Commencement Bank Opens Loan Center

commencement-bankNine years after launching its first branch in Tacoma, Commencement Bank is opening its third site in the region. The new location is in South King County’s bustling residential and commercial hub of Auburn.

“The combination of well-run, local businesses within this community makes Auburn a perfect fit for us,” explains , Commencement Bank president and CEO. “We were overwhelmed with positive response from our first loan center located in Enumclaw, which led to exploration of other potential locations.”

Commencement’s original full-service headquarters is at 1102 Commerce St. in downtown Tacoma. A loan center opened at 1186 Myrtle Ave. in Enumclaw in May 2014. Although both the Enumclaw and Auburn offices are currently focusing solely on loan generation, the bank plans to open full-service branches during the coming months in both of those cities as well.

“Our strategic plan is to start with loan centers to enter a local market and expand from there,” notes Jennifer Nino, chief financial officer. “We’re really excited to be in Auburn because it’s a key spot for commercial and small business growth, and we’re always looking to grow in areas where there’s a demand.”

Tracie Bryant, vice president and commercial loan officer, who’s worked in the Auburn community for many years, is pleased to be returning not just as the head of the office but also as a part of a local community banking team.

“I am excited to be given the opportunity to offer my clients tailored products and services while providing the personal attention they deserve,” she says.

On August 11 from noon to 3 p.m., the bank is inviting the public to join in the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4798 Auburn Way N, Suite 103. A complimentary lunch, gifts, prizes and more will be part of the welcoming celebration. By Holly Smith Peterson

Commencement Bank Home Loan Center

4798 Auburn Way N, Suite 103

Auburn, WA 98002


The Beauty Lies Within The Grain

woodturningCreativity is often seen as an anomaly with an ebb and flow. It does not discern whom it chooses; rather it matures and blossoms, cultivates and occasionally morphs into a new medium. Bob Sievers shines with this elusive morphing creativity, trading his canvas and easel for a more honed, delicate craft—the art of woodturning.

Catalyzed by the Egyptians and refined by the Romans, turning is one of the oldest forms of woodworking. From large serving bowls to the abstract twists and curvatures of flute stems with the details of an intricate feather, these beautifully crafted adornments are conceived on a machine called a lathe. It is a spinning and carving pin that is creativity personified in and of itself, with levers, pulleys and sliding mechanisms that Sievers has designed to fit his style of turning.

To admire the craft is to appreciate the vision, something that starts with a simple block of wood before stripping away the exterior to find the art within. “The true beauty lies within the grain,” says Sievers, admiring the maples, madronas and the wild grain of the burls. Each piece has its own unique pattern waiting to be part of the next crafted story.

Having tried his hand at woodturning for the first time during his high school years, Sievers rediscovered his love for the craft later in life. “If you can think it, you can create it, anything is possible,” he says.

Working with wood for almost 30 years, he continues to craft small masterpieces of the imagination, even with his failing eyesight. He’s taught woodturning at the local chapter of the American Association of Woodturning, of which he’s a founding member. You can meet him at a chapter meeting on the third Thursday of every month at the Fife Senior Center. Failing eyesight or not, he will continue to create and woodturn as long as there is wood available to be crafted.


For additional information:
Fife Senior Center
2111 54th Ave E, Fife

Vital Rejuvenation

vital-rejuvenationWellness is a melding of a healthy body and mind, says Dr. Patricia Sylwester of Vital Rejuvenation in Olympia. And wellness is what her team strives to achieve with every client.

“Our approach is preventative and holistic, instead of symptom driven,” she explains. “Our primary goal is to help patients achieve optimal health and beauty.”

A local physician for 29 years, Sylwester first specialized in urgent care medicine, and she owned Pacific Walk-In Clinic in Lacey for 10 years. Upon becoming more interested in preventative models of medicine, she pursued a fellowship in Anti-aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine. She also explored aesthetic medicine as a complement to the other disciplines.

In November 2013 she opened Vital Rejuvenation with her husband, Michael Farley, a nutrition and lifestyle counselor. Her mission was to create a complete health
care rejuvenation practice with capabilities in her specialty areas, plus laser and light skin therapies.

