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JAN/FEB 2016



The City of Olympia Welcomes a New MAYOR







Sam Devlin on Building Boats A Career & A Life p. 26

p. 16




Make "A Night on the Town" the Event to Remember Support the Chamber Foundation, Connecting Education and Business for 23 years

A Night on the Town is Thurston County's premiere fund raising event, supporting & celebrating a twenty year investment in community education and the leadership programs of the Chamber Foundation. A Night on the Town is the not-to-be-missed event and includes: • Entertainment • An Exclusive Live Auction • Cocktail Hour, Dinner & After Party • And a few surprises!

Friday, April 29 6:00 p.m. Cocktail hour, 7:30 p.m. Dinner & Live Auction Red Lion Hotel Olympia $125 per person, $1000 table of eight Event sponsorships are available. Call the Chamber at 360.357.3362 for information.

Presenting Sponsor:

2 • Jan./Feb. 2016 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

The 2015 event sold out, don’t miss A Night on the Town 2016. Mark your calendar

and make your reservation now at

Thinking about Hiring?

Recruitment Services & Financial /ŶĐĞŶƟǀĞƐĨŽƌŵƉůŽLJĞƌƐ • Free recruitment & screening assistance • Custom designed training programs • ϱϬйƌĞŝŵďƵƌƐĞŵĞŶƚŽĨǁĂŐĞƐƚŽŽīƐĞƚƚƌĂŝŶŝŶŐĐŽƐƚƐ dŚĞ:ŽƵƌŶĞLJϮ:ŽďƐƉƌŽŐƌĂŵŝƐŵĂŬŝŶŐĐŽŶŶĞĐƟŽŶƐďĞƚǁĞĞŶĞŵƉůŽLJĞƌƐ ĂŶĚƚŚŽƐĞǁŚŽŚĂǀĞďĞĞŶƵŶĞŵƉůŽLJĞĚĨŽƌĂŶƵŵďĞƌŽĨŵŽŶƚŚƐ͘Many are ŚŝŐŚůLJĞĚƵĐĂƚĞĚ͕ƐŬŝůůĞĚ͕ŚĂǀĞĂƐƚƌŽŶŐǁŽƌŬĞƚŚŝĐĂŶĚǁĞƌĞĞŵƉůŽLJĞĚĂƚ ƚŚĞŝƌůĂƐƚũŽďĨŽƌϭϬͲϮϬLJĞĂƌƐ͘ Call today!

Matching great workers with great employers - 360.570.4260, WA Relay 711

WorkSource and Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, and their affiliates, make up an equal opportunity partnership of organizations that provide employment and training services. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to persons with disabilities.



Page 5 .......................Creating a Positive Climate for Business Page 6 & 7 ..................................................Caught in the Lens Page 8 .......................January Forum: State of the Community Page 9......................Healthcare Retro Program Now Available Page 10 ......................................................Networking Events Page 11.............................February Forum: Education Summit Page 12.................J2J Helps Businesses Save on Hiring Costs Page 16...................Cover Story: Meet Olympia's New Mayor Page 21..............................Take a Tour of Sandstone Distillery Page 23...............................................Welcome New Members Page 24....................Distinguished Leader Awards Announced Page 26.....Sam Devlin on Crafting Boats, a Career and a Life

January 5 Morning Mixxer - 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. - LARC at Olympia, 3600 Forestbrooke Way SW, Olympia.

January 7 Young Professionals Network - 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. The Washington Center for the Performing Arts.

January 13 Forum - 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Red Lion Hotel Olympia Topic: State of the Community.

January 21 Business After Hours - 5:30 p.m.- First Citizens Bank 721 College St SE,Lacey.

February 2 Morning Mixxer - 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. - The Estate Store 222 Columbia St NW, Olympia.

February 4 Young Professionals Network - 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Pellegrino's, 205 Cleveland Ave, Tumwater.

February 10 Forum - 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Saint Martin's University, Topic: Education Summit.

Copyright © 2007 Thurston County Chamber ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

809 Legion Way SE P.O. Box 1427 Olympia, WA 98507

Published bimonthly by the Thurston County Chamber.

February 18 Business After Hours - 5:30 p.m.- LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 4600 Capitol Blvd. SE, Tumwater. 360.357.3362

February 24

Join the conversation online at

Distinguished Leader Awards - 5:30 p.m. Red Lion Hotel Olympia. These events require pre-registration at


Anchor Bank Heritage Bank Phillips Burgess Physicians of Southwest Washington Port of Olympia Versoria Executive Officers Mariella Cummings, Chair Physicians of Southwest WA Jessica Coen, Chair Elect Xerox Company Drew Phillips, Vice Chair FORMA Construction Neil Woody, Treasurer McSwain & Company P.S. Ron Bruchet, Past Chair GHB Insurance

Platinum Investors

Capital Medical Center FORMA Construction Great Wolf Lodge • KeyBank Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel Mills & Mills Funeral Home & Memorial Park • Morningside Olympia Orthopaedic Associates TwinStar Credit Union Washington Business Bank Xerox

CHAMBER BOARD & STAFF Board of Trustees

George Barner, Port of Olympia

Michael Cade, Thurston EDC David Cullen, David D. Cullen Dick Cvitanich, Olympia School District

Bryan McConaughy, Puget Sound Energy Kevin Stormans, Stormans Inc. Ann Sweeney, Lemay - America's Car Museum

Faith Trimble, The Athena Group Elyse Villanueva, Heritage Bank Development Council Perry Hanchey, Diamond Technology Innovations Joanna West, Washington Business Bank Mike Williams, Tags Awards And Specialties Joseph Lanham, Wells Fargo Cheryl Fambles, PAC Mountain Workforce

