Category: Services

Hooray for Mr. Ewing!

From www.highlineschools.org

From www.highlineschools.org

Northwest Gold Coast is very happy to congratulate Highline School District’s Mount View Elementary teacher, Jamie Ewing, for being named, “a 2014 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) LearningMedia Digital Innovator. The fifth-grade teacher is the only Washington State educator among the 100 teachers from around the country selected this year.”

We’d like to thank him for everything he is doing for the fifth grade students of our community. Please remember to support great educators like Mr. Ewing and to keep advocating for digital media and technology programs for our students.

Read the full story here!

Posted in Services

May Upcoming Events

Photo from everyneelsthing.blogspot.com

Photo from everyneelsthing.blogspot.com

  • Friday, May 9th Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce’s May Membership Luncheon 11-2 pm at the Doubletree Hotel Seattle Airport.
  • Saturday, May 10th Tukwila’s Backyard Wildlife Festival 9 am-3 pm at the Tukwila Community Center.
  • Sunday, May 11th Mother’s Day
  • May 15th-June 8th Seattle International Film Festival
  • May 16th-23rd Museum Week Northwest. Special rates, special tours, and more at many Seattle area museums.
  • Monday, May 26th Memorial Day
  • Posted in Services

    April 2014 Upcoming Events

    tulips

    Posted in Services

    Introducing New Puget Sound Business: Billy Goat Organics

    Chuck and Karla Sullivan

    Chuck and Karla Sullivan

    Billy Goat Organics was founded by third generation pest control operator, Chuck Sullivan.

    After over 50 years in the pest control industry Chuck expanded his passion for the environment and his love for helping families around the Pacific Northwest to the next level with his new organic lawn care company, Billy Goat Organics.

    This development supports the direction that several local counties have recommended.  Both Thurston and King County have expressed specific interest in moving from synthetic fertilizers to more organic materials as lawn fertilizers.

    Synthetic fertilizers, specifically phosphorus, have been found in our lakes and streams which in turn all end up in our Puget Sound. Phosphorus materials create a heating element in lakes and streams that causes algae to grow which in turn draws out nutrients from the lakes and streams and inevitably suffocates and kills off wildlife.

    In creating Billy Goat Organics, Chuck Sullivan is working to help support the transition to more organic methods of and substances for fertilizing lawns.  Not only do these methods and substances protect our environment, but they also are safe for our pets and children.

    Before launching Billy Goat Organics Chuck tried and tested many natural, organic fertilizer recipes for lawns and gardens.  Over the course of a few years he developed a lawn care routine that worked so well for his home that he began offering this set of services to his existing pest control clients.  These clients loved the service so much that Chuck launched Billy Goat Organics and his passionate hobby became a new line of business.

    If you’re ready for a more environmentally friendly lawncare service provider or simply have questions for Chuck and his team, we encourage you to contact them at http://www.billygoatorganics.com/contact/.

    Posted in Around Seattle, Health, Northwest Wildlife, Services

    Introducing New SeaTac Business: Better Lock and Key LLC

    After sustaining and recovering from a serious injury, Eric Rutherford, began searching for a new career path. He completed a certification program at Highline Community College through which he learned the steps to starting a small business.  Next, he and his wife, Kimberly, began exploring various industry niches .  Ultimately they chose to put to work Eric’s 10 years experience in the security industry by deciding to open a locksmith company in SeaTac, WA.

    Eric continues his education in security and locksmithing by taking courses in different lock and security strategies and following developments in the industry.  In addition, Eric and Kimberly have completed all the necessary steps to assure that the business, Better Lock and Key, LLC is licensed, bonded, and insured. As such, Eric can provide the best quality and experience possible to the customer.

    Better Lock and Key specializes in pop-a-lock services for vehicles, lock installation and repair, rekeying, and more. In the future, Eric plans to extend his business to include decoding, safe cracking, and providing others with job opportunities.

    A resident of SeaTac for nearly 7 years, Eric has been a dedicated servant of the community. He is well known for helping others in need; especially the senior community. Eric is an active member at a local church, where he and his family are involved in children’s ministries, as well as a small group ministry.

    During Eric’s leisure time, he enjoys fishing, hiking, camping, and gold panning while spending time with his family. His two sons work alongside him during their spare time. One day, Eric’s hope is to provide his children the all American dream; and one day, perhaps his children will take it to the next level, and carry on the legacy of Better Lock and Key, LLC.

    Join Northwest Gold Coast in welcoming Better Lock and Key, LLC to SeaTac.

    For more information, visit www.bettermobilelockandkey.com.

     

    Posted in Services

    Seattle Restaurant Week is Coming Back

    Seattle’s spring Restaurant Week is coming back April 6-10th and 13th-17th. The list of restaurants isn’t up quite yet but we bet it will be soon. As their website says, “More than 150 local restaurants are serving up three-course dinners for just $28 – and many of them are offering three-course lunches for $15.” With so many options it is worth keeping tabs on their website so you can book ahead at the best restaurants even up to a month in advance. After years of trying, my husband and I finally got into How to Cook a Wolf one of the busiest restaurants during the week during last fall’s session.

    To see more of our thoughts on restaurant week, read last year’s article at http://www.northwestgoldcoast.com/seattle-restaurant-week/.

