All Aboard!

steam locomotive maiden voyageLast night Ken and I joined friends Nancy & Van Strom along with other friends on a train trip that included the debut of re-conditioned and refurbished Santa Cruz Portland Cement steam locomotive 2  located at the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie, Washington.  It was like travelling back in time to Victorian times hearing the bells and whistles and seeing the picturesque train station and train waiting for us to board.

Van is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Northwest Railway Museum and invited a number of us to join them for the train ride and learn more about this very interesting museum.  Included in our group were Michele & Dan Heidt, Arlene Wright, Jan Rogers, Jane Hesch, Bob Cremin, Toni & Rod Hoffman, Sandi & Tim Premselaar, Mary & Tim Nelson and others.

train car owner Snoqualmie signWe had the opportunity to ride in a refurbished car that included the velveteen seats, working windows and beautiful woodwork, but which did not yet include lights.  This was not a problem until it got pitch dark during our adventure, but Museum Board member, Mary Nelson, who was the creator of the VIP evening and inaugural train ride, brought mini flashlights around to each couple as a gift which solved the problem.

Bob Cremin, Jane Hesch, Ken Hatch
Bob Cremin, Jane Hesch, Ken Hatch

Our trip took us to a viewpoint where we could see the Snoqualmie Falls and Salish Lodge and then back again to the actual museum itself where we were able to see a Chapel Car that included the organ and all the woodwork and windows finished and was just waiting for the pews and lighting and podium to be installed once they raise the money to do so.  Nancy decided that several rounds of us singing “Amazing Grace was an appropriate activity for the Chapel Car.  “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.” 

Once we returned to the train for the final journey back to our starting point, Nancy also engaged us in singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” numerous times which we all seemed to enjoy.

Conductor Wanna-Bes Ken Hatch, Rod Hoffman, Van Strom
Conductor Wanna-Bes Ken Hatch, Rod Hoffman, Van Strom

What a fun experience to share with children.  We hope to return for the Santa Train this year between the end of November through December which runs from North Bend to Snoqualmie and back again..  And of course they are looking for more friends to support the museum so they can continue to refurbish and maintain these beautiful relics of a time gone by, but which helps us connect our past to the present and our future.

All Aboard!!

For Your Eyes Only . . .

Judd Wallenbrock, Humanitas Wines Founder with Kit Paquin Gilbert, Jessup's Director of Hospitality & Membership.
Judd Wallenbrock, Humanitas Wines Founder with Kit Paquin Gilbert, Jessup’s Director of Hospitality & Membership.

Last night Ken and I had the opportunity to attend a gathering of the 20/20 Club which is a winery membership club which supports sight-health organizations and meet Founder & Owner of Humanitas WinesJudd Wallenbrock, who created Humanitas Wines to help give back to the community charitably  He said that “One day the light bulb clicked on, and inspired by companies such as Paul Newman’s Own, . . . a vision was born to make wines ‘so good’ they could change the world – both in the quality of the wine & the quality of life the sale of the wines could create for those less fortunate.

The 20/20 Club is the vision of Dr. Vance Thompson, ophthalmologist and co-owner of The Good Life Wine Collective.which specializes in small-lot, handcrafted wines sourced from the Napa Valley’s finest vineyards including.Jessup Cellars, Handwritten Wines and Humanitas Wines.  As part of the 20/20 Club membership launch, and mission to support sight-health, people are encouraged to join the wine club and receive 40 bottles of wine throughout the year, of which 20% of the cost of each shipment will be donated to SightLife.

SightLife CEO, Monty Montoya with Kara Petry, SightLife Donor Development Manager.
SightLife CEO, Monty Montoya with Kara Petry, SightLife Donor Development Manager.

SightLife CEO, Monty Montoya along with his wife, Tiffany, were there to greet guests and join in the wine tasting. In case you didn’t know, SightLife is our amazing local corneal eye bank and is the only non-profit global health organization solely focused on eliminating corneal blindness in the U.S. and around the world.  SightLife works in partnership with surgeons and health organizations in more than 29 countries. Along with their global eye bank partners they provided nearly 17,000 corneas for transplant in 2013; over 17,000 lives changed for the better!

Some of the ZINO Society guests joining us at the wine tasting were Tina & Peter Weiss, Ina & Ira Dauberman, Katherine Kitzmiller, Ann Rogers, Ken Battie and Ram Dutt.

Sightlife at tableJoining the 20/20 Wine Club and listing SightLife as the beneficiary helps change more lives because there are over 10 million people with corneal blindness still waiting to have their sight restored. With our help, we can help them see the world through new eyes.  For anyone interested in becoming a member, email wine@jessupcellars.com and let them know that you are joining to support SightLife.

The Changing of the Guard

Buerk Center Entrepreneurship Director, Connie Bourassa Shaw with outgoing Chairman, Bill McAleer.
Buerk Center Entrepreneurship Director, Connie Bourassa Shaw with outgoing Chairman, Bill McAleer.

