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Year 21 No. 11

NOV 2013

HIGHER EDUCATION

Unique partnership brings WCC’s Health Professions Education Center to life [5]

All in good sun

theBUZZ Top-level change at St. Joseph hospital

Already the state’s largest solar builder, itek Energy is preparing for more expansion in 2014

Bellingham’s major medical center names new chief administrator as PeaceHealth’s Northwest Network looks at new Skagit County alliance. [17]

More Bellingham home buyers are leveling up

STORY ON PAGE 12

Whatcom County real-estate agents reported lively market activity in the third quarter of 2013. In Bellingham, more buyers are going for homes in higher price ranges, compared to last year. [8]

Whidbey Island Bank enters merger Joining with Heritage Bank of Olympia will create the 11th-biggest bank in Washington, based on deposits. All of Bellingham’s Whidbey Island Bank branches will be put under the Heritage name. [9] EVAN MARCZYNSKI PHOTO | THE BELLINGHAM BUSINESS JOURNAL

Bellingham poised for new hotels, more rooms BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal s one new hotel opens in Bellingham, the list of others ready to enter the local market keeps growing. A 122-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott opened on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 4040 Northwest Ave. The hotel, which has been in development for more than five years, is owned and managed by

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360 Hotel Group, based in Lynnwood, Wash. Across the street, construction is set to begin on a new fourstory, 105-room Home2 Suites by Hilton at 805 Home Lane. Erck Hotels of Missoula, Mont., is the project’s developer. Just about a block to the north, on Bakerview Road, an 81-room La Quinta Inn is expected to open before year’s end. A little further away, a 150-160 room Holiday

Inn should begin construction by next May on land next to the Bellingham International Airport. And this summer, Sycan B. Corp. and InnSight Hotel Management, two firms from Springfield, Ore., submitted a proposal to the Port of Bellingham’s threemember elected commission, seeking to build a hotel within a 10.8-acre site on Bellingham’s waterfront, for which the port is currently seeking a master devel-

oper. Visitors to Whatcom County spent almost $163 million on local hotels and motels in 2012, an increase of more than 50 percent from spending levels in 2002, according to a report by Dean Runyan Associates. The new developments will add hundreds of hotel rooms in Bellingham within the next few years. The SpringHill Suites on

In this month’s Market Indicators Employment statistics are unavailble due to the federal government shutdown last month. But updated data include economic trackers on local spending, housing and other factors. [10] See BUZZ, Page 4

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See HOTELS, Page 9

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November 2013

CONTENTS November 2013

Feel confident with your home financing decision As a responsible lending leader, we work closely with you to help you understand your home financing options so you can make informed decisions. Whether you’re buying your first home, second home or refinancing your current home, we have the products and services to help you reach your homebuying goals. EVAN MARCZYNSKI Photo | The Bellingham Business Journal

A stack of finished solar modules at Bellingham’s itek Energy. [12]

Call us to explore your options.

NEWS & FEATURES

[5] WCC opens new Health Professions Education Center College administrators highlight private-sector development partnership.

[6] State faces realities of competition in aerospace

A special report from our partners at The Daily Herald in Everett, Wash.

[8] Land-use permit granted to student-housing project Dixie Anndi Pena Branch Sales Manager 738-2363 NMSLRID 413608

Barry Weafer Home Mortgage Consultant 647-0897 NMLSR ID 420701

Hendor Rodriguez Home Mortgage Consultant 733-5892 NMLSR ID 404085

Contested proposal in Puget Neighborhood could house nearly 500 tenants.

[9] Whidbey Island Bank to merge with Heritage Bank

Whibey’s branches in Bellingham will get a new business name with the merger.

[12] Bellingham’s itek Energy leads a bright industry Founded in 2011, itek is now the state’s top solar-panel manufacturer. BUSINESS TOOLKIT

This month’s contributors: Mike Cook [21] and Patti Rowlson [22]. ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Market Indicators [10], Public Records [19] and People [23].

Connect with us online Brandon C. Mankle Home Mortgage Consultant 738-2362 NMLSR ID 634610

Reah Marie Dewell Home Mortgage Consultant 384-4975 NMLSR ID 156730

Brad Roen Home Mortgage Consultant 647-2342 NMLSR ID 408736

On BBJToday.com: Sign up for our free daily email and have the latest business news sent to your inbox every morning. On Facebook: www.facebook.com/BBJToday On Twitter: @BBJToday On Google+: Bellingham Business Journal

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LETTERS Sees Cherry Point terminal as election linchpin I’m excited for the County Council race; its future power to deny a permit for the Cherry Point terminal has made national news. Instead of clear party lines, I’m pleased to find a diverse crowd opposes the terminal. The terminal would hurt our economy by devastating herring populations thus endangering salmon and Washington’s fishing industry, which supports 66,000 jobs. The contaminants that threaten herring would harm agriculture all along the train corridor. Waterfront businesses would be blocked by rail traffic. Coal trains would damage our infrastructure and property values, and could force Bellingham to build bridges over tracks at taxpayers’ expense. More vibration and pollution would cause wear on property near tracks and decrease property values. Entrepreneur Magazine found the worth of homes near rails decrease 5-7 percent. Federal law prohibits railroads from paying more than 10 percent

of the cost of safety improvements. Heavier coal trains wear out tracks faster, causing expensive repairs, more squealing and derailing. Coal trains would impact the waterfront redevelopment which represents more jobs than the terminal. We need investors to pay premium prices for real estate near the railway—trains would decrease its value and drive away real job creators. Let’s set a precedent for moving from coal to cleaner energies. Becoming a leader in the growing green energy market could be a great step for our economy. I believe conservatives and liberals alike will choose Browne, Mann, Buchanan and Weimer. —Alissa French, Bellingham

Supports Mike McAuley for Port Commission In November, we will be voting for two port commissioners who will be making decisions that will affect us all for years to come—the waterfront, airport, living-wage jobs, the kind of economic development that is best for

our community, our quality of life. I have been attending port meetings for the past two years because the increased jet traffic from the airport greatly impacts my neighborhood. Commissioner McAuley has impressed me with his desire to fully understand the issues. He takes the time to be fully informed, to read all the necessary documents, to ask questions, to listen before he makes a decision. He puts in the required work and much more so he can truly serve the community rather than just rubber stamping whatever is placed before him. He met with me and other Whatcom residents, taking the time to listen to our concerns about the increased jet traffic. Mike McAuley is endorsed by labor, fishermen and firefighters and environmental groups. Vote for Mike for Port.

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Whatcom Community College is now the lead institution of CyberWatch West, a regional cybersecurity education consortium funded by the National Science Foundation. CyberWatch West is one of only four centers in the nation dedicated to cybersecurity education. Corrinne Sande, the lead faculty member of Whatcom’s Computer Information Systems program, will direct the project, and the CyberWatch West center will move from its current California location to WCC’s campus in Bellingham. CyberWatch West was formed in 2011 to increase the quantity and quality of the cybersecurity workforce throughout the western U. S. WCC was one of five founding members along with Mt. San Antonio College (Calif.), California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California State University, Dominguez Hills and California State University, San Bernardino. Today, 36 high schools, colleges and universities are CyberWatch West members. The NSF provided a $3 million advanced technology education grant over four years to support CyberWatch West operations.

Bellingham Chamber accepting resumes for new CEO The board of directors of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry announced it will begin accepting resumes for a new, permanent, CEO. The chamber’s former president and CEO, Ken Oplinger, left the position in

Little Tiger Toys celebrates 5-year anniversary

Everson bed & breakfast plans annual art show Kale House Bed & Breakfast in Everson will host its 15th annual art show and sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 22, 23, 29 and 30. Kale House, which is owned by Bonnie and Cori Litorja, is located at 201 Kale St. in Everson. This year’s show will feature the juried work of about 20 artists from Whatcom and Skagit counties. During the event, Hundreds of pieces, including ceramics, jewelry, fiber art, calligraphy, paintings, mixed media, and décor for home and garden are artistically displayed and sold throughout Kale House, a 1920s-era character home. More information is online at www.kalehouse.net.

Womencare Shelter joins YWCA Bellingham Womencare Shelter, a Bellingham-based nonprofit organization serving survivors of domestic violence since 1979, has become part of YWCA Bellingham, in a move that leaders from both groups say will strengthen and expand services for women in the community.

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May. Oplinger is now president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce in Santa Barbara, Calif. Bill Gorman of Gorman Publicity in Bellingham has filled an interim executive role since Oplinger’s departure. Resumes can be sent to hr@vshcpa.com before Nov. 30. For more information, contact the chamber at 360-734-1330, or visit www. bellingham.com.

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November 2013

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Little Tiger Toys’ store manager, Selah Tay-Song, and co-owner Hans Sendelbach show off some of their wares in this BBJ file photo taken in fall 2008, just after the store opened in its original location in downtown Bellingham. “I’m not a toy prophet—I just like toys,” Sendelbach told The Bellingham Business Journal at the time. The downtown Bellingham store celebrating its five-year anniversary on Tuesday, Oct. 8. Womencare Shelter works to end domestic violence by providing an emergency and confidential shelter, 24-hour crisis support services, advocacy-based counseling and community education. The shelter has room for 18 women and children. In 2012, Womencare Shelter provided 99 adults and 98 children with 4,311 bed nights in its shelter. It also answered 2,152 calls to its 24-hour helpline and provided more than 6,300 hours of advocacy for its

clients. No staff changes are planned at Womencare Shelter with the move. Leaders of YWCA Bellingham helped launch Womencare Shelter in 1979 and staff members of both organizations have collaborated since then, according to Mary Harrington, president of YWCA Bellingham’s board.

See BUZZ, Page 20

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REAL-WORLD TRAINING College joins private developers in building new medical-education facility

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BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal

gnore the desks in the center of one of the brand-new nursing labs at Whatcom Community College, as well as the lifelike training mannequins that can “breathe” and realistically respond to treatment, and visitors might be convinced they are standing in an actual hospital ward. But even though the labs at WCC’s new Health Professions Education Center offer only simulated medical practice, their trueto-life nature is a core component of an expanding program, said Annette Flanders, who directs nursing studies at the college. “It’s as close as we can get [to reality] with the mannequins, without real people in the bed,” Flanders said. Students in the college’s state and nationally accredited health professions programs—who train to become registered nurses, medical assistants, physical therapist assistants and massage practitioners—began the fall quarter of their 20132014 academic year with more than 20,000 square feet of new classroom and lab space, designed to mimic the work environments most will eventually move into upon graduation.

The two-story center, which is located on the corner of Stuart Road and Cordata Parkway just north of the college’s main campus in Bellingham, also includes new offices (Above) Brenda Henoch, center, a for staff and faculty. A physical therapy instructor at Whatpotential second phase com Community College, answers could add an additional questions as students Teri Salsbury, 13,000 square feet of left, Meagan McPhee, right, and space in the future. Rachel Elder, off camera, complete College administraa classroom exercise in WCC’s new tors say the new facility Health Professions Education Center. is a major step forward (Right) One of the college’s training in WCC’s effort to supmannequins. The Health Professions ply Washington with new health care workers as the Education Center features state-ofthe-art technology that allows classstate faces a shortage of rooms to mimic real-life health care registered nurses, along settings. with an aging population and new demands from the Affordable Care Act tant and massage practitioner programs that are likely to contribute to a rising need passed their national licensure exams. for more skilled medical professionals. Program directors also note high WCC’s health professions programs have demand from potential new students, and enjoyed success in recent years, with a class space can be competitive. Combined, graduation rate consistently above 95 perthe programs enroll 300 students each year. cent. In 2012, all of the college’s graduates With the demands, the college faced an from its nursing, physical therapist assis-

EVAN MARCZYNSKI PHOTOS | The Bellingham Business Journal

immediate need to combine the program’s various tracts and expand available classroom and lab space, said Cindy BurmanWoods, a workforce projects director at the college. Prior to the center’s completion, WCC’s

See HEALTH, Page 18


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November 2013

A DIFFERENT “SPACE” RACE Washington state faces the realities of a growing aerospace market

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BY JERRY CORNFIELD The (Everett) Daily Herald

att Yerbic is bullish on aerospace in Washington, but that has not deterred people in other states from courting one of the owners of Everett-based Aviation Technical Services. And the offers are pretty darn good. “They say we will build you a building for nothing, we will train your workers for nothing,” said Yerbic, the firm’s chief executive officer, at the Governor’s Aerospace Summit Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Comcast Arena. The 1,200 workers of ATS repair, maintain and overhaul jetliners at Paine Field and in Moses Lake. “Every single region of the country is knocking on doors like ours to say, ‘Think about us,’” he said. “What we have seen, we were a little bit taken aback by.” Other states and regions are aggressive, Yerbic surmised, because they want

what Washington has: an industry of 1,350 companies in 36 of the state’s 39 counties employing 132,500 people. Collectively, the industry accounted for 11 percent of gross business income GENNA MARTIN Photo FOR THE DAILY HERALD | COURTESY TO The Bellingham Business Journal in Washington in 2012, Boeing employees work on the fuselage of a 777 on May 29, 2013, in the company’s Everett production facility. according to a statewide analysis released Tuesday, the summit, began the day with a warning of the Puget Sound Regional Council and Oct. 1. of sorts. president of the Washington Aerospace Yerbic’s comments didn’t surprise anyShe said lawmakers need to push for Partnership, delivered the same message in one. Rather, he was one of many during transportation improvements, reform of a softer tone. the two-day conference who called for worker compensation and unemployment Industry, government and labor worked Washington’s elected leaders to realize that together to win the 787 program, the KCthe state must compete or risk seeing com- insurance, and a resolution on water quality regulations tied to the amount of fish 35A aerial-refueling tanker contract for panies depart. Not the least of those firms citizens consume. the Air Force and, most recently, the 737 is the Boeing Co., which could, many fear, If they don’t, she said, Washington will MAX, which is to be built in Renton. choose another state in which to design find itself in an “arms race” with other The “together quotient” needs to be as and build the next generation of the popustates for aerospace businesses. “If we are high as it’s ever been to sway Boeing to lar 777. to be successful, we must face reality.” Linda Lanham, executive director of Bob Drewel, outgoing executive director See AEROSPACE, Page 7 Aerospace Futures Alliance, which hosted


November 2013

AEROSPACE | FROM 6

design and build the new plane, dubbed the 777X, in Washington, Drewel said. He insisted it’s not about making a political case to the company. “We are working hard, very, very hard, to make the business case that Washington is the best place to build the 777X,” Drewel said. Boeing is expected to announce the launch the 777X program at the Dubai Air Show next month, and likely sometime after that it will announce where it will design and assemble the jetliner. The firm now builds the 777 at Paine Field, seemingly giving Washington an edge against other states competing for the work. But Boeing officials are concerned about the effect of pending regulatory changes here and are always looking to cut costs. They could choose to do some or all of the work in South Carolina, where Boeing builds some 787s and has been buying up land in North Charleston. In the keynote address Wednesday, Oct. 2, Gov. Jay Inslee said he’s committed to making a strong case for Washington. “We need to do everything humanly possible to protect and grow our position in this competitive environment,” he said. “We’ll have a chance to test our mettle in the next few months.” The first-term Democratic governor laid out steps he’s taken so far, such as ensuring permitting is fast-tracked should Boeing need to build more factory space, and announced other action he’s willing to take, including extending tax incentives that benefit the aerospace industry through 2034. Those breaks, which helped secure the 787, are set to expire in 2024.

