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.

Agilysys Donates Movie Tickets to Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Boys & Girls Club SignAgilysys, Inc. a provider of innovative information technology and hospitality software and services, is donating 500 AMC movie tickets to Boys & Girls Clubs of America in conjunction with its rGuest ™ 'World Premiere' product launch, held during HITEC 2014 in Los Angeles.

Each time a HITEC attendee visited the Agilysys booth and viewed the rGuest demo, a movie ticket donation was made. The tickets will be distributed among Boys & Girls Clubs located in most of the U.S. locations where Agilysys maintains an office — Atlanta; Bellevue, Wash.; Las Vegas; and Santa Barbara, Calif.

"We are grateful to Agilysys for giving our kids a fun and memorable experience," said Carolyn Brown, executive director of Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara. "More than 60 percent of our members live at or below the poverty level, so it's a treat for them to see a movie in a real theater."

In the Las Vegas area, the movie tickets will be given to teen club members who helped raise approximately $20,000 for the organization by selling fireworks the week prior to the Fourth of July. "These dedicated young people worked very hard to raise money to help fund field trips, leadership events and programs for the coming year," said Ken Rubeli, chief executive officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada. "A night at the movies will be a great reward for them as well as a way to show our appreciation for their efforts."

"We are pleased to play a role in bringing happiness to some of the kids in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America," said Michael Buckham-White, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Agilysys. "We are especially gratified to work with an organization that does so much to promote the welfare of children and teens in need, giving them a helping hand and enabling them to reach their full potential. Through this donation, we affirm our corporate commitment to giving back to the communities where we live and work and encourage our employees to do the same."

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America have enabled young people in need to achieve great futures as productive and responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing fun, friendship, caring adult mentors and high-impact youth development programs that emphasize academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character and citizenship. Boys & Girls Clubs of America is headquartered in Atlanta.

About Agilysys

Agilysys is a developer and marketer of proprietary enterprise software, services and solutions to the hospitality industry.

Bellevue's G2 Web Services Names Allison Guidette as CEO

Allison GuidetteG2 Web Services recently announced that Allison Guidette has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer. With deep understanding of Big Data, software, and services businesses, Guidette is uniquely poised to lead G2 in its next stage of service to the fast-evolving payment processing industry.

Guidette brings more than 15 years of general management experience in information and technology for professional services clients. She most recently honed her commitment to customer-focused innovation and service as managing director of the large law firms business at Thomson Reuters.

Her appointment at G2 is part of the company’s ongoing strategy to leverage its unique data, systems, and client base to help solve industry problems. “G2 enjoys the proud legacy of a decade of leadership in the payments market,” commented Jon Dick, Managing Director of Primus Capital. “As our global clients’ needs quickly evolve with the market, Allison’s professional management expertise and deep commitment to client engagement and innovation will ensure that the business stays at the forefront of risk management innovation for the next decade as well.”

With rapid growth in the micromerchant market, an explosion of new payment methods, and the near-instant globalization of merchants in the payment system, clients require a central, global, and standard measure of merchant risk. Guidette’s unique combination of entrepreneurial zeal, problem solving skill, and big business and data analytics experience, position her perfectly to deliver this standard to market.

G2 remains committed to its core business of providing world-class data solutions for the merchant acquirer market and continues to heavily invest in product and operational enhancements to improve client experience. Concurrently, G2 is introducing new products that respond to client demand for faster assessment of business counterparty risk and other compliance and regulatory risk challenges facing the payments industry. The G2 Compass Score, a comprehensive risk assessment tool, is one example that enables users to predict merchant and ACH originator risk and profitability in near real-time through API or portal delivery.

Guidette commented on her appointment: “I am honored to lead G2 at this time in its rich history and energized by the company’s strong relationships with more than 300 financial firms, global footprint, and proven results. I look forward to working with our clients and the G2 team to continue to enhance existing services and rapidly innovate frictionless risk management solutions into the decision-making process.”

Guidette will be working out of G2’s Bellevue, Washington headquarters.

