Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A New Day Real Estate: Bellevue Condo Report December 30, 2014

The following is a blog post that I wrote to go with the YouTube video of today's Bellevue Condo Report from A New Day Real Estate.  If you like this information and want to see it each week, make sure to subscribe at ANewDayRealEstate.com or keeping on checking the site regularly.  Before long, this will be a regular vlogcast and available on iTunes and hopefully Stitcher too.

This is the Bellevue Condo Report for December 30, 2014 from Joe Kennedy of A New Day Real Estate in Bellevue Washington.

Newport Shores Boat SlipThere are currently 139 condos listed for sale in Bellevue, but that includes one listing for a covered boat slip at Newport Shores for $115k.

Of the 138 livable condo units that are listing for sale, they range in price from $109,950 for a 2 bedroom, 1 bath unit in the Silver Glen 55+ community to $3.35 million for a penthouse unit on the 41st floor of Bellevue Towers.

Bellevue Towers Penthouse View to Lake WashingtonThat penthouse unit at Bellevue Towers is a 3,403 square foot, 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit and is priced at $984.43 per square foot. It also comes with monthly HOA fees of $2,173 - and amazing views.

There are currently only 14 condo units for sale in Bellevue that are priced at less than $200k - and half of them are located in the previously mentioned Silver Glen 55+ community. So there is not a lot of choice on the low end of the condo market.

As far as the high end market for condos in Bellevue, there are currently 29 different units priced at $1 million or above.

What I did not mention in the video, but will cover on a future podcast, is that 70 of the 138 condo units currently listed for sale are in the Washington Square project on the corner of 106th Ave NE and NE 9th Street in downtown Bellevue.

This means that in all reality, outside of Washington Square, there are only 68 condo units for sale in all of Bellevue. Not a lot of inventory - or competition. If you are thinking about selling your condo in Bellevue, now could be a really good time.

Please do not forget to join us next Tuesday, January 6th from 6-9pm for the first ever meeting of the Bellevue Real Estate Investors networking group.

Monday, December 29, 2014

A New Day Real Estate: Bellevue Homes Report December 29, 2014

This information was first posted at ANewDayRealEstate.com, but shared here on the Bellevue Business Journal news site, as our readers have said that they are very interested in the current state of real estate in Bellevue and on the Eastside.

This is the Bellevue Homes Report for December 29, 2014 by Joe Kennedy of A New Day Real Estate and the Bellevue Real Estate Investors .

As of today there are 109 single family residences in Bellevue listed for sale on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The homes currently listed for sale in Bellevue range in price from $419,900 for a 1,490 square foot house in Lake Hills to $32.8 million for a 11,520 square foot estate on Meydenbauer Bay / Lake Washington.

In all of Bellevue, there are currently only 11 houses listed for sale at less than $500,000. There are only 57 homes in Bellevue listed for sale at less than one million dollars and there are 52 houses in Bellevue that are listed for sale at over $1 million.

If you are interested in buying, selling, investing or are just curious as to where your currently property fits in, please feel free to call me at 425-429.8590 or email Joe(at)ANewDayRealEstate.com.

If you live, work and/or play in Bellevue, it's important that you know about Renewal Food Bank in Bellevue. They do great work helping to feed over 250 families in Bellevue each week. Renewal Food Bank is located at the Highland Covenant Church at 15022 Bel-Red Road, Bellevue, WA 98007 and online at http://RenewalFoodBank.com.

A New Day Real Estate and the Bellevue Real Estate Investors networking group will be working to help support Renewal Food Bank during 2015. Please contact me if you would like to help.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Nathan Brannon Wins Seattle International Comedy Competition

[caption id="attachment_9708" align="alignright" width="300"]L-R Sterling Scott, Cory Michaelis, Kyle Bottom, Nathan Brannon, Matt Donaher, MC and former winner David Crowe, and 2013 champ Zoltan Kaszas. Photo credit: Peter Greyy L-R Sterling Scott, Cory Michaelis, Kyle Bottom, Nathan Brannon, Matt Donaher, MC and former winner David Crowe, and 2013 champ Zoltan Kaszas.
Photo credit: Peter Greyy[/caption]

After 23 shows in 26 days in 19 venues, the 35th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition has a winner.  Portland-based comedian Nathan Brannon was awarded the championship at the conclusion of the “Final-Final” show last night at Seattle's Comedy Underground. His grand prize includes $5000 cash, a recording contract with Uproar Entertainment, and a series of forthcoming comedy club bookings.
Finishing in second place, and winning $2000, was Kyle Bottom from Vancouver BC.  Third prize of $1700 went to Boston’s Matt Donaher, fourth to Edmonton comic Sterling Scott ($1500), and $1300 and fifth place to local favorite Cory Michaelis of Everett WA.

They were the survivors of a grueling contest that began November 5 with 33 comedians from the US, Canada, Australia and Japan,  selected from over 700 world-wide submissions.  That group was narrowed to ten semi-finalists, and further whittled down to these five. All ten semi-finalists also won cash ranging from $500-$900, for a total of $15,000 in prize money.

Summit at Snoqualmie Pass Sales to Benefit Northwest Harvest This Cyber Monday

What: Today, Cyber Monday The Summit at Snoqualmie, located at Snoqualmie Pass, WA., will be donating funds to help fight hunger from season pass sales. In the spirit of the holidays The Summit will be donating $10 to Northwest Harvest for every single Big S Season Pass sold on December 1st, 2014. The Summit is also encouraging people who’ve already purchased a pass prior to Cyber Monday to contribute as well.

Who: The Summit at Snoqualmie Ski Resort for Northwest Harvest.

Why: To raise awareness and funds with The Summit at Snoqualmie’s skiers and snowboarders for Northwest Harvest’s fight against hunger, particularly now that the winter weather is in full effect.

When: Contribution period starts at 12:01am Monday, December 1, 2014 and continues through 11:59pm Monday, December 1, 2014

. The Summit will contribute $10 from every single season pass sold in this time-frame.

Where: The Summit at Snoqualmie’s website: www.summitatsnoqualmie.com/tickets-and-passes/season-passes. Season pass purchasers can also buy their pass in person at The Summit at Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Pass at the Summit West Guest Services office from 9am to 5pm on Monday, December 1, 2014.

About Northwest Harvest: The mission of Northwest Harvest is to provide nutritious food to hungry people statewide in a manner that respects their dignity, while fighting to eliminate hunger. Our vision is ample nutritious food is available to everyone in Washington State.

Holiday Party Warnings from NFIB

The holiday party season is here and the Small Business Legal Center at the National Federation of Independent Business is advising its members to keep celebrations safe by watching out for two problem areas – drunk driving and harassment.

Drunk Driving

An increasing number of states require employers to exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries by intoxicated employees leaving holiday parties. To minimize the risk of liability an employer should do the following:

  • Use professional bartenders, and instruct them not to serve anyone who appears intoxicated.

  • Distribute drink tickets to limit the number of free drinks.

  • Serve lots of free food to soak up the alcohol.

  • Ask trusted managers and supervisors to be on the look-out for people who have had too much to drink and unable to drive or need assistance getting home.

  • Pay for cabs to take impaired employees and guests home or offer designated drivers.


Socializing, alcohol, and mistletoe combine to create an environment that can lead to sexual harassment or fighting. Just because it’s a holiday party doesn’t mean you can’t be liable for what happens as an employer. Employee lawsuits can result from voluntary events held outside the office and outside normal work hours.

  • Remind employees about your harassment policies before the party.

  • If your business does not have an anti-harassment policy, get one! Have it reviewed by an attorney. Click here for a model policy developed by NFIB.

  • Don’t hang mistletoe.

  • Ask trusted managers and supervisors to intervene and stop in any fighting or inappropriate conduct they witness.

  • Finally, make sure that all employees understand that a holiday party is a work-related activity, and that rules for appropriate work behavior still apply.


NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blackcomb Mountain and Peak 2 Peak Gondola to Open at Whistler Blackcomb Thursday November 27

On Thursday, November 27, Whistler Blackcomb will complete its winter kick-off by opening Blackcomb Mountain to skiers and snowboarders.

In addition to the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, Blackcomb Mountain will have six lifts running including Wizard Express, Solar Coaster Express, Excalibur Gondola, Excelerator Express, Catskinner Chair and Jersey Cream Express. Skiers and snowboarders will have access to 730m (2,395ft) of vertical skiing and six runs, including Cruiser, Upper ZigZag, Green Line, Express Way to Easy Out and Wishbone. The Nintendo Choker Terrain Park will also be open with two jumps and 12 rails.

