the main weight room, 16 new Matrix pieces of equipment are on display, with patrons of the facility eager to use them.    “A lot of people have been extremely thankful to see all of the changes,” said Lynda Clark, longtime secretary and administrative specialist. “This is exciting. I’ve been here a long time and to see all the new things come into the weight room and the smiles on people’s faces has been great.”

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record

2014 PROGRESS EDITION    All those smiles for the new equipment can be directed in large part to Dan Powell. The first-year CEO of the parent Whatcom Family YMCA organization arrived to the area back in September and began his work to see improvements made around the county.   This includes the much-needed makeover at the Lynden and all of the new equipment. Several of the old machines, which were made in the 1980s, were breaking down and needed constant repair. In early February, the new Matrix machines were brought in.    “I believe it was around $100,000 for all of it,” Powell said. “It’s not cheap. That’s equipment that is considered state-ofthe-art right now. We brought in 16 selectorized pieces. It’s top of the line for legs, arms, chest and more. We have equipment now that allows for people to get full-body workouts.”    “There’s some more we would still like to do, but we will approach it as the budget allows. The biggest need was to improve the equipment in there and I’m glad we were able to do that.”    As Powell said, though, that’s not where the improvements will stop. More positives will arrive to the Lynden Y, but he wants to hear from the community about what some of those changes might be.

   “We are looking at how we can better serve the Lynden community,” Powell said. “We want to partner with organizations, schools and city government. We will partner with anyone to be able to be a resource for better living and youth development.”    The City of Lynden owns the Y building, whose pool portion was an outdoor one before being covered in 1979. The city is responsible for building maintenance.    One organization Powell said he hopes to partner up with is the Lynden Boys & Girls Club, which can also boast a new top person. It’s someone Dan is quite familiar with.    Heather Powell, Dan’s wife, took over as CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County back in November and the two hope to continue to nurture the relationship of both organizations moving forward.    “The Boys & Girls Club has a role here that we don’t want to tread on,” Dan said. “They run a lot of great programs, but if there’s an opportunity to provide something that isn’t there now, we’ll explore that.    “One of the things the Boys & Girls Club doesn’t have is a large facility. Here at this location (Lynden YMCA) we have the pool and the gym. There’s a lot of opportunities for collaboration there.”    As for Heather, she also plans on


Left: CEO Dan Powell has high goals for the development of the Lynden YMCA. Right: Heather Powell hopes to receive a lot of feedback from members of the community for the Boys & Girls Club. (Braulio Perez/Lynden Tribune) bringing some changes to the Boys & Girls Club and similar to Dan, she wants to hear from the people.    “We want to speak with the entire county about what the needs are,” Heather said. “We want to develop a strategic work plan with feedback from the community. We want the citizens to tell us what they need and we’ll respond to that need.”

   Heather added that she and members of her staff have been holding community roundtables throughout Whatcom County to help gain feedback.    “By the time we hit June, we’ll have wrapped up about 12 of them (roundtables),” Heather said. “The plan is to get going this summer and early fall with our work plan to get moving on.”

2014 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business 48 Years

47 Years

47 Years

47 Years

5825 Aldrich Rd. Bellingham 398-2011

4155 S. Pass Rd. Everson 966-2799

501 Grover St. Lynden 354-4493

7467 Hannegan Rd. Lynden 354-3239

237 Rosemary Way • Lynden 354-2595

45 Years

44 Years

43 Years

43 Years

43 Years

Reinke’s Fabrication

Tellefsen Trucking

Pete’s Auto Repair

Al’s Electric & Plumbing

6209 Portal Way, Bldg. 2 • Ferndale 380-2277

302 Hawley St. • Lynden 354-2187

42 Years

42 Years

Bay Trophies & Engraving Inc. 1833 Humboldt St. Bellingham 676-0868

Tyas & Tyas Backhoe & Sewer Service 3966 Deeter Rd. • Everson 988-6895

Zylstra Tire

NorWest Hydraulic

46 Years

Schouten Construction LLC

DeYoung & Roosma Construction Inc.