Ten Questions Job Seekers Should Ask in an Interview

Get the Job bookcoverMany job seekers walk into an interview ill-prepared, expecting the employer to ask all the questions. Contrary to popular belief, the most important questions of the interview might be those that you, the candidate, ask.  Ford R. Myers, Career Coach, Speaker and Author of "Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring," (John Wiley & Sons, http://www.getthejobbook.com) says, "Asking smart questions will help the job seeker sound articulate, well-prepared and genuinely interested in working for the organization."To find out as much as possible about the prospective employer, Myers suggests job seekers include the following 10 questions in the interview process:

1.      Can you give me more detail about the position's responsibilities?
2.      Where do you see this position going in the next few years?
3.      How can I most quickly become a strong contributor within the organization?
4.      What are the most challenging aspects of the job for which I am being considered?
5.      How will my performance be evaluated, and at what frequency?
6.      What particular aspects about my background and experience interest you?
7.      What makes you think I will be successful in this job? What causes you concern about my candidacy?
8.      Now that we've had a chance to talk, how does my background measure up to the requirements of the job? To the other candidates?
9.      Where are you in the hiring process? What's our next step?
10.     If I don't hear from you within (time period), may I get back in touch with you for an update?

"It is always best for job seekers to prepare thoroughly for an interview by studying and practicing both the answers and potential questions. The time one invests in this process pays off with more - and better - job offers," says Myers.

For more information and other useful tips for achieving career success, visit http://www.getthejobbook.com .

ABC Announces 2014-2015 Board of Directors and Officers

[caption id="attachment_9578" align="alignright" width="263"]Mark VanWell - Chair of ABC Board of Directors Mark VanWell - Chair of ABC Board of Directors[/caption]

Mark VanWell - Chair of ABC Board of Directors

Mark VanWell, VanWell Masonry Inc., was elected as the Chair of the Board of Directors; Chair-elect is Jamie Creek with Synergy Construction, Inc.; Vice Chair – Government and Labor Affairs is John Noble, Washington Commercial Painters; Vice Chair – Membership is Mike Schultis, Schultis Sundberg Inc.; Vice Chair – Professional Development is Dawn Lanz, Sea-Tac Electric, Inc.; Secretary-Treasurer is Dan Case, Peterson Sullivan LLP; and the Immediate Past Chair is Amanda Grindle, Saybr Contractors, Inc.

Other directors are: Ryan Brown, System Heating & Air Conditioning Co.; Anthony Christoffersen, Tradesmen International; Jeff Harding, Premier Builders, Inc.; Travis Hull, Mechanical & Control Services, Inc.; Clarke Jewell, Olympian Precast, Inc.; Glen Kuntz, S.D. Deacon Corp. of Washington; Scott Rhodes, Rhodes Architecture; Greg Tozer, Express Construction Co., Inc.; James Walsh, Finishing Systems; and Jason Wandler, Oles Morrison Rinker & Baker LLP.

ABC of Western Washington represents more than 300 companies and their nearly 15,000 employees from both open shop and union contractors, professional service firms and suppliers. Its membership includes general and subcontractors as well as associated firms that are dedicated to promoting the free enterprise system through improved business conditions, increased training and safety and promoting positive employee/employer relations.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Peter Diamandis Launches Global Learning X-Prize!

Peter DiamandisI just got an e-newsletter from Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Planetary Resources, Peter Diamandis and feel the need to share it with our readers:

I'm writing to tell you about the boldest XPRIZE I've ever launched.

...and I want you involved.

There are nearly one billion illiterate people on Earth.

Two-thirds of them are women.

250 million of them are children.

These are kids who can't read, write or do basic math.

And there is a HUGE cost to society here: 250 million minds are going to waste.

We know from hard research that educated populations have lower growth rates, are more peaceful and add to the global economy.

The best way to create a more peaceful and prosperous world is to educate these kids.

But how?

To meet the demand of 250 million illiterate children would requiretraining over 1.6 million new teachers by 2015.

There is NO WAY to teach enough teachers and build enough schools.

The old way just doesn't scale.

It's time to stop thinking linearly...

So here's a solution. It's the MOST important XPRIZE we may ever launch.

It's called the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE.

We are challenging hundreds (perhaps thousands) of teams around the world to build a piece of software that can take a child fromilliteracy to reading, writing and numeracy in just 18 months.

Imagine such software preloaded onto every phone and every tablet.

Imagine software that incorporates A.I. as the facilitator -- providing on-demand, personalized knowledge and learning when and where it is needed.