GENNA MARTIN Photo FOR THE DAILY HERALD | COURTESY TO The Bellingham Business Journal

A 777 reaches the end of the flight line on May 29, 2013, on the Boeing factory floor in Everett. “If Boeing makes that commitment to the people of Washington, then I believe the people of Washington would be willing to commit to another 10 years of the tax incentive,” he said. Inslee tackled two topics on which he and Boeing officials have been at odds: worker-compensation reform and water quality standards based on fish consumption. He asserted that businesses pay lower rates in Washington’s worker compensation program than in South Carolina or California. And the state is getting injured workers back on the job more quickly,

No job reports this month BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal The Washington State Employment Security Department says that due to the federal government shutdown, it was not able to release its state and county-level job reports for September. Sheryl Hutchison, the department’s communications director, said via email that state officials were not able get necessary employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which was closed along with other federal agencies.

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Also, nearly all of the state Employment Security Department’s labor-market analysts were furloughed throughout the shutdown, due to a cut off of federal funding that supports their work, Hutchison said. The September report from the department on statewide jobs was due to be released on Oct. 16. County-level reports were due to be released on Oct. 22.

Evan Marczynski, staff reporter for The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com.

he said. He gave no indication he thinks reform is needed. Fish consumption has been a touchy subject, since before he took office. Federal law requires that water discharged into rivers and Puget Sound be clean enough to support fish that are safe to eat. Standards for each waterway are tied to how much residents consume. Washington is under pressure from environmental groups to increase the consumption rate that is the basis of that determination, a rate which hasn’t changed

since 1992. That would mean tougher standards, which could require Boeing to make millions of dollars of water-discharge improvements. “What I want to do is what’s right for our state,” Inslee said. “This is a big decision. I want to assure you we will not finalize any rules until will we get answers to all questions we have. I really get how important this is to our state.”

Jerry Cornfield is a staff writer for The Daily Herald in Everett, Wash., a partner publication of The Bellingham Business Journal.


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November 2013

University Ridge student-housing project gets green light Hearing examiner requires controversial proposal to scale back slightly

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BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal

contested proposal for a privately run student-housing project in a residential neighborhood about three miles from Western Washington University has received approval from Bellingham’s hearing examiner, but with several conditions that could alter some of the developer’s original plans. Dawn Sturwold, the city’s hearing examiner, approved a land-use application for the project in a 66-page decision issued on Wednesday, Oct. 23. Known as University Ridge, and proposed by Ambling University Development Group of Valdosta, Ga., the project would

be built on a heavily wooded, 11-acre plot of land inside Bellingham’s Puget Neighborhood, on a site bordered by Consolidation Avenue, Puget Street and Nevada Street. University Ridge has been ardently opposed by many nearby residents, who have raised concerns in public comments to the city and during a public hearing on Sept. 11, 2013, over potential harm to the surrounding neighborhoods’ safety, noise levels, traffic, parking availability and overall residential character. Ambling had originally proposed a 164-unit, four-building complex (with a detached clubhouse) capable of housing approximately 576 tenants inside shared four-bedroom “suites.” Initial plans put the

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project’s estimated valuation at about $30 million, according to Charles Perry, managing partner for Ambling. In her decision, Sturwold approved a scaled-back version of the proposal, allowing up to 528 bedrooms within a maximum of 176 dwelling units. Each unit would be limited to no more than three bedrooms each, which would allow University Ridge to be reconfigured into traditional apartments should its intended purpose prove unfeasible in the future, Sturwold wrote. Ambling’s project team had also sought an exemption on a 35-foot municipal height limit for the two buildings planned on the east portion of the University Ridge site, which is at a higher elevation and closer to Puget Street. Developers wanted permission for those buildings to be up to 58 feet tall. Sturwold granted this variance request, but wrote that the buildings must not rise higher than the current elevation of Puget Street’s center line. Glen Peterson, a Seattle-based architect

handling University Ridge’s building and landscape design, said during the Sept. 11 public hearing that the height variance was necessary in order to create a design the development team felt would be better suited for the site. He also said that negative impacts of the buildings’ greater height on the homes above the property on Puget Street could be minimized due to the steep incline of the site, which slopes downward from east to west. Sturwold’s decision indicated that the existing grade for the two easterly buildings sits about 50 feet below the level of Puget Street. Sturwold is also requiring Ambling to employ around-the-clock, on-site professional management at University Ridge, and it must establish lease agreements with tenants that include zero-tolerance policies for unacceptable behavior. Added strain on the surrounding neighborhoods’ traffic flow has been a major point of contention to those opposed to the

See HOUSING, Page 18

Q3 real-estate report shows active market, new trends BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal

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hatcom County’s housing market enjoyed gains in the third quarter of 2013, with homes sales rising nearly 21 percent along with moderate increases in sale prices, according to a recent analysis of Northwest Multiple Listing Service data by Lylene Johnson of The Muljat Group. Local NMLS real-estate agents reported 718 county home sales in the third quarter, which ended on Sept. 30. That’s a 20.9 percent increase from the same period last year, according to Johnson’s analysis. Percentage increases in home sales were particularly strong in Blaine and Birch Bay, which together rose 38.9 percent in the third quarter, and in Bellingham, where sales increased by 24.2 percent. The median sale price for homes in Whatcom County in the third quarter increased 4.7 percent to $266,250, which is the highest median price the county has recorded since 2008, when it stood at $275,000. Johnson, a longtime Whatcom County real-estate agent who has issued reports tracking local housing market trends since 2003, said that the change in price ranges on sold properties in Bellingham during September 2013 was perhaps the most significant finding from her recent analysis. In 2012, Bellingham homes that sold below $300,000 made up 63 percent of the year’s total sales, according to Johnson. Those sold within the $300,000 to $500,000 range made up 25 percent of the total. But in September of this year, the number of homes sold in both of those ranges each accounted for 41 percent of the market.

Johnson said this indicates more homeowners are taking opportunities to upgrade and either buy or sell higher-priced homes. The shift could also be evidence of a new influx of home buyers from out of town, she added. While the overall third-quarter numbers were positive, some smaller communities, including Lynden and Nooksack Valley, saw declines in home sales and sale prices. Yet Johnson said it is difficult to draw broad conclusions from data in smaller markets, where percentages can sway greatly based on just a handful of new sales, listings or sale prices. While the county’s overall market usually slows down following the busy summer sales season, Johnson said that with rising inventory rates and pending sales outpacing new listings, Whatcom County’s real-estate world still “feels very active.” She also downplayed potential negative impacts on the market due to the recent federal government shutdown. “[For] most transactions, it wasn’t shut down long enough to impact them greatly,” she said. “I don’t think we’re going to see any long-term ramifications from that.” Whatcom County home sales, Q3 2013 Includes number of units sold, median and average sales prices and average days on market. Percentage changes compare Q3 2013 to Q3 2012. Total county Units sold: 718 (up 20.9 percent) Median price: $266,250 (up 4.7 percent) Average price: $299,464 (up 3.9 percent) Days on market: 80 (down 25.2 percent)

See REAL ESTATE, Page 27


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HOTELS | FROM 1

The Home2 Suites will cater to business travelers, and it will employ between Northwest Avenue will 25-35 people, Williams attempt to attract both leisure said. and business travelers, Shaiza In addition to the hotel, Damji, managing director for Erck Hotels plans to either 360 Hotel Group, told The sell or lease about one acre Bellingham Business Journal of its available property, in in June. hopes of attracting a new The hotel features amenities restaurant or retail busithat cater to both, including ness, he added. rooms with separate living, Erck was one of four working and sleeping areas, firms that submitted Wi-Fi and high-speed Interproposals to the Port of net access, laundry services, Bellingham in fall 2012 for a fitness center and a shuttle a hotel development site service with trips to the Bellacross the street from the ingham airport. Bellingham International The property also holds a Airport. fourth-floor terrace that can The firm ultimately chobe reserved for private parties, sen, Hotel Services Group as well as 1,700 square feet of LLC of Mount Vernon, will meeting-room space. build its Holiday Inn on 360 Hotel Group’s Springa port-owned plot of land Hill Suites is the first phase within walking distance to of a development that will the airport’s terminal. A eventually include a second lease agreement between hotel next door, an 83-room the developer and the port TownePlace Suites, which is requires the Holiday Inn EVAN MARCZYNSKI Photo | The Bellingham Business Journal also a Marriott brand. open its doors for business A La Quinta Inn on Bakerview Road in Bellingham under development in May 2013. Several new hotels are expected to Damji said the TownePlace by Nov. 15, 2015. But Dan open in Bellingham over the next few years. Suites, which markets to Mitzel, chairman of Hotel extended-stay guests, could Services Group, told port Williams said. Williams said Home2 Suites focus on start initial development commissioners in June that “ecologically friendly” features, includThe hotel will be about 56,000 square within the next six months. Both Marriott he would hope to complete the project ing add-ons such as electric-car charging feet in size, and its current plans include hotels would be managed jointly, she said. before the summer travel season in 2015. an indoor pool, fitness center, breakfastOn the other side of the street, the future stations (which the SpringHill Suites also service space and a game room. Williams features), that he believes will make it a Home2 Suites by Hilton could be completEvan Marczynski, staff reporter for The Bellingham popular choice for travelers to the area. said the project’s total valuation should be Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. ed by next summer, said Dustan Williams, “I think it’s a good fit for Bellingham,” around $14 million. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com. CEO of its developer, Erck Hotels.

Whidbey Island Bank and Heritage Bank plan merger All bank branches outside of Whidbey Island will take on Heritage name

W

BY CHUCK TAYLOR The (Everett) Daily Herald

ashington Banking Co., the Oak Harbor-based parent of Whidbey Island Bank, will merge sometime next year with Olympia-based Heritage Financial Corp., the companies said Thursday, Oct. 24. The combined company will take the Heritage name and have $3.3 billion in assets and 73 branches in the I-5 corridor from Bellingham to Portland. Six Washington Banking branches on the island itself will retain the Whidbey Island Bank name. All other Whidbey branches, including those in Snohomish County, will be called Heritage Bank. The bank has four branches in Bellingham. The combined Heritage Financial Corp. will be based in Olympia. But the merged entity’s executives and members of the board of directors will be a mix from both firms. Heritage President and CEO Brian Vance will retain that title. Washington Banking President and CEO Jack Wagner will become an advisor to the merged company. At 70, Wagner is ready for retirement, but he wanted to ensure Whidbey Island Bank and its employees had a solid future. “Brian and I have known each other quite a while,” Wagner said Friday, Oct. 25. “Our banks are quite similar.” The compa-

nies are so complementary, he said, that for a long time people in community banking have asked why they shouldn’t merge. “A few months ago, we sat down and said, ‘Let’s take a look at it,’” Wagner said. Wagner said community bank mergers are being driven by a need for revenue growth in the absence of a strong econom-

shares of Heritage stock and $2.75 in cash for every share of Washington Banking stock they own. In essence, Washington Banking stockholders will be paid about $16 per share in consideration of the merger. Based on share prices Thursday, the deal is worth $265.1 million to Washington Banking

The combination of Whidbey Island Bank and Heritage Bank will create the 11th-biggest bank in the state, based on deposits, and the thirdbiggest bank among those headquartered in Washington. Washington Banking President and CEO Jack Wagner said community bank mergers are being driven by a need for revenue growth in the absence of a strong economic rebound. “We’d been hoping for organic growth” in the bank’s business, Wagner said, but it didn’t materialize. Whidbey Island Bank has four branches in Bellingham, all of which will be renamed as Heritage Banks. ic rebound. “We’d been hoping for organic growth” in the bank’s business, Wagner said, but it didn’t materialize. Both companies are publicly traded. A prospectus filed by Washington Banking with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says that the Whidbey Island company’s shareholders will receive 0.89

Co.’s owners. Whidbey Island Bank and Heritage Bank are similar in many ways—nearly identical in size and with similar histories as community banks which not only survived the recession but acquired several troubled banks in the process. Founded in 1961, Whidbey Island Bank has grown to 31 branches in Island, Sno-

homish and four other adjacent counties. Today it has deposits worth $1.4 billion and a $1.1 billion loan portfolio. Heritage Bank was founded in 1927 and has 42 branches, mostly in the South Sound area and points south. In Yakima and Kittitas counties, Heritage does business as Central Valley Bank. A key difference is that Whidbey Island Bank has a bigger consumer loan portfolio, while Heritage is primarily a commercial lender. The two banks have no overlapping territory, and neither has a significant presence in King County. The prospectus states that the merger will give the new company the heft to possibly expand to Seattle and Bellevue. Wagner said the Eastside suburbs are the most promising area in which Heritage could expand. The combined bank will be the 11thbiggest in the state, based on deposits, and the third-biggest bank among those headquartered in Washington. Both companies’ boards of directors have approved the deal, but it is subject to regulatory approval and requires the consent of shareholders of both companies. The merger is expected to be complete in the first half of 2014.

Chuck Taylor is a staff writer for The Daily Herald in Everett, Wash., a partner publication of The Bellingham Business Journal.