Editor: David Schaffert Layout & Design: Natasha Ashenhurst, Mosaic Marketing Studio Printing: Print NW Cover Photo: Cheryl Selby, courtesy of Elements Photography 4 • Jan./Feb. 2016 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

Gold Investors

America's Credit Union • Cabinets by Trivonna Columbia Bank • Community Youth Services The Creative Office Express Employment Professionals First Citizens Bank • GHB Insurance Hometown Property Management Jessica Jensen Law PS Nisqually Red Wind Casino Olympia Furniture Company Pardiman Productions Providence St. Peter Hospital • Puget Sound Energy Red Lion Hotel Olympia • Saint Martin’s University SCJ Alliance • TAGS • The Governor Hotel

Chamber Staff

David Schaffert, President/CEO Sytease Geib, VP Workforce Development Marny Bright, VP Member Services Krystal Barkus, Administrative Support Laurie Bjerke, Admin. Assistant Alisha Blain, Events Coordinator Christina Bower, Education/Youth Initiatives Debbie Burk, Workforce Development Ryan Dahlstrom, Workforce Development Lesona Hartman, Workforce Development Beth Johnson, Member Services Helaina Kennedy, Workforce Development Judy Reynolds, LeadershipThurston County Joanne Stimac, Finance Officer Loretta Thomas, Workforce Development Michele Winn, Camo2Commerce

The Shared Legislative Partnership is in the process of drafting the Shared Legislative Agenda for the upcoming 2016 Legislative Session. Above is a photo of the House Chambers Voting Station.

Creating a Positive Climate for Business and Community


n any given day the Thurston County Chamber is working with local government, representing business interests, is on a panel discussing the future of education and workforce or is meeting with community leaders advocating for a stronger economy. Here are a few of the issues we are working on right now:

Healthcare Retro Program The healthcare industry is one of the largest employers in Thurston County, so in October 2015, when the Chamber launched a Return on Industrial Insurance Program, known as Retro, we celebrated. By launching a new Retro group, the Chamber is able to provide a direct benefit and support to our healthcare industry through greater focus on safety in the workplace and lowering L&I cost. Retro, or Retrospective Rating, is a safety incentive program offered by Labor and Industries (L&I). Through Retro, employers can earn a partial refund of their workers’ compensation premiums by reducing workplace injuries and lower

associated claim costs. Any employer with an industrial insurance account in good standing can participate – either as an individual business or in a Retro group. In addition, the Chamber’s Retro program is part of an L&I pilot program with the aim of developing best practices within our Retro plan. Ultimately, the project’s aim is to create the safest work environment possible—and as a result of following workplace safety best practices—employers may see a reduction in L&I costs. In the ever-increasing competitiveness of the healthcare industry, increasing workplace safety and lowering costs is good news.

A Lawsuit Filed Olympia Master Builders, the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, and Hinkle Homes filed a lawsuit against Thurston County in Lewis County Superior Court. The lawsuit asks the court to direct Thurston County to stop its unlawful interim permitting process for land use applications located within the alleged habitat of the Mazama

David Schaffert President & CEO Thurston County Chamber

pocket gopher. The organizations also concurrently filed a related petition with the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, requesting that the Board reject the County’s interim gopher habitat review process because it implicitly modifies Thurston County’s Critical Area Ordinance (CAO) without motion, resolution or public participation, all in direct violation of Washington state’s Growth Management Act (GMA). For more information concerning the lawsuit and petition go to

Shared Legislative Partnership The Thurston County Chamber met with community partners in November is drafting a comprehensive Shared Legislative Agenda for the upcoming session. Stay tuned for more information. For more information about any of these advocacy issues, visit or call 360.357.3362. ●

Mariella Cummings Board Chair, Thurston County Chamber CEO of Physicians of Southwest Washington, LLC President of Results Incorporated Thurston County Chamber VOICE  Jan./Feb. 2016 5

Caught in the Lens...

6 • Jan./Feb. 2016 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

Photos taken during October, November and December, 2015 at the following events: Morning Mixxer at South Sound Physical & Hand Therapy, New Member Orientation, November Forum (Topic: Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences), Business After Hours at the Governor Hotel, Morning Mixxer at FirstLight Home Health Care, December Forum (Boss of the Year), South Sound Showcase and Ribbon Cuttings at Batdorf & Bronson, LaQuinta Inn & Suites, Tumwater, LARC at Olympia and Tractor Supply.

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  Jan./Feb. 2016 7

From left to right: City of Lacey Mayor, Andy Ryder, City of Yelm Mayor, Ron Harding, City of Tumwater Mayor, Pete Kmet at 2015 State of Community.

The State of the Community Address & Elected Officials Reception Slated for January Forum


n Wednesday, January 13, representatives from Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Yelm, and Thurston County will collectively present a State of the Community

Chamber members and elected officials an opportunity to get to know each other better.


The reception is open to all Forum attendees.

Every year, leaders from the community share their perspectives on current issues and future prospects. Leaders will illustrate the important steps and investments made this past year to grow our local economy and promote new employment.

Students from the Reeves Middle School Alki Program will be in attendance as part of their studies of local government.

Prior to the State of the Community Address is a reception for our elected officials, from 11:00 a.m. until noon. This is an opportunity to engage business and community leaders in a one-on-one networking setting. The reception will also provide

Forum includes lunch and the cost is $35 for general admission, $25 for prepaid Chamber members, and $30 for members at the door. Reservations for the State of the Community Forum are strongly advised. Visit or call the Chamber at 360.357.3362. The Forum Sponsor is Puget Sound Energy. ●


Bring Clarity, Alignment gnment a and Action to What You Do. o. Let’s Get Started rted Today. Tod day.