    Keep tabs on the list and menus at http://seattletimes.com/seattlerestaurantweek/!

    dining

    Posted in Services

    March Upcoming Events

    march

  • Saturday, March 8th My Wedding My Way Wedding Show 10 am – 4 pm at Green River Community College FREE.
  • Friday, March 14th Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce’s March Membership Luncheon 11:30 am – 1:30 pm at Glen Acres Golf and Country Club
  • Saturday, March 15th Burien’s Mother and Son Night of Fun 6:30-8:30 pm at Burien Community Center
  • Sunday, March 16th Renton City Concert Band at 2 pm at Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center
  • Monday, March 17th Saint Patrick’s Day
  • Thursday, March 20th Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce’s March Business After Hours 5-7 pm at Hudson’s Portrait Design
  • Posted in Services

    Introducing Charles Williams

    charles-250Charles moved to the Seattle area in the summer of 2011, after 27 years in Tempe, Arizona (part of the metropolitan Phoenix area), where he graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Music Theory and Composition, and thereafter, began working for the university. During his time at ASU, Charles fell in love with technology when he was given the opportunity to learn CSS, HTML and MS Access, opening doors for him to develop and manage websites and databases within the Executive Vice President’s Office.

    Over time, Charles’s skillset expanded with the changes in web technology to include some experience with JavaScript, PHP and the content management framework, Drupal.

    Eventually, Charles’ career moved in a more multimedia direction, as he was offered opportunities to take on video projects in support of the Office of the Vice President for Education Partnerships.

    Charles says, “I am excited about the many challenges that come from working at a firm like CeSI, and how my experience may contribute to the services they provide to their clients”.

    Posted in Services

    Seahawks SUPER BOWL!!!

    Photo from KOMOTV.

    Photo from KOMOTV.

    You’d have to live in a cave to NOT know that the Seattle Seahawks are facing off against the Denver Broncos this Sunday, February 2nd in Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey. This is the Seahawks second time ever at the Super Bowl (and that game was lost to the refs). This Sunday is a BIG GAME. Go big, even at home with Seattle themed Super Bowl food for your own party as we cheer the Hawks onto the win!

    Some of our favorite ideas:

    We’re loving this idea of a Super Dim Sum Bowl celebrating Seattle’s great Asian history and food culture.

    Tailgating ala Dick’s Burgers style…no substitutions! And Seattle-style hotdogs with cream cheese.

    How about a crab boil and salmon bake, like The Crab Pot?

    There’s always Top Pot Doughnuts!

    For the healthier palates (even on Super Bowl Sunday) a fruit salad with Washington apples and Rainier cherries.

    For the above 21 crowd, local microbrews of course.

    Try and make your own Ezell’s chicken at home with a side of Safeco garlic fries.

    Do we need to say local delicious coffee?

    And you certainly need the brand new, limited time only Seattle Mix Skittles-thanks Marshawn Lynch!

    GO HAWKS!!!

    Posted in Services

    New Year To-Do List

    todolist

    I am a big fan of new years, be it calendar years or birthdays. Not that I love to see time rushing by but I like the hope of another new day, maybe a month, year, decade! Since more time means more room for creativity, dreams, vacations, and serving others it also means I have to prioritize the life I already am living. I find this easiest to do when I work towards a minimalist life. Simplifying what I have and do so I have time to life an extraordinary life is important to me. I simplify in the new years with to-do lists, instead resolutions or goals. And what better way to get started on a to-do list than to jump right in and do as much as you can as quickly as possible?

    What’s on my New Year to-do list:

    • Six simple items to help me be happier online in 2014 (using my short article from last January’s Northwest Gold Coast newsletter.
    • Filing business taxes as quickly as possible without doing a shoddy job, of course. I have until the end of the month but the earlier I get to work, the earlier I can get to things that are more fun.
    • Editing through our family’s paperwork files, shredding what we don’t need or filing the rest away for long term storage. This also included organizing paperwork we received and piled up during the holidays. We also updated our filing system and changed labels as needed based on new accounts and some we no longer use.
    • Setting family budget goals for the New Year. Now that we are debt free, except for the mortgage our next big goal is saving up a full six month emergency fund. We also have an international trip planned for February to see good friends as a big debt-free celebration! The details are planned and paid for and now we’re just saving for spending money and meals out.
    • Decluttering. By the 7th of January, we’d already found 150 items to declutter and donate to charity. And there’s so much more to go! We’re aiming for 15 minutes every few days to get through it slowly but steadily.
    • Organizing the stuff we want to keep after the big decluttering. For us this is a lot of books and kids toys. And with our second son on the way, we need a system developed before two little guys are emptying every cabinet and container of toys in sight!
    • Decorating our combined living room and dining room. We have a lot of unfinished projects; filling photo frames we’ve saved up for years, hanging up special items we have collected from our travels, and highlighting art we have bought and never shared. I am following Apartment Therapy’s January Cure to keep me on track with this project.
    • Finding a manageable way to tackle projects, especially those long unfinished. This article is my focus for the rest of the year project wise.

    What’s on your New Year to do list?

    Posted in Services

    February Upcoming Events

    hearthands

    Posted in Services

    Tour Your Own Town

    monorail

    If you have vacation days coming up and are staying around the Northwest Gold Coast area for the holidays, consider touring Seattle itself again. You don’t have to wait for guests to check out the wonders the Seattle region offers. Even if you don’t have vacation days coming up, we encourage you to take a weekend and enjoy the amazing sights and adventures.

    My husband, Robert, is on paternity leave from his company thanks to our nearly one year old son. Amidst extra house projects and rest, we also found time for an afternoon in Seattle. This always feels like an adventure since we live in Redmond, on the Eastside. Seattle isn’t far, but something about crossing Lake Washington often feels like a real journey. But this trip, like all, was completely worth it.

