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2010 40 Under Forty Winners
Congratulations — 40 Under Forty Class of 2010
Drawn from a pool of more than 75 nominees, the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal takes great pleasure in introducing you to the “40 Under Forty” Class of 2010.
Our distinguished panel of judges selected 40 of the Kitsap Peninsula’s best, brightest, and most outstanding individuals under the age of 40, who were nominated for this very special honor by community leaders, elected officials, and local businesspeople, as well as past 40 Under 40 honorees. As we have done for the past six years, this very special group was selected based on their career success, community involvement, and personal commitment to making a difference in our community.
These outstanding young men and women represent the cream of the crop of the Kitsap Peninsula’s upcoming generation of future business leaders, elected officials, and community activists. As they take the helm of leadership, they will not only influence, but and in many cases, actually be the people charting our course and making the decisions that impact the future of the Kitsap Peninsula and its growth. It is our pleasure to recognize them for the contributions they are already making.
We thank our judges, State Representative Christine Rolfes, Doña Keating, president and CEO of Professional Options, and Shawn Cuccardi, co-owner of McCormick Woods Golf and Country Club — and a 40 Under 40 alumnus.
Thank you to our sponsors:
- Harrison Medical Center
- Bank of America Home Loans
- The Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort
- Betty Skinner Insurance: Allstate
- Printing Services, commemorative program
- West Sound Workforce, logistics
- Custom Picture Framing, framed awards
Special thanks to our keynote speaker, 26th Legistlative District Senator Derek Kimler — another past 40 Under Forty Honoree.
How Our Honorees Earned Their First Dollar
From odd jobs as children, to first jobs as teenagers, earning their first dollar is one of those lifetime memories that the 2010 class enjoyed sharing.
Car washes, lemonade stands and lawn mowing were among the most popular “first dollar” stories.
Astrid Aveledo had one of the most unique stories. When she was about 7, she and two other little girls teamed up to buy candy in bulk. In turn they sold candy at a premium to other kids in their apartment complex — and they ate the profit.
Chelsea Grace was paid in ice cream for helping her dad haul wood or do yard work.
Officer Andy Brandon earned his first dollar painting houses in Issaquah, commuting every day from Port Orchard.
Desiree Bessette earned her first dollar performing Mozart, Debussy, and DeVienne songs on the flute.
Lisa Foster’s first “official” dollar came from the Yacht Club Broiler in Silverdale, while Ryan George earned his first dollar with a shovel in a ditch.
Karina Gordievich earned her first dollar delivering newspapers for The Sun, as did Clayton Lynch. Paula Graf earned her first dollar working at Sluy’s Bakery in Poulsbo.
Picking strawberries was Jeffrey Mead’s first earned dollar — and he was paid by the flat!
Tom Jacobs’s first dollar came from babysitting neighborhood children, as did Debbie Nazarino. Debbie later became the nation’s youngest Tupperware dealer at age 14.
Stacey Price started early: At the age of 5, her mother (who worked at a cosmetic factory) brought home defective jewels (rejected for the cosmetic cases). She began hot gluing pins to the backs of them and sold them for 25¢ during recess to girls in her first grade class. This was followed by lemonade stands and garage sales. By the age of 10, she had two paper routes.
Kol Medina collected aluminum cans from dumpsters, turning them in at a recycling center, then moved on to newspaper delivery — while Angie Powell earned her first dollar detassling corn.
Jeremy Southerland’s first job was in a hat shop at Six Flags over Texas; Andrea Spencer worked as a cashier at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Trish Tierney, at age 5, sold her toys at a neighbor’s garage sale. And interestingly Ty Walker sold sticks and rocks to passersby when he was 6 years old.
Matthew Zawlocki’s first dollar came from a construction job. Friends of his parents were looking for someone to help clean-up the work site, so Matthew spent his weekends sweeping, picking-up wood scraps, digging and backfilling — keeping out of trouble all summer.
Ali Keys earned her first dollar sifting the rocks out of her mother’s garden at 25 cents a bucket.
Ken Bagwell started his young career working for a neighboring farmer when he was 10 years old — feeding calves, hauling hay and cleaning stalls. April Mills also earned her first dollar on a farm, helping her uncle with his cows. Brad Smith earned his first dollar at the age of 12 working on a local ranch, bucking haybales. With his first check, he bought a pig, sold the pig, then bought two more — and continued to do this as a way to make money. Jeff Weis also baled hay, working for several neighboring farmers.
Our honorees have had an array of unique and entertaining ways that they made their first dollar. In the end, the all learned the value of hard work and have shared that lesson along the way, by their accomplishments.
Common Threads That Bind
Family, community service, learning the value of a dollar and the satisfaction of a job well done. These are among the common threads that run through many of the 40 Under Forty nomination forms.
A number of 40 Under Forty honorees cited Rotary, Leadership Kitsap, Relay for Life, helping children, and concerns for the environment as their passions. Rotary for offering the opportunity to not only give back to the community but to help those in need in other places in the world. Relay for Life demonstrated a unique sense of community, camaraderie and the absolute personification of hope, while raising money for cancer research.
