Face of Spokane 2022
The Face of an Industry
When Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living magazine approached the following businesses, we had in mind the people and businesses we first thought of when considering an industry. These are companies that are not only successful in the traditional sense, but also leaders in the way they chose to conduct business. Across the board, there is an emphasis on people-forward business practices. Many of these companies desire to be a force for good in our community by providing jobs and creating partnerships with other businesses.
We hope these leaders can provide a blueprint of how businesses should be run: with integrity, passion, innovation, and bravery.
The Face of Chiropractors: Valente Chiropractic
Adam Bozman, Valente Chiropractic practice manager, has a background in business, and never expected to be part of the health care field. But when Mike Valente, who he had known most of his life, asked him to join the team, the decision was easy.
“He’s one of the most intelligent and generous people I’ve ever known,” Adam says. “That’s why I like to work with him now and represent his practice. He genuinely cares about his patients and the people who work for him—in a way that not many people do.”
Under Mike’s leadership, Adam describes the practice as integrity-driven, and he loves that his job plays a hand in helping hurting people feel better.
Adam says that many patients who come to Valente Chiropractic have tried other options—acupuncture, massage therapy, physical therapy, and even other chiropractic clinics.
“It’s been my experience that our patients respond best to our positive and healthy environment … Mike’s approach to functional medicine offers a unique and practical alternative to conventional solutions for neck and back pain,” Adam says.
With traditional medicine, treatment providers can be limited, but within the field of chiropractic care, the area has a plethora of options.
“To be recognized consistently as one of the better, if not best, I think speaks volumes, when people have that sort of volition and that ability to choose where they go,” Adam says.
He thinks part of the reason people consistently choose Valente Chiropractic is because it is a culture-driven, personality-based practice.
“I think that’s why it’s so easy for patients to come back here after one year, two years, three years, four years, five years that they haven’t been here,” Adam says. “We see a lot of returning patients, people who haven’t been into any chiropractic or massage therapist for years, but all of the sudden, they’re hurting again, and it’s very easy for them to come back to us.”
“You can always see somebody walk out happier, and I’ve seen some people dance out of here. That’s pretty special,” Adam adds. “That’s something that drives our passion.”
Dr. Michael R. Valente with Valente Chiropractic
509.467.7991 | spokanechiropractic.com | 3017 E. Francis Ave. Ste. 101, Spokane
The Face of Residential Real Estate: Tracy Penna
Tracy Penna’s introduction to real estate came nearly thirty years ago, but at the time, she never imagined it would become her career. While studying at Gonzaga University, Tracy worked as an assistant for several of Spokane’s top Realtors. She graduated with her degree in journalism and went on to work in fundraising, but she secretly dreamed of becoming a Realtor.
When the opportunity to sell real estate presented itself a decade later, Tracy jumped at it. “I loved what I was doing, but I was inspired by the thought of building my own business. Knowing that I would be ultimately responsible for my own success—or failure—was really exciting to me, and I love a good challenge,” she says.
Tracy is also passionate about helping people, and a career in real estate gave her a vehicle to do that. “Being a Realtor is about so much more than just homes, contracts, negotiations, and closings,” she explains. “When you’re helping someone buy or sell a home, it’s often during a big life change, and I think people frequently discount the role a Realtor plays in helping clients emotionally through that process.”
Tracy was licensed in 2007 with no idea of what was on the horizon for the real estate market.
“Short sales and foreclosures were the bread and butter of my existence for the first few years of my career,” she recalls. “Values were plummeting, properties weren’t selling, and homes were being lost in foreclosure. It was a very difficult time for a lot of people, including Realtors.”
These days, sellers are absolutely thrilled with the improved market conditions, but with rising home prices and limited inventory there is a whole new set of challenges for buyers. “Writing competing offers and being repeatedly denied is really tough on buyer morale. I spend a lot of time educating buyers about the great opportunity that exists, despite the challenges, and encouraging them not to give up,” she says. “Between the low interest rates and the prediction that home values will continue to rise, there is no time like the present to realize the dream of homeownership, even if it means enduring some short-term pain in the process.”
Tracy is proud to have built a successful career largely on personal referrals and repeat clients. “Being trusted to help people during such an important time in their lives just fills my cup like nothing else,” she says. “My friends become my clients and my clients become my friends. I can’t imagine a more fulfilling career.”
Tracy Penna with Windermere North Spokane, LLC
509.953.6561 | tracypenna.com | 9017 N. Country Homes Blvd.
The Face of Wealth Management: Eric Allen
If you call the number at the bottom of this article, you’re going to reach Eric Allen, Senior Vice President/Investments at Stifel, every time. He’s a little old fashioned; he believes in answering his own phone, returning phone calls, and talking to people.
“That’s what my business is built on, as opposed to what a lot of folks encounter with some of the big guys,” Eric says. “There, you’re likely to receive an anonymous ‘800 number’ and talk to a different person every time. I think my practice comes down to individual service.”
