Business and the economy in Clark County and Southwest Washington remained strong throughout 2019. The year brought with it substantial growth for many businesses, new businesses and start-ups, and non-stop construction on numerous residential and commercial projects.
Throughout the year, the Vancouver Business Journal recognized several growing businesses in the area, new businesses, family owned businesses, new construction projects and the accomplishments of several individuals in the business community. In this special edition of the VBJ, we’ll take a look back at some of the businesses, projects and individuals that we recognized during the year.
Business Growth Awards
Each year, hundreds of business professionals from around the Southwest Washington region join the Vancouver Business Journal in celebration of the area’s growing companies during our annual Business Growth Awards, presented this year by Bank of America. The awards recognized growth in 2018 and included recognition of start-ups, innovators and growing businesses in Southwest Washington.
The awards were presented during a reception and showcase held on May 15, 2019, at the Water Resources Education Center in Vancouver. Award recipients, and the categories they were recognized in, included the following companies:
Fastest Growing Company 1-5 Years
Starting in the real estate industry in 2006 as a real estate broker and transaction coordinator, Patrick Ginn has now developed more than $230 million worth of residential land, encompassing nearly 1,500 lots in more than 50 developments with a market value of more than $1 billion.
Ginn Group’s five primary operating divisions (Ginn Realty Group, Ginn Development, Boulevard Homes NW, Ginn Property Management and Central Oregon Building Company) employ 51 employees with annual revenues exceeding $50 million in 2018.
For 2019, Ginn Group is looking at target revenues of $75 million, annual net profits of $7.5 million, 10 new development projects and 2,000 housing units in the pipeline. The launch of a new operation division, Ginn Multi-Family, also happened this year in 2019.
Finalists in this category: Barre3 Felida; Hubb; Riverside Payments; Nom Nom Restaurant & Grill
Fastest Growing Company 6-10 Years
Based in Vancouver, SmartRG brings long-standing industry leadership and expertise in open-source software development, as well as a comprehensive portfolio of cloud-management, analytics, Wi-Fi-enabled residential gateways and its SmartOS software platform, according to the companies BGA submission.
SmartRG counts more than 3 million devices in service and more than 1.3 million devices under management in North America, the Caribbean and South America. The company expects to scale and drive growth through its differentiated software solutions as more customers shift from closed, proprietary options to SmartOS.
SmartRG has went from 26 total employees in 2013 to 66 in 2018. The company has grown its annual revenues over 50% from 2013 to 2016 to an annual run rate of over $24 million and is operating on a self-funded growth plan. In December of 2018, SmartRG was acquired by ADTRAN.
Finalists in this category: The Empress Estate
Fastest Growing Company 10+ Years
Advisicon – a project, program and portfolio management company in Vancouver – works to transform an organization’s project management with a mix of methodology and technology that delivers results. The team specializes in technology implementations, application and workflow development, training and consulting.
In 2017, Advisicon had a total of 14 employees, which increased to 25 employees in 2018. In 2010, Advisicon purchased the 10,000-square-foot building that they currently occupy. At the time, they built out the upper floor and a portion of the ground floor. They now have a tenant permit and are working to complete the rest of the building for their expanding staff and growth of the business. This will give them approximately 4,000 more square feet of space to expand into.
The company’s revenue increased from $1,537,777 in 2017 to $2,464,418 in 2018.
Finalists in this category: Biggs Insurance Services; On Line Support; Opsahl Dawson
Innovator of the Year
Tidewater Cove Marina
The newest marina on the Columbia River, Tidewater Cove was recently completed in phases with the final phase completed in April 2019. It was constructed with a number of innovative, state-of-the-art systems not previously used in existing marinas.
Some of these innovations include:
- Innovative pressurized sewer system in order to provide city of Vancouver sewer to “each” of the marina’s 90 slips.
- Floating restrooms have been installed with a very innovative light passing floor system, reducing the footprint in the water to help support the Columbia River fishery.
- State-of-the-art composite decking and spacing, allowing the docks the maximum light passage, to help support the underwater river ecosystems.