And there are other passions as well, most of which have been forged by exceptional and personal life experiences.
Kenneth Bagwell wants to continue to challenge himself and along the way find success in a good family, good friends, and a reputation for having integrity.
Desiree Bessette wrote that her parents had a reputation of integrity that was respected by all who knew them. She says, “Anything I’ve accomplished is by the sheer drive and genuine spirit that they have taught me.”
Monica Blackwood believes it is important to share what she knows and has experienced so other may benefit.
Officer Andy Brandon is currently placed in the schools and contributes to making it a safer place for his children to grow up and receive a proper education. Andy also ran the 2010 Chief for a Day program — locating terminally ill or severely disabled children and finding ways to brighten their lives.
Matthew Coates is a leader in sustainable design in architecture. He was the first architect to achieve LEED Platinum status on a residential project in Washington, outside the city of Seattle. He volunteers on Bainbridge Public Art Committee and is a board member of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, believing it’s important to preserve and create a natural and artistic environment.
Maria Finch, in addition to raising her own young family, has helped establish the over 4.5 million dollar childcare center on Naval Base Kitsap, to help the work-life balance of civilians at PSNS and IMF.
Lisa Foster was the first in her family to graduate from college. Her talented and hardworking mother taught Lisa the importance of hard work and she always pushed Lisa to do her best. Graduating from college and law school was not only one of Lisa’s proudest moments, but her mother’s as well.
Ryan George was also the first in his family to graduate from college. He likes to help out the local Boy Scouts and hopes to provide more job opportunities for tribal and community members.
Paula Graf volunteers at Washington CASH — helping coach and mentor future business owners and East Bremerton Rotary.
Karina Gordievich believes that mentoring her piano students, showing them that even during difficult times, with the support of a caring teacher, they can feel proud of the progress they make with determination.
Chelsea Grace helped to start the Green Team — with a mission to reduce the impact that PSNS and IMF have on the environment. She also volunteers as a Girl Scout leader, helping young women build courage, confidence and character.
Nam-Phuong Hong contributes to various Vietnamese organizations that set up water supplies, provide medical care and feed remote villages in Vietnam.
April Leigh is passionate about supporting causes that contribute to the battle against cancer: North Kitsap Relay for Life and the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk.
Marleen Madding, in addition to sponsoring fundraising programs for many youth groups, is passionate about the Kitsap Humane Society. She and her daughter volunteer, working with pets that no longer have a home, providing time out of the kennels.
Jeffrey Mead believes it is the duty as citizens of the country to get involved with community service organizations. He especially enjoys giving his time to those whose focus is helping children succeed, like Kiwanis and Optimists.
Teamwork — timeline was tight and the work on the USS George Washington fire repair was stressful, but Jenna McGrath saw firsthand what a great team can accomplish in a short time.
West Sound Wildlife Shelter has saved the lives of thousands of injured wild animals. As the executive director, Stacey Price is proud to have grown the organization into a thriving non-profit, touching the lives of over 20,000 people through educational presentations and counseling.
In January 2010, April Mills, an engineer at PSNS, started engine-for-change.com. A web-blog devoted to helping people learn to make true, positive and essential changes to their organizations, community and life.
Brad Smith joined Rotary 6 1/2 years ago, because it’s a service-orientated club that does so much good for the world, as well as his local community.
In addition to volunteering with United Way, Habitat for Humanity and KCR, Jeremy Southerland films the Puma’s games. He believes the Pumas are a huge asset to the community and enjoys helping them become successful.
Andrea Spencer is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Kitsap. She believes LK contributes a significant amount of servant leadership in Kitsap County and makes a huge impact on the lives of many individuals.
Rachel Strohmeyer volunteers as Kitsap Humane Society — noting it not only benefits animals but humans, as well. She also volunteers at her son’s elementary school, believing a strong educational foundation is important for future success.
Trish Tierney was also the first person in her family to graduate from college. She is involved with the Literacy Council because she believes that everyone has a right to an education, saying, “I cannot imagine having difficulty reading.”
Ty Walker contributes regularly to the Boy Scouts of America. He was an Eagle Scout and understands the importance of the BSA program.
After struggling with college math, Jeff Weis, faced the issue everyone told him would derail his dream of become an architect, Calculus. He sought help and hit the books as hard as he could. His final grade was an A. This experience taught Jeff the value of perseverance and positive mentorship.
These were the type of life lessons and experiences that all of our honorees shared, moments that helped shape them into the successful people they are today. It was that moment when they decided to step out, not knowing where the road would lead or what obstacles they would encounter, that separates them from being a leader or a follower.
The 2010 40 Under Forty Winners
Submarine Project Business Agent, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Brett graduated from Western Washington University in 2003, entering apprenticeship as a Production Machinery Mechanic at PSNS. He focused on becoming the “go to guy” and began to lead jobs and teach other apprentices to repair machines. In his 3rd year, he became the Apprentice Association President, and was later selected to the Strategic Planning Board of PSNS and IMF — the only member not a Captain or Department Head. Shortly after graduating, he became a crew supervisor, was promoted to Workload and Resource Report Forecaster, becoming a lead after 9 months until being promoted to his current position. He is most proud of being Apprentice Association President, restoring respectability and growing its membership. Most people would be surprised to learn in Brett’s spare time he builds custom hot rods. His last car is being featured in some popular car magazines, and will be displayed this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. His community service includes coaching kids soccer, serving adjunct faculty for OC, and tutoring after hours class for apprentices.