Eric’s belief is rooted in previous experience. “At some firms, if you’re a financial adviser with a client who has less than $250,000 in assets, you either don’t get paid to talk to them or you get paid dramatically less to talk to them,” Eric says. “The bottom line is someone who has been working for a few years and built up a nice IRA, for example—if they want to talk to someone who is at the top of the food chain, so to speak, it’s difficult for them to do that because the financial advisers at some firms are discouraged from talking to those clients.”
Not so at Stifel, and that’s a big reason Eric decided to work for them.
“It doesn’t make any difference whether you have five million or five thousand,” Eric says. “I’m going to treat you the same, I’m going to talk to you the same.”
This individualized approach is based on building relationships. It allows Eric to provide his clients with a plan tailored to their means and goals. And for those dissatisfied with their service at a large firm, there is still hope.
“We don’t automatically just sell everything and start over,” Eric says. “I’m not the guy who’s going to instantly say, ‘We’re going to do everything different,’ but I am the guy who’s going to give you an honest opinion and tell you, ‘Hey, I think you should consider doing this.’ ”
Eric is based out of Stifel’s Spokane office and can be reached by calling (509) 570-5734. You can also visit his website at ericallenwealthmanagement.com.
Eric Allen with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, incorporated | member Sipc & nyse
509.570.5734 | stifelspokane.com | 201 W. North River Drive, STE 200, Spokane
The Face of Marketing, Dayne Kuhlmann
Dayne Kuhlmann, CEO and founder of Victory Media, started his business in 2017 with the vision of helping clients use all forms of media—both the traditional routes such as print advertising and radio ads, as well as internet, analytics, and social media—to work together for the success of a company.
Since its inception, the company has grown rapidly. Dayne brought on board Mary Patterson, with over a decade of experience to lead the design and web efforts, and in the last two years they have grown their in-house production team and capabilities tremendously. Most recently, MDI Marketing merged with Victory Media. MDI is a well-established marketing firm, and Dayne said its addition greatly helped Victory Media to grow in scale, especially because of its traditional expertise.
Victory Media has many clients who have historically taken a traditional approach to advertising, and part of the goal of the organization is to show them the benefit of having all forms of marketing work together for the success of the organization.
Victory Media helps clients, “not just seeing the value in being on every platform, but also the way every platform can work together,” Dayne says.
Dayne says that Victory Media has really hit its stride lately, and have been able to expand its video, design, and web department.
“We’re not doing it in templated way. Every campaign, every client we work with, we do what’s best for them, and so everything we do is very custom,” Dayne says.
A recent exciting project was doing a Super Bowl commercial for Adams Tractor. Though Dayne says part of their success is showing businesses that they must buck the status quo to achieve success, the company still has traditional values at its core.
“We try to work with people who have a passion for helping people,” Dayne says. “People and relationships are the most important aspect of our business. The profits follow.”
With COVID-19 affecting the Victory team in a variety of ways, Dayne says he’s proud of how everyone has dealt with it together.
“Every opportunity we had to give up or slow down, the team just stepped up,” Dayne says.
The Face of Tattooing and Body Piercing: Mom’s Custom Tattoo & Body Piercing
As the name would indicate, Mom’s Custom Tattoo & Body Piercing is a family operation, with mother and daughter bringing unique strengths to the table. Beth Swilling, the mom in Mom’s, has long been an artist who has applied her skills and passion to the ultimate, walking canvas: the human body. Her daughter, Shandra Swilling, leads the piercing and jewelry side of business. They didn’t just want to poke holes in people, they wanted to do it safely and with a high degree of expertise and reliability. Mom’s Custom Tattoo & Body Piercing is a member of the Association of Professional Piercers—the only business in the Inland Northwest with those credentials. This means following the highest safety standards and offering only implant-grade, mirror-finish, American-made piercing jewelry.
“In the tattoo industry, piercing is seen as like a side thing, a way to make extra money, but we really invest in that side: in education of our piercers, in high-quality jewelry, in counter staff who are knowledgeable about jewelry,” Shandra says.
Shandra was involved in the business long before she came on board as piercer and manager. When Shandra was a student at Mead High School, she said to Beth, “Why don’t you call it Mom’s because I tell everybody about my mom?”
Mom’s has recently added a third piercer, as well as another tattoo artist.
Beth, the owner, is engrossed in the tattoo side, and she loves that it’s a highly customizable, affordable art form. She also loves the conversations tattoos start.
“Tattoos walk around in the community, starting up conversations between folks. They may never learn each other’s’ names, but they will know about the art and know a little bit about each other,” Beth says.
Voted one of the best in the Inland Northwest year after year, Mom’s commitment to safety, quality, art, and design shines through. Mom’s strives to elevate the tattoo and piercing experience. They’ve also added to their offerings with “Mom’s Crystal Corner” where they sell crystals, tarot decks, and affirmation decks—“fun, witchy vibes,” Shandra says.
Mom’s is grateful for the Inland Northwest community and hopes to be your favorite tattoo and piercing studio for decades to come.