- Innovative fire suppression system built into the entire marina to allow greater support to firefighters in the event of potential boat fire.
- State-of-the-art designed dock ladders made from a non-metals material design in a way to keep steps out of the water until needed, reducing slippage due to algae growth as one exits the river.
Start-Up of the Year
WellHaven Pet Health
First launched in July of 2017, WellHaven Pet Health purchases existing animal hospitals and builds new veterinary practices providing support services, including management consultation, business development, leadership, human resources and other support specifically tailored for each individual practice.
WellHaven intends to initially target small-to-medium-sized pet hospitals across five states. They will identify and partner with hospitals employing at least two doctors. WellHaven’s goal is to gradually build a network of hospitals that are owned and managed by WellHaven Pet Health and will be led through a unique model called Principal Plan.
The Practice aims to help veterinarians and their teams succeed both personally and professionally. They focus on personal growth, practice support and life balance.
WellHaven’s evolving Corporate Responsibility Strategy includes WellHaven Pet Health’s partial ownership by the Skoll Foundation. The Skoll Foundation drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs and innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems.
Nonprofit Achievement Award
Share Vancouver is a multifaceted nonprofit organization that exists to improve the lives of individuals and families who face hunger, are homeless or struggle to find affordable housing. Though the organization began 40 years ago with just one shelter for single men and a daily free hot meal, today Share provides a spectrum of services from the Outreach team on the streets and at the Vancouver Navigation Center, to emergency shelters and free nutritious meals, to the Backpack program feeding hungry children, to subsidized housing for low-income individuals and families, to a matched savings program and much more.
In 2018, Share added an astonishing 26 new positions, and expanded its Strategic Engagement Committee, which draws on the expertise and connections of community influencers. In the volunteer department, Share secured an additional four Share Ambassadors. In total, 2,884 volunteers contribute 28,302 hours of service in 2018.
On July 24, the Southwest Washington business community joined the Vancouver Business Journal in celebrating the accomplishments of area contractors, architects, engineers and other building industry professionals during the 2019 Top Projects & Building Excellence Awards, held at the Port of Ridgefield’s Discovery Ridge (site of the new Rosauers Supermarket). The area’s top projects – commercial, residential, multifamily and public works – were then highlighted in the July 26 special print edition of the VBJ.
The VBJ named the Vancouver Waterfront Block 4, Kirkland Tower, Hotel Indigo, as the 2019 Project of the Year. The 2019 Community Catalyst Project was the Mixed-Use Development anchored by Rosauers Grocery Store in Ridgefield.
Here are the top three projects (ranked by construction cost) in each category:
Vancouver Waterfront Block 4, Kirkland Tower, Hotel Indigo
Construction cost: $108,000,000
On the bank of the Columbia River, the Kirkland Tower and Hotel Indigo are anticipated to bring a new vibrance to the Vancouver urban core. The Hotel Indigo will include 138 boutique suites on eight floors. Kirkland Tower, an 11-story condo containing 40 units, will include a rooftop deck and fitness facility as well as access to the other amenities. A six-story atrium, conference hall, bar, expansive terrace, and shared underground parking garage will provide visitors and residents with luxury amenities and an inviting setting to enjoy the riverfront festival street and parks. The ground floor will encompass 12,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. Project developer Kirkland Development provided oversight for this landmark addition to the Vancouver Waterfront. Civil engineering, geotechnical engineering and landscape architecture services were provided by PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. Comprehensive architectural design and planning services were provided by Otak Inc. The project is scheduled for completion in Spring of 2020.
General contractor: Kirkland Construction Group
Project owner: Kirkland Tower One LLC (Kirkland Tower) and Indigo One LLC (Hotel Indigo)
Mixed-Use Development anchored by Rosauers grocery store
Construction cost: $16,000,000
Located one minute from I-5 and zoned for residential, commercial and light industrial businesses, the multi-phase Discovery Ridge development site is suitable for many uses: headquarter locations, medical/professional offices, research and development, retail, life science and residential. Phase 1 includes a 53,000-square-foot Rosauers grocery store (slated for opening in November 2019) and the opportunity for additional commercial/retail establishments. Phase 1 will be completed in December 2019 or January 2020, with phases 2, 3 and 4 to follow.