Assistant City Engineer/Stormwater Management, City of Port Orchard
As assistant City Engineer, Andrea oversees water, sewer and stormwater compliance as well as maintaining roads. She began her career as an intern, moved to a full-time position with a water district, then took a job in Shelton as a Civil Engineer, until accepting her current position. She earned her Professional Engineer’s license prior to age 30 — her most proud accomplishment — while working full-time building a federally compliant stormwater program for the City of Port Orchard. Andrea earned first dollar as an intern for a Water District while completing college. Most people would be surprised to learn she values honesty, hard work, and treating others with respect. Andrea credits the Homebuilder’s Association, WSDOT, and the West Sound Stormwater Manager’s Group with contributing to her success.
Legal Office Manager and Board Coordinator, Port Madison Enterprises
Astrid works for Port Madison Enterprises (PME) the Suquamish Tribal agency tasked with economic development. She has participated in the growth of a thriving, diversified, tribal enterprise, which includes the Suquamish Clearwater Casino, Kiana Lodge, White Horse Golf Course, Agate Pass Business Park, along with Construction, Property Management and Retail Divisions. In true entrepreneurial fashion, Astrid earned her first dollar partnering with two other girls to buy candy in bulk and sell it at a profit to other kids in her building. Most people would be surprised to learn she was born into both cultural and economic diversity, giving her an appreciation of differing viewpoints and lifestyles. That drives her passion for community service, which has primarily been with El Centro de la Raza, an organization she came to know at 15. She is currently a member of its Annual Banquet Procurement Committee and a team preparing a report on recommended guidelines for development of a mentorship program.
Attorney and Partner, Buskirk Law PLLC
Buskirk Law PLLC is a full-service legal firm, with services ranging from family law to estate planning and probate, criminal defense, civil litigation, business and municipal representation. Most of Ken’s career has been in the public sector, but his road to personal growth has taken him into private practice because he believes “challenge” provides opportunities to make ourselves better. He is most proud of his daughter Abby and my two bonus daughters, Kjersten and Elle, making good choices. Ken earned his first dollar feeding calves, hauling hay, and cleaning stalls for a neighboring farmer at 10 years-old. Most people would be surprised to learn Ken wishes he had chosen to be a veterinarian instead of a lawyer. He’s been very involved with Leadership Kitsap since 2005, serving as President of its Board last year.
Owner, Unique Tops, Inc.
Unique Tops, Inc. fabricates and installs stone countertops, corbels, doorjambs and windowsills. Allen walks clients through the entire process, from picking out slabs, to the edge details. The company crafts all its pieces by hand, and does complete installations, for custom homes, remodels, and commercial jobs. Allen gains a tremendous level of personal satisfaction from taking a customer from their original vision, to the final installed product. Allen is proud of conquering some personal hurdles and continuing to grow his business in this brutal economy. Most people would be surprised to learn Allen originally planned to wear a suit and tie to work every day, and become an accountant. Allen is focused on growing his business, and taking care of his 6 year-old daughter, spending all the spare time he can get with her.
Owner, Kitsap County Wellness
Kyle fell in love with sports medicine at Olympic High School, going on to Pepperdine University and earning a degree in it. He then worked in physical therapy and as a personal trainer for 3 years before entering Chiropractic school. Since graduating in 2006, he has owned and operated four different successful chiropractic clinics around the greater Seattle area. When the opportunity arose last year to return closer to home and practice, he simply couldn’t pass it up. Kyle is extremely proud of his ability to grow multiple clinics to very successful levels in a short amount of time while maintaining a personable, loving and caring attitude. People would be surprised to learn he plays the guitar and recently started a band with friends. His community service includes raising money for Eastside domestic violence and Camp Korey, along with East Bremerton Rotary.
Utility Accounting Assistant II, City of Port Orchard
Specializing in storm utility billing, Desiree uniquely understands her role as “public servant.” Not only does she work with numbers, but interfaces with citizens and other departments, researching details of every property parcel in the city. Recognized as Employee of the Quarter earlier this year, she credits the environment those around her create that brings out her best. Raised by a self-employed diesel mechanic and a stained glass artist gave her a strong work ethic. At 15 she was working as a jeweler’s assistant, and at 17, in retail management with responsibility for payroll, scheduling, and daily financials. Married at 18, she managed finances and employees in the family construction company. Later, as a customer service agent with Horizon Air, Desiree’s peers honored her as the employee with the most heart and the most integrity. Most people are surprised to learn of her music background. Her goals include introducing her children to serving their community.