This isn't designed to replace teachers. It's to create an educational solution where little or none exists.

If there was one tool to create a more peaceful and vibrant world, one tool to empower humanity, this would be it.

I want to URGE you to check out this XPRIZE and get involved.

Do you have kids? Nieces, nephews, younger siblings?

Would you like access to the most powerful learning software ever created for your local elementary school?

If you do, then get involved and get access. Please check it out here.

This may be the most important and bold issue I've ever attempted to tackle.

Join XPRIZE in this mission. Let's Change the World!

All the best,

Taste Washington Announces 2015 Dates

Taste Washington 2015 logoNation's largest single region wine and food event expands and adds new events

SEATTLE – Visit Seattle and Washington State Wine invite wine lovers to mark their calendars; Taste Washington, the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event, will take place March 26-29, 2015, at various venues throughout Seattle. Now in its 18th year, Taste Washington promises a full weekend of activities, from an exciting new celebration targeting the under-40 wine lover to the signature Grand Tasting, which features hundreds of Washington State wineries, food from top Pacific Northwest restaurants, chef demonstrations and more.

The weekend begins Thursday, March 26, with the Red & White Party, an elegant, upscale evening with Washington State’s celebrated wineries pouring special selections from large-format bottles. The fun continues with The New Vintage, an upbeat event aimed at the next generation of wine lovers with a backdrop of music, dancing and tasty bites. The weekend culminates March 28 and 29, with two days of educational seminars led by top wine writers and sommeliers and the Grand Tasting at CenturyLink Field Event Center.

Details on winery participation, featured chefs, seminar topics, hotel packages and tickets will be available soon at tastewashington.org. Taste Washington is produced by Visit Seattle in partnership with Washington State Wine.

About Taste Washington:

Taste Washington is the largest single-region wine and food event in the United States, featuring more than 225 Washington State wineries and more than 70 Pacific Northwest restaurants. The 2015 Taste Washington welcoming sponsor is Alaska Airlines; the premier sponsors are Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card and Muckleshoot Casino; and the event feature is Stella Artois. Taste Washington attracts more than 5,000 wine and food enthusiasts to the Seattle area. The Washington State Wine Commission launched Taste Washington in 1998 and is now produced by Visit Seattle. For more information, visit tastewashington.org.

About Visit Seattle:

Visit Seattle, a private, nonprofit marketing organization, has served as Seattle/King County’s official destination marketing organization (DMO) for more than 50 years. The goal of these marketing efforts is to enhance the employment opportunities and economic prosperity of the region. For more information, visit visitseattle.org.

About Washington State Wine:

Washington State Wine represents every licensed winery and every wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, Washington State Wine provides a marketing platform to raise positive awareness of the Washington State wine industry and generate greater demand for its wines. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, Washington State Wine is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. For more information, visit washingtonwine.org.

Friday, September 19, 2014

iPhone 6 Available Today, Apple Announces Record Pre-orders for iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus Top Four Million in First 24 Hours

Apple recently announced a record number of first day pre-orders of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the biggest advancements in iPhone history, with over four million in the first 24 hours. Demand for the new iPhones exceeds the initial pre-order supply and while a significant amount will be delivered to customers beginning on Friday and throughout September, many iPhone pre-orders are scheduled to be delivered in October. Additional supply of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available to walk-in customers on Friday, September 19 at 8:00 a.m. local time at Apple retail stores. Customers are encouraged to arrive early or order online from the Apple Online Store(www.apple.com) to pickup in-store or receive an estimated delivery date. Both models will also be available on Friday from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, additional carriers and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

“iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are better in every way, and we are thrilled customers love them as much as we do,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Pre-orders for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus set a new record for Apple, and we can’t wait to get our best iPhones yet into the hands of customers starting this Friday.”

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK beginning this Friday, September 19 and in more than 20 additional countries beginning on Friday, September 26 including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.