8 • Jan./Feb. 2016 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

Terry Taylor, MA, MCC

From left to right, Retro Program Manager Tim Smolen, Retro Program Financial Incentive Coordinator, Alicia Milani, Thurston Chamber President/CEO, David Schaffert and Retro Program Enrollment Coordinator, Rachelle Jefferson. The four met in October to review the Chamber's Retro program.

Healthcare Retro Program Now Available to Thurston Chamber Members


hurston Chamber President/CEO, David Schaffert, recently met with staff from the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) Retrospective Rating (Retro) program and the Division of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH), to explore potential premium savings through the Retro program. Retro is a way for employers to improve workplace safety and reduce industrial insurance costs through refunds from the State. As a result of this meeting, the Thurston County Chamber is a new group Retro member. This is great news for Thurston County businesses, especially Thurston County’s largest business sector—healthcare. Healthcare employers can now join the Retro program. Retro is also available to manufacturers, retail and professional businesses. In addition, the Thurston County Chamber’s Retro program is part of a pilot program in partnership with L&I to develop best practices in order to improve workplace safety. Do group Retro employers maintain safer workplaces than non-retro employers? The new Retro rule, WAC 296-17B-220

(3), states: The sponsor demonstrates an acceptable workplace safety and accident prevention plan for the group. L&I is proposing the use of the Focus on the Facts (FOF) model to assist group Retro employers in keeping their workplaces safer, which should result in lower premium payments and time loss. The Chamber’s Retro program is designed to help you: • Lower your risk. • Improve your industrial insurance rates. • Have claims settled swiftly and appropriately. • Reduce workload related to L&I claim management. • Receive risk management and loss control services for cost containment. • Receive refunds of varying percentages of annual premiums. • Receive assistance with organization safety programs. For a free assessment, contact the Chamber at 360.357.3362. ● Thurston County Chamber VOICE  Jan./Feb. 2016 9

MA R K YOUR C A L E N DAR! January 5 - 7:30 a a.m. m 3600 Forestbrooke Way SW, Olympia

Morning Mixxer

Join the Chamber's January Morning Mixxer at LARC at Olympia. LARC is a brand-new 62+ senior affordable living community in a convenient location. This monthly networking event includes coffee, pastries and a low-key way to meet area professionals in a fun atmosphere. ●

January 7 - 5:30 p.m.

February 2 - 7:30 a.m. am 510 Columbia St NW, Olympia

Morning Mixxer

Join the Chamber's February Morning Mixxer at The Estate Store. This monthly networking event includes coffee, pastries and a low-key way to meet area professionals in a fun atmosphere. The Estate Store is operated by Senior Services for South Sound, selling donated home goods. ●

February 4 - 5:30 p.m.

512 Washington St. SE, Olympia

205 Cleveland Ave SE, Tumwater

Young Professionals Network

Young Professionals Network

The Washington Center for the Performing Arts is our host this month! The Thurston Chamber YPN is a great place to interact with new, younger business professionals in a low-pressure environment.

Our February YPN host is Pellegrino's Italian Kitchen! The Thurston Chamber YPN is a great place to interact with new, younger business professionals in a low-pressure environment.

The Washington Center is South Puget Sound's largest performing arts facility, located in the heart of Olympia. The Center is a community gathering place, providing a focus for the performing arts unique to the region. ●

Pellegrino's is known as "The Best Little Italian Restaurant in Town". From the moment you arrive at Pellegrino’s Italian Kitchen you will immediately sense their Italian tradition. ●

January 21 - 5:30 p.m.

February 18 - 5:30 p.m.

721 College St SE, Lacey

2302 Harrison Ave Ste 101 Olympia

Business After Hours

Membership celebration!

Join the Chamber for Business After Hours at First Citizens Bank. They have a fun evening planned, complete with appetizers, beverages and networking. This is your chance to meet area professionals in a fun atmosphere, and to get to know First Citizens Bank. First Citizens Bank is committed to reflecting the rich diversity of the communities where they do business. They strive to enable and encourage their associates to achieve their full potential by contributing to business success and service excellence. ●

Jimmy’s coming back!!

Presenting Sponsor & Host:

For two and a half days, over 100 volunteers will work against the clock and against each other to sign up new Chamber members and create a greater community awareness of the important role of the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce. Then, on February 18, we'll all meet to celebrate our success with fun, food, roasts and toasts. You don't want to miss this party! ●

Morning Mixxer sponsored by Mixx 96 FM and Anchor Bank and is the first Tuesday of each month, from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Locations vary. Includes coffee and pastries. Admission is FREE. Business After Hours is sponsored by 94.5 ROXY and Heritage Bank and is the third Thursday of each month. Locations vary. Admission is free.

More information about upcoming events can be found at 10 • Jan./Feb. 2016 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

Annual Education Summit & Education Trade Show at Chamber’s February Forum Forum - Wednesday, February 10


n Wednesday, February 10, education experts from the community will take part in a moderated discussion of the current state of education in Thurston County.