Dining locations open on Blackcomb Mountain as of November 27 include the Wizard Grill and Merlin’s Bar and Grill at the base of Blackcomb and the Rendezvous Lodge and Glacier Creek Lodge on the mountain.

Since its early opening five days ahead of schedule on November 22, Whistler Mountain has opened the Children’s Learning Centre and a ski out to Olympic Station via the Expressway run. Whistler Mountain is currently offering 750m (2,369ft) of vertical to skiers and snowboarders.

First upload via the Whistler Village Gondola, Creekside Gondola, Excalibur Gondola and the Wizard Express Chair will be at 8:30amwith the last ride up from the valley at 2:00pm. Mandatory download is in effect from the top of the Wizard Express and Excalibur Gondola on Blackcomb Mountain and from Olympic Station and Creekside Gondola on Whistler Mountain. Sightseers can access the mountain and the PEAK 2 PEAK via the Whistler Village Gondola.

Guests are reminded early season conditions still apply, especially off piste. It is important to obey mountain signage, ski and ride on open runs only and stay within the operational area marked by “Temporary Boundary” signage.

Lifts tickets will be available from the Whistler Village, Creekside and Blackcomb Daylodge ticket windows or online at www.whistlerblackcomb.com. Edge Cards are also available at the early bird rates until November 30 for Canadians and Washington State residents.

Guests looking to plan a trip to the consistently rated No. 1 Mountain Resort in North America can visit whistlerblackcomb.com/deals_packages  or call 1-888-403-4727.

About Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America’s premier four season mountain resort, Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which combined offer over 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receives on average over 1,165 centimetres (459 inches) of snow annually, and one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.

For more information, visit http://ww1.whistlerblackcomb.com/media

Proud to be a venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

Monday, November 24, 2014

Join Us for a March on Main Street on Small Business Saturday Nov. 29

By Jay Inslee and Patrick Connor

We’re calling on all Washingtonians to join us for a March on Main Street, Saturday, November 29.

The cause: A better economy, longer-than-seasonal employment opportunities and tighter-knit communities– all of which are the bedrock of a vibrant society. And all it takes to accomplish these goals is for each of us to spend more of our money with the small businesses lining the Main Streets of our state.

Everyone is familiar with Black Friday, the post-Thanksgiving gift shopping frenzy, when masses of people converge on shopping malls, raising their stress levels and blood pressure. But if you were to save some of your holiday shopping and energy for Small BusinessSaturday, you would be doing much more not only for your own health, but also for our state’s economy.

Begun in 2010, the campaign to shop small has yielded big dividends for America’s and Washington state’s economy. Last year, shoppers spent $5.7 billion at locally-owned shops and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, according to a survey conducted by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). And last year’s total marked a 3.6 percent increase over the previous year.

This same survey indicates that on average, shoppers estimate nearly one-third of their holiday shopping will be done at small businesses. Additional benefits to shopping Main Street speak to the importance of community:

  • Nearly all (94 percent) of U.S. consumers say that shopping at small businesses make them “feel good”

  • Two-thirds (66 percent) of consumers say the main reason they patronize small businesses is because they value the contributions the business makes to their community

  • More than half (57 percent) say they know one or more of their local small-business owners personally

Small business is no small statistic when it comes to job creation. In fact, it’s primary to any economy.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, Washington’s small businesses employed over half - or 1.2 million - of the state’s private workforce in 2011. Almost all firms with employees are small. They make up 98 percent of all employers in the state.

Need even more good reasons to choose Main Street?

  • Your money stays local. When you shop at a chain store, most of the money goes back to a corporate office, but when you shop on Main Street, most of that money stays on Main Street.

  • Your shopping experience is friendlier and more customer oriented. Instead of dealing with temporary workers who don’t know the merchandise, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing directly with the owner - someone who cares very much about making you a return customer. In fact, according to the NFIB and American Express survey, 77 percent of consumers say Small Business Saturday makes them want to shop small all year long.

  • You help small businesses plant lasting roots in your community. Some small-business owners cut their own salaries to keep their full complement of employees. Others have dipped into savings or taken out second mortgages to keep their doors open, or to avoid cutting back employee hours. Shopping local infuses these businesses with cash to keep their doors open.

Of course big box stores stock items that Main Street shops don’t, but you might be surprised at the variety of items that Main Street stores provide.

So how about starting a new shopping tradition this year? Don’t go all out on Black Friday. Spread the holiday cheer by shopping small on Main Street on Small Business Saturday. This new trend will benefit everyone.

Jay Inslee is governor of the state of Washington. Patrick Connor is Washington state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Whistler Blackcomb Opening on Saturday November 22nd Ahead of Schedule

Much to the delight of eager skiers and snowboarders, Whistler Blackcomb will be opening five days ahead of schedule on Saturday, November 22. The decision to kick off the winter season early was made possible after natural snowfall at higher elevations was followed by a streak of below average temperatures, providing prime conditions for snowmaking.

“Our snowmaking team has been working hard to take advantage of this early season cold snap in Whistler and has converted over 60 million gallons of water into snow over the past few weeks,” says Doug MacFarlane, Director of Mountain Operations at Whistler Blackcomb. “Their efforts, combined with the natural snowfall we have already received at higher elevations, has enabled us to get things rolling early again this year. And with more natural snow in the forecast for later this week, it should be a fun opening weekend.”

Whistler Mountain will be opening five days ahead of schedule on Saturday, November 22 with five lifts running. Guests will have the option to upload from either the base of Whistler Mountain via the Whistler Village Gondola, featuring brand new cabins, or the Creekside base via the Creekside Gondola. Blackcomb Mountain will open, as scheduled, on Thursday, November 27, 2014.

“With all the excitement of opening day, we want to remind guests early season conditions will apply, especially off piste,” says MacFarlane. “It is important to obey all mountain signage, ski and ride on open runs only and stay within the operational area marked by ‘Temporary Boundary’ signage.”

First upload on the Whistler Village Gondola and Creekside Gondola will begin at 8:30am, with last upload at 2pm on November 22, with mandatory download off the mountain. Emerald Express, Big Red Express and the Franz Chair lifts will be running, allowing access to 1800 vertical feet of skiing and riding terrain. Runs set to open include Upper and Lower Ego Bowl, Upper Whiskey Jack, Upper Franz’s, Papoose, Orange Peel and Pony Trail. There will also be a small terrain park accessible from the top of the Emerald Express chair and green learning terrain serviced by a Super Carpet at Olympic Station. Guests can keep updated on the most current lift status information at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/the-mountain/lifts-and-grooming or from mobile devices via the Whistler Blackcomb LIVE app, powered by TELUS.

Opening day guests will have the first chance to experience the brand new Whistler Village Gondola cabins installed this fall. The new Sigma “Diamond” level walk-in cabins dramatically improve the experience for skiers, snowboarders, and sightseers with eight passengers able to sit comfortably on bench seating. The new cabin configuration also gives guests the option of bringing their ski/snowboard equipment inside with them or storing it themselves in the outside racks provided.

Opening day will be the first time skiers and riders at Whistler Blackcomb will experience the benefits of the newly introduced RFID technology around the mountains, including mountain access gates at most lifts. Guests are reminded to store their new RFID Access Cards in a left-side pocket away from cell phones, credit cards and foil in order to reduce signal interference at the access gates. For more information about RFID at Whistler Blackcomb, visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/rfid.

Whistler Mountain dining locations set to open on November 22 include Essentially Blackcomb Cappuccino Bar and Garbo’s Grill in the Carleton Lodge, Dusty’s Bar & Grill and Dusty’s Backside in Creekside, the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain, and the Garibaldi Lift Co., Whistler’s world-famous location for après.

Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations in Whistler Village is currently operating daily from 9am to 5pm. The Blackcomb Day Lodge and Creekside Guest Relations will also be open from 9am to 5pm daily beginning Wednesday, November 19. All three locations will be open from 9am to 7pm on Friday, November 21 and from 7am to 5pm on Saturday, November 22. From November 23 onwards only the Village and Creekside Guest Relations will operate daily from 8am to 5pm until Wednesday, November 26 when the Blackcomb Day Lodge will open again in preparation for Blackcomb Mountain opening for skiing/riding on November 27. The Hours of Operation for all Guest Relations locations can be found at www.whistlerblackcomb.com/the-mountain/hours-of-operation.