Principal/Director of Business Operations, Rice Fergus Miller Architecture and Planning
Rice Fergus Miller is an architecture, interior design and planning firm focused regionally and nationally on Fire and Emergency Services, Community Facilities, Health Care and Senior Housing, and now beginning to build a hospitality-focused market. Monica began her career as a paid intern with the Tacoma Rainiers Baseball Club, which later became a full time position. She moved to the marketing department at Paladin Data Systems, and then to a newly created marketing position at Rice Fergus Miller. Most people would be surprised to learn Monica is actually very shy. She is proud of her children and her community service, which includes sitting on the Business Management Advisory Committee at Olympic College, Compassionate Friends, an organization supporting parents who have lost children, Kitsap County Commission on Youth and Children, Holly Ridge Center, where she is Secretary of the Board, Armed Forces Day Ambassador Program, and as an active volunteer for United Way, leading the firm’s team for the Day of Caring.
Police and School Resource Officer, Port Orchard Police Department
Andrew began by working at small local businesses while attending South Kitsap High School, and later, DeVry University. He began his law enforcement career with the Seattle Police department. He returned closer to home and family, joining the Bremerton Police department, where he was part of the bike patrol unit, until joining the Port Orchard P.D. Andrew is proud of being the department’s School Resource Officer, allowing him to contribute to making it a safer place for his children to grow up and receive a proper education. Most folks would be surprised to learn that working in the South Kitsap school district, students find it surprising he attended South. Besides being involved with his kids’ sports activities, Andrew’s civic activities include organizing the local Chief for a Day program, which consists of locating a child who is terminally ill or suffers from a severe physical disability. His department, along with 21 others, take the children and find ways to brighten and celebrate their lives.
Owner, Coates Design Architects
Coates Design Architects is an architectural design company located on Bainbridge Island. The company specializes in sustainable design of residential as well as commercial projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. Matthew worked for large architecture firms in Seattle for 10 years assisting with the design of large, high-profile projects around the world such as the Moscow International Airport, Boston Logan terminal, and the Gates Foundation headquarters. He founded Coates Design Architects in 2004, growing the firm from 3 to 9 employees currently. Matthew is very proud of his work on the Bainbridge Art Museum board in helping them to design a new facility to be open to the public by Summer 2012. His community service includes being active as a volunteer in the Public Art Committee for Bainbridge Island as well as a board member of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust.
Nuclear Engineer, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
For the past 10 years Maria has worked on everything from refueling submarines to project management at PSNS and IMF. Besides raising her own young family, she is proud of leading the effort to establish a $4.5 million DOD child and youth center at Naval Base Kitsap to help better the work-life balance of civilians at PSNS and IMF. She earned her first dollar doing chores at home ranging from mowing lawns to cleaning toilets, being paid when those responsibilities were complete. It would surprise folks to know Maria used to be a cowgirl riding horses in parades and raising pigs for 4-H and FFA events. Her community service activities include membership in the Naval Civilian Managers Association Give Back Committee, and co-leading the Professional Women’s Employee Network team for the March of Dimes March for Babies this past spring.
Associate Attorney, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Lisa is an attorney for the Office of General Counsel at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Her job is similar to being an in-house counsel at a large corporation. She deals with a wide variety of legal issues, working primarily in the area of Government contract law. However, she provides legal advice to the Command on issues, including, ethics, civilian personnel, and environmental law. Lisa is extremely proud of being the first person in her family to graduate from college, and later law school. Her community service includes being a board member at Kitsap Community Resources (KCR), and serving as its Program Evaluation Committee Chairperson. Lisa is also involved in the South Sound Light the Night Walk, which raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).
Manger In Training, Liberty Bay Excavating
Liberty Bay Excavating, a subsidiary of Port Madison Enterprises, specializes in dirt work, water, sewer, and drainage systems, as well as prep work for footings and foundations, constructing bulkheads, water features, seawalls, roads, and parking lots. Ryan’s top goal is to help his company succeed to provide more job opportunities for tribal and local community members. He’s most proud of being the first college graduate in his family. He earned his first dollar using a shovel and rake, and can honestly say he started with a shovel in a ditch. Most folks would be surprised to learn Ryan pretty outgoing — not shy — but also not very outspoken, until he gets to know someone. His community service activities include helping out our local boy scouts with donations.
Owner, Concert Piano Studio
Concert Piano Studio, is dedicated to enriching students’ lives with a passion for music and showing students of any age how to enjoy expressing themselves through music. Karina knew at age 5 her life would revolve around music. Moving to the U.S. from Ukraine at 11, without her family, she learned a great piano teacher does much more than simply train students to play. She is proudest of winning a big competition, earning the chance to play with the Bremerton Symphony only a year and a half after coming to this country, and recently aiding a Muscular Dystrophy student’s dream to play at Carnegie Hall through the Make a Wish Foundation. People would be surprised to learn in spite of being classically trained, she loves listening to and playing almost every type of music — from 50’s ballads, to rock’n’roll, and everything in between. Her community service includes serving as president of the West Sound Music Teachers Association, involvement in the North Mason Chamber, working with Kitsap Opera and the North Kitsap Children’s Theater.
