Sunday, May 31, 2015

Symphony of Gardens Tour to Benefit Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra

Symphony of Gardens 2015Symphony of Gardens to Feature Five Eastside Gardens and Benefit Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra

Orchestra's Symphony of Gardens fundraiser features five exciting private gardens in Beaux Arts, Bellevue, Kirkland and Mercer Island

The Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra is planning its 2nd Annual Symphony of Gardens Tour. This event, which benefits the East Side's premier orchestra, will be Sunday, June 28th, from 11am to 4pm. The tour will offer garden enthusiasts a rare glimpse of gorgeous private gardens in Beaux Arts, Bellevue, Kirkland and Mercer Island. LWSO musicians will play chamber music in the gardens from 1 to 2pm, weather permitting.

The Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra's Symphony of Gardens Tour is Sunday, June 28th, from 11am-4pm. Tickets are $25. Tickets are available at Grape Choice, Bellevue Nursery, Sky Nursery and Wells Medina Nursery or through Brown Paper Tickets, For information about the LWSO, see

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wild Ginger Happy Hour: Bellevue Happy Hours

Wild Ginger Happy Hour BellevueWild Ginger Happy Hour Rates Near The Top

Wild Ginger Happy Hour has been rated as one of the best happy hours in Bellevue.
Daily: 3 – 6 p.m., Mon-Thurs 9 -10 p.m., Fri & Sat 10 – 11 p.m.

Bellevue Hotel Management Company Pineapple Hospitality Buys San Diego Hotel Z

Bellevue Hotel Co Pineapple HospitalityBellevue Hotel Management Company Buys 2nd CA Hotel Property.

Bellevue hotel management company Pineapple Hospitality Company, has announced their entrance into the San Diego hotel market.

Pineapple Hospitality Company has purchased a hotel property on 6th Avenue, in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.  The property is currently in the midst of conversion. The hotel will open under the name Hotel Z.  The hotel is now taking reservations for stays beginning August 1.  San Diego is absolutely beautiful all year round. August and September usually have the warmest weather and most comfortable water temperature at the beaches.

Hotel Z is Pineapple Hospitality's second property in California. The Bellevue Hotel Management Company's first property in CA is The Hotel California in San Francisco, they own and operate four hotels in Seattle and one in Portland, OR. "We chose San Diego because it complements our core values in that we offer properties in high-demand locations," said President Michelle Foreman Barnet. "All six of our properties are in strong markets, and this addition gives our Pineapple guests good coverage of the West Coast from the Pacific Northwest to Southern California.  We are delighted to offer our Pineapple hospitality in San Diego, and we know our guests will be excited by the amazing location.”

Hotel Z will open after a total redesign of the original property.  Upon opening, guests will enjoy the same amazing Pineapple Hospitality service and amenities as offered in other hotels.  This includes complimentary wireless internet and free bike check-outs, dog-friendly accommodations and a daily cupcake and coffee reception.

"We are so excited to have entered this market," stated Barnet. "The location between Island and Market on 6th Avenue is superb." The four-story, 96-room property is located in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, is three blocks from Petco Park and four blocks from the San Diego Convention Center.

For more information about Hotel Z or to make reservations, visit They can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

About Pineapple Hospitality
Each Pineapple Hotel is owned and operated by Pineapple Hospitality Company, a Bellevue hotel management company. For centuries the pineapple has been a symbol of hospitality all over the world; Pineapple Hospitality Company strives to continue that tradition in each of its hotel locations. Pieces of the Pineapple include Hotel FIVE in downtown Seattle, The Maxwell Hotel in Queen Anne, Watertown Hotel and University Inn, both in the University District, Hotel Rose in downtown Portland, OR.; and The Hotel California in San Francisco, CA. For more information about Pineapple Hospitality Company, including reservations at any of its properties, visit or call 866-866-7977. Pineapple Hospitality can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Publisher's Note:  We would love to review all of these properties - and hope that Pineapple will soon be able to add a Bellevue Hotel to their portfolio.  I don't think there is currently a Bellevue Hotel that is not super successful and sold out much of the year.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Steve Bowles Hired by Oki Golf as New GM of The Plateau Club

Steve Bowles General Manager The Plateau Club by Oki GolfOki Golf Re-Hires Steve Bowles

Steve Bowles, local golf professional and former Director of Golf Operations at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, is transitioning back to Oki Golf as the new General Manager of the Plateau Club in Sammamish, Wash. Bowles previously managed golf operations for Oki Golf at both Washington National and The Golf Club at Newcastle.

More recently, Bowles worked with Virginia Mason, managing corporate partnerships and golf operations for the annual Boeing Classic. Bowles brings golf expertise, managerial skills, and a passion for the hospitality and golf industries with him to the Plateau Club.

About Oki Golf

Oki Golf is a collection of 11 premier Puget Sound golf courses providing championship golf course layouts and outstanding course conditions to players of all skill levels. With several Northwest golf courses located near Seattle, Everett and Olympia, Oki Golf’s challenging course designs and unrivaled guest service provide an exceptional golf experience at unparalleled value to casual golfers, tournaments and group golf outings. Oki Golf’s portfolio of courses includes The Golf Club at Newcastle, Washington National Golf Club, The Golf Club at Redmond Ridge, Trophy Lake Golf & Casting, Harbour Pointe Golf Club, The Golf Club at Echo Falls, The Golf Club at Hawk’s Prairie, The Plateau Club and Indian Summer Golf & Country Club. For more information about Oki Golf, visit

You can 'Like' Oki Golf on Facebook too!

SIP Adds Emran Chowdhury as Executive Chef

Sip at The Wine Bar & Restaurant has hired Emran Chowdhury as their new Executive Chef.

Born in Bangladesh, Emran Chowdhury moved to Toronto, Canada at the age of 3. He started gaining his kitchen experience at the age of 15. His early training took him to Terroni and Intercontinental Hotel in Toronto. Chowdhury had a strong affinity for the lures of the kitchen and travel.  He continued to advance his career on a luxury cruise ship while traveling through Europe, Asia, and South America. The thrill of travel and new cuisines will take Chowdhury to Brazil and Australia next. He relocated to Seattle in 2009 and brought his passion for cuisine with him. Shortly after becoming Chef at Cantinetta, (Wallingford) in 2010 and the additional Bellevue location in 2011, Chowdhury worked at developing new recipes and dishes. Much of Sip’s fresh ingredients are grown in our organic garden on Mercer Island, and Chowdhury is very excited about using the garden to create food with simplicity and consideration. Chef Chowdhury uses classic techniques with an inventive edge to create flavors that are complex, yet soulful.

When he’s not mastering the art of cooking, Chowdhury is relaxing with a great book or watching sports. Come into Sip and get acquainted with Sip’s new Executive Chef.

Infographic: How to Organize Your Office

How to Organise your Office | Kelly's Storage

An infographic brought to you by

Tried and Tested Security Measures for Commercial Businesses

Security CameraEvery business has its own security needs and these can vary from high-tech computer software protection to standard burglar alarms. You will want to keep your premises safe from burglary, vandalism and fire damage as well as keeping your staff secure.

Securing your premises

In order to protect your business and to satisfy the demands of your insurers, every company throughout the UK should have some form of security in place. Security Direct among other companies offers a wide range of security doors and shutters to protect your building. It’s important to safeguard the interior of your property as well as the exterior.

Risk assessment

The website Start Up Donut has published figures that show that crimes against businesses have increased by 20%, costing companies £21 billion per year. Carry out a risk assessment of your business premises; perform this exercise with a friend, as two pairs of eyes are usually better than one. You could also ask your local crime prevention officer to help you carry out this task. Look out for parts of your property that are easy to access. If you have a perimeter fence, then you should make sure that it’s secure.