Ski and snowboard rentals will be available at the base of Whistler Mountain at Gondola Rentals, from 8am – 5pm, Essentially Blackcomb from 7am – 5pm, the Salomon Store from 8am – 8pm, and the Fairmont and Can-Ski Westin from 8am-6pm. Can-Ski Creekside will be open at the Creekside base from 8am – 5pm.

Private and adult Max 4 ski and snowboard lessons will be available on Whistler Mountain, and can be booked online or by calling 1-800-766-0449. Discover Whistler Days are on now through to December 14 offering 25 per cent off select group snow school lessons.

Beginning November 22, Whistler Blackcomb’s Snow Report will be updated daily throughout the season and can be accessed online or by calling 604-932-4211 in Whistler, 604-687-7507 in Vancouver, or toll-free at 1-800-766-0449.

For Canadian and Washington State residents, Whistler Blackcomb offers the EDGE Card, allowing guests to ski/ride from $69 (CDN) a day. EDGE Cards are valid for use all season long, and are available at early bird pricing until November 30, atwww.whistlerblackcomb.com/save. 

About Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America’s premier four season mountain resort, Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which combined offer over 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receives on average over 1,165 centimetres (459 inches) of snow annually, and one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.

Seahawk Paul Richardson at Bartell Drugs' Bellevue Village store TODAY!

Washington--Three wide receivers from the World Champion Seattle Seahawks will run new, and very different, “routes” TODAY (Nov. 18) at three Bartell Drugs locations.

Helping to celebrate Bartell Drugs’ 125 years in the Puget Sound area, Seahawk players Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse and Paul Richardson will don Bartell Drugs’ signature red vests and walk the aisles greeting and assisting shoppers from noon to 1 pm.

Bartell Drugs has forged a new partnership with the Seahawks as the Seattle-based chain continues to deepen its roots in the community.

Player appearances at three Bartell locations on Nov. 18 include:

  • Doug Baldwin, Lower Queen Anne (600 First Ave. N, Seattle), noon to 1 p.m.

  • Jermaine Kearse, University Village (Seattle), noon to 1 p.m.

  • Paul Richardson, Bellevue Village (10116 NE 8th St., Bellevue), noon to 1 p.m.

Beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the three Bartell locations only, customers can receive a special “player card” (while supplies last) valid for a limited edition Seahawks t-shirt when purchasing $40 or more of products on November 18.


Celebrating its 125th anniversary now through the end of 2015, Seattle-based Bartell Drugs owns and operates 63 locations in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. Founded in 1890, it is the nation's oldest family-owned drugstore chain. For more information visit www.bartelldrugs.com.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Covenant Shores' Jim Brockmeyer Receives $1,000 Scholarship from LeadingAge Washington

Recently, Covenant Shores Fitness Coordinator/Director of Wellness Jim Brockmeyer of Bothell was one of nine to receive the LeadingAge Washington’s 2014 Scholarship Award.

Established in 2006, the senior living industry scholarship program recognizes and encourages long term care workers to continue their education, and gain knowledge and the experience necessary to improve the quality of care and life of seniors in residential communities. The scholarship is awarded to professionals who serve seniors in various fields including nursing, mental health, social services, dining, administrative and fitness.

“I am grateful and honored to be selected as one of the LeadingAge Washington scholarship winners,” states Brockmeyer. “With this scholarship, I’ll be able to continue my education, and help affect change in preventive health care and health maintenance programs for current and future senior populations.”

“Jim is very passionate and dedicated to assisting area seniors maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. We are fortunate to have him part of our Covenant Shores family,” says Bruce Erickson, executive director at Covenant Shores. “We are all excited for him, and look forward to assisting him further with his professional development and education.”

As the Fitness Coordinator/Director of Wellness at Covenant Shores, a faith-based, not-for-profit continuing care retirement community administered by Covenant Retirement Communities, Brockmeyer is responsible for comprehensive health and fitness screening, programming and education for residents in all levels of care as well as employee health and fitness. He is a graduate of Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. and University of Washington in Seattle.

Brockmeyer is currently enrolled in the Healthcare Management, Gerontology option master’s program at Marylhurst University in Marylhurst, Ore. He is a certified Health Fitness Specialist and Health Fitness Director with the American College of Sports Medicine. Brockmeyer also holds a certificate in Gerontology from the University of Washington.

About Covenant Shores

Covenant Shores, a faith-based, not-for-profit, continuing care retirement community, is located at 9150 Fortuna Drive, Mercer Island, Wash. It is administered by Covenant Retirement Communities, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit senior services providers. Covenant Retirement Communities serves 5,000 residents at 15 retirement communities nationwide and is a ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church. For more information on Covenant Shores, call 877–385-8613 or visit


Redmond's ABODA wins “Superior Quality Achievement Award” from Graebel

Aboda Corporate Housing wins Grabel Award 2014Redmond-based ABODA, has recently won the “Superior Quality Achievement Award (Relocation)” from Graebel Relocation at its recent 14th Annual Relocation Alliance Conference in Aurora, Colorado.

Each year, Graebel recognizes leading companies that have provided extraordinary service, value and excellence in performance to its relocation clients.

[caption id="attachment_9674" align="alignleft" width="214"]Lee Curtis, President, ABODA Corporate Housing Lee Curtis, President, ABODA Corporate Housing[/caption]

Lee Curtis, President of ABODA Corporate Housing, who accepted the award at the Graebel presentation ceremony, noted customer satisfaction surveys completed by corporate employees who were relocating led to the selection of ABODA.

“When an award is based on how Graebel clients feel about ABODA and all the services we provide, it is especially heartening,” said Curtis. “This honor is a great tribute to all the employee owners of ABODA who take personal pride in setting the bar for superior customer service as they have for over 25 years.”

The worldwide Graebel conference drew 150 top relocation executives, including 90 Graebel Alliance Partners from 39 countries. The Graebel Relocation Alliance awards ceremony was held at the Denver Art Museum in downtown Denver, Colorado.

About the Graebel Relocation Alliance 

At the dawn of the 21st Century a by-invitation member consortium of twenty global moving and storage (removals) firms was brought together under the mantle, The Graebel Alliance, with the objective for the moving industry’s respected company ownership and executives to collaborate and to share best-in-class service practices and programs. Renamed the Graebel Relocation Alliance the membership has expanded to include leading global relocation and mobility service firms in 2005. In its fourteenth year, the Graebel Relocation Alliance member companies total two hundred and are found on six continents.

Friday, October 24, 2014

St. Thomas School Helps Shape Microsoft’s OneNote Class Notebook Creator

St. Thomas School MedinaSt. Thomas School in Medina, WA has a long history of incorporating laptop programs for students in the third through eighth grades so they can produce videos, compose music, take online math tests, and author book reviews and essays. This year the school expanded the program to include a program for first through second grade students and chose the Surface Pro as the school's standard device.

St. Thomas School worked closely with Microsoft through the development and testing of the OneNote Class Notebook Creator, a new app that allows teachers to create a personal workspace for every student.

St. Thomas School participated in beta testing of the product and the teachers and students were able to provide valuable insight and feedback
to the Microsoft team.

"St. Thomas School provided us with invaluable real-world feedback as we developed the OneNote Class Notebook Creator,” said Kristin Rhodes,
general manager for education at Microsoft.  “We wanted to create an app that was immediately useful for teachers and helps them quickly and easily set up class notebooks for collaborating and sharing content.  Working with teachers and students at St. Thomas School through early product testing and programs like the Surface Advisory Council helps us to create innovative learning environments for students.”

By working with the Microsoft Surface team, St. Thomas School has taken a leadership position in the integration between education and technology. To further the collaboration between St. Thomas School and Microsoft, Kimberly Mecham, the school’s Director of Information and Communication Technology, has accepted an invitation to join the Microsoft Surface Advisory Council.

About St. Thomas School
Founded in 1951, St. Thomas School is an independent, non-sectarian, early childhood, elementary and middle school. STS gives students the
intellectual capacity, rigorous critical thinking skills, and strength of character to lead, innovate and collaborate. We serve 300 students on a
55,000 sq. ft. LEED Gold® certified campus on the east side of Lake Washington in Medina. St. Thomas School is one of five schools in the U.S.
selected to be a part of the Microsoft Innovative Schools World Tour. For more information, please see http://www.stthomasschool.org, find them on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @stsfalcons.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bellevue Based Snap Skout Becomes Tack

Tack logoBellevue-based Snap Skout, a media technology startup that intelligently connects businesses and consumers through relevant online content, today announced it is changing the company name to Tack. The name change is effective immediately and will better reflect the company’s mission to help local businesses stay firmly on the map.

