Page 1

M AY 2017










New Health Chief

Meet Schelli Slaughter Thurston County's New Public Health and Social Services Director, page 16.

INSIDE: Offut Lake

& Lady of the Lake Public House, p. 12

The Fed... Community Building, p. 20






For the third time, Capital Medical’s Joint & Spine Center has been awarded the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for hip, knee and spine surgery.

Learn more about Award-Winning Knee, Hip and Spine Surgery

Capital Medical Center is partly owned by some of the physicians who serve our patients.

©2017 BCI



Every month, the Thurston County Chamber offers several networking events, forums & workshops to the community. Here are some highlights you won't want to miss.

In this issue...

6 Caught in the Lens Photos from Chamber events.

May 2

Morning Mixxer at TwinStar Credit Union


JJoin TwinStar Credit Union on Tue., May 2 at 7:30 a.m. for the Thurston

Advocacy Update

Chamber’s Morning Mixxer. TwinStar will provide coffee and breakfast treats! Where? 4525 Intelco Loop SE, Lacey. Morning Mixxer is free to attend.

May 4

YPN at Hilton Garden Inn Y The Thurston Chamber Young Professionals Network (YPN) is a great place to interact with younger business professionals in a low-pressure environment. Join us for after hours on

May 5

12 Offut Lake Resort & Lady of the Lake

May 4 at 5:30 p.m. at Hilton Garden Inn, 2101 Henderson

Take a step back in time

Park Lane SE, Olympia. There is no cover charge to attend.

at this family-run resort.

Chamber Membership Orientation Have questions about the Thurston County Chamber? Ever wonder who we are and how we can best serve you? Come to Member Orientation on May 5 at noon and learn how to maximize your membership! Light lunch is served. Please RSVP. Location: 809 Legion Way SE, Olympia.

May 18

Doug Mah's Public Policy Column: Implementing Expectations & Ensuring Accountability

BAH at Creative Office JJoin us for Business After Hours at Creative Office, on Thursday, May 18 at 5:30 p.m. Enjoy drinks, appetizers and

16 Meet Thurston County's New Public Health & Social Services Director Schelli Slaughter's first day was March 27, taking over the role previously held by Don Sloma.

the chance to learn more about this business. Creative Office is located at 721 Legion Way SE, Olympia. BAH is free to attend.

Ma ay 24

Federal Reserve

Annual Meeting Please join our Annual Meeting on May 24 at 11:30 a.m. at the Hotel RL Olympia. We have an exciting event planned, including a keynote address by Darlene Wilczynski of the Seattle Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, our annual report and transferring of the gavel. Don't miss it!

For more event information, please visit

20 On April 17, the Seattle Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco opened its doors to host the Thurston Chamber President/CEO for a lunch & discussion. Here is the takeaway...

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  May 2017 3

PUBLISHER Thurston County Chamber of Commerce


EDITORIAL Editor: David Schaffert Phone: (360) 357-3362 Email:

CONTRIBUTORS David Schaffert


his month’s issue of the VOICE Magazine

A strong backbone organization that is

introduces Thurston County’s new

dedicated to orchestrating the work of the

Public Health and Social Services


Director, Schelli Slaughter. Thurston Thrives is our community’s collective

Doug Mah Natasha Ashenhurst

Over the coming year, Slaughter will focus on

impact initiative in partnership with the

Heather Harris

strengthening collaborative relationships in

Thurston County Public Health and Social

Rebekah Finn

the community and working to improve the



health, safety and wellness of our community. Thurston Thrives is celebrating its fourth

Sales and Marketing: Marny Bright, Beth Johnson, Blake Knoblauch or Melanie

I recently received a briefing on the homeless

year in making a difference by creating better


issues impacting our region which included

access to healthier foods, protecting water

possible solutions—a complex issue with

quality, creating affordable housing, promoting

many determining factors. How can we as a

clean air, helping families increase resilience,


community put in place the infrastructure to

reducing adverse childhood experiences,

Phone: (360) 357-3362

address the challenges of homelessness?

protecting public safety and creating a local

Phone: (360) 357-3362 Email:


economy that supports community and its


My mind quickly turned to the collective

Mosaic Marketing Studio

impact model which has several key


components including:

The Chamber and its foundation are proud to

Coming together to collectively define the

support this bold effort for citizens in Thurston

problem and create a shared vision to

County to live longer and healthier lives.