Environmental Engineer, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
The Environmental Division at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility is responsible for ensuring the facility complies with all applicable local, state and federal environmental laws. Chelsea works for the Water/Pollution Prevention/Environmental Planning branch, and is currently studying for her Professional Engineer (PE) license in Environmental Engineering. Her proudest achievement was starting the Green Team — a team with a mission to reduce the impact of PSNS & IMF on the environment in an economically feasible manner. Most surprising about Chelsea is she doesn’t have a TV — especially since her dad was a TV reporter most of his career. Her community service includes serving as Vice President for Base Relations for Puget Sound Naval Bases Association (PSNBA), Union Representative for the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers (IFPTE), Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and she’s involved with Girl Scouts.
AVP Branch Manager, Union Bank (formerly Frontier Bank)
Union Bank is a full-service commercial bank, providing a broad mix of financial services to businesses and individuals. Paula was hired by the bank when she was still in high school, and worked her way through college there. Her early exposure to banking gave her an appreciation for how she could make a difference in the lives of her customers and community. Her longevity with both her customers and the community makes her proud. Paula earned her first dollar working at Sluys Bakery, where she learned to understand the importance of customer service. She still has fond memories or Sluy’s 17 years later. People would be surprised to learn she’s never been to Canada. Paula’s community service includes East Bremerton Rotary, Asset Builders Coalition, and Washington CASH.
Director of Clinical Systems, Harrison Medical Center
Nam-Phuong is currently the Director of Clinical Systems at Harrison Medical Center. Starting her nursing career in a local Emergency Room, she loved ER medicine, but wanted to make a bigger difference. She became a consultant for a leading Health Care IT company, helping guide hospitals to design and build EMR’s based on best clinical practices. She later joined Harrison, moving into her current role. Nam-Phuong is proud of her parents, Vietnamese immigrants who fled the country with nothing but the clothes on their backs, 6 months before she was born, for the sacrifices they made to raise her and put her thru college. People would be surprised to know Nam-Phuong loves to cook and would go to the CIA pastry academy if she could. Community service includes sending monthly donations to various Vietnamese organizations that set up water supplies, provide medical care and feed remote villages in Vietnam.
Project Manager, Kitsap-Trident Homes, Inc.
Justin graduated from Washington State University in 1998 with a business degree. After college, he began working with his Dad in the family business, while searching for a career. It didn’t take long to realize he wanted to stay in construction. He takes pride in knowing every time he turns the keys over to a happy new homeowner, he’s built relationships with both colleagues and customers. Jason earned his first dollar mowing a neighbors lawn — ironically, for a dollar — going back every week to earn another. Most folks would be surprised to learn Jason had a hole-in-one on the 16th hole at Horseshoe Lake. As for community service, he’s the incoming president of the Homebuilders Association, chairing the Government Affairs Committee, and the Affordable Housing Council’s annual auction.
Customer Services Manager, Olympic College
Thomas has been a technical manager, business owner and training professional for over 20 years. He holds an MBA in Management of Technology and is currently pursuing his Ph.D in Education, with a career goal of becoming CIO or VP of Technology at a University. He is proud of being the first in his family to pursue a Ph.D. He has faced many challenges, but this is a trailblazing event in his family he hopes will make it easier for others to pursue higher education. His very first dollar was earned babysitting neighbor children as the only boy in his area certified by the Red Cross in CPR, First Aid, and Babysitting. Most people would be surprised to learn Thomas has officiated several wedding ceremonies for friends, and he holds a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. His community service includes Bremerton Toastmasters, and volunteering with the Olympic College Foundation.
Aesthetician, The Body Bar Poulsbo
The Body Bar Poulsbo is a skin care spa, providing services including organic spray tanning, treatment facials, and sugar waxing. Ali always knew she wanted to own some kind of a spa and wellness center. She worked in several different salon and spa settings to learn about the industry before starting her own business. She’s proudest of persevering through the slow times, and building the client base necessary to open her business. Her first dollar was earned sifting rocks and dirt in her Mom’s ever-expanding garden, for 25 cents a bucket. Ali’s community service includes mission trips to Mexico, feeding the homeless in Seattle, donating to the Make a Wish Foundation, and donating blood. She welcomes the opportunity for more, rewarded by the chance to make a difference in someone else’s life.
Public Relations and Media Coordinator, Port Madison Enterprises
April grew up in Suquamish beginning her career as a bingo caller with Port Madison Enterprises (PME), the Suquamish Tribal Government agency promoting the economic and social welfare of the Tribe through commercial activities. The casino was under construction then, and she quickly moved from Bingo to Keno, and by 19 was dealing Roulette and Blackjack, working as a dealer. April enrolled at OC and became a reporter and photography editor at the OC newspaper. She served a Kitsap Sun internship before earning a degree in Communications from WSU. She rejoined PME as Media coordinator in 2006. Her proudest achievement is the recognition PME and the tribe receives because of several programs she implemented promoting the their community good works. It’s surprising to know April has a drum set in her living room. She served as Entertainment Chair for North Kitsap Relay For Life, participated in the Susan G Komen 3 Day walk, as well as volunteering time with various local groups, including the Suquamish Foundation, Suquamish Cultural Co-Op and Suquamish Garden Club.