The program’s foundation is nutritional, says Sylwester, who believes that proper nourishment is fundamental to health. Besides dietary intervention and supplementation, she prescribes specific movement and exercise, stress reduction techniques, hormonal balance, and restorative sleep. Her practice addresses diabetes, high blood pressure, body weight, digestive issues, hormonal concerns, brain health and other health concerns. Thus, she sees a broad spectrum of patients, many of whom have previously been through traditional medical systems without improvement.

“Clients are looking for solutions and are motivated to make significant changes in their lives,” she says. “We see people that care about their health and who are willing to do everything they can to achieve optimal levels of wellness.”


For additional information:
Vital Rejuvenation
1801 West Bay Dr NW, Olympia

Escape To Artisan Country

enumclaw2Surrounded by local farms and sitting at the edge of Mount Rainier National Park is the quaint but cool town of Enumclaw. Located right off Highway 410, the city has truly evolved into a hidden gem perfect for more than just a stopover on the way up to Crystal Mountain during ski season. With no big-box stores or restaurant chains in sight, the town draws tourists to its unique offerings of local eateries and exquisite finds in one of many antique stores. Art is in high demand for those craving paintings or hand-blown glass or other creations.

enumclaw1With no shortage of restaurants, Enumclaw truly has something for everyone. Craving sweets? Check out the handmade salted caramels at Sweet Necessities. The pies at award-winning Pie Goddess will make your mouth water. With over 50 varieties, it’s hard to choose just one. If you are really hungry and looking for the “Gee, I’m glad I ate that” feeling, head over to Kelly’s Mercantile, also known as the Merc, and peruse the menu full of locally sustained foods, wines and beers. The beers at Cole Street Brewery are an area favorite and can be found on tap at a number of other outlets in town, even the local theater.

enumclaw4The Arts Alive Center for the Arts on Cole Street sells original art created by area artists. The gallery also hosts an extensive art program year round while striving to keep a pulse on the arts in the community. During the summer months, Arts Alive hosts an event known as Art in the Garden. Free to the public, this annual art show is a local favorite and takes place at 3.5 acres of Matson Family Farm Gardens.

Whether passing through or looking for a day escape, Enumclaw offers something unique for the artisan in each of us.


For additional information:

Design An Outdoor Kitchen

outdoor-kitchenEntertaining your family and friends feels more relaxed when hosting outside. If you entertain more than six people at one time and have sufficient space, an outdoor kitchen is a fantastic way to enjoy your guests and the outdoors.

There are a few things to consider with an outdoor kitchen. One is how it will work with your indoor kitchen, your actual use, and another is maintenance.

Will your outdoor kitchen duplicate your indoor cooking space, or will it complement it?
Messy, smoky cooking processes such as grilling, smoking and using a wok are often better moved outdoors. But what about braising, refrigeration and other indoor-compatible functions? If you have an area far from your house—a pool nestled into the landscape, for example—it might make sense to duplicate your indoor kitchen to avoid frequent trips into the house and back.

Are you someone who loves cooking, with a bookshelf full of cookbooks of all types?
If so, your outdoor kitchen will probably get a lot of use. If you’re more occasional, perhaps a simple grill with a side burner and adjacent counter space will meet your needs.

outdoor-kitchen2How often do you entertain, and how large are your parties?
The typical person probably will be very happy with a small- to medium- size high-quality gas grill with a pair of side burners.

Who to hire?
The project could be part of an addition to your house or part of an expansion plan, in which case you would typically hire an architect or a landscape designer. Businesses that sell this equipment often have a staff designer who assists customers with the planning and implementation of an outdoor kitchen. You’ll also need a general contractor to get everything built and properly installed.

Typical project length?
This project will take a fair amount of planning, organization and management. Give yourself at least three months from initial planning until the kitchen is ready for the first party.


For additional information:

Spotlight: Chris Anderson

chris-andersonWhen he began singing as a busboy at Jebino’s restaurant in Eatonville, Chris Anderson never imagined his career would catapult, seemingly overnight. Drawing inspiration from musical idols such as Bobby Darin, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, Anderson creates a sound all his own and has been sharing it at venues all over the state. We recently had a chance to speak with him about his success and what lies ahead for the budding star.

Coming from a musical family, I have always been a fan of music. It wasn’t until age 18, however, that I became interested in pursuing it as a career, which, ironically, was the first time in my life that I sang a note in a manner of trying to actually sing well. Growing up, I was too shy to even think about doing anything musical, but after I graduated from high school I became inspired to see what I was capable of.

