NW Business Conference & EXPO Tickets on Sale NOW!

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The 2017 NW Business Conference & Expo sets the stage with local top performing business leaders detailing ways they have taken their business to the next level over and over again. Stories will address organizational needs, from the CEO to all other leadership positions, to increase profitability through identifying & implementing systems that elevate efficiency and inspire innovation.  After the presentations, doors open at 5:30 PM to attendees and other invited guests for the Presidents Club Reception.  All are invited to enjoy food & drink and connect with exhibitors and the business community.

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

 

Keynote Speakers & Topics

Forging the ‘Helm’ & Steering Sustainable Growth   Matt Mullet, President & CEO, All American Marine, has built an exciting company on Bellingham’s waterfront.   Prior to his tenure at AAM, he has strategically grown and led the turn-around of other notable local companies.   Matt will share what it takes to build a company, drive growth and create a sustainable future.

Succession Insight: Protecting the Past by Structuring for the Future   Tyler Kimberley, President of IMCO Construction will share lessons learned from Harvard’s Family Business programs which have facilitated growth, created greater stability and insight, and prepared the company for future generations.  IMCO has realized nearly 30 percent growth over the past three years.  Of note:  These lessons are NOT just for family businesses!

Triple Bottom Line: Embracing Employee Engagement & Company Culture   John Rauvola, President & CEO of Superfeet Worldwide, has created a culture in which employees know they matter.  With 80% market share and product distribution in 35 countries plus the US,  Superfeet is poised for continued growth.   John will share how culture matters – – and how to achieve it.

MOD SQUAD: Lessons from the Counter-Culture of fast food  Chris Schultz, SVP  International MOD Pizza, will share the story of MOD Pizza’s growth, from early days to becoming the fastest growing fast casual restaurant in the country. Chris will break MOD’s experience down into bite-sized learnings in a dynamic and engaging story.

Business Framework for Expansion, Scale & Profitability Debbie Ahl, Founder & Managing Partner, Edgewater Advising, Former President & CEO, Sterling Life Insurance Company will depict how strengthening organizational performance & results for corporations, businesses and organizations results in an improved quality of life for all of us.  Debbie will give examples of how great leadership and optimal results create energized teams which contribute even more as individuals to their communities and how to tap into the platform foundation of companies and organizations with great leadership ultimately will change our world.

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Fall 2017 Issue Business Pulse Magazine

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OCTOBER!  Look for the Fall issue of the WBA print publication at participating Haggen stores, Village Books, & Woods Coffee shops around Whatcom County.

WBA Members, you will be receiving a courtesy copy by Mid-October!

The 2017 NW Business Conference & Expo attendees will receive a free copy at the event!

Read the Digital Flipbook below

 

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Cherry Point Moratorium Ordinance

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To read more about the Cherry Point Moratorium Ordinance, download the PDF.

Proposed Legislation Stopping Building Permits Related to Fuel Export

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2017 Whatcom County-wide Candidate Forum

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Whatcom County Council and Port Commission elections are coming! These races impact the entire county. On behalf of 10 non-partisan organizations, we cordially invite the public to meet and hear the candidates at the:

2017 Whatcom County-wide Candidate Forum

Thursday, October 5th, 7:00 to 9:30pm (Doors open at 6:30)

Meridian High School Auditorium
194 W Laurel Rd, Bellingham, WA 98226

The event will be broadcast live on KGMI Radio AM 790.

Mike Kent, Host of KGMI’s Radio Real Estate, will moderate.

The November 2017 election will significantly influence Whatcom’s future.  Farms, jobs, property values, taxes, development, environmental regulation, affordable housing, and the Hirst decision are just a few important issues facing our citizens. Candidates will be asked specific questions on local concerns.

Proud sponsors are: Whatcom County Association of Realtors, Whatcom Farm Bureau, Whatcom County Cattleman’s Association, Whatcom Family Farmers, Association of General Contractors, Builders’ Industry Association of Whatcom County, Common Threads Northwest, Whatcom Business Alliance, Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights, and The 4th Corner.

These organizations represent many Whatcom County voters and businesses.  We expect a high turn-out in the most important forum this local election cycle.

