Santa Claus collects gifts at charity-focused cash mob

November 27, 2012

Al Krush returns as Santa Claus for a charity-focused cash mob Dec. 5 at Gilman Village’s White Horse Toys. File

Santa Claus is coming to town — to a cash mob, to be exact.

The next cash mob is due to descend on Gilman Village’s White Horse Toys on Dec. 5, just in time for the pre-Christmas rush. The event is meant to reflect the holiday spirit, because organizers asked cash mob participants to purchase something for themselves, and something extra for charity.

In a cash mob, a group of people descends on a business to buy, buy, buy. The destination is revealed through social media services. Then, the mob pops up at the business to browse and shop.

The 20- and 30-something business leaders in the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce — Young Issaquah Professionals, or YIPPIES for short — modeled the cash mob on similar events elsewhere.

The concept for the upcoming cash mob is BOGO — buy one, give one — and customers can donate toys to the Wounded Warrior Project. The toys then go to children of military personnel killed or wounded in action.

Read more

Cash mob shoppers needed to purchase school supplies

July 24, 2012

The Issaquah Chamber of Commerce is directing its next cash mob efforts to help needy students within the Issaquah School District acquire school supplies.

Read more

Get ready to spend as inaugural cash mob comes to town

April 10, 2012

Everybody perusing YouTube knows about flash mobs — people dancing en masse to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on public plazas, for instance — but a group of professionals is about to advance the concept in Issaquah.

Come April 16, business leaders plan to host a cash mob — a commerce-fueled cousin of ubiquitous flash mobs.

Read more

Issaquah businesses target tourists for attractions, events

October 25, 2011

Issaquah leaders often describe local qualities as treasures — a quaint downtown, mountain panoramas, historic buildings and more.

Local businesspeople describe such attractions as “tourism assets” all set for out-of-town guests to enjoy and, in the process, spend dollars in hotels and restaurants.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce officials gathered representatives from local “tourism assets” Oct. 18 to discuss successes and opportunities to lure more tourists to the area.

Leaders from artEAST, Cougar Mountain Zoo, Village Theatre, and other Issaquah attractions and events, said attendance is strong, but sometimes people overlook local offerings.

“Tastin’ N Racin’ — unfortunately — is Issaquah’s best-kept secret,” event organizer Craig Cooke said. “Nationally, it’s not. There are events in 13 other states that have all called and patterned their event on what goes on on land and what goes on in water.”

Tastin’ N Racin’ attracts 20,000 people — and sometimes up to 50,000 — to Lake Sammamish State Park each June for hydroplane races and onshore offerings.

Other long-established attractions face a similar challenge in luring potential tourists.

Read more

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce unveils city-focused agenda

July 5, 2011

Leaders focus on changes to signage, tourism

Issaquah business leaders plan to focus on City Hall in the months ahead to foster economic development, bolster tourism-promotion efforts and shape regulations to benefit businesses.

Matthew Bott, Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO, said the local agenda formed after chamber leaders consulted Issaquah entrepreneurs. The effort marks the inaugural legislative agenda from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce focused on city issues.

“We really went out and asked our members, ‘What are you seeing? What are your priorities? What would you like to see?’” he said. “We made a specific focus on city government.”

Read more

Who’s News

June 7, 2011

EVOO Cannon Beach hires Liberty grad as new sous chef

EVOO Cannon Beach recently hired Amanda Bidema, a 2005 graduate of Liberty High School, as its new sous chef.

Bidema came to EVOO as its first intern in 2007 as part of the Culinary Arts Program at Renton Technical College. Since completing her studies, Bidema has honed her skills at the Issaquah Café, Portland’s Papa Haydn and most recently as lead day broil at Seattle’s fish house Coastal Kitchen.

EVOO Cannon Beach is in Cannon Beach, Ore.