    We originally meant to make it a short afternoon shopping trip and holiday light seeing. But then Robert realized he couldn’t remember riding the Monorail despite living here most of his life. So we got some cash (since they are cash only, we wish they’d take ORCA cards soon) and hopped on towards the Seattle Center. While there, we decided to go up the Space Needle since he couldn’t remember doing that before either and the winter sunset was so lovely that day. We had a great time, exploring the rest of that area. We saw a huge model train set display at The Armory, had dinner at Westlake Center, and ice cream cones before heading back on the Monorail, and then 520 bridge home.

    It was largely an impromptu day but one we won’t forget in a long while now. And I’m sure we’ll go back when our son can remember such trips too. But the photos are worth many words! Send us your staycation photos too!

    spaceneedle

    Posted in Services

    January 2014 Upcoming Events

    januaryjoys

    Posted in Services

    Happy Holidays from Cascade e-Commerce Solutions, Inc!

    staff2013Never has there been a  year in which we have had more for which to give thanks.

    Just before the New Year the Paulsen family was happy for the addition of a grandson (son of Robert and Jennifer Martin) and a son-in-law (Nicholas Nair, husband of Joanne).  Nicholas and Joanne each graduated from college in May and were married in early August.  Rebekka went to Costa Rica for a missions trip.  And Elizabeth donated a kidney and Glynn gained a kidney and then was able to quit home hemodialysis.

    And thanks to amazing staff, partners and clients the company grew adding both new clients and new services throughout the year.

     

    Staff Updates:

    Farewells to Jordan and Kevin (far left).  Per last month’s article after over two and a half  years with CeSI Jordan Comar accepted his dream job at Wizards of the Coast in May and Kevin Cushing accepted a position in computer programming with a major truck manufacturer just this month.  We are proud of and happy for both of them and wish them great success in their new positions.

    Welcome to two three new/returning staff!

    CeSI welcomes back Jennifer Martin (far right) and Wesley Redding (second from left, in the back).  Jennifer serves as social media strategist for CeSI, NorthwestGoldCoast.com and several of our clients.

    Wesley worked with CeSI as a Big Picture High School intern from 2009 to 2011.  Since that time he studied computer networking and worked with the Highline Schools Department of Technology Services.  He is back at CeSI as bookkeeper and web traffic analyst.

    Says Wesley, “I am back at CeSI.  After graduating I had been looking for a job where I could use my skills and continue to learn more about technology and business. CeSI was always the first place that came to mind. The work environment was very calm and comfortable making it easy to get work done.  I enjoyed the work that I was doing at CeSI and really missed it. When I heard that there was a chance to work at CeSI again, I jumped into action. I sent an email asking for an interview later that day. I feel very lucky to be back at CeSI doing a lot of the work that I enjoyed so much. I am excited to learn more about web design and being more involved as an employee.”

    CeSI also welcomes Charles Williams (photo and more detailed profile coming next month).  Hired on December 11, 2013 Charles brings web programming, videography and music c0mposition skills to the company.

    We’re excited to be growing and anticipate even more growth next year.

    We hope that you and  yours all have a Very Merry Christmas!

    Posted in CeSI News, Services

    Local Business Helps Area Businesses Grow in International Markets

    athena
    Located on the sixth floor of the venerable Fourth Avenue Building in Seattle’s historic business district is a high energy, contemporary office that is home to a local small business that helps other area small businesses succeed in international markets. Athena Marketing International (AMI) is a ten year old company that specializes in helping US based food producers and manufacturers expand into foreign markets. Working throughout the office are friendly young professionals who move with purpose and focus and on display in the office are samples of new and developing food products (www.athenaintl.com).

     

    About the owner
    After graduating from Pomona College in Southern California, Peter Guyer, founder and owner of AMI, went to work in Southeast Asia in international trade. Then he returned to California where instead of going to law school, as at first expected, he went on to earn an MBA from the University of Southern California. Next he accepted a position with Nestlé S.A. based in Switzerland where he coordinated export sales to Asia. There he saw how Nestle Swiss sold 98% of its products globally. In time he became concerned that, although there are many great US based food manufacturers with great products, most simply don’t know how to market outside the US. Given that only 5% of the world population is in the US, this means that these companies are missing 95% of the consumer market. So in 2003 Peter took the bold moves of returning to the US, moving to Seattle, and starting a business (Athena Marketing International) – three major life changes at once. Now ten years later, when asked if he has any regrets about not going to law school, he smiles broadly and says, “No regrets. I love what I’m doing!”

    Some clients
    Since it’s founding in 2003 AMI has experienced growth every year as more and more food producers and manufacturers are looking outside US borders for sales. Local brands assisted by AMI include Kent-based Kristian and Gluten Freeda located in Burlington, Washington. Regional brands helped by AMI include Oregon Fruit Products Company (canned fruits and berries) headquartered in Salem, Oregon: ; Wild Planet (sustainably caught canned fish products) located McKinleyville, California; popchips located in San Francisco, CA; and Big Train, Inc. beverage mix manufacturer headquartered in Lake Forest, California. Currently, AMI is helping Sunkist Blends (new fruit and nut mixes) based in Pacoima, California get into markets in China and Japan.

    So why is AMI located in Seattle?
    Guyer states, “Seattle is a wonderful city that is close to the source of high quality, innovative food and beverage products and equidistant between London and Tokyo. Plus, it has the human capital (well educated bright young people), physical infrastructure (sea and air transportation) and capital/financial structures to support global trade.”

    So what is AMI’s “Secret Sauce”?
    AMI has the personal relationships (direct contacts), experience and knowledge required to cut through red tape and help US food and beverage companies quickly access high growth foreign markets. Included in this knowledge base is practical insight into consumer tastes in foreign markets. Consumers in other nations respond differently than US citizens to specific tastes, colors and packaging so product development, packaging and marketing need to be customized to these different responses.