General contractor: Legacy 6, Perlo Construction, Bunch Construction
Project owner: FDM Development
The Vancouver Clinic, Ridgefield
Vancouver Clinic has expanded to Ridgefield with a 15,400-square-foot clinical facility. The innovative new facility is designed by and for patients, maintaining a high emphasis on patient privacy and accessibility. Vancouver Clinic executive and clinical leadership were included in the design process through a series of integrated design events, where cross-functional teams collaborated on the project vision. The team developed a plan organized around a public galleria space for reception and waiting, fully glazed with a visual connection to the landscaped drop-off area. The clinic accommodates up to 10 clinicians and over 20 support staff. It will feature internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, imaging services, and urgent care open seven days per week. Opening day is August 5, 2019. This project came to fruition through the combined efforts of The Vancouver Clinic and its design build partners including, but not limited to, Day CPM an Otak Division, ZGF Architects, Andersen Construction and MacKay Sposito.
General contractor: Andersen Construction
Project owner: The Vancouver Clinic
Acero Ridgefield Apartments
Construction cost: $38,600,000
Acero Ridgefield Apartments is comprised of 300 multi-family apartment units with associated amenities such as a 24-hour clubhouse, 24-hour emergency maintenance, secure gated community, 24-hour fitness center, parking with additional available, pool and a spa/hot tub. Apartment amenities vary but may include a patio or balcony, air conditioning, quartz counters, stainless steel appliances, electric fireplace and more. The complex will open in August of 2019.
General contractor: Columbia Pacific Construction
Project owner: Pioneer 45 LLC
2 Creeks Camas
Construction cost: $18,000,000
Situated in between Camas Meadows and the Lacamas Trail Head, 2 Creeks Camas originally began with 31 condos in 2006, but did not survive the great recession and went up for auction in 2008 for $19.5 million. With most of the 31 units rented out, Romano Capital purchased 2 Creeks in 2016 and went thru a lengthy re-design and re-development strategy. Construction began on the second phase in 2018. Today, there are three styles of homes in 2 Creeks, each with three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and all have the elevator option answer to one-level living. Buyers can choose a home on the Camas Meadows side of the community, in the middle of the community or backing up to the Lacamas Heritage trail. The 2 Creeks community offers pickleball courts, walking trails, easy access to Camas Meadows, a full-feature clubhouse with heated outdoor pool, Jacuzzi and his and hers dry sauna and restrooms, along with an exercise room, bbq area and sitting areas. This last phase has of 2 Creeks is 42 units, and the development is projected to be 100% complete by the end of 2020.
General contractor: 2 Creeks Construction
Project owner: Romano Capital
Latitude 45 Apartments
Construction cost: $11,750,000
Latitude 45 is a 10-building, 90-unit apartment project located just off the I-205 / 18th Street interchange. The project consists 32 one-bedroom units and 56 two-bedroom units, plus a community center that includes a model of each unit type. The buildings are three-story, walk-up style design.
General contractor: Rotschy Inc.
Project owner: Four Seasons Subdivision LLC
Marshall Elementary & McLoughlin Middle Schools
Construction cost: $91,600,000
McLoughlin Middle School will house approximately 900 students; Marshall Elementary school will house approximately 420 students. Principles of the design foster an environment to support future ready kids, remove barriers and create a sense of pride in the school, staff and community. While the buildings are physically connected, a separation between the two schools is maintained that only authorized personnel can cross. The schools’ entries are both connected to their respective commons areas to provide a comfortable place for students to assemble before school and to enable the potential for community access. Classrooms are clustered into learning wings to create a more intimate experience and to foster a learning community. The classrooms are organized around a centralized circulation and collaboration space which has a variety of places where students or teachers can interact informally. These collaboration spaces are daylit, sharing natural light with the classrooms. Transparency and connections to nature form the primary organizational layout of the building.
