Archive for October, 2010
Here’s a press release from Whatcom Women in Business, announcing its Professional Woman of the Year award:
Whatcom Women in Business is proud to announce that its 28th Annual Professional Woman of the Year award has been awarded to Nancy Ivarinen.
This prestigious award recognizes the contributions of women through their leadership, mentorship, business acumen, ethics, and community involvement. Nancy is a staff attorney with Northwest Justice Project, providing legal advocacy to low-income victims of abuse or domestic violence, and the Paralegal Studies Program Director and Instructor at Whatcom Community College. She is the first attorney to ever win this award.
Whatcom Women in Business would also like to honor its Member of the Year, Melinda Shenk. Melinda established Marianne’s House in 2005, a local day activity center for adults with developmental disabilities (DD), named in memory of her sister Marianne who had a special love for the DD community. Melinda has been a member of Whatcom Women in Business for the past two years, and has chaired its annual fundraising event for the past two years. She has recently made a career change and returned to school to pursue a paralegal degree.
For more information about Whatcom Women in Business, go to www.wwib.org.
Here are some interesting tidbits I found looking through the latest building permit applications from the City of Bellingham:
– Back CountryEssentials at 214 W. Holly St. has been approved to convert its second floor storage area into a retail space.
– A tenant improvement permit has been submited for work at 2200 Rimland Drive, Suite 104. The company moving into the space is called Free Flow Power.
– In the former Adventures Down Under building at 701 E. Holly St., Whatcom Educational Credit Union has submitted plans to convert the space into offices.
– At 2612 Maplewood Ave., near the Albertsons retail center, there’s a permit application to put in a La Gloria Market & Deli in the retail space.
– At 410 W. Bakerview Road, Suite 116 (Bakerview Square), there’s a permit application to put in a new church.
Below is an annoucement from the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce about a potential merger with the Northwest Economic Council: The information below is taken from the Chamber’s e-newsletter, signed by chamber President Ken Oplinger and Chairperson of the Board Christine Palmerton:
Chamber Explores New Opportunity to Improve the Voice of Whatcom County Businesses
Valued Chamber Members:
Your Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry is proud of the work we do on your behalf every day. Our efforts to Promote the Community, Provide Networking Opportunities and Speak with Government on Your Behalf have provided outstanding wins for us all over the years. From lifting the Large Retail Ban to creating the Enhanced Drivers License. From providing the largest business networking event in the County to restarting the Leadership Whatcom Program. From helping fight to preserve jobs in Whatcom County to leading statewide efforts to provide you a choice in your Workers Comp coverage. Time and time again, we are actively working to help ensure your business, and our region of the state, are profitable and business-friendly.
I went to an interesting City Club meeting earlier today at Bellingham’s Northwood Hall, featuring Brad Williamson, director of Washington Department of Financial Institution’s Division of Banks. He talked about the banking industry in this state and its future. Here’s the (link) to the article.
Because I write for both the print and the online editions, the article has to be a certain length. I wanted to add some other ideas expressed at the meeting that I couldn’t fit into the story:
– Williamson talked about why construction loans (which has gotten quite a few banks in trouble) are much riskier than many other types of loans. When a bank lends out money for a construction project, it could be years before it starts getting paid back because the project needs to be built, then leased. So unbuilt/undeveloped projects mean the bank usually has to write off most or the entire loan.
– Why are banks attracted to construction loans? While riskier, they are also hugely profitable, Williamson said. They have a high return with less work than some other types of loans.
– There could have been less bank failures if more private equity investment was allowed, but government regulators were wary because that was part of the problem with the savings and loan crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Private equity is generally involved for short-term profits, and banks need longer term solutions.
– Bruce Clawson of Banner Bank was also a speaker at City Club, and he provided some insight about the Whatcom County. In addressing a question about the lack of lending taking place right now, he said it boils down to three issues:
1. Standards are tighter to get a loan;
2. Applicants are less credit-worthy because the recession has brought down credit scores in a variety of ways;
3. Businesses that are eligible for a loan are reluctant to take on more debt for expansion until they have more confidence in the economy.
I’ll post more information about the meeting (including some stats) in future posts.
Anytime Fitness has signed a lease for space in Hannegan Business Plaza at Hinote‘s Corner near Lynden.
Anytime Fitness will develop a 5,000-square-foot exercise facility in the retail center, which is near the intersection of Hannegan and Pole roads. With construction under way, the club will be open for business within the next 60 days, according to a company press release.
“Anytime Fitness offers a convenient and affordable exercise option for the area,” said Mike Hoefer, club owner, in a press release. “We believe our 24-hour co-ed fitness club will be a great addition to the county.”
