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Home   •   Archives   •   Spokane Edition   —   Monday, January 27, 2014


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Bill Sweigert Honored for 25 years of Service at Associated Industries

Associated Industries Sr. Vice President, Training & HR, William T. (Bill) Sweigert, was promoted to Senior VP and recognized last week for his 25 years of service with the Spokane-based employer services organization, Associated Industries.

Sweigert, who describes his role as a 'strategic HR generalist' with expertise in corporate mission building, leadership development, workplace quality, EEO and Affirmative Action Plans, is a graduate of Gonzaga University, with postgraduate work in management, psychology, accounting, and executive development. For A.I. members, Sweigert provides consulting and training services, publishes an annual Inland Northwest Compensation Survey (INCS) and administers Affirmative Action Plans for over 70 federal contractors, and was invited to speak on civil rights at Oxford University in 2004.

Associated Industries (A.I.) is an employer association - providing essential business resources for members since 1910. Dedicated to enhancing the success of member organizations and the greater business community A.I. offers a variety of membership and fee-based services, including healthcare products and services, safety consulting, training, labor relations, HR training and consulting and a Retrospective Rating group. For more information about Associated Industries, visit aiin.net/workforce_solutions/.

Design Spike, Inc. acquires Zyph Design Co.

Design Spike, Inc. has acquired Zyph Design Co. This acquisition allows Design Spike to increase its offered services while maintaining its high quality standards of production. Design Spike specializes in long-term solutions for Web, Strategy, Identity and Print. Its mission is to provide each of its clients with unique and powerful online presence that motivates users and drives business growth.

Todd Zyph, owner-operator of Zyph Design Co., also accepted a position at Design Spike as the Art Director. He is responsible for creating design solutions that have a high visual impact for a variety of media. Zyph also contributes to the growth of Design Spike, which now has five full-time employees who service clients on a national level. The expanded service list now includes responsive websites; programming and development; content management; user interface design; user experience analysis; print design; and social media management.

Having recently celebrated its tenth year in business, Design Spike just been awarded Inland Business Catalyst Magazine's Best Spokane Web Design Company for 2014. Design Spike may be found online at designspike.com.

Make Dark Chocolate Hand-Rolled Truffles with Julia Myracle

Chocolate Myracles will be making heart shaped truffles for Valentine's Day and you can learn how with Master Chocolatier Julia. She will demonstrate how to make a wonderfully delicious dark chocolate ganache and hand-rolled truffles in this hands-on class. Each student will make 1 pound of ganache (to take home) from start to finish, which makes up to 32 hand rolled truffles. In addition, participants will hand roll and decorate several truffles in class, using Venezuelan cocoa powder, shaved chocolate couvetures, and pecans.

This 2 hour class at 11616 E. Montgomery #23 will be filled with chocolate suggestions and a bit of chocolate history. Cost is $55. Tuesday Jan. 28th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Preregistration required. To register call 509-922-6353 or email julia@chocolatemyracles.com. Private and children's classes are available.

New Owners for the Halpin's Pharmacy Building in Spokane Valley

Guy Byrd of Cornerstone Property Advisors, LLC, recently brokered a sale transaction between Kelly and George Lawrence III and Markquart, LLC for the purchase of the 31,126 square foot Halpin's Pharmacy building at 11410 E Sprague in the Spokane Valley. This landmark building had been the home of Halpin's Pharmacy since 1949.

The owner occupied space will be the new home of Complete Suite Furniture which is scheduled to open in February or March of this year. For more information about this new location for Complete Suite Furniture, contact Brad Marquart at Complete Suite Furniture at 509-838-0030.

Northern Quest Resort & Casino receives prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star rating

Forbes, the gold standard in luxury travel ratings since 1958, has designated Northern Quest as a Four-Star rated hotel resort. With this Four-Star rating Northern Quest becomes one of only five hotels in Washington State who have earned this impressive rating, and one of only four hotels in Washington to earn both the Forbes Four-Star rating and the AAA Four-Diamond Award.

Optimal Healthcare, a new family practice clinic opens in Spokane Valley

Kevin Bichler and Janice Jordan-Bichler have opened a new family practice clinic in the Spokane Valley called Optimal Healthcare, at 12418 E. Saltese December 9th.

Aside from the uniqueness of being the only Physician Assistant-owned clinic in Spokane, they are developing a practice of providing a personalized level of service to their patients. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Optimal Health Care offers their services to a larger population of Medicaid/Medicare recipients and the newly insured along with those remaining with their current medical plans. They work closely with their supervising MD who is available during business hours and who also will be scheduling patients at Optimal Healthcare very soon.

Services offered are: General Medicine/Family Practice, minor procedures, physicals (Men, Women, Children, Sports), L & I (Workman's Comp), sexual assault nurse examinations. The phone number is 509-822-7719 and the website is optimalhealthcarespokane.blogspot.com.

Living Water Landscape Services expands to new location

Mike and Lisa Fairburn started Living Water Lawn and Tree Care 24 years ago. Going out in the evening after their 'day job' in order to meet clients' needs for lawn, shrub care and pest control, they did what it took to keep things moving.

The company has announced a new expansion in response to rapid growth in the past year to better serve client requests for full service lawn and landscape needs. Renovations are just being completed on the 3,600 square foot building on 2.26 acres at 8227 North Regal that will house Living Water Landscape Services, a company formed in partnership with Ron and Carol Davis. The new company provides pruning, landscape cleanup, sprinkler system installation and repair and lawn maintenance and mowing for residential and light commercial properties. Eventually Living Water will relocate its administrative offices and Spokane operations to the new location from their current location at 6925 E. Bigelow Gulch Road in Spokane.