My grandpa Norm was my first musical inspiration. He and I began listening to the songs he grew up with when I was a kid, and I witnessed the authentic passion he has for that style of music. Though he continues to inspire me, the research I have done since has led me to define who my favorite artists are from back in the day. The opportunity to continue their legacies keeps me driven and motivated to do their songs justice and never let them fade away.

My musical repertoire consists of any song that is considered a classic. I try to give them a certain flair that they have never had before, without eliminating the essence of what made them great in the first place.

I have a new album currently in the works. It has been a few years since the last album, but I want this one to be the perfect mix and sound that fits my direction. You can expect it to have covers from genres including classic country, soul and Motown in my own unique style. Of course, jazz standards will be included in this album.

I love performing live, but I am actually quite shy off stage. Once I get on stage, all of that goes away and I’m able to perform every song with all I have, giving classic songs the justice they deserve. Connecting with my audience, taking them on a journey, that’s what it’s all about. Then to receive the ovation after each song and especially at the end of the show—it makes all of the hard work and dedication worth it.

To learn more about Anderson and view a schedule of upcoming performances, visit


Sounders: Empowering Lives Through Soccer

sounders-fc2Seattle Sounders FC is doing more than winning games and building on a huge fan following in the region. By using its visibility and forging partnerships with companies like Starbucks and HomeStreet Bank, Sounders FC is using the power of soccer to share the importance of values, discipline and community.

For former Sounders FC player Roger Levesque, the mission could not be clearer. “Since Day One, community has been very important to the organization. It is something we live and breathe,” he says. After being named Sounders’ director of community outreach in November 2014, Levesque has worked alongside the rest of the team to develop strong partnerships and programs for those who need it most.

United in Green is the platform for all of the programs offered in the Seattle community. With the growth of the game of soccer in underserved schools, barriers are removed, giving kids a positive environment in which they can thrive while learning the importance of teamwork.

Programs like Soccer for Success focus on combating the childhood obesity epidemic by promoting healthy lifestyles in low-income communities and arming kids with the tools to make positive eating choices.

sounders-fcThis year Sounders FC is partnering with Street Soccer to emphasize helping homeless individuals by teaching valuable skills that can lead to success both on and off the field.

“We have worked hard to shift the focus to be more mission driven,” says Levesque of the various programs. Of the team he says, “Players are always accessible
and happy to be involved.”

Seattle Sounders FC is showing the community that soccer is more than just a game. It can pay huge dividends in our schools and our communities. It can also provide life lessons and be a tool that empowers all of us to go above and beyond the “full 90.”

For more information or ways to get involved, please visit


This Summer, Play Around The Sound

There is really no better place than the Pacific Northwest during summertime. We are lucky to have such a beautiful playground. But with no shortage of things to do, how do you go about choosing? Showcase checked out some of the best local attractions and listed them all here. So get out your calendar and prepare for some serious playtime. ANDREA LERUM

One of Tacoma’s family favorites is the Independence Day Freedom Fair located at Ruston Way and historic Old Town. Later in the month, take a weekend and enjoy the Tacoma Maritime Fest, July 18 and 19.

Admission to both events is always free with plenty of kid-friendly activities, ships to explore, and even a cruise hosted by Argosy Cruises and the Port of Tacoma for a ship-side view of the port itself on July 19. For more information and a schedule of events, visit and

Gig Harbor
Slow down a bit and take a boat trip out to Gig Harbor. Enjoy a beer at 7 Seas Brewing or a bowl of world-famous clam chowder at the Tides Tavern. Stroll along the historic waterfront and stop in at the Harbor History Museum for some fun kid activities. Later in the evening, catch an outdoor concert at the Summer Sounds at Skansie or take a blanket and some popcorn for an outdoor movie at Cinema Gig.

Head out to Enumclaw over the weekend of July 24 and 25 for the annual street fair. Besides great food and vendors, visitors can check out local art at the Arts Alive gallery on Cole Street. Stop by Tracy’s Roadside Produce for farm-fresh produce, jams, jellies and even local Washington wines.

There are activities and events for everyone in Olympia this summer. You can tour our state capitol or learn about our aviation heritage at the Olympic Flight Museum. Or get in touch with your wild side with a visit to Wolf Haven International or the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. For more of the Top Ten Attractions, go to

A town steeped in rich Pacific Northwest history, DuPont is a great place to visit if you are looking to gain a historical perspective. Check out the DuPont Historical Museum to view photos, maps and other artifacts. Looking to explore? DuPont has a thriving park system filled with hiking and biking trails for the whole family.