At Anytime Fitness, members can workout any time of the day or night, every day of the year. They use a security-access key to enter the club, even when it is not staffed. Once inside, members have full use of strength training and cardiovascular equipment. Anytime Fitness also offers 24-hour tanning and membership reciprocity among its clubs, which allows members to use any of the more than 1,000 clubs that are currently open in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
To reserve an Anytime Fitness membership or to find out more about the club, call 360-306-8668, or e-mail Lynfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notices (WARN) for Icicle Seafoods in Seattle:
Company: Icicle Seafoods, Inc. (Seattle) will lay off 83 employees,
effective December 20, 2010
Date of Notification: October 21, 2010
The Seattle Times provides some details about this development. Here is the (link)
This past summer Icicle sold its facility in Bellingham to Trident Seafoods.
One is Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen, the other is retired businessman R. Chad Dreier. Details below from two Western Washington University press releases:
– Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen will speak at Western Washington University from 10-11:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 3 in the Science Lecture Building Room 110. The event is free and open to the public.
Blethen’s presentation, “Can We Save America’s 223-year Experiment in Democracy?” will address free, diverse and independent press in a democratic society, the dangers of a democracy without independent journalism and the current state of print media. The event is co-sponsored by WWU’s Huxley College of the Environment and the Department of Journalism.
Blethen is a strong advocate for independent journalism, family-owned businesses and is a long-time active participant in the national grass-roots movement in opposition to newspaper and media consolidation. The Seattle Times is the second largest newspaper on the West Coast, and one of the country’s last independent and locally owned newspapers. It has been owned by the Blethen family for 114 years.
The Times has won eight Pulitzer Prizes and has been a Pulitzer finalist 15 other times since 1990. The paper recently won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting on the shooting deaths of four Lakewood police officers in Nov. 2009 and the 40-hour manhunt for the suspect. For more information on Blethen’s presentation, contact Manca Valum at (360) 650-6542 or Manca.Valum@wwu.edu.
– Western Washington University’s College of Business and Economics will host R. Chad Dreier as part of its Ethics and Social Responsibility Executive Speaker Series from 3-4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5 in Academic Instructional Center West Room 204 on the WWU campus. The presentation is free and open to the public.
In 2009, Dreier retired as president and CEO of The Ryland Group. Dreier earned his degree in accounting from Loyola Marymount University in 1969; he was a CPA and auditor for Ernst & Young and in 1986, was named CFO for Kaufman & Broad, now known as KB Homes. In 1993, he was elected president and CEO of Ryland and was named chairman in December 1994. Under Dreier’s leadership, Ryland became the nation’s 11th-largest developer and homebuilder, serving 28 markets in 18 states and the District of Columbia.
Dreier has served as chairman of the Loyola Marymount University Board of Trustees; director of Occidental Petroleum Corp.; director of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies; and is a member of the Public Home Builders’ Council of America and the California Business Roundtable.
The WWU College of Business and Economics (CBE) Ethics and Social Responsibility Executive Speaker Series program brings senior business leaders to campus to interact with students and share their perspectives concerning ethics, social responsibility, leadership, and professional development. The series is presented by the CBE’s Center for Excellence in Management Education.
For more information contact CBE’s Craig Tyran at (360) 650-2207.
Hart Hodges (director of the Center for Economics and Business Research at WWU) is working with the Northwest Economic Council on a research project to help develop a regional economic strategy. It’s in the early stages, and the center is gathering some of its information through surveys and interviews.
The survey is active through Wednesday, Nov. 10 and can be accessed through this (link)
Yesterday I was out of the office dealing with school early-release day, so I’m playing a little bit of catch-up today. Here are a few biz tidbits to start with:
– The Toys R Us Express and Yankee Candle stores are now open at Bellis Fair. Toys R Us is in the Sears wing, while Yankee Candle is in the main area near Abrecrombie & Fitch.
– Bistro on Magnolia Street is now open for dinner. It will be serving dinner 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (later on Friday and Saturday, depending on demand). The Bistro opened earlier this month for breakfast and lunch in the former Nona Rosa’s Ristorante spot, on Magnolia Street near the Railroad Avenue intersection.
This makes 139 so far in 2010…
No. 137: First Suburban National Bank of Maywood, Ill. was closed, taken over by Seaway Bank of Chicago. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $31.4 million
No. 138 Hillcrest Bank of Overaland Park, Kan. was closed, then taken over by Hillcrest Bank National Association. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $329.7 million.
No. 139: First Arizona Savings of Scottsdale, Ariz. was shut down, with no bank taking it over. Estimated cost to the FDIC: $32.8 million.