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; ultrafast wireless technologies; and Apple Pay™, an easy way to simply and securely make payments with just the touch of a finger.*

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
Every customer who buys an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus at an Apple retail store will be offered free Personal Setup to help them customize their iPhone by setting up email, showing them new apps from the App Store and more, so they’ll be up and running with their new iPhone before they leave the store.

iPhone 6 comes in gold, silver or space gray, and will be available in the US for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) for the 16GB model, $299 (US) for the 64GB model and, for the first time, a new 128GB model for $399 (US) with a two-year contract.** iPhone 6 Plus comes in gold, silver or space gray, and will be available in the US for a suggested retail price of $299 (US) for the 16GB model, $399 (US) for the 64GB model and $499 (US) for the new 128GB model with a two-year contract.** Both models will be available from Apple retail stores, theApple Online Store (www.apple.com), and through AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, additional carriers, and select Apple Authorized Resellers including Best Buy, Target and Walmart.

Duane Fladland Named Director of Washington Small Business Development Center

Duane Fladland WA SBDC DirectorDuane Fladland has been named director of the Washington State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network. He has more than 20 years’ experience with the SBDC, joined the Washington SBDC as associate state director in January 2010 and had been interim state director since April.

Hosted by Washington State University since its inception in 1981, the Washington SBDC is a network of 26 certified business advisors and two international trade experts who provide no-cost advising to small business owners in communities statewide.

Fladland was chosen from a field of more than 50 applicants.

“Duane has been a great asset to the SBDC. As interim director, he has already made great efforts toward increasing the organization’s impact and visibility,” said Anson Fatland, associate vice president for economic development and external affairs at WSU. “I know SBDC will flourish under his leadership.”

Prior to joining the Washington SBDC, Fladland had been associate state director for the New Mexico SBDC for seven years. A native of North Dakota, he operated a family farming business and other agriculture-based businesses before joining the SBDC.

During his 20+ years with the SBDC he has held numerous administrative, advising and management positions. He is on the accreditation committee for the national association of SBDC’s, known as America’s SBDC.

“It has been a privilege to work with this exceptional group of people over the past four years,” Fladland said. “I am looking forward to building on our accomplishments to create an even more dynamic statewide small business advising program.”

He said he is particularly excited about ongoing work to broaden the funding base for SBDC advising in local communities.

“As the state and the country continue to pull out of this recession into a new business environment, the work of SBDC business advisors is becoming even more critical,” he said. “The SBDC is an unparalleled resource for entrepreneurs of every stripe, from the ambitious start-up to the seasoned business owner who is ready to take the next step forward.”

Meeting one-on-one in confidential advising sessions, SBDC business advisors help clients with the full range of business issues including strengthening business plans, managing cash flow, understanding financial statements, preparing loan applications, market research and analysis, building export readiness, succession planning and more.

Throughout Washington state in 2013, SBDC advisors helped their clients obtain more than $36.9 million in new capital and create or save more than 890 jobs. In the first six months of this year, SBDC clients reported that their advisors helped them obtain more than $17 million in funding and save or create nearly 250 jobs.

“Washington is fortunate to have one of the strongest SBDC networks in the country,” Fladland said. “Not only do the advisors have experience and expertise in diverse areas, but they are constantly reaching out to colleagues within the network and in the broader business community to ensure that their clients have the information they need to move forward with confidence.”

SBA Awards Grants to Resource Partners to Sustain Entrepreneurship Training for Transitioning Service Members

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has entered into a cooperative agreement with America’s Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, and the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC) to provide a combined $1.12 million of funding to sustain and expand the resource partners’ participation in SBA’s Boots to Business program. The program provides training to transitioning service members and their spouses pursuing business ownership as a post-military service career.

Funding for the agreement will reimburse SBA resource partners for the two-day “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” courses delivered on military installations worldwide as part of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Transition Assistance Program (TAP).  The course helps prepare transitioning service members for business ownership and connects them to SBA resources in their local communities.

“Veterans make some of our country’s best entrepreneurs, and we are investing in them by ensuring our partners are funded to maximize the training and support they provide to service members embarking on their post-service careers,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “We owe so much to those who have served in our Armed Forces and sacrificed so much.  Our veterans deserve opportunities, and the SBA and our network of small business experts are ready to help them start their next chapter.”

Boots to Business is the entrepreneurship training track within the DoD’s TAP program  designed to support service members as they transition to civilian life.  Boots to Business began as a pilot in 2012, expanded nationally in 2013, and was appropriated $7 million in the fiscal year 2014 federal budget for expansion and sustainment.  Since January 2013, over 16,000 transitioning service members have participated in the two-day “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” class on 165 military installations worldwide.