James Clayton Lynch
Project Manager, PHC Construction
PHC Construction is a mid-size general contractor specializing in sustainable commercial buildings. James’ father was a construction superintendent, and as a youngster he would accompany him to various jobs. He collected scrap materials and used them to construct tree houses of his own design. After high school he enrolled in the Carpenters Union Apprentice program, and 3 years later joined the firm his dad worked for, Drury Construction. James is proud of quickly responding to an emergency at Martha and Mary, when a fire sprinkler malfunctioned. It was December — cold, wet, miserable, and almost Christmas. He recruited an emergency crew and, working over the Christmas holiday, had the room safe, warm, and ready for the staff and students returning after the holiday. People would never suspect James is a singing star — in the shower — or that a jokester resides under his gruff exterior. His community service includes actively involvement with the Carpenters Journeyman Apprenticeship Program, serving as a past board member, and volunteering with Martha and Mary.
Independent Owner and Operator, Blenders…eat happy!
Marleen and her husband are changing the way Kitsap County eats — 1 Meal at a time, offering a healthy alternative to fast food. Prior to opening their smoothie stores, she worked as a corporate account manager. Downsized, she found a Smoothie bar and fell in love with the concept. They joined the company and relocated their family, opening the first Emerald City Location in Silverdale, then Bremerton, and just this past winter, re-opening the Port Orchard location. Separating from the franchise, they created a new company, Blenders…eat happy! Marleen is proudest of the relationships they’ve developed with customers and employees. Most people would be surprised to learn that 2 days after graduating high school, Marleen joined the Army, and was deployed during Desert Storm as a photographer. Her community service includes volunteering at the Kitsap County Humane Society, and helping other organizations raise funds.
Engineering Manager, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility is focused on providing quality, timely and cost efficient maintenance, modernization, technical and logistics support. Jenna started as a non-nuclear mechanical engineer in 1999 after graduating from the Illinois Institute of Technology. After working on many overhaul projects as a trouble desk engineer, she became the Non-Nuclear Project Engineer for work on the USS Ronald Reagan, and later Project Engineer and Planning Manager on the repair of the USS George Washington, overseeing engineering support and schedule development utilized by the private and public sectors. Jenna is proudest of her work on the USS George Washington, for which she earned the Meritorious Civilian Servant Award. Most people would be surprised to learn she just completed her first triathlon, the Danskin Women’s Triathlon in Seattle. Community service includes the Society of Women Engineers.
Financial Advisor, Edward Jones
Edward Jones focuses on serving the serious, long-term individual investor, and his main goal is to become the preferred financial solutions provider, specializing in retirement planning, and becoming known for service second to none. He’s proud of helping raise 2 children who are polite, kind and will become valuable members of society. His first dollar was earned picking strawberries — being paid by the flat — at 12 years old. Most people would be surprised to learn Jeffrey can cry with the best of them at “cheesy feel good” movies. He believes it’s our duty to be involved with community service organizations, and he especially enjoys giving his time to groups focused on helping children succeed. He’s a member of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Poulsbo, North Kitsap Optimist Club, and a Past Board Member of the DRC.
Executive Director, West Sound Wildlife Shelter
West Sound Wildlife Shelter is a non-profit wildlife hospital and environmental live-animal education center, and the only facility of its type in western Puget Sound. Kol took the helm in 2004, when the shelter was in danger of closing, and turned it around, increasing revenue 700 percent in 6 years. After graduating magna cum laude from Carleton College with a degree in environmental studies, Kol served in the Peace Corps for 2 years. He returned to attend Stanford Law School, later working as an associate attorney at Foster Pepper after graduation, practicing environmental, land-use, and nonprofit law until accepting his current position. Kol is proud of consistently choosing to do what is best for the community rather than himself. His first dollar was earned collecting aluminum cans from dumpsters and turning them in for money at the recycling center — and says it would surprise most people to learn about his “dumpster diving business.” Kol’s community service includes serving on the boards of Health, Housing, and Human Services Council, Association of Bainbridge Communities, and the 23rd District Democrats.
Management Engineer, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility is responsible for all Naval ship maintenance in the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Fleet nuclear aircraft carrier maintenance. April has held the titles of Nuclear Engineer, Management Engineer, Controls Engineering First Level Supervisor, Command Strategic Planning Manager, and Theory of Constraints Implementation Manager. She’s proudest of her 2 year-old son Theodore, who was born with spinal bifida, enduring 12 surgeries without a complaint. April earned her first dollar helping her uncle milk cows when she was 8 years old. The most surprising thing about April is she used to announce local hockey games — when she was only 10. Her civic endeavors include the Naval Civilian Managers Association, the board of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Puget Sound Naval Bases Association, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, the Downtown Bremerton Association, City of Bremerton and Bremerton School District Committee Membership, and participation in a local support group for Spinal Bifida.