Standard security measures

If you have the finances, install some CCTV. Make sure that the tapes are kept up to date and that the cameras are positioned in vulnerable areas. Exits and stock rooms should be monitored at all times. If you can place unobtrusive cameras in your stock room you can have peace of mind that you can monitor the whole business. Sadly all the vetting procedures in the world can’t protect you from theft from your own staff, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Advertise your security 

Make sure that your alarms are labelled and you have a notice on the exterior and the interior of your business announcing that your property is protected by alarm. The professional thief may still chance their luck, but an opportunist thief should be deterred. If your alarm system is linked to the local police station, then tell the world. This simple procedure may stop your windows being broken or an attack by a ram raider.

Light your premises

A building that’s shrouded in gloom is always inviting to criminals. The Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure generally advises on terrorism and other extreme forms of violation, but its advice on lighting is just as applicable as a burglar deterrent as any other shape of criminal. You could install sensor lights that are connected to an alarm. The criminal won’t necessarily be aware that they have tripped the sensor switch as these lights are often infra red. If you don’t want the thief to get this far, then a strong light outside your shop or business premises will act as an effective deterrent.

Security codes and keys

Don’t leave spare keys on public display, you’re only asking for trouble. If you use codes to access company computers, storerooms or safes, only share these with one or two people. One way of deterring crime is to control of sensitive information.

Top 5 YouTube Tips for Bellevue Small Businesses

YouTube Workshop with Stacia LooIf you haven't explored video as a powerful marketing tool you might be missing out on a powerful marketing tool. YouTube is FREE and easy to use with a massive market audience which gives small businesses the kind of leverage big businesses have with TV and Commercials. However, like any strategy or tool, in order for it to see positive results it needs to be put into action.

I have put together 5 tips to help Bellevue Small Businesses get the most out of YouTube.

1. Create and Brand Your Channel
Just get started and sign up for a YouTube Channel. Once you start your channel make sure you customize your channel so that it has your company's logo, looks similar to your website and look of your brand. You can have your designer to create a YouTube Banner with your logo and images that will share what your channel is all about. It is well worth the time and will only take a few seconds to set up.

2. Develop a list of topics
My tip on finding out what topics to create videos around is to search Amazon's Books around your topic or industry. Find a popular book such as 101 Questions for ________(fill in the blank with your industry). Click on a book and search the contents of the book and you will see titles that will be great topics you could do videos about for your audience.

3. Search Google Keyword Planner
Search Google's keyword planner to find out more relevant topics and keywords to focus your videos around. Doing this research ahead of time will help you get your videos ranked on the first page of Google.

4. You Don't Need Expensive Equipment
These days everyone has a smart phone or an iPhone that has a very high quality video camera. People love videos that are real and raw. Try to to shake too much or have someone hold your phone while you film your video. Make sure that the lighting is in front of you or else the video will look dark. You can also make sure that you don't do videos behind a window. I have more tips on this but for now just don't go out and buy fancy equipment if you are on a budget. You can easily do it with a simple iPhone or very low end flip type camera.

5. Call to Action
At the end of your videos make sure to let your viewers know what to do next after watching your video. That might be telling them to visit you on your website, like this video, interact with you by commenting or asking a question the comment box below. People need to know how they can contribute to you or what they should do next with the valuable content you just shared with them.

If you would like to know more about how to start a YouTube Channel for your Bellevue Business I would love to invite you to my next workshop.

Join me June 2nd, 2015 at 6pm - 8pm

at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue in the Pacific Place Board Room.

Limited Seating is available! Please RSVP at

Can't make this event and want to learn more about me go to: to Get on my VIP List for more tips and tricks and my FREE 5 Day Online Marketing Training. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What Mid-Sized Enterprises Can Learn From These Four Examples of Excellent Customer Service

By Benoît Gruber, VP Corporate Communication, Sage Enterprise Market Europe & Sage ERP X3

Think about a time when you received amazing customer service. Now think about how rare it was that you experienced that level of customer service. In this day of social media and the omnipresent “review” of businesses and services, one would think companies would do their best to provide top-notch customer service at every turn. Yet it’s surprising how few companies really take the time and effort to provide outstanding customer service that will increase customer loyalty.

Businesses would be wise to prioritize customer satisfaction and retention because driving new business is expensive. In fact, it is six-to-seven times more expensive to win a new customer than it is to keep an existing one, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs. In addition, according to Bain & Company, 80 percent of CEOs believe they are providing excellent customer service when only 18 percent of their customers agree. Clearly there is a disconnect between what management thinks is happening and what the customer is really experiencing.

The bottom line: businesses with a reputation for treating their customers with great levels of service are noticed, and usually rewarded. When we hear of extraordinary customer service experiences, we tend to remember and gravitate towards companies that provide them. Here are four examples of well-known businesses capitalizing on opportunities to provide next-level service to their customers. Let’s take a look at what they did and how mid-sized enterprises can apply these lessons to improve their own customer service experiences.

  1. In 2009, The High Wycombe John Lewis store stayed open during a blizzard so that stranded customers had a place to stay while the storm passed. Beds, sofas, duvets, coffee and tea were provided to over 100 customers.

    • Lesson: Go above and beyond. One of the quickest ways for a mid-sized enterprise to win loyalty is to give customers what they need, when they need it, and embrace any and every opportunity to bend over backwards for customers in a time of need. Thinking outside the box and going the extra mile for your customers will not only boost your reputation, it’ll help you stand apart from your competition.

  2. After a franchised Starbucks refused to honor the 10 percent discount given to Gold Starbucks reward members, the customer reached out to Starbucks to air his grievance. Instead of just responding to the unhappy customer, Starbucks responded and sent the customer a $50 store credit, going way above and beyond what the customer expected and reported on social media.

    • Lesson: Admit mistakes. A quick response to remedy any customer service mistake helps show your customers that their satisfaction is your top priority. Mid-sized enterprises can achieve this by establishing policies and protocols that empower employees to resolve customer conflicts as quickly and efficiently as possible by apologizing, compensating the customer, or both.

  3. As a way to promote highway safety, the South Carolina Highway Patrol partnered with the U.S. restaurant Chick-fil-A and rewarded drivers wearing seatbelts with Chick-fil-A coupons.

    • Lesson: Provide your customers with added value. Even if your business does not typically provide ongoing customer service, you can look to partner with outside organizations to build a positive reputation among your industry and those you serve. Mid-market enterprises can bundle solutions or partner with other businesses to build visibility and trust, and improve their brand’s reputation. Offer an upgrade or a business care discount day to offer customers something of value. Everybody wins when the customer feels like they are rewarded for working with you!

  4. The merchandise retail store Bed Bath & Beyond sends out frequent discount coupons. Not only will stores honor them even after they expire, they will also gladly take multiple coupons and apply them to a single transaction.

    • Lesson: Make it as easy as possible for customers to give you their business. Similar businesses also offer coupons and discounts, but Bed Bath & Beyond really makes an effort to accommodate customers. Take the same approach and make sure it is easy to purchase upgrades or additional items and that there aren’t any roadblocks when it comes to doing business with you.

Forward thinking and company-wide understanding of the standards of customer service will help build a positive reputation, customer loyalty and ultimately higher profitability. Customer service isn’t an option. All customers expect it, whether your company is big or small. And excellent customer service does not need to be something complex or need to follow an intricate program. It can be simple, pragmatic, and quick. Lengthy loyalty programs are not mandatory, but instead have empathy, respect, common sense, and quick reflexes.

By providing your customers with a great, memorable experience you not only make them happy, but you establish a legacy of excellence that positions your business for future growth.

Benoît Gruber joined Sage in 2008 and is, since October 2013, VP of Corporate Communications and Brand for Sage Enterprise-Market Europe and Sage ERP X3. He leads, defines and implements the strategy of corporate and digital communication in cohesion with the overall business strategy. He acts as a spokesperson and an expert in solution with opinion leaders, analysts, press and customers. He was previously VP Product & Alliances for Sage Mid-Market Europe solutions. In this capacity, he was responsible for global product strategy of Sage ERP X3 solution. He is in charge of Product Management & Marketing for Sage ERP X3 globally and ensuring the Operating Company teams are aligned behind the product strategy. He also serves as the solution expert when dealing with thought leaders, analysts, and press.

