Faces of Skagit County 2023

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2 | Faces OF Skagit County 2023 Index 4 Aaction Excavating 5 All About Hearing 6 Anacortes Chiropractic Center 7 Blue Cow Carwash 8 Brown Lantern Tavern 9 Cascade Pizza 10 Country Meadow Village 11 DeWaard & Bode 12 Details LLC 13 Helping Hands Food Bank 14 Hilltop Pharmacy 15 Jerry Smith Automotive 16 John Piazza Jr. Construction & Remodeling, Inc. 17 Julz Animal Houz 18 The Learning Ladder Child Development Center 19 Lowell Law Office 20 MotorWorks Northwest Inc. 21 Mountain Pacific Bank 22 Mount Vernon Birth Center 23 Mount Vernom Carpet One Floor & Home 24 North Coast Credit Union 25 NW Local Meats 26 Perry Family Dentistry 29 Rolfson’s Home Furnishings 30 Ronk Brothers Heating & Cooling 31 Skagit Habitat for Humanity 32 Skagit Roofing LLC 33 Spero Skin Spa Salon 34 Stiles & Lehr Inc., P.S. 35 Sound Cedar Lumber 36 Tides of Anacortes 37 SVH Digital Media Services 38 Skagit’s Own Fish Market 39 Wycoff Insurance

Faces OF Skagit County 2023


This is our first edition of Faces of Skagit County, a magazine that helps promote local businesses by featuring a “Face” of a specific business type (ex: “Face of Family Dentistry”). On the following pages you will find stories of your friends and neighbors in Skagit County.

Faces of Skagit County is what we call Native Advertising in the publishing industry. This means that each “Face of” is a sponsored page and paid for by that advertiser. Our magazine provides an opportunity for our community and subscribers to see the “Faces” of respective businesses. In some cases connecting readers to businesses that they may not have been familiar with.

Our goal is for our readers to enjoy learning more about some of the people behind the businesses that make our community thrive. Hopefully it will create a better sense of community and encourage more of us to shop local. Let us know what you think of our first edition.

Selections for Faces 2024 start now. Email ads@skagitads.com for more information.

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Locally owned and operated Aaction Excavating Inc. has proudly served Skagit County with excavating and trucking services for more than 20 years.

Owner Ian Pocock started the business in 2002. At the time, he had 11 years of experience in the industry. Ian and wife Shalyce run the day-to-day operations of the family-owned business.

Aaction Excavating’s services are extensive. They complete site prep, whether it’s a small or large job. Their road building services include utilities, trucking, septic installation and repairs, sand and gravel, equipment hauling, drainage, clearing, demolition, rock hammering, and pipe installation. They are certified in HDPE, erosion control and brush cutting.

In addition, Aaction Excavating’s septic systems are constructed with the highest quality products, attention to detail and assurance that the system works properly for years to come.

The Pococks have made a commitment when they opened their business to provide the highest quality of work with the most cost-effective results.

Aaction Excavating’s owners and employee were born and raised in Skagit County. They believe in taking care of their community.

“You can depend on us to provide the necessary equipment and technical expertise to safely and efficiently get the job done while maintaining the greatest respect for your property,” said Ian. “We also promise honesty, integrity and excellent value.”

In fact, customers are assured the highest standard on schedule completion, from the cost-effective process from start to finish to the guarantee that the final product exceeds expectations.

The residential and commercial excavation business serves all of Skagit Valley. They’re open Monday through Friday and weekends by appointment.

OF Skagit County 2023
THE FACES OF Aaction Excavating | Bow | 360-630-9902 | AactionExcavating.com 4 | Faces OF Skagit County 2023

Quality Hearing

Diane Fox has worked with the hearing impaired for more than 30 years. When she opened All About Hearing in May 2003, her intention was to treat her patients like she wanted her mother to be treated: with the sincerest care, compassion and respect possible.

“Hearing loss is unique to each individual and so are their needs and expectations,” said Diane. “We’re also better able to fit our patients’ expectations, budgets and lifestyle than our competitors.”

All About Hearing is the last independent hearing clinic in Skagit Clinic. Because the business is independent and not guided by big-box stores or singular manufacturers, this allows Diane and her staff to make the best recommendations for each of their patients. They offer the highest quality hearing devices along with the

best customer service in Skagit Valley. In addition, they make custom ear plugs for swimming and sleeping, and musicians’ ear monitors.

All About Hearing is a family business. Diane’s son Steven works alongside her as a board-certified hearing specialist and helps to treat patients.

“It honestly doesn’t get better than working with my son,” said Diane. “My grandson Lucas, 10, also wants to work with his dad when he gets older.”

One thing that makes All About Hearing especially unique is that Diane is also hearing impaired and wears hearing aids. When Diane isn’t working, she volunteers around the county as a Kiwanian. She’s also a rabid Seahawks fan.

All About Hearing is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Faces OF Skagit County 2023
THE FACE OF All About Hearing | 218 E. Rio Vista, Burlington | 360-707-5500 | AllAboutHearingWA.com Faces OF Skagit County 2023 | 5


Individualized Chiropractic Care

Anacortes Chiropractic Care has focused on individualized healthcare for more than 50 years.

Robert Houston first established the chiropractic center in 1970 and retired in 2020; his stepson, Derek Klier, joined the practice in 2015 and continues to serve Anacortes and many surrounding communities.

As chiropractor and owner of Anacortes Chiropractic Center, Dr. Derek Klier focuses on individualized healthcare. He offers multiple techniques and modalities to benefit patients. He helps patients by focusing on treating the cause of particular symptoms and helps assist the body to function and perform better.

Derek didn’t become a chiropractor immediately after college graduation. Instead, with his focus in kinesiology and athletic performance, his career focused on strength and conditioning coaching. For 11 years, he worked with people of various ages and abilities, from youth to geriatric populations, from little leaguers to elite-level collegiate and professional athletes. This prior work experience has been impactful as a chiropractor.

“At the end of the day, it comes down to being able to perform and function better,” he said. “Whether on a court, a field or activities of daily living around the house, my focus

is to help each individual perform and function better.”

As an experienced chiropractor, Derek said he has found that each individual patient has his or her own “recipe.” Derek utilizes a wide range of multiple techniques and modalities to care for patients and using what works best for that individual.

“Each patient responds differently to different modalities and techniques that chiropractic provides,” he explained. “We want each patient to have successful outcomes.”

In addition to compassion and care, superior service is another priority at Anacortes Chiropractic Center.

“Providing genuine healthcare that includes empathy, intuition, knowledge and understanding to my community is everything,” he said. “I’m extremely fortunate to serve the community in which I was raised. Thank you to Anacortes and our many surrounding communities for giving us the opportunity to serve you since 1970.”

Anacortes Chiropractic Center is accepting new patients. For information, call 360-293-6611.

Anacortes Chiropractic Center is open Mondays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Wednesdays 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursdays 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Fridays 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Derek A. Klier, BS, PES, DC | Anacortes Chiropractic Center | 1017 7th Street, Anacortes | 360-293-6611

Clean Cars

The locally owned Blue Cow Carwash has kept Skagit County clean for nearly 20 years.

The two locations, owned by Larry and Amber Nelson, have an automatic express tunnel with four different levels of washes. Monthly membership options give customers the option to wash their car once daily every day for the month at either location. Free vacuuming and self-serve bays are also available.

“It’s important that all of our customers drive away with a clean car and a great experience,” said Larry. “Our awesome staff is trained to provide customers with the best experience possible while also ensuring their cars come out clean.”

Larry, a lifetime Anacortes local and general contractor with more than 30 years of experience, broke ground on the Anacortes car wash in 2005. Ten years later, the couple purchased and reopened the Mount Vernon car wash in 2018 after a massive renovation to the existing property.

The family is opening a third Blue Cow Carwash soon.

Larry has served as a board member of the Western Carwash Association for years, which has allowed the family to maintain trends in the industry and regularly upgrade equipment and evaluate the carwash systems to ensure customers receive the most modernized, efficient car wash experiences.

The hard-working family is committed to their businesses. Amber was a driving force in helping with the business early on, while Larry’s daughter Rachel worked there while in high school and returned to the family business full-time a decade later.