    How does AMI find clients?
    Nearly 100% of AMI’s business comes via referrals from existing and previous food and beverage clients. An active presence at tradeshows throughout the world increases their contact list throughout the year.

    What is next for AMI?
    Currently two significant developments are underway.

    First, more large US manufacturers are seeking to outsource their export sales support so as to produce higher sales with less overhead. AMI is perfectly positioned to meet this demand for outsourced food marketers as it accesses its contacts around the world and utilizes knowledge it already has acquired by supporting small to medium sized producers over the past ten years.

    Second, AMI has begun to develop its own product line starting with healthy, convenient snack bars. Guyer realized that his company had the contacts for globally sourced natural ingredients and US-based product manufacturing and the internal knowledge and tools for branding, packaging and marketing to independently develop a line of food products that will have global appeal. The first products, Toosum Global Goodness snack bars, are nutritious, made from authentic ingredients sourced globally, and packaged simply in colors that appeal to local and global markets and include clear photos that show both the primary raw ingredients and the finished products (www.toosum.com).

    Toosum Product Display

    In a time when both our national and our local economy need to grow, AMI is helping its local and regional food manufacturer clients find that growth in new markets. As a result AMI is continuing to see growth in its own ranks. To learn more about AMI visit http://www.athenaintl.com/us-foods-beverages-manufacturers/.

     

    Posted in Services

    Holiday Light Displays Worth Seeing…

    holidaylightsWe were going to put together our own roundup post of holiday light displays when we found the perfect and up-to-date article already existed! From this great list by ParentMap.com’s Lauren Valencia, we can personally vouch for the wonders of ZooLights, Candy Cane Lane, and Woodinville’s Wonderland (photo to the right is our own from two years ago).

    Read more here and share the best light displays you’ve seen around town…http://www.parentmap.com/article/best-holiday-light-displays-in-greater-seattle.

    Posted in Services

    CeSI Clients that Can Make Your Holiday Season a Little Easier

    holidaypackingThe holidays are usually a joyous season and always a crazy one. Our family calendar has already booked up with holiday celebrations, family business to conquer, and packing for our big trip. We could certainly use some assistance this season and thought our readers might too.

    1. Seattle Southside If you are staying in the area for the holidays and have out of town guests coming to you, Seattle Southside is the place to help plan your local adventures. It provides search tools for dining out, hotels, events, and more!
    2. Airport Touchless Car Wash If you’re going on a road trip or want the car sparkling clean when family and friends come over to celebrate, check out Airport Touchless Car Wash for a quick affordable clean.
    3. SeaTac Park The absolutely best place to park your car when flying out of SeaTac Airport. They offer amazing service, safe parking, and nearly instant shuttle pickup. SeaTac Park can’t be beat. Make a reservation today.
    4. Gogol Town Car Services Want the easiest route to the airport? Hiring a car from Gogol Town Car Services is the simplest way to the airport for your own big trip or to the holiday party. Reserve a car today.
    5. Hillrose Pet Resort If you are leaving town you want to make sure your pets are in the best care possible. Hillrose Pet Resort is exactly that and located close to the airport. Though they specialize in dogs and cats, they can take any pet with a cage and food! Make your reservation today.

    What do you need to help make your holidays easier?

    Posted in Services

    December Upcoming Events

    holidaysdecember

    Posted in Services

    How did a 52 year old former music and early childhood major become an SEO expert?

    Elizabeth and GrandsonWhen people first meet me by phone they assume I am in my late 20s.  They phone me because their business needs to attract more potential customers through search marketing and they’ve heard that my company and I do this well.  I suppose they assume that I am young because I am in a young industry and perhaps because my voice sounds a bit young for my age – after all my primary instrument in college was voice so I guess voice is something I am actually formally trained to do.

    Then when they meet me in person they’re a bit taken aback to find I’m a middle aged mom, recently turned grandma.  And when they ask about my education and background they’re shocked that a former elementary school teacher knows anything about technology and Internet marketing especially when they note I can’t even read my smart phone without pulling out my reading glasses.

    So how did I get here?

    It’s a bit of a long story but I’ll try to summarize the highlights.

    I was born in Portland, Oregon to parents who mainly were second and third generation Americans descended from hardworking Finnish, German, Irish and English common folk.  At sixteen I moved with my family to a small town in Southern Oregon.  As the firstborn I couldn’t wait to leave home after high school and so with encouragement from parents and teachers I went as a first generation full ride scholarship student to Mount Holyoke College, the oldest institution of higher education for women located in a very small town in Western Massachusetts.  There among “Uncommon Women” from all over the world at first I felt rather lost but subsequently I learned that women can become strong leaders and so I aspired to become one too.

    Next I married my hometown honey and we began a three year adventure that took us to three corners of the US as I followed his short-lived career as an EA-6B Naval flight officer.  Our daughter was born on Whidbey Island and then we learned that my husband had brain tumors.   A year later, as a single mother, I returned to Portland with my daughter where we had the support of family to begin a new life.  During this time I worked for a private preschool, an aerospace company, a medical products manufacturer and a leverage buy out company and went back to school to learn basic computer skills, financial accounting and bookkeeping.

    Next we moved to Seattle, Washington where the job market was stronger and I married Glynn Paulsen, a handsome aerospace engineer.  I found work in healthcare administration and in under eight years grew in that field from a program assistant to the manager of a 14 person department that had responsibility for monitoring and verifying the credentials of a very large medical staff and significant responsibility for responding to audits by the federal government, state government, insurance companies and health care accrediting bodies.