Topics will include: How public education is funded, the increasing responsibility of individuals to pay for education, the role of private education and the importance of community engagement. The Education Summit will also feature an Education Trade Show for educators to connect with the Forum attendees. This event begins at 11:30 a.m. at Saint Martin's University's Norman Worthington Center. Forum includes lunch and is $35 for general admission, $25 for prepaid Chamber members and $30 for members at the door. Reservations are strongly advised. Visit Thank you sponsors, Capital Events/ ESD, Brandman University and Saint Martins University. ●

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  Jan./Feb. 2016 11

Local Businesses are Effortlessly Saving Money on Hiring Costs


iring and training a new employee is expensive. According to the Center for American Progress, the average cost to bring on board a new employee— accounting for recruiting, training, workplace integration and salary and benefits—is as high as 21 percent of their annual salary, and for workers closer to minimum wage, that amount is just over $9,000. According to Harvard Business School’s survey of CEOs, they estimate that it takes mid-level managers 6.2 months to reach their break-even point. Because the cost of hiring and training a new employee is so high, many local businesses are turning to programs available through WorkSource Thurston—especially a program called JOURNEY 2 JOBS (J2J). Responding to Governor Inslee’s call for greater attention to the long-term unemployed, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council (PacMtn) designed J2J. PacMtn received $334,000 of a $4 million Rapid Response grant distributed to the state’s 12 workforce development councils for the new program. Stacey Anderson, J2J’s program manager, is passionate about connecting businesses with dislocated workers. “Many of our dislocated workers are highly skilled and educated and have a strong work ethic. Their gaps in employment are often a result of the Great Recession when their previous employer went out of business,” she said. Her program’s mission is to make connections between these qualified candidates and businesses that are ready to hire. J2J offers dislocated workers and employers who hire them, one-on-one support services. For employers, this means free recruitment, screening and assessment services as well as a customized training program and up to 50 percent reimbursement of wages during a three to six month training 12 • Jan./Feb. 2016 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

period. Anderson says that many businesses are skeptical when they first hear about J2J’s free employment services, especially the on-thejob training reimbursement. “When I tell them that we’ll reimburse their business up to 50 percent of the new employee’s wages for the first three to six months on-the-job, they can hardly believe it. Their next concern is that the employee may not be a good fit nor have the skills needed. However, we work with the business and employee throughout the entire training period. If we determine that the employee needs to receive additional training or certifications we’ll make sure that happens. Really, it is a win for the business and a win for the employee.” Ultimately, she said, this program is good not only for the business sector, but for our regional economy. She cites recently released statistics from another regional program, Camo2Commerce—a program that also offers an OJT reimbursement. “That program ended up generating over $11 million in economic activity within our state, and that’s not including the reduction in unemployment benefits that the state pays,” said Anderson. “Getting people back to work and investing in businesses by reducing their training costs is a win for our economy any way you look at it.”● Interested to learn more about Journey2Jobs? Contact Stacey Anderson at 360.570.4260, WA Relay 711. WorkSource and Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, and their affiliates, make up an equal opportunity partnership of organizations that provide employment and training services. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to persons with disabilities.

Graduates of the first cohort of the Airframe & Power Plant Seminar through South Seattle College. Many have already received job offers from program supporters such as Alaska Airlines and Columbia Helicopters, while others are still in the interview process.

Camo2Commerce Generated over $11.7 Million According to Latest Data


reliminary analysis of the Camo2Commerce program conducted by the State of Washington’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) shows that Camo2Commerce has: • Generated over $11.7 million in economic activity within the State of Washington; • Created approximately $1.2 million in state revenue; • Saved the federal government approximately $1.4 million in decreased unemployment insurance claims (UCX); • Saved the federal government $100 thousand in decreased UCX payments. Furthermore, the analysis shows that for certain subsections of the transitioning veteran population, participation in Camo2Commerce is a stronger predictor of reaching a living wage than a baccalaureate degree. This is especially true for technical careers and trades requiring certifications and licenses, rather than college degrees. According to the report, Camo2Commerce’s success stems from placing veterans in jobs that optimize the use of their skills, at a rate that is faster that would be possible without intervention. The program has reached 890 of their 900 enrollments and has placed 603 Service Members, with an

85.5 percent employment placement rate as of the second week of December. OFM analyzed the employment records of over 4,300 transitioning veterans and discovered that it takes approximately six months for a transitioning veteran to find his or her first job and that they typically earn between $40 and $70 thousand per year. Recently Camo2Commerce celebrated the graduation of their first cohort of the Airframe and Power Plant Seminar, an 8 week course taught by South Seattle College to prepare aircraft mechanics to take their Airframe and Power Plant (A&P) license. Camo2Commerce partnered with the college and aerospace employers Alaska Airlines, Aero Controls, Aviation Technical Services, Boeing, and Columbia Helicopters to support the training program and offer insight into the industry and the opportunity to interview for potential employment opportunities after certification. Once the program began, the Business Team prepared the candidates with training classes on networking and interviewing and coordinated an exclusive networking event with the program partners. Based on conversations the team had with aerospace recruiters about their hiring process, resume expectations, and potential roles for the candidates, the team was able to

look at the candidate through the lens of the business, and repackage their transferrable skills from the military into a language civilian recruiters could better understand. The Thurston Chamber’s Workforce Development division—a contractor for PacMtn and Camo2Commerce—serves as the Business Team for the program, as part of the Chamber’s mission to connect people, ideas, and resources. Months prior to the program, the team planned and coordinated an Aerospace and Manufacturing Sector Hiring Event on Joint Base Lewis McChord. With over 100 transitioning Service Members in attendance, the aerospace employers got a sense of the talent and enthusiasm for the industry residing in their back yard. ● Camo2Commerce provides career development and jobs to Service Members transitioning out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord into civilian life in western Washington. The program offers a number of customized services to transitioning Service Members, including one-on-one career coaching, job placement services, short-term training, hiring fairs and more. Camo2Commerce is a project of Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council and Workforce Central, in partnership with the Thurston Economic Development Council, Thurston Chamber of Commerce and Morningside.