Shandra and Beth Swilling with Mom’s Custom Tattoo & Body Piercing
momstattoo.com | momsjewelry.com |fb: @momscustomtattoo | insta: @momsofspokane
509.426.4465|Main studio: 1226 W. Summit Pkwy., Spokane | north annex: 429 E. Main st., chewelah
The Face of Plumbing: Bulldog Rooter
In 2007, Butch Jumalon started Bulldog Rooter out of the backroom of his house. Though he had moved to Spokane for a job in the aerospace industry, he had drain-clearing experience from when he lived in Portland. After arriving, he saw a need for drain-clearing services, and as the father of five kids, he saw it as an opportunity for a much-needed side gig.
Bulldog Rooter’s mission is to have its highly trained professionals provide cost-effective plumbing and drain services while never charging additional fees for overtime, evening, or holiday hours. This objective was there from the beginning—since Butch started Bulldog as a part-time gig alongside a full-time job, he was only available during these hours and didn’t feel it would be fair to charge customers for this.
“That really seemed to go well with customers, because they were like, ‘Wow, I called you on a Saturday night, and you came out to help me for no additional money.’ And so that was the beginning of it all,” says Thomas Suwanmaneedang, general manager.
Business quickly grew and Butch found himself at a crossroads: There was only so much time in a day, and he needed to either pick his full-time job or go all in with Bulldog. He chose the latter, and one of his first decisions was to hire a plumber. Over time, a drain-clearing company that does plumbing transformed into a plumbing company that does drain cleaning.
Bulldog’s growth over the years can’t be understated—it now has a fleet of twenty-one vehicles, thirty employees, and operates out of a 20,000-square-foot facility. Bulldog has also expanded its territory to North Idaho.
Thomas has known Butch for years; their children met in kindergarten. Butch has always been trustworthy, Thomas says.
“He puts his heart in front of his pocketbook,” Thomas says. “He cares about his employees, cares about the customers, cares about the company. He’s a man of honor; a man of his word.”
This is reflected in Bulldog’s vision to become the most trusted plumbing and drain company in the community, and through this success, find ways to give back. Since it’s a local, family-oriented company, Bulldog Rooter focuses its philanthropic efforts on deserving organizations in the Inland Northwest—such as Feed Spokane and the YMCA.
509.535.3447 | bulldogrooter.com | 16124 E. Marietta Ave., St. 101, Spokane Valley
The Face of Stone
Mario Marcella, working as a tile setter since the 1950s, raised his son, Joey, to be a craftsman from the beginning. Together they discovered the magical allure of rocks and founded Mario & Son out of a small residential garage in 1991.
That old Spokane garage seems like ancient history compared to the massive, state-of-the-art plant the company now calls home in Liberty Lake. More than just a maker of countertops like many of its competitors, Mario & Son is a genuine stone working operation. There’s virtually nothing it can’t conceptualize and create from a piece of rock.
With Mario’s retirement years ago, Joey is the solid face of the company, driving its innovative nature with an artistic flair.
“While the day-to-day operation centers around practical applications like granite-, marble-, or quartz-surfacing for our local customers, the more interesting aspect of the business is the architectural department of the company,” says Joey.
“That’s where we create complex three-dimensional stonework for churches, furniture, and sculpture, utilizing a balance of high technology and Old World hammer and chisel know-how.”
Mario & Son is also an importer of unique stone and selects the best in the world. “Our extensive travels around the globe, particularly in stone-working regions like Italy, India, and Brazil, have given us a depth of knowledge in the field that makes our company very formidable when it comes to finding colors clients want. We’re big enough to have a large inventory of exceptional stones but small enough that we’re more like a curated ‘boutique’ gallery than the typical dingy warehouse or outdoor slab yard.”
The Natural Stone Institute, the nation’s authority on stone, honored Joey with the Grande Pinnacle Award, the organization’s highest international achievement as a sculptor, as well as naming him the Craftsman of the Year. He is also serving a second term as the Stone Fabricators Alliance Executive Director, an international network of thousands of professionals sharing ideas and best practices for the betterment of the industry. He is a regular contributor to several national publications, including Stone World magazine, naming him Fabricator of the Year in 2018.
Joey is currently working on a life-size commission in Italian marble for the Spokane Valley Arts Council. “It’s an ambitious sculpture that will be a legacy to the city that’s been so supportive of us for over thirty years now.”
“Come out to Liberty Lake and stop in, even if you’re just curious. We’re happy to share with you the amazing things we create here.”
Joey Marcella with Mario & Son
509.536.6079 | marioandson.com | 2750 N. Eagle Lane, Liberty Lake
The Face of Jewelry: Tracy Jewelers
Sean Tracy is the fourth in his family to own Tracy Jewelers. After seventy-one years, many things have changed, but some things will never change.
The history of Tracy Jewelers is the history of the Tracy family. The business was started in 1950 by Sean’s watchmaking grandfather, Patrick Tracy. In 1974, the company was purchased by Sean’s dad, Leo Tracy, then, in 1994, ownership changed to Leo’s sister, Maureen. Sean started his tenure at the store as a floor sweeper but then purchased the company in 2016.
