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Jim Davis |
Published: Monday, June 3, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Biz Bits: People and businesses in the news


Regence BlueShield has named Dr. Mary Kay O'Neill executive medical director for the state of Washington. Based in Seattle, O'Neill is well known in the community and is active in professional and civic associations.

Cheryl Sparks, owner of Sparks Financial Services in Lynnwood, joined other financial advisors last month at the Commonwealth Financial Network's Business Experience conference. The event was held in collaboration with the Disney Institute in Florida. Business Experience recognizes successful advisors based on an annual production ranking among Commonwealth's nationwide network of advisors.

Keller Williams in Everett has added four agents since early April. Mack McKindley joined from Zip Realty, Jason Gustafson came from Edmonds Realty and Julie Adair came from ProRealty Options. Marie Toop is launching her real estate career with Keller Williams. John Wynstra, team leader, believes the strong sellers' market is causing changes in agent populations.


Monroe Public Schools director of communications Rosemary O'Neil was presented with the Learning and Liberty Award from the Washington School Public Relations Association at the group's recent spring conference. The award is for school communications professionals who have contributed greatly to the profession. O'Neil was nominated by members of the Snohomish County Schools Public Information Cooperative.

Swinomish Casino & Lodge has received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this award.

The national Future Farmers of America organization, in partnership with John Deere, awarded a $2,000 scholarship to Christina Rogers of Arlington High School. The scholarship is from Papé Machinery and John Deere Co. through a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Rogers plans to use the funds to pursue a degree at Western Washington University.

Good deeds

Alaska USA will support high school students in Washington by providing five scholarships to Washington Business Week. The $5,000 sponsorship will provide the students the opportunity to experience a simulated career environment to learn about business, team building, leadership and life skills. For more information, visit


Join Economic Alliance Snohomish County and Peoples Bank for Business After Hours and a grand opening of Peoples Bank's new Everett location from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Tickets are complimentary, but please RSVP so hosts can have a head count for the event. The location is 2733 Colby Ave. in Everett.

On Tuesday, CityClub will host Washington Business in Reform at The Westin Hotel in Seattle. It is a forum exploring the impact of health-care reform on small businesses. The 2013 Series moderator is Jean Enersen of KING-TV. Ticket price includes lunch. More information is available at or by calling 206-682-7395.

Small Business Administration acting national ombudsman Yolanda V. Swift will hear issues and comments about federal regulatory enforcement and compliance at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday at the Rainer Club in Seattle. RSVPs should be made to José Méndez in the Office of the National Ombudsman at 202-205-2417 or by email to

Join Economic Alliance Snohomish County, Experience Everett and Trinity Lutheran College for a Business After Hours networking event from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday. Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson will speak. Light appetizers and a no-host bar featuring locally produced craft beverages will be available. The event is at Trinity Lutheran College at 2802 Wetmore Ave. in Everett.

Sorticulture, Everett's garden arts festival, is at Legion Park Friday through Sunday. Sorticulture is a celebration of creative outdoor living with vendors, activities, entertainment and more. For a list of activities and participants, go to Sponsors include The Everett Daily Herald, Everett Community College, KPLU-FM and the City of Everett.

The Edmonds office of Wells Fargo Advisors will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 12:30 p.m. on June 17 to celebrate its 25th anniversary in downtown Edmonds. The office is at 315 Fifth Ave. S. The Edmonds branch has 12 financial advisors to serve investors.

Classes, workshops and webinars

HopeWorks, a Housing Hope affiliate, continues a series of workshops to help nonprofits understand the opportunities and challenges of successful social enterprise. The next workshop is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday at the Ken Schilaty Learning Center in Everett. For more information, contact Mary Jonasen at or call 425-347-6556, ext. 242.


Turn-Key Repair and Maintenance has relocated from Everett to 16910 59th Ave. NE, Suite 202, in Arlington. The family- and veteran-owned company provides services for commercial and residential customers including plumbing, electrical, painting, carpentry and repairs. Turn-Key also provides property management.

Coast Equity Partners of Everett has acquired the 222-unit Morning Run Apartments in Monroe for $26.4 million, according to principal and VP of Acquisitions Josh Jansen. This marks the fifth acquisition of a sizable apartment community for Coast Equity Partners since former gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi joined the firm in 2009.

The City of Everett is seeking applications from volunteers who would like to serve on the city's Historical Commission. Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on June 14 and are available at the Everett mayor's office at 425-257-7115. The application is also available on the city website.

Women Inspiring Successful Entrepreneurs announced its new status as a non-profit. The organization is for women in business seeking personal and professional growth. WISE Women meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at the Holiday Inn Express in Marysville. Register for the next WISE event at

On June 1, Northwest Farmers and Fred Meyer stores in Washington and Oregon launched the Fighting Hunger Cash/Food Drive. The goal is to raise $100,000 and 100,000 pounds of food to benefit Feeding America affiliates, Food Lifeline, 2nd Harvest and Oregon Food Bank during June Dairy Month. Fred Meyer stores are accepting donations of non-perishable food.

Sound Community Bank, which has a location in Mountlake Terrace, will celebrate its 60th anniversary during Customer Appreciation Week this week. At the same time, the bank has announced new business hours. Beginning June 8, all branch locations will be open on Saturdays between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The statewide WorkSource system has launched a new online calendar that makes it easier for job seekers to learn about job fairs or to register for job-search workshops anywhere in Washington. It is accessible 24 hours a day on any device with Web access. More information is at

Washington Banking Co., the holding company for Whidbey Island Bank, has announced that the board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to 775,000 shares of company stock -- approximately 5 percent of outstanding shares. The number, timing and price of shares repurchased will depend on business and market conditions and other factors.

National Small Business Week 2013 will feature Angie Hicks, the founder of Angie's List. Locally, this year's national business event, designed to help small businesses start, grow and succeed, will be held on June 17 in Seattle. For additional information, including a complete schedule of events, go to

Biz Bits runs Monday through Saturday in The Herald and on Monday at Send your news and high-resolution color photos to

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