Thursday, March 27, 2014

Holden Family Plays Benefit Concert to Save Washington Hall

This Saturday, the Holden Family and special guests The Teaching will perform a benefit concert for the campaign to restore and revitalize Washington Hall.

Jerry Large explains in his column in today's Seattle Times, "Washington Hall is in the midst of a rebirth, and that's good for Seattle's connection to its history.  The building, at 14th Avenue and East Fir Street in Seattle's Central Area, is more than a structure with a little nostalgia attached, yet it could have been torn down years ago."

In 2009, Historic Seattle bought Washington Hall and, today, the organization is making a final fundraising push to raise $2.6 million by June.  The money will be used to complete renovation of the Hall, creating spaces for resident groups like Hidmo, 206 Zulu, Voices Rising and other community organizations that call Washington Hall home.

The campaign to save Washington Hall has already raised enough money to replace the roof, complete necessary seismic stabilization work and install an elevator inside the building.

Restoring and revitalizing the Hall represents a crucial component of preserving the city's musical and cultural history.  In a piece that aired this Wednesday, KPLU's Florangela Davila interviewed Dave Holden, who will be performing at Saturday's benefit concert, about his family's history and connection to Washington Hall.

"Holden and his family grew up right across the street from the two-story brick building in the Central District," reports Davila.  "The club ... was one of the places where black musicians could play consistently."

"When Dad would put on a tuxedo and head off to a gig, the kids used to follow him to work," Holden told Davila.  "We snuck in the side door and we'd go to the back of the stage and look at out dad playing the piano."

No need to sneak in the side door to see the Holden Family play this Saturday - tickets for the concert are available at

Event Details:
Washington Hall Benefit Concert: The Holden Family and Special Guests The Teaching

Saturday, March 29th, 7:30 p.m.

Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave., Seattle, 98122

$20 general admission, $15 Historic Seattle members, $10 students and seniors

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sclater Architects Announces Key Promotions

Sclater Architects announced yesterday the promotions of Senior Associate Scott Kunnanz to associate principal and Architect Robert Estep to associate.  Both staff members are currently working on the Lincoln Square and Bellevue Square expansion projects in Bellevue, Wash.

"This is an exciting time for our firm, with a number of major projects underway including the Lincoln Square expansion," said Alan Sclater, principal at Sclater Architects.  "Our greatest asset is the talent we have here and I congratulate Scott and Rob on their success."

Scott Kunnanz
Scott Kunnanz has more than 20 years of architecture experience and has worked for Sclater Architects since 1997.  While at Sclater, Kunnanz has worked on a number of major projects including the award winning 2020 5th Avenue Data Center in Seattle and the original Lincoln Square complex in Bellevue, Wash.

Kunnanz is the director of building information modeling for the firm and has been instrumental in the adoption of BIM technology as well as the development and implementation of BIM standards.  He is currently a project manager for the garage portion of the Lincoln Square expansion project, a new mixed-use development that will feature more than 700,000 square feet of office space, three levels of retail and entertainment space, a 244-room luxury hotel and 250 residential units.  The development will also include 2,120 parking spaces in a six-level underground garage.

Rob Estep
Rob Estep has more than 30 years experience in retail, mixed-use and residential architecture and has been with Sclater Architects since 2007.  While at Sclater, Estep has worked on a variety of retail and mixed-use projects including Bellevue Square and the Bellevue Square renovation.  He is currently serving a critical role on the design team for the Bellevue Square expansion project, a new mixed-use development with 175,000 square feet of retail space and 280,000 square feet of hotel and residential space in two towers.  The development will also have five levels of below-grade parking and pedestrian connectivity to adjacent properties.

Congratulations again to both Scott and Rob!

Monday, March 17, 2014

WGU Washington Chancellor Jean Floten on Seattle Times' Education Lab Blog

WGU Washington Chancellor Jean Floten traveled to Austin, TX earlier this month to participate in a panel discussion on the merits of low-cost degrees at the annual SXSWedu conference.