The organizers are committed to a professional, non-partisan, respectful, positive educational event for all candidates and participants.

Let’s participate, inform and encourage educated voters to better our community!

For further information contact any sponsor organization or the Whatcom Business Alliance, 360-746-0411/Common Threads NW, 360-739-6473.

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What can you do to protect your business during a protest?

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The WBA and its board members wish to thank the representatives from the Bellingham Police Department who attended the meeting: neighborhood officers Dante Alexander and Eric Osterkamp, Patrol Lieutenants Don Almer and Jason Monson and Deputy Police Chief Dave Doll. We appreciate the sacrifices our law enforcement agencies make to keep us and our businesses safe.

Protecting your Business During a Public Demonstration/ Riot: What can you do.

  • When you hear of an upcoming protest that could affect your business, hire off-duty police or private security – law enforcement presence can be a deterrent
  • If the demonstration remains peaceful and on public property, as a business owner, you are confined to monitoring the situation
  • If a demonstration on public property turns violent, report it to the police
  • If demonstrators enter private property – communicate to the group the parameters in which they will be allowed to continue their protest on your property, or demand the protesters leave and if they do not leave, contact the police
  • Send your employees home and/or close your business to help ensure personal safety of non-protestors
  • Act as monitor for your business – keep an eye on protestors, make notes of any person who is acting in a threatening manner or damages property and report them to police when they arrive
  • When the police arrive, you can request they remain on site to monitor the demonstration or request they initiate criminal trespass proceedings
  • Note: if you request police presence to monitor the demonstration, they will have to leave if they are needed to respond to a call.

Bellingham Police say communication and cooperation are Key

With the increase in both frequency and intensity of demonstrations by a variety of civic and social justice groups in Whatcom County, the Whatcom Business Alliance (WBA) invited representatives of the Bellingham Police Department to attend its September board meeting to discuss a business’s rights during a demonstration.

The meeting was both informational and insightful, and it was apparent that communication is key for all parties to ensure the safety of everyone involved. However, we were surprised to learn law enforcement cannot show up and forcibly remove demonstrators from private property unless the business owner chooses to press charges for criminal trespass. Without the cooperation of the business owner, law enforcement’s hands are tied unless demonstrators cause active harm or engage in destruction of property.

Patrol Lt. Don Almer, a 22-year veteran who has served in a variety of tactical positions including the SWAT team, bomb squad and the civil disturbance unit, explained that when the department hears about an upcoming demonstration, they will inform any targeted business and will engage in dialog with the protesters to open lines of communication, including where they will be demonstrating, for how long and what their goals are.

“While some cities still take a hardline approach, Bellingham is different,” said Lt. Almer. “The protesters tend to be different, with 99% conducting peaceful demonstrations, getting their message out there, then leaving the site fairly quickly. Communicating prior to the event generally helps keep things peaceful. Hardline approaches can actually inflame a situation, because sometimes conflict is what protesters want.”

Though permits are required by the City of Bellingham, not all organizers will apply for one. Not having a permit is a civil infraction, which the police department can’t enforce. So as long as a demonstration is peaceful and is held on public property, police are restricted to the role of monitor.

That changes if the demonstrators intrude on private property, such as the recent protests at Puget Sound Energy and US Bank, which then gives the business owner the right to contact the police and request demonstrators be charged with criminal trespass and forcibly removed from the premises.

Criminal trespass is committed when a person enters or remains on another’s property without the owner’s consent. A person charged with criminal trespass will be arrested, and can be barred from entering the business for a set period of time or even indefinitely. The length of time is at the business owner’s discretion.

Lt. Almer noted, “Once granted the authority, we will give the demonstrators the opportunity to leave voluntarily. Many do. Those that don’t, it is then a crime, and we can then forcibly remove them. Without explicit authority from the business to trespass, it would violate the protester’s civil rights to forcibly remove them from the premises.”

Unfortunately, most businesses in Bellingham choose not to initiate criminal trespass proceedings because of concerns about negative press or the lengthy process for law enforcement to respond, corral and arrest lawbreakers. Often businesses that do initiate trespass proceedings end up dropping the charges because they do not want to participate in the prosecution proceedings.