“We strive to be the best car wash in Skagit Valley and surrounding areas,” said Rachel. “Having multiple sites across Skagit Valley allows our loyal customers to fully utilize our services and their monthly memberships.”

The family loves giving back to their community, including local charities, organizations and youth sports leagues.

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THE FACES OF Blue Cow Carwash | 909 E. College Way, Mount Vernon | 360-293-2200 | BlueCowCarwash.com

Old-Fashioned Taverns

Brown Lantern Tavern is the local laid-back tavern that offers delicious food and drinks, excellent service, live music on the weekends, and plenty of charm.

The decades-old pub is located in the heart of downtown Anacortes and owned by the Rogers family. The business originally opened in 1933. But there’s one thing that’s remained the same in the last 90 years: this locally owned pub offers a long list of tasty foods and refreshing drinks.

Owner Cheryl Rogers said the staff is determined to preserve this local old-fashioned tavern for many generations to come by working hard to provide a memorable experience for all guests.

“We provide satisfying meals at reasonable prices, using only the freshest ingredients of the highest quality to us,” she said, “and we always maintain the unique surroundings that make the Brown Lantern a favorite spot for so many wonderful people.”

Brown Lantern Tavern is the go-to spot for locals, tourists

and people waiting for the ferry. In fact, it provides an oldstyle cozy atmosphere where everyone feels welcome.

The friendly, attentive servers, combined with the food and drinks, speak volumes. The long list of menu items makes it difficult to choose from, with fish and chips, oyster shooters, beer-battered prawns, Reubens, street tacos, sliders, Southof-the-Border Burgers, Carne Asada salad, hearty chili, and even kid-favorites like the Little Lantern Burger. There are flavorful sides like creamy mac-and-cheese wedges and onion rings, plus vegetarian options like Greek sliders and hummus. For anyone who’s saved room for dessert, try the blueberry cheesecake, chocolate torte or apple pie.

Beyond the food, there’s an extensive list of local brews, ciders, wine and cocktails.

There is plenty of indoor seating or on the front and back pet-friendly patios.

Brown Lantern Tavern has been a community staple for 90 years and will continue to serve Skagit County for many more.

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THE FACES OF Brown Lantern Tavern | 412 Commercial Ave., Anacortes | 360-293-2544 | brownlantern.com

The Tsoulouhas family opened Cascade Pizza almost 50 years ago. The business is actually one of the original restaurants with the original owners from Sedro-Woolley since 1975.

Cascade Pizza is known for its delicious pan-style pizza, East Coast-style grinders and savory baked Italian pasta dishes. Throughout the years, the recipes have remained original and authentic, and both the quality and quantity have continued to be the best.

The Tsoulouhas family and their staff serve up homemade delicious dishes including 10 different pizzas, 16 grinders, 13 pasta dishes, nine salads and vegetarian options. There are also a few Greek dishes and other items.

Owners Nick and Kathy still make the pizza dough fresh daily, while owners John and wife Francine take care of the day-to-day business operations.

“By keeping Cascade Pizza family-owned and operated, we

keep an eye on all the food that comes out of our kitchen and have kept it family-ran for all these years,” said John. “We plan to continue working hard to keep Cascade Pizza open for many more years.”

The Tsoulouhases focus on a family-friendly atmosphere while providing excellent customer service and food made from only the highest quality and freshest ingredients. The family offers a meeting room at the restaurant which SedroWoolley sports teams may use at no charge. In addition, the family supports their community and schools through various events and fundraisers.

Cascade Pizza has been locally owned and operated for generations, and it’s been a family-favorite restaurant for five decades. With their continued hard work and dedication, Cascade Pizza will remain a longtime fanfavorite dining option.

Cascade Pizza is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Pizza THE FACES OF Cascade Pizza | 852 W. State Route 20, Sedro-Woolley | 360-856-5800 | CascadePizza.net

Retirement Living

Village Concepts of Sedro-Woolley: Country Meadow Village brings retirement to life every day for their residents. They offer a wide variety of events and activities to promote lifelong learning and enjoyment.

“We have an amazing group of employees dedicated to our residents,” said David Bricka, program director. “Many have been with Country Meadow Village for more than 10 years.” The retirement community offers assisted and independent living for everyone in a peaceful, countryside setting. Village Concepts was started by Bill Brown more than 50 years ago. The thirteen communities located in Washington are still managed by the Brown family.

Under the Brown family’s ownership, Country Meadow Village opened in 1993. As part of the three-generation family-owned business, Country Meadow Village treats their residents like family.

“We have no delineation between our assisted and independent residents,” said David. “Everyone can gather to celebrate all our events and activities together.”

David has been Country Meadow Village’s program director

for over 14 years. He always makes sure the community, which is everyone’s home, is festively decorated for all seasons of the year. Last Christmas, more than 17,000 lights glowed inside and out. For Independence Day, the place is festooned with flags, bandanas and a custom-created “Welcome, Loggerodeo” banner over the entrance portico to celebrate Sedro-Woolley’s oldest continuous 4th of July celebration in Washington. There are so many other fun activities including the patriotic door-decorating contest for all residents. Sedro-Woolley’s mayor serves as guest judge for the event. Winners are announced at the annual root beer float social held in the courtyard.

Country Meadows Village is hosting the multi-chamber after-hours event in September 2023 to celebrate their 30th anniversary.

It’s obvious that David and all of the staff work hard to ensure all residents feel like they’re truly part of the Country Meadow Village family.

One thing many Skagit Valley residents don’t realize is that Country Meadow Village houses the satellite branch of the Sedro-Woolley Museum.

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THE FACE OF Village Concepts of Sedro-Woolley: Country Meadow Village | 1501 Collins Road, Sedro-Woolley 360-856-0404 | VillageConcepts.com

Appliances and Mattresses

DeWaard & Bode has been in business for almost 80 years. After eight decades, the business has developed a solid reputation within the community. Although they might not sell tires or TVs anymore since they originally opened, they do have an extensive line of appliances, mattresses and more.

The original Kredit DeWaard store opened in 1941 in Lynden, Wash., and sold everything from tires to home appliances in Whatcom County. In 1946, Kredit retired and Rube Bode joined his brother-in-law, Jake DeWaard, to form DeWaard & Bode. Over the years, their company’s focus shifted to solely selling and servicing major appliances. They quickly became the leading retailer in the area and earned the title “The Appliance Giants.”

Under new ownership in 2000, DeWaard & Bode expanded into a larger warehouse on Hannegan Road in Bellingham where the service and parts departments and appliance outlet center are located.

In 2010, DeWaard & Bode’s flagship Bellingham location opened and became the largest appliance and mattress

showroom in Whatcom County.

Six years later, DeWaard & Bode launched a brand-new showroom and outlet center north of Seattle in Burlington to meet growing demand in Skagit and Island Counties.

Over the years, one thing has never changed: the business’s commitment to helping customers turn their house into a home. From selection to service, financing, warranties, delivery and installation, DeWaard & Bode does it all.

“We understand the value and importance of a place to rest your head, gather and live life,” said owners Jerry and Dorene, “and we know that when your house truly feels like your home, life is just so much better.”

At DeWaard & Bode, they offer nearly 30 name brands and competitive pricing. Their team members are hard-working, knowledgeable, dependable and experienced with many years of employment.

DeWaard & Bode are the trusted experts with better service, better selection and better prices. They’re the onestop-shop for kitchen appliances, mattresses, grills and much more.

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THE FACE OF DeWaard & Bode | 1611 S. Burlington Blvd., Burlington | 3944 Meridian Street and 4175 Hannegan Road, Bellingham | 360-733-5900 | DewaardandBode.com

House Painting

Details LLC is a full-service painting company that thrives on producing the best performance jobs possible.

Owner Derrick Geffe and his crew focus on the details to utilize superb quality, solutions and equipment to provide exceptional and competitively priced paint jobs.

Derrick opened the business in 2019 and personally manages all job sites and offers free color consulting.

He and his staff have a combined 20 years of experience in painting and construction. From interior and exterior painting services to replacing rotted trim and siding to quality caulking, the Details LLC crew does it all. They use 100% eco-friendly cleaning products to prep surfaces, and they pride themselves in leaving the job site cleaner than when they first arrived.