General contractor: Skanska
Project owner: Vancouver Public Schools
Ogden Elementary School
Construction cost: $33,686,500
The project will consist of approximately 85,000 square feet of new construction with portions of the school on two stories, including approximately 35 classrooms for early learning through fifth grade. Highlights include multiple areas for indoor/outdoor learning experiences which include an exterior garden courtyard, exterior patios connected to classrooms for flexible outdoor learning, and nature play in the forested area. Transparency and connection to nature form the primary organizational layout of the building. Classrooms receive daylighting and are connected to studios with full-height windows that form a direct connection outside – these are areas from which students and staff can flow between indoors and out to work on projects and collaborate. Building systems and structure will be exposed for students to see what goes on ‘behind-the-scenes’ to make a building fully functional.
General contractor: Robinson Construction Co.
Project owner: Vancouver Public Schools
iTech Preparatory School
Construction cost: $31,930,000
iTech Preparatory will provide a permanent home for the VPS early college, STEM-focused “school of choice” program, which is currently operating in two temporary locations. The new 77,600-square-foot facility will serve up to 700 students, grades six through 12. Located at the east entrance of Washington State University Vancouver, iTech students will have convenient access to attend college classes, while offering opportunity for partnerships and mentoring for both institutions. Collaboration and the iTech “Design Process” is what lies at the heart of iTech – encouraging students to think critically, innovate, problem solve and effectively communicate.
General contractor: Robinson Construction Co.
Project owner: Vancouver Public Schools
Construction cost: $45,000,000
Dawson’s Ridge is eight lots by seven builders, located in Camas. It was chosen as the 2019 Parade of Homes site.
General contractor: Phoenix Excavating
Project owner: McIntosh Ridge PRD LLC
Village at Evergreen Landing
Construction cost: $29,300,000
The Village at Evergreen Landing is a 131-lot subdivision located on Northeast 137th Ave, a few blocks north of Mill Plain Boulevard. The project includes a mix of front-load and alley-load style homes, as well as a mix of attached and detached single family homes. The site is 16.72 acres. In addition to the home sites, there is also a 25,000-square-foot open space.
General contractor: Rotschy Inc.
Project owner: Evergreen MX Investments LLC
Hazel Dell Landing
Construction cost: $17,298,000
Hazel Dell Landing is a 78-unit, town-home style project located on Hazel Dell Ave, between Northeast 63rd and 78th Streets. The project started as four parcels, all zoned R-43.
General contractor: Legacy 6 Inc.
Project owner: Hazel Dell Landing LLC
Family Owned Business Awards
New this year, the Vancouver Business Journal held its first-ever Family Owned Business Awards. The Family Owned Business Awards recognizes Southwest Washington companies demonstrating excellence in family involvement, business success, commitment to employees, customers and community.
The Awards recognized these companies in several areas, including excellence/innovation, philanthropy, commitment to community, contributions to charitable organizations and commitment to engaging their employees.
Award winners were recognized during a family friendly event at Heathen Estates Winery on Sept. 26. The VBJ plans to hold an annual Family Owned Business Awards event.
Award recipients, and the categories they were recognized in, included the following companies:
Corwin Beverage Company
Corwin Beverage Company is a fourth-generation family owned business that started in 1941 with a single truck and three employees. Every year since, the business has continued to grow and Corwin now employee more than 150 people who help distribute more than 700 food and beverage items to Southwest Washington.
Family members involved in the business include Kathy Corwin – owner and board member; Nancy Bjerkman – owner and board member; Heidi Piper Schultz – owner and board president; Courtney Barker – owner and board member; and Erik Bjerkman – owner and board member.
Along with distributing non-alcohol refreshments, Corwin also has four specialty divisions: Kendall’s Pioneer Distributing, an alcohol distribution business that specializes in local craft beer, cider and wine; Crave Fresh Markets, which offers self-serve vending that’s predominantly established in company breakrooms; Revolt Organic Coffee, which is Corwin’s own coffee brand. Revolt is locally roasted, organic coffee that offers both whole bean and coffee bar retail programs; Browar Polska, a specialty import beer distribution business based in Seattle.