“It can be frustrating, because it takes a lot of time for the crisis disturbance unit to come in and make arrests,” explained Deputy Police Chief Dave Doll. “Then charges get dropped later. There’s no accountability, and it emboldens the protesters. We need your support from arrest through prosecution to make a difference in the long term.”

The WBA and its board members wish to thank the representatives from the Bellingham Police Department who attended the meeting: neighborhood officers Dante Alexander and Eric Osterkamp, Patrol Lieutenants Don Almer and Jason Monson and Deputy Police Chief Dave Doll. We appreciate the sacrifices our law enforcement agencies make to keep us and our businesses safe.

What can you do to protect your business during a protest?

  • When you hear of an upcoming protest that could affect your business, hire off-duty police or private security – law enforcement presence can be a deterrent
  • If the demonstration remains peaceful and on public property, as a business owner, you are confined to monitoring the situation
  • If a demonstration on public property turns violent, report it to the police
  • If demonstrators enter private property – communicate to the group the parameters in which they will be allowed to continue their protest on your property, or demand the protesters leave and if they do not leave, contact the police
  • Send your employees home and/or close your business to help ensure personal safety of non-protestors
  • Act as monitor for your business – keep an eye on protestors, make notes of any person who is acting in a threatening manner or damages property and report them to police when they arrive
  • When the police arrive, you can request they remain on site to monitor the demonstration or request they initiate criminal trespass proceedings
  • Note: if you request police presence to monitor the demonstration, they will have to leave if they are needed to respond to a call.
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WBA Welcomes its Newest Members!

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On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the Whatcom Business Alliance (WBA), thank you for joining our growing business leadership network. We are committed to improving Whatcom County’s business climate and quality of life by facilitating business success, community prosperity and advocating on behalf of local business.

All of us at Whatcom Business Alliance wish to thank its newest member organizations.

Benchmark Document Solutions
Superfeet
E-Resources, LLC
Bellingham WP
Veritas Media Productions
Whatcom Land Title
Praise 106.5
Blackburn Office Interiors
Opportunity Northwest
Admiral Inc
Bellingar Storage
Veritiv
Muraski Legal PLLC
Mary Kay Robinson
Cascadia Northwest
LaQuinta Inn
Anvil Corp
Steelhead LNG
Key Bank
1st Class Auto Body
Alpha Tech
Axiom Construction
Whatcom Talk
Lynden Sheet Metal
Trico Office Interiors
Primac
Mark Bratt
Multop Financial
2020 Engineering
Lynden Lube and Auto
Elenbaas Company Inc
Raptor Group
Granite Construction
DeKoster Excavating
AECOM
Manpower
WAECOMM
Pederson Bros
Ritter Project Management
Colacurcio Brothers Construction
Gateway Centre Executive Suites
Titanium Respiratory Questionnaire
Åvenue Bread
Turner HR Services

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Peoples Bank Announces Changes to Senior Leadership Team

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Bellingham, WA – September 19, 2017 – Peoples Bank, a locally owned and operated, independent full-service community bank with over $1.6 billion in assets, today announced personnel changes to the company’s executive team and senior leadership.

  • Michelle Barrett was promoted to Executive Vice President, Chief Retail Banking Officer. Barrett will lead the strategic direction and administration of the Retail Division, while continuing to oversee the Human Resources Department.
  • Chris Neros was promoted to Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Lending Officer. In this role, he will assume full responsibility for the Commercial Lending Division, and all credit-related responsibilities as they pertain to asset quality, risk management, special assets administration, policy and procedures, and regulatory compliance.
  • Andy Pohlman was promoted to Senior Vice President, Director of Retail Production, and will focus on delivery of the Bank’s full relationship banking products and services offered through the retail branches, and revenue generation areas of the Retail Division. Peoples Bank’s Marine Lending team will also report into the Retail Division moving forward.
  • Derek Thornton was promoted to Senior Vice President, Director of Finance and Accounting. Thornton continues to expand his leadership role within the bank, providing valuable contributions to financial and strategic management.
  • Jennifer Evans-Thompson will lead the Mortgage Division on an interim basis, in addition to her responsibilities as Director of Operations.