Schelli Slaughter, Director of Thurston County Health and Social Services. Photo by Heather Harris, Elements Photography.

solve it; • •


CONTACT THE CHAMBER PO Box 1427 809 Legion Way SE


Engaging in mutually reinforcing activities

We are also proud to support the concepts

that collectively maximize the end result;

within the collective impact model. We are

Establishing shared measurements that

working as a team to align limited resources

track progress in the same way, which

with well-thought-out strategies to have

allows for continuous improvement;

maximum impact on complex social issues—

Continuous communication to build trust

including homelessness. ●

and relationships among all participants;

Olympia, WA 98507 Phone: (360) 357-3362 Email: Website:




information is correct at time of

Anchor Bank Capital Medical Center Heritage Bank Phillips Burgess Washington Port of Olympia Conduit

printing, but the publisher accepts no


All material appearing in the VOICE Magazine is copyright unless otherwise stated or it may rest with the provider of the supplied material. The VOICE Magazine takes all care to ensure

responsibility or liability for the accuracy of any information contained in the text or advertisements.

America's Credit Union - Lacey Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel Mills & Mills Funeral Home & Memorial Park

4 • May 2017 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

Morningside Olympia Federal Savings Olympia Orthopaedic Associates Print NW Providence St. Peters Saint Martin's University TwinStar Credit Union Washington Business Bank

GOLD INVESTORS First Citizens Bank Cabinets by Trivonna Columbia Bank The Creative Office GHB Insurance Great Wolf Lodge Hometown Property Management

Jessica Jensen Law PS Nicholson & Associates Nisqually Red Wind Casino Olympia Furniture Company Pardiman Productions Puget Sound Energy RHD Enterprises Hotel RL Olympia Saint Martin’s University SCJ Alliance TAGS Wells Fargo

Federal Reserve VP to Keynote Thurston Chamber’s 112th Annual Meeting The event will include the transfer of the gavel from Board Chair Jessica Coen to incoming Chair Joanna West, a review of last year’s successes and an optimistic look forward to 2017-2018. FROM the EDITOR


oin the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce for the 112th

communities,” said

Annual Meeting and the beginning of the Chamber’s 143rd year,


on Wednesday, May 24. Darlene Wilczynski, the top regional executive for the Federal Reserve’s Seattle branch will deliver the keynote address. Promoted to the position of regional executive last year, Wilczynski

David Schaffert, Thurston Chamber President/CEO said, “We are honored to have Darlene speak at our

Darlene Wilczynski, Vice President and Regional Executive of the Seattle Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

has worked for the bank since 1997. A veteran who served in the U.S.

meeting. Her mission—bringing people throughout our region to the

Navy for more than 22 years, she received her bachelor’s from the

table to promote vibrant and prosperous communities—parallels

United States Naval Academy and an MBA from Chapman University

the Chamber’s mission.”

in California. Getting the perspective of the community is an important part of the Federal Reserve’s work as it seeks to attain its goal of stable prices and maximum sustainable employment. Wilczynski regularly

The event will include the transfer of the gavel from Board Chair Jessica Coen to incoming Chair Joanna West, a review of last year’s successes and an optimistic look forward to 2017-2018. Cost is $35 for members, $245 for a table of seven. The cost for

meets with financial institutions as well to listen and gather

non-members is $45 per person or $315 per table. It includes a

information on topics important to the banking industry.

plated lunch. Reservations are required for this event. Register at

“We act as a convener. We get people in our region to the table talking about things. Visibility into diverse communities is especially important because it helps with our thought process. We all agree Thank you to our presenting sponsors, The Port of Olympia and Heritage Bank. ●

that you have to take a holistic approach toward creating healthy

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  May 2017 5

Caught in the Lens...