In addition, the company is also announcing the launch of its new advertiser product, also called Tack, at the Seattle Interactive Conference. Tack helps small businesses connect with new customers by automatically converting social media posts into online ads - and placing them adjacent to relevant publisher content.

“Our team has built a product that allows local businesses to quickly and easily promote themselves online, while providing consumers with recommended social content that is timely and relevant,” said Aaron Goodin, CEO of Tack. “Tack takes everyday social posts and transforms them into online ads that will be featured on highly-visible, local publications. Since our technology matches the ads with relevant article content, it requires minimal effort from the advertiser and provides small businesses with a premium ad placement they may otherwise not have been able to afford.”

Tack uses natural language processing (NLP), location optimizing and other technology to ensure posts show up next to the right content on its network of local publishing partner sites – including Seattle Magazine, SFist.com and MyNorthwest.com. By placing ads in real-time and in a relevant context, consumers are better able to discover and engage with the business.

Businesses can quickly and easily integrate Tack into their social networks to begin producing free online ads. Once Tack is activated, it will automatically choose the best posts to promote, and then transform those posts into social ads - that will be displayed at the bottom of online articles throughout the web. Ultimately, messages are placed in front of an engaged audience, at exactly the right time and place. Tack’s publisher partners can increase their reader engagement by offering their readers useful ads and the product opens up a new source of income.

“This is the future of online advertising,” Goodin said. “By taking already engaging social posts, turning them into online ads, and placing them directly in front of consumers, we are able to help our local business partners connect with new customers, while helping to drive an increase in revenue for publishing partners.”

About Tack

Launched in 2013, Tack (formerly Snap Skout) is a media technology company dedicated to helping local business promote themselves online through timely and relevant recommended content. The company’s product automatically converts social media posts into online ads and places them adjacent to relevant content. Tack helps advertisers reach new customers with no additional effort, and increases reader engagement and revenue for publishers.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Outerwall Announces #KioskSelfie Sweepstakes in the Pacific Northwest

Expanding on its partnership with the Seattle Seahawks, Outerwall Inc. recently announced the #KioskSelfie sweepstakes, an interactive social media campaign incorporating the company’s popular consumer brands: Redbox, America’s destination for new release movies and games at an incredible value; Coinstar, and ecoATM electronics recycling kiosks.

Currently open and running through December 1, 2014, eligible residents in Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and Montana can enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to one of four World Champion Seattle Seahawks home games by taking a selfie with any one of Outerwall’s kiosks and entering the #KioskSelfie sweepstakes at http://bit.ly/1o9D6Ad.*

Four randomly selected winners will each receive a pair of tickets to one of four Seattle Seahawks home games held at CenturyLink Field (one winner per game):

  • October 12 versus the Dallas Cowboys

  • November 2 versus the Oakland Raiders

  • November 23 versus the Arizona Cardinals

  • December 28 versus the St. Louis Rams

“We know many of our loyal customers are devoted Seahawks fans,” said J. Scott Di Valerio, chief executive officer. “With a mission to create a better everyday, we want to reward our long-time customers – and entice new ones – by offering the 12s an opportunity to have the best Sunday, with tickets to a Seahawks home game. Go Hawks!”

Coinstar coin-counting kiosks allow people to trade in their coins for cash, No-Fee eCertificates, or donate money to charity. Coinstar’s newest yellow Coinstar Exchange kiosk allows consumers to instantly exchange unused or partially used gift cards for cash. Consumers can find Coinstar kiosks in their local grocery stores or mass retailers, or locate a kiosk by visiting https://www.coinstar.com/kioskfinder.

Redbox offers new-release movie and video game rentals at an incredible value via conveniently located, self-service kiosks. To locate the closest kiosk, visit http://www.redbox.com/locations.

ecoATM is the only automated kiosk that pays instant cash for used and unwanted cell phones, tablets and MP3 players. To date, ecoATM kiosks have recycled 3 million devices, and that number is growing every day. Consumers can visit http://www.ecoatm.com/locator/ to find an ecoATM kiosk.

*No purchase necessary. Open to U.S. residents 18+ in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes ends December 1, 2014. See official rules atwww.outerwall.com/seahawks for details, including additional prizes and alternative methods of entry.

About Outerwall Inc.

Outerwall Inc. has more than 20 years of experience creating some of the most profitable spaces for their retail partners. The company mission is to create a better everyday by delivering breakthrough kiosk experiences that delight consumers and generate revenue for retailers. As the company that brought consumers Redbox® entertainment, Coinstar® money services, and ecoATM® electronics recycling kiosks, Outerwall is leading the next generation of automated retail and paving the way for inventive, scalable businesses. Outerwall™ kiosks are in neighborhood grocery stores, drug stores, mass merchants, malls, and other retail locations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Learn more at www.outerwall.com.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Available in China on Friday, October 17

Apple today announced that iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the biggest advancements in iPhone history, will be available in China beginning Friday, October 17 from the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores, and an expansive network of retail stores through all three major carriers and Apple Authorized Resellers. With support for TD-LTE and FDD-LTE, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus provide customers access to 4G/LTE networks from China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom across mainland China. Customers can pre-order iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from the Apple Online Store beginning Friday, October 10. Beginning Tuesday, October 14, customers can reserve the new iPhones for in-store pick-up starting Friday, October 17.

“We are thrilled to bring iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to our customers in China on all three carriers at launch,” said Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. “With support for TD-LTE and FDD-LTE, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus customers will have access to high-speed mobile networks from China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom for an incredible experience.”

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are the biggest advancements in iPhone history, featuring two new models with stunning 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch Retina® HD displays, and packed with innovative technologies in an all-new dramatically thin and seamless design that is still comfortable to hold and easy to use. Both models are better in every way and include: the Apple-designed A8 chip with second generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture for blazing fast performance and power efficiency; advanced iSight® and FaceTime® HD cameras; and ultrafast wireless technologies.

The new iPhones include iOS 8, the biggest release since the App Store℠, featuring a simpler, faster and more intuitive user experience with new Messages and Photos features, predictive typing for Apple’s QuickType™ keyboard and Family Sharing. iOS 8 also includes the new Health app, giving you a clear overview of your health and fitness data and iCloud Drive℠, so you can store files and access them from anywhere.

Pricing & Availability
iPhone 6 comes in gold, silver or space gray, and is available in China for a suggested retail price of 5,288 (RMB) for the 16GB model, 6,088 (RMB) for the 64GB model and, for the first time, a new 128GB model for 6,888 (RMB). iPhone 6 Plus comes in gold, silver or space gray, and is available in China for a suggested retail price of 6,088 (RMB) for the 16GB model, 6,888 (RMB) for the 64GB model and 7,788 (RMB) for the new 128GB model. Both models are available in China from the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), by reservation only from Apple’s retail stores, and through China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and Apple Authorized Resellers beginning Friday, October 17. Customers can pre-order iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from the Apple Online Store beginning Friday, October 10. Beginning Tuesday, October 14, customers can reserve the new iPhones for in-store pick-up starting Friday, October 17.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Career Coach Lisa Quast Turns Job Searching Upside Down with New Book

Secrets of a Hiring Manager book coverWomen’s career coach and expert Lisa Quast has seen and heard it all when it comes to the crazy things people do to get jobs – from auctioning themselves off on eBay to purchasing ads boasting their work skills to sending a YouTube video featuring a musical resume. Launching today, Quast’s new book Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach tells job seekers that these flashy tactics don’t work, and that it’s time for them to get to work mastering the job searching basics.

In the book, Quast shares the secrets she’s been divulging to her coaching clients, which have had a 100% success rate in getting them a job they want – every time. Seeing this success, she wanted to share these tactics on a broader scale, helping women everywhere achieve their career aspirations.

What makes her process so successful? Climbing the corporate ladder from entry-level to executive and acting as a hiring manager herself, Quast has experienced every aspect of this process and understands everything a person needs to do to find and get a job.  She knows what works, and just as importantly, what doesn’t.

“We see these over-the-top job search tactics getting covered in the news and attention in social media, which gives job seekers the false impression that they always work,” said Quast. “In reality, the success of job seekers who use these techniques is rare, and what always works is having a sound strategy for getting a job that includes practicing and mastering the basics like interview skills, writing cover letters and acquiring stand out recommendations.”