    During this time two more daughters were added to the family and my husband adopted my firstborn.  So raising three daughters to become “Uncommon Women” became a priority and the next step was to change our lives by finding a way to work from home.

    Glynn began an active pursuit to find a business opportunity that would fit our personalities, experiences, skill base and lifestyle.  He brought many ideas home and I poked holes in each of them until he came across the idea of providing payment processing services to small businesses such as bank drafting and credit card processing.  We went to Texas for training and launched our business, Cascade Automated Processing, Inc. in October 1998.  As we developed this business we learned to promote the business via a website and email newsletters and we joined business organizations such as our local chamber of commerce.  As we did this we found that small businesses were saying, “It’s great to get paid better, smarter, faster, but really what we want to do is promote our business on the web like you’re doing.  Can you do that for us?”

    It was a great question and it sent us in a whole new direction and so we added a trade name of “Cascade e-Commerce Solutions, Inc.” and took on clients for this new set of services.  Then our business took off as each client saw their business get more sales via the work we performed.

    Ever since I’ve been spending time each week reading articles about the Internet marketing industry, reviewing data from our own clients Internet marketing results and testing new ideas.  Since the core of every job I’ve ever held has included research and technical writing, I bring this skill to our business while our other wonderful staff bring programming, design and social media skills to the mix.

    And our clients continue to see business growth despite ups and downs in the economy and constant changes in Internet marketing.

    So the next time you find yourself assuming that only young folk are in the field of Internet marketing, remember this 52 year old grandma and smile about how even old (okay actually middle aged, but my daughters think I’m old) folks can find themselves in the middle of new industries.

    Posted in CeSI News, Services

    Where Are They Now

    Jordan ComarWe’re taking a look back at some of the fabulous employees that have worked to make Cascade e-Commerce Solutions, Inc. the great place that it is, even if they have moved on to different positions and companies.

    Jordan Comar

    Jordan Comar graduated from Washington State University with a BS in Business Administration in 2010 where he helped launch a chapter of the Delta Sigma Pi – Professional Business Fraternity. He interviewed with Cascade e-Commerce Solutions, Inc. in December 2010 while still living in his hometown, Spokane. He came over the mountains for the meeting and on the drive back to Spokane was hired by Elizabeth Paulsen over the phone. In his own words, “I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to say and chose not to say much so that I wouldn’t mess it up, haha.” His prior work experience included serving as cabin staff at Camp Killoqua in Stanwood, Washington.

    He went on to become CeSI’s second Google AdWords expert and analysis/reporting guru following his mentor and friend, Risa Miller. He then became so proficient that he trained CeSI’s third Google AdWords expert, Jeff Newhall. He worked with CeSI for two and a half years during which time he helped clients increase their web traffic and client base. Throughout his tenure at CeSI he involved the staff in fun antics such as playing Gandalf and slaying the dragon “Elgoog” (“Google” backwards).

    During this time he also pursued his interest in playing Wizards of the Coast games during the evenings and weekends. This led to his next position as web producer for the DailyMTG.com website as well as the weekend events coverage team at Wizards of the Coast. For years, he had been a huge fan of Wizard’s products and it had been his dream to work there.

    Thanks to his time and training at CeSI, he learned how to code in HTML which is vital to his current position. He says he learned how to be an effective leader thanks to Elizabeth Paulsen. “She was, hands down, the best boss I’ve ever had and I’ve learned a lot from her and hope to mimic her excellent managerial skills when I’m in a similar position.”

    It is important to Jordan to create a fun environment at work which was much appreciated at CeSI. At CeSI he had a blast hosting their own office Olympics, harmless pranks, and goofy shenanigans. Now at Wizards, he is surrounded by people who love all the same games as him and they are able to play together nearly every day at work. He was recently sent out, with others, as a strike team to the floor below his work floor to fight for pride and honor with Nerf guns. “We lost but we shall have our revenge!” he concludes. Jordan and his great sense of humor are missed at CeSI but we are so excited to know that his passion and talents are being used in his dream company!

    CeSI staff were proud to have had Jordan on the CeSI team and are happy that he has found a new home among gamer friends. Well done, Jordan!

    Posted in Services

    The Best Walks This Fall

     

    fall leavesAfter a long sunny summer in the Northwest Gold Coast, the leaves are perfectly colored for fall photos and play! We asked our readers for the best places to check out the season’s finest colors and landscapes. Read on to find the location for your next photo shoot, contemplative walk, or peace of mind…

    Marymoor Park – Redmond
    Seward Park – Seward Park Neighborhood
    Marine View Park – Normandy Park
    Lincoln Park – West Seattle
    Washington Park Arboretum – Broadmoor
    Green Lake Park – Green Lake Neighborhood
    Woodland Park – Woodland Park Neighborhood
    University of Washington – University District
    Volunteer Park – Capitol Hill
    Kubota Garden – Rainier Beach
    Carkeek Park – Ballard
    Point Defiance Park – Ruston

    Where else have you seen great fall leaves and natural decorations?

    Posted in Services

    November 2013 Upcoming Events

    swannovember

    Posted in Services

    Sharing Again: Fall Bucket List

    This post is from Fall 2012 and while we’re no longer working on our baby boy’s nursery everything else holds true for 2013 Fall Goals too!

    We did the Puyallup Fair this past weekend, the first item on my fall bucket list which coincided well with the first day of fall for us!  Isn’t it crazy that Washington State finally caught up to the greatness that is the Puyallup Fair and made it that starting next fall the Puyallup Fair will be THE Washington State Fair instead of just the Western Washington Fair? It’s about time in my book!