Downtown Puyallup abounds with shopping and dining and other activities. For a taste of fresh, local food and art, visit Sunset Market in Pioneer Park. This unique market features only local vendors, farmers and artists and is sure to be a favorite!

Seattle has much to offer year round and is particularly spectacular during the summer months. With so many unique neighborhoods, Seattle boasts numerous markets, street fairs and an abundance of unique dining experiences. There are also the familiar local attractions such as Pike Place Market and the Great Wheel. Coffee snobs might want to check out the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room located just nine blocks from the original store at Pike Place. Visit the helpful links below for more information.

Asian Fusion: Lemon Grass

lemongrassThe hippest trio of dining spots in the Olympia area, the upscale Asian-fusion Lemon Grass restaurants, started with owner Nicole Pham’s passion for cooking and dedication to seizing every opportunity.

It’s your opportunity to dig into food that’s truly special in standout ways. The menu winds through an array of familiar Thai dishes, but it’s immediately clear that the flavors are diverse. Arousing all five senses, Pham’s dynamic food is art at its tastiest.

The original Lemon Grass opened in downtown Olympia in 1998, followed by the cozy Lemon Grass Cafe in Tumwater in 2010. In 2013 the large, luxurious Lemon Grass Restaurant and Lounge opened in Lacey.

At all three, the decor, ambiance and cuisine are the same: chic, classy, comfortable. Sleek, dark Thai teak meets shimmering glass; the feel is relaxing and intimate. The showpiece in each location is the bar, backlit and framed by eye-catching glass art. A cocktail here, a work of art in its own right, transports your mindset into the most luxe bar in Bangkok.

The food is sheer beauty, each dish artfully plated in a decoupage of natural colors. From the fresh aroma and taste, it’s clear that Pham’s dedication to sourcing from the best regional Asian markets makes her food a standout among many Thai restaurants in the region.

Go-to favorites meander from steaming lime-infused Tom Yum Gai and tangy shrimp mango salad to chewy Singapore and milky-rich chicken apple curry. Appetizers range from grilled Thai peanut prawns to the cold-plated spring rolls. Desserts are all winners, although the strong, sweet Thai coffee curbs the craving for both sugar and caffeine.


For additional information:

The Lemon Grass Restaurant
212 4th Ave W, Olympia

The Lemon Grass Restaurant & Lounge
8125 Quinault Dr NE, Lacey

The Lemon Grass Cafe
5801 Capitol Blvd SW, Tumwater

See our Dining Guide

Farming Entrepreneur To Educate In Japan

mosby-farmsHidden in the lush Green River Valley is Mosby Farms, a 350-acre first generation family farm just outside of Auburn. Walk into the roadside farm stand in season and you’ll find a wealth of gorgeous produce, most of it cultivated on-site. With organic and sustainability as it’s model, the farm that’s been in business for 30 years has more recently added a selection of locally sourced gourmet foods, baked goods, cheeses, and fine Northwest brews and wines.

It’s because of the farm’s “old-fashioned” values and careful methods that co-owner Rosella Mosby was picked by the U.S. State Department’s Agricultural Trade Office to travel throughout Japan to speak about revitalizing the agricultural system. Her stops this spring in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka and beyond echoed the same message: “Agriculture: The only essential industry.”

The crux of her program is to recruit the next generation in Japan, particularly women, to engage in rural agriculture. Her focus is providing youth with advice on starting out in agriculture and emphasizing how the industry contributes to local revitalization.

“If there is an abundance of growers, the pricing stays lower because the inventory is plentiful,” Mosby said.

Farmers should know their markets, wherever they are in the world, she continued. This means thinking beyond the farm stand to retailers, chefs, and other resources that can sustainably utilize a farm’s individual specialties.

Ultimately, Mosby stressed that farming builds community. The majority of dollars or yen spent at local farms stays local. Through farms the community stimulates the local economy.

“When people buy local, they’re not only helping a small farm, they’re also creating a direct relationship with their grower,” said Mosby. “They’re making a connection with the food they eat, as well as with the land on which it is grown.”


Mosby Farm
12754 SE Green Valley Rd, Auburn