Nooksack Valley Disposal

141 Wood Creek Dr. • Lynden 354-3374

250 Birch Bay-Lynden Rd. Lynden 354-3400

1208 Iowa St. • Bellingham 676-1025

41 Years

40 Years

40 Years

M & W Carpet Cleaning 671-2729

Tiger Construction Ltd. 6280 Everson Goshen Rd. Everson 966-7252

Windsor Plywood

Edaleen Dairy 9593 Guide Meridian • Lynden 354-5342 1011 E. Grover St. • Lynden 746-8664 908 Cherry St. • Sumas 988-2189

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record



Steady growth for Cloud 9 Sports LC boys hoops coach Roger DeBoer successful also off the hardwood By Braulio Perez

Roger DeBoer pulls double duty as coach of the Lynden Christian High School boys' basketball team and as coowner of Cloud 9 Sports. (Braulio Perez/Lynden Tribune)

   When Lynden Christian boys basketball coach Roger DeBoer stands at the LC bench directing plays to his team, you can see the passion on his face. Filled with energy, DeBoer will often deliver his famous fist pump to celebrate a big play from the Lyncs.    What some don’t know about DeBoer, though, is that his passion is not limited to the basketball court. He’s also a businessman and has found much success in that arena.    DeBoer, a Lynden native, is co-owner of Cloud 9 Sports, one of the top clothing and gear distributors in Whatcom County. When you see a team in the Northwest Conference in jerseys on game nights, or walking around in team sweaters or pants, chances are Cloud 9 Sports helped acquire those products.

2014 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business 39 Years

39 Years

39 Years Honcoop Gravel

38 Years

Milt’s Pizza Place

38 Years

Boice Raplee & Ross Accounting & Tax Service

Northwest Professional Services 191 Birch Bay-Lynden Rd. Lynden • 354-4145

8911 Guide Meridian Lynden 354-4763

8122 Guide Meridian • Lynden 354-7499

2210 Rimland Dr., #101 Bellingham 671-7891

38 Years

37 Years

37 Years

36 Years

36 Years

304 Front St. • Lynden 354-4565

True Log Homes 4208 Mt. Baker Hwy • Everson 592-2322

35 Years

Roosendaal Honcoop Construction 5977 Guide Meridian • Bellingham 398-2800

Multop Financial

Meyer’s Construction & Cabinets

Keith A. Bode Attorney at Law

Marlin’s 76 Service

Lynden Door

705 Loomis Trail Rd. • Lynden 354-5297

314 5th St. Lynden 354-5021

899 E. Pole Rd. Lynden 354-4976

2077 Main St. Lynden 354-5676

34 Years

34 Years

34 Years

34 Years

Ferndale Mini Storage

Riverside Cabinet Co.

Lynden Paint & Decorating

Kid’s Country School

5480 Nielsen Ave. Ferndale 384-3022

1145 Polinder Rd. Lynden 354-3070

417 Front St. Lynden 354-5858

170 E. Pole Rd. • Lynden 398-2834


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record

Caption. (Tim Newcomb/Lynden Tribune)


Edaleen Dairy Since 1975

LC forward Kara Bajema has worn her Adidas LC jersey with pride all season.

Dedicated to bringing you and your family the freshest milk and other dairy products direct from our farm.

(Braulio Perez/Lynden Tribune)

   “We’re more of the facilitators and act almost like the middle man,” DeBoer said. “Basically teams come into our office, or place orders online, and we make sure they get the designs and logos they want, get it sent off to the embroiderers and make sure it gets shipped to them. We’re big on the order fulfillment aspect.”    DeBoer makes it sound easy, but it’s definitely a lot of hard work. It’s also something he’s been doing, in addition to coaching top 1A state basketball teams, since 1999, when the company first opened up in the Seattle area.    Before DeBoer returned to Lynden in 2008, he had spent 19 years as the basketball coach of Seattle Christian. In 1999 he decided to open Cloud 9 and things took off shortly after.    “At that point I was still a teacher and coach at Seattle Christian,” DeBoer said with a smile. “A few years later, we became

more serious about it and between 2003 and 2007, things just took off for us. I was basically working two full-time jobs. It was 2007 when I left the teaching world and focused on the company.”    One year later, DeBoer and his family moved back to Lynden and he brought Cloud 9 Sports with him, setting up in Bender Plaza. It was a bit of a stressful idea, DeBoer admits, but one that proved to pay off in the end.    “It’s been unbelievable,” DeBoer said. “We’re in a unique situation here where we’re in a small community and we came from the big city. We thought people might be a little apprehensive, but that hasn’t been the case.    “At our Lynden location alone, we’ve probably tripled our business over the last four years. It’s been huge. A lot of the inSee Cloud 9 on C12