    Pumpkin Patch

    I still have more planned for this fall, check out my list below:

    • Volunteer in the community
    • Start and finish my baby boy’s nursery
    • Go to a pumpkin patch
    • Go apple picking
    • Host a great Halloween party
    • Go see the salmon spawn
    • Go clamming for the first time (if free time lines up with the season’s open weekends that is)
    • Make as many homemade Christmas gifts/stocking stuffers as possible this year
    • For the other Christmas gifts, go shopping on Black Friday
    • Fall cleaning, decluttering, and donating!

    What’s on your Fall Bucket List?

    Posted in Services

    How We Paid Off Everything (But the Mortgage, Yet)!

    robert

    When my husband, Robert, and I got married, we each brought a substantial amount of debt into the marriage. For us it was a mortgage, a car loan, loans from each of our graduate school educations, and college loans for me. Luckily, we didn’t have any credit debt and we each had good credit histories and were responsible to pay our required payments each month. But we didn’t want to keep paying a large percentage of our incomes to debt every month endlessly. So we made a plan to get rid of all the debt (other than the mortgage) as soon as possible. We originally thought we could have all but the biggest loan paid off by September 2013 but instead we got all of it gone by that same month!

    We were married in November 2011 and as soon as the dust had settled from the amazing wedding, the funky honeymoon (plans fell through on the way to our tropical vacation, so we had to settle for Texas) and the seasonal holidays in January 2012 we got to work paying down debt as fast as possible. We decided to strategize using the Financial Peace Method by Dave Ramsey. I had taken the course myself as a single woman in 2009 shortly after finishing graduate school. When we were married, I shared the course information with Robert and we decided to follow Dave’s methods.

    While conservative, Dave’s Baby Steps do work. For debt payoff in Step Two, Dave encourages the snowball method which has you paying minimums on all your debts while throwing all extra money into the smallest debts (regardless of interest rates) one at a time till they are gone. This gives you a feeling of winning financially because it not only reduces your total debt burden each month but it also gives you something to celebrate on the short scale. We definitely recommend it because we were celebrating paying off small debts every few months instead of spending a year just going after a big one. Some would argue that the avalanche method (largest interests down in order) is better financially, but for us we just couldn’t beat the psychological pride and encouragement of accomplishing each goal and we believe our small successes spurred us to work harder and faster to be rid of all the debts. There is a study proving what we noticed too http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/news_articles/2012/snowball-approach.aspx.

    How We Did It

    Beyond coming up with a monthly budget each month, cash budgeting was the best thing we ever did. We didn’t even start cash budgeting till summer 2012, six months into our debt free journey. We had both been working and all of my income was going into our loans as we lived on a budget based solely on Robert’s income. But I was preparing to stay home with our soon-to-be-born son. Robert asked to try cash budgeting for one month. We attempted it and found we put more into debts on his one income than we’d ever done on two incomes. Even now, debt free with a baby, we still cash budget.

    Our cash budget was pretty minimal because we delayed purchases that didn’t line up with our debt free focus. As newlyweds we didn’t go out and re-decorate the whole house no matter how much I wanted to do so. We didn’t buy a second car, I took the bus or we just arranged days for each to get the car. We avoided shopping as much as possible, even sales items add up. For example, ten purses at garage sales for $10/each is still $100 even if it’s not a single $100 purse. We made our wardrobes work for us as much as possible. There were countless other choices we made that helped us stay focused on our goal and focused goals succeed better than scattered ones.

    Eating out of the pantry every few months helped really move the budget and debt snowball. Most homes in America have full freezers, fridges, and pantries and I learned to be an expert at meal planning from what we had. It’s become quite a cool skill actually, friends ask me to look at what they think has no meal possibilities and I can usually come up with 15-20 tasty and unique, but not weird, meal ideas out of food they have on hand.

    We lived below our allotted cash budget as in we’d set a monthly cash budget each month for needs and small personal slush budgets but most months we’d stay well below that number so we could be debt free faster. But every few months if our below-budget number felt too small we could loosen back to the original goal mark and feel like it was a splurge (though a well set budgeted splurge).

    Lots of conversations about money, debt, budgeting: Many marriages are made harder by troubles talking about money together. and now we feel like money-talk marriage professionals with each other. Before every month we’d sit down and plan/guesstimate unique budgeting for that upcoming month, this includes regular expenses (like this month we had a vacation, two baby showers, and the Washington State Fair I wanted to attend). We’d also check our food status to see if we could live out of the pantry and buy very little groceries that month. Then we’d determine our cash system from there and check all balances of savings, giving, debt payoff, retirement, etc.

    On September 15th we sent the last big payment off thus closing the last of our accounts with Ford Motor Company (see Robert holding the title to our car that is now in our names), ACS Loans, and Sallie Mae! We’re not ready to go crazy with spending just yet though, since we still have more baby steps to complete on our path to financial independence but having the school and car debts gone is a big weight off our backs. We now own our own educations and our car, it is a great feeling. We are certainly grateful to the companies that loaned us money for school and the car but we are glad to say goodbye to them now too. We are two excited folks about the next step in our financial journey together!

    ***You can take Financial Peace University yourself too. In fact, we are teaching a local class that just started last week and still has room for more members and guests (http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu/locations/org/47172/class/240282/atid/m_mi) Even if you have different debt or more or less than us or a worse credit score or financial history, Financial Peace has tools for every situation to help you gain control of your finances.

