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Women in Business Published by the Islands’ Weekly

The Islands’ Weekly • Women in Business • October 10, 2017 – Page 1

Island women rock! 360-293-2127 ISLANDOPTOMETRY.COM 2419 COMMERCIAL AVE ANACORTES, WA 98221

A glimpse into women’s history Timeline of notable events in the history of women, courtesy of Encyclopedia Brittanica online edition.

1800 The U.S. logs the highest birth rate worldwide, 7.04 children per woman.

Dr. April Napier served three years in the United States Air Force at Hill Air Force Base, Utah where she acted as Flight Commander for the optometry clinic on base, serving active duty military, retirees and their family members.

Dr. Ashley Ayers grew up on Fidalgo Island and returned to Anacortes to join Island Optometry Clinic. Drs. Ayers and Napier both graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry. They are dedicated to compassionate and quality care for their patients—providing services in glasses, contact lenses and thorough health evaluations for all ages. They are skilled in diagnosing and treating various ocular conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eye syndrome.

I sland H earing Healthcare We are thrilled to be celebrating our

11 anniversary! th

• Diagnostic hearing testing

Contracted with most major insurers, including:

• Customized hearing aid acclimatization program • Free trial period

• Medicare •L&I • VA Choice Provider

• Highly competitive pricing on all major hearing aid brands Dr. Stacie Baisch

360-378-2330 Friday Harbor 545 Spring St.


Thursdays By Appointment

1833 Oberlin Collegiate Institute (later Oberlin College) is founded in Ohio as the first American college to admit men and women on an equal basis.

1893 Largely through the efforts of suffragist Kate Sheppard, New Zealand becomes the first country to grant women the right

to vote.

1900 British tennis player Charlotte Cooper wins the first women’s gold medal at the Olympics.

1904 In French law, women are no longer permanent minors.

1908 A group of women storm the British Parliament demanding suffrage. Twenty-four of them are arrested.

1909 In New York, shirtwaist factory workers go on strike. The International Ladies’

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Garment Workers’ Union and the Women’s Trade Union League work together in support of the strike.

1911 Marie Curie is awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry for the isolation of pure radium.

1912 Juliette Gordon Low founds the Girl Guides (later Girl Scouts) in the United States. By 1927 there will be a troop in every state.

1913 Norwegian women win the right to vote. In 1915, Danish women win the right to vote.

1914 In Russia, Princess Eugenie Shakhovskaya is the first female military pilot. She flies reconnaissance missions.

1917 The United States Navy hires 12,000 women as clerks in the same job classifications and for the same pay as men. This is so that i can send men overseas.

1918 Canadian and British women are granted the right to vote, although in Great Britain a woman must be over age 30. The U.S. government reports that 1.4 million women work in war industries. After World War I these women are forced out

of industrial work.

1920 The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is signed into law, giving women the right to vote. Despite death threats from the Ku Klux Klan, Mary McLeod Bethune begins a voter registration drive for African American women.

1945 More than six million American women who entered the workforce during World War II are pushed out of their traditionally male jobs at the war’s end.

1975 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that women cannot be excluded from juries because of their sex.

1986 The U.S. Supreme Court upholds affirmative action on the basis of race or gender.

2002 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years on the throne.

2016 Hillary Rodham Clinton is the democratic nominee to run for President of the United States of America.

Women of the Islands’ Weekly

Mandi Johnson - Editor

Cali Bagby - Ad Sales The Islands’ Weekly • Women in Business • October 10, 2017 – Page 2

Island Optometry: 100-plus years of service

Based in Anacortes, the eye clinic services all of the San Juan Islands by Colleen Smith Armstrong Weekly publisher

Island Optometry in Anacortes is one of the oldest optometric practices in Washington state. And it’s run almost entirely by women. The practice has been providing vision care for more than 100 years, and Dr. Mel Farnsworth purchased the business in 1984. In 2014, he was joined by his daughter, Dr. Ashley Ayers, who graduated from Pacific University – College

of Optometry in Forest Grove, Oregon. “I grew up in Anacortes but attended school in Mt. Vernon, so I returned to practice with my dad,” said Ayers. “I love this town and the San Juan Islands and am very happy to return to practice and raise a family here.” Dr. April Napier, also a graduate of Pacific University (with honors), became a member of the team in 2017. “April and I met at Pacific and bonded the first day – we always hoped to practice

Open 7–5 all week. Serving soup and selling Holly B’s bread weekdays.

Come and get warm! 211 Lopez Road | 468-3533

together and are so excited to be able to now,” said Ayers. After serving three years under her Air Force scholar-

ship, Napier was stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, where she acted as flight commander for the optometry clinic on base. The staff is rounded out by Jessica Coleman, Jill Lasalle, Mia Starner, Paige Moreno, Rebecca Malamma, Sara Houtz, Shaun Beaner, Sue Farnsworth, Summer Wise and Vivian McBride. “We are passionate about providing compassionate

and quality care for our patients and ensuring that we have the most up to date technology,” said Ayers.