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  Jan./Feb. 2016 15

A Conversation with Cheryl Selby, Olympia's New Mayor By Natasha Ashenhurst


arly in December, I met Cheryl Selby—on her 55th birthday—for coffee at Dancing Goats Espresso Bar on Market Street, right next door to her clothing boutique, Vivala. Cheryl had recently won the City of Olympia’s mayoral race by a whopping 68 percent. Selby is the first business owner to serve as mayor in nearly 40 years and the first woman directly elected to the position — the third to serve. We talked about her Pacific Northwest roots, her career in the fashion industry, small business ownership and her path to public office. Finally, we talked about her vision to bring balance and prosperity to Olympia. Selby was born and raised in Seattle. Her grandparents had a cabin near Lake Cushman, outside Hoodsport, where she would spend most weekends and few weeks every summer during her childhood. Her parents would drive through Olympia, stocking up on supplies before heading into Olympic National Forest. She

has fond memories of touring the Capitol and eating roast beef au jus sandwiches at the old Tyee Hotel in Tumwater. Selby grew up learning to sew, creating most of her clothes through middle and high school. She studied textiles at Seattle Pacific University and spent her junior year at the Fashion

Photo taken downtown Olympia off 4th Avenue. Selby is proud of the Alley Lighting Project. Photo taken by Heather Harris of Elements Photography. 16 • Jan./Feb. 2016 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

Q&A with Cheryl Selby Q: What is your leadership style? A: I practice what I call a generous leadership style. I know what I don't know and I'm not afraid to seek wise council. The beauty of this job is that I don't have to carry the load by myself. I have six councilmembers who have the same weighted vote and a wealth of diverse experiences. I look at the role of Mayor as a community quarterback. I'm not afraid to run the ball if I can get it down the field, but I also know when I should hand it off to one of my teammates if they can go further.

Selby meeting with Nathaniel Jones, City of Olympia's Mayor Pro Tem. Photo by Heather Harris.

Institute of Technology in New York. She jokes that it is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of the fashion world. Her first job out of college was at Brittania Jeans—a denim icon of the 1980s. You can thank Selby for some of those embroidery flourishes on the back pockets.

that everyone deserves grace and that redemption can come at any time.”

Selby and her first husband moved to Olympia in 1994, intent on enjoying the quality of education and life in the area. Selby went to work for the City of Olympia parks and recreation department, teaching pre-school programming. She took time off to raise a family while still engaging in community work, like co-chairing the 2003 Olympia School District bond campaign—the largest bond put before voters at the time.

Selby opened Vivala in 2006 after her divorce the year before. She said Vivala was her “rebirth” and a way to show her two daughters she was OK— that she could not only move on, but she could thrive.

“That’s where I cut my teeth on running a campaign,” Selby said. For the next few years, Selby stayed busy parenting,volunteering in her daughters' schools and serving on non-profit boards. In 2003, she went back to paid employment, working once again for the City. “This time I was working in a vastly different arena — co-managing the City’s safe and sober driving program,” Selby said. “It gave me the understanding

She also administered the Thurston County Safe Kids coalition. “Really, it was work that I would have done for free,” Selby said. “I loved working for the city.”

In 2009, Selby moved Vivala to it’s current location by the Farmer’s Market, re-married and bought a historic house in the South Capital neighborhood. Selby’s daily commute from her home to Vivala on takes her through Olympia’s downtown. “I found myself more and more compelled to understand why downtown wasn’t thriving,” Selby said. “So, in 2010, just to dip my feet in the water, I applied for an mid term vacancy on the city council, knowing I wouldn’t get it, but to see if I was interested in pursuing public office.” She didn’t receive the appointment,

Q: What do you predict your largest challenge will be in the first six months in office? A: Keeping the public engaged in the Downtown Strategy to help us design a plan to absorb new residents while retaining our historic main street corridors. Q: What are you reading these days? A: The City of Olympia's Parks Plan Update. Mastering Council Meetings by Ann Macfarlane and Sacred Economics by Charles Einstein. Q: What music do you listen to? A: I have the following SiriusXM channels programmed in my car and shuffle depending on my mood: Happy - Venus Overwhelmed - Coffee House Tired - Pitbull's Globalization Contemplative - Symphony Hall Nostalgic - 80's on 8 Q: What motivates you? A: Thinking four generations ahead and planning for their future.

but loved the process, and it put her on a learning trajectory — studying what works and what doesn’t in local politics — all the while researching what it might take to make downtown vibrant. Selby joined the Olympia Downtown Association’s board of directors, the Parking and Business Improvement Area advisory council and the Thurston Continued on page 19

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  Jan./Feb. 2016 17


PHILLIPS BURGESS’ OLYMPIA OFFICE IS MOVING. Same personalized approach. Same comprehensive advice. Same value. Same building. TWO FLOORS UP on July 15

724 Columbia St. NW, Suite 320 OLYMPIA 360.742.3500


Thurston County Chamber VOICE  Jan./Feb. 2016 18

"...we envision a more compact and walkable city while maintaining the city’s historic character." -Cheryl Selby Photo courtesy of Heather Harris, Elements Photography.

County Chamber of Commerce board of directors. She also got involved in the Thurston County Democrats and volunteered on a few campaigns. Finally, after taking four different campaign training courses, her hard work paid off. In 2013, she ran for an open seat on the Olympia’s City Council and won. “I love every minute of my time on city council,� Selby said. “It’s truly a privilege to serve the community as an elected official.� Selby believes she brought balance to the council—balance gained from her work in the public, private and non-profit sectors. When Stephen Buxbaum decided to not seek re-election, Selby threw her hat in the ring, eventually winning by 68 percent against her two opponents. “My platform was based on the balancing people, planet and prosperity,� said Selby. “Olympia has been very good at championing social justice issues, and we certainly have strong advocacy for environmental sustainability, but we’ve neglected the third leg of the stool — prosperity.