6 • May 2017 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

A collection of photos taken at Chamber events during April 2017. Visit our Facebook page for more photos!

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Thurston County Chamber VOICE  May 2017 7

Earth Friendly Products Celebrates 50 Years of Green Cleaning Innovation


arth Friendly Products,

company to use the safer

the maker of ECOS

ethylhexylglycerin as a preservative

environmentally friendly

in its formulations, partnering with

cleaning products, is

the U.S. EPA to establish it as a Safer

celebrating 50 years of

Choice–recognized chemical.

green cleaning innovation, a significant achievement

“I’m proud to continue our

in the cleaning products

company’s legacy as an eco-pioneer while making Earth Friendly

industry. 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the family-owned and operated

Earth Friendly Product's Northwestern Division is located at 8735 Commerce Pl Dr. NE Lacey.

Products a model for green business practices,” says Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks,

company, and it celebrated this important milestone with gala

president and CEO of Earth Friendly Products. “It’s important

celebrations at its four sustainable manufacturing facilities

to me that we continue to lead as an American manufacturer,

across the U.S. throughout the month of April in conjunction

creating green jobs and supporting local economies. Since

with global Earth Day celebrations, in honor of the company’s

the beginning, our mission has been to make plant-powered

long-standing commitment to environmental protection.

cleaners that are safer for people, pets and the planet, and to do that for 50 years while supporting our employees and our

Earth Friendly Products has achieved many firsts in developing safer cleaning products. The company has received many awards for its advances in safer green chemistry, including the U.S. EPA’s coveted Safer Choice Partner of the Year. In 2016, Earth Friendly Products was the first cleaning products

8 • May 2017 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

communities is very rewarding.” Earth Friendly Products has offices in Lacey, Washington, Cypress, California, Addison, Illinois, Parsippany, New Jersey and Athens, Greece. ●


Dwayne Boggs

Boggs Inspection Service


ince 2004, Dwayne Boggs has been guiding homeowners through his indepth home inspections. Dwayne built

Boggs Inspection Services from the ground up in Olympia, and it is now one of the fastest growing inspection companies in the area, growing at a rate of 25 to 30 percent each year. A member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), Boggs utilizes industry standards to conduct a thorough home inspection. He has built a protocol for how he approaches a home and encourages homeowners to have a pre-listing inspection. “Generally, if you have lived in a home for a decade and haven’t been in the attic or the crawl space then there may be some issues to address before placing your home on the market,” he said. When Boggs isn’t inspecting a home, you’ll find him teaching a first-time home buying workshop or spending time in the field with his beloved dogs. ●

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Thurston County Chamber VOICE  May 2017 9

Banks with sales goals are blinded by their needs. Our goal is your success.


Honesty. It’s One of our Core Values. See the rest of our Core Values at


In September 2016, the Thurston Chamber held its annual "Meet the Candidates" forum. This forum featured the 2016 County Commissioner race. Attendees heard from Jim Cooper, John Hutchings, Gary Edwards and Kelsey Hulse. Gary Edwards and John (Hutch) Hutchings won the race. Doug Mah moderated the debate.