Co-owner and Marketing Director, Video M.E. Productions
Video M.E. Productions has been in business locally since 2004, its work internationally recognized with two AVA Gold Medal awards and a regional Emmy. The firm specializes in marketing, training, fundraising and promotional videos. While proud of the firm’s professional recognition, Debbie’s proudest accomplishments are personal — the individuals her two children are becoming. She earned her first dollar as the youngest Tupperware dealer in America at age 14, with her mom as her partner (so she could drive). Her community service includes the Board of the Poulsbo Chamber. As chair of the marketing committee, she led a team to create and implement the “Buy Local North Kitsap” program. She co-coaches the North Kitsap PeeWee cheerleaders; is the food drive coordinator for Kitsap County Royalty of the Miss American Rose organization; assists with mock-judging of the Miss West Sound contestants; volunteers in her children’s schools, and teaches Sunday School.
Angie manages the Port Orchard Wal-Mart store, where she has created a fast paced, family oriented, fun, working environment. She’s proud of never having worked anywhere else, starting with the company 16 years ago as a cashier, and moving through the ranks to sales floor positions, then assistant manager, being promoted to Co-Manager, and finally to Store Manager. Most people would be surprised to learn Angie earned her first dollar detassling corn and walking bean fields, on the Iowa farm she grew up on, and helping raise cattle and hogs. Her community service activities include having her store and its employees be as active as they can locally, and volunteering, especially in the local schools, with South Kitsap Helpline, and with Relay for Life.
Animal Welfare Director, Kitsap Humane Society
Wanting a career in marketing/advertising and serving as her college newspaper’s Advertising Manager, Stacey came to realize business theory and practices came easy to her. After obtaining several positions with ever-increasing responsibilities, she decided to pursue her passion, animal welfare. She’s proud of decreasing the euthanasia rate to be nationally considered a no kill animal shelter, within 3 months. Stacey earned her first dollar at age 5. Her mother worked at a factory producing cosmetic case jewels. She would bring home the defective jewels, and Stacey would hot-glue pins to the back, selling them to girls in her class. Most surprising is that she put herself through college and an MBA program, holding 3 jobs in addition to a full course load. Her community service includes volunteering at the Humane Society, and previously at Habitat for Humanity.
Superintendent, Smallwood Design and Construction
Ryan works for Smallwood Design and Construction, a custom home building company his father started on Bainbridge Island about 30 years ago. He has been with the company about 15 years, working his way up from a laborer to job site superintendent. He’s had the opportunity to work with many very skilled people, and develop his own knowledge base and personal direction within the construction industry. Ryan’s most proud of building the first LEED platinum-certified home in Washington State outside of the Seattle area. What most people would be surprised to learn is that Ryan earned a degree in Philosophy from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He believes charity starts at home, and does everything he can to use the resources available to him to help others.
Partner, CHC Painting, Inc.
CHC Painting is a Port Orchard-based Residential/Commercial painting company, with a mix of 50 percent residential, and 50 percent Commercial and Government work. Brad started working for a local painting contractor right after graduation, cleaning buckets and brushes. He became a painter, worked his way up to job foreman, and later Operations Manager. He joined another firm opening its Residential and Seattle Divisions. In 2006, he had the opportunity to buy into CHC Painting. His proudest moment was being installed as president of Port Orchard Rotary. Brad earned his first dollar bucking haybales at age 12. With his first check, he bought a pig, sold it, bought two more, and continued doing that to make money. Most people would be surprised to learn growing up on a farm/ranch in Idaho, and he’s still a cowboy at heart. Brad’s main community contribution is all he does with Rotary.
Senior Associate, Rice Fergus Miller Architecture and Planning
Rice Fergus Miller is an Architecture, Planning and Interior Design firm. In addition, it has a group devoted to graphics and visualization with capabilities that range from photo-realistic computer renderings to video production and web design. While Jeremy’s education is in Architecture, he leads the firm’s Visualization Lab (production of graphics, renderings and animations), with much of his time spent master planning complex projects. His proudest project won’t be complete until spring — he is the lead designer for the firm’s new office space — a renovation of the old Sears building in downtown Bremerton. It will be LEED Platinum-certified and use roughly half the energy of the most energy efficient office building in Seattle Jeremy’s community activities include United Way, Rebuild Together Kitsap, Habitat for Humanity, and Kitsap Community Resources. He also film games for the Kitsap Pumas.
Andrea Liv Spencer
Director of Community Development, City of Bremerton
Andrea heads Bremerton’s Department of Community Development, which is responsible for preparing long-range plans for the city’s development, manages the permitting and building department, and the federal CDBG block grant program. Andrea has worked in municipal government in three Washington State Counties, working her way up from an entry-level planner assisting permit applicants with submittals, to a leading long-range planning team, and now leading Bremerton’s entire planning department. Andrea is especially proud of working to mentor staff to learn new skills and seeing them grow into successful professionals. She earned her first dollar as a cashier at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Most surprising is that Andrea almost flunked out of her freshman year of college. Her community service includes being a 2008 Graduate of Leadership Kitsap, Bremerton Rotary, and serving in the Bremerton Symphony Board.