Details LLC professionals always complete jobs with

Details LLC | 256-499-6705 | Detailsllcpainting.com

perfection and provide top-notch communication with all clients. They’re also prompt, efficient, reliable and responsive.

Whether the job requires interior or exterior painting services for a residential or commercial property, the Details LLC staff focus their attention on even the most minor details to ensure the overall quality is always superior. Details LLC provides outstanding customer service, and they have a five-star Google rating to prove it.

“We are dedicated to providing quality workmanship, employees of moral character, quality paint products, exceptional warranties, and the satisfaction our customers deserve,” said Derrick.

Details LLC’s hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 256-499-6705 to request a free estimate.

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Helping Hands Food Bank aims to nourish the community with kindness and respect, without judgment. They empower participants on their pathways from surviving to thriving and promote community resilience through innovation and intentional partnerships.

Helping Hands Food Bank and Solutions Center is open to anyone who could benefit from food distribution or solutions for other areas of need.

The organization was started by volunteers in the 1970s out of a church when members saw a need in the community. Helping Hands became a non-profit 501(c)(3) in 1985 and expanded to six locations across Skagit County during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

To this day, Helping Hands can only do what it does because of its volunteers and donors who give their time, treasure, talent and with their hearts.

“Without our dedicated community volunteers and donors, we wouldn’t be able to keep growing and meeting the needs of our participants,” said Helping Hands Engagement Manager Käaren Flint. “They are the heart of what we do!”

One thing that sets Helping Hands apart from other organizations is that it’s a no-barrier food bank.

“We will serve anyone from anywhere if they need our services,” said Käaren. “Participants don’t have to qualify

financially and don’t have to be from Skagit County. We allow our participants to come more than once a week if that better supports them or their household. For those who are homebound, have immunocompromised systems or cannot make it to a scheduled distribution, we can deliver food within Skagit County limits.”

Many people don’t realize that Helping Hands supports the community beyond food. They have a job skills program, support veterans, help people find local resources and help navigate what programs might be right for them. Helping Hands staff work directly with unhoused community members, discover the root causes, connect with them, work within their autonomy and understand their goals.

Helping Hands Food Bank’s primary location is in SedroWoolley, off the corner of Wicker and Fruitdale Roads (look for the red barn). Drop-off donations are welcome at this location Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except on holidays or during inclement weather).

Everyone is welcome to tour the facility.

“We love the opportunity to show people what food banks look like in the 2020s,” said Käaren. “We aren’t your grandma’s food bank or what most people think of when those two words come to mind, and we aim to break the stigma and shame associated with helping our community members who need us.”

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THE FACES OF Helping Hands Food Bank | 9386 Fruitdale Road, Sedro-Woolley | 360-856-2211 | HelpingHandsFoodBank.org

RX Hilltop Pharmacy is an independent, full-service pharmacy that’s been locally owned and operated since 1980. They offer all the medications and services of a modern pharmacy while providing the friendly, personalized service of an independent business. The pharmacy offers numerous products and services including medication adherence, durable medical equipment, medication therapy management, immunizations, Medicare open enrollment, multi-dose packaging and medication synchronization.

The pharmacy also has an extensive selection of over-thecounter non-prescription drugs to meet customers’ daily needs, like vitamins, cough and cold medications, and more. Items which are not in stock may also be special ordered. There are many reasons why patients should choose Hilltop Pharmacy. Besides being family-owned and communitybased, it’s located near Skagit Valley Hospital and area clinics, has a drive-up window, call-text when prescriptions are ready, mobile app, auto-refill options and plenty of parking.

Hilltop Pharmacy’s staff members take time to listen to

their customers’ needs. The staff are friendly, professional, efficient, experienced and always helpful.

“At Hilltop Pharmacy, we believe that being a local, independent pharmacy means providing healthcare services to our patients that are customized to meet their needs,” said Kevin. “Stop by today and experience what personalized care feels like.”

Recent reviews of the pharmacy clearly show patients’ satisfaction.

“Kevin went out of his way to patiently explain a medicine schedule and to make sure we had the right OTC meds and how best to use them. He made it a priority to fill prescriptions and even had them delivered. He made a big difference in the comfort of my patient.”

Another patient switched to Hilltop Pharmacy and said the staff are “always kind, courteous and efficient. I recommend all my family and friends to go here!”

It’s clear that patients are the top priority at Hilltop Pharmacy.

Hilltop Pharmacy is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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THE FACES OF Hilltop Pharmacy | 1223 E. Division St., Mount Vernon | 360-428-1710 | RXHilltop.com
Independent Pharmacy


Auto Sales

Jerry Smith Chevrolet has a rich history that is deeply rooted in Anacortes yet has since expanded to two counties and three dealerships.

It all started back in the early 1900s when the Standard Oil station was located in downtown Anacortes. Eventually, that business became Seaside Chevrolet, a one-car showroom. Jerry Smith bought that dealership in the early 1990s. He then developed the Reservation Road property in 1994 to what is now Jerry Smith Chevrolet in Anacortes.

Through the years, Smith diversified his brand to include Kia and added two more dealerships, Jerry Smith Kia in Burlington and Smith Kia of Bellingham. He eventually diversified ownership as well with Skagit Valley local Connor Ryan. Ryan joined Jerry Smith Chevrolet as the finance officer in April 2002. He recalls there were many seven-day work weeks and 12-hour days when he first began his career at the dealership. But his hard work paid off seven years later when Smith offered him a 10% partnership at the new Bellingham Kia dealership. In 2016, that partnership increased to 50% ownership.

Today, Smith and Ryan are both owners of the three dealerships with Ryan serving as the dealer operator. He is the face customers will most likely see in the showrooms, as well as at many local fundraisers, school functions and sporting events as an active member of the Burlington Mid-

day Rotary and active parent alongside his wife Alyssa to two busy teens.

Over the years, partners Smith and Ryan have worked together to grow the three dealerships. They also navigated through the recession, which gave them the tools needed to guide their businesses through the pandemic. Fortunately, the dealerships sustained through the challenges to become even stronger businesses.

Team Jerry Smith’s award-winning, friendly and knowledgeable sales teams work with customers to ensure their buying experiences are exceptional.

“We offer a great selection of new and pre-owned vehicles at our three Jerry Smith Automotive dealerships,” said Ryan. “We’re always committed to making our customers’ visits to our dealerships easy and hassle-free. We want to be ‘at your service’ for a lifetime.”

Also, the skilled service technicians use industry-leading equipment to tackle everything from routine maintenance to installing parts. With their expertise, professionalism and strong commitment to customers, it’s clear why Jerry Smith Automotive’s three dealerships in Skagit and Whatcom Counties share a combined mission: to provide automotive solutions for all, whether in service or sales. Their longstanding history provides the promise that they’re always here for their community.

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Jerry Smith Automotive | Jerry Smith Kia Burlington – 360-707-2468 | Jerry Smith Chevrolet of Anacortes 877-205-9212 | Smith Kia of Bellingham – 360-715-3455 | JerrySmithCars.com


General Contracting & Construction

John Piazza Jr. Construction & Remodeling, Inc. is a full-service general contracting company which builds custom homes, spec homes, remodels and additions, commercial properties, tenant improvements, multi-family, developments, and insurance restorations.

John began working full-time in 1989 in the construction field at his father’s company, Piazza Construction, Inc., where he helped to build hundreds of homes, office buildings, a medical center, apartment buildings, retirement centers and a mini storage complex. He was involved with land developments equaling more than 100 lots. In 2001, he was named president.

In 2012, John and his wife Kim opened their own company, John Piazza Jr. Construction & Remodeling, Inc., which they own and operate together.

The couple’s mission is to maintain the highest level of professionalism, integrity and honesty in their relationships with clients.

“Our objective is to provide the highest level of quality construction services at fair and competitive prices,” said Kim. “This ensures the longevity of our company through repeat and referral business achieved by client satisfaction in all areas including timeliness, attention to detail and service-minded attitudes.”

One thing that sets the team apart from competitors is the strength of their personnel: they have more than 100 years of combined experience in the construction industry.

Their experienced team walk clients through the building process, from design to completion. Their project managers have extensive building experience in all facets of construction.