“Every day, I reflect on how blessed our family has been to be a part of so many family’s histories,” Sean states. “Lately, we have seen a surge of the old becoming new again, as younger people are taking family heirloom jewelry and creating new pieces from the stones.”
After a short meeting with one of their designers, Sean explained that people could see old jewelry transformed into a new ring or even into earrings or a pendant.
When asked what new trends he sees becoming more popular, he points to the trendy “stackable rings”
“These new, thinner rings come in hundreds of designs and prices. Once a woman starts collecting the stackable rings, her husband or kids know exactly what to get her for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, birthday or anniversary!”
Tracy Jewelers is Spokane’s only accredited American Gem Society (AGS) gem lab. Their showroom is located just off Sprague Avenue and Evergreen Road in the Spokane Valley.
The Face of Heating and Cooling: Holliday Heating & Cooling
Chris Holliday is the next generation of Holliday Heating + Cooling. He joined Holliday for a deep respect and love of his dad, Doc Holliday.
Chris graduated from Eastern Washington University with a degree in engineering. After ten years in the field, Chris decided to use his degree by joining his dad at the family company, Holliday Heating.
“Taking over for my dad means I get to carry on the family practice of taking care of our customers … and our employees. Our employees are so important to us that we’ve created a culture to demonstrate that.
“And from the customer point of view, I love seeing stress lifted when customers know we are there to fix their heating or air conditioning problem,” adds Chris.
For both Doc and Chris, the company’s primary focus is integrity. This value ensures their customers are happy with the service they receive.
“I’m especially proud of our guarantee ‘Fixed Right or its FREE,’ ” Chris adds. “This means we do every job with the intent of getting the job done right and done efficiently. If they are dissatisfied, they can call us, and we will still make it right for free.“ Chris concludes, “We are confident that if you call us once, we will be the only HVAC team you’ll ever need.”
With over thirty years of experience, Holliday Heating + Cooling is best known for their “Fixed Right or it’s FREE” guarantee. This last year, Holliday won “Best Heating & Air Conditioning Company in the Inland Northwest” from Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living magazine. Located in central Spokane, Holliday serves customers throughout Spokane, Cheney, Medical Lake, Sprague, Mead, Rathdrum, Hayden, Davenport, Spokane Valley, Liberty Lake, Deer Park, Colbert, Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Newman Lake, and Reardan. They also offer an emergency contact line that is available twenty-four hours a day.
The Face of Wine Bars: Wine House
The Wine House in Coeur d’Alene was truly a family effort, says co-owner Nicole Hammons, and when you visit, you’re going to feel like you’re part of the family.
After an extensive remodeling of the building that was known as “The Hock Shop” for thirty years, Nicole and her husband, Conor Hammons, were able to open their doors in early July 2020.
Conor is a Realtor, and the project began with purchasing the 1920s building, even though they weren’t sure what they wanted to do with it. Then, an idea came to them while at a restaurant on vacation.
“It was just so easy and relaxed,” Nicole says. “We had been wine tasting all day, but this place took pretentiousness out of it and made it fun and enjoyable. We were like, ‘This is what we need.’ There are so many great places to go out and eat and get wine, but we wanted a place that you could come off the lake and your flip flops and feel comfortable.”
The Wine Bar features wine by the glass or bottle, craft beer and seltzers, flatbread pizza and appetizers. They also have a wine club, and igloos in the winter, as well as live music and yard games in the summer.
Since opening, they’ve been able to create new friendships and community.
“In the last year, we’ve had so many people that live in our area who bike or walk or they bring their dogs, and they are really what makes it thrive,” Nicole says. Nicole adds the staff plays a big role in their success.
“They truly do make you feel like you’re part of the team when you’re there. They see you and they talk to you about your kids or your pets or work or whatever, because they’ve just seen you so many times,” Nicole says. “I think that’s what drives people to return—they feel like they’re part of the family that we’ve created.”
“I think just being able to see your dream actualized,” Nicole adds. “When I walk into the building, it’s still amazing every time. We made this. We did this.”
The Face of Helping Women in Poverty: Christ Kitchen
As Kim Kelly puts it, it’s rare that your career and your passion collide, and she’s one of the lucky few. Kim is the CEO and Executive Program Director of Christ Kitchen, a ministry that helps women living in poverty learn work and life skills, and ensures their relational needs are met.
Kim has been a women’s ministry pastor for over twenty-five years and “when a position at Christ Kitchen came open, I really thought I better pinch myself,” she says.
One of the most fulfilling aspects of Kim’s job is watching women go through transformations.
“I am so humbled by what I see happening here every single day in the lives of these women,” Kim says. “They really make me a stronger woman as I watch them and can love them through walking out the challenges that they live on a day-to-day basis, but coming through those triumphant and victorious.”
“It’s a miracle every single day,” she adds. “We are so blessed to live in a community that is so supportive of what happens here at Christ Kitchen.”