In Secrets of a Hiring Manager…Quast starts at the very beginning of the job searching process, helping the reader understand if they even need a new job, and if yes, why. From then on, she carefully walks them through every step needed to successfully find a job, apply for it, ace the interview, negotiate a starting salary, gracefully quit their previous job and more.

“This book features everything I’d share with one of my career coaching clients for her to succeed in getting a job she loves,” said Quast. “It’s like having your own personal career coach at your fingertips 24/7.”

Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach is available in paperback and e-book formats at Amazon.com

Staples Survey Highlights Importance of Technology To Small Business Owners

For small business owners, email rates as the top software tool (47%) for running their business, followed by financial management software (29%), according to a Staples’ study of 510 small business owners conducted online by Harris Poll during late summer 2014. Additionally, the survey shows the importance of technology to small businesses of all kinds.

“More than ever, small businesses rely on technology to make more happen every day,” said Alison Corcoran, senior vice president, North American stores and online, Staples. “Staples offers an expanded assortment of the latest technology products in store and online, as well as Staples EasyTech™ services to help our small business customers so they can focus on running their business.”

The survey also shows that this is a crucial season for small businesses, with 62 percent looking forward to fall as the start of the holiday. Overall, about a third (31%) plan to invest in online marketing this fall.

Additional facts revealed in the Staples Small Business Owners Survey include:

  • Drive profits: Small business owners want to improve business by increasing promotional marketing (26%), developing social media (21%) and managing inventory better (14%).

  • Technology focus: 71% of small business owners say the computer is the most crucial piece of office equipment.

  • Everyday focus: 63% of small business owners don’t have a five-year plan.

  • Buying decisions: 96% of small business owners are involved in purchasing products for their business.

  • Omnichannel shoppers: More than half (53%) of small business owners use the convenience of shopping both channels, with 82% shopping in store and 66% shopping online.

  • More efficient:  Small business owners plan to “get smart” increase efficiency this fall by focusing on marketing and advertising (28%), cash flow management (26%) and social media use (26%).

  • Fall clean-up: 56% of small business owners actually plan a fall clean-up.

To help small business customers prepare for the busy fall and holiday seasons, Staples is celebrating small businesses throughout October with special savings and business tips. For small business expert tips and details on savings visit: http://www.staples.com/Small-Business-Main/cat_BI823623


This Staples SBO Success survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Duffy & Shanley and their client Staples, between August 26 – September 2, 2014 among 510 U.S. small business owners, in each of the 4 regions (East, Midwest, South, and West). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

About Staples:

Staples makes it easy to make more happen with more products and more ways to shop. Through its world-class retail, online and delivery capabilities, Staples lets customers shop however and whenever they want, whether it’s in-store, online, on mobile devices, or through the company’s innovative buy online, pick-up in store option. Staples offers more products than ever, such as technology, facilities and breakroom supplies, furniture, safety supplies, medical supplies, and Copy and Print services. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. More information about Staples (SPLS) is available at www.staples.com.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

‘Hope Starts Here’ Breakfast Benefits Bellevue’s LifeWire

As high-profile cases of domestic violence draw the attention of people across the country, Bellevue’s LifeWire is bringing local awareness and resources to the issue at its ‘Hope Starts Here’ breakfast on Thursday, October 2, 2014 in Bellevue. “We are at a pivotal moment within American culture in which domestic violence, so often a taboo subject, is being addressed on a national level,” said Barbara Langdon, LifeWire Executive Director. “America needs to know that domestic violence is an insidious crime and a national epidemic.”

Langdon cites recent cases involving NFL football player Ray Rice, and stunning video of him hitting his fiancée inside a casino elevator, knocking her out. NFL players Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson have also been arrested in separate cases of abuse. Local women’s soccer player, Hope Solo, has pleaded ‘not guilty’ and is awaiting trial on charges that she assaulted her half-sister and 17 year old nephew. And newly crowned Miss America Kira Kazantsev, a domestic violence survivor, made headlines with her pageant platform of domestic violence awareness.

For 32 years, LifeWire has been addressing the complex issue of domestic violence. “Many of these victims call our helpline and walk through our doors in desperate need of help,” said Langdon. “Domestic violence and sexual assaults account for more than 200,000 visits to hospital emergency rooms across the country each year.” National police statistics show that nearly half of women murdered by their intimate partner had visited an emergency room within two years of the homicide.

Janine Latus, award-winning journalist and author of the book, If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister’s Story of Love, Murder and Liberation, will deliver the keynote speech at the ‘Hope Starts Here’ breakfast. Latus will share her story of being in a series of abusive relationships for both her and her sister, Amy, which eventually ended in Amy’s death. The LifeWire breakfast will be held at Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Center on Thursday, October 2nd. Jean Enersen of KING 5 News, will emcee the event. Register to attend at www.lifewire.org.

If you are reading this and need help, call LifeWire’s 24- Hour Helpline at 425-746-1940 or 1-800-827-8840.  If you are reading this and want to support our work send your check to:



P.O. Box 6398

Bellevue, WA  98008

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bellevue the Best Looking Mid-Size City According to Study

According to a study published on the Movoto real estate blog, Bellevue has the most physically attractive people of all mid-sized cities in America.  Movoto based their conclusion on a combination of factors such as the number of hair salons, spas, gyms, clothing stores, dentists - and of course, the number of people who 'Like' soap deodorant or hygiene on Facebook.

While most recognition that Bellevue is a great place to live is welcomed and appreciated, it's unclear why we would be proud that "almost 12 percent" of us "'Like' soap, deodorant or hygiene on Facebook.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

SAP to Acquire Bellevue's Concur

SAP SE and Concur Technologies, Inc. recently announced that SAP’s subsidiary, SAP America, Inc., has entered into an agreement to acquire Bellevue-based Concur. With more than 23,000 customers, 4,200 employees and 25 million active users in over 150 countries, Concur is in the multi-billion market for travel and expense (T&E) management software.  There are no early reports on how this may affect Concur's employee base in Bellevue.  There may be some consolidation, but there is a good potential for expansion and logical reasons for staying in Bellevue.

With Concur, SAP’s business network – the world’s largest – will transact more than US$600 billion annually, deliver frictionless commerce across more than 25 different industries and address annual corporate travel spend of US$1.2 trillion worldwide.

The Concur board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter 2014 or the first quarter 2015, subject to Concur stockholder approval, clearances by the relevant regulatory authorities and other customary closing conditions. The per-share purchase price of US$129 represents a 20% premium over the September 17 closing price, a 21% premium over the one month volume weighted average price per share and an enterprise value of approximately US$8.3 billion. The transaction will be funded from a credit facility agreement of up to €7 billion to cover the purchase price, target debt refinancing and acquisition-related costs. The company has undergone an external credit rating process with two agencies. The results of this process will be published shortly.

“The acquisition of Concur is consistent with our relentless focus on the business network,” said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. “We are making a bold move to innovate the future of business within and between companies. With Ariba, Fieldglass and Concur, SAP is the undisputed business network company. We are redefining how businesses conduct commerce across goods and services, contingent workforces, travel and entertainment. With the SAP HANA platform, the possibilities to innovate new business models around Concur and the network are limitless.”

“Concur shares SAP’s vision to help our customers ‘Run simple’,” added McDermott. “Concur cloud solutions are network-based and enable context-aware applications for travelers to use on any mobile device. With Concur, people are given the professional courtesy and ultimate flexibility to make the choices that are right for them. No longer does cost control for companies have to come at the expense of people.”

“We have always been focused on making solutions for real customer problems, and with SAP we have a great opportunity to advance that mission," said Steve Singh, CEO of Concur. "We are constantly seeking innovative ways to deliver the best customer experience and we’re excited about leveraging SAP technology, including HANA as we scale globally."

Scaling the Business Network

  • Concur will expand SAP’s business network to reach into the US$1.2 trillion corporate travel spectrum.

  • Concur has developed an open platform to connect the corporate travel ecosystem, such as airlines, hotels and car rental companies in new and innovative ways.

  • With the addition of the corporate travel ecosystem to the Ariba and Fieldglass networks, SAP’s business network will have an opportunity to power transactions that drive more than US$10 trillion of global spend annually.

  • With SAP HANA, Concur anticipates real-time network collaboration that will reshape the travel value chain, create new business models and eliminate needless complexity confronting millions of business travelers worldwide.

  • SAP applications touch two-thirds of global commerce; combined with the power of SAP HANA, SAP is uniquely positioned to make the “real-time networked economy” a reality.