“Our employees are an amazing group of people,” said Kim. “Some have been with us since day one and before. They often tell us they stay because of the family atmosphere and the care we show toward them. Our son Jordan, a certified welder, has been working for us since he was 16 and fulltime after he finished school. We are truly a family business.”

John and Kim deeply care for and give back to the community in which they both grew up. They’re members of the Mount Vernon and Burlington Chambers of Commerce and founding members of Burlington Mid-Day Rotary Club. They’re big supporters of the community’s youth; they donate and sponsor many events including the Boys and Girls Club, the Daddy Daughter Dance, and the Mom & Son Skate Night for the Burlington Parks. They are supporters of student events and sporting events at Sedro-Woolley High, Burlington Edison High, and Mount Vernon High as well as local club teams. They support local community theater such as Theater Arts Guild and META where their daughter Lauren spent many years performing. They’re heavily involved in the Skagit Island County Builders Association where Kim has served on the board since 2017 and as president, treasurer and currently vice president. She is a founding member of One Community One Family, a charity to benefit cancer patients in the Skagit County area.

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John Piazza Jr. Construction & Remodeling, Inc. | 224 Stewart Road Suite 130, Mount Vernon | 360-424-3547 | PiazzaConst.com

Pet Supplies & Nutrition

Julie Sterling had an idea on April 7, 2014. Her idea turned into reality when she signed her first lease a week later.

The flagship store Julz Animal Houz in Marysville opened in December 2014. Five years later, the second Julz Animal Houz locations opened in Burlington in June 2019.

“We are a nutrition-focused pet supply business with a strong emphasis on fresh-food diets,” said Julie. “We are staffed with highly trained certified pet nutrition specialists.”

The two stores sell dog, cat and chicken food; treats; and supplies. They also offer food and environment sensitivity testing and self-wash tubs.

Julz Animal Houz’s main objective is to heal pets and keep them healthy by building strong guts. The staff helps their customers to accomplish this for their pets through knowledge, training, and using only the highest-quality

foods and products.

“We believe that some fresh food is better than no fresh food,” said Julie. “We’re committed to providing quality products that fit any budget. Whether you feed raw, canned, freeze-dried or kibble, you can count on us to provide only top-quality, premium foods. Anything less is simply not acceptable.”

The Julz Animal Houz staffs provide excellent customer service and extensive nutrition knowledge. They also make it a priority to have a fun, upbeat atmosphere for both pets and their parents.

“My staff is my biggest asset,” said Julie. “Without them, I couldn’t be living this dream and following my passion.”

The business is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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THE FACES OF Julz Animal Houz | 204 Fashion Way, Burlington | 360-755-3417 | JulzAnimalHouz.com



They’re more than a childcare facility. They truly love helping kids to achieve their developmental milestones.

The Learning Ladder Child Development Center takes great pride in providing the area’s children with a caring, nurturing and educational environment. The center’s team of skilled teachers encourages kids to meet appropriate developmental milestones while still having plenty of fun.

Mike and Michelle Moser opened The Learning Ladder Child Development Center in December 1996. They focus on early childhood education and childcare for children six weeks to 12 years. They provide individualized attention, personal interaction, sensory stimulation, and individualized daily reports. There are infant, toddler and preschool programs for children ages 3 through 5, with a child-based curriculum, music and movement. Before- and after-school care is also available for children in school as well as summer camp programs and school-break programs.

The Mosers and their staff have cared for the Skagit County area’s children for nearly 30 years. The family-owned educational center also has long-term employees, with some working there almost 20 years.

The Learning Ladder Child Development Center staff are fully licensed, bonded and insured experts who are prepared to welcome kids to the fun, educational and nurturing environment. Parents are welcome to schedule a tour of the center.

The center’s current director is actually a former Learning Ladder student herself! In fact, there are many secondgeneration kids who now come to the learning center.

“That goes to show you that we truly care about our families, and we have built lasting friendships,” said Mike. “Our longevity in the community and relationships we build with our families are equally important to us.”

The Learning Ladder Child Development Center is open Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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The Learning Ladder Child Development Center | Mount Vernon | 360-424-3533 | TheLearningLadder.com

General Practice Law

David D. Lowell’s roots run deep in Skagit County, Wash. He grew up in Anacortes and then attended college in Seattle and law school in the Midwest.

In 1995, he returned to the best all-around scenic county in Washington to open his own law firm in the heart of historic Burlington.

For nearly 30 years, David has operated his general practice where he helps clients with criminal law needs, civil law cases, estates (wills) and family law. In fact, on any given day, David touches the lives of all sorts of folks from all walks of life. He simply loves being a country lawyer.

“We try to give our clients tremendous personal attention and not be treated like a number (or an accounts receivable account) like some big law firms,” said David.

He said clients often come in during some of the worst times of their lives. “I feel we do our very best to show empathy, work harder than anyone else, and we strive to treat each client with class and respect.”

There are numerous things that set the Lowell Law Office apart from competitors. First, David makes himself accessible to clients. He does house calls and meets with clients on the weekend.

His legal assistant, Gabriela Kelpe, has tremendous

experience in the legal arena, particularly as a criminal law investigator. She is also bilingual and provides “great grace, empathy, experience and the ability to communicate with all clients.”

In addition, David has proven experience. He’s been involved in the Skagit community and been in private practice for nearly three decades, which gives him a tremendous understanding of the nuances of the Skagit courts and legal needs of the community. He also served as president of the Skagit County Bar Association in 2017 and has been an American Legion volunteer JAG.

David’s additional community involvement includes serving for 14 years as an elected member of the Burlington-Edison School Board and is a coach for youth sports. He also served for more than a decade in the US Army Reserves (JAG) and traveled all over the world as a JAG attorney.

David is married to Burlington native Rebecca BradleyLowell. The couple have three children: Emma, 26; Jake, 15; and Lyla, 12.

When he isn’t working, David enjoys spending time with his family and dogs, stream fishing, reading, and golfing (but don’t be in the other fairway when he tees off).

The Lowell Law Office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends by appointment.

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FACES OF Lowell Law Office | 606 E. Fairhaven Ave., Burlington | 360-755-0111 | AttorneyDavidLowell.com

Auto Repair

MotorWorks Northwest Inc. started in 1986 in Mount Vernon and then moved to Burlington for several years. In 2016, the business made its final return to the city of Mount Vernon. The business reformed as a partnership in 2000 and is owned by Ken, Teri and Nick Engberg.

Ken Engberg is the founder, general manager and lead service advisor for the business. Nick is shop foreman, lead master technician and is AC certified. Teri is the business’s service writer, bookkeeper, and human resources and advertising director.

The family-owned-and-operated business is a general automotive repair and maintenance shop that also does engines and transmissions.

“We are here to help our customers understand the repairs they need,” said Teri. “Our mission is to educate our Mount Vernon drivers about proposed automotive repairs and maintenance to keep them on the road as long as possible

with few problems.”

The MotorWorks Northwest staff checks for recalls and uses the latest technology to service and diagnose vehicles. They prioritize based on each individual vehicle.

“We are a well-established, generational business, with long-time customers who have kids who have grown up and become our customers as well,” said Teri. “We try to use integrity when giving quotes on jobs. We are not an ‘oil well.’ We do oil service for our regular clients because it’s necessary.”

The business has a large parking area, plenty of comfortable seating, clean restroom, and WIFI.

Teri said they appreciate their customers and also try to utilize customers’ businesses and services when possible.

“We buy from and support local businesses,” she said.

MotorWorks Northwest Inc. is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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THE FACES OF MotorWorks Northwest Inc. | 1212 Riverside Drive, Mount Vernon | 360-755-5801 | MotorWorksNorthwest.com

Local Banking

Mountain Pacific Bank is a community bank dedicated to serving Skagit, Snohomish and King Counties. An important part of the bank’s plan is to reinvest in the community with resources, time and talents.

The bank began when Mark Duffy and a group of local business leaders began organizing Mountain Pacific Bank in 2003. After raising $16.5 million and obtaining regulatory approval, the bank opened in July 2006. The bank achieved profitability in six months, setting a record for Washington.

Since then, the bank has continued to grow and set records. It currently reports $564.4 million in assets.