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MARKET INDICATORS Tracking the local economy

Jobs: Unemployment claims drop, but local bankruptcies rise slightly Unemployment Rate

Aug. 2012: 7.7% (revised) | Aug. 2013: 6.5% (initial) Includes non-seasonally adjusted figures in Whatcom County

Jobless benefit claims Sept. 2012: 2,201 | Sept. 2013: 1,756

4000

8%

3000

4% 1000

2% J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A 2012 2013

SOURCE: WASHINGTON STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT

Includes non-seasonally adjusted figures in Whatcom County 90K 80K 70K 60K 50K 40K 30K 20K 10K

2000

Sept. 2012: 34 | Sept. 2013: 43 Includes Chapters 7, 11 and 13 in Whatcom County

70 60 50 40 30 20 10

J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A 2012 2013

J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S 2012 2013

SOURCE: WASHINGTON STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT

Bankruptcies

Aug. 2012: 79,700 (revised) | Aug. 2013: 82,100 (initial)

Includes continued unemployment benefit claims in Whatcom County

10%

6%

Total nonfarm employment

SOURCE: WASHINGTON STATE EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT

0

J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S 2012 2013

SOURCE: U.S. BANKRUPTCY COURT, WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON

Spending: Canadian exchange stays under $1 as the holidays approach Sales-tax distribution

Sept. 2012: $1.59 million | Sept. 2013: $1.74 million Includes basic and optional local sales tax to Bellingham $2M $1.75M $1.5M $1.25M $1M $750K $500K $250K

Motor-vehicle registrations 1250

Includes monthly averages (Canada-to-U.S.) at market closing $1.10 $1.00 $0.90 $0.80 $0.70 $0.60 $0.50 $0.40 $0.30 $0.20 $0.10

750 500 250 J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S 2012 2013

J A S O N D J F M A M J 2012 2013

April 2012: 549,520 | April 2013: 545,964 Includes southbound passenger-vehicle crossings into Whatcom County

700K 600K 500K 400K 300K 200K 100K

J A S

SOURCE: WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING

Border traffic

Sept. 2012: $1.02 | Sept. 2013: $0.97

Includes original registrations in Whatcom County

1000

SOURCE: WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE

Canadian dollar

Sept. 2012: 911 | Sept. 2013: 1,063

J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S 2012 2013

SOURCE: BANK OF CANADA

J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A 2012 2013

SOURCE: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Housing: Average sale price tops $300K for first time in past 21 months Home sales prices

Average: Sept. 2012: $277,578 | Sept. 2013: $301,552 Median: Sept. 2012: $239,944 | Sept. 2013: $269,000 $350K

Average price

$300K $250K

Median price

$200K

Pending residential sales

Includes single-family homes and condos in Whatcom County

Includes single-family homes and condos in Whatcom County

Sept. 2012: 216 | Sept. 2013: 259

Sept. 2012: 271 | Sept. 2013: 303

350

400

300

350

250

300

150

$100K

100

$50K

50

200 150 100 50 J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S 2012 2013

J FMAM J J A S OND J FMAM J J A S 2012 2013

SOURCE: NORTHWEST MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE

0

Foreclosures & delinquencies Delinquency rate: Aug. 2012: 4.32%| Aug. 2013: 3.33% Foreclosure rate: Aug. 2012: 1.47% | Aug. 2013: 1.17%

4.5% 4% 3.5% 3% 2.5% 2% 1.5% 1% 0.5%

250

200

$150K

SOURCE: NORTHWEST MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE

Closed residential sales

Foreclosure

J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A 2012 2013

J F MAM J J A S O N D J F MAM J J A S 2012 2013

SOURCE: NORTHWEST MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE

Delinquency

SOURCE: CORELOGIC

Other factors: Bellingham, county building values equal in September Airport traffic

Cruise terminal traffic

Sept. 2012: 40,936 | Sept. 2013: 41,959 Includes total enplanements at Bellingham International Airport 70K 60K 50K 40K 30K 20K 10K J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S 2012 2013

SOURCE: PORT OF BELLINGHAM

Sept. 2012: 2,513 | Sept. 2013: 1,823

Bellingham permit values

Sept. 2012: $17.2 million | Sept. 2013: $8.7 million

Includes total building-permit valuation in Bellingham

Includes total building-permit valuation in unincorportated county areas

Includes inbound/outbound passengers at Bellingham Cruise Terminal

4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0

$45M $40M $35M $30M $25M $20M $15M $10M $5M J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S 2012 2013

SOURCE: PORT OF BELLINGHAM

Whatcom permit values

Sept. 2012: $6.4 million | Sept. 2013: $8.7 million

$25M $20M $15M $10M $5M J F MAM J J A S O N D J F MAM J J A S 2012 2013

SOURCE: CITY OF BELLINGHAM

J F MAM J J A S O N D J F MAM J J A S 2012 2013

SOURCE: WHATCOM COUNTY PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT SERVICES


November 2013

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ALL IN GOOD SUN Solar builder anticipates more business and more hiring in 2014, but cut-off dates on buyer incentives make industry unpredictable

E

BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal

ven with a production floor full of high-tech machinery at Bellingham’s itek Energy, which produces solar modules, one item Karl Untershuetz is particularly eager to show off is a small, modified table that allows workers to efficiently attach frames onto finished panels. Unterschuetz, the company’s business development manager, said the table’s design was not developed by a highly paid research and development team, but instead by two employees on itek’s production line. “Our efficiencies are found by the people that are working there, most of the time,” Untershuetz said. Skilled staff members are one of several reasons itek’s directors give for the company’s success. The solar manufacturing industry in Washington state is small, with itek being just one of two firms—the other is Arlington-based Silicon Energy—that produce solar panels and inverters that are certified by the state Department of Revenue as

“made in Washington.” But since its founding in September 2011, itek has grown to be the leader. This year, the company is on pace to build four megawatts worth of solar EVAN MARCZYNSKI PHOTOS | The Bellingham Business Journal modules, which would be twice that of its 2012 output. With a current staff State Rep. Jeff Morris, left, D-Mount Vernon, watches solar modules exit a solar-layout machine of more than 30 people, itek expects and move on to the next stage of production at itek Energy’s manufacturing plant, during an enough activity in 2014 Oct. 10 visit the lawmaker made to the Bellingham company’s facility. Morris is joined by Eric to add a second produc- Schueler, itek’s director of operations. tion shift. (Inset) Detail of one of two laminating machines itek Energy uses for solar-module production. And as company directors prepare for make decisions.” think that’s where we’re headed,” Samson more business in 2014, Samson said the company has been in said. they also have plans to Unterschuetz said itek’s products are compete on a grander scale. capital-spending mode for most of its early lifespan, mainly pouring money back into currently sold exclusively business-toKelly Samson, itek’s vice its production facility, which is located business, mainly to solar installers around president and founding at 3886 Hammer Drive in Bellingham’s the region. The company has also begun principal, said he believes Irongate Neighborhood. selling modules to a few electrical-supply the company’s business itek bought two new laminating firms, he said. model has benefited from machines in 2012, which quadrupled its The high cost of solar-panel installations an early decision to keep hourly production capacity. Its also recentfor homes and businesses has been a conits ownership group small, ly added machinery to make the process of sistent challenge for players in the market. focus on high-quality production and laying out and soldering individual solar To combat this, Unterschuetz has build a strong support base with firms that cells into panels more efficient. focused on developing good relationships install itek’s products. Looking ahead, Samson said the compa- with vendors, which he said has helped the Samson also credited the expertise and ny expects a lucrative future in producing a company negotiate better prices with supinitial vision of company president John next-generation solar module with smaller, pliers of solar cells and other materials necFlannagan. more energy-dense cells that would be essary for itek’s modules. The company’s “More than anything else, frankly, it’s easier to install onto small roof spaces. focus on developing technology to give its a very dynamic industry,” Samson said. “There’s a gap in the product offerings “We have the virtue of being fairly nimble. See SOLAR, Page 17 nationwide right now in that space, and I We’re a small ownership group that can

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RESERVE YOUR AD SPACE IN THE NEXT BOOK OF LISTS The 2014 edition of the BBJ Book of Lists is just a few months away! This comprehensive annual directory features listings of leading firms in Bellingham and Whatcom County, including accounting firms, law offices, largest private employers, home builders and more. Call 360-647-8805 or email tbouchard@ bbjtoday.com, for advertising rates and more information on how you can reserve your space today. Publish date: Monday, Feb. 3 Ad deadline: Friday, Jan. 10


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TCOM NOVEMBER 2013

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Bellingham / Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry : Representing Businesses Across Whatcom County

9th

ANNUAL AWARDS

packages, date nights, and more. The raffle and silent auction items were all generously donated by Chamber members.

Best Western Lakeway Inn Executive Chef, Derek Som has selected a menu featuring fresh, local fare, from Bellewood Acres, Mount Baker Winery, Lummi Island Salmon and Chuckanut Cheese Cake. A Lynden native son, Derek was named executive chef in September. Trained at Le Cordon Bleu, Derek is emphasizing Northwest fusion cooking, making food from scratch and using locally sustainable foods like fish, fruit and vegetables.

D NNER

2013

CHAMBER AWARDS

T

DINNER TO BE A BLACK & WHITE AFFAIR

he Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry is hosting their 9th Annual Awards Dinner on December 4, 2013, from 5:00-9:00 pm, at the Lakeway Best Western Inn ballroom. This annual event is a celebration of Whatcom County’s business community. The evening will highlight the growth, innovation of Chamber member businesses and the past year. This year’sdinner theme is a festive “Black and White The Annual Awards Dinner will feature a livraffle as well as a silent auction with plenty of time for guests to catch up with one another. Raffle packages include vacation getaways, vehicle maintenance

The ceremony will be emceed by the vivacious and entertaining Bob Hagedorn of Snapper Schuler Kenner Insurance. Awards given will celebrate; the Large Business of the Year, the Small Business of the Year, the Nonprofit of the Year, the Green Business of the Year, Man of the Year, Woman of the Year and Young Professional of the Year. Bellingham/Whatcom County Tourism will also present the award for Tourism Patron of the Year.

The finalists for the 2013 Small Business of the Year are: LaserPoint Awards & Promotional Solutions V’s Barbershop Bellingham Wedding and Event Rentals Chazzam Signs & Graphics Signs Plus The finalists for the 2013 Large Business of the Year are: Windermere Real Estate Haggen, Inc. Whidbey Island Bank BP Cherry Point Refinery Rocket Foods The 2013 Green Business of the Year and Nonprofit of the Year will be released in late November. The businesses who won the other awards will be announced at the Awards Dinner. Founded in 1911, the Chamber is charting its course onto the next 100 years. What will remain the same, though is our dedication to promoting the local community, creating a strong economy, facilitating factually grounded dialogue with business, and representing the interests of business with government while providing networking opportunities for its members.

RSVP for a full table or single seats on the Chamber website, www.bellingham.com, by November 23, 2013.

What An SBA Preferred Lender Can Do For You. As an SBA Preferred Lender, we can initiate, process and approve your loan internally. And about 95% of the time, that’s exactly what we do. That means less red tape and a lot less waiting for answers. In fact, most of our SBA loans take only a couple of weeks from application to being approved. Why not see if an SBA loan might be a good fit for your business? Call or stop by and talk with any of our helpful commercial lenders.

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November 2013

DID YOU KNOW?

FARM POWER by

Jae Easterbrooks

VP/Relationship Manager One PacificCoast Bank

Skagit County natives Kevin and Daryl Maas grew up surrounded by dairy farmers. As children, the brothers watched as the pressure from low milk prices and real estate development forced family after family out of business.

A

s adults, they wondered if renewable energy might offer a way to sustain these small farms and help reverse a long-term trend in America - loss of precious farmland and farmers. So in 2007, the Maas brothers met with Skagit County dairy farmers and dairy service businesses. Nearly all the farmers said an anaerobic digester – which employs bacteria

to separate and transform dairy manure into useful products and converts the resulting biogas to electricity would provide essential solutions they needed, in addition to helping them lower their cost to do business. By spring of that year, the Maas brothers made a decision to found Farm Power Northwest LLC. The timing and economic environment was extremely chal-

Whatcom County has a camel farm. Camel Safari at Beldar Haven Farm was founded by Guy Seeklus after purchasing his first camel, Lexi, in 2012.

Whatcom County Jersey Cows

lenging. Kevin and Daryl soon faced a chorus of rejections from the finance community, most of whom had no experience or interest in financing renewable energy projects. Older digester systems had developed a reputation for poor performance in prior decades and American banks and many dairymen were skeptical about their value and longevity despite the availability

of improved technology. While these beneficial systems could be found by the thousands all over Europe (where governmental energy policy heavily influences banks and farmers, unlike the U.S.), by the end of 2007 there were less than a hundred across America and most were concentrated in the Midwest. Nonetheless, the opportunity to educate American farmers,

developers and financiers regarding the value of these systems was enticing. The key seemed to be ‘community digesters’ where the dairy-business risk could be mitigated by a group of farms while the benefits of a large and efficient digester could be spread across the same group with tangible benefits. Other upsides for dairy partners included sub (continued on page 3)

The Sparks Museum of Electrical Invention in Bellingham has the largest collection of electricity related items in the world.

Making the Most Out of Your Biz After Biz Sponsorship

by Amanda Brock, Marketing and Events Coordinator at The Unity Group

T

he Chamber provides many opportunities to network and promote your business, one of those avenues being a Business After Business (BAB) sponsorship. These events, however, require a lot more than writing a check and picking your date. As the marketing and events coordinator for The Unity Group and host of one of the

Chamber’s most successful BAB events, I wanted to share some of my personal tips to get the most of out your sponsorship.

Set the Date

Be methodical about your decision. Choose a date that might coincide with a new product launch or completed building improvement.

Plan Your Event

If you are not a seasoned event host, here are the basics. • Set Your Budget – As with any marketing effort, you will need to consider the total estimated cost of the event. The sponsorship cost is just a piece of your associated expenses. BAB is great for added exposure and could be translated to a budget you

would otherwise spend on an expense like print advertising. • Get Inspiration- If you have not already attended a BAB, try to attend at least one before you host. Having a benchmark of what others have done can give you inspiration to take your event a step further. • Create an AgendaPreparing an agenda

will help you to create a pre-function checklist and ensure your event runs smoothly. • Establish Your Wow Factor – You can improve your attendance by adding something unique to your event. This could be gathering fun prizes, coordinating an engaging activity or providing a delicious spread. (continued on page 4)

photo: Tyler Bolken

In the 1950’s, the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce used to hold an annual air show at the Bellingham International Airport.

photo: NS Newsflash

In 1933, Bellingham had three daily newspapers and various weekly publications in English, German and Swedish devoted to farming, mining and labor.