Implementing Expectations & Ensuring Accountability By Doug Mah, Doug Mah & Associates, director Thurston Chamber Public Policy


he month of May kicks off the 2017

services are held accountable.

election season with the official filing period for candidates for elected office ending on May 19. Odd year elections are sometimes referred to as off-year elections

because they tend to be limited to just local races. But the 2017 election looks to be anything but off. Positions on every city council, school board, fire district, and the Port across Thurston County will be on the November ballot. Local office holders impact our daily lives more than the higher profile state and national office holders elected in even number years. How do they impact us? Local elected officials determine the rates we pay on local taxes and

"In short, our locally elected officials implement our expectations for the community and help ensure that the entities entrusted to provide these essential services are held accountable." -Doug Mah

fees for everything from property, business and occupation, and transportation taxes as well as setting sewer, water, and building permit fees. Local elected officials determine the level, quality and type of services we pay for, such as, police, fire, and parks. In short, our locally elected officials implement our expectations for the community and help ensure that the entities entrusted to provide these essential

As an organization, the public policy division for the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce places a premium on candidates that: 1) seek to understand the impact public policy changes have on business and private enterprises; 2) will work to encourage greater private sector investment in the community; and 3) enable the creation of new jobs across the region. Elections are not for the shy or the timid. Candidates must be clear and upfront on what they see are the challenges and potential solutions for our communities. And the business community must be equally clear and upfront in identifying problems and setting clear expectations for solutions as well as the conduct of our elected officials.

We believe that it is the outspoken voter who will shape our community. Join the Public Policy Division between May and November as we capture our expectations and then voice those expectations to the next set of elected officials and leaders. ●

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  May 2017 11

From left to right: Rob Pogue, Rebecca Pogue and Tom Pogue sitting at the bar at the Lady of the Lake Public House at Offut Lake Resort. The Pogue family bought Offut Lake Resort in 1998. When they purchased the property the restaurant was in ruins. They restored it and tracked down the original bar which had been sold to a brothel in the early 1900s. The bar serves over 30 kinds of bourbon, including local favorites like Sandstone Distillery's Bacon-Infused Whiskey. They also serve The Pogues Irish Whiskey—no relation—imported from one of Ireland’s last independent distilleries.

Take a Step Back in Time

At Offut Lake Resort & Lady of the Lake By Natasha Ashenhurst

No neon. Keep it small. Keep it quaint. Nothing showy. -Rebecca Pogue


e’ve all done it...traveled to a beautiful place and considered moving there permanently.

Rebecca Pogue did what we’ve all dreamed about. It was April, 1998. Rebecca and her husband Bob were living

“I asked the owner if she

in Puyallup. They had two college-aged children, Rob and Tom.

would consider selling and

Tom had just graduated from Washington State University, and

she said, ‘It is for sale’,” said

Rob was graduating from The Evergreen State College. Rebecca


was fishing by herself at Lake Offut in Tenino. It was the family’s favorite fishing and camping destination—they’d been

Rebecca went back to

going there since the boys were little.

Puyallup and told the family, including her mom and dad

12 • May 2017 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

that she was buying Offut Lake Resort

Guests heading down the hill toward

and that they could join her there. They

the lake will discover the large fire pit

“I want my great-grandchildren to be

all jumped at the chance to move to their

surrounded by Adirondack chairs, the

able to swim here,” said Rebecca.

favorite place in the world.

large dock and the Lady of the Lake Tom Pogue manages the Lady of the

Restaurant and Public House.

Lake Restaurant and Public House.

When the Pogue family took over Offut Lake Resort it was simply a campground

The lake is zoned for electric boats only

After an extensive renovation, the

with docks for fishing. There was an old

and has a 5 mph speed limit. Guests

restaurant reopened in 2014. The family

restaurant on the property, but it was in

at the Resort can rent small boats or

was careful to honor the history of


larger pontoons by the hour. The Resort

the building and even brought back

raises rainbow trout to stock the lake

the original bar from what once was a

The family remembers it as it was

for fishing. Rob Pogue and his dad, Bob

nearby brothel.