    Posted in Business Advice, Classes & Training, Services

    Upcoming Events October 2013

    pumpkins

    Posted in Around Seattle, Community Involvement, Events, Services

    Where Are They Now?

    synthia

    We’re taking a look back at some of the fabulous employees that have worked to make Cascade e-Commerce Solutions, Inc. the great place that it is, even if they have moved on to different positions and companies.

    Synthia Melton

    Synthia was an account marketing intern with us in the summer of 2004 after completing her freshman year at Western Washington University. She worked to help manage client accounts, assist with data entry, track marketing trends, and improve website design. The most important thing she learned in her time with CeSI was the importance of networking and marketing. She attended many business networking events and group meetings with Elizabeth Paulsen, like the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce functions.

    After returning to school at Western, Synthia graduated with a pre-law degree. Then, she went on to Seattle University for her Juris Doctorate. After law school, she worked with several different Seattle area law firms practicing criminal and immigration law, but found her passion in working with small businesses and helping them thrive.

    Today, she is co-owner of the Renton-based law firm Dimension Law Group. Dimension Law Group is a minority owned firm that focuses on real estate, landlord-tenant, and bankruptcy law with a strong passion for working with small businesses. They specialize in helping people establish, structure, and incorporate new businesses while offering general counsel services to more established companies. Dimension Law Group also works with landlords and real estate investors to protect their investments, offering free rental forms and documents through the free landlord-tenant library on their website http://www.dimensionlaw.com. Dimension Law Group is located in South King County and offers a free 30-minute consultation to new clients.

    We are very proud to have had Synthia on our team as long as we did. If you are looking for legal help in the South King County area, we recommend Synthia Melton and Dimension Law Group.

    Stay tuned for more Where Are They Now bios in the months to come!

    Posted in Business Advice, CeSI News, Services

    From Injury to Invention

    Bruce and Jacqueline Johnson

    Bruce and Jacqueline Johnson

    From an early age Bruce Johnson has always been concerned about the health and welfare of others. As a veteran truck driver with more than 30 years experience in the transportation industry, it was Bruce Johnson’s concern for the health and welfare of others that soon inspired him to start a business aimed at providing safety and ergonomic solutions for this industry. His personal experiences and observations of the needs of other transportation workers inspired him to design, manufacture and patent the “Fuel Hose Drainer”.

    The inspiration for Bruce Johnson’s invention and subsequent business start-up came when he sustained a back injury in 2000 while performing his work as a fuel delivery driver in the petroleum industry. His injury made him realize that if the repetitive bending, stooping, squatting and lifting workers must do to do their job could be reduced or better yet eliminated, drivers would be able to perform their work not only faster, but more safely as well.

    After prototyping a tool for his own use and then allowing others to try it out, he realized that he had discovered something great. But it was after reviewing his invention idea with his wife Jacqueline, a Certified Professional in Disability Management and Accommodations, that he realized that what he thought would just be a job aide for drivers, could actually also benefit employers too. According to Jacqueline, his invention had the potential of reducing employer’s costs associated with aging and injured workers by mitigating the stresses that fuel delivery job tasks place on the drivers.

    In 2004, the Johnsons started their first business, Western Washington Safety Consultants, Inc. This business now holds two patents for the Ergonomic Fuel Hose Drainer, a product that reduces the need for bending, squatting, kneeling, and lifting heavy fuel filled hoses and eliminates the need to empty the hoses using the risk of injury plagued methodology of the “hand- over- hand” lift and drain technique. The product is entirely made in the United States and is adjustable for length and can be used by either left or right handed drivers. It is sold and shipped from their business location in Federal Way, Washington to destinations within four continents.

    The Johnson’s product has also found other applications. Other truck drivers have found it useful to move and empty hoses. Fire departments have found it can be used to lift and move fire hoses. Barge operators have found it can be used to lift and move heavy duty ropes. Employees who have responsibility for moving bundles of electric cords and cables have found it supports this work as well. A Washington State workers compensation entity purchased the tool for a driver returning to work and a fuel truck manufacturer purchased the tool to accompany their trucks at time of sale.

    Today Johnson continues his work in the transportation and safety industry. He currently holds a certification as a safety consultant from the National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) and serves on the Safety Board at his current place of employment.

    To learn more about Western Washington Safety Consultants, Inc. and the patented Fuel Hose Drainer tool, visit http://www.wwscinc.com/.

    Posted in Health, Services

    Summer Bucket List-Enjoying Seattle Summers

    Organic berries

    As you have probably seen Seattle just was voted the city with the best summer weather, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/52581083/ns/local_news-seattle_wa/t/seattle-tops-list-cities-best-summer-weather/, which most locals already knew. It is definitely not the season to spend indoors. So our Summer 2013 Bucket List is focused on the outdoors and just a few of the splendid thing Seattle has to offer within its neighborhoods and surrounding areas.

    Berry Picking-Just about every kind of berry you can think of grows here, plus we breed a few extra as a region too in the forms of hybrids. Whether you go to an actual U-Pick Farm (Larsen Lake Blueberry Farm and Remlinger Farms are my current favorites) or just peruse your local park or overgrown street areas, don’t miss out on this season’s bounty.