U

November 2013

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BBJToday.com

FARM POWER continued from Page 2 stantially reduced cost and price certainty for cow bedding, better control over bacteria in the manure (affecting water quality which is invaluable for regulatory compliance) and opportunities for revenue sharing. With the partnership of Andgar Corporation of Ferndale, the Pacific Northwest’s experts in constructing and managing anaerobic GHD digesters (the most installed systems in America), the Maas brothers’ entrepreneurial instinct was able to succeed. By the end of 2008, America’s archaic system of price controls for milk and related products had collapsed and it had become impossible for smaller dairymen to operate profitably. Many made the decision to leave the dairy industry alto-

gether and some chose to sell their dairy herds for slaughter. The situation favored larger operators with the resources to withstand the economic turbulence; smaller operators simply had to endure or fail. However, those smaller operators that partnered with a digester stood a much better chance of survival, the key being tangible reduction of their operating expenses due to the partnership. Today, Farm Power owns and operates a fleet of five anaerobic digesters in the Pacific Northwest (including a performing project in Lynden)—working with fifteen farms, producing up to 4.25MW of renewable electricity and reducing manure-methane emissions by the equivalent of 40,000 tons of car-

bon dioxide annually. The Maas brothers are regarded as innovators and leaders in their sector, demonstrating the cutting edge possibilities of digesters and their potential advantages for dairy operators, business profitability, the environment and communities. Moreover, the credibility of anaerobic digesters is growing throughout the Northwest as a result of the successful implementation of these systems. As a triple bottom line lender, One PacificCoast Bank is concerned about a number of trends including climate change and the deterioration of the American food system in favor of large industrial food providers Lending opportunities that benefit multiple areas of the bank’s mis-

Where Our Family is Committed to Yours!

sion such as on-farm renewable energy systems are of high value. We were certain financing Farm Power’s initial project could be effectively and profitably deployed and most of all were convinced the Maas brothers could ultimately be successful in their mission to help their neighbors and advance Farm Power’s Anaerobic Manure Digester- Lynden LLC Project the renewable energy small hydro. We expect being a part of future industry. Today OPCB contin- Whatcom County will successes. This is an ues to focus on financ- continue to be a major example of what we call ing environmentally contributor for Wash- beneficial banking. friendly forms of re- ington in these critical newable energy includ- areas of sustainabiliing digesters, solar and ty and look forward to

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November 2013

BIZ AFTER BIZ continued from Page 2 • Recruit Representatives – Your sales staff should be front and center at your BAB. Not to sell but to help convey your brand and help answer any questions about your organization. Chamber Ambassadors will also be available to help greet but you will need to rely on your staff to set-up, break down and, most importantly, fully represent YOUR brand.

Promote Your Value

Do not assume your audience will know much about your product or services. Capitalize on this opportunity to educate on your value in a way that is approachable and relatable. Re-

member, you are not there to sell, but inform.

Follow-up

As with any networking event, follow-up with new connections even if it is just a thank you note for attending. Do

not add attendees to your mailing list without them choosing to opt in. A general email to thank them is okay. Focus your efforts on qualified leads and creating meaningful connections.

Ready to host a BAB? Contact Marvin at the Chamber of Commerce, 734-1330.

Amanda Brock is the marketing and events coordinator at The Unity Group. She earned her Bachelor’s

Degree in Communications from the University of North Florida. Amanda coordinates over 60 corporate events per year including workshops, seminars, fundraising campaigns, trade shows and public appearances.

Strong, Local Relationships

Promote Early

Invite prospects, clients and friends. Be sure to add your sponsorship to local event calendars, your Social Media outlets, your website and newsletters. If your location receives a lot of traffic, hang posters for maximum exposure. Personal invitations from staff will go a long way. Send a reminder to guests the week of your sponsorship.

“Our relationship with WECU®’s Business Services Team began in 2009 and we have been thoroughly pleased with the level of service and personal attention we have received. It is crucial to have a strong one on one relationship with someone at your credit union. Kent Bouma has made the transition to WECU® easy and seamless and in the process has become a great advocate and friend of our business.”

- Klaus Klix, Ferrotek Corporation

Kent Bouma of WECU® & Klaus Klix of Ferrotek Corporation

Prep Your Staff

Be sure to communicate with your staff when and where your event will take place. Remind them the day of to ensure workspaces are tidied up and any customer information is filed away.

Create an Inviting Atmosphere

Welcome guests and give them the “lay of the land.” Be sure your greeters point out features like where they can enter a drawing, check out a featured display or participate in activities.

Engage Your Guests

Encourage your representatives to chat with any wall flowers or to help introduce attendees to other guests. If someone is not engaged, they will most likely leave your event early and have an unfavorable opinion about their time spent there.

Federally insured by NCUA.

www.wecu.com

Talk to our Business Services team today! Business Services:

Kent Bouma:

360.676.1168 ext. 7320

360.756.7683 kent.bouma@wecu.com

Healthy doesn’t have to be hard.


November 2013

SOLAR | FROM 12 panels better efficiency and power output has helped make them attractive to buyers, Unterschuetz said. State and federal government incentives help, too. Tax exemptions and other incentives have helped make solar-power systems affordable for more home and business owners. Standard panel arrays can come with hefty price tags in the tens and thousands of dollars. A major boost comes from the state Department of Revenue, which offers a complete exemption on sales-and-use taxes for equipment and labor needed to install solar systems that produce 10 kilowatts of power or less. It offers a 75 percent exemption for larger systems. Also, under a renewable energy cost recovery program enacted by Washington state lawmakers in 2005, utility companies can pay incentives to customers who produce electricity through rooftop solar systems, earning tax credits equal to the cost of those payments. But incentives have built-in shelf lives. The cost-recovery system will expire in

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BBJToday.com 2020 if it is not extended by lawmakers. And the tax exemption, which was set to expire this past summer, was extended in its final hours by the Legislature. It will be available to solar-panel owners through June 30, 2018, or Jan. 1, 2020, depending on their equipment types and sizes. Samson said cutoffs on incentives make it more difficult to predict ebbs and flows of the solar business, which is already a risky and fast-moving industry. He supported a recent measure, House Bill 1301, whose main sponsor was state Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, that among other items would replace the “sunset” provision in the cost-recovery program with a rolling 10-year voucher system. Instead of having to apply for incentives each year, renewable-energy producers would be able to receive vouchers guaranteeing incentives for a full decade. Morris, a longtime proponent of solar and other renewable energy options, has said such changes would give solar customers assurances that the incentives enticing them to buy panel arrays would not disappear before they are able to pay off their costs. Samson said that most of his colleagues and competitors have long lists of changes

EVAN MARCZYNSKI PHOTO | The Bellingham Business Journal

itek Energy employees prepare modules for the laminating process. they would like to see made to the current incentive programs. But the cut-off dates on cost-recovery and incentive programs add uncertainty to the future of the solar business, he said. “Not only is the time running out, but

more importantly, it doesn’t really reflect the evolution of the industry,” he said.

Evan Marczynski, staff reporter for The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com.

PeaceHealth St. Joseph names new chief administrator

D

BY EVAN MARCZYNSKI The Bellingham Business Journal

ale Zender, the chief financial officer of the PeaceHealth Northwest Network, has been named the new chief administrative officer for Bellingham’s St. Joseph Medical Center, which is the city’s largest employer. In his new role, Zender will take over the hospital’s day-to-day administrative duties from Nancy Steiger, the CEO and “chief mission officer” for the Northwest Network, said Amy Cloud, a PeaceHealth spokesperson. The Northwest Network

RESERVE YOUR AD SPACE IN THE NEXT BOOK OF LISTS The 2014 edition of the BBJ Book of Lists is just a few months away! This comprehensive annual directory features listings of leading firms in Bellingham and Whatcom County, including accounting firms, law offices, largest private employers, home builders and more. Call 360-647-8805 or email tbouchard@ bbjtoday.com, for advertising rates and more information on how you can reserve your space today. Publish date: Monday, Feb. 3 Ad deadline: Friday, Jan. 10

includes PeaceHealth’s facilities in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties, as well as in Alaska. Cloud said Zender will continue his duties as CFO for the Northwest Network. She emphasized that the personnel change is simply giving Zender more responsibility at St. Joseph Medical Center, not creating a new Dale Zender administrative position at the hospital.

Steiger, who will continue to work out of Bellingham, will focus on broader development endeavors within the Northwest Network, including new PeaceHealth partnerships with UW Medicine and Skagit Regional Health. An announcement from Steiger and Kevin Walstrom, senior vice president and CFO for PeaceHealth, notes that Zender’s promotion is part of an effort within PeaceHealth to strengthen its operating structure, which the organization splits into several regional networks of care. Northwest Network leaders made

similar changes in July at the PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center in Alaska. Ken Tonjes was appointed to an interim administrative role at the hospital there. Tonjes is also the CFO for the Ketchikan hospital. He previously held the same position for PeaceHealth’s Columbia Network.

PeaceHealth, Skagit Regional Health plan alliance The governing boards of PeaceHealth and Skagit County Public Hospital District

See PEACEHEALTH, Page 27

United Way of Whatcom County unitedwaywhatcom.org


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BBJToday.com

HEALTH | FROM 5

health professions instructors taught in labs scattered around the college, with faculty many times forced to cart equipment across campus to use in class, BurmanWoods said. But with scarce state funding for new instructional space and high-tech educational tools, college administrators had to get creative. The college’s separate nonprofit fundraising entity, the WCC Foundation, developed a partnership with a consortium of local developers, including Pete Dawson of Dawson Construction, Ken Hertz of Blossom Management Corp., and Faruk Taysi of Integrated Real Estate Management Inc. The agreement allowed developers to construct the building, then lease it to the

HOUSING | FROM 8 University Ridge project, many who want upgrades to surrounding streets and intersections. An April 2013 study and a followup analysis done in September both found that while University Ridge would increase traffic levels on nearby streets, the existing infrastructure would still function within acceptable levels. As a measure to mitigate the added traffic, Sturwold wrote that Ambling must provide shuttle service for its residents to the nearby Lincoln Creek Park and Ride, Western Washington University’s campus and downtown Bellingham. Both Ambling’s plans and city staff rec-

November 2013

Foundation, which in turn sub-leased it to the college itself. Bob Tull, a member of the Foundation’s board of directors, said the speed of the process was an important element in developing the unique plan. The Foundation had also weighed the option of remodeling existing buildings available nearby, but the distinct requirements for medical-training facilities made that option difficult, he said. Once the plan was in place, the entire project took about one year to complete. “We had a critical awareness of the urgency of the need. Getting [the building] going quickly was a tremendous advantage,” Tull said. The project’s successful completion has led college leaders to wonder if its development model might serve as a template for other building projects, particularly at a time when capital funding from the state

Legislature is limited. Kathi Hiyane-Brown, WCC’s president, said the college would look closely at private-partnership models, along with other funding options, when considering other new facilities. She described the completion of the Health Professions Education Center as “one of the highlights of my career.” “There was a spirit behind the building, and a concept behind the building that talked about partnership and collaboration,” Hiyane-Brown said. Several other major construction projects at the college are in various stages of planning and construction. They include an expansion of the college’s sports pavilion and student recreation center, a proposed “learning commons” facility in an empty plot of land on the east end of campus, and additional lab space for the col-

lege’s growing computer science program. But while the speed and ease of working outside of traditional pathways to find funding is alluring, Hiyane-Brown said she hoped these new possibilities would not overshadow the important role state lawmakers play in supporting community and technical colleges. Sue Cole, the current chair of WCC’s board of trustees, said she believed the new center represented a “forward thinking” approach to meeting current education and workplace training needs. With community and technical colleges across the state strapped for cash, and emphasis on technical degrees and certificates growing, educators are seeing more possibilities in private-sector partnerships and other collaborations, Cole said. “We’ve got to be creative in today’s environment,” she said.

ommendations to the hearing examiner assume that the number of University Ridge residents relying on shuttles or Whatcom Transportation Authority buses would minimize added traffic impacts, a premise that opponents of the project have not agreed with. Bellingham city planners will spend the next several weeks reviewing the hearing examiner’s decision, said Jeff Thomas, director of the city’s planning and community development department. Ambling will have to obtain city building permits and a critical-areas permit, due to the geologically hazardous areas that exist on the site as well as a needed buffer from a wetland to the north, before starting construction. Developers will also need to

provide an updated transportation concurrency certificate, which will map out routes University Ridge residents will likely take when traveling to and from the property. Under state law, appeals of the hearing examiner’s decision can be filed within 21 days in Whatcom County Superior Court. While acknowledging neighboring residents’ concerns on tenant behavior, Ambling’s directors have said, in public documents and in prior interviews, that its student-housing properties are run with strict controls. Tenants in Ambling’s student-housing developments are required to pass criminal background checks, and they must agree to adhere to the behavioral codes of conduct established by their universities. The company has built more than 50 student-housing projects in the U.S. since its founding in 1997. Nearly all of those properties are located on the East Coast, primarily in the South. But Bellingham residents opposed to the University Ridge project are not convinced that the company will be able to keep control over the nearly 500 tenants that might end up living there. Opponents also worry over how they will cope with a residential development out of character with the other properties in their neighborhoods, which are in an area dominated by single-family homes. The land that University Ridge would be built on is zoned for denser, multi-family residential development.

The board of directors for the Puget Neighborhood Association wrote a letter in June addressed to Kathy Bell, a Bellingham city planner, that covered a wide range of concerns that it says are shared by neighbors, including that the neighborhood as a whole “finds that this development, as currently proposed, creates an impact on to our community that will deprive our current residents of continued rights and privileges to the continued enjoyment of their property.” Joseph Carpenter, president of the nearby Samish Neighborhood Association, said during the Sept. 11 public hearing that he and his neighbors have expected denser development in the area for some time. They are not all generally opposed to new projects, either, he added. But if development must come, residents deserve assurances that the city will provide appropriate upgrades to traffic and other infrastructure improvements, Carpenter said. “I’m very concerned about the precedent that this sets in our neighborhood and in Puget,” he said. Download Sturwold’s full decision contained in the Web version of this article, online at pnw.cc/qfQRF.

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Evan Marczynski, staff reporter for The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com.

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A preliminary conceptual drawing shows one of four apartment buildings the Valdosta, Ga.-based Ambling University Development Group wants to build in its proposed University Ridge complex, three miles from Western Washington University.


November 2013

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BBJToday.com

PUBLIC RECORDS Government information relevant to business

Business licenses

Listings, which feature both new and renewed licenses, include business name, licensee name and the business’ physical address. Records are obtained from the city of Bellingham.