Each year, more than 250,000 service members transition out of the military.  These veterans are natural entrepreneurs who possess the skills, experience and leadership to start businesses and create jobs.

Veterans make up a large number of successful small business owners.  Nine percent of small businesses are veteran-owned.  These 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employ more than five million individuals and generate more than one trillion dollars of receipts each year.  In the private sector workforce, veterans are more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed.

Each year, SBA helps more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans and reservists start and grow their small businesses.  To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, visit www.sba.gov/vets.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ski Magazine Readers Name Whistler Blackcomb #1 Ski Area

The 27th annual SKI Magazine Reader’s Poll has named Whistler Blackcomb the No. 1 overall best ski resort in North America. The online survey saw 41,000 resort rankings submitted by SKI Magazine readers and ranks the top 50 North American ski resorts in a variety of categories valued by ski and snowboard enthusiasts. In addition to being voted No. 1 in overall ranking, Whistler Blackcomb also received top marks in the terrain variety, off-hill activity and après categories, solidifying the resort truly has something to offer everyone.

“We are honoured to receive this recognition from the readers of SKI Magazine,” says Dave Brownlie, President and Chief Executive Officer at Whistler Blackcomb. “As the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind, we know the SKI Magazine rankings influence people’s decisions when planning their ski vacations around the world so we are grateful to be recognized as No. 1. Our size, terrain variety and on-mountain experiences combined with our resort lodging, dining and off-hill activities create a unique, unmatched experience in North America for all skiers and riders.”

The annual Reader’s Poll was revealed today on social media and on SKImag.com, and will be published in SKI Magazine’s Resort Guide, hitting newsstands at the end of September. Along with being named No. 1 overall, in variety of terrain, off-hill activities, and après, Whistler Blackcomb also scored highly in a number of other categories, including No. 2 in the lifts, lodging, and dining categories.

"Congratulations to Whistler Blackcomb on this well-deserved honor," says Andy Bigford, SKI's publisher. "Our readers are smart, savvy, well-traveled and consistently blown away by Whistler's vastness and variety, both on and off the hill. I wholeheartedly agree with the reader who wrote: ‘Every skier should have Whistler on a bucket list.'”

Whistler Blackcomb also saw huge gains in a number of categories over last year’s Reader’s Poll. Whistler Blackcomb moved up 13 spots over last year in grooming, 27 spots in value and three spots in the lifts category, likely a nod to Whistler Blackcomb’s $18 million investment into the new Crystal Ridge Express and Harmony 6 Express chairlifts in 2013-2014.

In its continuous effort to consistently elevate the guest experience, Whistler Blackcomb will be introducing a number of upgrades and improvements across the resort for the 2014-2015 winter season. Highlights include new eight passenger gondola cabins for the Whistler Village Gondola and new radio-frequency identification (“RFID”) technology with lift access control gates on most mountain lifts. For more information about everything new and exciting at Whistler Blackcomb for the upcoming ski season, visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/about-us/news-releases/sept-15-2014.

Whistler Blackcomb’s official opening day is November 27, 2014, but with good early season conditions the resort can always be counted on to open early. 

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.

Benefits of Video Conferencing for Small Businesses

According to Huffington Post, the average manager in the workforce spends about half of their day in virtual meetings. This is a huge difference from the actions of corporate leaders a few years ago who rejected or didn’t really understand the significance of integrating video conferencing in the workplace. Now, with executives singing a new tune, the business world is expected to keep evolving, in terms of technology and the addition of even more efficient features as time goes on.

While big corporations are expected to delve into the video conferencing phenomenon, many small businesses are still warming up to the how much these platforms could actually benefit them. Obviously, costs and going outside of a tight budget is mostly being taken into consideration by companies that are still on the rise. Still, Blue Jeans Video Conferencing features should be viewed as a worthwhile investment that’ll eventually pay off in numerous ways.

  • Environmentally Friendly

In the last few decades, the use of paper in companies has gradually become a big no-no. This is especially true for individuals in corporations that promote taking better care of the ecosystem by recycling or being mindful of using paper only in dire circumstances. As a small business owner, you’re getting the most out of new wave corporate practices while simultaneously endorsing a meaningful cause that many people take to heart when you choose to invest in Blue Jeans Video Conferencing.

