Posted on 5/3/2013 by Mike Flynn
When Sam Anderson accepted the job as CEO of the Master Buildings of King and Snohomish Counties 16 years ago, his key assignment was to change the image builders had with the community and the legislature of being confrontational and obstructionist. So over the following decade and a half, Anderson turned the MBA into a respected organization that supported housing as well as environmental concerns, became a philanthropically visible entity and a political force, both locally and at the state level.
Posted on 4/13/2013 by Mike Flynn
Hard for me to believe it's been five years ago this month since, with some apprehension, I launched this column and sent it off unsolicited to about 500 unsuspecting contacts in my email database, hoping those original recipients wouldn't tag me as SPAM. They didn't, so 260 weekly columns have now flowed out and another 900 folks have let me add their names. It was in April of 2008, almost exactly two years after my retirement from the Business Journal, where as publisher I wrote weekly columns or editorials, that I realized I missed writing and communicating. So I explored with friends the idea of doing a column and distributing it via e-mail or Internet blog, but what to call the column?
Posted on 3/28/2013 by Mike Flynn
After a frustrating failure to save Frontier Bank, veteran banker Patrick Fahey’s relief at his successful turnaround of Seattle-based First Sound Bank has him focused on “having some fun now” running the newly healthy bank rather than retiring for the fourth time. Fahey, whose career running banks began in 1981 when he was named president and chief operating officer of what was then Spokane-based Old National Bank, completed his 15-month-long turnaround effort at First Sound by paying back its TARP debt to the Fed last month.
Posted on 3/21/2013 by Mike Flynn
It was in Booth Gardner’s post-political career, after Parkinson’s Disease had begun to take its inevitable toll on him, that he teamed with another former Washington governor whose own brother had the disease to help create the nation’s first comprehensive treatment center for Parkinson’s. Gardner’s many contributions, from politics to philanthropy to community involvement, are being recalled in the wake of his death last week that ended his long struggle with Parkinson’s. But those who benefitted from the name, horsepower and personal leadership he brought to creation of the Booth Gardner Parkinson’s Care Center at Evergreen Hospital may well regard that as perhaps his most important contribution.
Posted on 3/14/2013 by Mike Flynn
A retired Seattle baseball hero and two successful entrepreneur friends, all of Hispanic heritage, are embarked on an effort to bring Mexico’s most popular mezcal spirit to successful penetration of the U.S., and possibly other parts of the world where the spirits sibling of tequila might find a market. It was five years ago that Mike Sotelo, a Seattle businessman with deep roots in the Latino communities around the state, formed La Plaza International LLC with exclusive U.S. and world rights to El Zacatecano and sought out Gene Juarez and Edgar Martinez as partners.
Posted on 2/14/2013 by Mike Flynn
If a Boston bar called “Cheers” hadn’t already gained a reputation as THE iconic Irish pub, someone would surely suggest that a Seattle establishment named “F.X. McRory’s” deserved that honor. It’s officially F.X. McRory’s Steak Chop and Oyster House, named after a famous New York Irish bar of decades ago. In fact this McRory’s, created in an old warehouse on the then-still-seamy side of Seattle’s downtown in 1977 by “proprietor” Mick McHugh and his then-partner and college pal Tim Firrnstahl, has tagged itself “America’s No. 1 Bar.”
Posted on 1/31/2013 by Mike Flynn
Whether it was fate or serendipity that brought Elwood (Woody) Howse and Tom Cable into business together after a decade of crossing paths, the fact is that the firm they finally created became a major factor in the creation and growth of the technology, biotech and medical-device industries in the Pacific Northwest. It was actually at the urging of their wives that Cable and Howse decided, in 1977, to leave the Seattle securities firm Foster & Marshall and launch Cable & Howse Ventures. But it took two years and almost 200 calls on potential investors before they raised the $9 million to fund the first limited partnership to launch the firm.
Posted on 1/11/2013 by Mike Flynn
In the course of launching or growing a dozen companies over a half century, first as an entrepreneur then as an investor in entrepreneurs, Ray Aspiri expresses more pleasure at the jobs he’s helped create than at the business success he’s achieved. And he’s brought an unusual business philosophy, gained from his Basque roots, of avoidings what he refers to as the “perverse incentive” of excessive CEO pay.
Posted on 12/13/2012 by Mike Flynn
As Governor-elect Jay Inslee puts his administration’s leadership team in place over the coming weeks, the state’s community bankers hope to persuade him to retain the man who oversaw the state’s regulation of financial institutions during their unprecedented turmoil. If Inslee asks outgoing Gov. Chris Gregoire about Scott Jarvis, whom she appointed director of the State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) at the outset of her tenure in March of 1985, she’d undoubtedly give an unqualified endorsement.
Posted on 12/7/2012 by Mike Flynn
The annual Fantasy Flight to the “North Pole” that Alaska Airlines makes possible each year for 60 disadvantaged Spokane-area kids and their personal elves is now attracting the attention of other cities who might like to create similar events, possibly in partnership with Alaska. The children, selected from programs for homeless and underprivileged kids in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas, board Alaska Airlines “flight 1225,” designated “Santa One,” Saturday at Spokane International Airport.