2414 E Street, 2414 E Street, 2414 E St., Bellingham, WA 98225. 2614 Orleans LLC, 2614 Orleans LLC, 4290 Pacific Highway, Suite C, Bellingham, WA 98226. 4CBE LLC, 4CBE LLC, 1155 N. State St. #608, Bellingham, WA 98225. 5 Star Services, Rita Diane Story, 2312 Verona St., Apt. 3, Bellingham, WA 98229. Ab Designs, Anne-Marie Katherine Sobotka, 3131 Ferry Ave., Apt. A206, Bellingham, WA 98225. Activcare Living, Activcare Living Inc., 412 Sudden Valley Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229. Agh Operations Consulting Inc., Agh Operations Consulting Inc., 1747 Sapphire Trail, Bellingham, WA 98226. Aircraft Inspection Service LLC, Aircraft Inspection Service LLC, 607 Marine Drive, Bellingham, WA 98225. Alexandra Stanford, Alexandra Elizabeth Stanford, 4260 Cordata Parkway, Suite 102, Bellingham, WA 98226. Ashley J. Steinbach, Ashley J. Steinbach, 1344 King St., Suite 102, Bellingham, WA 98229. Baay, Baay, 1059 N. State St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Bellingham Chinese Herb Pharmacy, Tim Baglio, 2500 Elm St., Suite 5, Bellingham, WA 98225. Bellingham Kiteboarding Inc., Bellingham Kiteboarding Inc., 2620 N. Harbor Loop Drive, Suite 18, Bellingham, WA 98225. Bellingham Medical Acupuncture PLLC, Bellingham Medical Acupuncture PLLC, 28 Shorewood Drive, Bellingham, WA 98225. Beverages By Boel, Sigurbjorg Boel Laxfoss, 3828 Briarcliffe Court, Bellingham, WA 98226. Borton Counseling, David Alexander Borton, 2648 Donovan Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Busy Bee Cleaning, Jennifer Rose Winder, 3310 Alderwood Ave., Apt. L-6, Bellingham, WA 98225. Cascadia Insurance, James August Ross, 341 S. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225. CBD Health Innovations Inc., CBD Health Innovations Inc., 1555 Country Lane, Bellingham, WA 98225. Christian Beaty Apex Fitness, Christian Andrew Beaty, 3700 Alabama St., Apt. 123, Bellingham, WA 98229. Chronicles Preservation Consultants, Lynette Lee Felber, 507 14th St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Cleaning Services Northwest, Veronica Margarita Vernon, 2331 Kulshan St., Apt. 1, Bellingham, WA 98225. Cleanpro Janitorial, Rosma R. Lindsey, 2655 Mackenzie Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. Collective Lifestyle Boutique LLC, Collective Lifestyle Boutique LLC, 2114 James St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Cosmetologist, Desiree Lynn Durfee, 1128 Finnegan Way # 1, Bellingham, WA 98225. Cosmic Comics, Tipton & Jones, 1905 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Craig A. Brown, Craig A. Brown, 114 W Magnolia St., Suite 407, Bellingham, WA 98225. Crave Life Handyman & Landscaping Services, Jason Rea Morgan, 3812 Kansas St., Bellingham, WA 98229. D&D Charters, Dean Ouilette, 2650 E. Smith Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. Distinction, Nathan Ayres, 808 Baker St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Don’t Pose Photography, Andrew Thomas Ryznar, 2608 Superior St., Bellingham, WA 98226. Eco Solutions Recruiting LLC, Eco Solutions Recruiting LLC, 1461 Lahti Drive, Bellingham, WA 98226. Endless Possibilitees Inc., Endless Possibilitees Inc., 2817 W. Maplewood Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Fast Alert Security, Oskar Biskup, 3605 Fraser St., Unit A, Bellingham, WA 98229. Fishwerks Home Services LLC, Fishwerks Home Services LLC, 2110 Humboldt St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Flower Duet, Tatyana Arkadyevna Lepo, 2 Kinglet Court, Bellingham, WA 98229. Flute-Song, Mark C. Merchant, 1222 N. State St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Focus Photography, Lesley Ellen Keefer, 2620 Birchwood Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Found, Nicole Leone Lang, 2514 Mill Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Fox Therapeutic Massage, De Lois Fox, 1712 D St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Grateful Bounty Farm, Grateful Bounty LLC, 392 E. Axton Road, Bellingham, WA 98226.

Gypsies And Ginger Snaps, Gypsies And Ginger Snaps, 111 W. Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Halibut Henry’s LLC, Halibut Henry’s LLC, 4255 Mitchell Way, Unit 3, Bellingham, WA 98226. Heather Manning Creations, Heather Morgan Manning, 1006 N. Garden St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Henderson Lawn Care, Douglas Edward Henderson, 1688 Sapphire Trail, Bellingham, WA 98226. Honest Cleaners, Honest Cleaners, 4146 Pacific Highway, Bellingham, WA 98226. Icing On The Cake, Live Sweet Chocolates LLC, 314 W. Champion St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Illustrations, Myron E. Zorger III, 1210 Clinton St., Apt. 103, Bellingham, WA 98225. Ingram Custom Finishes And Construction, Danny Paul Ingram, 2314 Elm St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Iron Lotus Film Productions, Iron Lotus Film Productions LLC, 1343 Pacific St., Apt. 201, Bellingham, WA 98229. J&H Automotive & Tires, Jesus Hernandez, 5473 Guide Meridian, Bellingham, WA 98226. JT Construction & Design LLC, JT Construction & Design LLC, 901 Orchid Pl., Unit 101, Bellingham, WA 98226. J.R. Auctions LLC, J.R. Auctions LLC, 424 W. Bakerview Road, Suite 106, Bellingham, WA 98226. Jennifer Marie Smith, Jennifer Marie Smith, 1980 Fraser St., Apt. 303, Bellingham, WA 98229. Joel And Brandy Photography, Joel And Brandy Photography, 2511 Jaeger St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Julia Ashli’s Glam Slam, Cyndra Ellen Neufeld, 2811 Azalea Pl., Bellingham, WA 98225. Just Sports, Utah Jazz Retail Inc., 1 Bellis Fair Parkway, Suite 434, Bellingham, WA 98226. L&H Enterprises, Milton Leslie Scott, 2427 Vista Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229. La La Eatery, La La Eatery LLC, 2430 James St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Law Office Of Christina King PLLC, Law Office Of Christina King PLLC, 103 E. Holly St., Suite 402, Bellingham, WA 98225. Lion Fortress Services LLC, Lion Fortress Services LLC, 301 W. Holly St., Suite D22, Bellingham, WA 98225. Littleton Ranch, Jennifer Marie Littleton-McCoy, 947 W. Axton Road, Bellingham, WA 98226. Lun Designs, Louisa Colleen Mccuskey, 2211 Lynn St., Apt. 3, Bellingham, WA 98225. Lycan Construction Inc., Lycan Construction Inc., 2211 Rimland Drive, Suite 124, Bellingham, WA 98226. M&M Home Repair, M&M Home Repair LLC, 2902 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229. Marathon Cleaners, Michelle R. Foy, 1111 E. Beachview Pl., Bellingham, WA 98226. Margaret Ann Bridewell, Margaret Ann Bridewell, 1513 E St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Matson’s General Maintenance, Gabriel David Matson, 2305 Douglas Ave., Apt. 12, Bellingham, WA 98225. Meridian Dental Group LLP, Meridian Dental Group LLP, 3628 Meridian St., Suite 2b, Bellingham, WA 98225. Milo And Sunny, Shawn Kemp, 340 N. Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Moss Busters, Chris Michael Lawlor, 1050 Larrabee Ave., Suite 104, PMB 317, Bellingham, WA 98225. My Thai Network, Sunantha T. Day, 3221 Alderwood Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Nicole Elise Burdick, Nicole Elise Burdick, 1251 Nevada St., Apt. 18, Bellingham, WA 98229. Northwest Ice, Steven Ray Huizenga, 4700 Fieldston Road, Bellingham, WA 98225. Northwest Passage Theater Collective, Glenn Apollo Hergenhahn, 2317 Grant St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Nuckolls Sound, Seth Joseph Nuckolls, 2414 1/2 F St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Olys Cricket LLC, Olys Cricket LLC, 2711 Shepardson St., Bellingham, WA 98226. Pacific Arts Market LLC, Pacific Arts Market LLC, 2525 Cherry St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Pacific Piano Service, Pacific Piano Service, 2837 Lafayette St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Pacifica Research, C Share Business Computers, 1170 W. 55th Ter., Bellingham, WA 98226. Patrice Davis, Patrice Grace Davis, 1709 Valhalla Lane, Unit B, Bellingham, WA 98226. Peregrine Jewelry, Khairul Annie Bhagwandin, 4017 Willowbrook Lane, Bellingham, WA 98229. Point Roberts Auto Freight, Wildwest Express Inc., 3975

Irongate Road, Suite 120, Bellingham, WA 98226. Pos-X LLC, Pos-X LLC, 1975 Midway Lane, Suite O, Bellingham, WA 98226. Quality Garage Door Solutions LLC, Quality Garage Door Solutions LLC, 2220 Humboldt St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Reality Contracting, Reality Contracting, 1305 Cranberry Court, Bellingham, WA 98226. S&B Innovative Installations, S&B Innovative Installations, 2319 Henry St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Safeway Store #4533, Safeway Inc., 1225 E. Sunset Drive, Suite 155, Bellingham, WA 98226. Salish Sea Conservation, Salish Sea Conservation, 1015 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. Salish Sea Kayak School, Edward Wang, 17 Honeycomb Lane, Bellingham, WA 98229. Sam Champion The Gear Doctor, Sam Champion The Gear Doctor, 209 W. Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Sarah Bulger, Sarah Bulger, 1108 E. Clearbrook Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229. Saunders Investments, Jeffery Brian Saunders, 3100 Cedarside Court, Bellingham, WA 98226. Scholarships Students.Com, Nathanael Francis King, 313 Alabama St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Smartzh.Com, Smartzh.Com, 1707 Texas St., Bellingham, WA 98229. Spa Therapy, Relax Zone Inc. #7068, 1 Bellis Fair Pkwy #5535, Bellingham, WA 98226. Swan Psychotherapy LLC, Swan Psychotherapy LLC, 1010 Harris Ave., Suite 204, Bellingham, WA 98225. Tagline Products LLC, Tagline Products LLC, 309 Palm St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Teksouth Corporation, Teksouth Corporation, 3120 Racine St., Apt. 243, Bellingham, WA 98226. Terra Strategies LLC, Terra Strategies LLC, 1611 Broadway St., Suite 207, Bellingham, WA 98225. Thai House Express, Nimnual Thai Cuisine Inc., 505 32nd St., Suite 104, Bellingham, WA 98225. The Documentary Center, The Documentary Center, 306 Flora St. # 9, Bellingham, WA 98225. The Ethos Project, Rachel Lynn Cox, 2217 D St., Bellingham, WA 98225. The Law Office Of Lee Grochmal And Tom Fryer PC, The Law Office Of Lee Grochmal And Tom Fryer PC, 1714 Euclid Ave., Bellingham, WA 98229. The Louis Thompson, Louis Paul Thompson, 2743 Cody Circle, Apt. 202, Bellingham, WA 98225. The Third Matix LLC, The Third Matrix LLC, 1920 18th St., Apt. F-101, Bellingham, WA 98225. Trail Blazin Productions LLC, Trail Blazin Productions LLC, 36 Tumbling Water Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229. Union Constructors LLC, Union Constructors LLC 3032 Cedarwood Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225. (Unknown), Northwest Clinical Pathology Services LLC, 3614 Meridian St., Suite 100, Bellingham, WA 98225. Valkyrie Painting, Joshua David Wavada, 1823 E. Maryland St., Bellingham, WA 98226. Vamos Education, Andrew Felix Basabe, 2170 Wildflower Way , Bellingham, WA 98229. Wallace Design, Silas Eugene Reynolds, 906 17th St., Bellingham, WA 98225. Walter Thomas Steele III, Walter Thomas Steele III, 124 Underhill Road, Bellingham, WA 98225. West Connection LLC, West Connection LLC, 3007 Hayward Court, Bellingham, WA 98226. WMBC, Whimps Mountain Bike Coalition, 1243 Kenoyer Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229. Zamora Art, Deborah Anne Zamora, 1209 Lingbloom Road, Bellingham, WA 98226.

Building permits

Includes commercial building activity with an estimated valuation listed at $10,000 or more. Records are obtained from the City of Bellingham’s Permit Center. Status updates on permits are available on on the city’s website at pnw.cc/qgu67.

10/14/13 to 10/21/13 Issued permits 4164 Meridian St. 200, $32,000 for commercial tenant improvement: demolish current wall; build new walls; rework ceiling. Contractor: Kettman & Company. Permit No.: BLD201300500. 10/14/13. 1650 Birchwood Ave., $20,000 for commercial alterations: remodel customer service counter and floral area in grocery store.

Contractor: Elite Commercial Contracting. Permit No.: BLD201300511. 10/14/13. Pending applications 1115 E. Sunset Drive 100, $810,000 for commercial: remodel theater for Goodwill classrooms and warehouse. Applicant: PKJB Architectural Group. Contractor: Foushee & Associates Co. Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00433. 10/14/13. 811 Harris Ave., $80,952 for commercial: install new and used pallet racking system: LFS. Applicant and contractor: Northwest Handling Systems. Permit No.: BLD2013-00515. 10/17/13. 9/30 to 10/14/13 Issued permits 1010 Railroad Ave. $5,539,766 for new 60-unit multifamily building (partially over new parking garage): Phase three of Morse Square Development. Contractor: Dawson Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00114. 10/4/13. 119 W. Chestnut St., $2,015,936 for multifamily, mixed-use addition (above existing altered basement) to existing mixed-use building: Chestnut Flats II. Contractor: (to be determined). Permit No.: BLD2013-00285. 10/11/13. 410 W. Bakerview Road 117, $520,000 for commercial: new blood collection facility: Puget Sound Blood Center. Contractor: BN Builders Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00468. 10/1/13. 1140 10th St., $462,000 for foundation-only for new mixeduse building (does not include any floor slab): Shannon Block. Contractor: Wellman & Zuck Construction LLC. Permit No.: BLD201300446. 10/9/13. 811 Harris Ave., $251,179 for commercial alteration: new roofing system over existing: Port of Bellingham Fairhaven Industrial Park (7). Contractor: McKinstry Essention Inc. Permit No.: BLD201300478. 10/2/13. 1330 N. Forest St., $245,000 for tenant improvement: construction of brewery and pub/restaurant in former sign shop: Aslan Brewing Company. Contractor: Slab Design. Permit No.: BLD2013-00357. 10/4/13. 819 Harris Ave., $117,993 for commercial alteration: new roofing system over existing and structural repair to building lateral system: Port of Bellingham Fairhaven Industrial Park (3). Contractor: McKinstry Essention Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00477. 10/2/13. 2200 Rimland Drive 110, $43,000 for tenant improvement: remodel of 2,860-square-foot office space. Contractor: Scoboria Construction Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00499. 10/9/13. Pending applications 905 Darby Drive, $2,075,000 for commercial: new 16,694-square-foot medical facility: Biolife Plasma Services. Contractor: Oracle Contracting Services. Permit No.: BLD201300504. 10/8/13. 1029 22nd St., $1,944,914 for new four-story, 16-unit multifamily building. Permit No.: BLD2013-00389. 10/7/13. 1115 E. Sunset Drive 100, $810,000 for commercial: remodel theater for Goodwill classrooms and warehouse. Applicant: PKJB Architectural Group. Contractor: Foushee & Associates Co. Inc. Permit No.: BLD2013-00433. 10/1/13. 2200 Iowa St., $720,000 for commercial: addition to automotive showroom, includes service reception area and re-grading of parking lot: Roger Jobs. Permit No.: BLD2013-00251. 10/9/13. 155 E. Kellogg Road, $185,000 for commercial addition and alterations: construct addition between two existing senior care facilities and combine the two into one building: Highgate House. Permit No.: BLD2013-00344. 10/3/13. 2014 C St., $144,000 for commercial alterations: re-roof and repair finished of judicial services area, new HVAC unit and interior security improvements. Contractor: Faber Construction Corp. Permit No.: BLD2013-00507. 10/9/13. 4164 Meridian St. 200, $32,000 for commercial: tenant improvement: demo current wall, build new walls, rework ceiling. Permit No.: BLD2013-00500. 10/3/13.