  • Less Time-Consuming

You also have the freedom of keeping more flexible hours. Figuring out a time when everyone can physically meet can be an unnecessary hassle, not to mention all of the meaningless small talk that people use in conventional business meetings. Granted these are sometimes effective ways to break the ice or transition into the next agenda item in a smooth fashion, but there’s a tendency of getting carried away with idle conversation.

  • Boosts Productivity

That said, online meeting participants are less likely to lose interest due to unproductive talks. Consider the times you’ve stared at a speaker’s face without fully processing his or her words because mentally, you’d already went into your own world of thoughts. Don’t feel bad because everyone’s had a similar feeling at some point in their career.

Unfortunately, this is a normal response that indicates the lack of engagement in many face-to-face meetings. Virtual conferences, on the other hand, help you stay focused on the bigger picture. Corporate webinars force people to get to the heart of their meeting’s outline without rambling or digressing.

This, in turn, triggers a higher participation level that has better chances of wooing people into speaking up and voicing their opinions. Keep in mind that some people are still very self-conscious when it comes to speaking in public, but with this kind of approach, more people feel at ease about contributing to the conversation.

  • Promotes Versatility

There’s basically no limit to the amount of features that are present in online meeting platforms. Small business leaders should take this factor for what it’s worth and try to get the most out of the tools that equip them to carry out spectacularly structured discussion. Believe it or not, the large assortment of features available keeps your audience stimulated as well. There’s simply no time to yawn or entertain wandering thoughts when you have the opportunity to learn art of bi-directional document sharing or how to manipulate video layouts of a certain speaker.

  • Saves Money

Don’t get left behind in the dinosaur world of outdated business processes that sometimes plague the corporate sphere. Shareholders and top executives yearn for change and innovation. One of the top ways to show them that you’re on board with their ideals is to integrate Blue Jeans Video Conferencing systems into your daily work routine. Make the mark of a lifetime in your chosen profession by taking control of the advantages the online meetings that are within your grasp.

  • Promotes a Health Work/Life Balance

Have you ever felt like you’re the majority of your life during the week was spent in conference rooms? It’s not a good feeling to dwell on, as this brings up a very important point: if you’re stuck in an office conversation during most of your days, you really don’t have time or energy for anything non-work related.

In addition, excessive travels can put a damper on your spirits and drain you since it’s not done in moderation. When this happens, you’re no good to anyone, and you tend to get less work done because you’re focused on how bad you feel.

Online video conferencing gives you the power to dictate your work/life balance. Managing interactions on this platform gives you more time to put your energies toward your personal life and the activities that you enjoy doing outside of work.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Volunteers from Bellevue's Stantec Clean Up Cheasty Greenspace, Local Daycare as Part of Company-Wide Community Service Day

Stantec Woodinville Community DayVolunteers from Bellevue design firm Stantec spent hours Monday sprucing up the Woodinville Children’s Center and Seattle’s Cheasty Greenspace  as part of Stantec in the Community Day, a company-wide day of service. The day saw nearly 5,500 Stantec employees around the world giving back to their communities.

“This day of volunteering not only supports our commitment to community, but also brings our team members together to make a coordinated, local impact,” says Stantec president and chief executive officer Bob Gomes. “Our employees have been serving their communities for decades, but bringing them together on one day like this just emphasizes what a difference we can make.”

Volunteers spent hours clearing invasive species, weeding, and other improvements at Cheasty Greenspace, a 43-acre woodland habitat in South Seattle. The Woodinville team spent time painting and sprucing up the Woodinville Children’s Center, a nonprofit daycare and child development center.

“It is a privilege for us to be able to support the wonderful resources we have in this area, like Cheasty and the children’s center,” says Stantec’s Bill Holladay. “And knowing that Stantec colleagues across the globe were doing the same thing in their communities inspires us even more.”

This is the second year the company has hosted a community service day. Some other examples of Stantec in the Community Day events around the world include:

  • In New York City, volunteers stripped and repainted a 140-year-old wrought-iron fence that surrounds Christopher Park in Greenwich Village.

  • In Sarasota, Florida, employees planted wildflower seeds to help replenish the struggling wildflower ecology.

  • In Thunder Bay, Ontario, the Stantec team painted a mural in the downtown that showcases the community.

  • In Vancouver, BC, volunteers will be serving as the “sherpas” who accompany people with limited mobility to experience hiking trails.

