Inside an old yellow craftsman house, sewing machines whir, sketches adorn the walls, underwear and tank top prototypes hang from clothing racks, and a cat wanders through the living room.
Debbie Christel’s childhood home in north Tacoma has transformed into the headquarters of Kade and Vos, a start-up company helping women get the clothes they need.
“We ask women, what do you need to be comfortable?” says company cofounder Christel ’08. “Our design process doesn’t go through a weight-biased filter. We don’t take a small pattern and make it bigger. We know that doesn’t work.”
In the United States, 67 percent of women wear a … » More …
The straight, long rows of tall and thin loblolly pine grow very fast in the South’s flat lands, especially compared to the slow-growing Douglas fir on steep Pacific Northwest slopes.
It’s just one of many differences that Travis Keatley (’99 Forest Mgmt.) has witnessed as he manages more than seven million acres of timber across 11 states for Weyerhaeuser.
As vice president of southern timberlands for the timber, land, and forest products company, Keatley works out of Hot Springs, Arkansas, and travels from Florida to Virginia to Louisiana, and all states in between, as he oversees Weyerhaeuser’s … » More …
Come late summer, Alaska’s farmland blooms with romance and colorful ruffles. It’s the season for peonies in the north country—an unlikely floral industry that, thanks to bridal demand, has given rise to a surprising horticultural gold rush.
The lure is especially tempting for those with small parcels of land. Wayne ’76 and Patti ’75 Floyd, for example, joined the stampede in 2011 with only two acres, and have since created a successful business claiming both national and international markets.
“We’d had this farm bug in our hearts from the beginning but we were never in a place that we could do that,” says Patti. … » More …
After 30 years of shepherding environmental and energy efficiency projects around the Northwest, Jennifer Eskil ’81 retired last spring with accolades.
Her employer, the Bonneville Power Administration, certainly recognized her achievements. BPA Administrator Elliot Mainzer presented the Walla Walla resident with the agency’s highest honor, the BPA Meritorious Service Award.
Eskil received the distinction during the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 awards program in March. The award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to BPA’s mission through excellence in their chosen field for 10 years or more. Eskil was the industrial and agriculture sector lead in energy efficiency.
“Eskil is regarded as … » More …
Working for a Portland, Oregon, staffing firm in the late 1990s, Kristin McKinney ’95 helped recruit employees to the city’s burgeoning tech industry. The job unleashed her own geek.
“I found I had a bit of an inner nerd,” says McKinney, who got her degree in business. “I never really knew that.”
Her newfound enthusiasm was tempered by a sobering reality: Women then, like now, accounted for less than 30 percent of the computing and information technology workforce, according to the National Science Foundation.
McKinney, now a recruiter in Nashville, Tennessee, is working to reverse the trend. In 2013, she joined computer application engineer Rachel … » More …
Leaning back against a wall mounted with a variety of ukuleles, Fred Kamaka begins the story of his family’s 100-year-old ukulele business for a tour group at the factory in Honolulu.
“To be cool in the ’20s, you needed to have a coonskin cap and a uke in hand,” he says, “So my father started making ukuleles.”
A spry 91-year-old, Fred sprinkles the history with dry jokes, and periodically pulls down one of the ukuleles to musically punctuate a point.
His father, professional musician Samuel Kamaka Sr., traveled to New York and Europe and learned the luthier’s art before he returned to Hawai‘i and began … » More …
Nearly two weeks before the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII, Cindy Kelley was arriving in New York to set up a temporary team headquarters that would become like a cross between a satellite office and a MASH unit.
Kelley ’81 and the rest of the advance crew scrambled to keep up with a schedule measured in hours, not days. Telephones, computers, office space, accommodations, meals, air and ground transportation, special events, family activities—all needing to be arranged immediately.
“The whole goal is to make sure there are no distractions for the players and coaches,” says Kelley, vice president for human resources for the » More …
On a sunny Saturday in Leavenworth, Holly Fiske ’06 and Leah Hemberry set out to work on the mountain.
They dig through the back of Fiske’s SUV and pull out a backpack and yoga trapeze from under a paddleboard, snowboard, and other outdoor accessories. They hike up Icicle Ridge trail and, after a few switchbacks, Hemberry spots a picturesque backdrop.
Fiske drops her bag and sticks a handstand into one of the many yoga poses in her repertoire. Hemberry captures the moment with photos that Fiske will share with her more than 100,000 Instagram followers.
When Fiske née Robertson graduated from Washington State University … » More …
Hundreds of eager WSU seniors prepare to leave Pullman each spring after graduation. Some might be headed to new jobs or internships. Others will go to graduate school, the military, or the Peace Corps. Whatever the destination, almost all those Cougs have a common need: sturdy boxes.
As they pack their crimson sweatshirts, posters, and books, the graduating students will carry away another reminder of their college days: free WSU-themed packing boxes.
And they can thank Dave Wilson ’86 for his volunteer efforts in arranging delivery of about 1,500 of those boxes for the last eight years.
“The way the box is designed you don’t … » More …