Prior to working at Sage, Benoît worked at SAP (from 2000-2008), where he held a variety of marketing and product management positions before becoming Sr. Industry Principle (Product & Business Development). He was a member of the EMEA Manufacturing Industries Business Group. Prior to working at SAP, Benoît worked in different management consulting, technology service companies dedicated for ERP, business intelligence, and new technologies. He also had his own company in the media and publishing sectors.

Seahawk QB Russell Wilson is a Real Role Model - Not MIA But Supporting New Teammate Jimmy Graham in Miami

[caption id="attachment_10267" align="alignright" width="300"]Jimmy Graham Doug Baldwin Russell Wilson SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 23: (L-R) Seattle Seahwaks players Jimmy Graham, Doug Baldwin and Russell Wilson speak on stage during We Day at KeyArena on April 23, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images)[/caption]

Russell Wilson is a role model.  A GREAT role model.

Today the NFC Champion and America's Favorite Team, Seattle Seahawks begin OTAs (organized team activities) and every day, every meeting, every chance to compete is 'super' important to Wilson and this team.  Despite this being an important start to an important run towards the 2015 NFL season, Russell Wilson chose to fly to Miami with new teammate (and future favorite target) Jimmy Graham to support him at services for Tamara Myerson who was Graham's longtime mentor and manager, as well as an important mother figure in his life.

Condolences to Graham and the Myerson family.

Kudos to Russell Wilson for knowing what is most important in life - people.

Unfortunately, the kids at Children's Hospital in Seattle may have to wait until next Tuesday for Wilson to return to his regular visitation schedule.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bellevue Happy Hours: 13 Coins

13 Coins Bellevue logo13 Coins in Bellevue Happy Hour

900 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 100
(adjacent to the Hyatt Regency)
Phone: (425) 455-1313

Happy Hours:


SELECT WINES 5.50 (ask your server for today’s selection)
DEVILED EGGS 3.99 A delicious classic with a hint of Dijon.
CRISPY CALAMARI 6.99 Served with lemon aioli.
BBQ PORK 6.99 Served with traditional accompaniments.
BAKED BRIE 5.99 Domestic Brie baked in puff pastry. Served with marionberry preserves, Carr’s table crackers and sourdough slices.
FRIED ZUCCHINI 3.99 Hand breaded zucchini served with chipotle ranch dipping sauce.

BBJ would love to write reviews on 13 Coin's Happy Hours, as well as dining in Bellevue during the wee hours.  Hope they contact us soon.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Free Download for BBJ Subscribers: "Understanding the Myths of Market Trends and Patterns"

Forex Trends  Understanding the Myths of Market Trends and PatternsFor a limited time, subscribers can now download the free ebook from Forex Trends called Understanding the Myths of Market Trends and Patterns.

Click on the link to download your copy of this extremely valuable information on how to actually make money in Forex trading.

For those of you unfamiliar with Forex, or uncertain what Forex is, here is the entry for Forex at Wikipedia:

Foreign exchange market

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Forex" redirects here. For the football club, see FC Forex Brașov. For the U.S. FBI sting operation, see Dominic Brooklier § Bompensiero murder.

The foreign exchange market (forex, FX, or currency market) is a global decentralized market for the trading of currencies. In terms of volume of trading, it is by far the largest market in the world.[1] The main participants in this market are the larger international banks. Financial centres around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of multiple types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends. The foreign exchange market determines the relative values of different currencies.[2]

The foreign exchange market works through financial institutions, and it operates on several levels. Behind the scenes banks turn to a smaller number of financial firms known as “dealers,” who are actively involved in large quantities of foreign exchange trading. Most foreign exchange dealers are banks, so this behind-the-scenes market is sometimes called the “interbank market”, although a few insurance companies and other kinds of financial firms are involved. Trades between foreign exchange dealers can be very large, involving hundreds of millions of dollars. Because of the sovereignty issue when involving two currencies, forex has little (if any) supervisory entity regulating its actions.

The foreign exchange market assists international trade and investments by enabling currency conversion. For example, it permits a business in the United States to import goods from the European Union member states, especially Eurozone members, and pay Euros, even though its income is in United States dollars. It also supports direct speculation and evaluation relative to the value of currencies, and the carry trade, speculation based on the interest rate differential between two currencies.[3]

In a typical foreign exchange transaction, a party purchases some quantity of one currency by paying with some quantity of another currency. The modern foreign exchange market began forming during the 1970s after three decades of government restrictions on foreign exchange transactions (the Bretton Woods system of monetary management established the rules for commercial and financial relations among the world's major industrial states after World War II), when countries gradually switched to floating exchange rates from the previous exchange rate regime, which remained fixed as per the Bretton Woods system.

The foreign exchange market is unique because of the following characteristics:

  • its huge trading volume representing the largest asset class in the world leading to high liquidity;

  • its geographical dispersion;

  • its continuous operation: 24 hours a day except weekends, i.e., trading from 22:00 GMT on Sunday (Sydney) until 22:00 GMT Friday (New York);

  • the variety of factors that affect exchange rates;

  • the low margins of relative profit compared with other markets of fixed income; and

  • the use of leverage to enhance profit and loss margins and with respect to account size.

As such, it has been referred to as the market closest to the ideal of perfect competition, notwithstanding currency intervention by central banks.

Friday, May 22, 2015

PCCP and Align Real Estate Form JV to Purchase Pacific Towers Office Building in Downtown Bellevue

Pacific Tower Downtown BellevuePCCP, LLC recently announced that it has formed a joint venture with Align Real Estate to acquire the six-story, 110,372-square-foot Class A Pacific Tower office property within the central business district of Bellevue, WA. The property is 95 percent occupied and includes ground-floor retail and a three-level parking garage consisting of 315 stalls. The acquired property consists of the bottom six floors of a 23-story tower, the top 17 stories are residential condominiums.

“This is our first joint venture with Align, a firm specializing in value-added office development throughout the Pacific Northwest and California,” said Erik Flynn, managing director with PCCP. “Bellevue Pacific offers us an opportunity to increase the asset’s revenue through value-add improvements including a lobby renovation and aesthetic upgrades to the tenant floors that are designed to enhance the building’s prominence in the marketplace and ultimately attract long-term tenants.”

Built in 1995, the property is located at NE 2nd Avenue, between 106th and 107th Avenues. It includes 24 Hour Fitness, Opus Bank, TIAA-CREF as well as other tenants. Over the past several years the property has been amidst a rapidly transforming neighborhood with new hotel, mixed-use, residential, and retail developments occurring on each side of the property.

Bellevue, the business center of the Eastside of Seattle, continues to see the highest growth in rental rates in its submarket with premium buildings experiencing average rental rate growth of 12.7 percent in 2014. Rental rate growth projections through 2015 are expected to reach approximately 8 percent with continued growth over the next four years.

Eastdil Secured represented both the buyer, as well as the seller, LaSalle Investment Management.

Palace Entertainment Signs Strategic Cooperation Agreement With DreamEast

Palace Entertainment, signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China based DreamEast Entertainment Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Skyocean International Holdings (00593.HK). Under the agreement, Palace Entertainment will supply consulting services and strategic suggestions, covering market analysis, project planning and intellectual property rights, for the amusement park and resort projects of DreamEast theme park. The cooperation will be of great importance for the market research and implementation of the DreamEast theme park project, and for facilitating the realization of the DreamEast objective to “introduce Chinese culture to the world.” Additionally, it embodies the efforts of DreamEast to integrate the best talent resources to cultivate the best theme park in the world. “China has become an extremely important area of business opportunities and we look forward to sharing our best practices and strategic advice to create new theme parks abroad,” commented Fernando Eiroa, CEO of Palace Entertainment.