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record


Cloud 9: DeBoer still serving clients in Seattle, elsewhere

Cloud 9 Sports sponsors several teams in the Curt Maberry Memorial 3-on3 Basketball Tournament, part of the annual Raspberry Festival. (Braulio Perez/ Lynden Tribune)

Continued from C11 crease has been from corporate businesses coming in for products. I think, to start out, people thought we only helped supply jerseys, but we do much more than that.”   DeBoer said teaming up with Sportsworld, and Jesse Weg, was a huge help after arriving back in the county.    “Jesse is very talented and some of the things he’s able to do design-wise are incredible,” DeBoer said. “Sportsworld has been here forever and to be able to join forces with them has been a blessing.”      Some of the local businesses DeBoer said he and his staff have worked with include Management Services Northwest, Edaleen Dairy, Northwest Propane, Northwest Professional Services and Vander Griend Lumber.    The hope is to continue to build those relationships with local businesses and schools.    “As part of our goal of Cloud 9 Sports, we just want to be plugged into the community,” DeBoer said. “Finding new and different ways is important. We’ve had an ongoing relationship with the Northwest Conference and we work with the majority of the schools in the district.”    In addition, DeBoer said he continues to build communication with clients in Seattle and outside of the state.    “We take care of King’s High School, Cascade Christian, Mariner High School, Mountlake Terrace and others,” DeBoer

said. “A majority of their purchases, as far as uniforms and gear, are Adidas. Because of that, we need to be involved and communicate with them and be on campus.    “Our biggest client is actually Point Guard College, which is a top basketball camp based in Missouri City, Texas. We do all the gear for them and we actually were put in contact with them through Lynden Christian graduate Tyler Coston. We got a good quote on the deal nationally and we’ve been their vendor for the past seven years.”    In 2013 alone, DeBoer estimated that Point Guard College purchased about $250,000 worth of goods through Cloud 9. On the year, DeBoer said, Cloud 9 Sports had total sales of $3.9 million through all of its reps, with $1.3 million coming out of the Lynden office.    “Right now, we’re in the top 15 nationally for Adidas dealers,” DeBoer said with pride. “We’re the largest in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. With that, when there’s a desire for a school to become a national Adidas school, which is the smaller version of what colleges do, we’re the facilitation dealer to make that happen.”    With all of his success and hard work, DeBoer admits he’s seen his fair share of long hours.    “We had times before basketball started where we had 30-40 teams that were expecting their hoodies, practice gear and jerseys,” DeBoer said. “Between Nov. 1 and Christmas, we figured we did over 400 orders.    “We didn’t sleep much during that

Roger DeBoer coached the Lynden Christian High School Basketball team to a 1A state championship in 2012. (Braulio Perez/Lynden Tribune) time. We were looking at 100-hour weeks for about five straight weeks.”    Although things can get hectic, DeBoer hopes Cloud 9 Sports continues to make steady progress down the road.    “We want growth,” DeBoer said. “But, we want it in different ways. The vision we have for Cloud 9 Sports is to add a few people and spread the responsibilities out. Our goal is to get to $2.5 million or $3 million as

part of our 10-year plan. We want to gradually do it and not too quickly.    “Tripling a business in four years is not healthy. From a family perspective, I want to focus on being a good husband, father and community member. I also want to pay attention to my passion, which is coaching. At the end of the day, we want to get bigger, but at the same time. I’ve also got to assess what my priorities are.”