Liquor licenses

Records are obtained from the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which is online at www.liq.wa.gov.

10/2/13 to 10/16/13 New license applications Liquor Depot, Liquor Depot LLC; Balbir C. Bhatti, Gursharn Prtt Bhatti, Farrah Choudhray and Khalid Choudhary applied for changes on an existing license to sell beer/wine in a specialty shop, operate as an SLS spirits retailer and offer samples of spirits at 1255 Barkley Blvd., Suite 107-110, Bellingham, WA 98226. License No.: 410042. 10/9/13. Soy House Restaurant, Soy House Restaurant House Inc.’ Ngoc-Tam Thi Bratt, Phuong-Uyen Dao Huynh and Tony T. Nguyen applied for changes on an existing license to sell beer/wine/spirits in a restaurant lounge at 400 W. Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225. License No.: 369850. 10/7/13.

See RECORDS, Page 23


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RECORDS | FROM 19

Approved licenses Community Market On Hannegan at 6912 Hannegan Road, Suite 102, in Lynden, WA 98264, was approved for a change of LLC member on an existing license to sell beer/wine in a grocery store. License No.: 409644. 10/9/13. Tony’s Bar at 2920 Main St., Custer, WA 98240, was approved for changes to an existing license to sell beer/wine/spirits in a restaurant lounge. License No.: 353573. 10/7/13. The Local at 1427 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225, was approved to assume a license to sell beer/wine in a restaurant. License No.: 400974. 10/2/13. Little Cheerful Cafe at 133 E. Holly St., Bellingham, WA 98225, was approved for a new license to sell beer/wine in a restaurant. License No.: 411589. 9/23/13. Discontinued licenses None reported. 9/19 to 10/2/2013 New licenses applications Thai House Express, Nimnual Thai Cuisine Inc.; Dale Harold Boe and Nimnual Rattanaporn Boe applied for a new license to sell beer and wine in a restaurant at 505 32nd St., Suite 2014, Bellingham, WA 98225. License No.: 079308. Filed Sept. 19. Hard Washington, Hard Washington Cider LLC; Nicholas Springs, Beauclerk Vernon Hilty-Jones and Jessaka Amy James applied for a new license to operate a domestic winery (capacity less than 250,000 liters) at 409 Robinson St., Everson, WA 98247. License No.: 411763. Filed Sept. 18. Approved licenses The Will’o Pub & Cafe at 7714 Birch Bay Drive, Blaine, WA 98230, was approved for a new license to sell beer, wine and spirits

BUZZ | FROM 4 YWCA Bellingham, founded in 1907, has operated since 1915 at 1026 N. Forest St., in a building funded by the Larrabee family. YWCA Bellingham served 107 single homeless women in 2012 with housing and case management. Its Back to Work Boutique provided assistance to 525 women last year. Women in need of emergency assistance may continue to call Womencare Shelter’s 24-hour helpline at 360-734-3438 or 877227-3360.

TD Curran opens new location in Kirkland TD Curran opened its new Kirkland location on Saturday, Oct. 26, which is now the third store the company operates in northwest Washington. The new 2,200-square-foot store is inside a new mixed-use development called Slater 116, just east of Interstate 405 in Kirkland. (Read more about Slater 116 from our partners at the Kirkland Reporter.) The location employs 15 people and serves customers in King and Snohomish counties. TD Curran, which also has stores in Bellingham and Burlington, sells Mac computers and a full line of Apple products, including iPhones served by Verizon Wireless, iPads, iPods, peripherals and other accessories. The company also offers oneon-one training for customers. As an Apple Authorized Service Center, TD Curran is able to handle products covered through Apple’s warranty terms. All of company’s employees are certified by Apple and undergo continuous training to learn about new products, technical specifications, policies and procedures. TD Curran’s stores are on pace to record $35 million in sales this year, more than doubling its sales volume of $16 million in 2012, according to a news release from the company.

Local tourism officials seek volunteer travel “ambassadors” Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism

BBJToday.com in a restaurant lounge. License No.: 403542. Filed Sept. 13. Discontinued licenses None reported.

Bankruptcies

Business-related debts only. Listings feature debtor name(s), case number and filing date. Records are obtained from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Washington.

Chapter 7 Straight bankruptcy; debtor gives up non-exempt property and debts are discharged. Common Ground Construction LLC, 13-19077-KAO, 10/14/13. Riad Iskandar Youssef, 13-19317-KAO, 10/22/13. Chapter 11 Business reorganization; protection from creditors while business devises plan of reorganization. Income/expense reports must be filed monthly. Bellmont Terrace LLC, 13-18797-TWD, 10/2/13.

Federal tax liens

Tax liens of $5,000 or more issued by the Internal Revenue Service. Listings include taxpayer name(s), lien amount, document number and filing date. Records are obtained locally from the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office.

Bellingham Whatcom Radiator & Battery Inc., $5,639.79, 2131000118, 10/1/2013. Michael Bielman, $42,963.75, 2131000119, 10/1/2013.

Releases of federal tax liens Charmae A. Scheffer, $104,261.83, 2131000421, 10/3/2013.

is recruiting volunteers to become Bellingham “ambassadors” to represent the region and assist visitors to Bellingham and Whatcom County. Ambassadors will greet travelers at the Bellingham International Airport, the Bellingham Cruise Terminal and in Bellis Fair Mall, with the goal of making travel and tourism to Whatcom County a positive experience for visitors and locals by providing assistance in travel facilities, making recommendations and offering area knowledge. Volunteers receive professional training in hospitality and regional information to enhance traveler experiences. Those seeking professional work experience or community involvement are encouraged to apply. Ambassadors are required to complete one four-hour shift per week for 3-6 months. Days and times vary depending on availability. Interested applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply. For more information, visit www.bellingham.org, call 360-671-3990 or email Becca@bellingham.org.

Interfaith Community Health Center opens new pharmacy The Interfaith Community Health Center in Bellingham opened its longanticipated pharmacy last month, a central component of the nonprofit facility’s recent expansion. The pharmacy, located at 220 Unity St., will allow Interfaith’s patients to get prescriptions filled on site with a sliding-fee scale that discounts medications according to household size and income. More than 14,000 individuals receive their medical, dental or behavioral-health care at Interfaith Community Health Center, according to the organization. The new pharmacy is managed by Lisa Nelson, who holds a doctorate in the pharmacy field.

Thai House Express now open in Bellingham Dale and Nimnual Boe recently opened Thai House Express at 505 32nd St. in

State tax warrants

Tax warrants of $5,000 or more issued by Washington state government agencies and filed locally in Whatcom County Superior Court. Listings include taxpayer name(s), warrant amount, the state agency filing the warrant, case number and filing date. Records are obtained from the Whatcom county Superior Court Clerk’s Office.

Nicholas Ryan Petrovich, $47,835.67, L&I, 13-2-02664-0, 10/22/2013. NY Holdings LLC, $11,151.29, L&I, 13-2-02619-4, 10/14/2013. Innovative Industrial Construction, $9,146.14, L&I, 13-202574-1, 10/8/2013. C&H Management Services, $7,135.38, L&I, 13-2-02576-7, 10/8/2013. Christopher Shea Heston, $7,342.23, L&I, 13-2-02579-1, 10/8/2013. Christopher Shea Heston and Barbara Faith Heston, $8,553.57, L&I, 13-2-02596-1, 10/8/2013. Ballard Auto Enterprises, $16,140.56, Revenue, 13-2-02598-8, 10/10/2013. Mountain States Builders, $81,094.34, Revenue, 13-2-026003, 10/10/2013. Tyee LLC, $51,812.20, Revenue, 13-2-02601-1, 10/10/2013. NW Choice Construction Inc., $5,486.81, Employment Security, 13-2-02565-1, 10/7/2013. Wildwest Express Inc., $6,813.85, Employment Security , 13-2-02567-8, 10/7/2013. Platinum Builders Inc., $12,425.57, L&I, 13-2-02521-0, 10/1/2013. Mike Peetoom Construction LLC, $10,320.04, Revenue, 13-202528-7, 10/2/2013. Bellingham Whatcom Radiator & Battery, $5,731.33,

Bellingham, sharing space in a Happy Valley Neighborhood shopping center that includes Pizza Time and the Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant, among other businesses. As an offshoot of the Boes’ Thai House restaurant that has operated on Telegraph Road in Bellingham for more than 15 years, the “express” version will feature a smaller dining room and a trimmed-down menu that highlights dishes that have proven popular at the original location, Dale Boe said. He added that with the new location closer to Western Washington University, he hopes to attract more foot traffic from students and nearby residents.

The Local pub opens in downtown Bellingham A new pub created by the owners of Menace Brewing in Ferndale has opened in Railroad Avenue in downtown Bellingham. The Local, which is at 1427 Railroad Ave., the former downtown home of Cicchitti’s Pizza, serves as Menace’s off-site tasting room. It also showcases select beers from other regional brewers, and serves food designed to pair easily with beer selections. The menu, which will focus on small plates, will change regularly as the pub’s taps rotate. The pub is owned by Benjanin Buccarelli, one of the original brewers at Kulshan Brewing, and Brandon Petersen, a local chef, who spent the past four years at The Fork at Agate Bay.

Bellingham piano instructor finds permanent studio home Discovery Music Academy, a local piano-instruction business run by Mary Walby, now has a permanent studio space inside Piper Music on Meridian Street in Bellingham. Walby previously rented space from Piper Music, but the permanent studio will allow her to expand her operating hours, which are made by appointment only. Walby started Discovery Music Academy in 2012. She has more than 25 years of experience in piano instruction and performance.

November 2013 Revenue, 13-2-02515-5, 10/1/2013.

Satisfactions of state tax warrants Northwestern Interiors, L&I, 11-9-01014-9, 10/22/2013. Prodekx LLC, L&I, 12-9-00391-4, 10/22/2013. Lynden Chocolate & Candy Shoppe Inc., Revenue, 11-201823-3, 10/21/2013. Pacific Northwest Karate, Revenue, 12-2-02164-0, 10/21/2013. Pegasus Corporation, Revenue, 12-2-03412-1, 10/21/2013. Bellingham Whatcom Radiator & Battery, Revenue, 13-201252-5, 10/21/2013. La Cantina Birch Bay, Revenue, 13-2-01638-5, 10/21/2013. Cash Corp., Revenue, 13-2-01712-8, 10/21/2013. Custom Fit Drywall LLC, Revenue, 13-2-01749-7, 10/21/2013. Comstick Construction, L&I, 13-2-02379-9, 10/7/2013. Chazzzam Signs & Graphics LLC, Revenue, 13-2-00741-6, 10/2/2013. Namaste Ventures Inc., Revenue, 13-2-00924-9, 10/2/2013. B&J Fiberglass LLC, Revenue, 13-2-01119-7, 10/2/2013. JLH Enterprises Inc., Revenue, 13-2-01130-8, 10/2/2013. Western Pumping & Excavating Inc., Revenue, 13-2-01719-5, 10/1/2013. Black Diamond Builders, Revenue, 13-2-01915-5, 10/2/2013.

Vacated state tax warrants Diller Construction Enterprise, L&I, 13-9-02584-3, 10/1/2013.

Oil-seep containment work begins on waterfront

Plans to contain oil seeping from the shoreline of a cleanup site on Bellingham’s waterfront are set to begin this week, after an oil sheen left intermittently by the seep was first discovered last December. Since then, Bellingham city officials have maintained a boom and absorbent pads to catch and contain the oil. The city has hired Interwest Construction of Burlington to place a specially amended layer of sand and clay over the oil seep. The clay and sand layer will be placed within a rock berm and covered with a layer of gravel to protect it from winter storms. The oil is seeping from a small area of shoreline at the R.G. Haley cleanup site, which is known to be contaminated with wood treatment chemicals from past industrial activities. The site is located southwest of the intersection of Cornwall Avenue and Wharf Street. Crews will cover approximately a 5,000-square-foot area of the shoreline with the clay/sand layer to absorb oil seeping out. Much of the shoreline work will be done at night in November when tides are expected to be lowest. Work is expected to finish by the end of November. The clean up is a temporary fix designed to contain the oil until a site-wide cleanup begins in 2015. The city awarded the construction contract to Interwest for $88,514.41. The total project cost, including design, permitting, materials, and construction, is approximately $400,000. The Washington Department of Ecology is overseeing the work, and will reimburse half of the city’s costs through the state’s Remedial Action Grant program. The program helps pay to clean up publicly owned sites and is funded with revenue from a voter-approved tax on hazardous substances. While ecology officials haven’t tested the oil seeping out, extensive information is available about contamination within the cleanup site. Past testing shows there are

See BUZZ, Page 26


November 2013

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BUSINESS TOOLKIT Growing and maintaining your business

E

Developing leaders in businesses both large and small

very business needs leadership in some make, manner or form. When you ask business owners how they might define leadership, you’ll get a range of answers. But on one thing, you’ll almost always get agreement— more leadership is needed and our business would be more successful be if we had more leaders. Personally, I am not sure that the problem we are trying to solve has been properly defined. That’s a problem, itself. That leadership is always in demand has historically led to a discussion of whether leaders are born or made. Based on the amount of money currently being spent on the development of leaders across the country, it is safe to say that there is no longer an argument. It is settled. Leaders can be made, based on the investment. U.S. companies increased leadership development spending 14 percent over 2011 levels to an estimated $13.6 billion in 2012, according to Bersin and Associates. If you contrast that with the money being spent on employee engagement, you’ll find the “spend” is about 13-to-one in favor of leadership development. Business leaders vote with dollars, and right now, hands down, leadership development is the favorite. If you’re a larger employer, you may have become accustomed to line-items in your budget that amount to average annual investments like $1,700/first-line leader and $2,700/mid-level leader. By contrast, owners in smaller businesses have a hard time justifying that kind of spending on their own development or training—never mind their managers. So based on the dollars spent, you might come to the conclusions that either you’ll have to wait until you’re a large company with lots of discretionary money to be able to afford to develop the leaders you need, or that the way to get big is to start spending on leadership development now.