Achieving Significant Business Synergies

  • Together the two companies will have more than 50 million users in the cloud — more than any enterprise cloud company — and will be the second largest cloud company by measure of revenue.

  • Concur has a revenue run rate of more than US$700 million. With its global reach in every country around the world, SAP will provide a global platform to scale.

  • The majority of SAP customers do not run Concur, presenting a clear opportunity to scale as part of the SAP franchise.

  • Only 30% of Concur customers currently run SAP, presenting a dynamic opportunity to introduce SAP innovations to the Concur install base.

  • With one of the richest T&E datasets in the industry and the potential of the SAP HANA platform, Concur will deliver unique insight and analytics to business expense wherever it occurs.

  • With the dominance of the mobile device in travel and entertainment, Concur will collaborate with SAP’s innovation leadership to build network-based, context-aware mobile applications.

  • SAP will migrate all its corporate travel and expense management to Concur’s integrated solutions.

Investing for Business Growth

  • The Concur platform has a broad, horizontal impact with the customer base of more than 23,000 enterprises covering every one of SAP’s 25 industries and all company sizes.

  • In June 2012, Concur was awarded a 15-year contract to supply T&E software to multiple federal agencies. SAP, with government customers numbering in the tens-of-thousands, intends to expand this relationship across the globe with other governments and agencies.

  • In the small and medium business space, Concur solutions will complement the new SAP Business One Cloud solution powered by SAP HANA to offer a compelling suite of solutions for businesses of all sizes.

8 Ways Introverts Can Master Networking

By Jacqueline Whitmore

Introverts are often reluctant to participate in professional networking opportunities. A room filled with dozens of other people engaged in small-talk can make an introvert feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

There’s a common misconception that introverts are simply shy, but that’s not always the case. Instead, introverts are typically more reserved, introspective and quiet. An extrovert will likely feel energized after social interaction, but an introvert may feel he or she needs time alone to “recharge.”

Effective networking requires practice before it becomes second nature — you must see and be seen. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be the center of attention or captivate an entire crowd with your best joke. If you’re introverted, don’t try to act like an extrovert. Instead, play to your strengths and find the best networking opportunities for your personality.

Here are 8 helpful tips to master your mingle-ability.

  1. Set reasonable expectations.Don’t measure the success of your networking based on one event. Instead, set long-term goals and evaluate the effectiveness of networking over several months. Even the most skilled networkers won’t engage in 20 meaningful interactions throughout the course of one night. Instead, set out to connect with one or two individuals at each event you attend.

  2. Plan ahead.A little preparation will go a long way toward making you feel more confident. Spend an hour or two to prepare some icebreakers ahead of time. Most professionals love to speak about themselves. Open-ended questions will allow conversation to flow smoothly and organically. Ask questions like, “Are you a member of the host organization?” or “Tell me, what’s the best aspect of your job?”

  3. Decide how long to stay.Set a time limit for how long you plan to stay at an event. When you decide how much time you’re willing to commit, you’ll feel less intimidated. Plan for at least 20-30 minutes to give yourself time to locate your nametag, get something to drink, and meet at least one new professional acquaintance. You may find you want to stay longer after you’ve had a few minutes to adjust to the busy environment.

  4. Find a common acquaintance.If you plan to attend a networking event and would like to meet a particular person, try to find someone who knows just about everyone in the room (also known as a “connector”) and ask him to introduce you. This kind of connection is more productive than if you were to approach someone out of the blue.

  5. Show off your empathetic listening skills.This is where introverts shine. Because introverts tend to be more introspective, they are often excellent listeners. When someone speaks, be fully engaged. When he or she finishes, respond with thoughtful remarks.

  6. Push outside your comfort zone.Conversations flow naturally when both individuals participate. Personal stories are a great way to connect with your peers and build professional relationships. A conversation can quickly feel like an interrogation if you ask plenty of questions but never open up about yourself.

  7. Challenge yourself.If you still feel extremely nervous or unsure, practice networking in low- or no-risk situations. Attend a networking event where you likely won’t know anyone. It will remove the pressure and allow you to experiment with new conversation-starters and stories.

  8. Practice. Make small steps through frequent practice. As time goes on, you’ll become increasingly comfortable sharing your true personality while networking. Even everyday opportunities to be social — like a quick walk with a colleague or a professional luncheon — can help you become a more effective networker.

Jacqueline Whitmore is an international etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach and the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals. Visit her website at www.EtiquetteExpert.com.

Bellevue's Clark Nuber Receives "Best Accounting Firms to Work for" Award

Clark Nuber, a CPA firm headquartered in downtown Bellevue, was recently named as one of the 2014 Best Accounting Firms to Work for based on a national survey and award program designed by Accounting Today and Best Companies Group. The award identifies, recognizes and honors the best places of employment in the accounting industry, benefiting the nation's economy, its workforce and businesses.

The Best Accounting Firms to Work for list is made up of a total of 100 companies, split into three groups: 45 small-sized companies (15-49 employees), 45 medium-sized companies (50-249 employees) and 10 large-sized companies (more than 250 employees). Clark Nuber has been named one of the Best Accounting Firms to Work for in the medium category.

Clark Nuber employs more than 180 people with the expertise to provide commercial business owners, leaders in not-for-profit organizations, as well as high net worth individuals, with a wide variety of services, including, financial statement audits, federal, state, and international tax planning and compliance, CFO/Controller/accounting services, and specialty audits including employee benefit plans and government grants.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Top housing experts and legislators tackle challenge of shrinking supply of buildable lands and housing affordability at Master Builders Association’s 2014 Housing Summit

Housing affordability and the impact of the Puget Sound region’s dwindling supply of buildable land was the focus of the  Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties’(MBA) 2014 Housing Summit, held yesterday in Bellevue.

Attracting 400 attendees, the Summit’s program, “Accommodating Housing Needs with Less Land,” included presentations by top national and regional housing experts and a panel discussion with state legislators and homebuilders.

“There is an explicit link between the availability of buildable lands and housing affordability,” said MBA Executive Director Shannon Affholter. “The Summit served as a starting point in a frank discussion about what’s working, and what’s not, in meeting the Growth Management Act housing targets and the region’s growing needs.”


A presentation by Todd Britsch, regional director for Metrostudy, Inc., a leading provider of research and analysis to the housing industry, underscored the immediate challenge to the buildable land supply: based on projected population growth, King County has 3.87 years of supply remaining of assumed total inventory, and only 3.29 years of supply in Snohomish County.

“We’re seeing lot prices absolutely skyrocket, and the numbers are staggering. It’s a long-term issue and we have to address it sooner rather than later,” he said. “And if we don’t, the Puget Sound region is going to become the next San Francisco Bay Area, where only the ‘elite of the elite’ can afford to own a home.”

Nancy Bainbridge Rogers, land use attorney at Cairncross & Hempelmann, noted that GMA-mandated Buildable Lands Reports generated periodically by counties don’t provide a full and accurate picture of future trends.

“The reports compare housing targets to the actual growth. The reports must determine whether sufficient land exists to accommodate population projections.  Unfortunately, the reports are not required to include a feasibility component or an assessment of affordability.”

A lively panel discussion focusing on legislative solutions included Senator Joe Fain (R) 47th District, from Auburn; Senator Marko Liias (D) 21st District, from Mukilteo; Representative Jay Rodne (R), 5th District, from Snoqualmie; and Representative Larry Springer (D), 45th District, from Kirkland. Other participants included homebuilders Mark Kaushagen of the Pulte Group and Lynn Eshleman from Pacific Ridge Homes.

Individual panel members cited specific action items that could advance the goals of housing availability and affordability, including:

  • couple housing demand with affordability in future planning

  • passage of a transportation package and infrastructure financing bill

  • comprehensive review of the Urban Growth Boundary and its possible expansion

  • require cities in King and Snohomish counties to do a planned action on remaining undeveloped lands to assess infill housing opportunities

  • eliminate redundancies in the review and permitting process, and establish a meaningful time limit in which permits can be outstanding.

Also attending the Summit were Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) and Dr. David Crowe, the NAHB’s chief economist and senior vice-president, who presented a national perspective on land supply issues.

.About the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties:

The Master Builders Association is a trade association made up of approximately 2,700 member companies involved in the residential construction industry.  It is the nation’s oldest and largest local home building association affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders.