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record



Edaleen continues to grow retail brand; expect cream as the next expansion point Lynden-based dairy to open fourth retail outlet in Blaine this summer By Tim Newcomb

The Lynden Edaleen retail outlet, which opened in December 2012, has put a focus back on ice cream for the local dairy processor. (Tim Newcomb/Lynden Tribune)

North Whatcom County’s favorite ice cream — and for much of Canada too, seemingly — sits poised for a transition. But first Edaleen must finish up its already aggressive retail plans while continually churning out milk from 1,600 cows.    Edaleen has faced change in recent years and met it head-on.    “We are doing well and life is as good as it can be,” said Mitch Moorlag, Edaleen general manager. With that success realized, the Lynden-grown company is willing to meet challenge again. And again.    Life for one of the nation’s largest independent milk producers and processors, owned by Ed and Aileen Brandsma, took an unexpected turn about six years ago when

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record

2014 PROGRESS EDITION the U.S. Department of Agriculture ruled that even independent producer-processors were required to pay into a milk pooling fund if they produced a certain quantity of milk. That fee amounted to a substantial hit on Edaleen, so the company adapted, reducing herd size from about 2,400 cows to ensure that Class I sales of milk stay below three million pounds per month.

Mitch Moorlag    It took Edaleen some time to find “our happy medium,” as Moorlag calls it, but it is now able to sustain a comfortable level of production while employing 90 full-time at three retail stores, the North Prairie Road farm and the Guide Meridian Road production facility.    In the process, Edaleen has realized a few things. The relationship between Edaleen and giant processor Darigold has evolved to the point where Edaleen sells Darigold a small percentage of surplus skim milk and will seasonally purchase cream to balance its ice cream production needs.    “We worked hard to build those relationships,” Moorlag said. “The plant managers work on a give-and-take so both have benefit.”    Along the way also came a newfound focus on retail. The bulk — half, really — of Edaleen’s milk still goes to 7-Eleven stores in Washington and Oregon, but a handful of other distributors send the milk throughout the Pacific Northwest, includ-

ing Bellingham’s Winco store. With a set amount of milk each month — and no room for growth because of the USDA limits — Edaleen realized going straight to the customer with the remainder of its product simply made sense.    The small retail outlet on Guide Meridian Road near the Canadian border had always drawn Canadian traffic, so Edaleen opened a second retail store in Sumas two years ago and then a Lynden store on Grover Street in December 2012. Edaleen will open a fourth store, on Peace Portal Drive in Blaine, this summer.    “Our stores are definitely our focus,” Moorlag said. “We get that immediate customer interaction, with both positive and negative feedback on what they’re looking for. Other than healthy cows making good milk, that is really what our focus is.”    The Blaine store will follow in the mold of the Guide and Sumas stores, with a focus on milk, milk and milk. Canadian customers can average 10 gallons per cart, Moorlag said, so simply having the quantity to keep up with that demand proves key at Guide, in Sumas and likely in Blaine. But the intown Lynden store had a different focus, giving Edaleen a place to expand and bring the brand into the community.    While there’s still a focus on milk — the Lynden store sells half of what the Sumas or Guide ones do — Moorlag said customer service, a throwback ice cream shop feel and a place for the community to gather were all just as important.    “It is rare to walk in there and not see a neighbor and chat with a neighbor,” Moorlag said. “After a big Lynden or Lynden Christian game, to go in there and see young kids to high schoolers to adults having ice cream and chatting, it is an evening coffee shop.”    While roughly 75 percent of all Edaleen’s business is milk, nearly 25 percent is ice cream, a product not subject to the Class I limits. Edaleen also produces whipped cream, buttermilk, half-and-half, chocolate milk, strawberry milk and a couple of small juice lines. But it is the ice cream side of the business that shows the most potential.    Already Edaleen is making custom ice cream mixes it sells to novelty ice cream shops, allowing places such as Acme Ice

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Edaleen Dairy's milk processing facility off Guide Meridian Road takes in all the milk from the dairy's 1,600 cows. (Tim Newcomb/Lynden Tribune) Cream in Bellingham or Winegar’s in Ellensburg to add in their own flavors for a specialty hard ice cream. But Moorlag sees an opportunity to increase selection and variety in both hard — already Edaleen rotates between 40 different hard flavors — and soft ice cream. But it is the premium lines and packaging sizes that show the most potential for big-ticket growth.    In the next couple of years Edaleen wants to make a “hefty capital investment” in upping production capacity. Edaleen turns away orders because it simply doesn’t have the ability to keep up with demand.    “We see a potential market and it is tough to pass up,” Moorlag said. “We need

to build some new infrastructure to expand our ice cream.”    After all, if Edaleen has its way, its ice cream will be a favorite for folks well beyond north Whatcom County. More change    Roughly two years ago, Edaleen also employed Andgar to install an anaerobic digester on the property, which takes the methane from cow waste and turns it into sellable electric power. The remaining waste is a fiber solid, which can be reused in cow bedding, eliminating the need for sawdust. “It made the circle smaller for us,” Moorlag said.