Purchasing Christ Kitchen products (over sixty dry food gourmet products) and using its services—catering, a café, and a coffee bar—allows the ministry to employ the women through the program, including their sixteen-week Jobs for Life course that assigns them a mentor, provides them with skills, and teaches them how to look for a job.
Even for an organization that has been in the community for over two decades, COVID-19 threw Christ Kitchen a curveball, and the way they worked through it has changed the organization forever. Normally the women would only be working about ten hours a week, which meant it took them longer to graduate through the program, but COVID meant that Christ Kitchen was no longer able to work with volunteers for a time, so many of its participants worked between twenty-four and forty hours a week.
“We have seen just an enormous impact on the graduation rate, the retention rate, the success rate of these women who are graduating out, they are so empowered,” Kim says. “We just fully believe it’s because they have been really saturated in the program, rather than having it be just a part of your week.”
“We are in awe of how God used this to really change the ministry of Christ Kitchen,” she adds.
509.325.4343 | christkitchen.org | 2410 N. Monroe St.
The Face of Medispas: Crafted Beauty
Melissa Berg, founder/owner of Crafted Beauty, has been an aesthetic nurse injector for twelve years, working in dermatology and plastic surgery. Two years ago, she decided to open her own medispa in the heart of downtown Spokane.
“I saw a need to bring something different to the downtown Spokane area,” Melissa says. “There is definitely a different energy. You bring in foot traffic, there’s a lot more going on downtown. Being only a few blocks from River Park Square, you’re getting a lot of visitors who are coming to Spokane that walk by Crafted Beauty and come in to see what we’re all about.”
Melissa’s passion derives from helping her clients regain their confidence.
“I’m giving people a new, refreshed look; people who’ve gone through something traumatic and may be feeling low about themselves,” Melissa says. “Maybe they’ve just had a baby or lost a family member … I get to be a part of their healing journey—just getting a little bit of their life back and their confidence back. It’s the one best parts of my job, seeing that change in people. It’s not just about injecting people’s faces.”
Crafted Beauty is suited to its location, because it has numerous services that will appeal to downtown businesspeople, including botox treatments and other facial services.
“People can truly just pop in and pop out,” she says.
Crafted Beauty offers a wide range of services—everything from Botox and filler to a wide variety of medical-grade and holistic facials. But they also offer services like skincare analysis and assessments to pinpoint the perfect regimen for their clients.
“We provide natural-looking results, and we care a lot about the inner beauty and taking care of our insides instead of just what’s on the outside,” Melissa says. “We look at people with a more holistic approach and we strive for the natural look.”
“I think is really important to let people know that because I think there are a lot of people who are nervous and scared about getting stuff done because they’re afraid of what they see on Instagram or TV,” she adds. “We’re more about helping people look like a better version of themselves, not changing what they look like.”
509.443.3594 | craftedbeautyspokane.com | 510 W. Riverside Ave. Ste. 100
The Face of Cosmetic Surgery: Dr. Jordan Sand
Dr. Jordan P. Sand, MD, FACS always knew he would go into the medical field, but he also had an interest in art, which made the field of cosmetic surgery an ideal fit. This also worked well with his desire to help people.
“The second I scrubbed into my first plastic surgery case, I was hooked,” Dr. Sand says. “It captured my attention and my focus. I love what I do, and I feel honored that I get to take care of people and fulfill my childhood dream.”
Over the course of his education, he lived in various regions of the country—in St. Louis for his time at Washington University, in Boston at Harvard University for research, and most recently, in Los Angeles while on faculty at UCLA.
But he grew up in Coeur d’Alene and always knew he wanted to return home. When he found out there was a surgeon who was selling his practice, the stars had aligned.
“Emotionally, it was an incredible feeling to be able to come home,” Dr. Sand says. “My wife is from the region, too. It was an unbelievable opportunity to be able to take this broad experience from across the nation back to the place I love. Being able to be here and do what I do and make a great impact on the community here is beyond words.”
Having lived all over the country, Dr. Sand attests that there is no better place to call home than the Inland Northwest, and he appreciates the love and support the community has shown him.
“When you grow up in Spokane, I think you take what is available in the region for granted, but when you go to these other places where you think the ‘grass will be greener,’ you then realize how great you had it at home,” Dr. Sand says.
While some who open a cosmetic surgery practice are board certified in OBGYN or medicine, Dr. Sand is double board-certified in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. His most popular procedures are rhinoplasty and facial rejuvenation.
“We distinguish ourselves in those by having the most up-to-date techniques and spectacular results,” Dr. Sand says. “The future of plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery is the application of minimally invasive procedures that provide high impact results with minimal downtime and lessened expense. We are on the bleeding edge of this movement and have incorporated many of the newest technologies.”
Jordan Sand, MD, FACS, with Spokane Center for Facial Plastic Surgery
509.324.2980 | sandplasticsurgery.com | 217 W. Cataldo Ave., Third Floor
The Face of Commercial Real Estate: Chris Bell
Chris Bell is repeat Co-Star Power Broker, nationally recognized as a top producing broker in the region. He is also a multiple time top producing broker at NAI Black. But the deals he brokered didn’t happen overnight.
