Josh Deck New President and CEO at OlyFed

After more than 38 years with OlyFed, Lori Drummond will retire as the bank’s President and CEO on June 30. Promoted from within, like most of the team at OlyFed, Drummond started her career as the bank’s receptionist in 1984 and now leaves a remarkable legacy for the bank to continue to thrive as the go-to financial institution for local families and small businesses.

Named to succeed her as only the eighth President and CEO in the bank’s 115-year history is Josh Deck. Like his predecessor, Deck was promoted from within after serving as EVP and Chief Operating Officer. Deck started his career with the US Department of Treasury serving as a bank regulator, where he traveled the country conducting bank examinations to ensure the safety and soundness of financial institutions. Deck then joined OlyFed in 2011 as VP of Risk and Compliance Management.

“When my wife and I wanted to start a family and put down roots, I realized I needed a job that didn’t have me traveling each week and I wanted to use my skills by working with a community bank that shared my values. The South Sound was home and OlyFed was the perfect match,” said Deck. Attending Franklin Pierce High School in Pierce County, Deck was a standout baseball player who went on to pitch in college at William Penn University. Now, he enjoys golfing and coaching his own young sons’ teams in basketball, t-ball, and baseball in the local community where he lives and works.

According to Deck, “OlyFed has been a stable component of Olympia for over 115 years, investing in the same place our customers are invested. We strive to demonstrate our dedication to our community through volunteerism and philanthropic giving. We want to grow with our community and to continually
help improve our local quality of life.”

As part of their guiding values, OlyFed is committed to lifelong learning and promoting a different kind of business model that uses their resources to serve the needs of Thurston and Mason County.

For Additional Information
Olympia Federal
360.754.3400 or 800.865.3470
olyfed.com

BY LYNN CASTLE

Lacey Spring Fun Fair

Lacey Spring Fun Fair

Proud to be a Sponsor!

 May 21 and 22 2022 10:00am

St. Martin’s University

5300 Pacific Avenue SE
Lacey, WA 98503

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The annual, two-day fair features dozens of free, family-friendly activities from Kids’ World to local school and area band performances to the fan-favorite car show.

One of the best things about the fair is that it’s free. No cost to park, no entry fees, no tickets required to go on the rides, nada. “All you have to do is wait in line. Kids can go on all the rides and do all the activities they want and it’s all free! Most of the people leave with a bag full of crafts that the kids have made or goodies they’ve won playing different games,” Jeannette says. “The only thing you’ll have to pay for is if you choose to buy something from one of the food vendors or one of the commercial or arts and crafts vendors.”

Even though on-site parking is free, it can be a bit limited. To help with this, you can catch one of the free shuttle busses

TAKE THE SATURDAY SHUTTLE!
Free parking with shuttle service will be available from South Sound Center’s Flag Pavilion parking area from 10 a – 6 p, Sat., May 6.
(South Sound Center’s Flag Pavilion parking area: Sleater-Kinney Road at Interstate 5)
Shuttles run every twenty minutes.

The Answer Guy: Darrell McQuiston

After 30 years in the property management industry, Darrell McQuiston, of the family-owned The Rants Group of Olympia, is proud to be the “Answer Guy.”

“It is a great feeling to be confident in my role and know that I have the experience to fix any issue with the help of a lot of wonderful vendors and service providers,” said McQuiston.

The Rants Group is a full-service commercial and investment real estate firm formed by Ron Rants in 1973, offering sales, leasing, property management and development services. Now led by CEO Pat Rants and daughter Danielle Rants (Vice President), The Rants Group has an unwavering focus on excellence. Led by the principals of staying local, building relationships, planning long-term, and putting the community first, The Rants Group is Olympia’s oldest and most experienced commercial real estate firm.

When McQuiston went to work for The Rants Group in 2008, the industry was very different. But with the integration of technology, the entire team is more productive and efficient. Gone are the days of using carbon copy paperwork for leases, maintenance orders and billing.

“The introduction of AppFolio software into my work life has been fantastic,” said McQuiston. He added, “Now I don’t worry about lost work orders and paying our vendor bills is so much faster.” The software has created a balanced approach that allows McQuiston to effectively manage over 300 properties.

Another big change, brought on by the pandemic as well as the advent of current technology, is virtual tours. Nearly all property tours are now given virtually with 3D presentations and extremely high-quality photos. According to McQuiston, “We can pre-market everything and in today’s housing crunch, being able to fill a vacancy before it is actually vacant is good for the landlord, but also for those seeking housing.”

“The best part of my job is housing people,” said McQuiston. “I love coming in to work each day not knowing exactly what I’m going to do—every day is a surprise—and I really like that!”

For Additional Information
The Rants Group
rantsgroup.com

LYNN CASTLE

Brewery Park Discovery Center to Preserve Rich Tumwater History

Gifted to the community in 1962, Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls is among the country’s largest privately owned parks and is treasured by over 250,000 visitors each year. Funded entirely by the Olympia Tumwater Foundation, the 15-acre Brewery Park features walking trails highlighted by cascading waterfalls, reflective pools, and massive rock formations, as well as picnic areas, impeccably maintained lawns, a playground, restrooms, and a maintenance facility.