Read more

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce crowns royalty

May 10, 2011

Hail, King and Queen Issaquah.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders crowned Evergreen Ford employee Josh Rehn and Hilton Garden Inn employee Laurie Carlisle as king and queen for the year ahead. The pair received royal robes and salmon-shaped crowns at a chamber luncheon April 19.

King and Queen Issaquah serve as goodwill ambassadors to the community. The duo presides at ribbon-cutting ceremonies, participates in the Independence Day and Salmon Days Festival parades, and is honored at chamber events.

Nathan Perea, a former City Council candidate and Issaquah Highlands resident, and Renee Zimmerman, another highlands resident, held the royal titles in 2010.

City Council confirms, lauds municipal board appointees

May 3, 2011

Onetime City Council finalist Paul Winterstein is going to continue serving the city on the Human Services Commission, the liaison between social service groups and municipal government.

The council appointed Winterstein and 35 other people as members and alternates to city boards and commissions April 18. Terms on the 11 affected boards start May 1. The city does not pay members.

“I am continually amazed at the number of people — and their qualifications — that stepped forward to fill our boards and commissions,” Councilman Fred Butler said before the unanimous decision to appoint the members. “It seems to me in going through the applications and the qualifications of folks, we’ve got an especially strong group of people filling some critical holes on our boards and commissions again this year.”

The city put out a call for board and commission applicants in January. Then, Mayor Ava Frisinger and board officers narrowed the applicant pool, and recommended appointees to the council for approval.

The city is continuing the interview process for alternates to serve on the Sister Cities and Urban Village Development commissions.

Read more

Off the Press

March 15, 2011

Council offers reality TV moment in tiebreaker

The protracted process to turn a resident from Jane or John Q. Public into a City Council member did not, despite high hopes, resemble a reality TV showdown.

Warren Kagarise Press reporter

If behind-the-scenes catfights did indeed occur amid the bonhomie and pitch-perfect presentations, none spilled out. Harrumph.

So, the group on hand March 1 for the pitches to the council — and applicants outnumbered attendees — observed no backbiting or sabotage, no bad-mouthing or name-calling. Instead, the process felt a little like the Miss America Pageant.

Mary Lou Pauly, a Development Commission member since Issaquah claimed less than 9,000 people, earned the congeniality sash for describing the applicant list as “well-spoken, outspoken and opinionated” — some of the most-desired qualities in a public official and, coincidentally, certain reality TV show contestants.

The dressed-to-impress applicants, in chipper proposals to the half-dozen council members, ticked through mileslong résumés and laudable ideas for the city.

Joe Forkner, to scrounge a metaphor from Aesop, turned out to be the tortoise — ceaselessly dependable and steady, if not flashy.

In the conversational category: Nathan Perea, a council candidate in 2009 and, to extend the metaphor to another candidate, the hare in the application process.

Yeah, I realize the hare has a longstanding reputation as a pain in the cottontail, but I apply the description to Perea because the erstwhile — and perhaps future? — candidate offers boundless enthusiasm for Issaquah.

Read more

Nominate Issaquah business leaders for royal titles

March 15, 2011

Forget Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Issaquah needs a pair of royals to hold court at Issaquah Chamber of Commerce functions throughout 2011.

King and Queen Issaquah serve as goodwill ambassadors to the community. The duo presides at ribbon-cutting ceremonies, participates in the Independence Day and Salmon Days Festival parades, and is honored at chamber events.

Chamber members nominate candidates based on business and community leadership roles.

E-mail Queen Mum Joyce Adams at joyce.adams6@comcast.net to nominate a chamber member for the royal title. List the nominee and business, and include a brief explanation about why he or she deserves the honor. Nominations must be submitted by April 1.

The royal court is due to be crowned at the chamber’s annual gala. The location and date for the fête have not been determined.

Nathan Perea, a former City Council candidate and Issaquah Highlands resident, holds the King Issaquah title for 2010. Renee Zimmerman is Queen Issaquah.

Next Page »