Palace Entertainment, one of the largest park operators in the U.S. that entertains millions of guests annually, owns and operates 22 amusement parks, water parks, animal parks and family entertainment centers across the United States. Established in 1998, Palace Entertainment was acquired by the Parques Reunidos Group in 2007, the second largest theme park operator in Europe. Parques Reunidos Group is the 5th of the top 10 groups running theme parks in the world. It has a total of 56 parks in 12 countries in Europe and America, including parks in Spain, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, France, Italy, Britain and Argentina. It also provides valuable services in various stages of leisure park construction, ranging from consultation for preparations, business management and park operation.

DreamEast, a cultural and entertainment brand of Skyocean International Holdings (00593.HK,) was established by Skyocean to comprehensively enter the cultural industry as a result of research and practice over 12 years. Centering on intellectual properties of Chinese culture, it is devoted to integrate global talents, technologies and advanced management concepts, and construct DreamEast Culture Town, a complete cultural industry chain platform running through the creation, exhibition and experience of cultural entertainment. It is to overturn the existing pattern of the industry with the Internet thought and develop into a world first-class cultural entertainment brand.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

WSU Creamery Announces New Manager

John Haugen Manager of WSU CreameryJohn Haugen will manage the Washington State University Creamery effective Aug. 1. He has been assistant manager since 1999.

He will replace Russ Salvadalena, manager since July 2000, who plans to retire in January after assisting with personnel transition and special projects.

Information about the assistant manager vacancy can be found at Those interested may apply at; search for position number 121370.

Haugen will oversee Ferdinand’s Ice Cream Shoppe retail store, cheese and ice cream production and the direct marketing department - where two-thirds of the cheese revenue is generated through phone, Internet and mail orders.

During Salvadalena’s tenure, revenues more than doubled, the warehouse and telephone call center were expanded in 2006 and the retail store was expanded in 2013. Cheese production capacity increased and dozens of students received training and experience to make them valued prospective employees in the food industry.

The creamery is preparing to break ground this summer on a $4 million facility for whey processing training and research and to improve milk delivery from the university-owned dairy farm.

Why Planning Is Key To Successful Product Design

When it comes to designing and delivering new products for the market it’s not just enough to have a good, robust idea that fills a gap in the market. Good ideas alone should underpin every successful product design but it’s unlikely that they will carry the project through on their own.

The key to realizing a concept is having a thorough plan so you can prepare for every eventuality and overcome all of the hurdles in your way. Put simply, you need to be prepared to be able to identify and answer all the ‘who, what, where, when, why and how’ questions about your design. Being able to do that rests with the planning process. Here’s our guide to some of the areas to look at to ensure you make a success of your overall design…

Market: All successful products should serve a purpose or solve a problem. How do you identify a purpose or a problem? By knowing your market inside and out. Every business should know its field, its competitors and its customers thoroughly and should use that information to work out where the opportunities are for new products and services. It’s then important to marry up bright ideas with those opportunities for a successful relationship.

Style: You can’t design a successful product unless you work out what it needs to look like. Planning this out is vital. The color and shape of your product sends a powerful message and, even once you’ve settled on that, you need to assess how you achieve the look. Does your product need specialist treatment? Large items of machinery or transport don’t just need a tin of paint, you might well need the expert equipment from Airblast AFC Abrasive Recovery Systems to allow you to prepare and paint. Equally, plastic, wooden and metal products all need handling in different ways. The planning process should work out the style that is right for your product as well as the materials to be used and how to achieve your style with them.

Packaging: Depending on what your product is, the way you package it could play a big part in its success and this needs to be properly planned. Do you want to stand out from the crowd? How can you use imagery, logos and wording to make a statement? Look at your competitors and the characteristics of your brand and map out how you want your packaging to look based on that. You may well want to try out different designs with a focus group to ensure you are attracting your ideal customer.

Testing: Every plan should include time to test a prototype of your product. You need to consider possible problems with your design and ensure these are looked at during the testing process, with solutions to be found at this stage. Tweaking your design to enhance that initial idea should all be part of the plan.

Targets: How can you judge the success of a product? You need to be clear on what it is you want to achieve, set a target during the planning stage and work out how you will record and monitor its success. Only by using targets and data can you keep on top of a project – and step in at the earliest possible opportunity if things go awry. Project management is another important part of overseeing a successful product design – but it’s impossible to handle this function properly if you’ve not planned everything out and worked out what it is you want to achieve.

Planning may not sound exciting but it provides the crucial blueprint for any successful product design. Looking at the market, your style and packaging, testing the design and setting targets are all part of the process and without them your efforts could quickly become unfocussed.

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery Gets Ready for Summer Turning Up the Flavor with Trendsetting New Menu Choices

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery logoRock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, a national casual dining restaurant known for its distinctive selection of micro-brewed and specialty beers, recently announced the launch of its new summer menu, featuring lighter options as the weather heats up. Now through June 14, participating Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery locations nationwide will offer a vast selection of low-calorie dishes including brand new build-your-own salads allowing guests to customize their creations.

“Many consumers look to embrace a more health-conscious lifestyle during the summer, and we know that eating out can be difficult for those trying to follow a nutritious diet,” said Stan Frankenthaler, chief officer of food, beverage and strategic supply for CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc. "We're thrilled to share our newest seasonal offerings with our guests, and are proud to raise the bar for healthy eating by experimenting with flavors that will satisfy any dietary preference."

Guests who stop by their local Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery to kick off their summertime fun can experience these light and flavor-packed new menu items, including:

  • Tomatillo Shrimp on Sweet Potato Cakes – Garlic sautéed shrimp smothered in a zesty tomatillo sauce over crispy-griddled sweet potato cakes with sautéed garlic spinach, served with black bean and corn salsa with Santa Fe spices.

  • Ale Portobello & Smoked Chicken Saute – Ale-soaked Portobello mushrooms grilled, sliced then sautéed with smoked chicken, topped with chile de arbol and a signature beer mushroom sauce. Served over white cheddar mashed potatoes with grilled broccoli and garnished with green onions and Santa Fe seasoning.

  • Smoked Chicken Poblano – Roasted poblano pepper stuffed with smoked chicken, cheese and orzo pasta, topped with Parmesan & Romano cheeses and baked to perfection. Served in a pool of spicy smoked tomato sauce with seasonal vegetables and garnished with Santa Fe spices.

Rock Bottom also has expanded its salad menu, which now features build-your-own salads, where guests select from a choice of greens, three veggies and toppings, cheese, a crunch and dressing. Additional deliciously fresh new salad options include:

  • Mexican Honey Chicken Salad – Spring mix, roasted Santa Fe chicken, grilled pineapple and red peppers, cucumber, candied Mexican mango, toasted almonds and cotija cheese, tossed in roasted jalapeño ranch dressing and finished with a honey mango drizzle and crispy tortilla chips.

  • Smoked Tomato & Kale Caesar Salad – Romaine and Tuscan kale tossed in Latin asiago Caesar dressing and topped with black beans, roasted corn, cold-smoked tomatoes, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses and crispy tortilla chips.

  • Grilled Steak & Portobello Salad – Mixed greens tossed in spicy chimichurri dressing with grilled sirloin steak and Portobello mushrooms, topped with tri-colored tomatoes, pico de gallo, cotija cheese and crispy potato shreds.

Guests looking to pair these healthy menu items with a cool, refreshing beverage can select the all-new Skinny Berry Soda, made with fresh muddled strawberries and mint topped with Cruzan strawberry rum and soda.

For additional details about Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, please visit

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Les Schwab Tire Center Moves Bellevue Location - Community event raises funds for schools; Free movie tickets, food and savings

Les Schwab logoThis week, Les Schwab Tire Centers commemorates the relocation of its new Bellevue-Overlake store. The public is invited to the two-day event starting Friday, May 29.

