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Home   •   Archives   •   Spokane Edition   —   Monday, June 16, 2014

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Forever Green Indoors is lighting the way to more profits in Washington State's cannabis growing business




Kathleen Sullivan, President of Forever Green Indoors, a lighting company specializing in high-efficiency grow lights for the cannabis industry, never dreamed she would be part of the emerging recreational marijuana industry in Washington State. She's a Spokane mom who has never smoked pot, so how did her company find itself on the forefront of the pot growing business?

A long time entrepreneur, Sullivan started an energy-efficient lighting company, ForeverGreen Illumination, in 2010. She saw an opportunity to offer lighting products that decrease energy consumption and carbon footprint, while making the environments people work, play, and live in more appealing. The company helps customers switch from energy-sapping lighting to long-lasting, energy-efficient lighting, attain utility rebates, and immediately reduce their electric bill. Forever Green Illumination has been very successful in 'greening' lighting for customers throughout the west.

When Washington state legalized recreational use of marijuana, Sullivan branched out to provide innovative products and services for the indoor horticultural industry through a sister company, Forever Green Indoors. The products they feature are technical leaders in horticultural supplies and equipment, and in fact use space-age technology to dramatically increase crop yield and profitability. The company is marketing grow lighting fixtures made by Florida-based Lighting Science Group and developed by former NASA scientist, Neil Yorio. He is currently the product manager for Lighting Science's LED grow lamp and fixture program. Yorio started his career at NASA Kennedy Space Center, where he served a number of roles supporting the bioregenerative life support systems research program, devoted to keeping humans alive for long-duration space missions. The work immediately advanced to using LED solutions to replace outdated energy intensive sources for plant lighting (HPS, MH). His foundation with the plant growth research side of LED technology puts him in a unique position of understanding the particular cannabis lighting requirements (spectral and intensity).

Forever Green Indoors' proprietary fixture significantly increases crop production efficiency. Electrical savings on lighting averages 40% less energy used than the traditional growing practices with High Pressure Sodium (HPS), Metal Halide or fluorescents. Their LED grow lights also emit little heat, drastically reducing the need for money-sucking HVAC cooling systems, and reducing the water requirements. This cumulative effect brings the monthly energy savings, on average, to a staggering 50% percent. Additionally, independent tests show an average 24% increase in yield. Topping all of that off, Forever Green Indoors also saves clients money through unique rebate programs set up through most utilities in the state of Washington. The bottom line is that the return on investment for these space-age lighting fixtures is significant, with the products paying for themselves in less than a year in most cases, dramatically increasing long-term profitability.

Forever Green Indoors' phone number is 800-630-7345 and the website is www.Forevergreenindoors.com.


Bozzi Media Power 50 Awards this Thursday

Bozzi Media, publishers of Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living and Inland Business Catalyst magazines announced their 'Power 50' - the most influential people in Spokane and will celebrate at an event honoring the Power 50 this Thursday, June 19 at Chateau Rive at the Flour Mill. They will also debut the Power 50 feature in the newest issue of Inland Business Catalyst.

Tickets are $35. Doors open at 5pm, awards begin at 6pm. Tickets available at www.eventbrite.com/o/bozzi-media-events-5156590215.


Delta Airlines announces service between Spokane and Seattle




Delta Air Lines has announced the addition of four daily non-stop flights between Spokane and Seattle starting this fall. The new daily service is scheduled to begin November 3, 2014. Currently, Alaska Airlines is the only service offering flights between Seattle and Spokane. You can get flight information at spokaneairports.net.


New neighbors for Regal Plaza Target store

When the new Target store opens at Regal Plaza shopping center on Spokane's south hill next month, they'll soon have two new delicious neighbors. Cafe Rio, a fast-casual Mexican restaurant, plans to open their second Spokane location there. And Anthony's Beach Cafe, owned by the same company that owns Anthony's at Spokane Falls, is also opening at the south Regal shopping center, serving Northwest seafood, but in a more laid-back atmosphere with some more casual menu items.

New Einstein Bros Bagels Franchisee Opens in Spokane




A new Einstein Bros Bagel Company franchise has big plans for Spokane and the Inland Northwest region. Matthew Schmidt owns the franchise with his family. Schmidt, admitted that while they currently have one location in Missoula, Montana, their expansion plans include a handful of locations scattered throughout Eastern Washington, Idaho, and Western Montana in the near future. Einstein Bros leased 2,648 SF in the Logan Square retail center located at 1601 N Division. Schmidt confirms the store's grand opening will be July 16th and will offer seated dining, drive through service, catering and delivery. Mark Schmidt, will be managing operations in Spokane. Einstein's inaugural Spokane location is anticipated to employ 20 to 30 people and the hours of operation will be 5:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday - Saturday, 6:00 am to 4:00 pm Sunday. Guy Byrd of Cornerstone Property Advisors represented both Logan Square LLC and Einstein Bros Bagels in this transaction.