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record



African-born Lynden man is a tradesman, active student — and missionary Fidelis Eze goes over the plumbing to be done on a house in Cordata with EverKept Construction site manager Tim Kredit. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

Fidelis Eze is noted by BTC as an example of transformation through training By Calvin Bratt

   When Fidelis Eze gets finished with school for the day at Bellingham Technical College, he goes to work for Valley Plumbing & Electric. That’s at about 2:30 in the afternoon, and he will work another six hours or so.    Then he will go home to his wife and two children in Lynden, enjoy family life for a while, sleep and do it all over again the next day.    And Fidelis considers his true vocation to be missionary.    “I want to be working all the time

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2014 PROGRESS EDITION providing for my family,” he said last week, finding time at a Cordata house construction site, “so that my children will have a better future than I. That’s my prayer and that’s why I decided to go to school.”    While he is working in plumbing for Valley, Eze (pronounced ee-ZAY) is earning his HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) certificate at BTC in order to add to his all-around skill set.    Now he’s being recognized for all that dedication.    The college has chosen Eze for a Transforming Lives award nomination recognizing students who overcome significant barriers to achieve their higher education goals.    “Fidelis’ story is a prime example of what our college aims to provide its students — the opportunity to succeed in attaining a living-wage career. He reflects the best of our future by illustrating where commitment to excellence and achievement can take you,” said college president Dr. Patricia McKeown in a press release.    His story really goes much deeper.    About 36, Eze was born in Cameroon, Africa, and his mother and siblings still live in Nigeria. As a young man he became involved with Youth With A Mission, working first in a rehabilitiation

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record center in the Cape Verde islands off West Africa and later at Kona, Hawaii.    He came to Lynden in 2002 and, through work with several companies, learned basic plumbing. But he also experienced being out of work for months at a time.    Eze said he seeks to know more of the technical aspects of being a tradesman and so the training at BTC appealed to him.    “For me, going to school is a big step. I would like to learn more,” he said.    He expects to graduate from the BTC program this spring.    Meanwhile, he stays busy in the heavy demand for residential construction happening right now off Tremont Avenue on the far north end of Bellingham. EverKept Construction of Lynden is a major builder there, with Valley subcontracted.    “We’d be stuck without Fidelis,” said Tim Kredit, a site manager. “He is a good man and a good plumber. He is a good Christian example on the job site.”    That gets Fidelis talking, too, on how he fits all the parts of his busy life together. His 7-year-old son is at Fisher Elementary School and his 4-year-old daughter goes to the Gingerbread House preschool.    “I want my children to have a good

education,” he said.    “I’m a missionary. God sent me to the United States. That’s why I am here. Wherever I go, Christ is the center. If I am working and someone is having a difficult time, I will look for one-on-one time with them and try to talk to them and pray with them. There are so many ways to preach the gospel.”    “I do my job right for the company and if the company stays busy, I have a job,” he summarized.    Of the award, which he just found out about, Fidelis said, “I don’t think I did anything different.” He sees God’s leading in it, adding, “It’s a very good encouragement to me to continue. With God, all things are possible.”    The award nomination is to the Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges.    In the press release, Eze credits Malcolm Oliver, BTC director and counselor, with encouraging his additional training. He also is thankful for the staff and for financial aid given.    “What I’ve learned is to know what you want and go for it,” Eze says. “There will always be challenges in life, but knowing what you want and opening yourself up for advise will help. Keep focused and think of a better tomorrow.”