“Change brings opportunity, and I am pleased to announce a series of promotions and job responsibility changes,” said Charles LeCocq, Peoples Bank Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. “These individuals bring strategic leadership, long-standing dedication to the financial needs of our customers, and deep commitment to delivering outstanding service. I am confident that our organizational structure will serve us well in the years to come and that our leaders are well-positioned to help Peoples Bank continue to grow responsibly and ensure our future success.”

About Peoples Bank
Headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, Peoples Bank was founded in 1921 and operates 25 branches located throughout Washington. In its most recent rating, Bauer Financial, a leading independent bank rating firm, awarded Peoples Bank a superior rating of five stars. This rating recognizes Peoples Bank’s strong financial management practices, dedicated employees and long-standing customer relationships.

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News

Port of Bellingham

BELLINGHAM, WA (Friday, September 8, 2017) Major construction activity is nearly complete on Itek Energy’s new 48,000-square-foot solar panel manufacturing plant on Bellingham’s downtown waterfront.  Itek is set to move into their new facility and begin manufacturing solar panels by the end of the month.

Itek has experienced strong demand for their efficient, high-quality solar panels since starting production in the Irongate neighborhood in 2011.  Last year, Itek purchased property from the Port of Bellingham as part of a $6 million project to convert a former pulp and tissue warehouse into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.  The new solar plant will add approximately 30 jobs to Itek’s existing operations, moving up to 125 jobs to Bellingham’s downtown core and significantly strengthening the local economy.

“Itek Energy is a tremendous local success story,” said Port Commission President Dan Robbins.   “The Port sold property to Itek to stimulate job growth and it’s wonderful to see all of the construction jobs this project is creating as well as new manufacturing opportunities for Whatcom County residents.”

While changes to the exterior of the former pulp and tissue warehouse have been highly visible with new windows, siding and a roof; it is the hum of new, state-of-the-art equipment inside which is most exciting to the owner of the local company.  “We have installed the most advanced solar panel manufacturing equipment in the world,” said Itek Founder and CEO, John Flanagan.   “We now have the capacity to produce up to 200 megawatts of highly efficient panels per year.  Solar panel manufacturing has never been done to this scale in the State of Washington.”

When Itek’s new factory is up and running later this month, raw materials will be delivered by truck to the north side of the building, assembled into solar panels and then shipped out as finished product from the south side of the building.  Some of the most sophisticated machinery in the world will allow Itek to produce a large volume of high quality panels in a relatively small footprint.  For example, Itek’s new stringer machine will solder-connect two solar cells in 1.71 seconds—the fastest system in the world.

Increasing production capacity is necessary to meet escalating demand in Washington, Oregon and California, as well as emerging east coast and international markets.  In Washington, legislation extending solar incentives to homeowners and businesses for eight years was signed into law this summer.  “The U.S. solar market had it biggest year ever in 2016, and is projected to nearly triple in size over the next five years’” said Flanagan.

Itek will keep their Irongate facility to manufacture custom products with unique sizes and applications.  “We have many customers interested in fabricating innovative solar products and technologies, and our Irongate facility will help us service this demand,” said Flanagan.

Itek’s new manufacturing plant is located within the Port’s 237-acre downtown waterfront redevelopment area.  Construction on the first new roads and park in the downtown waterfront are scheduled to begin next month, and the Port’s private development partner recently announced plans to build four large scale projects within the next several years.

“We are excited to be part of the downtown waterfront redevelopment effort,” said Flanagan.  “It is an amazing place to live, work and play.  Bellingham’s central waterfront has some unique clean energy resources, including our new facility, which could eventually form a clean-tech innovation hub and create a significant number of jobs related to manufacturing, research and education.”

Clean energy resources on the waterfront include the planned installation of district utility systems, waste heat from Puget Sound Energy’s Encogen station which could be reused to help power a district heating system, and a surplus 48-inch water main extending from Lake Whatcom to the waterfront which could be used to generate hydropower.  Western Washington University’s Institute for Energy Studies is ideally situated to provide education in the area of clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Clean technology is rapidly developing into an important part of the national economy with over 2.7 million workers in the U.S.  Nearly 260,000 Americans work in solar – more than double the number in 2012 – at more than 9,000 companies in every state.

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