Davenport Hotel Collection names Kevin Miller, Corporate Director of Security




The Davenport Hotel Collection, a luxury hotel group in downtown Spokane, has named Kevin Miller as its new Corporate Director of Security. Miller joins The Davenport Hotel Collection with over 27 years of leadership experience with the U.S. Secret Service and the Central Intelligence Agency. His experience was in oversight of the most complex of security objectives, building and supervising highly-effective security teams and programs while managing multiple large-scale security projects, tasks. He has worked in various Field Offices as well as Washington, D.C. Most recently he was the Resident Agent in Charge for the Spokane District.

He will oversee the security departments of all four hotels in downtown Spokane, which include the Davenport Hotel and Tower, Hotel Lusso and Grand Hotel Spokane (opening in summer 2015).


New Goodwill store for the south hill

Guy Byrd of Cornerstone Property Advisors and Marshall Clark of Clark Pacific Real Estate, just completed a lease transaction between Starth & Kenats, LLC and Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest for the 9,768 square foot former 50% Off Card Shop at 2927 E 27th Avenue and the one acre adjacent parcel.

Clark Brekke, Goodwill's President/CEO, stated that this will be the organization's fifth retail center in the Spokane area, and confirmed that the new South Hill retail and donor service center will offer 6,000 SF of retail space and employ 16 people . Goodwill currently employs 500 while serving over 6,000 people in their regional case load. The new location is slated to open in September of this year, but the donor service center (the signature donation trailer) will go up sometime in July. Out of every dollar raised through these retail centers, 85 cents goes toward programming in the local area.


Magic, music and merriment at the Mad Hatter Tea Party this Sunday




Enjoy magic by Mathew Van Zee, music by Kathleen Cavender and much merriment at the Mad Hatter Tea Party benefitting St. Joseph's Family Center this Sunday, June 22 from 1 to 4:30 pm.

There will also be a high tea luncheon by Brambleberry Cottage and a silent auction with items including fun family packages, night out on the town, sweet heart package, private wine tasting, jewelry, sports packages, and many more. For more information go to sjfconline.org.

Local Nonprofit announces new Chief Executive Officer

Generation Alive has named Marty Gonzales as Chief Executive Officer. Gonzales has been hired to lead the organization through its next phase of growth, strategically expanding the organization's operations and development efforts.

Gonzales most recently served as the Executive Director for Mobius Children's Museum and Mobius Science Center and has 8+ years of experience in nonprofit executive management. A graduate of Eastern Washington University, Gonzales played an instrumental role in the development of both Mobius Children's Museum and Science Center and during his tenure Mobius reached unprecedented heights.

Generation Alive was founded by, Major League Baseball pitcher, Jeremy Affeldt to inspire and motivate a generation of young people to get involved and live a life of compassion toward others who live with the pain of extreme poverty. The main areas of compassion are: hunger projects, the abolishment of child slavery and human trafficking, providing aid to orphans and clean water initiatives.

You can learn more about Generation Alive at www.generationalive.org.

New GNC Location on North Sullivan Road

General Nutrition Corporation is filling the only vacancy left at Banner Center, 509 N Sullivan Road in the Spokane Valley. General Nutrition Center will be moving into the 1,437 square foot, Suite C at the retail center. Guy Byrd of Cornerstone Property Advisors and Ryan Oberg of Goodale & Barbieri recently brokered a lease between Pring Corporation (Landlord) and General Nutrition Corporation (Tenant).

nectarMEDIA offers Business Lunch and Learn Series on Social Media

Take your business marketing back to school this summer with nectarMEDIA's Go Social Lunch and Learn series. The social landscape is ever evolving and nectarMEDIA is offering hour long classes on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest and more. The 60 minute classes will get you caught up on all the recent changes and will help get you motivated and equipped to succeed on the platforms right for your business. Most classes are only $19.99. To see the full list of classes and to register online visit nectarmedia.co or call 509-869-1572.

Franz Bakery in Spokane is Now Landfill-Free




Franz Bakery, a 108-year-old family-owned company, is known for filling grocery store shelves with freshly baked goods made with high quality ingredients. As of this spring, however, its Spokane bakery is no longer filling landfills. The 110,000-square-foot facility has achieved 100 percent landfill-free, zero-waste status by recycling, reusing, and repurposing all of its waste.

Opened in 1972, the Spokane facility is one of nine Franz bakeries and is located 110 N. Fancher Road. It employs more than 450 people in the region and bakes three lines of products including bread, buns and rolls. These baked goods are delivered daily to grocery stores throughout Eastern Washington and Western Montana.

To eliminate garbage and waste, the Spokane bakery introduced a comprehensive recycling program that encompasses all aspects of its operations, including product and packaging waste, scrap metals, used equipment lubricant oil, used fleet motor oil, paper, plastic and cardboard.

The team found creative uses for materials they had previously discarded. For example, they began recycling used auto oil through an auto parts store and filtering the bakery equipment lubricant oil to reuse as heating fuel for the EPA-certified heater in the company's Fleet Shop, the truck maintenance garage.