So far in 2019, Corwin has given back and made contributions to numerous organizations and causes, including the Hough Foundation, the Humane Society for Southwest Washington, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, the Clark County Food Bank, natural disaster water donations, the Northwest Blind Athletes Association and many others.
Corwin also develops strong relationships with independent businesses and is very connected to the Southwest Washington community. The company is an active partner in numerous community organizations, including the Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Hospitality Board, the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce, the Salmon Creek Rotary and more.
In addition, Corwin sponsors several community events such as Ride Around Clark County, WHY Racing events, Six to Sunset, Cruise the Couve, Rocksolid Community Teen Center events, Shop with a Cop and more.
Legacy 6 Inc.
Legacy 6 has been in business since August of 2014 and is a three-generation family owned business. Family members involved in the business include Mark Wubben, president; Michael Wubben, vice president; Matt Wubben, treasurer; Jared Wubben, secretary; Jerry Wubben, operations adviser/PM; Dennis Wubben, business consultant; Nicole Wubben, financial consultant; and Drake Wubben, summer laborer.
A private civil construction company founded and based in Vancouver, Legacy 6’s target market is subdivision projects ranging in size from five to 250 lots and commercial projects ranging in size from 5,000 to 100,000 square feet. The company’s staff of roughly 70 people consists of operators and laborers, mechanics, welders/fabricators, truck drivers, safety director, dispatch, admin, superintendents and project managers.
According to the company’s website, “Legacy 6, Inc. is a family owned company built on the foundation of honor, integrity and excellence laid by the generation before us. Our goal is to provide exceptional service with exceptional value and to build strong, profitable relationships through honest business practices.”
The list of charitable contributions that Legacy 6 has made since 2017 is a long one, including Dare to Live/Common Ground – teen suicide prevention; Allies House – a home for homeless mothers; Legacy Sports Foundation; Ridgefield High School Vocational Scholarship; Boys & Girls Club; Dozer Day/Nutter Foundation; Clark County Veterans; Cornerstone Christian Academy/Freedom Plaza Veterans Memorial; Youth 4-H Program; Salmon Creek Little League; Evergreen Little League; Covington Middle School Wrestling Program; Battle Ground Health Care; Operation: Helping Our Heroes; Randall Children’s Hospital; Shriner’s Hospital for Children; and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Contributions to these organizations since 2017 total $216,820.
On Line Support
After serving in the Army as a computer programmer analyst, On Line Support founder and owner Eric Olmsted, made his way to the Pacific Northwest to work in the tech industry. He worked in the computer industry before becoming a telecom executive.
Recognizing a need for technology consulting and support for small and medium businesses, Olmsted founded On Line Support in 1998. Headquartered in Vancouver, On Line Support today serves more than 250 businesses of all sizes throughout the Pacific Northwest, offering clients everything from fully managed outsourced IT and cybersecurity services to large scope projects and telecom solutions. Eric’s wife Nancy is the vice president of communications.
On Line Support takes employee engagement to the next level.
“Our work family is critical to our success and we are fully committed to their workplace fulfillment,” said Eric Olmsted in a statement to the Vancouver Business Journal. “In addition to competitive pay we know benefits are extremely important to employees.”
Even though On Line support is a small business with fewer than 25 employees, Olmsted said providing a robust benefit package is a priority. Benefits include 100% employer-paid medical, dental and vision insurance; 401(k) with employer match; paid vacation, holidays and sick leave; and training, education and professional development opportunities.
Charitable Contributions AND Engagement – TIE
Dick Hannah Dealerships
Locally family owned for 70 years, Dick Hannah Dealerships is the largest family owned auto group in the area. With Dick Hannah at the top of the leadership team, his daughter, Jennifer Hannah, and son, Jason Hannah, are both vice presidents of the company.