then—a fun place with a lot of

Pogue, manage the grounds and are

Left: The Lade of the Lake Restaurant/Public House at Offut Lake. Center: The resort rents boats. Right: Cabins available for rent. blackberries and a lot of dust. From the beginning, they had a vision that guided every decision they would make as they improved the grounds. Rebecca explained, “No neon. Keep it small, quaint and nothing showy.” Today, it is a retreat, a destination, a haven and even a fish farm. When guests enter the resort they’ll first see a small general store and several shingled cabins with metal roofs—just like those “tiny houses” we read about in

When guests step inside Lady of the

“My mom is really good about trying to maintain our roots from when we just offered fishing and barbecue. Now we have 35 different bourbons and Wi-Fi. We constantly try and balance giving guests what they want while still maintaining our quaint and rustic charm.” -Tom Pogue

the news. Each cabin has a living room,

Lake they’ll see a large eating area overlooking the lake, including a covered patio—perfect to sip a glass of wine while watching children play on the beach. Off to the right there is the original bar, as well as a large stone fireplace and seating area with overstuffed chairs The menu is a great combination of pub food; including fish-n-chips, burgers and pasta, but dig a little deeper and guests will discover ingredients that are truly unique to the region. During

bedroom and small kitchen. Sizes vary

careful to plant native and edible plants

our visit, Tom was preparing the

and are priced accordingly.

and herbs. The staff uses environmentally

menu for the upcoming fishing derby

safe cleaning products and abstains from

and was planning to serve a Bloody

Inside the store is a wall of fishing tackle,

the use of chemicals for weed control and

Mary featuring Sandstone Distillery’s

small-sized grocery essentials and candy


Bacon-Infused whiskey. They also serve

for the children.

Top Rung beer, baked goods from 8 Rob and the staff monitor the water

Arms Bakery and Donedei Merlot and

The grounds include RV parking spots,

quality carefully and many of the

Cabernet Sauvignon crafted right down

a park, gardens and space for tent

environmentally conscious decisions

the road at Tenino’s own Gibbons Lane


the resort makes concern creating clean


water for fish and recreation.

Continued on page 14

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  May 2017 13

Continued from page 13

Pontoons are available to rent for day cruising on the electric-only lake with a 5 mph speed limit.

Lady of the Lake at Offut Lake Resort was selected as the Thurston Green Small Business of the Year.

“My mom is really good about trying

the typical guest looking for some peace

to maintain our roots from when we

and quiet.

nearby. “Most of us walk or bicycle to work.

just offered fishing and barbecue. Now we have 35 different bourbons and

“When Boomers visit they tell us it

We all live out here, including most of

Wi-Fi. We constantly try and balance

reminds them of where they camped

the staff. Each of us manages our own

giving guests what they want while

in the 1950s and that is exactly how we

area, but we get together and talk and

still maintaining our quaint and rustic

want it to feel. We want folks to step back

organize at least once every day,” said

charm,” said Tom.

in time, to fish, swim, play tag and roast


marshmallows. To get outside and read Most guests travel from Joint Base Lewis

a book and drink a glass of wine,” said

Tom agrees. He said, “We feel blessed.

McChord, King and Snohomish counties


We’ve been given the opportunity to nurture this resort and bring this

and Portland. They come for the fishing, the restaurant or to just unplug and

And for the Pogue family, after almost

restaurant back to life and offer it to the

unwind for the weekend. More notorious

20 years of resort ownership, life is good

community, and I am so grateful.” ●

guests arrived last year from MTV’s Real

for them, too. Their families have grown

World, which was quite a contrast from

and Rebecca has grandchildren who live

14 • May 2017 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  May 2017 15


Schelli Slaughter is the Director of Thurston County Public Health and Social Services. Her first day was March 27. She took over the role previously held by Don Sloma.