Learn About the Many Benefits of Driving Electric

Electric Vehicle Show XXX Rootbeer IssaquahDriving Electric is more fun, more convenient, and less expensive than driving a gas car. Find out more at the largest ever gathering of electric vehicles in the Pacific Northwest at Issaquah's world-famous XXX Root Beer Drive-In.

It's Official! Governor Jay Inslee has declared that September 15-21 is Drive Electric Week for the State of Washington and Mayor Fred Butler has declared September 15-21 to be Drive Electric Week for the City of Issaquah.

Learn about what it's like to drive a plug-in electric vehicle from real owners. We'll have owners on hand ready to answer your questions about the real-world experience driving all the popular plug-in vehicles from Tesla Motors, Nissan, Chevy, Ford and the brand new BMW i3, plus electric motorcycles from Zero and Brammo. We'll also have some rare production electric vehicles that were only sold in California as well as custom cars built by the 30-year-old community of Seattle-area electric conversion enthusiasts.

Show Schedule

7:30 - 9 amSetup and vehicle load in
9:00 amShow open to the public
noonSpecial Guest Speakers: Charles Knutson of Governor Jay Inslee's Office, Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler, King County Council Chair Larry Phillips, State Representative Chad Magendanz, Plug-In America's Chief Science Officer Tom Saxton and Seattle Electric Vehicle Association President Stephen Johnsen
3:00 pmShow ends, load out

Registration is FREE If you want to show your plug-in electric vehicle register now. Space is filling up!


2014 Housing Summit focuses on the Puget Sound area’s diminishing buildable land supply and threat to region’s housing affordability

MBA Housing Summit 2014A major threat to housing affordability in the Puget Sound area—the dwindling supply of buildable land—is the focus of the Master Builder Association 2014 Housing Summit next Tuesday, September 23 from 7:30 am to 11:30 am at Meydenbauer Convention Center, 11100 NE 6th St. in Bellevue

The free event, “Accommodating Housing Needs with Less Land,” is presented by the  Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBA) and will include presentations by top housing experts and a panel discussion with state legislators and homebuilders.

Space is limited and reservations can be made online at MasterBuildersInfo.com or by calling (425) 451-7920. The summit is supported by presenting sponsor Puget Sound Energy along with Cobalt Mortgage, Bill Korum’s Puyallup Nissan, Regence and the MBA Health Trust.

The Housing Summit will explore how best to forge a path forward and meet Growth Management Act housing targets as the Puget Sound area faces a diminishing buildable land supply.

Presentations will include a national perspective by David Crowe, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Local participants include Todd Britsch, President of New Home Trends and Nancy Bainbridge Rogers, land use attorney at Cairncross & Hempelmann.

A panel discussion focusing on legislative solutions will include Senator Joe Fain (R) 47th District, from Auburn; Senator Marko Liias (D) 21rst District, from Mukilteo; Representative Jay Rodne (R), 5th District, from Snoqualmie, and Representative Larry Springer (D), 45th District, from Kirkland. Other panel members will include homebuilders Mark Kaushagen of the Pulte Group and Lynn Eshleman from Pacific Ridge Homes, as well as Todd Britsch and Nancy Bainbridge Rogers.

“The Summit will start a constructive conversation about this pressing issue, with a focus on working collaboratively on solutions to meet the region’s growing housing needs while avoiding escalating home prices to unsustainable levels,” said MBA Executive Director Shannon Affholter.

About the presenters:

David Crowe is responsible for NAHB’s forecast of housing and economic trends, survey research and analysis of the home building industry, and consumer preferences, as well as microeconomic analysis of government policies that affect housing. He also develops and implements innovative models of the local economic impact and fiscal cost of new home construction.

Todd Britsch has worked with countless industry professionals to better understand the housing market. Todd is a frequent speaker on the trends of new construction housing for many home building associations and financial institutions.

Nancy Bainbridge Rogers, a land use attorney at Cairncross & Hempelmann, has significant experience both drafting and applying the local comprehensive plan policies and development regulations required under the Growth Management Act.  She has worked on projects that included expansion of the urban growth area, as well as many in-fill subdivisions and commercial projects.

About the Master Builders Association of King & Snohomish Counties:

The Master Builders Association is a trade association made up of approximately 3,000 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.