Mike Cook On Management Neither really seems very satisfactory. In my opening paragraph, I hinted at my belief that the problem that needs solving has not been properly defined. I believe the answer lies somewhere outside the realm of current management thinking, which is

still dominated by command and control models, and rather somewhere closer to work currently being done on employee engagement,though there is a lot of command and control there as well. Mike Myatt, a contributor to Forbes, wrote a pointedly critical piece last year in which he was very blunt about his opinion that much of what was being passed off as leadership development was, in fact, training. According to Myatt, “When it comes to leadership, the training industry has been broken for years. You don’t train leaders, you develop them—a subtle yet important distinction lost on many. Leadership training is alive and well, but it should have died long, long ago.” After reading Myatt’s piece, which I agree with,

I once more began thinking about why leadership spending far outweighs that on employee engagement. My guess, and that’s all I have to go on, is that the programs being invested in somehow mirror the command and control models most business leaders are familiar with. “Leader” still equates to authority in the minds of many senior managers making these decisions, and so the world still looks familiar. For most business leaders, I still think engagement is too “squishy,” moreover lacking in control, which it is, of course. And that’s where its power comes from. Business leaders normally prefer the control/force model to the initiative/ power model. Not because they are bad people, but because they are normal. But there is some good

news here, especially for smaller employers. I am in full agreement with Myatt when he writes, “Don’t train leaders, coach them, mentor them, disciple them, and develop them, but please don’t attempt to train them.” When it comes to developing leaders, you’d think we were breaking horses: a continual focus on indoctrination in process, technique and systems. No wonder budgets are so high the leadership training. We need to build fancy pens to herd leaders into, feed them three times a day and keep them away from the other horses long enough to get them to see things our way—the right way. Am I being overly harsh? If you work in a big company, you tell me. For larger employers, it may be time to stop doing much of what you’ve been

doing. For smaller employers, take heart. Your path forward may be easier. Real development doesn’t have the price tag that training does. But, you need to get involved, as coach, mentor and sponsor. As Myatt writes, “Development is nuanced, contextual, collaborative, fluid, and above all else, actionable.” It won’t be free. You have to be willing to invest your time, and that is precious. But maybe you’ll learn something yourself along the way.

Mike Cook is a management developer who lives in Anacortes, Wash. He publishes a weekly blog at www.heartofengagement.com.

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November 2013

BUSINESS TOOLKIT

A

Getting your marketing budget in order for 2014

s 2013 winds down, small businesses across the nation are looking ahead to 2014. They are setting goals, making plans and working on budgets for the new year. During this time, a question that often comes up is how much a mom-and-pop shop or local small business should spend to promote its products and services.

Industry experts are all over the board when it comes to how much a small business should spend on marketing. Percentages range from 2 percent to more than 20 percent of gross revenues Patti depending on Rowlson the industry, size of the company On Social and whether it’s a startup or estabMedia & lished business. Marketing Most businesses in Whatcom County fall within budgeting guidelines outlined by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA suggests that established companies earning less than $5 million per year should allocate 7-8 percent of revenues toward marketing. That percentage increases if a business is in the startup phase, if it wants to launch new products or services, or if it is marketing in business-to-consumer industries like restaurants and retail.

Have a plan and set funds aside for marketing. Regardless of whether a company is marketing business-to-business services or business-to-consumer products, a basic marketing plan should be in place and funds should be set aside for marketingrelated expenses. Having a plan and budget on hand helps business owners make informed (not impulsive) decisions throughout the year. These documents can be referred to when decisions need to be made about buying advertisements, participating at events, ramping up networking activities or even outsourcing things like graphic design, photography and social-media tasks. How much should be spent on marketing and advertising?

What expenses are included in a marketing budget? Depending on target markets and what products and services are being promoted, marketing budgets may include the following expenses: digital and print advertising (think online ads, radio, and video production), participating in events and trade shows, networking-group memberships, social-media management, professional photography, graphic design, website maintenance, SEO or copywriting services, vehicle graphics, print materials like flyers and brochures, promotional items and even branded clothing items. Ready to put together a marketing budget for 2014? The first step is to obtain a detailed report that shows all marketing-related expenses from the past year (ask your bookkeeper for this information). Take time to review those expenses so you understand exactly where the money has been going. Once you know how much was spent and what it was spent on, you can work to set a marketing budget for 2014 that is based on a percentage of projected rev-

enues and your business goals for the new year. Remember, if you want to aggressively grow your business or expand into a new market, you will need to consider increasing the percentage spent on marketing. Next, think about your marketing plan and target market. Do you feel last year’s marketing expenses helped reach those consumers? If there are obvious items on your expense report that did, or did not, produce results, make plans to adjust the budget and reallocate funds accordingly. Lastly, as you’re going through the process of setting up a marketing budget, try not to get stuck in the “that’s how we’ve always done it, and I don’t know what else to do” trap. New marketing and advertising options pop up nearly every day! If you are unsure what direction to head in, take a look at what competitors are doing successfully or ask a trusted adviser for suggestions.

Patti Rowlson is a marketing consultant and social media manager at PR Consulting, Inc. She helps Whatcom County small businesses identify, implement and consistently maintain marketing-related programs. Learn more about small-business marketing by connecting with PR Consulting on social media sites or by visiting www.pattirowlson.com.

NONPROFIT NOTES

Gratitude, potential and productivity that surrounds us. All of this—and so much more—is made possible because people and businesses like you support the many nonprofit organizations that work so hard to make Whatcom County the amazing place that we all call home. Generosity is a hopeful and positive action, which we have recently learned also has implications for our productivity. According to Shawn Achor, a Harvard researcher and the author of “The Happiness Advantage,” our brains are 30 percent more productive when we are positive than when we are negative, neutral or stressed. Scientists have found that when positive brains are flooded with dopamine, it turns on all of your learning centers, creating a

BY PAMELA JONS AND SARA SOUTHERLAND Courtesy to The Bellingham Business Journal

N

ovember is the time of year we collectively engage in the practice of giving thanks and expressing gratitude. Those of us working in the nonprofit sector are keenly aware that generosity is an element that plays a singularly powerful role in a thriving community. Gifts of time, resources and expertise from individuals, families and businesses fuel our charitable sector. These gifts help families access food, connect children with the support they need to thrive, provide quality arts and cultural opportunities and enhance the natural beauty and wildlife

true happiness advantage whether you are working on a report, solving a problem or planning a project. Put simply, happy brains are more productive. So what can we do to help our brains become, and stay, more positive? Along with exercise, journaling, gratitude and meditation, Achor’s research has landed on one other important activity that enhances our happiness. He describes this activity as “conscious acts of kindness,” which can also be described as people helping each other. Fortunately our community is filled with generous people and organizations who work hard to help their neighbors. Over the past three years, our “acts of kindness” have been pretty impressive. Since 2010, thousands of donors like you

have contributed more than $15 million to support the work of local nonprofit organizations. Over these same three years, the Whatcom Volunteer Center has connected 2,784 volunteers who have contributed 600,000 hours of their time with 149 nonprofit, government and health-care related agencies. Virginia Lang, a nonprofit consultant who works in communities throughout the U.S., sums it up this way: “The relationship between nonprofit organizations and the business community in Whatcom County is as long standing and generously supported as any in the country. We are fortunate that many companies in our area have corporate cultures that encourage and

See NOTES, Page 27

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PEOPLE

Who’s news in Bellingham & Whatcom business Banking Peoples Bank, headquartered in Lynden, has promoted Melinda Kaemingk to assistant vice president and compliance officer, where she will be responsible for evaluating and providing guidance on compliance issues and concerns and educating management and employees on compliance responsibilities Melinda Kaemingk pertaining to their job functions. Kaemingk has been with the company her entire career, starting out as a teller at Peoples Bank’s downtown Bellingham location. Peoples Bank has also promoted Kimberley Harper to LPL financial adviser in its investment and business planning arm, Peoples Investments. In her new role, Harper will serve the investment and planning needs of clients in Skagit and Island counties. Harper earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Western Kimberly Harper Washington University. She has worked in the financial services industry for more than three years, two of which have been with with Peoples Investments.

Construction, manufacturing, skilled trades Colleen Mitchell, professional civil engineer and project manager with 2020 Engineering in Bellingham, has been selected to serve on the city of Seattle’s Living Building and Deep Green Technical Advisory Group. The group provides recommendations to the city’s Department of Planning and DevelColleen Mitchell opment on updating the Living Building and Seattle Deep Green Pilot Program, which aims to promote sustainable building and development. Mitchell was the project manager for 2020’s work on two recent “living buildings” in Seattle:

the Bertschi School Science Wing and the Bullitt Center. Thoren Rogers of Barron Heating and Air Conditioning in Ferndale was recently promoted to building performance administrator, following the company’s success in offering this new service to clients. Rogers is a lifelong resident of Whatcom County and a graduate of Western Washington University.

Financial and business services Patrick Britton recently joined Marie Bjornson’s team at Envoy Mortgage in Bellingham. Britton has been hired as a licensed mortgage loan originator. He has more than nine years’ experience in the financialservice industry, and has previously worked for some of the largest banks in Canada, as well as a Patrick Britton specialty stock brokerage firm in Vancouver, British Columbia. Euphrates Greene has been promoted to network engineer at 3D Corporation, a network-management firm based in Bellingham. Greene will now perform network and solution design for 3D’s business analysts, take the lead on network projects and assist with the training of network administrators.

Insurance Connor Herman and Makenzie Morgan have recently joined Snapper Shuler Kenner Insurance in Bellingham and Lynden. Herman, longtime Whatcom County resident, is a property and casualty agent for the company. Morgan runs the front desk at SSK’s Barkley Village office in Bellingham, handling payments and personallines processing.

Legal services Timothy Potts has joined Zender Thurston, P.S., a civil-practice law firm in Bellingham. Potts will work in the areas of taxation, real estate, transactions, estate planning, entity formation/reorganization and financing/lender dealings. He earned

his doctorate of law from Willamette University School of Law, and previously worked in his own firm, Potts Law.

Real estate Emily Wyss has joined the Bellingham office of RE/MAX Whatcom County. Wyss focuses on residential properties, specializing in first-time home buyers. She was raised on Lopez Island, and has resided in Whatcom County for the past 10 years. Prior to earning her real-estate license, Wyss worked in customer service and volunteer management for the Whatcom Humane Society.

Restaurants Michael “Mica” Christensen has been promoted to sous chef at Keenan’s at the Pier, inside The Chrysalis Inn & Spa in Bellingham. Christensen has a culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu and a degree in social science from the University of Cologne in Germany. He recently worked at Toulouse Petit Kitchen in “Mica” Christensen Seattle, one of the top restaurants in the nation.

See PEOPLE, Page 26

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November 2013

November 2013

PORT NEWS

Airport Terminal Expansion Showcases Better Passenger Experiences Sponsored content provided by Port of Bellingham

PORT OF BELLINGHAM CONTACT: Port Administrative Offices 360-676-2500 info@portofbellingham.com www.portofbellingham.com

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ork is still a couple of months away from completion, but Bellingham International Airport passengers already are talking about how much they appreciate the expanded commercial terminal. The $38.6 million commercial terminal expansion is scheduled for completion in January. Already overcrowding at the terminal has been nearly

eliminated with the opening of a new, expansive ticketing lobby and baggage claim area. The new ticketing lobby is three times larger than the old one and has space for 20 ticketing agent work stations. This, combined with a new layout, will eliminate the overcrowding at ticketing. The new baggage claim area is four times larger than the old one. But the convenience of the two baggage carrousels is even more popular than the extra space. The first carrousel opened this past summer and the second one began operating last month. These carrousels replaced a single baggage slide system that caused returning passenger delays while waiting to reunite with their luggage. The Port of Bellingham’s airport has been experiencing

steady growth. In 2009, the airport had 320,358 outbound passengers. In 2012 this had grown to 570,575 outbound passengers. Another part of the terminal expansion that was completed in October was an expanded area for Halibut Henry’s in the secure gate holding area. This expansion gives Halibut Henry’s the ability to expand its food, beverage and gift sales. An earlier phase of the project included expanding the Scotty Brown’s restaurant in the gate holding area. Behind the scenes, contractors are busy installing a complex system for checked baggage that inspects, sorts, and transports luggage from the checkin area to airline loading. This system alone requires 52 miles of wiring. The Port issued revenue bonds

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to pay for construction and the bonds will be repaid through fees charged to passengers, airlines, airport businesses, and airport parking customers. Property taxes are not being for this project. The airport is a significant part of the local economy. Over 700 people work in the businesses and airlines at the airport and even more local businesses benefit from having a modern, efficient airport with direct flights to a dozen destinations.

1801 Roeder Ave. Bellingham, WA 98225 HOURS: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS Scott Walker, District One Michael McAuley, District Two Jim Jorgensen, District Three

MEETINGS: 3 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month. Agendas are on the Port website. THE PORT OPERATES: Bellingham International Airport Bellingham Cruise Terminal Squalicum Harbor Blaine Harbor Fairhaven Marine Industrial Park Bellwether on the Bay Shipping Terminal Airport Industrial Park Sumas Industrial Park


November 2013

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Serving: Bellingham, Blaine, Birch Bay, Ferndale, Lynden, Lummi Island, and all of Whatcom County.

Arts & Culture • Dining Bicycling • Fishing • Wildlife Water Adventures• Casinos Lodging• Winter Activities Shopping • Spas • Health

A Refreshing Change

MORE... to explore.

Whatcom County Offers Destination Diversity Sponsored content provided by Loni Rahm, and Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism.

The Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism team promotes these menu options in tasty and tantalizing ways through year round marketing, advertising, and media relations programs. And, returning briefly to the McDonalds and Burger King reference -- to locate our "menu" in highly visible locations where customized experiences are created either electronically or face-to-face.