“We hope to direct 250 of those new residents to the downtown core,� said Selby. “As a result, we envision a more compact and walkable city while maintaining the city’s historic character. “What this also means is that we’ll see more people living in market-rate housing downtown, which also means more eyes on the street so the perception that downtown isn’t safe will diminish. “Our work then is to make sure we can grow with grace.� � Selby took office on Jan. 1, 2016, and will speak on a panel at the Thurston Chamber’s State of the Community forum on Wednesday, Jan. 13. PLAN AHEAD FOR

peace of mind. TELL YOUR OWN UNIQUE STORY and

provide your loved ones with true peace of mind by making your ďŹ nal plans now, before the time of need. *HWVWDUWHGZLWKD)5((FRS\RI$ &HOHEUDWHG/LIHDERRNOHWILOOHGZLWKLGHDV RQSUHSODQQLQJDVZHOODVDSHUVRQDO SODQQLQJJXLGH&DOOWRGD\ Our gift to you

“I’ll focus on economic development, as well as diversity of employment—both critical to our future.� Selby sites statistics that predict Olympia will grow by 40 percent during the next 20 years, which means 1,000 new residents moving into the city each year.

MILLS & MILLS funeral home & memorial park 5725 LITTLEROCK RD. SW, TUMWATER


Thurston County Chamber VOICE ď Ź Jan./Feb. 2016 ď Źď€ 19


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20 • Jan./Feb. 2016 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

Thurston Green Committee Takes a Tour of Sandstone Distillery, a Thurston Green Biz

Left to right: Sandstone purchased this old copper kettle from I.P. Callison & they plan on re-purposing it into a still once funds are secured. Jennifer Bourdon offers a taste after the tour. John Bourdon offers the group a taste of the grain used to make spirits.


n November, 2015, a few members of the Thurston Green Committee had the opportunity to take a private tour of Sandstone Distillery, a Thurston Green Business. Later, we talked with owners John and Jennifer Bourdon. Below are the highlights from that conversation. Thurston Green: You have reclaimed and re-purposed so many things in the distillery, from the barn wood that is now the siding in the tasting room, to the old soup kettles you salvaged from a decommissioned Navy ship that are now your stills. What was your motivation to reclaim and re-purpose? Jennifer: John has always had a knack for making something brilliantly useful out of whatever's at hand. Back in the 80's we dismantled a 100 x 100' old dairy barn, (20,000 nails pulled all by hand!), reclaimed all the wood and metal sheeting and built our horse barn from it. Since we self-funded, cost did play a role in the decision to reclaim and re-purpose so many of the components of our operation. But something less tangible than dollars and cents drives John and has defined the ethos of Sandstone Distillery: we can't look forward without looking back

at where we (individually, collectively, locally, globally) came from or we miss not only the lessons of the past, we miss the opportunities the past represents. The tasting room walls are an example of our personal history being incorporated into our present and future - we can literally reach out and touch our past, deriving joy from the memories those wooden walls represent. The many items [on display] allow us to perpetuate the collective history of our neighbors and town, reminding us of the role sandstone played in shaping this area, while employing the stone itself as a filter in our operation. And the soup kettles turned stills are an example of incorporating a more global history into the future of our business; they have their own story to tell which has now become a part of our story. Thurston Green: How much of your operational sustainability efforts are to lower costs vs. protect the environment? Which came first? Jennifer/John: Cost was the initial impetus for sustainable choices during the building process, but I wouldn't characterize it as first, since we've always believed that fiscal sustainability

and environment sustainability can be symbiotic. There's also the practicality of some of our 'sustainable' choices - the LED lighting, for example, was far more expensive initially, but less expensive long-term and much more easily maintained and managed. Cost saving on some things allowed us to spend more on others. Thurston Green: What responsibility does business have to improve the quality of life in the community in which you reside and operate? Jennifer/John: We believe the responsibility of business to improve our community should be an extension of our individual and personal commitment to do so. In addition to finding and meeting the needs of our community on both an individual and corporate level, we have a responsibility to model sustainability in a way that encourages and inspires others to develop sustainable practices personally and within their larger communities. For more information about Thurston Green visit

Thurston County Chamber VOICE ď Ź Jan./Feb. 2016 ď Źď€ 21

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Formal Flush Restrooms Ashley Vizcaino (360) 606-3489 Rental Service Stores & Event Planning Intuitive Bookkeeping & Payroll Services Jennifer Beahan (360) 915-7207 Bookkeeping Services Jenny Mercer Coaching Jenny Mercer (360) 584-8700 Consultants - Business & Vocational

Keller Williams - Daniel Marsh Daniel Marsh (360) 786-6900 Real Estate - Agents & Companies - Commercial

Republic Services Steve Gilmore (206) 332-7723 Environmental Services & Consultants Recycling Services

La Quinta Inn & Suites – Tumwater Jonathon Shea (360) 352-5433 Hotels & Accommodations

Teutsch Partners LLC John Teutsch (206) 728-1130 Real Estate - Developers & Investors

Littlefield, Siminski & Co., P.S. Ben Anderson (360) 956-1040 Accountants - Certified Public

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Olympia Rare Coins Welby Berjum (360) 951-0476 Hobby Stores

Windermere Real Estate - Clark Osvog Clark Osvog (253) 565-1189 Real Estate - Agents & Companies - Commercial

Olympic Crest Coffee Roasters Chuck Kennedy (360) 923-0973 Coffee Roasting Restaurant - Espresso & Coffee Shops