The celebration features giveaways, food, savings and fun while supporting area high schools:

  • OneRedmond, the Greater Redmond Chamber of Commerce, will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the store Saturday at 1 p.m.

  • Throughout the festivities, guests can spin a prize wheel to win movie tickets, T-shirts, coupons, key chains, lanyards or free services, while supplies last.

  • Stop by for a complimentary lunch as Les Schwab employees will grill hot dogs and hamburgers on Friday from 12 to 3 p.m. and Interlake High School Students will be grilling on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Radio show KQMV MOViN 92.5FM with Brooke and Jubal will broadcast from Les Schwab on Friday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.Test your luck in the MOViN 92.5 Cash Tube to see how much money you can grab!

  • On Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., KMPS 94.1FM will broadcast live from Les Schwab.

  • While folks enjoy the festivities, they can take advantage of Les Schwab’s Free Pre-Trip Safety Check, which includes checking tire pressure and tread depth, visual alignment, brakes, shocks and battery.

“We’ll be providing a fun atmosphere and giveaways that families can enjoy together,” said Jeff Robidou, Les Schwab’s Bellevue-Overlake store manager. “We hope residents will come out to meet us and also support students as they raise money for their activities.”

The new Les Schwab Tire Center is located at 2355 Bel-Red Road, at the corner of Northeast 24th Street and Bel-Red Road, across the street from Trader Joe’s and Walgreens. It replaces the former Les Schwab store next to Fred Meyer on 148th Avenue Northeast. As part of the two-day event, customers will receive additional savings on Les Schwab tires.

“This two-day event gives our Les Schwab team an opportunity to meet our neighbors, and we’re looking forward to telling them about the Les Schwab story, which includes selling only the highest quality products backed up by our world-class service and warranties. You won’t find a better value,” said Robidou. “The new store will offer the complete Les Schwab experience. Employees greet customers as they drive onto the parking lot, showrooms offer a wide selection of tires to meet customer safety and driving requirements, and free warranties are provided for tires, brakes, alignments, batteries, shocks and struts.”

Stacia Loo to Hold Free YouTube Marketing Event in Bellevue

YouTube Marketing logoBellevue-based Social media professional Stacia Loo, who has successful clients near and far, is holding a free class on YouTube Marketing in Bellevue on June 2nd, 2015.  The event will be held at the Parkplace Boardroom on the 2nd floor at the Bellevue Hyatt from 6-8pm.  Complimentary parking is available courtesy of The Bellevue Collection.

Some of what you will learn from Ms. Loo:

  • How to brand and optimize your YouTube channel to attract leads

  • How to develop video topics that are most relevant to your audience

  • How to pick keywords and titles to attract targeted leads

  • Suggestions on the best and low cost tools to produce videos

  • Using cards, annotations, and playlists to increase engagement

  • Plus Creative ideas that will have even a novice doing videos like a pro!

  • and my favorite:  Why it is important for your business to have a constant and fresh presence on YouTube (including the relationship between Google and YouTube and why your business cannot afford to ignore it.

To reserve your seat, make sure to register for YouTube Marketing For Business at Eventbrite.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

IPA Week is scheduled at the Tap House Grill with 40 rotating IPA’s & a percentage of sales going to charity!

Tap House Grill logoFrom August 13th through the 23rd, Tap House Grill in Bellevue and Seattle, will be celebrating IPA Week with the introduction of forty new IPA’s, **India Pale Ale’s, from around the world.

Over the past six years, IPA Week has grown into the biggest event of the year for Tap House Grill, serving over 10,000 pints or 100 kegs of Indian Pale Ale during the ten-day promotion.    Many of Tap House Grill’s brewing partners will offer hand crafted special releases or limited releases solely for Tap House Grill’s IPA Week.  In addition, Tap House will feature some “one time only” beers that will be tapped on certain days of the promotion.  These IPA’s are “limited releases” which will only be featured for this event.  Due to the frequent tapping of the limited releases, Tap House Grill will keep guests updated with daily announcements and IPA special updates on Twitter and Facebook; House Grill.

For the seventh year, a percentage of Tap House Grill’s IPA Week sales will be donated to Farestart in Seattle.

**(Abbreviated IPA, India Pale Ale is a type of ale that is light amber to copper in color, medium to medium-high alcohol by volume, with a hoppy, bitter and sometimes malty flavor.  IPA is a style of beer that is usually included in the broader category of pale ale. It was first brewed in England in the 18th century.)

Additional Information about Tap House Grill:

Over 20,000 Tap House Grill guests are members of the Tap House Grill Beer Club.  Beer Club Members are given a credit card style membership card that tracks everything they order when dining at Tap House Grill.   The member accumulates points and is rewarded along the way.  By joining the Beer Club, each member receives 20% off their guest check the first seven days of each month and their membership card is loaded with Tap House Grill reward dollars as they reach certain plateaus.   “We awarded over 30,000 dollars to our beer club members in 2014 and this year, in 2015, we have awarded close to 20,000 dollars so far,” added Paul.

Over the next several weeks Tap House Grill will be promoting Summer Beers, lighter beers ideal for enjoyment during the warm weather season.  The “summer” event will kick off in early June and run through August.

Tap House Grill will hold its’ 13th Annual Oktoberfest Pint Night Celebration September 14th through 17th.  For Oktoberfest, Tap House Grill will bring the flavors of Munich to Seattle, accompanied with traditional and authentic German style food items.

*Farestart is a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. Over the past 20 years, FareStart has provided opportunities for over 3,500 people to transform their lives, while also serving over 4 million meals to disadvantaged men, women, and children.

Tap House Grill is open 7 days a week for lunch, dinner and late night dining and has two locations; 

1506 Sixth Avenue Seattle Washington 98101

Phone - 206-816-3314

550 106th Avenue NE Bellevue, WA 98004

Phone – 425-467-1730

Monday, May 18, 2015

Kennedy - Loo Wedding Invitations Are in the Mail / FREE Airfare to Hawaii?

Kennedy Wedding InvitationThe invitations for the Hawaii beach wedding of social media marketing guru Stacia Loo and Joe Tesla Kennedy have finally been mailed.  You can read all about it and rsvp at

If you would like to attend the event on Kalama Beach in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii and are interested in free airfare, A New Day Real Estate will buy two (2) airplane tickets for every client who buys or sells a house or condo with Joe Kennedy and A New Day Real Estate between now and September 1st.

If you've never been to Kalama Beach, it is extremely beautiful and happens to be the location of the house that President Obama stays when on vacation in Hawaii.

8 Ways Smartphones Assist Your Sales Team

smartphones assistIn the current market, it’s now or never when it comes to closing a deal. If the prospects don’t buy when an irresistible offer is in front of them, chances are they’ll take their business elsewhere. But, with a smartphone at their disposal, your sales team can go the extra mile to eliminate any reservations and earn clients' business.

Here are just a few ways smartphones are boosting conversion rates in the world of sales:

Email Management

Sales representatives' email inboxes can quickly become inundated when out in the field pitching to prospects. However, having access to a smartphone makes it easy to quickly respond to basic inquiries, send out email blasts and reach out to customers with any questions, all while being away from their desks. And, if you invest in a smartphone with a strong battery life like the HTC One M9, your reps won’t be forced to linger around the nearest outlet to charge their phones.

Remote File Access

Now, there is no need to spend hours at the office digging through client files in search of historical sales data. If the files are held in the cloud, your team can access them directly from their smartphones and gather all the needed information for meetings while on the go. And, you can rest assured the information is up to date if your accounting system uses real-time reporting.

Contact Information

Should the prospect decide to check out your offerings and make a purchasing decision at a later date, you want to have a way to follow up with him or her. Instead of stuffing a business card in your wallet that can easily be misplaced or forgotten, you can train your sales reps to lock the prospect's information into their smartphones and set a calendar reminder to initiate contact.

File Swapping

If you or someone on your team needs to place an important account in the hands of a colleague, Dropbox is a great file-swapping app that lets you send large client files, presentations and any other documentation they’ll need to make the meeting a success.