In 2005, Chris Bell packed everything into a U-Haul on the back of his Toyota 4Runner to Spokane to work in commercial real estate, lured by the combination of opportunity and quality of life. As a twenty-five-year-old diving in, there was a learning curve, but Chris, a managing broker at NAI Black, thrives in an environment where everything depends on the work he puts in.
“I work really hard to do a good job for my clients, and to earn their trust and to earn repeat business,” Chris says. “It’s about results. Being in commercial real estate, we are economic development. That’s what we do.”
Chances are, you’ve walked into myriad buildings Chris has negotiated throughout the years. In 2019, he was named a top fifty top producing broker by NAI Global. Recently, Chris was part of the brokerage team that brought Tavolata to the renovated Old City Hall building, as well as the brand-new Chick-fil-A in North Spokane.
Chris worked on a land deal that will ultimately change the landscape of the area—the sale of 132 acres in Airway Heights, next to the Amazon facility. This was purchased by developer Harlan Douglass, which will become the Douglass Legacy Park, an industrial park with over 1.5 million square feet of rentable space that can be customized to warehouse, manufacturing, nautical, high-tech, aerospace, or other uses. Another region-shifting project Chris is working on is a 300-acre master planned community in the Rathdrum Prairie.
Chris is a board member for Wheatland Bank, Providence Community Foundation, past President of the Spokane Club, and many more. Through his membership in the Spokane Angel Alliance, he’s invested in several innovative local startups, such as Spiceology and S2Media.
Chris has a passion and vision for Spokane as a family man. He’s married to former ‘Good Day on Fox’ TV anchor, Kjerstin Bell, and the two love to spend time with their five-year-old son, and Pudelpointer, Teela.
Chris Bell, esq., SIOR with NAI Black
[email protected] | naiblack.com |801 W. Riverside, Ste. 300, Spokane
The Face of Cooking Stores: The Culinary Stone
What started in November 2013 as a vision of a cross between Williams Sonoma and Dean & DeLuca has become so much more: a selection of high-end culinary tools unparalleled in the Inland Northwest, cooking classes from culinary artists who have mastered their craft, a robust wine program with a growing club membership and larger wine selection in the store, an incredible deli, and a café that features French pastries.
The Culinary Stone is in the heart of the Riverstone Neighborhood in Coeur d’Alene and has something for everyone. For the cook serious about their wares, Culinary Stone carries those hard-to-find items that will elevate any kitchen.
While she is thrilled about all of the high-end offerings, General Manager TJ Tombari is excited about the return of the Cuisipro line—”I am currently loving the Cuisipro 4 Sided Box Grater and their Cuisipro Dual Grater. Both feature their Surface Glide Technology and soft-touch handle for easy grip that they are so well known for.”
The Culinary Stone has introduced other high-end lines such as Staub, Demeyere, and MoccaMaster. Customers have been thrilled with the Finex cast iron, TJ says.
“That has been a wonderful addition to the store, and not easily found in our area,” TJ says. “That’s been really fun for our cooking aficionados who come in, our customers who love to find that higher-end product.”
Even if you aren’t a whiz in the kitchen, The Culinary Stone still has plenty to love.
“They can come in and they can get a charcuterie, a beautiful bottle of wine, some other items from our specialty food lines,” TJ says.
The Culinary Stone’s expanded wine selection comes with many options for wine club memberships, including a brand new “snowbird wine club” for those only in town for the summer months. The Culinary Stone will also be adding a Platinum level.
“I am excited to be planning wine tours to Walla Walla and Napa Valley for later in the year,” TJ says. “Looking ahead, I am in initial discussions for international wine and culinary tours in 2023 to Tuscany and South Africa. These tours will include a culinary element to them as well!”
In addition to cooking classes, be on the lookout for special events at The Culinary Stone, such as pop-up wine bars, after-hours wine-pairing dinners for wine club members, or the barbecue and bands series in the summer.
Expect 2022 to be a big year, as it will be elevating many of its current offerings with plenty of fun surprises planned.
The Culinary Stone
208.277.4116 | culinarystone.com | 2129 N. Main St., Coeur d’Alene
The Face of Bridal Wear: Bridal Collections
Amanda Dewey, Bridal Collections owner, lives for that moment when she guides the bride to the lit up, full-length mirror in her shop and watches as the bride examines herself, envisioning all of the little moments: The second the person she’s marrying sees her in the dress. Sharing her day with a grandparent. Leaving her wedding with absolute joy painted on her face.
“Those little moments, I see that in them, and it just makes it all worth it,” Amanda says.
Straight out of high school, Amanda started working for Bridal Collections under the previous owner, Judie. She worked for Judie for five years before working for her father’s electric company, where she acquired her business acumen. She worked there until Judie approached her about purchasing Bridal Collections.