Fidelis Eze starts work in midafternoon after having been in class at Bellingham Technical College. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record



First Reformed Church focuses on community Lead pastor Ryan Bajema started as youth pastor in 2002, worked up to set congregation's vision By Brent Lindquist

For more than a decade, Ryan Bajema has been a familiar face on the staff of Lynden’s First Reformed Church.    “I started here at First Reformed in July of 2002,” he said. “I was hired fresh out of school. I was just graduating from Trinity Western with my Christianity and Culture degree up there and didn’t really know where I was going to land.”    Bajema, a 1997 graduate of Lynden Christian High School, was offered the position of youth pastor at First Reformed that summer, and he served in that capacity for four years.    “I really had no aspirations for any-

thing in ministry beyond that,” he said. “During that time, I felt the call that maybe there would be more.”    To begin pursuing more, Bajema entered the master of divinity program at Trinity Western’s ACTS Seminaries, all in Langley, B.C. He spent six years working part-time towards his M.Div. degree. During that time, he became the associate pastor of First Reformed. He completed his master’s and became the lead pastor of the church in 2008.    “The church was healthy in a lot of ways, and there were a lot of great things happening,” Bajema said. “It was very inward-focused.”    Bajema said that the biggest transition during this time with First Reformed so far has been a change in that focus.    “I think the biggest change that I’ve tried to be a part of has been making this transition as a church and saying that it’s not about us,” Bajema said. “It’s about this community in which we live. There are a lot of people who don’t yet know Jesus.”    Making that change has involved being very intentional about reaching

people who don’t fit into the typical, stereotypical mold that many Lyndenites fit into. The church has hired a Vietnamese pastor who has been instrumental in reaching Asian students at Whatcom Community College and Western Washington University. Both at the church and in the community, First Reformed has tried to build a diversity in the types and methodologies of reaching out.    First Reformed has partnered with Water’s Edge, a Reformed Church in America church plant at Birch Bay, along with a church planter in Belling- Ryan Bajema ham.    “It’s about building relationships with people founding churches around the county,” Bajema said. “And with that, one of my greatest heart hopes is to see

an increasing movement toward the unity of the church in Lynden, and seeing the churches cooperate and collaborate. In a town like ours, that can be one

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of the greatest evangelical tools. We’re all doing the same thing, and we love each other.”    First has been involved in making a tradition out of a party across a six-block radius around, featuring six different churches, bringing together their congregations for an evening of fun.    First Reformed has been very active in establishing a system of raising up leaders from within, too.    “If you want to succeed, surround yourself with great people,” Bajema said. “We’ve tried to do that at the church. For us as a church, we have a tremendous value of raising up leaders from within. That was my story. Daniel Vander Kooi came into youth ministry, and then following him was Ryan Spoelstra.”    Another key to the church’s ministry has been to use these leaders to reach out to the many local campuses of students and youth. That has gotten harder and harder, he said, but the effort can still be made.    Taking a holistic approach to ministry is important to him as well, involving families as well as the church instead of having families outsource their kids’ spiritual teaching to the church and making the home a separate entity entirely.    “We all partner together to do it,” Bajema said. “It seems to bear more fruit A 2012 FRC neighborhood block party brought together Third Christian Reformed, First and Faith Reformed churches, Iglesia Amor Viviente and the Lynden Community Church. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune) and be more effective that way.”

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record



FastCap draws heavy hitters to Ferndale Sparkling lean facility a showcase for other corporations By Mark Reimers

The new FastCap building has gone up off Pacific Highway in the past half year. The product made by FastCap is a self-adhesive covercap designed for covering screw holes on the interior of cabinets or furniture. FastCap, founded by Paul Akers in 1997, now has over 2,700 distributors worldwide, and new products keep being developed. (Mark Reimers/Ferndale Record)

Not many hosts ask their guests to clean the toilets as soon as they arrive. But Paul Akers does it 24 times per year and his guests happily oblige.    That number is no accident. It’s the maximum number of times Akers is willing to lead corporate tours of his new manufacturing facility on Pacific Highway.    And there are strings attached.    Before a CEO or company president steps in the door of Akers’ facility, he or she has already agreed to a complete buy-in of the Lean principles on display in the FastCap plant.    So cleaning toilets shouldn’t be a problem. Akers does it himself and it’s not worth taking important people through his plant if they aren’t committed to his vision for American manufacturing — a top-to-bottom lean system in which everyone takes ownership and pride in their work.    “We are trying to change the world,” Akers said matter-of-factly. Where else than at his plant, he said, can workers be found taking as much fulfillment and pride in the work they do?    The demand is there. He has already had Amazon visit Ferndale multiple times. He is currently negotiating a possible visit by General Electric.