Charitable contributions and volunteer efforts are at the core of Dick Hannah Dealerships’ business. According to information submitted to the Vancouver Business Journal by staff at Dick Hannah, “the Dick Hannah team is committed to supporting those who share this community and its resources with us. From donating vehicles that raise thousands of dollars for the Children’s Cancer Association, to planting a tree for every vehicle we sell, to gathering school supplies for local families in need. We’re committed to supporting families, education and the environment here in the Pacific Northwest.”
For nearly a decade, Dick Hannah has partnered with the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA) by donating a new car as a raffle prize during their annual Valentine’s Day for CCA fundraising drive. The CCA’s award-winning programs bring joy and hope to seriously ill children and their families. These donated vehicles have raised more than $864,000.
Charitable Contributions AND Engagement – TIE
Not only is Big Al’s the happy place of families across Clark County – and indeed the West Coast – at the heart of the small chain of family entertainment centers is one big family itself, the Kirkwoods.
Big Al’s is literally a mom-and-pop shop, with founders father Allan Kirkwood as Chairman of the Board and mother Sandee Kirkwood as shareholder and board member. Brother Daniel Kirkwood is CEO, sister Kelly Gaylor is senior accountant, brother-in-law Dean Gaylor is a board member and shareholder, niece Allison Gaylor and nephews Matthew and Joseph Gaylor are shareholders. Another Vancouver family, Steve and Jo Marie Hansen, are board members and shareholders.
Philanthropy might as well be Big Al’s middle name. Members of the Kirkwood and Hansen families have sat on the board of directors at the Clark County Food Bank and have been recognized by the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington as Philanthropists of the Year – Hansens in 2012 and Kirkwoods in 2018.
Big Al’s charitable contributions don’t just happen in board rooms; rather, charity is a main focus for the company year round. Along with various Big Al’s “Big Heart” community projects, with emphasis on children and families, Big Al’s makes charitable contributions to the food bank, Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Washington and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital throughout the year. The annual Big Al’s Everything is Awesome Toy Drive and Bowl with Heart Bowl-a-Thon, partnering with Sophie’s Chapter and benefiting Doernbecher, donated nearly 2,500 toys, books and art supplies, and helped raise nearly $60,000 during last year’s event.
Spoiled Spa & Salon
April Allen opened Spoiled Spa and Salon, a full-service day spa and salon, in 2011 and ran it as a single mother of two boys. In 2015, her now-husband Skylar Allen got on board to help with general operations, and today he serves as operations director.
Spoiled Spa and Salon demonstrates a commitment to the community April had been looking for in a salon since she became a licensed hairstylist in 2007. When she opened her own salon, she held a fundraiser for a local cosmetology scholarship and decided each anniversary to hold a fundraiser for a local nonprofit – it was her way of saying thank you to the community that supported her success.
In addition, April and her staff at Spoiled Spa and Salon have volunteered time and services and given funds to local youth sports, Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Washington, Courts for Kids, Cameo Vancouver, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Dog Paw, The Children’s Center, Share, NW Battle Buddies, the Pink Lemonade Project, NWCAVE (National Women’s Coalition Against Violence and Exploitation) and more. Employees are encouraged to help choose donation recipients.
Accomplished & Under 40
The VBJ’s last recognition and event of the year is our Accomplished & Under 40 class. Honorees are selected each year by a panel of Accomplished & Under 40 alumni after being nominated by members of the community. Members of the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2019 were recognized during a luncheon on Nov. 5, 2019, at Warehouse ’23.
This year’s honorees were:
- Meaghann Ande, Pink Lemonade Project
- Melissa Boles, Workforce Southwest Washington
- Tara Cox, Vancouver Public Schools
- Kelsey Elwess, Opsahl Dawson
- Lacey Faught, Spry
- Meghan Hamilton, GLAM Beauty Bar
- Melissa Pedraza, MyBite Vitamins
- Ryan Philbrook, Ryan Philbrook VoiceOver
- Andrea Smith, BIA of Clark County
- Nicholas Warren, Parker, Smith & Feek
- Mike “Z” Zahniser, BBSI