April 2019

    President's Message

    April 2019 President’s Message

    April showers bring May flowers, seems to be an understatement, and Mother Nature seems to have fooled us with the spring weather compared to last month!


    March Meeting Recap


    Our April 10th Chapter meeting at Tulalip saw a significant decrease in attendance compared to the past five years, which has historically had the largest turnout each year.  I did notice the second Wednesday of every month over the course of this past year fell early, and perhaps spring break conflicts may have been the reason for the unusually low attendance.  It certainly was not the venue, as the service and food were amazing as always.

    Patrick Pierce, President and CEO with the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County graciously agreed to provide a presentation on short notice due to the unexpected cancellation of our scheduled speaker.  The Economic Alliance of Snohomish County is a nonprofit that aims to build economic vitality and promote job growth in Snohomish County. The goal was to provide a more unified voice for the County in Olympia and Washington, D.C.  Patrick discussed the Alliance’s role and current topics/projects including:

    • Commercial Air Service at Paine Field
    • Opportunity Zones
    • Light Rail & BRT Network development
    • Overall economic overview
    • Arlington Marysville Manufacturing Industrial Center


    Executive Board Nominations

    The slate of officers was introduced, and you will get the chance to hear from both Secretary candidates (Michelle Rude of HDR and Chris Anderson of CLS) at next month’s annual membership meeting and election.  Be sure to attend so that you may cast your vote(s) for Board members.


    The proposed amendment to the Chapter 4 bylaws was voted on and passed by the required 2/3 vote, removing the SR/WA requirement from the Professional Development Committee and Chair.  A copy of the amended bylaws will be published on the Chapter 4 website to replace the prior version.  The amendment removed this restriction for the following reasons:

    • the restriction was not consistent with the bylaw template provided in the Chapter Toolkit by IRWA;
    • It is challenging to gain new volunteers, and with less than 25% of Chapter 4 members having their SR/WA certification, the volunteer pool would be reduced by 75% for this Committee alone;
    • No other Chapter Board or Committee positions require an SR/WA; and
    • Committee Chairs are appointed and vetted by the President, who is responsible to ensure volunteers are qualified, understand the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the position, and are committed to carrying out the duties during their appointed term.


    Chapter Policies

    1. The draft updated sponsorship and advertising policy proposed in January was approved and will be posted on the Chapter 4 website.
    2. It was determined there is a need for a written policy regarding allowances for purchases for food and drinks at Chapter 4 sponsored IRWA courses. Karen Wright, Education Chair has been tasked with developing a draft policy for discussion at the May 8 Board meeting.

    Chapter Awards

    Nominations for Chapter Instructor, Professional, and Employer of the Year awards remain open through the end of April.  The winners of these awards will be recognized at our Installation event in June.  This year, in addition to a plaque, award recipients will receive a gift; Employer of the Year will receive a free membership for next year, and Professional and Instructor of the Year will each receive $100.

    International Awards

    I submitted several nominations and letters of recommendation for both Region and International awards.  I am pleased to share I recently received confirmation from the International Nominations and Elections Committee (INEC) Chair, Randall Kopfer, SR/WA & Region 7 Rep, Krista Chamber, SR/WA that all of these Chapter 4 nominations and recommendations were selected as finalists, which are:


    Although we will not find out until after the deadline for membership renewals the end of April, with the number of new members this year, we may be a finalist for the Gene L. Land award again.

    Congratulations to all the finalists, which will be announced at the IRWA International Education Conference in Portland, Oregon. The official presentation to the winner of the award will be made on Monday, June 10, 2019, during the Awards Luncheon.  It is an honor to be a finalist, and with the conference in our own Region 7 and hosted by neighboring Chapter 3, I hope that all of you will join me when the winners are announced.


    Region 7 Updates

    On April 8th, Region 7 Vice-Chair, Jim Lingeman held his second telephone conference with Region 7 Presidents and Education Chairs to discuss a proposal to coordinate and establish an education schedule focused towards achieving certifications.  This proposal was presented at the Spring Forum, and since most of the Region Education Chairs were not in attendance, Jim scheduled this call.  Rakhshan Mazarei, of HQ, presented the proposal, which included a comprehensive course catalogue to assist those pursuing a specific certification.  There appear to be opportunities for improvements and coordination within the Region for education and professional development.

    Upcoming Meetings & Events

    • June 5th – Installation of Officers (Waterways boat tour of Lake Union in Seattle)
    • June 9th-12th – IRWA International Educational Conference at Downtown Hilton Hotel in Portland, OR
    • September 11, 2019, through May 13, 2020 - Monthly meetings will remain the second Wednesday of each month and resume with the times and locations to be announced at a later date.


    Our next scheduled meeting is lunch on May 8, 2019, hosted by and located at the offices of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, LLP (MNGD) on Pier 70 in Seattle.  The Executive Board meeting will be from 10-11:30 AM, with the general membership meeting opening at 11:30. This is our annual general membership meeting in which members vote in the election of officers.  It is also a rescheduling of our membership drive from February.  Therefore, if you know of a potential new member, this is your opportunity to invite them as your free guest for lunch.  Lastly, MNGD will be presenting “What Condemnors Should Know about Private Covenants, Use Restrictions, and Project Influence”. This interactive session will cover what IRWA professionals need to know about extinguishing private covenants that are in conflict with an agency's proposed project and the impacts of special benefits and project influence on an acquisition. Seasoned trial attorneys will share recent tales from the trenches to highlight examples of the most effective litigation practices in these circumstances. Valuation, acquisition logistics, zoning considerations, construction, access, and title issues will be explored during this hour-long session. Our speakers will be Tara O’Hanlon and Jackee Walker, and the discussion will be moderated by Matt Hansen. A variety of sandwiches, drinks, desserts and salad will be included.  Please be sure to register online or by emailing jenifer.olsen@contractlandstaff.com by 8:00 AM on May 6, 2019.

    Wishing you a blessed and joyful Easter!



    Dawn Fletcher, President IRWA Puget Sound Chapter 4

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