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2014 PROGRESS EDITION    “I get three speaking and tour requests a day and I can’t accommodate the current demand or I would never get anything done,” Akers said.    The requirements for each factory tour are stiff:     • CEO must be present.     • Clean FastCap’s toilets.     • Read Akers’ book.     • Watch at least 20 of Akers’ lean videos with the team prior to the visit.     • Be committed to transforming the culture of a company to a lean model in one year.     • Make 50 improvement videos in the first year.     • Set up a public YouTube channel to share with the world what has been learned.     • Have other businesses tour that business within one year of its tour of FastCap (pay it forward).    While Akers’ Ferndale plant is still not completely full, it is already an impressive example of an operation rooted in lean business principles, a subject on which he has become a recognized expert and consultant.    “We want to be a laboratory of lean,” he said back in July. “Or goal is to be the best lean company in the world. We are just trying to find more elegant ways to perform work and make it enjoyable.”    Elegance starts with clean. The shiny concrete floors look clean enough to eat off of. No tile or carpet (that would be too fancy), but they will be clean.    Even more striking is the entry of the building: Visitors might wonder if they are in the right place because there are no offices up front. Instead, is a collection of stand-up desks that can be wheeled around. Everything is on wheels — including employees, who use a collection of Razor scooters to fly across the factory floor.    The only interior walls in the entire 50,000-square-foot facility are reserved for the bathrooms.    That means the showroom seamlessly merges with the factory floor, making you wonder if the showroom saw rigs are tools that get used on site.    Walls, according to Akers, are the enemy of quality.

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record


The building’s interior is without walls and the work area relies mostly on natural lighting. (Mark Reimers/Ferndale Record)    “Walls tell lies,” Akers said.    Walls would also break up one of the critical facets of lean processes: a seamless manufacturing flow minimizing inefficiency and waste.    In most cases, products are manufactured in self-contained cells — so as to facilitate good communication between workers involved.    Some linear-style processes have crept in, however, due to the uniqueness of those particular products.    In the world of lean, individual employees are allowed, even empowered and challenged, to make changes to their process. Each day is supposed to bring an improvement of some sort to the work space or job process.    Some of the most significant innovations have literally been hard-wired into the new building.    The newer forklifts can fly down narrow aisles with just inches of space to spare thanks to a wire guidance system within the floor. But that doesn’t stop operator Robert Gault from improving his ability to guide the lift into the aisle using manual markings of

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his own.    The facility, built by Ferndale’s Pioneer Post Frame, features hundreds of stylish upper windows that bathe the work environment in natural light. The building’s smart lighting can then sense the level of ambient light and automatically adjust the levels of LED lighting.    “There aren’t any light switches in here,” Akers said.    The only piece of lighting seemingly out of place is a unique circular chandelier in the center of the building. That’s because it was a gift from the P.F. Chang’s restaurant chain after FastCap helped develop the model — the chandelier uses paper-thin, interlocking, wood panels to defuse light.    The heating system is very carefully controlled and augmented by giant ceiling fans. Shop-style doors can be opened to allow outdoor air in if necessary.    Stereo speakers are installed throughout, pumping out a constant stream of classical music.    But it isn’t about the shiny new facility for Akers. That’s because changing the world starts with changing the lives of his own em-

ployees by giving them the best opportunity to succeed.    “See that?” Akers said, pointing to a young man working a process. “He’s so young, but he is thinking like an engineer. Our people get a lot of satisfaction out of this.”    For more information about FastCap, visit

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record



Cadets stay true to their values Organization has changed little since taking root in Whatcom County By Brent Lindquist

The Calvinist Cadet Corps has been in existence since 1952 for boys and now boasts more than 600 clubs throughout North America. Several of those clubs exist in Whatcom County.    Sixty-two years is a long time for an organization to exist, but a number of local Cadet leaders haven’t seen much change in the program since they became involved with it. In fact, they see that as part of the organization’s success.   Different churches have different Cadet traditions, and that’s evident when comparing the Monday-night meetings that occur weekly in Lynden.    Last week Monday, for instance, Second Christian Reformed Church’s cadets, led by Paul Dalla Santa, kicked off their meeting with a spirited game of Gaga-Ball, a club staple. Sonlight Church began by gathering and handing out merit badges, along with a Bible reading by group leader Jeff Timmer. First CRC held a game night, with Cadets’ mothers invited to attend.    Dalla Santa has been a Cadet coun-