Remote Closing

Long gone are the days when a client would come into the office, sign on the dotted line and remit payment. Through smartphone apps such as eFax and Square that allow the transmission of files and mobile payment processing, sales representatives are able to close the deal outside of the office, whether it’s at the local coffee shop, a fine dining establishment or the client’s office.

Product Pocket Guides

While seasoned salesmen typically have their product pitch perfected, it doesn’t hurt to use a smartphone to show the prospect how your product or service works. Smartphones are a great way to show portfolios, product designs, blueprints, testimonials and any other information you have.


Sales representatives no longer have to rely on physical maps or GPS devices to navigate unfamiliar territory. Google Maps shows you where to go and even provides real-time traffic updates and alternative routes, which can help when planning out your daily route.

Travel Expense Reporting

If your sales representatives are incurring expenses while on the road, it can be difficult to organize and process handwritten records of expenses and accompanying receipts. Instead, encourage your sales team to download the Concur app and use it to record their expenses. And, since it easily integrates with most major accounting systems, your accounting process will be much more efficient.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Tickets Now On Sale for Feast Portland

Feast Portland logoTickets are now on sale for the fourth year of Bon Appétit Presents Feast Portland: A Celebration of Oregon Bounty, September 17-20, 2015. The Feast Portland 2015 lineup is hotter than ever with the addition of their new Saturday night marquee event, Smoked!, a sizzling celebration of animal, vegetable, sea and forest. Taking place at The Fields in Portland’s Pearl District on Saturday, September 19 from 6-9pm complete with an epic view of Portland’s Fremont Bridge, Smoked! will be a wild night of live fire, bold Northwest Wines, classic cocktails, and some of the best bites of the weekend.

Feast will also feature legendary chefs from around the country and the around world like Ollie Dabbous of Dabbous in London, Christopher Haatuft of Lysverket in Norway, John Tesar of Knife at The Highland Dallas in Dallas, Philip Krajeck of Rolf and Daughters in Nashville, Ben Ford of Ford's Filling Station in LA, Paul Kahan of The Publican in Chicago, Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Viet Pham of ember + ash in Salt Lake City, Brad Farmerie of Saxon + Parole in New York City, Aaron Silverman of Rose’s Luxury in Washington, DC, Chris Cosentino of Cockscomb in San Francisco and dozens more, plus Oregon’s very best chefs, artisans, winemakers, brewers, cider houses and distillers. Tickets for Feast Portland 2015 are available now at

As the flagship food and drink festival of the Pacific Northwest, Feast Portland has more than 30 events at beautiful venues across Portland, including large-scale marquee events, intimate dinners, tasting panels, hands-on classes and industry parties over four intense days of eating and drinking. Balancing debauchery with philanthropy, Feast Portland continues its mission to end childhood hunger in Oregon and across America by donating festival net proceeds to No Kid Hungry and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, giving more than $162,000 over the last three years.


In a region celebrated for innovations in food and drink, Feast Portland unites local talent with internationally recognized chefs, industry leaders, culinary media and influencers. Founded by Mike Thelin and Carrie Welch in 2012, Feasthas become a premier festival for emerging and established culinary talent.

“It has been thrilling to see Feast Portland evolve into one of the most celebrated food festivals in the country, but not surprising. From the quality and variety of ingredients to the talent and originality of the chefs and artisans, Oregon is peerless,” said Feast Portland co-founders Mike Thelin and Carrie Welch.

This year, Feast Portland is excited to welcome more international chefs than ever before to the 2015 lineup including Angus An of Maenam (Vancouver, Canada), Ollie Dabbous of Dabbous (London), Jackie Ellis of Beaucoup Bakery (Vancouver, Canada), Christopher Haatuft of Lysverket (Norway), and James Knappett of Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs (London).

Oregon chefs participating in Feast Portland 2015 include Aaron Barnett of St. Jack, Ben Bettinger of Laurelhurst Market, David Briggs of Xocolatl de Davíd, Kyra Bussanich of Kyra's Bake Shop, Elias Cairo of Olympia Provisions, Beau Carr of RingSide Steakhouse, Jose Chesa of Ataula, Matt Christianson of Urban Farmer Restaurant, Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of OX Restaurant, Scott Dolich of Park Kitchen, Rick Ebster of Bottle + Kitchen, Patrick Fleming of Boke Bowl, Ken Forkish and Rich Meyer of Trifecta Tavern & Bakery, Jason French of Ned Ludd, Alissa Frice of Frice Pastry, Rick Gencarelli of Lardo, John Gorham of Toro Bravo, Gregory Gourdet of Departure, Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood of Bunk Sandwiches, Tim Healea of Little T Baker, Sunny Jin of JORY at The Allison, Scott Ketterman of Crown Paella, Stephanie Pearl Kimmel of Marché, Carlo Lamagna of Clyde Common, Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant, Troy MacLarty of Bollywood Theater, Tyler Malek of Salt & Straw, Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene’s, Tony Meyers of Serratto, Katy Millard of Coquine, Bonnie Morales of Kachka, Kristen D. Murray of Måurice, Earl Ninsom of Langbaan, Daniel N. Oseas of Broder Café, Vitaly Paley of Imperial, Naomi Pomeroy of Beast, Nong Poonsukwattana of Nong's Khao Man Gai, Will Preisch and Joel Stocks of Holdfast, Andy Ricker of Pok Pok, Ryan Roadhouse of Nodoguro, Allen Routt of The Painted Lady, Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon, Adam Sappington of The Country Cat, Sarah Schafer of Irving Street Kitchen, BJ Smith of Smokehouse Tavern, Nate Snell of Pip's Original Doughnuts, Scott Snyder of Levant, John Stewart of Meat Cheese Bread, Johanna Ware of Smallwares, Cathy Whims of Nostrana, Justin Wills of Restaurant Beck, Justin Woodward of Castagna Restaurant and Jin Soo Yang of Bamboo Sushi.

National chefs participating in Feast Portland 2015 include Nick Anderer of Maialino (NYC), Franklin Becker of The Little Beet (NYC), Justin Brunson of Old Major (Denver), Alvin Cailan of Eggslut (LA), Andrew Carmellini of Bar Primi (NYC), Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy (NYC), Chad Colby of chi SPACCA (LA), Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo of Fat Rice (Chicago), Chris Cosentino of Cockscomb (San Francisco), Harold Dieterle of Kin Shop (NYC), Elizabeth Falkner of Falk Yeah Productions (NYC), Brad Farmerie of Saxon + Parole (NYC), Ben Ford of Ford's Filling Station (LA), Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue (Austin), Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes (LA), Vivian Howard of Chef & the Farmer (Kinston, NC), Michael Hung of Faith + Flower (LA), Paul Kahan of The Publican (Chicago), Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable (Minneapolis), Philip Krajeck of Rolf and Daughters (Nashville), Matt Lightner, Sam Mason of OddFellows (NYC), Tony Maws of Craigie on Main (Cambridge, MA), Steve McHugh of Cured (San Antonio), Harold Moore of Harold's Meat + 3 (NYC), Viet Pham of ember + ash (Salt Lake City), Paul Qui of qui (Austin), Chris Shepherd of Underbelly (Houston), Aaron Silverman of Rose’s Luxury (Washington, DC), Nancy Silverton of Mozza Restaurant (LA), Alex Stupak of Empellon (NYC), John Tesar of Knife at The Highland Dallas (Dallas) and Rachel Yang of Joule (Seattle).

“What I love most about Feast Portland is how, from day one, it has attracted the best, most innovative chefs in the world. Not because we pursue them, but because they want to be a part of Feast,” said Bon Appétit editor in chief Adam Rapoport. “They want to visit a city whose dining scene is as vibrant as any in the country, and participate in a festival that organically taps into that scene’s energy and creativity. The result is a food festival unlike any other in America.”