“I told her under your guidance, absolutely,” Amanda says. “This is what I want.”Recently, the store grew, taking on the lease of the empty spot next to it. Amanda added more wedding dresses, but also more “cute, white dresses” for events like the engagement party or rehearsal dinner, as well as cocktail dresses for wedding guests.
Celebrating over forty years, Bridal Collections is the longest-running bridal shop in Spokane. This clearly marks their expertise in the industry, but also lends to the store’s magic. Three generations have been picking out their dresses in the shop, and mothers often come in with their dresses to try on while their daughters select their own. In the dressing rooms, the walls have a mixture of pictures of recent brides with those from long ago.
She says people often say things like, “ ‘Oh, that’s my aunt.’ We’re such a small big town, and a lot of people come in and out. And they’re like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I know that person!’ ”
Amanda prides herself in having an inclusive collection of dresses. She carries all styles and sizes zero to thirty-two, and the most expensive dresses are capped at two thousand dollars.
“You came here to look pretty and you’re going to walk out here feeling pretty,” Amanda says. “I know exactly how brides want to feel, and how they’re going through all the emotions.”
Amanda is twenty-eight, and she thinks the energy she brings to the business is an asset.
“I feel like when you have a passion for something, and you feel so strongly about a business, it doesn’t matter what age you are,” Amanda says.
Amanda Dewey with Bridal Collections
509.838.1210 | thebridalcollections.com | 3131 N. Division St., Spokane
The Face of Furniture
Brad Markquart, Complete Suite Furniture president, worked for a furniture company in Seattle for six years. While he was there, he was able to absorb the formula for success in the furniture business. When it was time to send his kids to school, he and his wife decided to move to Spokane and try opening their own shop. On July 3, 1998, Brad opened the first Complete Suite location on East Sprague Avenue.
“I implemented what I learned over here, and that’s what has helped me survive all these years,” Brad says.
Every morning, Brad wheeled furniture outside, under the overhang of his building, so people could see that he was open and selling. He recently hurt his hand, and while being seen by a nurse, she asked what he did for a living.
“I said, ‘I’m in the furniture business,’ ” Brad says, laughing. “And she said, ‘You remember that guy out on Sprague who used to put the furniture out every day?’ ”
Brad is proud to be that guy, a member of his community. What started with one store grew over time, and now Complete Suite is a fleet of seven stores. The smallest showroom is ten thousand square feet, and the largest is thirty-five thousand square feet.
“I think I kind of created a monster,” Brad jokes. “I was just in the store, and I was going around and there’s not one ugly piece of furniture in here. That’s hard to do.”
Brad oversees the purchasing for all of his stores, and he says he is grateful for the support of the community.
“I am so thankful for the community in Eastern Washington, from Lewiston, to our North Spokane store, that everybody has supported our business,” Brad says. “We, in turn, do the same. We buy everything from local small business. I buy from the people who buy from me.”
Brad Markquart with Complete Suite Furniture
509.822.7049 | 11410 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley
208.667.6160 | 5555 N. Pioneer Drive, Coeur d’Alene
509.868.0235 |7410 N. Division St., Spokane
509.326.5390 | 1219 N. division st., Spokane Valley
509.453.2669 | 1900 Rudkin Ave., Union gap, Wa
509.783.3060 | 1911 Fowler St., Richland, Wa
208.413.9937 | 139 Thain Road, Lewiston, Id
The Face of Pies: Birdie’s Pie Shop
The pie recipes weren’t initially written down, but rather passed down from a grandmother affectionally nicknamed Birdie to her granddaughter, Sharee Moss, owner of Birdie’s Pie Shop, which has locations in both Post Falls and Hayden.
“She was a hard one where she would do it by doing and you’d be like, ‘Hey, Grandma, I want to make this recipe,’ and she’d be like, ‘Oh, well, it’s just the pinch of this or a little dash of that.’ A lot of the core recipes are hers in that sense,” Sharee says.
Sharee didn’t always bake pie for a living, and in fact, it’s still not all she does. She received her master’s in nursing, and she still works as a nurse practitioner in pediatric emergency room at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. So why did she open her first location in Post Falls in December 2019?
“Well, we love pie,” Sharee says. “And I really love pie—not just because it tastes good, but we just love the emotional connection, the nostalgia, and all of the memories pie provides.”
And if you come into either of her shops, that connection will be apparent. But Sharee has added pies beyond Birdie’s recipes (now written down) to her repertoire, and will always have pies coming and going, so you should check back frequently. The pies she can never resist are peach and huckleberry rhubarb.
As for the second shop, the plan had been to put a location in Spokane, but when she saw the building for the Hayden location, everything fell into place.
“That building is adorable; it just needed to have pie in it,” Sharee says. “It has been a great location; the Hayden community has been as welcoming as the Post Falls location.”
It’s also important to note that Birdie’s is open for walk-ins at both—your pie need not be pre-ordered—and there are savory pies to enjoy as well. But if you want to preorder a pie, say for a holiday meal, that’s also an option. If you didn’t plan in advance, Sharee advises that if you get to the shop early the morning of. She probably has a pie for you.