A cadre of Sonlight Cadets hit the books at their Monday night meeting. (Brent Lindquist/Lynden Tribune)

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2014 PROGRESS EDITION selor for about 15 years. He began before his boys were old enough to join, and he quit for a few years when they were of age.    “You want your kids to have other men in their lives who aren’t you,” he said. “I wasn’t my own kids’ counselor.”    Marlin Hendricks, also a leader at Second CRC, has been at it for about 40 years. He has served as a head counselor, and he is qualified as a regional training coordinator for lower British Columbia to Seattle.    Hendricks and Dalla Santa said the Calvinist Cadet Corps has stayed very much the same throughout their years of involvement with it. Rather, the change and growth is seen largely in the kids who are positively affected as Cadets.    “You develop relationships,” Hendricks said. “One of my first Cadets, Jacob Steiger, is the chairman of the Lynden Christian School Board, and his youngest kid is just finishing Cadets.”    “My boys still have two or three men in their life (from Cadets) who they just love to see and love to hang around with. They can ask them any question,” Dalla Santa said. “That’s enduring.”    The activities undertaken by Cadet groups vary widely, from bike rides

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record


to hikes and welding to chemistry. New merit badges are added every once in a while, but classic mainstays such as axemanship, fire-building and camp cooking remain favorites.    For local leaders, Cadets is about the experiences shared and relationships built with youngsters over the years.    “We take a 20-mile bike ride,” Hendricks said. “Most kids can’t imagine riding 20 miles, and yet, you get on a bike and ride 20 miles, and they say, ‘Hey, that only took two hours.’ It really stretches you and opens up new opportunities.”    About 10 years ago, Hendricks began leading a group of young Hispanic boys. Second CRC had a few extra counselors and some extra room, so the group from Third Christian Reformed Church’s Amor Viviente joined. The current group of kids led by Hendricks are the younger brothers of the ones he originally had a decade ago.    “I really love working with these kids,” Hendricks said. “I have just the Hispanic boys. There’s quite the age range. Mostly it’s divided up by ages, but I’ve got all the Hispanic boys. They’re third through seventh grade, and they See Cadets on C24

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Marlin Hendricks (right) joins Second CRC's Cadets in a game of Gaga-Ball. (Brent Lindquist/Lynden Tribune)

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Ferndale Record


Cadets: Boys, not organization, have changed Continued from C23

Cadets from First CRC play games with their families. (Brent Lindquist/Lynden Tribune)

prefer it that way. They really look out for each other, and they know each other from school, so it works really well.”    Karl Bosman and Brian Stokes are Cadet counselors at First Christian Reformed Church, and their boys meet each Monday evening just down the street from Second. Both counselors have seen the Calvinist Cadet Corps remain very much the same over their years as counselors.    “The organization has stayed pretty much the same,” Stokes said. “It’s fought those influences from the outside.”    “They’ve stayed pretty consistent over the years,” Bosman said. “They have their own set of bylaws and stuff, and they’ve stayed pretty much true to that. The organization does have a congress at the first of every year, and they go over different merit badges and different items that come up that warrant change or don’t warrant change, and they hash it out and take a vote.”   Bosman and Stokes said that the boys, not the organization, have changed over the years, but the benefits

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to them remain.    “There are a lot more things to keep their focus now,” Stokes said. “When you get them out there, they really enjoy it.”    “A lot of the kids grew up doing the basic merit badges and now we have to teach them how, because most of the kids are city kids,” Bosman said. “But they take to it like a duck to water.”    Sonlight’s Cadets meet on Mondays as well, led by Jeff Timmer.    “The way we do things really hasn’t changed a whole lot,” he said. “It’s good and it’s fun, and the kids do really well with it.”    Timmer said the Sonlight congregation has been involved enough that the Cadets have new leaders coming in every year. As a whole, the organization changes a little from year to year, but, as the other Lynden counselors said, it’s the kids who grow and change.    “We get a few new badges every couple of years, but it is mostly the kids who change,” Timmer said. “The neat part is watching them learn new stuff. You see it clicking.”


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2014 Progress Edition  
2014 Progress Edition