The bank expanded in 2019 into Skagit County with the opening of the Burlington branch in April 2019.

The bank is led by CEO Mark Duffy and owned by local longterm investors. It provides high-quality financial products and services at a fair price to businesses, professionals and individuals. In fact, the bank is becoming “the local bank of choice for customers, employees and shareholders by exceeding their expectations.”

The local bank provides extraordinary customer service by friendly and knowledgeable staff. They also provide personalized services such as with Mountain Pacific Bank’s Mobile Branch, where bank deposits are picked up directly from local businesses and deposited for them.

“When you bank with us, your money stays here and goes back to work in the local community,” said Mark. “These are your friends, neighbors and local community leaders. We are invested in our local communities. Our board, management and staff engage in local organizations, serve on local boards, and support local events and activities.”

Mountain Pacific Bank was named one of the top 200 Community Banks by the ABA, a testament to the bank’s dedication in providing high-quality services.

“We pride ourselves on focusing and building long-term relationships with our customers,” said Mark. “Our team of experienced professionals work hard to help our customers and communities achieve their goals.”

Mountain Pacific Bank is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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THE FACES OF Mountain Pacific Bank | 3732 Broadway, Everett | 110 Cascade Mall Drive, Burlington | MP.bank

Birth Centers

Mount Vernon Birth Center has been an institution in Skagit County since the late 1970s. It’s a freestanding birth center offering comprehensive, heart-centered midwifery care in the Mount Vernon Birth Center as well as at home.

“We see you through pregnancy, birth and postpartum,” said Angie Hotz. “Come and birth in our beautiful facility located in downtown Mount Vernon.”

Angie, a licensed midwife, is the current owner. After a brief closure in 2022, she purchased the facility in November 2022 and reopened it in January 2023.

Hundreds of babies have been born at MVBC. With its modern yet comfortable home-like atmosphere with large tubs and other accommodations, MVBC is the perfect place

to give birth. Mothers receive one-on-one care given by midwives in a peaceful setting.

“We want you to feel empowered through this experience,” said Angie. “Skin-to-skin with your baby right away and delayed cord-clamping are automatic. Eating, drinking and moving around freely during labor and birth are also encouraged.”

Angie continued, “We offer shared decision-making with our clients and invite your family to be a part of your care as much as you would like them to be.”

Mount Vernon Birth Center is located in the same building as the Skagit Family Health Clinic. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Most insurance plans, including Apple Health, are accepted.

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THE FACE OF Angie Hotz, LM, CPM | Mount Vernon Birth Center | 916 S. 3rd Street, Mount Vernon | 360-336-9997 | MountVernonBirthCenter.com

Mount Vernon Carpet One Floor & Home is a locally owned and family-operated business in the heart of Skagit County. The woman-owned company is proudly run by Debbie Monetti, Lisa Newman and Nicole Monetti. The business was first opened more than four decades ago in 1978, by Don Wetsch. Don was later joined by Tom Brown, who became his business partner.

Lisa Newman and Debbie Monetti (Don’s daughter) were childhood friends who grew up together riding the school bus and picking strawberries at Mike and Jean’s Berry Farm.

Lisa was hired in Mount Vernon Carpet One’s office in 1986 and quickly became immensely important to the business, training with Tom in operations.

Debbie moved to the East Coast after college but returned to join the family business in 1992. She was mentored by her father, Don, who taught her all he could about the industry and business. When Don retired in 2003, Debbie bought out her father’s interest.

When Tom retired in 2007, Lisa purchased his half of the business. After years of friendship, Debbie and Lisa became business partners. In 2017, Debbie’s daughter Nicole began working at the store part-time. After a few weeks, Nicole was hooked on the culture and decided to pursue a career in the flooring industry. She purchased a portion of her mother’s share of the business in 2021. In 2022, Nicole’s husband Joe started working in the business after working previously in the flooring industry.

Nicole and Joe plan to continue the legacy that Grandpa Don started while continuing to provide unmatched industry expertise, superior customer service and quality installations for generations to come.

At Mount Vernon Carpet One, customers can choose from many styles of flooring, including carpet, laminate, luxury vinyl tile and plank, tile and natural stone, cork, and hardwood. The business also offers flooring installation, custom cabinetry, window coverings, slab countertops, laminate countertops and interior design services. All Carpet One branded products receive the Beautiful Guarantee which means if for any reason customers don’t love their Carpet One product, it will be replaced for free.

“We’re part of the largest flooring cooperative in the world,” said Nicole. “What does that mean? It means that each Carpet One store is individually owned and operated, but collaborates with more than 1,000 other Carpet One stores to leverage tremendous buying power, exclusive products and industry-leading guarantees in the flooring marketplace.”

She said the most important priority in their business is people.

“From staff, to installers, all the way to our clients and the community we serve, we believe that when we take care of people, the business and reputation will follow.”

Many staff are long-term employees of the business, and with that comes excellent customer service, extensive knowledge and expertise in understanding the industry.

“We know what is important to our clients because it is what is important to us,” said Nicole. “Great quality products, unmatched expertise, quality installation and a simplified buying experience – we’re always working toward these goals!”

Mount Vernon Carpet One Floor & Home is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Mount Vernon Carpet One Floor & Home | 400 W. Fir Street, Mount Vernon | 360-336-6533 | mvcarpetone.com

Locally Owned Credit Union

North Coast Credit Union began in 1939 as City of Bellingham Employee’s Credit Union. But the branch actually started in a firehouse. Back then, loans were made out of a single cash drawer kept in a desk at the fire house, and transactions were sometimes interrupted when the fire bell rang.

In 1982, the credit union expanded its membership to include Skagit County. Shortly after that, the first Skagit branch in Mount Vernon, where it still is today. Since then, the credit union’s name changed to North Coast, and two additional branches have opened in Sedro-Woolley and Anacortes.

North Coast Credit Union is a full-service credit union with all of the products and services a larger bank offers,

including checking and savings accounts, mortgages, business loans, and more.

The credit union is locally owned by the members they serve. In fact, that is the credit union’s main purpose: to serve its members. Instead of earning a profit for shareholders, the earnings are returned in the form of low fees, low loan rates and higher rates on savings.

At North Coast Credit Union, members are treated like people and not a number.

“We’re big enough to serve you and small enough to know you.”

North Coast Credit Union is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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THE FACES OF North Coast Credit Union | Mount Vernon, Sedro Woolley, Anacortes, Bellingham, Dupont & Ferndale 800-696-8830 | NorthCoastCU.com

Local Meat Specialties/Butcher

NW Local Meats opened in March 2022.

Since 2002, Island Grown Farmers Co-op, which is NW Local Meats’ head business, was located in Bow, Wash., and servicing farmers up until 2022. In their small processing shop, one of the farmers asked to set up shop so she could find a place to take meat to the public. But in 2022, IGFC moved to its new location and founded NWLM.

The retail store was created with the idea that all of the more than 80 farmers in the co-op could have a place where they would be able to share their humanely and lovingly raised meat with the public, without having to build their own shop.

NWLM offers a rotating selection of local, pasture-raised meat cuts, along with the option to make custom requests and order bulk in one-fourth, one-half or whole animals. They carry beef, pork, lamb and goat, as well as a variety

of specialty cuts not found in stores. They offer materials needed to produce sausages, including casings and spices. One of NWLM’s biggest priorities is quality. They do not allow any products to be sold that aren’t up to the highest standards. This applies to both how the animal was raised and the quality of the meat.

In addition, NWLM has the ability to provide meat for the public to purchase, knowing it was raised to be able to reassure consumers that the food they’re serving their families is directly from the pasture to their plate. People have peace of mind knowing where their family’s dinner comes from. In fact, small tracking codes are placed on all of NWLM’s products so it is known which local farmer customers are helping to support and sustain.

NW Local Meats is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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THE FACES OF NW Local Meats | 11719 Westar Lane, Burlington | 360-766-2406 | NWLocalMeats.com


Cosmetic Dentistry

Dr. Blake Perry is known for implant and cosmetic dentistry. What makes him different – and is the key to his success – is the in-depth relationships he has with his clients. He takes the time to listen to their needs and get to know them.