To ensure this slice of paradise is maintained and equipped to serve the community for decades to come, the Foundation plans to renovate and expand the existing facility into a sustainable multipurpose events and educational center. The proposed $7.5M Brewery Park Discovery Center would have a positive economic impact on Thurston County beyond the duration of the construction project, creating jobs, attracting additional visitors, and generating new tax revenue. The Center has the support of local and state leaders, Chambers of Commerce, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Also, the Brewery Park Discovery Center will complement the expanded salmon hatchery and the City of Tumwater’s new walking/cycling trail.

Lee Wojnar, President of the Olympia Tumwater Foundation and VP of Marketing at OBee Credit Union, says, “The Center will house a vital part of Washington’s history that might otherwise fade into oblivion when vacant brewery buildings are gone. We envision the Discovery Center will capture and continue to tell the history of the area through events, displays, and tribal art while developing an inclusiveness about our community.”

The Coast Salish people, in particular the Squaxin Island Tribe, consider the area sacred and used it to conduct life-enriching water ceremonies. The Discovery Center will serve as a place to tell their story. Wojnar added, “There is no place better than this beautiful area for people to relax and recharge.”

Olympia Tumwater Foundation was created in 1950 by Peter G. Schmidt, Sr., long-time president of Olympia Brewing and oldest son of brewery founder Leopold Schmidt. Today the Foundation is best known for maintaining Brewery Park and the historic Schmidt House and for awarding tens of thousands of dollars in college scholarships annually to local students.

In 2020, the Foundation board, which receives no city, state, or federal funds for park operations, launched a planning and funding process for the new Discovery Center to better serve the public. The new facility will provide interpretation of the natural, cultural, recreational and historical resources of the landscape and serve as an introduction to regional resources. The Foundation’s goal is to have the project designed, vetted, permitted, and ready to begin demolition and construction in 2023 with completion slated for 12 months later.

As the project moves forward, the Foundation is seeking public, private and foundational support. Be a part of history! Get involved and learn more about Brewery Park and the Olympia Tumwater Foundation website.

For Additional Information
olytumfoundation.org

LYNN CASTLE

Olympia Homebuilder Shares Success With Local Charities

Years ago, Rob Rice Homes owners, and husband and wife team, Rob and Helena Rice sat down with one goal in mind: to make their philanthropic efforts as meaningful as possible. 

“People saw we were sponsoring and donating money throughout the community, and we were getting a call a week looking for a contribution,” Helena says. “We sat down to prioritize what matters to us, as a business and a family.” 

The pair came to two conclusions. First, they wanted to focus on local charities. Secondly, they wanted to help children and animals. 

“We pick up dogs on the side of the road,” Helena says with a chuckle. “It’s not uncommon for Rob to call me, ‘I have a dog in the car – what do you want to do?’”

They were thrilled to discover Concern For Animals, an Olympia-based animal welfare service that helps pet owners struggling financially. CFA’s services include a pet food bank, veterinary assistance and help for owners who are experiencing abuse or homelessness. Their mission to keep pets with their families struck a chord with the Rices, leading them to participate in the annual Toast For Tails auction.

“They asked for help with water damage in their old food bank building. Rob walked in and decided to build them a whole new space,” says Helena. “Our vendors and partners all came together to help, and we were able to do it as a gift.” Rob Rice Homes is also a proud sponsor of a number of youth sports teams, as well as a regular donor to Providence St. Peter Foundation, where Rob is on the board of directors. This past holiday season, they worked with The Salvation Army Olympia Corps, raising $10,389 – more than double their goal. 

“We like national charities, but we want to act locally,” says Helena. “This community has given us so much. Giving back is the least we can do.” 

Rob Rice Homes communities can be found throughout Thurston County. To learn more about their work, visit www.RobRiceHomes.com. 

Welcoming Robin Houde to the WCWB

The Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC) is pleased to announce that  Robin Houde has assumed the position of Program Manager for the Washington Center for  Women in Business (WCWB.) The Washington Center for Women in Business is a program whose mission is to empower entrepreneurs to succeed in business by providing coaching, training, and technical assistance on a wide variety of topics. The WCWB is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

Houde brings a diverse background of education, small business management and marketing experience. Houde began as a volunteer with the WCWB, and accepted the role of Administrative Specialist at the WCWB in March of 2020. She was then named Creative Strategist in May 2020.  

A Thurston County local, Houde is well connected and brings an existing network to the WCWB. She handles marketing and outreach, manages the social media and program oversight of Let’s Talk Business, and offers social media, branding and design coaching. As an Evergreen State College student, she focused the first half of her degree on psychology and health sciences while transitioning her second half towards business and community outreach. 

“I am passionate about building meaningful community relationships and serving the public and  I’m so excited to be able to help provide the resources and guidance to empower women  entrepreneurs,” says Houde. Thurston County is excited to have her on the team, and is looking forward to her work in the near future!