Meet Thurston County's New Public Health and Social Services Director: Schelli Slaughter Written by Rebekah Finn. Photos by Heather Harris.


n a wet Wednesday morning in April, I was able to spend a few minutes with a very busy Schelli Slaughter in her office at the Public Health and Social Services building on Lilly Road in Olympia. Although she had back-to-back meetings and had to multi-task our interview with a photo shoot, Ms. Slaughter was impeccably puttogether, and was immediately a joy to talk to. In a fly-by morning chat, I was able to gain some deep insight into this experienced leader in our community. Thurston County Roots and Years of Social Service

Hospital, to working with

Although she is new to her position, Slaughter is no stranger to Thurston County,

children in schools and being

having attended elementary school in Rochester and high school in Lacey. After

a birth doula. Her most recent

starting school at the University of Puget Sound and attending the University of North

experience is 11 years as the

Carolina at Chapel Hill, she finished up her schooling back here in Thurston County at

executive director of the Family

The Evergreen State College.

Support Center of South Sound. The Family Support Center is a

Slaughter’s professional background is incredibly diverse in the best way—she has

diverse, nonprofit organization,

done so many different things in the realm of health care and social services, from

with several different types of

counseling in the behavioral health field and conducting research at Western State

programs and services, all of

16 • May 2017 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

which relate to public health. Slaughter attributes much of her readiness for the Public Health and Social Services position to her 14 years of experience at the Family Support Center and many years of local and state community leadership positions. “It’s been a pretty easy transition for me thus far. There are a lot of similarities, and I have a really strong background in social services, which is a really important part of this agency.” housing and more. Slaughter goes on to

apparent in her work and her life.

One of the aspects of her new role

describe a desire for public education

When she’s not at work or spending

that Slaughter enjoys is that she is

and service. “We are here to serve our

time with her children (three teenagers

able to continue a lot of the working

community, and we want to be a really

and a 6-year-old!), Slaughter can be

relationships she began in her

strong partner to the public and be

found running. She likes to participate

previous position, as well as forge new

accessible and available and share lots of

in community races, but assures me

partnerships. “I get to work with some

great information.”

that they’re “just little ones like 5K or

of the same people in our community,

10K. The longest one I’ve done is a half

and this is an amazing department to

As the Public Health and Social Services

work for. There are lots of really great,

Director, Slaughter also serves on

committed people here who really care

the Coordinating Council of Thurston

After even only a few minutes of

about making our community healthy

Thrives, which she describes as “a

chatting with her, I’m convinced that

and safe," she said.

community-wide, collective impact

Slaughter’s ability to run multiple

effort to improve public health and

kilometers and even half marathons (in

safety -from clean air and fresh water,

addition to raising four children and

Current Work and Looking Forward


to pleasant neighborhoods and beyond

directing an agency) is only a glimpse of

What is the Thurston County Public

with the department being a partner in

her strength.

Health and Social Services Department


working on these days? “We have a new board of commissioners and Board of Health [which is the governing body for the department], and they have a really strong vision for Thurston County,” explains Slaughter. “Part of that is a focus on prevention and child and family wellness, and that’s something that’s really important to me as well.” But children and families are only a portion of the department’s work. Many people may not know everything Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department does. Their mission is to promote healthful social, economic and environmental conditions for all residents. This includes ensuring our community has clean, safe water and food, disease prevention and vaccinations, emergency preparedness,

Schelli Slaughter is a strong leader with Thurston Thrives is one of the ways

thoughtful intentions to improve health

that Thurston County Public Health

in Thurston County, equipped with the

and Social Services is involved in

knowledge and experience to bring

addressing the influencers on health that

those intentions to life.

fall outside of the realm of traditional health care. “So much of what we do

When asked what makes her excited

at our department is related to the

about her work, Slaughter looked to the

social determinants of health,” explains

future with great optimism.