About the clinic Island Optometry was established in 1902 by Dr. H.L. Dodge. Along with glasses, they also sold musical instruments. His son, Dr. E.E. Dodge, took over and

traveled by boat to the San Juans to provide eye exams. It was later purchased by Dr. Jack Reid and then by Farnsworth. Island Optometry is located at 2419 Commercial Avenue. To schedule an appointment, call 360-2932127 or visit

Sales & Service to all Islands

Commitment Team Work Dedication 360.378.2217 Orcas: 360.376.2215 Lopez: 360.468.4621

Safety First Customer Focused 824 Mullis St. Friday Harbor, WA 98250 The Islands’ Weekly • Women in business • October 10, 2017 – Page 3

The gift of hearing Woodworking woman

By Cali Bagby

By Mandi Johnson

Journal General Manager

For Stacie Baisch of Island Hearing Healthcare, operating a business is about caring for clients. “I had no idea how fun and gratifying the process of helping people overcome communication barriers would be,” she said. Baisch, who always had an interest in biology and the science of sound, earned a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from Western Washington University in 2002 and a doctor of audiology degree from Northwestern University in 2006. While at Northwestern, she focused her research on emerging hearing aid technologies and speech understanding in complex acoustic environments. After completing studies for her clinical doctorate, she finished an “externship” with a neurotology specialist in Seattle, providing diagnostic services for patients suffering from hearing and balance disorders and rehabilitative services for hearing aid and cochlear implant recipients. Baisch refers to her many years of hitting the books as a major endeavor. Her advice to young women who want to

Weekly editor

pursue higher education is to “always be bold and believe in yourself, but take the time to make specific goals and a financial plan. Developing a feasible game plan is so important when taking on such an expensive and timeconsuming commitment.” After her studies, Baisch returned to the San Juan Islands to open Island Hearing Healthcare in Friday Harbor. She knew if she wanted to live in paradise she would have to open her own business. “It was a necessity in order to live where I wanted to! San Juan Island is my home and I have been so fortunate to work in this community,” said Baisch. At Island Hearing, she continues to pursue her interests in hearing aid technology and has developed a program that

helps maximize the benefit of new technologies. “I believe that easy access to professional services allows for maximum benefit and satisfaction when using hearing aids,” she said. Baisch has established a local, independent hearing clinic that gives her the freedom to choose the latest technologies from any hearing aid manufacturer as well as the flexibility to customize the fitting and acclimatization of each hearing aid to the individual patient. She works in conjunction with primary care physicians, otologists and physical and speech therapists to meet the goal of comprehensive care. “There are many wonderful aspects,” she said about her job. “I truly care for the people who choose to work with me. Treating hearing loss can lead to an improvement in quality of life and connection to loved ones. Helping in this way gives me great joy.” Baisch now provides diagnostic and rehabilitative audiology services on San Juan, Orcas and Lopez Islands. To schedule an appointment, call 378-2330 or email For more info, visit www.

If you are in need of wood finishing, both indoor and out, or have a restoration project that seems a chore, then Liz Scranton is the woman to call. For 27 years, Scranton has operated her full-service painting business on Lopez Island, first under the name of Bright Work by Liz and now by the title of Custom Wood Finishes. “The CWF crew and I take great pride in our work and in having satisfied customers,” said Scranton. “I enjoy the work and the challenges that arise on each new project. I am always learning something new every day.” Scranton moved to Lopez in 1989 and began working for Hunter Bay Woodworking restoring boats. She then opened her own woodworking operation in 1990 and eventually transitioned from a focus on boats to houses, a trade-off resulting with a satisfying end. “Over the years the marine portion of my business became insignificant and my main business grew to entail mostly residential painting and wood finishing,” said Scranton. “I’d like to continue to work on new construction projects as they are always varied and the end result is quite satisfying.” Custom Wood Finishes’ expertise includes finishing interiors; walls, casework, and cabinets; finishing interior and exterior doors and windows; and a variety of exterior projects. Scranton and her crew have worked on a whole host of projects from residential homes to com-

Liz Scranton mercial buildings to log cabin restoration to totem pole restoration to marine work. “My highly-skilled and expert crew is experienced in working with a variety of finishes such as: latex, oil and water based stains, lacquer, conversion varnish and much more,” said Scranton. “I think what distinguishes Custom Wood Finishes from other painting contractors is our commitment to old-fashioned quality workmanship. We go the extra mile for our customers and ensure that the work will protect their investment and be pleasing.” Scranton is the only woman-owned painting contractor on Lopez able to take on large-scale projects. She says that Custom Wood Finishes is recognized for its highquality work, attention to detail and for its willingness to take on unusual challenges. “I employ four incredibly wonderful people and I hope

Contributed photo

to continue to do so in the future. I’d like to continue to work on new construction projects as they are always varied and the end result is quite satisfying,” said Scranton. “I also plan to keep doing our long-term maintenance projects where we work with clients on their ongoing house maintenance.” Scranton has had some of the same clients for over 15 years, and in that time she has fostered friendships founded on her craftsmanship. He goal for the future is to not reinvent the wheel but to continue on the path that has led to her success. “I want to be able to stay hands on so I do not lose sight of the renowned quality that Custom Wood Finishes is known for,” Scranton said. For more information, call (360)468-4383 or visit http://


HEALING ENERGY ARTS OF LOPEZ Its our business to care for you



Michele Smith has 40 years of experience running a small business. She started with Tanbark Marine in Friday Harbor and now manages Spencer’s Landing Marina and operates Tanbark out of Lopez. Co-workers say her organization and attention to detail are what make her a success. If you stop by Spencer’s to see Michele you’ll be greeted by her three friendly dogs August, Shelby and Raelyn.


63 Village Road • Lopez Island 360 468 4910 •

The Islands’ Weekly • Women in Business • October 10, 2017 – Page 4

(360) 468-2077 • Lopez Island

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine: Julienne Battalia Faridha Mow Massage Therapy: Alina Donnelly Hannah Rose Amy Schmidt Roseamber Sumner Shannon Sternberg Maia Yip

Craniosacral Therapy & Nutritional Counseling: Julienne Battalia Neurological Integration & Reiki: Susie Teague Foot Reflexology & Reiki: Wendy Westervelt

Call 360-468-3239 for more info or to schedule your appointment today!

Women in Business - Women In Business  


Women in Business - Women In Business