The Spokane team also placed automatic hand dryers in the most heavily used areas in bakery to reduce the amount of paper towels thrown away. Anything that couldn't be recycled is now transferred to the waste energy plant to help power the region.

The Franz bakeries in Seattle, Portland, and McMinnville are currently 98 percent landfill free. The company's other bakeries are also working diligently to reduce waste.

For more information about Franz Bakery visit franzbakery.com, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/franzbakery and on Twitter @FranzBakery.

Spokane Vegfest Healthy Living Expo, Saturday, June 21 at SCC

INVEG presents Spokane's first Vegfest Healthy Living Expo, Saturday, June 21 from noon to 6 pm at Spokane Community College.

Vegfest brings together top national speakers and chefs, local and national vendors, natural food providers, food and product samples, yoga, entertainment, and more.

National speakers include Miyoko Schinner - chef, author, cooking instructor, and PBS Series TV host, who will give a plant-based cheese demonstration and provide various samples. Ginny Messina, registered dietitian and author, will talk about nutrition and the tools needed to adopt a healthy vegan diet. Dr. Lisa Kemmerer, philosopher, activist, and author will speak on 'Your Plate, Our Planet: Diet and Environment.' Spokane's Boots Bakery and Lounge owner and cook, Alison Collins, will demonstrate how to create baked goods and desserts without animal products and will provide various cupcake samples.

Admission is free. To learn more about the event go to www.INVEG.org.

Sarah Wallin of Wishing Star Spokane awarded DaZelda Scholarship

The 2014 'DAZELDA' scholarship was awarded to Sarah Wallin, Executive Director of Wishing Star this past Thursday at the Leadership Spokane graduation. The DaZelda is an annual scholarship given to an incoming participant in Leadership Spokane in honor and memory of Zelda, the grandmother of Ira Amstadter who lived to be 97. Applicants are judged by an assemblage of Zelda's ancestors on a 500-word essay demonstrating: Zest; Enthusiasm; Leadership; Determination; and Attitude. The scholarship is in honor and memory of this fine woman that was all about community, verve and zest. "We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors and this woman and strong wide shoulders- we are proud to honor her in this way." said Ira and Susan Amstadter, owners of Express Employment Professionals.

Rainmaker Creative to open Cupertino office

Rainmaker Creative, a design and marketing firm, is slated to open a new office in Cupertino, California in September of this year. The office will function as an extension of the main operation in Spokane, Washington. Alexis Roizen, Rainmaker's Creative Director, will lead the new office.

Rainmaker works with micro businesses, developing brand identities, websites, and strategies to target their own niche clientele.

Bees to Bubbles soars to success with help from SNAP

Tina Rich received a call from Texas last year. The inquiry from the Lone Star State had to do with a brand of soap called 'Bees to Bubbles' that Tina sells in local farmers markets across the Inland Northwest. It turns out the out-of-towner had purchased several bars of the soap at the Coeur d'Alene Farmers Market over the summer and wanted to find out how to order a dozen more.

The Spangle-based business is becoming accustomed to similar responses since launching the unique venture in 2010. Bees to Bubbles soaps feature a blend of vegetable oils, honey, beeswax and other natural ingredients to create a product that Tina says "cleans and leaves your skin healthy."

Tina and her husband, Butch, run the business which received a boost with the introduction of packaging that gives the product a polished, boutique-store look. The company utilized an Individual Development Account through SNAP Financial Access that provided a $4,000 Individual Development Account (IDA) grant after Tina and Butch saved $1,000 of their own money. "This really opens the door for retail," said Tina. "We wanted the soap to look more like a gift and now we have that."

Butch said the branding push 'has moved the company's timeline up two or three years.' Spokane-based marketing company Bassett & Brush helped with the design of the box while another local company, Sonderen Packaging, was responsible for the manufacturing.

Cara Weipert, SNAP business development specialist, helped Bees and Bubbles secure the IDA. She is also a big fan of the product. "I'm just pretty proud that we were able to help them like that," Weipert said. "I think this is going to take the company to the next level." Cara was in the Spangle area as part of her regular outreach campaign when she found out about Bees to Bubbles. Her efforts to promote SNAP Financial Access and the micro-enterprise program take her to places like Rockford, Medical Lake, Deer Park, Fairfield, Cheney and Airway Heights.

Tina said having SNAP there to support the next step of the business was critical. "If we would have gone into a traditional bank, I don't think they would have taken the risk," Tina said.

The bars sell for $5 each or four for $20. There are now around 25 fragrances. "Even without much advertising, our sales have gone up every year," Tina said. "It's a good product. I believe in it."

For more information about SNAP Financial Access, call 509-456-7106 or visit www.snapwa.org.

The Business Thought of the Week

"I advocate passionate dedication to the pursuit of short-term goals. Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you. You never know where you might end up. Just be aware that the next worthy pursuit will probably appear in your periphery. Which is why you should be careful of long-term dreams. If you focus too far in front of you, you won't see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye." Tim Minchin

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Be sure to catch "How’s Business?" Friday mornings at 8:50 on KXLY News Radio 920.

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