Slaughter. “I’m loving this job. I think there’s a What are the social determinants of

huge opportunity that we have to really

health? defines

make some big strides in our community

them as “the range of personal, social,

and move the needle to make Thurston

economic and environmental factors

County the healthiest, most thriving

that influence health status.” In other

county in Washington State.” ●

words, everything that makes up our lives from our genes, to where we live and what we eat, are all factors in how

Learn more. Turn to page 19 for a Q&A with Slaughter.

healthy we are. For that reason, public health and social services are truly overlapping fields, and Ms. Slaughter’s understanding of this crucial fact is

Rebekah Finn is a freelance writer for the VOICE magazine and can be contacted at

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  May 2017 17



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18 • May 2017 Thurston County Chamber VOICE

Q&A with Schelli Slaughter, Director, Thurston County Health

and Social Services

What are some of the challenges that public health and social services is facing today, and what priorities would you like to see addressed?

justice, behavioral health, and I’m really excited that people are seeing how interconnected we are and looking at the big picture of our health as a community. Thurston County is ranked #7 healthiest county in Washington and we should

It’s a time of a lot of change, locally, regionally, statewide,

be very proud of that, but I would like to work toward

nationally and change can be scary. People are wondering

improving that even more, pursue accreditation and really

how these changes might affect us now and in the future, but

focus on best practices and innovations in our field. Child

it can also be a great opportunity for us to evaluate what’s

and family wellness will be a big priority for us this first

really important to us and to inspire action and creative ways

year. I also would like to see our Department lead efforts in

of getting things done. Thurston County is a resilient, thriving

Thurston County to be a family friendly workplace.

community. We have to make sure that—despite funding cuts or changes in policy—our environment is protected—that we have clean and safe water and food, that people have access to affordable medical care, safe affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, and homes, free from violence; that we are prepared for emergencies and prevent disease outbreaks, and to ensure that people have a strong social support system and information they need to make informed decisions on what is healthiest and best for their family.

Is the Thurston Thrives initiative part of your scope of work? Yes, we are a partner in Thurston Thrives, a public-private collective impact effort. Action teams are aligned with our public health efforts, and we want to see how by working together across sectors we can move the needle in a significant way to be a healthier, safer, thriving community. ●

What does this first year in the director role look like for you? I will be focused on strengthening collaborative relationships in the community and working together to improve the health, safety and wellness of our community. There are new efforts and opportunities for us to work together as a region, across sectors with businesses, hospitals, schools, criminal

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Thurston County Chamber VOICE  May 2017 19

Take a dollar bill from your wallet, and you’ll see a number and letter on the left-hand side. If the bill has the letter “L” and the number “12” then the San Francisco Federal Reserve issued it.


n Monday, April 17, the Seattle Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco opened its doors—and gates—to host the Thurston County Chamber’s President/CEO for a tour, lunch and discussion.

While it was an impressive field trip of an incredibly well-organized operation—imagine

issued it. The San Francisco

piles of bundled cash and a four-story vault—the meeting also exemplifies a commitment

Fed encompasses the nine

put forward by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as well as John Williams, president and

western states and the Seattle

CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The commitment is one of transparency,

branch serves Washington,

community outreach and data gathering at the grass roots and micro level.

Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii and parts of Idaho. The Federal

Darlene Wilczynski, vice president/regional executive of the branch explained, “We want

Reserve’s role in the nation’s

people to understand our story to remove the mystification of what we do, but we also

payment system includes

want visibility into areas of our region beyond Seattle.”

distributing currency and coin to depository institutions,

Here’s what we learned: Wilczynski has two main responsibilities in her role at the bank—

providing check collection

cash operations and community outreach.

services, operating electronic payment systems and

Cash Operations

providing financial services to

Take a dollar bill from your wallet, and you’ll see a number and letter on the left-hand side.

the U.S. government.