Dr. Perry has owned his dental office for 15 years and has more than 20 years of experience in the industry.

When it comes to cosmetic and aesthetic dentistry, Dr. Perry gives his patients exactly what they want by using advanced technology and his extensive experience.

“Success in cosmetic dentistry is giving patients exactly what they want because it’s so personal,” said Dr. Perry. “This is what makes the ‘Smile Test Drive’ so special. Patients get to feel the color and shape of their new teeth. It allows them to get closer to where they want to go before taking the leap. We’ve had a lot of experience with it.”

Perry Family Dentistry has an in-office dental lab. This is important because the staff can complete premium crowns in a single appointment, and smile transformations can also be completed in one visit. Both of these factors are very unique for a dentist office.

For those patients who experience dental anxiety, there are sedation options at Perry Family Dentistry.

“Sedation dentistry is hard to find outside of Seattle,” said Dr. Perry. “Sedation is normally only found in specialty clinics and oral surgery. We have that right here in Mount Vernon!”

Dr. Perry has been involved in the Kois Center, an evidence-based dental teaching center in Seattle, and with international groups of implant dentists and CEREC Doctors Education in Arizona.

“All of these efforts have a way of making all types of dentistry easy to explain,” said Dr. Perry. “These worldclass dentists have been fundamental to my success.”

When Dr. Perry isn’t working at his office, he gives back to his community. He’s been doing that for about 10 years. He provides free dentistry services to domestic violence survivors through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, to nurses during the pandemic, and in a remote area of Nicaragua with Circle of Empowerment.

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THE FACES OF Family Dentistry Perry Family Dentistry 2017 Continental Place, Ste. 9, Mount Vernon 360-424-3133 PerryFamilyDentistry.com

Perry Family Dentistry offers an all-inclusive dental experience. The full-service dental office offers everything from routine cleanings and fillings to complete smile transformations.

The clinic’s mission is to stay devoted to excellence in dentistry and to maintain patients’ trust and compassion.

Perry Family Dentistry uses the latest technology to provide a state-of-the-art experience for patients. Extensive services include full-service dentistry, children’s dentistry, veneers, professional teeth whitening, dentures, smile design, extractions, metal-free fillings, Invisalign, nightguards and dental implants.

Dr. Blake Perry opened his dental office in 2008. But the office is one of the oldest known dental practices in the Skagit Valley. Dr. William “Joe” Brummitt opened the original clinic in Burlington in 1962. Though the location has moved three times over the years, patients have followed.

Dr. Perry specializes in cosmetic dentistry, veneers and dental implants.

For anyone who is looking for a special customer-service experience in the Skagit Valley, then Perry Family Dentistry may be just the right fit. The team puts extra effort into building great relationships with customers and takes the time to get to know them personally.

Perry Family Dentistry’s team plays a big part in the clinic’s

success. They have many years of combined experience in dentistry and have worked together for years.

Perry Family Dentistry prides itself on providing innovative services, including the best of modern technology. They have two things other area dentist offices do not have: an in-house dental lab, which means the staff can do premium crowns or smile transformations in a single visit, and sedation dentistry. Patients who suffer from dental anxiety are appreciative of this option.

Overall, the dentistry team’s goal is to advance their understanding of technology and deliver the most comfortable experience possible through training and teamwork.

“Our customers mean everything to us,” said Dr. Perry. “We have a really high level of trust and closeness with our clients, which makes us different.”

Dr. Perry also works with patients through virtual consultations where clients ask questions and attach a photo of their smile through an online form. He then records a video message response with answers and returns that to clients usually within 24 to 48 hours.

Anyone who has a dental concern or wants to improve their smile should contact the award-winning Perry Family Dentistry team to schedule their free virtual consultation or first appointment.

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Oral Surgery

Dr. Blake Perry has worked in the dental industry for two decades. He’s owned his Mount Vernon dental office for 15 years.

Perry Family Dentistry provides all-inclusive dental experiences. The full-service dental office offers an extensive list of services, including cleanings and fillings, children’s dentistry, veneers, professional teeth whitening, dentures, smile design, extractions, metal-free fillings, Invisalign, nightguards and dental implants. Dr. Perry cares for his patients, from providing routine cleanings to oral surgery. But his skills and experience exceed most dentists.

What makes Dr. Perry different is that he can perform almost any dental procedure with skill and ease. His patients do not need to be referred to an oral surgeon or another office.

He has advanced training to do all types of dentistry in one place, even Invisalign (clear braces).

Dr. Perry and his team’s combined years of experience in dentistry, innovative services, professionalism and dedication ensure the dental clinic is a success.

“What makes us different is how comprehensive our office is,” he said. “This streamlines any dental project you’re facing and gives you confidence that one person can manage all of your needs.”

Other things, like the in-office dental lab and sedation option, also set Perry Family Dentistry apart from their competitors.

Patients who have dental concerns should contact the award-winning Perry Family Dentistry team to schedule their first appointment.

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Skagit County
Perry Family Dentistry | 2017 Continental Place, Ste. 9, Mount Vernon | 360-424-3133 | PerryFamilyDentistry.com

Rolfson’s Home Furnishings is a family-owned-andoperated business that has served Skagit Valley and Island communities for more than 40 years. It’s the place where customers find comfortable and quality furniture in a welcoming environment.

Jim Rolfson, patriarch of Rolfson’s Home Furnishings, started his business at the current site in July 1979. After Jim passed away, Brian took over ownership.

Rolfson’s Home Furnishings is a third-generation family business. Jim’s son and daughter, Brian and Pam, along with Brian’s son Kyle, work at the business. The family’s local roots go even deeper: they are all Mount Vernon High School graduates (go Bulldogs!) and still reside in Mount Vernon.

The business is Skagit Valley’s exclusive LaZBoy Comfort Studio. When Rolfson’s converted to a LaZBoy Comfort Studio, they revitalized the interior and exterior of the building. The exterior clock tower is a landmark for

the business.

Rolfson’s Home Furnishings carries a full line of LaZBoy products including recliners, sofas, sleepers, sectionals and motion/reclining furniture which all still proudly carries the “Made in America” tag. They also carry a variety of coffee tables, end tables, chair sides and lamps to complement the furnishings of one’s home.

Rolfson’s Home Furnishings is not an “A to Z store.” They don’t have dining or bedroom furniture, but they do have friendly and knowledgeable staff who are specialists and provide design assistance with the Design Center. They also do custom orders in a timely manner.

Brian stresses the importance of giving back through community service. He served as port commissioner for 12 years in the 1990s.

Rolfson’s Home Furnishings is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Comfort THE FACES OF Rolfson’s Home Furnishings | 1105 W. Division, West Mount Vernon | 360-424-7876 | rolfsonshomefurnishings.com

In 1971, two brothers founded a heating and cooling business that quickly earned a great reputation in their community. Today, Brian Ronk, who purchased the business from one of his uncles in 2018 to keep it in the family, runs the company. It continues to provide reliable service, maintenance, and replacement of home comfort systems.

At Ronk Brothers Heating & Cooling, the team prioritizes integrity and customer satisfaction above all else, rather than focusing solely on profits. Brian says they have a company-wide commitment to making appositive impact on their community. They demonstrate this through their Community Impact Initiative, which involves using a portion of their profits to contribute to local charitable causes. Examples of their efforts include donating systems to those in need, installing a heater at a local cold weather shelter,

delivering food through Community Action, and serving meals for those in need.

In addition, they are in the process of launching an electrical division to provide additional services to their community. Despite their serious commitment to customer service and community impact, the team at Ronk Brothers Heating & Cooling still has a lot of fun.

“It’s not uncommon for us to be cooking breakfast for the team, shooting some basketball out in the parking lot, or taking a day off to go do a fun activity together.”

Ronk Brothers Heating & Cooling is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with 24/7 emergency services available.

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THE FACES OF Ronk Brothers Heating & Cooling | 210 Northern Ave., Sedro-Woolley | 360-855-1025 | RonkHeating.com
Heating & Cooling


Building Affordable Housing

“Everything we do is in pursuit of our mission.”

Skagit Habitat for Humanity’s mission is simple and accomplished by constructing affordable homes for hardworking and deserving families, advocating for affordable, fair and just housing policies; providing training and access to resources to help families succeed in their transition into homeownership; and improving living conditions often improves health issues and prevents poverty.