For more information on Living Water Lawn & Tree Care or Living Water Landscape Services, contact the company at 509-487-3739 or visit www.livingwaterlawncare.com.

Business success is a SNAP as local nonprofit offers micro-enterprise loans, counseling

For 48 years, SNAP has been helping residents of Spokane County gain stability through a combination of resources, support and education. While the private nonprofit agency is known as the provider of energy assistance, housing, weatherization and other vital programs to nearly 50,000 individuals each year, SNAP also does its part to create jobs and boost the local economy by offering micro-enterprise loans and counseling to aspiring entrepreneurs. In the past three years, SNAP Financial Access has started, expanded or financially enhanced 287 small businesses in the greater Spokane area while creating or retaining 250 jobs.

For business owners like John Christensen, proprietor of Hook's Auto Repair in Spokane Valley, the support from SNAP served as a catalyst on the road to success. "Everyone I dealt with at SNAP was very helpful," said Christensen, whose shop specializes in air-cooled Volkswagen engines. "They don't disrespect you."

SNAP micro-enterprise loans range from $500 up to $50,000. Overall, the program has access to around $1 million in loan pools for business owners who meet established income guidelines. Loans are also available to businesses that employ residents who meet income guidelines.

A recent survey of SNAP business borrowers revealed that 79 percent of the companies are still operating within five years after receiving their loan. On average, these households have increased their income by 40 percent. SNAP Financial Access 'green loans' are also available for businesses that promote eco-friendly products or practices.

"SNAP is emphasizing green business," said Juliet Sinisterra, owner of Sun People Dry Goods in downtown Spokane. "It helped me when they were thorough and gave me feedback about how I could become more efficient."

Along with a financial boost to local companies, SNAP counselors also provide help crafting business plans that cover the intricacies of starting and maintaining a successful venture, from marketing strategies to legal advice to tax requirements.

Several times a year, SNAP sponsors a six-week Small Business Success Workshop that covers the essentials of operating a startup operation. The free class features outside speakers from fields like law, accounting and marketing and, according to former students like Robert Rigo, can be a springboard to success.

"I would recommend it for anyone starting from scratch," said Rigo who owns Rigo Ranch in the West Plains and went through the workshop three years ago. "The speakers were able to answer any questions I had. It was definitely beneficial."

SNAP Financial Access also specializes in refugee loans for entrepreneurs who have come to the Inland Northwest from other countries. Among the many success stories of businesses fulfilling "the American Dream" are Oasis Hair Salons, Kiev Markets, NMZ Trucking and more.

Look for stories featuring SNAP-supported companies across the greater Spokane community in upcoming issues of How's Business? To learn more about the agency's micro-enterprise program, contact SNAP Financial Access at 509-456-7106 or visit www.snapwa.org.

Dick Brantley Joins Stuart Advertising

Stuart Advertising recently announced that Richard (Dick) Brantley is joining their marketing/sales team. Dick brings many years of experience in sales, marketing and business development to the Stuart team.

"I am joining a team of young creative minds along with seasoned professionals. It's the creative side of the business I love", says Brantley. "This will be a perfect fit." Brantley recently retired from KXLY Radio, to help his son Joel acquire corporate sponsorships for his school assembly programs, 'Bullying It's NOT ok!'

Prior to KXLY, Brantley held management positions with magazine, newspaper and radio station groups.

Call for Nominations for Best of the West

The West Plains Chamber of Commerce is calling for nominations of businesses and leaders of the West Plains for their annual Best of the West Gala.

Self nominations are encouraged and you can nominate several times in one category if you like, or one nomination in all categories. This year all nominees will be included on a ballot which will be delivered via email to each member of the West Plains Chamber. Members can then make a selection in each category. The top three will move forward as finalists to the select non-partial judging panel. All finalists will be notified and asked to attend the Best of the West Gala on March 20th where each winner will be announced. Nominations close at 5pm on February 19th. Best of the West Awards Gala will be held Thursday, March 20 at Northern Quest Pavilion.

Here are the categories:
Community Relations
Customer Service
Innovative Practices
Person of the Year
Business Leader of the Year
Non Profit
First Responder of the Year
Most Uniquely West Plains
Large Business of the Year
Medium Business of the Year
Small Business of the Year

In addition to these awards, honors will also go to Military Persons of the Year, Chamber Champion of the Year, and Educators of the Year.

For more information on criteria and to make nominations, click here.

U.S. Bank to open Branch at Spokane Valley Financial Center

U.S. Bank has announced the relocation of its Spokane Valley office at 9208 E. Sprague Ave. (Sprague Ave. and Argonne Road) to the Spokane Valley Financial Center, located less than a mile away at 9109 E. Appleway Blvd. (Appleway Blvd. and Dishman Ave.). The branch at Spokane Valley Financial Center will open for business on Monday, March 17.

Representatives of U.S. Bank and the Spokane civic community will cut a ribbon at 10 am on Tuesday, March 18. A grand opening celebration will take place from 4 to 6:30 pm on Wednesday, March 26. Light refreshments and snacks will be served throughout the day.

Individuals who open any new package checking account with direct deposit will receive $100. See branch for requirements. In addition, there will be a home equity line of credit and an auto loan special. See branch for rates and other information.

Branch hours, subject to change, will be Monday through Thursday from 9:30 am until 5 pm, Friday from 9:30 am until 6 pm, with drive-through hours from 9 am until 6 pm Monday through Friday.

The Business Thought of the Week

"Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude." Dale Carnegie

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