If the bill has the letter “L” and the number “12” then the San Francisco Federal Reserve

Continued on page 23 20 • May 2017 Thurston County Chamber VOICE 

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Thurston County Chamber VOICE  May 2017 21

Continued from page 20 Financial institutions located within the

share economic information and then

bank’s territory send cash to the branch

listens to and takes questions from the

where it is bundled, stored and sent out


again. If a note is no longer “fit” the bank destroys the note. The Seattle branch

“Cheryl adds a dimension to our board

alone removes millions of dollars from

that we need to have—especially

circulation every month.

visibility into the southwest area of the

The branch employs 95 people, mostly in

state. We get caught up in the Seattle

Darlene Wilczynski

dynamic and we need to look beyond this

cash operations and police services. In the center of the bank is a vault that is four stories high, comprised of six levels. Visitors to the bank can look through secure gates and view what looks like a sophisticated inventory management system—similar to what someone would see in a Walmart warehouse—that stores cash according to denomination and date. It can rack or remove a container of cash in 90 seconds. Outside the vault are rooms for processing incoming cash and sending out cash. Armored trucks come and go all day long through a carefully screened

statement. When you look at that note it says Federal Reserve—that has to have value, and we have to have trust in the integrity of the system,” said Wilczynski. “The second is people only know us through interest rates and the economy. We are bigger than that. The distribution of the cash and coin, the payment systems and the credits and debits that pass through our system impacts every single person every single day.”

CEO of Pacific Mountain Workforce

year term on the Seattle branch’s board

is in the vault at any one time? That is a secret. What we do know is that the rumor that we’d become a cashless society is false and that there was approximately $1.4 trillion in Federal Reserve notes in circulation around the world as of April 5, 2017. “The public component of our work is a role that we take very seriously. It is first and foremost in our mission

Inside the vault. How much is in the vault at any one time? That is a secret.

is an important part of the Federal Reserve’s work as it seeks to attain its goal of stable prices and maximum sustainable employment. Wilczynski regularly visits banks and financial institutions to listen and gather

small banker that the current compliance

In January 2017, Cheryl Fambles,

Each bank’s deposit is counted and

cash goes out—a lot of cash. How much

Getting the perspective of the community

banking industry. She may hear from a

Community Outreach

and secured route and process.

tested for “fitness.” Cash comes in and

and farther south,” said Wilczynski.

information on topics important to the

Development Council, located in

recorded, and each note is sorted and

city into Spokane, Bellingham, Olympia

Tumwater, was asked to serve a twoof directors.

and regulation laws are difficult and cumbersome, and if enough banks report similar concerns then things may change. “We act as a convener. We get people in our region to the table talking

The role of the board is to provide

about things. Visibility into diverse

a regional perspective on business

communities is especially important

and the economy as well as make recommendations on monetary policy.

because it helps with our thought process. We all agree that you have to take a holistic approach toward creating

The board meets every month and they respond to a pre-submitted set of questions which then launches a discussion. The bank staff takes the board’s input and submits it to the San Francisco office as part of a formal process. A staff economist from San Francisco flies in for the meeting to

Receiving cash from regional financial institutions.

healthy communities,” she said. Wilczynski will deliver the keynote address at the Thurston Chamber’s Annual Meeting on Wed., May 24. For more information visit●

Notes undergoing the verification process.

Thurston County Chamber VOICE  May 2017 23

Honoring every day heroic acts, steadfast dedication, extraordinary service and professionalism.

Call us: 360.357.3362


Please join us on June 27 as we honor and celebrate leaders who have made a significant impact within the health care industry. We will recognize the heroic acts, steadfast dedication, extraordinary service and professionalism that are seen every day in our community’s medical offices, clinics, hospitals, emergency services and related organizations. The event includes honoree recognition, videos, hors d’oeuvres and a no host bar. For sponsorship information, please call the Chamber at 360.357.3362

Olympia Golf & Country Club

5:302017 p.m. - 8 p.m. June 27, Olympia Golf & Country Club 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.


PO BOX 1427 Olympia, WA 98507-1427

Profile for Thurston County Chamber of Commerce

May 2017 VOICE Magazine  

Published by the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, serving Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater Washington.

May 2017 VOICE Magazine  

Published by the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce, serving Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater Washington.