Wittenberg CPA, PS Michael Wittenberg (360) 350-4460 Accountants

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  Jan./Feb. 2016 23

Robert Coit, Tanya Jernigan and Dan O’Neill to be Honored as Distinguished Leaders By Judy Reynolds, Leadership Thurston County Program Coordinator Leadership Thurston County (LTC) and the Thurston County Chamber Foundation are proud to host the 15th Annual Distinguished Leader Awards Celebration, Wednesday, February 24, 2016, at the Red Lion Hotel Olympia. Presented by TwinStar Credit Union, the evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner and the program at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person or $600 for a table of eight. For information or reservations, please register at The event recognizes leaders who demonstrate outstanding initiative, inspire others and make a significant impact in our community and beyond. Honorees will be recognized through live and multi-media presentations. Honoree Robert Coit is Executive Director of the Thurston County Food Bank. Robert is a tremendous leader in the food network and regularly steps forward to be the voice of families in Thurston County and across the state who struggle

24 • Jan./Feb. 2016 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

with hunger. Through his work at Thurston County Food Bank, Robert demonstrates excellence year after year through programs to eliminate hunger. Honoree Tanya Jernigan, Vice President and CFO of Diamond Technology Innovations, is recognized for her work in the manufacture of diamond nozzles utilized in the high pressure waterjet cutting industry and as Executive Director of the Jernigan Foundation, serving the oppressed, and Vice President of the Tronie Foundation dedicated to the abolishment of slave trafficking. Honoree Dan O’Neill, Owner of The Barn Nursery and Great Western Supply, inherited a 100+ years family business, meeting the needs of farms, businesses and personal shoppers through core conservation values and respect of the land and nature with a theme of recycling locally-sourced products. Dan is a strong supporter of education and lifelong learning through several educational boards and foundations, athletics and local school district involvement. ●

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Thurston County Chamber VOICE  Jan./Feb. 2016 25

Sam Devlin in his office at Devlin Designing Boat Builders on Mottman Road in Tumwater

Sam Devlin on Crafting Boats, a Career and a Life


By Natasha Ashenhurst

am Devlin, of Tumwater’s Devlin Designing Boat Builders, is renowned throughout the global wooden boat community, but not as well known in his hometown. We sat down in Devlin’s office in December and talked about owning a manufacturing business, entrepreneurship and the long road to recovery after the economic downturn of 2008. What we learned is that you have to remain dogged in pursuit of your dreams and remain open to change, and that working to your full potential — day in and day out — is the key to a satisfying life. Sam Devlin’s desk is hand-crafted out of Port Orford cedar, which years after construction still emits a spicy odor. It is a small detail, but significant for Devlin.

church up to three times a week. To pass the hours, Devlin would draw on the blank side of the pew cards with a stubby pencil. He drew boats most of the time.

“When I was a boy, my dad had a boat shop for a short time,” said Devlin. “I still recall the smells of the wood and the dust. Those smells are visceral and evoke warm and fuzzy memories.”

Fast forward to 1974, when Devlin was working in Alaska, earning money to pay his college tuition. He had never seriously thought about his future plans until he read an issue of Wooden Boats Magazine in the galley of a tugboat. Devlin was struck with the idea that

As a kid, he and his family attended

26 • Jan./Feb. 2016 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

becoming a boat builder would be “really cool.” “When I made up my mind that I wanted to become a wooden boat builder, my parents didn’t roll their eyes,” said Devlin. “It was a magic time where you had the ability to throw out the rule book and re-invent yourself.” Devlin had graduated from the University of Oregon with degrees in biology and

Left: Inside the shop on Mottman Road, Tumwater. Right: Devlin's staff includes his two sons, MacKenzi and Cooper,

geology and worked in construction in his hometown of Eugene, Ore., until he could make his next move. He had studied boat design, but he couldn’t figure out how to make a living at it. “I had a vision of how it would be — a long workbench cluttered with tools. A wood stove in a shop with big windows. I knew I even had to dress the part — it had to become so much a part of my personality that there would be virtually nothing else left. That had to be the commitment that I had to make,” said Devlin. “You can hang onto a vision, and the vision is illusive. It has to be a carrot continuously dangled in front of you.” He started making boat models in his free time out of balsa wood using a little known process. “The idea is that we take the boat shape and we peel it, then fuse the parts together with epoxy glue and fiberglass and literally weld the plywood together,” said Devlin. He likens the process to peeling a banana, then removing the fruit, and sealing the peels up again. That same idea is behind his boat-building technique. Devlin showed his dad several models he’d designed, and they decided to build two boats together in 1978. They bought the materials and scaled up the peels of the boat. Devlin struggled to find a way to

hold the pieces together. Then, he and his dad had a breakthrough.

they could have the entire operation under one roof.

“We were looking at the parts of the boat and I could see a light go off in dad’s head,” said Devlin. “He walked over to the bench and picked up a drill. I walked over to the bench and picked up pliers. He drilled holes in the wood and I twisted wire. No words were said. That was the magic moment.”

Devlin’s staff now includes his two sons, MacKenzi and Cooper, and Devlin Boats has an international reputation. To date, he has designed and built 472 boats, from yachts to dinghy’s, sailboats to power boats — all using his stitch-and-glue method. Devlin’s name has appeared in hundreds of magazine articles and he was the 2012 winner of the lifetime achievement in design award by Wooden Boat Magazine.