    Climb a Mountain- Have you ever flown home to Seattle surrounded by strangers who have never seen a real mountain and find themselves blown away by the Cascades?  I have and it is a reminder of just how wonderful our mountain views are around here, lest we become jaded.  Best part, is most of these mountains can be reached and climbed, in a half day or less. Washington Trails Association

    Visit an Island- If you struggle to choose between a mountain or beach view, living in the Northwest Gold Coast region you’re rarely asked to decide.  In the same splendid way we have access to glorious mountains within short distances, our beaches are often shorter.  Get out this summer and get a tan, go bird watching, go camping, eat great food, hunt for hermit crabs, get some rest, and my favorite take a ferry to some lovely nearby island where you can do all of the activities in one day.  Washington State Islands and Washington State Ferries

    Ride a Bike- Explore Seattle and some of its fabulous parks the green way, via bike!  Biking Seattle by NWGC and Seattle Interactive Bicycle Map

    Get on a Boat- With so many waterways, one of the most unique ways to explore the Seattle area is by boat.  You don’t even have to own a 50 foot yacht to do so.  UW Canoe and Rowboat Rentals  and Learn to Sail

    See Some Artwork- Seattle is a town filled with great artists and artwork.  But you don’t have to wait till the rainy season to see it.  Seattle Art Walks and Olympic Sculpture Park

    So what are you doing?  Get out there! Don’t forget to add more can’t-miss outdoor activities in the comments section.

     

    Posted in Services

    How I Find the Best Deals on Everything

    SchoolSupplies

    Most kids in the area have another month of summer left and neither they, nor their parents want to think about fall or school. But the back to school sales are out already and the store displays are hard to miss. And the sales are so good right now. Waiting until late August means missing out on these prices (thecouponproject.com) because prices will be back up high soon.

    I am someone who is always on the lookout for a quality deal. I say quality because it’s not always about simply saving a buck but getting a great item, the right one at a great price. I am constantly browsing summer clearance sales for the right swimsuit for my son to wear next summer – he’s seven months old (so I still get to pick his clothes). I’m not just looking for the cheapest suit but one that is made well, with good sun protection, easy to put on and take off, and is also adorable and fun.

    In the same way, I’ve already started thinking about Christmas gifts. Mind you, I haven’t started buying anything yet. But I start thinking about what we’ll be budgeting out over the next few months and start mentally coming up with our who-to-buy-for-this-year list. Then as I shop and browse for other things, I start drafting out our what-to-buy list so I have time to come up with thoughtful gifts for each and every person. Usually by October, I have both the who and what lists compiled and if I ever stumble across the right item I buy it early and save it. I have to leave a document on the cloud that reminds me where I hid what gift for whom and another document for as how we’re doing with our Christmas budget and spending. This helps me keep thoughtful gifts within a reasonable price range as well as budget for Christmas over several months. I also find it more freeing and relaxing than doing all my shopping Christmas Eve.

    I’m the same way, I keep a list of activities coming down the pipeline in my head so if I see a great deal on baby clothes I know I can pick up some and save them for the next baby shower I get invited to that is expecting a girl for example, or I am prepared with graduation gift I would have appreciated, etc.

    So what do you think? When do you find the best deals? Are you like me, planning ahead to save for your family and friends events? Do you take it even further and buy Easter deals immediately after last Easter to save for the next year? Or are you a Christmas Eve or Amazon Prime 2-Day shipping sort of person?

    Posted in Services

    How to Look for a Dentist that Doesn’t Scare You

    meet-dr-beatyDr. Drew Beaty has owned and run his own dental practice in Federal Way for nine years now, but still has the enthusiasm of a recent graduate.  He is excited about his field, excited about his staff, and excited about his patients-both those already coming every six months and those he has yet to meet.  It’s not surprising to see that he has been voted a Seattle Top Dentist in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine.

    After graduation from dental school in 1998 and several years in public health practice, Dr. Beaty came to the Seattle area for a visit and fell in love with the area. He met his wife, Kristin, a registered dental hygienist who works with him now, at a West Seattle clinic and in 2004 bought his current practice in Federal Way.

    He’s learned so much about business since buying his practice from an older, retiring dentist.  He has worked to make it his own since day one and still works to be constantly improving.  Dr. Beaty has a motivated, energetic, caring team of which he is proud to be a member.  He takes over 100 Continuing Education credits each year, four times the required amount for dentists.  He uses the courses to not only improve his dentistry, learning new technology and techniques, but also to improve his office and management.  The office is Envirostar rated with three stars and are working to incorporate more green practices still.

    In his own words he runs an office that provides great, high quality care.  They work hard to have a big impact in the community both locally and at large.  They are planning their second dental mission trip to Jamaica as a staff.

    Dr. Beaty understands that dentists and dental work can be nerve wracking for people and especially new patients.  He believes their office does everything they can to lessen nerves.  If you’re looking for a dentist that doesn’t scare you, look for:

    1. An office that makes an effort to see patients same day if necessary. There is nothing worse than nursing a toothache for days because you’re too nervous to go in and the office is then too busy to see you for weeks.
    2. An office that gives you a no-rush appointment, ideally caring for you as the only patient in your allotted appointment time.
    3. An office that makes you comfortable during appointments by offering noise cancelling headphones.
    4. A practice that stays on top of new technology and care practices like cancer screenings or AED.
    5. Extra effort to reduce pain as necessary whether by topical gel, extra anesthetic, nitrous gas, or other sedation techniques.
    6. An office and a dentist with the heart of teachers, taking time and care to explain what they are doing and why.

    Dr. Beaty’s office does all of the above and as he said, “Dental work shouldn’t be frustrating or bad or negative.”  He’s right.  His office, practice, and philosophy of care are centered around making a dental experience you want to tell your friends and family about instead of avoid.  Dr. Beaty’s Family and Cosmetic Dentistry Office in Federal Way is definitely worth the visit.

    http://www.drewbeatydds.com/
    31003 Pacific Highway South
    Federal Way, WA 98003
    (253) 839-6544

     

     

    Posted in Services