Veterinarian, Apple Tree Cove Animal Hospital
Apple Tree Cove Animal Hospital, now known as Pet Medical Center at Apple Tree Cove, is a first rate facility setting a high standard for veterinary medicine. Rachel’s main goal has always been to become a veterinarian. She was admitted to veterinary school early and began her professional career at age 25. Working in two small clinics made her rethink her career, and she returned to school to earn a Master’s degree in Clinical Sciences/Epidemiology. She began working at Apple Tree Cove Animal Hospital while finishing her Master’s thesis, and may pursue research or teaching. Most people would be surprised to learn Rachel loves reality TV — especially shows about the supernatural/paranormal. Her community service includes volunteering at the Kitsap Humane Society, Gordon Elementary School in Kingston, and for various activities sponsored by her church.
SK Site Supervisor — WIA Workforce Manager, Kitsap Community Resources
Kitsap Community Resources’ (KCR) mission is to create hope and opportunity for low-income residents by providing resources that promote self-sufficiency. Trish supervises the South Kitsap office. KCR is also a WorkSource affiliate, offering employment, and many other services, including WIC, Literacy Council GED and ESL, and public health nurses. A South Kitsap High graduate, after college, she held several local social service jobs. When her current position became available, she knew her previous experience made her the best choice. Being able to work directly with clients makes her go home every day feeling like she did something that helped change someone’s life for the better. Her proudest accomplishment is being the first person in her family to graduate from college. She earned her first dollar selling her old toys at her neighborhood’s garage sale when she was about 5. It would surprise people to know she speaks fluent German. Her community involvement includes the Port Orchard Chamber, and the Literacy Council.
IT, Harrison Medical Center
Harrison Medical Center serves as the region’s acute-care center and home to cardiovascular services, including open-heart surgery, oncology, critical care, inpatient and outpatient surgery, orthopedics, rehabilitation, a sleep center, and 24/7 emergency care. In High school Ty was a representative in the Future Business Leaders of America, and as a senior, managed a 12 room inn outside of Park City, Utah. After college he worked as an account representative, and later supervisor at UPS, moving to the Seattle area to manage a home health front office. He moved on to designing and implementing computer networks, and in 2003 was hired by Harrison, where he’s held the positions of First Network Engineer, IT Manager, Assistant Director and now Director for Information Technology. Ty earned his first dollar selling sticks and rocks at 6 years old. Most people would be surprised to learn he grew up skiing with Robert Redford at Sundance. An Eagle Scout, his civic involvement includes contributing to the Boy Scouts of America.
Designer, Rice Fergus Miller Architecture and Planning
Rice Fergus Miller is a professional partnership founded in 1987, and growing to a staff of 38 architects, planners, and interior designers. Jeff joined the firm’s Minneapolis office and helped implement deployment firm-wide of the Revit design software, tutoring staff in its use and capabilities. He’s most proud of deciding to become an architect while in high school, and in spite of struggling with math and being told he should pursue another career, persevering, and recently taking the tests required for his architect’s license. He earned his first dollar the traditional Midwestern way — bailing hay for neighboring farmers in Northern Illinois where he grew up. People would be surprised to learn he has 5 sisters and 2 brothers, including a twin brother and twin sisters. Jeff’s community service includes the University of Minnesota College of Design Mentor Program and Poulsbo/North Kitsap Rotary.
James Dale Wilder
Manager, Silverdale BECU Financial Center, Boeing Employees Credit Union
BECU is Washington’s largest credit union with over 600,000 members. James opened the local branch in 2004 as a Member Consultant and has worked his way up to his current position. He graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration. His wife is a citizen of Finland and their two children are dual citizens who speak Finnish fluently. Having spent much time in Finland, He created a business, California Contact, for importing textiles and merchandise. He is proud of his community service, which includes work and support with the Kitsap Housing Coalition, Viking Fest, the Kitsap Home & Garden Expo, North Kitsap PTA and volunteering at Wolfle Elementary, the Northwest Burn Foundation, Pro Thunderbird Rodeo Association, coaching his son’s basketball and Little League Baseball team, and as an active member of the Knights of Columbus through St. Olafs Catholic Church. James and his wife are also currently taking classes for Respite Care in Washington State to support local foster children in Kingston and Suquamish.
Structural Engineering Manager, NL Olson and Associates, Inc.
NL Olson and Associates is a full service engineering and surveying firm started back then, a civil engineer had to be the “Swiss army knife” of engineering, expected to know water, sewer, road, environmental, and traffic plans, and then prepare structural plans and geotechnical investigations. He went into engineering because he had an interest in it, and knew it had good growth potential. After college, he worked for large companies and government agencies but felt stifled, especially after finishing his master’s degree where he had become accustomed to thinking with a higher degree of ingenuity. He’s most proud he didn’t settle for less then he wanted. His first child was born soon after high school, but he worked and pursued an education to provide for her. Most people would be surprised to learn he built his own custom motorcycle. Community service revolves around his children, and includes coaching tee-ball, soccer, and Lacrosse, volunteering at their schools, and being active in church activities.
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