I

'm actually at a Travel & Tourism Research Association conference as I write this column. The annual Marketing Outlook Forum focuses on trends and technologies that impact, and are impacted by, travel and tourism. We are also examining traveler preferences and how consumer expectations mold the travel experience in successful markets. Two things continue to top the list of expectations and travel motivators: customer service and the customization of the destination product. Apparently, one size doesn't fit all. And actually never has. Consumers will tolerate a certain "sameness" in many

products. I remember spotting a Wendy's while in Japan and our entire family rushed to the familiar place with its familiar food. Most of us in a particular age group can identify the consistent ingredients of a McDonald’s Big Mac by singing the advertising campaign jingle -- "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun". This jingle defines what customers can anticipate from a Big Mac. Every time. Burger King countered that consistency with their "Have it your way" campaign, and consumers came to realize they could manipulate even the most consistent and simple

ingredients to create their own custom burger. The tourism industry came to the Burger King conclusion very quickly and with great emphasis. Travelers consistently reject experiences that resemble "destination in a box" in favor of a smorgasborg of activities, events and components they put together to create their own custom experience. We are fortunate in Whatcom County to offer destination diversity with a variety of indoor, outdoor, seasonal, sedentary and active "ingredients" that provide an "all you can eat buffet" to satisfy visitor (and resident) appetites.

The Tourism Bureau has been conscientiously planning an expansion of our personal interaction services to complement those offered seven days a week at the Potter Street Information Center. Earlier this year, the Bureau and Port of Bellingham launched an ambassador program at the airport, followed a few months later at the Cruise Terminal. Ambassadors will also soon have a presence at the newly renovated Bellis Fair Mall. And plans are underway to open an information center in downtown Bellingham as well. You can also expect to see Bureau staff, volunteers and ambassadors at an increased number of special events and activities, including consumer travel shows in Vancouver BC,

Seattle, Portland, and west coast markets served by Allegiant Airlines. As you can imagine, there will be a need to recruit and train friendly and knowledgeable people to help with this face-to-face expansion. If you, or someone you know, has a passion for sharing your community with visitors, please contact Becca@ bellingham.org for an ambassador application and job description.

November Events

Visit our website or call for more details: www.bellingham.org (360) 671-3990 November 1-2 Craft Show: Ten Thousand Villages Crafts of the World November 2 14th Annual Scandinavian Fair November 14-17, 21-24 Holiday Trees: Deck the (Old City) Hall November 16-17, 20-23, 29-30 Allied Arts Holiday Festival of the Arts

November 17 Chuckanut November Brewery Tour November 21-23 Home for the Holidays November 22-23, 29-30 Kale House B&B Art Show and Sale Every Thursday-Sunday Improv Comedy - Upfront Theatre, 8:00 & 10:00 pm

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism 904 Potter Street | Bellingham, WA 98229 360-671-3990 | 800-487-2032 www.Bellingham.org Open 7 days, 9 a.m


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BUZZ | FROM 20

chemicals in the soil and groundwater, which include petroleum hydrocarbons, pentachlorophenol polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins and furans. From the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, the site was used for industries including lumber, coal and wharf operations. Various companies have treated wood on the property. The city of Bellingham owns most of the con-

PEOPLE | FROM 23 Retail Amber Brouillette and Morgan Gamboa have joined Launching Success Learning Store in Bellingham as part-time sales associates. Both are currently seniors at Western Washington University. Brouillette is studying special education and elementary education, while Gamboa is studying elementary education and psychology.

Sports Stephanie Morrell has been hired as the new marketing director for the Bellingham Bells baseball team. Morrell previously spent five years with The Bellingham Herald as an advertising sales consultant. In addition to her marketing duties, Morrell will assist the team’s general manager, Nick Caples, on the sales front, becoming the Bells’ second full-time front office staff member.

Kudos Will Kemper, co-found-

taminated land and plans to build a park there. The city has a legal agreement with the state, known as an “agreed order,” to investigate the contamination, as well as identify and evaluate long-term cleanup options.

TEDx Bellingham releases viewing party schedule Although tickets to see the TEDxBellingham event on Tuesday, Nov. 12, are sold out, others interested er at brewmaster at Chuckanut Brewery & Kitchen in Bellingham, has was asked to speak at the annual conference of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, which was held from Oct. 23-26 in Austin, Texas. Kemper was asked to discuss his brewing expertise in developing hybrid ales such as Chuckanut;s German-style Kolsch ale and its “Alt German” ale. Jennifer Shelton, the director of Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center, has completed the CGBP certification process through the North American Small Business International Trade Educators professional association. The CGBP designation is a nationally recognized credential that demonstrates competency in international trade, including global business management, global marketing, supply chain management and trade finance. Nic Wendland, an install crew lead for Corion Landscape Management

in watching the event’s speakers and performers will be able to attend a series of viewing parties, as well as access the talks on the Internet. The inaugural TEDxBellingham will take place at the Pickford Film Center in downtown Bellingham. The event unites local and regional visionaries and inspiring speakers and performers around the theme of “Here by Choice,” organizers said. TEDx Bellingham will be webcast live at http://live.

tedxbellingham.com, and viewing parties are scheduled for: - Western Washington University’s Viking Union Multipurpose Room, 516 High St. (6th floor) - The Upfront Theater, 1208 Bay St. in downtown Bellingham - Whatcom Community College’s Syre Student Center, Rooms 107 and 108 - The Event Center at Silver Reef, 4876 Haxton Way in Ferndale The livecast begins at 10:00 a.m. and runs until

in Ferndale has earned a Landscape Industry Certified Technician designation from the Professional Landscape Network (known in the industry as PLANET), recognizing his expertise of installation practices for hard-scapes and soft-scapes. PLANET serves lawn care professionals, landscape management contractors, design/build/ installation professionals and interior plant-scapers.

at the Fairhaven Branch of the Bellingham Public Library. Winifred Wilks and her husband, Kenneth, moved to Bellingham when they retired in 1993. Winifred, an avid reader, was a frequent patron of the Fairhaven Branch Library until her passing in 2002.

A recent charity golf tournament at Bellingham’s Shuksan Golf Club raised more than $67,000 in support of local scholarships. The event, called the Commander Pete Oswald Memorial Golf Tournament, was held to support Bellingham Dollars for Scholars (a program of Whatcom Community Foundation) and the Navy SEAL Foundation. The Friends of the Fairhaven Library is recognizing a $39,606 bequest from the Winifred Wilks Trust that has been used to update computer technology and the children’s area

Haggen Inc. has initiated its “School Bucks” program, where the company makes donations to grade schools chosen by shoppers with Haggen cards who purchase items marked with a School Bucks logo. The company also announced it has wrapped up its recent “Best of the Northwest” prize contest, where 300 customers won more than $75,000 worth of prizes, including restaurant gift certificates, vacation packages and a Toyota Prius won by a shopper at the Woodinville TOP Food & Drug store. Lydia Place, a Bellingham-based nonprofit organization that supports homeless families, has received a $15,000 grant

Avoid Costly Legal Complications & Prevent Family Acrimony! • Last Will & Testament • Wills with a Testamentary Trust • Community Property Agreement • Revocable Living Trust • Family & Marital Trusts • Special Needs Trusts

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Estate Administration: • Beneficiary Designations • Probate of Estates • Small Estate - Affidavit of Inheritance

Get It Done & Stop Worrying, If Not Now, When? James R. Doran-Attorney at Law jim@doranlegal.com • www.doranlegal.com • (360) 393-9506 100 East Pine St., Suite 205 • Bellingham, WA 98225

November 2013 5:00 p.m., with a lunch break from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. More information is online at www.tedxbellingham.com.

WWU to host Fall Business Career Fair, Nov. 7 Western Washington University is hosting its Fall Business Career Fair from 1-5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, in the Wade King Student Recreation Center MAC Gym. from The Allstate Foundation. The grant application was facilitated with support by Scott Richardson, owner of the local Allstate Agency State Street Insurance in Bellingham, and a former Lydia Place board member. McNett Corp. in Bellingham has raised more than $10,000 in support of local veterans with the help of a number of businesses from Whatcom and Skagit counties. With the company’s support, 10 local veterans attended the annual Hunting with Heroes event in Klickitat, Wash., from Oct. 11 to Oct. 14. The nonprofit Opportunity Council in Bellingham has been honored as a “Friend of Housing” by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, in recognition of its role in the successful passage of the Bellingham Home Fund. The Opportunity Council led a 2012 campaign to approve a property-tax levy in Bellingham that would raise $21 million for local housing over the next seven years. The levy was approved by 56 percent of voters in Bellingham, which is only the second city in Washington to implement such a program. Snapper Shuler Kenner Insurance in Bellingham and Lynden has announced the following employee achievements: Tom Dorr recently received his Accredited Advisor in Insurance certification, awarded by the Insurance Institute of America. Dorr joined the company in 2012 as a producer. Jamie Baer, who joined the company’s medical department in June, has received a license in Life, Medical & Disability benefits. Bob Hagedorn and Rod Starkenberg have been recognized by the Society of

Co-sponsored by WWU’s College of Business and Economics and the Career Services Center, the fair provides opportunities for students and alumni of all majors to explore internship and employment possibilities with a large number of diverse organizations. More information is on the Career Services Center’s website at pnw.cc/qgJec.

The Buzz is compiled from daily news reports posted on BBJToday.com.

Certified Insurance Counselors for five consecutive years of active affiliation within the organization. Tony’s Coffee in Bellingham won first place in the America’s Best Espresso Competition, a head-tohead competition between 32 coffee roasters held in Seattle in early October. Tony’s won using its signature Ganesha Espresso. Western Washington University has been awarded a three-year, $294,948 grant for the prevention of campus suicides from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Michael Sledge, assistant dean of students at WWU, will be the project director and will work with a team of professionals throughout the university and the community, including students, staff and faculty. Project activities will directly address cultural issues that create barriers to prevention, initiate new activities, evaluate and assess efforts to make adjustments as needed to fit the needs of Western students and their families, and lay the groundwork for sustainability of suicide prevention activities in the future. The nonprofit Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center in Bellingham raised nearly $1,200 during its seventh annual “Compete for a Cause” Cribbage Tournament, held on Sept. 22 in the Boundary Bay Brewery Beer Garden. The tournament champion was Matt Owings, who competed with his brother, Mark, but passed him in the second round. There were 42 competitors in the daylong event.

Send your business announcements to editor@bbjtoday.com.


November 2013

REAL ESTATE | FROM 8

Bellingham Units sold: 344 (up 24.2 percent) Median price: $301,450 (up 9.6 percent) Average price: $355,148 (up 7.8 percent) Days on market: 60 (down 30.2 percent) Birch Bay/Blaine Units sold: 91 (up 37.9 percent) Median price: $220,000 (down 8.9 percent) Average price: $261,419 (down 14.6 %) Days on market: 102 (down 46.6 percent) Ferndale Units sold: 81 (unchanged) Median price: $271,000 (up 5.4 percent) Average price: $275,555 (up 3.4 percent) Days on market: 98 (up 14 percent) Lynden Units sold: 56 (down 15.2 percent) Median price: $251,400 (down 2.9 percent) Average price: $267,097 (down 3.2 percent) Days on market: 63 (down 30.8 percent)

Units sold: 37 (up 19.4 percent) Median price: $70,000 (down 2.9 percent) Average price: $137,632 (up 11.5 percent) Days on market: 128 (down 9.9 percent) Nooksack Valley Units sold: 27 (down 10 percent) Median price: $235,000 (up 19 percent) Average price: $226,054 (up 9.7 percent) Days on market: 92 (down 23.3 percent) Sudden Valley Units sold: 50 (up 38.9 percent) Median price: $224,200 (up 11 percent) Average price: $230,413 (up 7.1 percent) Days on market: 75 (down 20.2 percent) Source: Lylene Johnson of The Muljat Group

Evan Marczynski, staff reporter for The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com.

Mount Baker

NOTES | FROM 22 often match annual employee contributions through their own uniquely managed programs.” These numbers tell a meaningful story about our community: We care about this place, and we are willing to give what we can to make living here better. How wonderful to learn that this generous spirit is

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also helping our brains reach their productivity potential! In honor of Thanksgiving, the Whatcom Council of Nonprofits would like to express our thanks to all of you, the businesses and people who give your time, financial assistance and talent. Your gifts make Whatcom County an even better place to live, work and play. The Whatcom Council of Nonprofits, a program of the Whatcom Community

PEACEHEALTH | FROM 17 No. 1 have approved a letter of intent to create a strategic alliance within the next nine to 12 months, which would also include collaboration with UW Medicine, a provider that recently finalized a partnership agreement with PeaceHealth’s Northwest Network. Skagit’s Public Hospital District No. 1, which goes by the name Skagit Regional Health, includes the 137-bed Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon and 10 Skagit Regional Clinics. The district serves patients in Skagit, Island, San Juan and north Snohomish counties. St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham is part of PeaceHealth’s Northwest Network. The letter of intent lays out, in broad terms, the objectives of the proposed alliance. The providers’ say the next step in their negotiations is to develop more specific goals before creating a final, definitive agreement within the next year. The proposed alliance would integrate clinical and administrative systems, as well as pool together complementary clini-

Foundation, is delighted to be a networking hub, educational resource and advocate for the nonprofit sector here in Whatcom County, hosting monthly brown bag educational meetings, networking opportunities, providing an online calendar and newsletter for event and resource sharing and more. To learn more, please visit www. wcnwebsite.org.

cal resources between the two providers, with the goals of reducing care costs while broadening the array of health services available to patients served by Skagit Regional Health, according to the letter. Both providers also indicate a desire to create joint ventures around unspecified service lines. The letter notes possible consolidation of various support services, as well as new partnerships on physician recruitment and the implementation of an enhanced IT platform for Skagit Regional Health. The proposal states that the district board of Skagit Regional Health would retain ultimate authority over the care its hospital and other facilities provide. A provision in the letter of intent notes this would include the preservation of certain women’s health, reproductive and end-oflife services currently available to patients at Skagit’s facilities. PeaceHealth, in keeping with its Catholic-based care guidelines, does not currently offer a similar range of services. Skagit Regional Health would also retain control over its finances, according to the proposal.

Pamela Jons is the director of advancement and programs at the Whatcom Community Foundation. Sara Southerland, the food and farming program coordinator for Sustainable Connections, is a member of the outreach committee for the Whatcom Council of Nonprofits. This is an installment of a recurring series of columns from the Whatcom Council of Nonprofits that will be featured in The Bellingham Business Journal.

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November 2013

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Bellingham Business Journal, November 04, 2013  

November 04, 2013 edition of the Bellingham Business Journal

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