“I get it, I’m a mom of six,” Sharee says. “Life is crazy, and you forget things like that, so we try to definitely have pie in the shop for walk-ins on those days.”
Birdie’s Pie Shop
208.457.7004 | Birdiespies.com | 1003 N. Spokane St., Post Falls
208.591.6838 | Birdiespies.com | 9375 N. Government Way, Hayden
The Face of Construction: Baker Construction & Development, Inc.
Baker Construction was founded in 1951 by John and Vera Baker as a real estate and insurance company in Saskatchewan. The agricultural boom brought the company to Wenatchee as they expanded services and began building agricultural storage facilities. Once Baker started building, it never stopped. In the early 1970s, John and Vera moved the company to Spokane and became “Baker Steel,” putting it on the map as one of the area’s finest steel construction firms.
Though the business has stayed within the family, it has continued to evolve. Now on its third generation, the company is led by Barry Baker, President and CEO, and is taking on all kinds of projects, including one that could signal a greener Spokane—Tesla Service Center, which will make it miles easier to own a Tesla in the Inland Northwest. And he’s not the only Baker involved: Brooke Baker Spink serves as the company’s Chief Development Officer and has been with the company since 2013. The Executive Leadership team expands from Barry and Brooke to also include Randy Cameron Chief Operating Officer, Reed Caudle Sr. VP Business Development, Don Savage Chief Financial Officer, Brian Valliant Sr. VP Construction Services and Lucas Holmquist VP Construction Services. With a diverse and experienced leadership team, the future continues to be bright for the company that anticipates completing about $100,000,000 of in-place construction revenue this year.
Baker has recently completed quite a few multi-family and mixed-use projects, including two large projects that are about to wrap up in the Kendall Yards area, in collaboration with developer Greenstone.
“We follow what the market needs, and right now, there is a large need for housing,” says Stevie Sloan, digital marketing director. “This past year, we’ve further dipped our toes in the multi-family and senior care market, and we’re just we’re noticing that a lot more developers are interested in it. We’re fortunate that in the commercial construction world, our industry experience is extremely vast so we can continue to help many throughout the 12 Western states we are licensed to build in!”
Still, with all the new, exciting projects on the horizon, Baker Construction remains steadfast to their core values and how they do business.
“We do business the old-fashioned way: with honesty, integrity, trust, care, respect, and a healthy sense of humor,” Stevie says. “Baker is growing, but we like to stay true to our values. The handshake way of life is how Baker likes to operate. We’re true to our word, and we’re going to take amazing care of you!”
Baker Construction & Development, Inc.
509.535.3668 | bakerconstruct.com | 2711 E. Sprague Ave.
The Face of Women’s Networking/Development: Ladies Business Community
Larayna Yevtushuk, co-founder of Ladies Business Community, moved to Spokane with her family in early 2018 because they were looking for a place with great access to the outdoors—Larayna loves flyfishing.
“I didn’t know anyone and was looking for an opportunity to grow my business, but also a way to give back to the other business owners and to our community,” she says. “I tried out a couple networking events and just didn’t find my home, so I decided to create a space for women to be able to get together and support each other.”
Larayna started the group’s Facebook in March 2018, and they had their first in-person meeting the next month. Larayna didn’t want to create a group where women just exchanged business cards, rather, she wanted a place for real connection.
“Women tend to juggle so many things, whether we have kids or not,” Larayna says. “We just have this superpower of balancing all of these different moving parts in our life, and I wanted to create an environment that supported that.”
She wanted to create a group where people would understand the McDonald’s PlayPlace business meeting: She was supposed to meet up with a fellow member, the babysitter canceled, and the meeting was moved to a McDonald’s so her child could play while the two women talked.
“It’s about two women putting their heads together to figure out how they could still make things happen, support each other, and still continue on with business,” Larayna says.
Co-founder Kyhra Strampe came onboard to handle logistics like the website, member payments, newsletter, emails, and so much more. Co-founder Rachel Briscoe handles content development. In addition to the networking meetings, Ladies Business Community has a wide variety of resources and learning opportunities.
“The three of us have a special relationship and have modeled what we want this community to look like,” Larayna says.
In October 2020, Ladies Business Community took the next step and officially became a membership model. Ladies Business Community is ever-expanding and doesn’t have a clique-ish mentality.
“Our ladies are so great about grabbing the new girls as they come through the door and just making them feel at home,” Larayna says. “You don’t have to be the wallflower.”
Ladies Business Community
509.720.8041 | ladiesbusinesscommunity.com
Share this entry
Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living
157 S Howard | Suite 603
Spokane WA 99201
Catering and Management
The Hidden Ballroom
Loft at the Flour Mill
Hangar Event Center
180 S Howard
Spokane, WA 99201
The Hidden Ballroom
39 W Pacific | Spokane WA 99201
Loft at the Flour Mill
621 W Mallon, 7th Floor | Spokane WA 99201
Hangar Event Center
6905 E Rutter Ave | Spokane WA 99212