Cirque du Soleil Returns to Seattle with the latest Big Top Creation

Chaos Synchronized Cirque du SoleilAfter the remarkable success of AMALUNA in 2013, Cirque du Soleil returns to the Pacific Northwest with its newest touring show, Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities, premiering under the iconic blue-and-yellow Big Top beginning Thursday, January 29, 2015 

Written and directed by Michel Laprise, Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities is a tale in which time comes to a complete stop, transporting the audience inside a fantasy world where everything is possible. In this realm set in the latter half of the nineteenth century, reality is quite relative indeed as our perception of it is utterly transformed. The name of the show refers to the humble and strange characters that inhabit the Seeker’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

In an alternate yet familiar past, in a place where wonders abound for those who trust their imagination, a Seeker discovers that in order to glimpse the marvels that lie just below the surface, we must first learn to close our eyes. In his larger-than-life curio cabinet, the Seeker is convinced that there exists a hidden, invisible world – a place where the craziest ideas and the grandest dreams lay waiting. A collection of otherworldly characters suddenly steps into his makeshift mechanical world. When the outlandish, benevolent characters turn his world upside down with a touch of poetry and humor in an attempt to ignite the Seeker’s imagination, his curios jump to life one by one before his very eyes.

What if by engaging our imagination and opening our minds we could unlock the door to a world of wonders?

Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities premiered to the world in Montréal in April 2014 and is Cirque du Soleil’s 35th production. Since its debut, the reviews and the critics have been raving:

“Kurios is Cirque du Soleil's strongest act in years…one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen on a stage,”
–Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star

"Kurios is a classic. It runs like clockwork and could tick on forever."

– Pat Donnelly, The Gazette

Michel Laprise

Michel Laprise worked in theatre for nine years as an actor, director and artistic director before joining Cirque du Soleil in 2000. At Cirque du Soleil, Michel spent five years as a talent scout before taking on, in 2006, the role of Special Events Designer. In that capacity, he directed the act with Quebec diva Diane Dufresne during the Opening Ceremonies of the Montreal 2006 Outgames; the large-scale performance event created for the launch of the Fiat Bravo in Italy (2007); the Cirque du Soleil performance event celebrating Quebec City’s 400th anniversary (2008); the launch of Microsoft’s Kinect console at the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo, broadcast on MTV; the opening show at the Eurovision Song Contest held in Russia in 2009; and the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 FIBA International Basketball Federation World Championships in Istanbul. In 2012, Michel collaborated with pop star Madonna, providing artistic direction for her performance at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show; he later went on to direct herMDNA tour. In 2013, he directed the musical Robin des Bois – Ne renoncez jamais, currently on tour in Europe.


Creative team

The creative team of KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities consists of 17 creators under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberté (Guide) and Jean-François Bouchard (Creative Guide):

Michel Laprise                   Writer and Director

Chantal Tremblay             Director of Creation

Stéphane Roy                    Set and Props Designer

Philippe Guillotel              Costume Designer

Raphaël Beau                    Composer and Musical Director

Bob & Bill                             Composers and Musical Directors

Yaman Okur                       Choreographer

Ben Potvin                          Choreographer

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui         Choreographer

Susan Gaudreau               Choreographer

Andrea Ziegler                  Choreographer

Jacques Boucher              Sound Designer

Jean-Michel Caron          Sound Designer

Martin Labrecque            Lighting Designer

Rob Bollinger                     Acrobatic Performance Designer

Germain Guillemot         Acrobatic Performance Designer

Boris Verkhovsky             Acrobatic Performance Designer

Danny Zen                          Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer

Eleni Uranis                        Makeup Designer


Tickets will be available for purchase to the general public beginning Friday, September 26, 2014 by visiting cirquedusoleil.com/kurios or calling 1-800-450-1480. Tickets range from $35 to $156.

Letter to the Editor: Destination Sales Tax, modification

On July 1, 2008, the destination sales tax went into effect.  The destination sales tax was set up so, if a retailer (seller) sold something (purchaser), and the item(s) was to be delivered to the purchaser in a different city or county, the retailer would charge the sales tax applicable to the delivered city/county and then pay that sales tax to that city/county.  If the purchaser was to take the item(s) with them (not have it delivered by a third party), then the sales tax would be determined by the tax applicable to the location of the seller and the sales tax would be paid to the seller’s city/county.
This distribution of the sales tax to the destination city/county was long overdue, but it fell short of what should have been in the law.  Since each transaction has a buyer and a seller, both of whom bring benefits to the transaction, why is 100% of the sales tax being paid to the destination city/county, when the selling city/county is an equal party to the transaction, but the selling city/county receives none of the applicable sales tax.  Right now the destination city/county gets 100% of the sales tax and the selling city/county gets 0%.  Is it not more equitable for both the purchasing city/county and the selling city/county to split the sales tax equally, 50/50.
Splitting the sales tax 50/50, as to the purchaser and the seller locations, can easily be accomplished today with computers that are doing the work anyway.  We all have 9 digit zip codes for our street, city/county address.  (It is on our driver’s license.)  I suggest the Washington State Senate and/or House, make this modification to the sales tax distribution without any delay, so that all of the parties, the purchasing city/county and the selling city/county, to the transaction get an equal and equitable share of the sales tax. The sales tax charged should be based upon the seller’s location, to keep it simple.

Mike Lantz
Retired tax attorney

Outerwall Announces #KioskSelfie Sweepstakes in the Pacific Northwest

Expanding on its partnership with the Seattle Seahawks, Outerwall Inc. recently announced the #KioskSelfie sweepstakes, an interactive social media campaign incorporating the company’s popular consumer brands: Redbox, America’s destination for new release movies and games at an incredible value; Coinstar, and ecoATM electronics recycling kiosks.

Currently open and running through December 1, 2014, eligible residents in Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and Montana can enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to one of four World Champion Seattle Seahawks home games by taking a selfie with any one of Outerwall’s kiosks and entering the #KioskSelfie sweepstakes at http://bit.ly/1o9D6Ad.*

Four randomly selected winners will each receive a pair of tickets to one of four Seattle Seahawks home games held at CenturyLink Field (one winner per game):

  • October 12 versus the Dallas Cowboys

  • November 2 versus the Oakland Raiders

  • November 23 versus the Arizona Cardinals

  • December 28 versus the St. Louis Rams

“We know many of our loyal customers are devoted Seahawks fans,” said J. Scott Di Valerio, chief executive officer. “With a mission to create a better everyday, we want to reward our long-time customers – and entice new ones – by offering the 12s an opportunity to have the best Sunday, with tickets to a Seahawks home game. Go Hawks!”

Coinstar coin-counting kiosks allow people to trade in their coins for cash, No-Fee eCertificates, or donate money to charity. Coinstar’s newest yellow CoinstarTM Exchange kiosk allows consumers to instantly exchange unused or partially used gift cards for cash. Consumers can find Coinstar kiosks in their local grocery stores or mass retailers, or locate a kiosk by visitinghttps://www.coinstar.com/kioskfinder.

Redbox offers new-release movie and video game rentals at an incredible value via conveniently located, self-service kiosks. To locate the closest kiosk, visit http://www.redbox.com/locations.

ecoATM is the only automated kiosk that pays instant cash for used and unwanted cell phones, tablets and MP3 players. To date, ecoATM kiosks have recycled 3 million devices, and that number is growing every day. Consumers can visithttp://www.ecoatm.com/locator/ to find an ecoATM kiosk.

*No purchase necessary. Open to U.S. residents 18+ in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes ends December 1, 2014. See official rules at www.outerwall.com/seahawks for details, including additional prizes and alternative methods of entry.

Windermere Property Management to Open in Kirkland

Windermere Property Management KirklandSeattle based Windermere Property Management/JMW has announced its expansion to the Eastside. Windermere Property Management Kirkland is slated to open in October inside the Rose Hill Plaza Building at 12801 NE 85th Street.


The new office will initially be staffed by five agents from the firm’s Seattle location who offer extensive Eastside expertise. Christie Rice, Jay LaBrie, Jennie Ugaitafa, Mandy Lane and Christian Dema are long-term Eastside property managers as well as residents.


“The decision to expand our footprint was in recognition of where much of our management portfolio has grown,” comments J. Michael Wilson, Owner/Broker. Wilson believes the Kirkland location will not only accommodate continued growth for the eight-year-old brokerage, but make life easier for existing agents and clients. “At this point it seems only logical to provide a service base on both sides of Lake Washington,” notes Wilson.


Windermere Property Management Kirkland can be reached at Tel. 425-213-1300 or www.windermere-pm.com.


About Windermere Real Estate

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Mexico. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 26 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Roostertails & Ales Oktoberfest at the Hydroplane Museum!