While some critics argue Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Florida Gov. Rick Scott's call for the creation of a $10,000 bachelor's degree represents the "Walmartization" of higher education, Floten offered an alternative perspective in an interview with Seattle Times Higher Education Reporter Katherine Long.  "To me, it's not so much the $10,000 degree as it is that higher education needs to find better ways to deliver its content," Floten said, according to a post on the Seattle Times' Education Lab Blog this morning.  "What can we do to be cheaper, faster, better?"

Check out the full Education Lab Blog post here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Overlake Medical Center Names New CEO

After conducting a national search, Overlake Medical Center's Board of Trustees announced today the appointment of J. Michael Marsh as the medical center's new President and CEO.

"We are pleased to have a progressive, visionary health care leader to guide Overlake into the future delivery of health and wellness services to the Eastside community," said John Hayhurst, Chairman of the Overlake Board of Trustees.

Marsh comes to Overlake from Providence Health & Services, an integrated health care system that includes 32 hospitals in five states.  He has served in a number of senior executive positions during his 28-year career, including Chief Strategy Officer/Chief Operating Officer for the Washington/Montana region that included accountability for 10 hospitals, home health, hospice, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient centers and physician clinics.  Most recently he served as Chief Administrative Officer for the Western Washington region that included eight hospitals, more than 1,000 employed physicians and 18,000 employees.

"I'm excited to join Overlake and work alongside their group of amazing leaders, physicians and staff," Marsh said.  "Overlake's emphasis on quality, customer service, and its position as an Eastside community asset were compelling reasons for me to join this team.  They treat their patients with care, dignity and understanding.  They live that commitment every day."

Marsh was chosen after Craig Hendrickson announced his retirement last summer.  Hendrickson has served as the Eastside non-profit health system's CEO since 2001.

"Our hospital has been fortunate to have incredible leadership from the very start," said Cecily Hall, immediate past chair of the Overlake Medical Center Board of Trustees and leader of the board's executive search committee.  "We want to thank Craig Hendrickson for his leadership, service and commitment for the past 13 years and welcome Mike to our Overlake family."

Marsh starts on April 7, 2014.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Best-Selling Author Jane Green's Book Signings to Benefit Supportive Cancer Care Awareness

The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation is hosting two events with New York Times best-selling author Jane Green early next month.

Green is visiting Seattle to promote her new book, "Tempting Fate," and will be raising funds for the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center in the process.  The author has two events scheduled during her first trip to the Emerald City - a brunch on Sunday, April 6 at the Chihuly Boathouse and a luncheon Monday, April 7 at the Fairmont Olympic hotel.  Both women-only events will feature discussion of the book's themes including fidelity, relationships and more. 100 percent of the proceeds from tickets sales will benefit the Sheri & Les Biller Patients and Family Resource Center at City of Hope, a facility which is considered the gold standard of comprehensive, patient-focused care.

Established by local philanthropists Les and Sheri Biller through their family foundation, the Resource Center embodies City of Hope's mantra "There is no profit in curing the body if in the process we destroy the soul."  Providing access to pain and palliative care physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, spiritual care chaplains and more, the Biller Resource Center strives to equip patients, their families and caregivers with the necessary resources and support to manage the challenges related to serious illness.

Biller and Green first met in 2010 when Biller was serving as the Chairman of City of Hope's board.  Green had just released a book in which one of the main characters was dying of cancer; the story centered on how family members dealt with the diagnosis.  The story resonated with Biller, who created the Resource Center at City of Hope based on her personal experiences with two friends who died from breast cancer.

"We are thrilled to welcome Jane to Seattle and partner with her to raise funds and awareness for the Biller Resource Center," said Sheri Biller in a statement issued today.  "The Center's focus on supportive care - serving not only the families, but also the friends and caregivers of patients who are critically ill - is something about which both Jane and I are deeply passionate."