The local organization was formed in 1994 to address the critical need for affordable housing in Skagit County. Since that time, Skagit Habitat for Humanity has built one to two homes for hardworking families each year. The organization celebrated in 2015 as the first Habitat family made their last payment on their mortgage.

Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 in Americus, Ga. The nonprofit organization was founded on the concept of “partnership housing” whereby those in need of adequate shelter work side by side with volunteers to build decent affordable houses.

For nearly 50 years, the Christian housing organization has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries.

Habitat for Humanity has demonstrated that through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to advocate for affordable housing, everyone can help families succeed in building better lives for themselves.

The local Affiliate organization is currently working to build homes 41-45 in Skagit County. For the first time in Skagit Habitat for Humanity’s history, the plan is to build four homes in one year. These four homes in Mount Vernon will be complete by March 2024, and then they plan to build five in Anacortes. They are partnering with the City of Anacortes to achieve this as the city leases a plot of land to Habitat. More than 80 families and 272 residents have now been served.

Skagit Habitat for Humanity has its own store, the Skagit Habitat Store, which is the biggest contributor to accomplishing the organization’s mission of building homes. All sales and donated items to the store help directly with the accomplishment of building more affordable homes for low-income residents of Skagit County. The store has many items for sale, including furniture, household items, building materials and more.

Skagit Habitat Store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Skagit Habitat for Humanity | 1022 Riverside Drive, Mount Vernon | 360-428-9402 | SkagitHabitat.com

Jim Hjelt’s roofing experience first began in the 1970s while he attended high school. When Jim left his job as manager of a local roofing company in 1990, he started replacing roofs alone and gradually added employees.

Jim’s wife Julieta joined the business in 2002, making the company a bilingual company. Julieta’s first language is Spanish, and that gives the company the ability to better serve customers and connect with their crews.

Now nearly 35 years later, Skagit Roofing LLC has expanded to include 25 employees. The Skagit Roofing LLC team takes the time to listen to customers’ roofing concerns and provide cost-effective, long-lasting solutions.

“We proudly work with a wide variety of high-quality materials to ensure your roof will last,” said Jim. “We serve the homes in our community with honesty, integrity and compassion, and our skilled team works tirelessly to keep our neighbors secure and dry.”

Over the years, the Skagit Roofing team has replaced thousands of residential and light commercial roofs, some even twice, and they’re still going strong.

The business services customers in Mount Vernon, Bellingham, Oak Harbor and the surrounding areas.

Skagit Roofing LLC is a service business. Their mission is to serve and support the community.

“We provide great jobs for our employees and great roofs for our customers,” said Jim. “We do whatever it takes to get the job done right.”

Jim was honored when Skagit Roofing was voted the Best Roofing Company in the most recent Skagit’s Best of the Best contest where thousands of residents cast their votes to choose their favorite businesses in a variety of categories.

Hours of operation for Skagit Roofing LLC are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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OF Skagit
THE FACES OF Skagit Roofing LLC | Bow | 360-428-1900 | SkagitRoofing.net


Aretreat room, dry infrared sauna, multiple styling stations … the pampering possibilities are endless at Spero Skin Spa Salon.

Tamera Pearson opened the business in 2016, and it’s grown to become the largest day spa and salon in Skagit County.

Tamera has worked for more than 15 years in the skin care industry. She’s gained knowledge and expertise in all aspects of skin. Since graduating with her master’s degree in esthetics and obtaining her instructor license for teaching, she continues her education with post-graduate courses and seminars.

Many services for skin and hair are offered at Spero Skin Spa Salon: paramedical skin revision, jet plasma, Botox and fillers, Body Work, lash extensions, full-service hair salon, manicures and pedicures, infrared sauna, and much more. Clients who visit the salon choose from a full-service menu, including cuts, color services, hair restoration, extensions, men’s barbering services, and more. The stylists are extensively educated and ensure their clients receive the highest quality services available.

Those who visit the spa should expect to be paired with a highly educated esthetician to receive premium professional treatments. Spero’s estheticians feel that educating their clients on their skin is one of the most important aspects of their job, so they share their deep understanding of how pigmentation, adult acne and premature aging can affect one’s skin, self-esteem and even confidence.

“We are a unique skincare clinic and salon which offers the very best in advanced skincare, haircare, and products by certified estheticians, stylists and a certified injector/nurse practitioner in a relaxing spa environment,” said Tamera. “With cutting-edge equipment and products, our goal is to make sure each of our clients receives personalized cosmetic treatments.”

Tamera added, “What truly makes Spero special is our wide range of services and expertise with beautiful results, all done by our friendly and talented staff.”

Spero Skin Spa Salon is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Skagit County
Spero Skin Spa Salon | 1400 Riverside Drive, Ste A, Mount Vernon | 360-899-5105 | SperoSkin.com

Real Estate Law

Stiles & Lehr Inc., P.S. has been in business for more than seven decades. In fact, the law firm has served the residents of Skagit County and the surrounding areas since 1951. That’s when William A. Stiles Jr. was admitted into the Washington State Bar Association and opened his law office in his hometown of Sedro-Woolley. William was later joined in the law practice by his son Brian L. Stiles in 1981, and then his son Brock D. Stiles joined in 1986.

Timothy C. Lehr joined the firm in 2016 and was made partner on Jan. 1, 2021.

Sadly, William passed away in 2017 at the age of 93. Brian is currently serving as Skagit County Superior Court Judge.

Brock and Timothy are the current owners of the firm, which is a trusted source for legal services in real estate and landlord/tenant law, but also includes services for personal injury, workers’ compensation, estate planning and probates. Both Brock and Timothy also prioritize giving back to their community through volunteering their time on various boards and committees and providing pro bono legal services.

The firm is a family-based and focused business which prioritizes providing high-quality legal services to Skagit County and the surrounding areas with dedicated and helpful staff.

Many of the firm’s staff members have been with them for many years. Their most tenured staff member has been part of the firm for 25 years.

What sets Stiles & Lehr apart from other firms is that they are client centered and approach each case with practicality and common sense to provide competent, efficient and thorough legal services. Also, in addition to being a real estate attorney, Tim Lehr is a licensed real estate broker and is able to provide that additional service to clients and the community.

The firm’s building was built by Brian and Brock in 1998 and is dedicated to William A. Stiles Jr. and Betty Marie Stiles. The building is located on the main downtown strip of Sedro-Woolley.

Stiles & Lehr is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and then 1 to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8:30am to noon.

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THE FACES OF Stiles & Lehr Inc., P.S. | 925 Metcalf Street, Sedro-Woolley | 360-855-0131 | StilesLaw.com

Sound Cedar Lumber opened in a tiny building in Conway in 1980. As the business grew, the owners decided to expand the business 20 years later and moved into the current location on Cedardale Road.

Robert Desmarais, a salesman for the company at that time, took over the business in 2018. Since then, he’s turned the business into the success it is today.

Today, Sound Cedar Lumber is owned by Robert and Kris Desmarais. The business specializes in Western Red Cedar products but also offers a variety of building materials for homeowners to complete their projects. In addition to Cedar, customers can find other types of lumber such as Doug Fir timbers, Japanese Cedar, Alaskan Yellow Cedar, pressure-treated Hem-Fir, Mahogany, IPE, etc. Sound Cedar works with many suppliers both local and around the world to be able to offer customers things like pre-built cedar fence panels and split rail fencing, metal roofing and siding, Allura fiber cement board siding, Deckorators composite decking, aluminum railings, Big Green Egg, multiple types of wood stain, fasteners, and so much more Sound Cedar Lumber has such a wide variety of products that Skagit Valley customers are continually impressed

by not only the large inventory but also prices which are usually lower than big-box stores.

“We have an 8,000-square-foot showroom and 14,000-square-foot warehouse that are both bursting with inventory,” said Robert. “We welcome customers to come and take a tour. We’re confident they’ll be impressed by our large inventories of so many different products.”

Customers are also complimentary of Sound Cedar Lumber’s staff, who are always helpful, knowledgeable and provide excellent customer service.