They saw the utility of this brand-new process—eventually called “stitch-andglue”—and how revolutionary it would be in the world of wooden boat building. They understood right away that it had enough scope and potential to sustain them for the rest of their lives. Devlin Designing Boat Builders was born, and word spread about stitch-andglue—a method that reduces the number of parts in a boat, increases durability and allows the builder to create an incredible variety of types and shapes. One of their clients encouraged them to do a national ad campaign, which led to magazine editorials, which led to sales. Soon, they were at all the major boat shows, and word continued to spread. In 1982, Devlin moved the company from Eugene to Olympia’s Gravelly Beach neighborhood so they could be near salt water and their customer base. Devlin moved the operation to its current location on Mottman Road in 2010 so

The reputation was hard-earned, however. “The wooden boat people were critical from the beginning, but we were tenacious, and our tenacity paid off,” Devlin said. “I thought early on this idea would proliferate — that I would see virtually every boat yard in the world use some part of the stitch-and-glue process. It is my dream and I still believe it will happen.” It seemed that Devlin was on solid footing, but when the economy tanked in 2008, boating became an expendable hobby. “The marine industry has a real problem because the manufacturers are more efficient than the demand,” said Devlin. “We are running out of people to get interested in boating. Even now that the economy has improved, people are still Continued on page 29

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  Jan./Feb. 2016 27

Sponsors Needed for Youth Programs: Learn How You Can Make A Difference


arch and April are busy months for the Chamber Foundation. Find Your Future takes place on March 19, and Math for Life is held during Spring Break.

Find Your Future

“Businesses are looking for ways to engage with kids – as well as the community – and Math for Life allows them to do that,” said Schaffert. “Parents love the program because it reinforces what their children learn in school by providing real-life examples.”

Find Your Future is a half-day career event for students and their This year, the Chamber is capping the number of businesses parents. Find Your Future believes that it is just as important to participating at 100, so businesses need to sign up soon. know what you don’t want to pursue career-wise, as knowing what you do want to pursue. Find Your “This is a chance to get involved in the “With hard work and Future helps students pinpoint a career path opportunity Thurston County community, support education and our that excites and motivates them. One way students can achieve their children and it’s an unbelievable advertising to think about these programs is that they dreams. The students need opportunity,” said Dirk Farrar, a financial are stepping stones that prepare individuals to supply the hard work; we advisor at Edward Jones, a Math for Life from middle school all the way through to participant. “We provide a venue for as many need to provide them with the adulthood to enter the world of work and as 700 kids to see the importance of math opportunity.” business, and once they are established in in daily life. We also enjoy the face to face -David Schaffert. their career, they are connected back to the interaction with the kids. They ask questions world of learning. that help them realize that math is something they’ll use for the rest of their lives,” he said. David Schaffert, President/CEO of the Chamber said, “With hard work and opportunity Thurston County students can achieve Here is how the program works: Students receive a Math for Life their dreams. The students need to supply the hard work; we map, which they take to different Chamber member businesses need to provide them with the opportunity.” who’ve signed up for the program. Businesses interact with students as they ask grade-level math questions. Students get Math for Life their map stamped at each location. When they submit their completed map to their teacher, they qualify for a chance to win Math for Life, in partnership with local school districts, great prizes. promotes real-life math skills. Local businesses sponsor the program. Students from area school districts visit participating businesses to solve practical math problems. After visiting several businesses and answering math problems, students are eligible for prizes. 28 • Jan./Feb. 2016 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

If you are interested in becoming a Math for Life business or a participant or sponsor at Find Your Future, please contact the Chamber at 360.357.3362 or visit ●

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Continued from page 27

operating lean, and boats are not lean territory. Boats are a non-essential.” Over the past seven years, Devlin has had to change his business model, a move that is revolutionizing the boat building world in a similar way that stitch-and-glue did in 1978. This time, the revolution is taking place in the home hobbyist’s garage with the Devlin boat kit. Devlin still designs and builds custom yachts, but if someone can’t afford a Devlin boat or simply wants to go through the experience of building a boat themselves, they have the option to buy boat plans or one of 20 Devlin boat kits from the company website. “The people who buy and build our kits are really bright people with unbelievable talent, and they become addicted to the creation process,” said Devlin. “In a world of frustration, they have one part of their day, week or month, where they are breathing life into a pile of materials.

If we breathe life into it with a proper attitude, those boats are alive, they have their own personalities — each one is unique.” Devlin has also expanded into the realm of intellectual property. He has published four books and is writing his fifth. His book, “Devlin's Boatbuilding: How to Build Any Boat the Stitch-and-Glue Way”, published by McGraw-Hill in 1997, has remained a bestseller in the boat building category for more than 15 years. A quick search on the Internet will reveal a vast variety of videos he’s created and articles he’s published on boat building. More recently, Devlin created a formal cooperation agreement with a boat builder in Korea. They build Devlin’s designs and have rights to the name “Devlin Boats”, but they do not sell in the United States. A similar project is in the works on the East coast, which involves Devlin doing the designing and another company doing the manufacturing.

These new business strategies — passive income from intellectual property and drop shipping an existing and easily reproduced product line — create a more reliable income stream that might allow Devlin to exit the business someday. For now, he continues to enjoy the intellectual and physical challenge of designing and building boats, a passion that has no foreseeable stopping point. “Honestly, if I said I was most proud of something I’ve accomplished it is that I’ve operated as close to my potential as possible for a very long time,” said Devlin. “If you are not a noodle at the end of the day you’re not working right, because when you design and build wooden boats you are using all of your body and brain—every part of you is activated because you are trying to think five steps ahead of the game. “You want to cross the finish line and collapse. In my opinion, that is the trick.” ●

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  Jan./Feb. 2016 29


HEART PRIMARY CARE Heart health is a serious matter. Heart disease affects more than 86 million Americans, so it makes sense to take care of your heart. February is American Heart Month and the perfect time to get serious about making heart-healthy changes. Stop smoking, commit to a healthier diet, and get at least 30 minutes of exercise three times a week. If you need help figuring out next steps or managing your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, visit your primary care physician. Make this February the start of a healthy new life for you and your family.

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January/February 2016 VOICE Magazine  

January/February 2016 VOICE Magazine