Chris StevensPlease join the Hydroplane & Raceboat Museum for their 3rd Annual Beer Tasting and Oktoberfest.  www.hydromuseum.org, 5917 South 196th St – Kent, WA 98032.  Saturday, September 27th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm

$15.00 gets you admission to the Museum and 5 tasting tickets where you can view the Museum’s collection of vintage hydroplanes and

enjoy an evening of beer, bratwurst, soft pretzels and live music.  Eight local NW microbreweries will be offering samples of their finest brews.

This year, the Museum is pleased to announce, playing at Roostertails and Ales, Seattle guitarist and singer Chris Stevens who has been a favorite of Northwest blues fans for many years.  His intense playing calls to mind the prime years of stellar guitarists like B.B. King, T-Bone Walker and Kenny Burrell.  Preferring to deliver his electric blues lines with the rich tones of a big Gibson archtop, Chris combines a scorching blues feeling with dazzling chops and constantly surprising musical ideas to create a style that cuts across genres, including blues, jazz... and surf!


$15.00 gets you five tickets and admission to the event.  Once you are in you can trade your tickets for food and beer.

1 ticket gets you a beer sample.

2 tickets gets you a soft pretzel.

3 tickets gets you a bratwurst hot off of the grill.

Additional tickets can be bought for $1 each.

There will also be a silent auction featuring a wonderful assortment of hydroplane memorabilia.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Outerwall Commits to Collecting Two Million Pounds of Mobile Devices to Help Combat Surging E-Waste Crisis

On September 22nd at the Clinton Global Initiative’s Tenth Annual Meeting, Outerwall Inc. announced that it expects to collect at least two million pounds of mobile phones, tablets, and other devices and accessories over the next three years through its ecoATM recycling kiosks, which accept electronics for reuse and recycling, helping to divert e-waste from landfills.

Industry experts estimate that each year 15 pounds of e-waste are generated per person worldwide. Consumer demand for mobile phones remains strong. More than 1.8 billion mobile phones were sold worldwide in 2013 (Source: Gartner, Inc.), and  Apple announced more than four million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders were received within the first 24 hours of its announcement earlier this month.

“We can all make a tremendous impact if each person commits to reducing their personal e-waste footprint,” said J. Scott Di Valerio, CEO of Outerwall. “ecoATM was created to make it easy and rewarding for people to sell their devices for reuse and recycle, thereby reducing their impact on the environment.”

Outerwall’s sustainability efforts extend to the company’s Redbox entertainment and Coinstar money services businesses.  Redbox reuses DVDs, works with recyclers to shred and recycle discs and minimizes waste by selling used DVDs to third parties or donating them to nonprofit organizations. Coinstar’s network of coin counting kiosks helps keep coins in circulation, reducing the amount of new coins minted.  Over the past 20+ years, Coinstar has processed more than 650 billion coins.

"We are so pleased to see Outerwall's commitment to ensure that electronic devices, currency and media are in circulation and in use for the full duration of their useful lives--and then their component materials recycled responsibly,” said Katherine V. Smith, executive director, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. “This model can help address the digital divide in mobile computing and reduce landfill waste--this is great for our society and our planet,” Smith added.

ecoATM: Rewarding Reuse and Recycling of Mobile Devices

Outerwall’s network of approximately 1,100 ecoATM kiosks (as of 7/30/14), located in shopping malls and select retailers nationwide, recycle consumer electronics and keep them out of landfills by incentivizing reuse and recycling. ecoATM is able to find a second life for approximately 75 percent of devices collected. For the remaining 25 percent, ecoATM partners with certified e-waste reclamation facilities to ensure those materials are responsibly reused and recycled.

“Many of our retailer partners are taking significant strides toward integrating sustainability into their business operations,” said Maria Stipp, president of ecoATM. “These efforts confirm our strategic alignment and underscore the potential we have to work together to make e-waste recycling easy, safe, and convenient for consumers.”

ecoATM kiosks identify, evaluate, price and accept devices of any era or condition and use a worldwide auction system to offer consumers competitive prices ranging from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. ecoATM holds both Responsible Recycling (R2) and ISO 14001 certification, confirming the company’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of electronics recycling, as well as ISO 27001 certification for information and personal data security. ecoATM is also a member of the Consumer Electronics Association and the Device Renewal Forum, and is a founding member of the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearing House (ERCC). These industry groups are focused on defining the best practices for e-waste recycling.  See ecoatm.com/how-it-works for a video of how an ecoATM kiosk works.

To learn more about ecoATM or find a kiosk, visit, ecoatm.com.

Kemper Freeman Jr to Keynote 9th Annual Zino Zillionaire Investment Forum

Developer Kemper Freeman will provide the keynote address at ZINO Society’s 9th annual ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum onTuesday, September 30, 2014 on the campus of Seattle University in Campion Hall. Freeman’s keynote address is titled “Risk Takers: Is the Reward Worth the Risk?” Freeman is currently in the process of adding roughly two million square feet of hotel, retail and apartment multi use developments in Bellevue, Wash. In addition to the keynote, the ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum will feature investors, entrepreneurs, business professionals, venture capitalists, and leaders in the start-up and venture world will gather to hear presentations from representatives from 20-25 emerging, start-up and early stage companies representing a variety of business sectors vying for funding. In addition to considering individual angel investments, another $100,000 from the 2014 ZINO Annual Angel Investment Fund is up for grabs this year! At the conclusion of the business session, the ZINO Annual Fund investors will deliberate and select fund finalists.

WHO: ZINO Society

WHAT: ZINO Zillionaire Investment Forum

WHEN: Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 11:00am-7:00pm, After the Pitches Networking Reception from 5:30pm-7:00pm

WHERE: Campion Hall at Seattle University, 901 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

Tickets for the forum can be purchased on the website at http://zinosociety.com/zino-zillionaire-investment-forum/

Expert speakers, judges, and panelists include:

Sue Oliver, Executive Director, Albers School of Business & Economics, Seattle University; Kemper Freeman, CEO, Kemper Development; Gregg Bennett, Angel Investor; Dan Rosen, PhD, Director, Angel Capital Association; Peter Weiss, President, American Outlook, Inc.; Monty Montoya, President/CEO, SightLife; Kristi Marchbanks, Chief Strategy Executive; Ivan Braiker, Entrepreneur & Consultant; Janis Machala, Managing Partner, Paladin Partners; Sanjay Puri, Co-Founder/Partner, 9Mile Labs; Josh Maher, President, Seattle Angel; Larry Braden, Chief Financial Officer, Early Growth Financial Services; Tama Smith, CEO, Saventure, Inc.; Bill McAleer, Managing Director, Voyager Capital; Geoff Entress, Angel Investor; Vin Ricci, Foster Pepper PLLC; Ron Elgin, Founder, re: connects; Dick Barkett, Advisor/Investor; Stephen McKay, Senior Associate, Karr Tuttle; Spike Anderson, Chairman, Anderson Daymon Worldwide; May McCarthy, Investor & Entrepreneur; Andy Dale, Managing Partner, Montlake Capital; Miles Drake, CTO, Weyerhauser (Retired); Steve Cade, President, Utility Management Group; John Jerome, President, Jerome, Bruhn & Associates; Dale Rasmussen, Chairman of the Board, Digi Outdoor; Eli Moreno, Investor & Entrepreneur; John Otter, President/CEO, CBC Partners; Colby Underwood, Co-CEO/Chief Business Officer, Blue Marble Biomaterial; Joe Wallin, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine; Sherman Helenese, Shareholder, Karr Tuttle Campbell; Russ Tarleton, Member Attorney, Seed IP.

Presenting companies include: 

AttachedappsConnect2ClassesControlDon’t Call Me Ma’amemLandmarksHestia Home BiogasflightSpeakGrunt WorksHopelaIt Takes A Village FoodsKinetaKitoTech MedicalKids Go Co.NectargyNouvolaPredictions Sciences, Therapy Inc., TenacityTilting Motor WorksTulemodvSpinWinfidenceZocialGPA

Event sponsors include:

SightLife, Seattle University, Alaska Airlines, Karr Tuttle, CBC Partners, and Early Growth Financial Services.

About ZINO Society:

ZINO Society is a community of over 500 Angel Investors, Entrepreneurs and Connectors that propels businesses and investors to success through active angel investing, consulting, and mentoring.  ZINO Society has facilitated over $32 million in angel funding and has coached and mentored over 700 entrepreneurs.