“We believe in creating lasting relationships,” said Robert. “In order to do that, our staff cares and wants to make our customers happy. We’re always listening to our customers’ needs.”

Robert has worked in retail for almost 50 years in the Skagit Valley area. During that time, he and his wife have helped the community in numerous ways, including donating to more than 30 non-profit organizations last year alone.

“We work with and help to promote our fellow businesses,” he said. “We are Skagit Valley!”

Sound Center Lumber is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Lumber THE FACE OF Sound Cedar Lumber | 2600 Cedardale Road, Mount Vernon | 360-424-4548 | SoundCedar.com

The Ultimate Boutique

Tides of Anacortes was founded by Jennifer Mann in 2015, initially as a boutique for women to find comfortable and stylish clothes and shoes for their active lifestyles. The boutique’s name was inspired by the metaphor of how life is always changing and moving, similar to how tides come and go.

It’s the ultimate boutique … a place that feels relaxed, comfortable and welcoming. The focus of the shop is to provide high-quality clothing and shoes that are fashionable and comfortable as well as beautiful accessories to complete an outfit. All these items will effortlessly translate from outdoor chic to easy elegance and ageless style.

Tides of Anacortes is the perfect boutique for any shopping adventure. The business is located right in the heart of downtown historic Anacortes. The shop is all about the experience in the store. It is beautifully organized and easy to navigate as customers search for that perfect outfit or something for someone special.

The shop has expanded to include a wide variety of selections for both women and men. The staff are excited to include unique home and gift items by fabulous lines.

Some of the many brands available at the boutique include Liverpool, Tribal, Habitat, Ilse Jacobsen, Eileen Fisher, Masai of Copenhagen, Kinross Cashmere, Lilla P, Blundstone, Merrell, OluKai, Sofft, Taos, BedStu, Tommy Bahama, Pendleton, Fjallraven, Nora Fleming, Lori Mitchell, Lafco Candles and Himalayan Candles.

“We work hard to curate a wide variety of lines from around the world that provide stylish, comfortable and travel-ready clothing and shoes,” said Jennifer. “We continue to search for quality, unique and sustainable lines to add to our collections.”

The talented team at Tides of Anacortes are experienced stylists who are always eager to help customers find the perfect outfit or gift. Tides has begun offering personal styling appointments for their customers. This is a personal way to work with someone on their wardrobe, closet and lifestyle needs.

At Tides, the goal is to be a one-stop shop for women, men and home with an experience that leaves one feeling happy about themselves and what they have found. The business is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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THE FACE OF Tides of Anacortes | 719 Commercial Ave., Anacortes | 360-873-8785 | TidesofAnacortes.com

Faces OF Skagit County 2023


Digital Media Services

Skagit Valley Herald started in 1884. So much has changed in that 139 years. Simple slogans for advertising in the 1800s have transformed into sophisticated full portfolios of digital agency solutions in the 21st century.

As a part of Adams Publishing Group, the SVH digital media services team offers a full portfolio of digital marketing services. Many local businesses aren’t even aware of these services and how they can positively impact their businesses.

SVH’s digital media services offer a complete line-up of digital marketing solutions. These include website display ads, programmatic ads, SEO, PPC, targeted email marketing, OTT and CTV, Digital Out of Home, podcasts, targeted YouTube videos, video creation, targeted social media options, and so much more.

“Our legacy of being the trusted source of local news and information is still very important to our brand,” said Jennifer Brown, Advertising Sales Manager for Skagit Publishing. “But our brand is now so much bigger than that. We can now help local businesses in so many other ways than publishing their ads in our newspapers and on local websites.”

Since the onset of the internet, newspapers have evolved from a print-centric sales team into a team of experienced multi-media account executives. Teams are trained to

provide creative, integrated digital solutions for local businesses and organizations.

If Skagit Valley business owners and managers can dream it, SVH’s digital media services team can create it!

“Our priority is getting results for the businesses we work with,” said Jennifer. “We are local with a global reach.”

Jennifer said the team handles campaigns ranging from $500 to $20,000 per month.

“We offer so much more than just our local print and digital website audiences,” she said. “From large to small, we can help. Skagit Publishing is truly a full-service digital agency.”

Regardless of clients’ target markets and demographics, SVH’s digital media services provide solutions to reach audiences, wherever they are in Skagit County or beyond. The team’s Multi-Media Sales Executives are well-trained, knowledgeable, hard-working and dedicated. They pursue emerging opportunities in the digital world.

Jennifer said nothing is more satisfying “than working with a client, understanding their needs, developing a digital marketing strategy and achieving great results for the client.”

SVH’s Multi-Media Account Executives include Katie Sundermeyer, Kathy Schultz, Mallory Jordan and Carrie Paulson.

Faces OF Skagit County 2023 | 37 SVH Digital Media Services | 1215 Anderson Road, Mount Vernon | 360-424-3251 | GoSkagit.com

Fresh Seafood

It’s all about a different quality of fresh … daily!

That’s the motto at Skagit’s Own Fish Market, located on Highway 20 in Burlington.

Fishing has been a way of life for Eric and Tana Skaugrud and their family, spanning three generations over more than 50 years. Eric started his fishing career in 1988 in the Bering Sea longlining for halibut and black cod. To be closer to his family, he left the Bering Sea to fish off the coast of Washington for Dungeness crab. When one of their neighbors noticed the crab pots in their yard, he asked to buy some of their catch. It wasn’t long before their fish gained a reputation in the neighborhood. That humble beginning turned into something much bigger when Eric and Tana opened Skagit’s Own Fish Market in 1998. The couple’s goal was to bring a fisherman’s quality of fresh seafood to Skagit Valley, and they’ve certainly achieved that. Skagit’s Own Fish Market is a well-respected locally owned and operated business that offers the finest of Pacific seafood and other home-grown produce. In fact, about 70% of the grocery items available at Skagit’s Own

Fish Market are locally sourced.

The market’s products include fresh fish daily; Dungeness Crab; oysters; clams; mussels; scallops; shrimp; prawns; smoked and pickled fish; fresh ceviche and Poke daily; European foods; and local specialty food items like Dapper Dan’s Chutney, Gil’s Gourmet oils and olives, Skagit’s Best Salsa, Trilby’s BBQ sauces and rubs, Ekone smoked oysters and mussels, Island Trollers Albacore tuna, Walden Lane Gourmet olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and spices. A fresh seafood lunch is even served, where customers can order take-out of Dungeness crab sandwiches, lobster rolls, fresh fish sandwiches, oyster hoagies, spicy prawn sandwiches and much more.

Skagit’s Own Fish Market is a full-service local fish market coupled with personal and knowledgeable service which chain stores can’t even hope to equal.

Skagit’s Own Fish Market is open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with lunch served until 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with lunch served until 3:00 p.m.

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THE FACES OF Skagit’s Own Fish Market | 18042 Highway 20, Burlington | 360-707-2722 | SkagitFish.com

Life changes. People make major purchases, like buying a house, new vehicle or even a boat. They get married and have children. They open a business. As these changes occur, people must adapt. Part of adapting is adding insurance coverage when these changes take place.

Wycoff Insurance is prepared to handle all your insurance needs under one roof. Their expert agents specialize in various divisions, including life, home, automobile, specialty vehicles, farms, and commercial and business accounts.

Wycoff Insurance is an independent and locally owned agency located in downtown Mount Vernon since 1972. Owners Donnie Keltz, Bill Feeney, Chris Eisses and their staff work hard to maintain a high level of service and are respected within the insurance industry and the community. The staff strive to offer

insurance coverage and advice tailored to maintaining clients’ best interests at heart.

The agency’s staff work hard to find the best insurance to fit customers’ needs and budgets. Wycoff agents have the ability to quote multiple insurance companies at once to compare the best coverage and pricing available. Residents are welcome to make an appointment or simply stop by to discuss insurance coverage.

Wycoff Insurance owners and staff not only serve but are invested in their Skagit Valley community. They’re involved in numerous clubs and organizations, take part in various community events, coach local youth sports teams, serve on various nonprofit boards, and more.

Wycoff Insurance is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Insurance THE FACES OF Wycoff Insurance | 501 S. 2nd Street, Mount Vernon | 360-336-2112 | WycoffInsurance.com

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