Feast Portland’s 2015 lineup includes the return of raucous nighttime marquee events Widmer Brothers Brewing Sandwich Invitational Presented by Dave’s Killer Bread on Thursday, September 17 and USA Pears Night Market at Zidell Yards on Friday, September 18 as well as fan-favorite daytime marquee events Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting Presented by Alaska Airlines on both Friday, September 18 and Saturday, September 19 andTillamook Brunch Village Presented by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card on Sunday, September 20 to conclude the epic weekend. Marquee events are large-scale walk-around tastings, and, like all Feast Portland events, tickets are all-inclusive of food and drink.

An exciting new addition to the Feast Portland 2015 lineup is a new marquee event, Oregonian Media Group Smoked! taking place on Saturday, September 19th from 6-9pm at The Fields in Portland’s Pearl District. Smoked! will be a sizzling celebration of animal, vegetable, fire, sea and forest. Featuring top masters of the flame from Portland and around the country, this event will stoke your appetite for everything flamed, grilled and free-ranged. Set to the tune of bold Northwest wines, classic cocktails and an epic view of the Fremont Bridge, Smoked! is ready to spark things up with live fire and some of the best bites of the weekend. Don’t call it a cookout!

Every year, Feast Portland creates the most coveted seats in town with its Dinner Series of utterly unique, intimate, multi-chef collaboration dinners hosted at top local restaurants and Portland's culinary incubator space, KitchenCru. Feast Portland is upping the ante for its 2015 Dinner Series by adding two unprecedented internationally themed dinners. Norway/Portland/Austin will feature chefs Christopher Haatuft of Lysverket in Norway, Paul Qui of qui in Austin, Naomi Pomeroy of Beast, Kyle Linden Webster of Expatriate and Will Preisch and Joel Stocks of Holdfast in Portland. London is a City in Oregon welcomes London chefs Ollie Dabbous of Dabbous and James Knappet ofKitchen Table at Bubbledogs, Brad Farmerie of Saxon + Parole in NYC and Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon in Portland. The 2015 Dinner Series lineup will also feature the return of the wildly popular Bon Appétit Hot 10 Dinner for the second year, hosted by editor in chief Adam Rapoport and restaurant and drinks editor Andrew Knowlton, celebrating Bon Appétit's Best New Restaurants in America. The exclusive Thursday night dinner will feature four previously nominated Bon Appétit Best New Restaurant chefs – both from inside and outside of Portland – as well as a chef from this year’s top 10 list.

At Feast Portland’s tasting panels, Drink Tank Presented by Imbibe, local and national beverage industry experts guide an intimate group of attendees through a tasting of premium beverages. Feast panelists like Joshua M. Bernstein of Imbibe, Christian DeBenedetti of The Weekly Pint, Bobby Heugel of Anvil Bar & Refuge, Jim Meehan of Mixography Inc., Jeffery Morgenthaler of Clyde Common and Pepe Le Moko, Rajat Parr of Seven Springs Estate and writer Bruce Schoenfeld will share their extensive knowledge along with a few good stories as they explore new trends in the wine, beer and cocktail world. Drink Tank 2015 will delve into hot topics like European-style farmhouse ales at American microbreweries, rare beers with cult-like followings, alcohol and balance in Pinot Noir, the resurging popularity of margaritas, and the love and lore of American whiskey. Drink Tank panels take place during the day on Friday and Saturdayof Feast Portland weekend in the beautiful Evans H. Roberts Sculpture Mall of Portland Art Museum.

For those who want to bring home more than just a full belly from the festival, Feast Portland’s Hands-On Classes provide a rare opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade directly from the nation’s most skilled artisans and chefs. Get hands on and learn to make Amaro cocktails from Mark Bitterman, the magic of candy making with Jami Curl, how to up your coffee game with Liam Kenna and the best beer and food pairings for parties with Christian DeBenedetti and Andrea Slonecker. Hands-On Classes take place during the day on Saturday and Sunday of Feast Portland weekend.

“Oregon has become a must-see, must-do destination for travelers who have a passion for great food and drink. In every corner of the state, you’ll find talented chefs, artisans, farmers and producers who call Oregon home because of our abundance of unique culinary experiences and ingredients,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon. “Feast Portland provides a national platform to showcase the rich diversity of Oregon’s bounty.”


The complete list of events, participants, and ticket information can be found at


Widmer Brothers Brewing Sandwich Invitational Presented by Dave’s Killer Bread

Location: Director Park | Date: Thursday, September 17, 2015 | Time: 6pm-9pm | Price: $95


Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting Presented by Alaska Airlines

Location: Pioneer Courthouse Square | Date: Friday, September 18, 2015 and Saturday, September 19, 2015 | Time: Friday 1pm-5pm and Saturday 12pm-5pm | Price: $60 (per day)


USA Pears Night Market at Zidell Yards

Location: Zidell Yards | Date: Friday, September 18, 2015 | Time: 6pm-9pm | Price: $135


Oregonian Media Group Smoked!

Location: The Fields | Date: Saturday, September 19, 2015 | Time: 6pm-9pm | Price: $135


Tillamook Brunch Village Presented by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card

Location: Pioneer Courthouse Square | Date: Sunday, September 20, 2015 | Time: 11am-2pm | Price: $75


Hands-On Classes & Drink Tank Tasting Panels

Location: Throughout Downtown Portland | Date: Friday, September 18, 2015 – Sunday, September 20, 2015 | Prices: $35-$75


Dinner Series

Location: KitchenCru Culinary Prepspace and Various Portland Restaurants | Date: Thursday, September 17, 2015 – Sunday, September 20, 2015 | Time: 7pm | Prices: $75-$175

Thursday, September 17

  • KitchenCru Dinner Series: Bon Appétit Hot 10 Dinner hosted by editor in chief Adam Rapoport and restaurant and drinks editor Andrew Knowlton

  • Dinner Series: Andrew Carmellini and Joshua McFadden at Roman Candle Baking Co.

  • Dinner Series: Ken Forkish, Rich Meyer and Nancy Silverton at Trifecta Tavern & Bakery

  • Dinner Series: Paul Qui and Andy Ricker at Sen Yai

  • Dinner Series: More Girls! Girls! Girls!: Amanda Cohen, Elizabeth Falkner, Jenn Louis and Sarah Schafer at Lincoln Restaurant

Friday, September 18

  • KitchenCru Dinner Series: London is a City in Oregon: Ollie Dabbous, Brad Farmerie, James Knappet and Gabriel Rucker

  • Dinner Series: Aaron Franklin’s Stumptown Coffee Cookout

  • Dinner Series: Jason French and Chris Shepherd at Elder Hall

  • Dinner Series: Heartlandia Dinner at The Country Cat Calico Room

  • Dinner Series: David Briggs, Scott Dolich and Matt Lightner at Park Kitchen

  • Dinner Series: Chris Cosentino, Sam Mason and Vitaly Paley at Paley’s Place

Saturday, September 19

  • KitchenCru Dinner Series: Norway/Portland/Austin: Christopher Haatuft, Naomi Pomeroy, Kyle Linden Webster, Paul Qui, Will Preisch and Joel Stocks

Sunday, September 20

  • KitchenCru Dinner Series: Crucifery, Vegetables Rock: Franklin Becker, Viet Pham, Katy Millard and Cathy Whims 

Tickets for each event are available for purchase and prices are all-inclusive of food and drink. To experience all of Feast Portland’s marquee events, “The Package” includes one ticket each to the Friday Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting,Saturday Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting, Sandwich Invitational, Night Market, Smoked! and Brunch Village for $530.




At its heart, Feast Portland is a festival with a mission, donating all net proceeds towards ending childhood hunger in Oregon and across the country through Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon and No Kid Hungry. Since 2012, Feast Portland has raised over $162,000 towards this cause.


Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon (PHFO) builds pathways out of poverty by providing on-the-ground technical and financial assistance to over 300 local children’s meal programs. Over the past five years, PHFO has helped provide over 700,000 meals to at-risk kids in Oregon. With the help of the community and strategic advocacy, PHFO works to make basic needs like food, housing and childcare more accessible for millions of working families. No Kid Hungry, a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength, is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and have healthy meals in the summer, and that families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. Since the campaign’s launch, No Kid Hungry and its partners have connected kids struggling with hunger with more than 345 million healthy meals.


Support and connect with Feast Portland’s charitable partners on social media leading up to and during Feast Portland by using #whywefeast.

Whistler Blackcomb to Celebrate World No Tobacco Day by Installing New Smoke-Free Policy!

This is super great news - I'd love to see more businesses become smoke-free!

On May 31, 2015, Whistler Blackcomb will celebrate World No Tobacco Day by introducing a new smoke-free policy. The policy will prohibit smoking anywhere on Whistler Blackcomb property, including lift lines, chairlifts, gondolas, ski runs, hiking trails, valley base areas, parking lots, Whistler Mountain Bike Park trails and all Whistler Blackcomb bar and restaurant locations, including patios.

“We have made the decision to introduce a smoke-free policy at Whistler Blackcomb to preserve the pristine alpine environment our guests come here for,” says Dave Brownlie, President and CEO at Whistler Blackcomb. “We also recognize as a leader in the outdoor adventure and wellness industry and as the largest employer in the Whistler community, we have a responsibility to our guests and staff to provide a safe and healthy environment for work and play. We believe implementing this new policy aligns with this goal.”

Whistler Blackcomb’s new smoke-free policy will apply to both guests and staff. While the policy will prohibit guests from smoking on Whistler Blackcomb property effective immediately on May 31, 2015, Whistler Blackcomb staff will be permitted to smoke in designated smoking areas for one year as they adjust to the company’s new policy. During the one year period, Whistler Blackcomb will provide tools and resources to assist staff with quitting smoking. As of May 31, 2016, Whistler Blackcomb’s smoke-free policy will also apply to all staff.

An information booth will be set up in Skier’s Plaza on Sunday, May 31 to launch the new policy. Whistler Blackcomb leaders will be on-site to answer any questions as well as representatives from Vancouver Coastal Health, who will have cessation resources and information about the health benefits of quitting smoking on-hand.

“By taking this important step, Whistler Blackcomb is demonstrating it is a strong ambassador for health. We know many young people ski and snowboard, and youth who haven’t started using tobacco by the time they are 26 years old will most likely never start,” says Vancouver Coastal Health Medical Health Officer, Dr. Paul Martiquet. “Eliminating smoking in public places, such as on our mountains, creates healthy role modeling so youth, and others, are less likely to even consider using tobacco.”

The decision to become a smoke-free recreation area and employer aligns with Whistler Blackcomb’s core values of Safety First and We Care, as well as the company’s goal to be health-oriented and family friendly. In addition, the smoke-free policy will help mitigate the risk of forest fires on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.

For more information about Whistler Blackcomb’s smoke-free policy, visit

Information about the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s smoking policy is available at

Guests looking to plan a trip to the consistently rated No. 1 Mountain Resort in North America can visit  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 1,164 centimetres (458 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.

Experts Encourage Families in East King County to Bring Back the Sunday Dinner

Bob Megargel from Bellevue is on a mission to see more families share sit-down Sunday dinners with their senior loved ones. The reason? New research shows that 50 percent of surveyed families living near senior relatives feel they do not share enough meals with older loved ones, losing an important family connection.*

“For seniors, it’s not what’s on their plate that matters most at mealtime – it’s who is at the table with them,” said Megargel, owner of the local Home Instead Senior Care office serving Bellevue and East King County. “When seniors share meals with a companion, they have a better mealtime experience – both nutritionally and emotionally.”

Almost 75 percent of the people surveyed said they only sit down for a family meal with senior loved ones for special occasions, events or holidays. They say a big part of the problem is time – both not having enough of it and conflicting schedules.

To encourage families to make time for these meals, the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels America (up to $20,000 total through July 31, 2015) for each person that commits to regularly scheduling family dinners at Pledging to have a sit-down dinner with loved ones will help to ensure other seniors will have a quality meal, friendly visit and safety check delivered by Meals on Wheels programs across the country.

“We hope families will make the pledge to either revive or begin new mealtime traditions with their senior loved ones,” Megargel said. “This small commitment can have a big impact on a senior’s well-being.”

To help families across the country host their own Sunday dinner, Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with celebrity chef and mother of four Melissa d’Arabian to develop easy, nutritious recipes. Additional resources include tips for how to involve seniors in meal planning and preparation, pre- and post-dinner activities and meal plans for healthy, inexpensive meals that all generations can enjoy.

For these free resources and more information on how you can bring back the Sunday dinner and reconnect with your senior loved ones, visit, call Home Instead Senior Care at 425-454-9744, or visit

Thursday, May 14, 2015

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Apple Announces New Environmental Initiatives in China

apple logoApple recently announced an expansion of its renewable energy and environmental protection initiatives in China, including a new multi-year project with World Wildlife Fund to significantly increase responsibly managed forests across China. The new forestland program aims to protect as much as 1 million acres of responsibly managed working forests which provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products.

Apple’s goal is to achieve a net-zero impact on the world’s supply of sustainable virgin fiber and power all its operations worldwide on 100 percent renewable energy.

“Forests, like energy, can be renewable resources,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environmental Initiatives. “We believe we can run on naturally renewable resources and ensure that we protect—and create—as much sustainable working forest as needed to produce the virgin paper in our product packaging. This is an important step toward that goal and our commitment to leave the world better than we found it.”

Apple also announced its intent to expand its industry-leading renewable energy projects to manufacturing facilities in China.

“We’ve set an example by greening our data centers, retail stores and corporate offices, and we’re ready to start leading the way toward reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “This won’t happen overnight—in fact it will take years—but it’s important work that has to happen, and Apple is in a unique position to take the initiative toward this ambitious goal. It is a responsibility we accept. We are excited to work with leaders in our supply chain who want to be on the cutting edge of China’s green transformation.”

Today’s announcements come three weeks after Apple launched its first major solar project in China. Solar installations in Sichuan Province will generate far more energy than needed to power all of Apple’s corporate offices and retail stores in China.

Apple is partnering with Leshan Electric Power Co., Sichuan Development Holding Co., Ltd, Tianjin Tsinlien Investment Holding Co., Ltd, Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co., Ltd, and SunPower Corporation on the project encompassing two 20-megawatt solar farms. Together the project will generate up to 80 million kilowatt hours per year of clean energy, enough to power the equivalent of 61,000 Chinese homes.  That’s clean energy added to the grid that would otherwise not be there.

The solar projects were carefully designed to minimize their ecological impact and protect the grasslands that support the yak population, which is also important to the local economy. Today 87 percent of Apple’s global operations run on renewable energy, and the Sichuan Province solar project will bring Apple even closer to its commitment to reach 100 percent.

“Apple’s support for this project and its environmental leadership show that protecting forests is not just good for society but important for business,” said Lo Sze Ping, Chief Executive Officer for WWF China. “This collaboration between our two organizations will seek to reduce China’s ecological footprint by helping produce more wood from responsibly managed forests within its own borders. Doing so is essential to China, the world’s biggest timber importer. Our hope is this will catalyze a new model of corporate leadership in promoting sustainable forest management and using paper resources more efficiently and responsibly around the world.”

Learn more about Apple’s environmental efforts at

Apple in China
Apple operates 19 corporate offices and 22 retail stores in China, including Hong Kong, directly employing 8,000 people. In total, Apple has helped create and support over 3 million jobs in China, including at least 1.5 million iOS app developer jobs and other positions related to the iOS ecosystem.

Developers in China have earned more than $3.4 billion through the worldwide sale of apps on the App Store℠, with over half of that amount paid in the last 12 months alone. App Store income earned by China’s developers is growing at a faster rate than any other major market in the world.

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.