Earlier this week I attended the quarterly Advisory Board Meeting for the University of Washington Foster School of Business Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.  The statistics and metrics for this year have been truly impressive with more money raised, more students in the Entrepreneurship programs, and more staff hired to manage the various elements.

For the past six or eight years, Bill McAleer of Voyager Capital, has served as Chairman of the Advisory Board working closely with Director Connie Bourassa-Shaw.  At the meeting, Bill was able to announce that he was passing the leadership mantle to Adrian Smith of Ignition Partners.  Adrian will have big shoes to fill, but everyone expects he will fill them just fine.

Congratulations to Bill for a job well done!

What a (ZINO) Life!

Panelists Dr. Marnix Bosch, Brad Harlow, Karen Hedine, May McCarthy
Panelists Dr. Marnix Bosch, Brad Harlow, Karen Hedine, May McCarthy

What a great event ZINO Society hosted yesterday at Bellevue City Hall!  It was the 6th annual  ZINO Life & Wellness Investment Forum.  Emma Landis, ZINO Dealflow Manager, did a superlative job of sourcing 15 great companies that are in just the right place for angel investing and the Coach/Mentor members successfully helped them each be the best they could be.  Every single ZINOpreneur Select presenting member was spot on with his or her presentation.  And Claire Dillow, Events & Marketing Manager and our crackerjack intern, Jillian Tyack, handled the myriad details that are required to produce such an event from registration to name tags, to programs, to ballots to food to featured libations to . . . and we even ended on time as promised.

Panelists & Judges Karen Hedine, Stewart Parker, Roger Sahm
Panelists & Judges Karen Hedine, Stewart Parker, Roger Sahm

The list of Panelists and Judges was impressive.  Karl Klassen of Perkins Coie facilitated the panel and put into perspective some of the challenges currently facing life sciences companies.  My husband, Ken, said that he loved the panel and it was the best panel we have ever had.  (However, to put this in context, he tells me this after every big investment forum, so I like to believe that every panel just gets slightly better than the last since every time they are the “best ever”!).  The list of Panelists and Judges included Monty Montoya of SightLifeMarnix Bosch of NW Biotherpeutics, Brad Harlow of Cardiac Insight, Karen Hedine of Micronics, May McCarthy of Bizzultz,  Stewart Parker of IDRI, Angel Investor Ky Calder, Caitlin Cameron of OtoMetrix Medical Technologies, Tom Clement of Aqueduct Neurosciences, Brian Glaister of Cadence Biomedical, Michael Heijer of GranCorp, Karl Klassen of Perkins Coie, Hans Lundin of Point B Capital, Rhonda Rhyne of Prevencio, Chuck Roxin of ZBDS and Life Sciences business consultant, Roger Sahm.

Judges Caitlin Cameron, Tom Clement, Brian Glaister
Judges Caitlin Cameron, Tom Clement, Brian Glaister

One of my favorite parts of the program which brought tears to his eyes along with others in the audience was when Monty Montoya, CEO of SightLife, talked about how emotionally challenging it was for him when he visited China for the first time and was holding an 18 month old boy in his arms who needed corneal transplants and realized that he would not be one of the recipients of the 8 corneas they had available for transplant for the over 150 people who were waiting in line in the hopes of receiving the gift of sight.  That was really one of the turning points for him in putting SightLife on an entrepreneurial path to increase the availability of corneas available for transplant.

Judges Ky Calder, Hans Lundin, Caitlin Cameron, Tom Clement, Brian Glaister, Michael Heijer, Rhonda Rhynes
Judges Ky Calder, Hans Lundin, Caitlin Cameron, Tom Clement, Brian Glaister, Michael Heijer, Rhonda Rhynes

In addition to the impressive pitches by every one of the ZINOpreneurs, I loved it when I asked several of our Judges to stand up with white boards at the end of the program and simultaneously reveal which company that had presented that they would choose to invest in if they could invest in ONLY one company.  Two of the Judges selected KitoTech Medical but the rest all chose different companies including MELT, Precision Image Analysis, DesignMedix, Impel Neuropharma and Liquidity Nanotech.

The winner of the ZINO Zenith Award was emLandmarks with runners-up 3D Product Imaging and Nutristyle and the winner of the Judges’ Award was Impel Neuropharma with runners-up MELT and Precision Image Analysis.  Selected as potential fund finalists for an allocation from the 2014 ZINO Annual Angel Investment Fund were KitoTech Medical, Impel Neuropharma, DesignMedix and StratoScientific.  You can really tell the quality of the companies that presented by the broad recognition that so many companies received as award winners and honorable mention.

Judges Brian Glaister, Michael Heijer, Rhonda Rhyne
Judges Brian Glaister, Michael Heijer, Rhonda Rhyne

What a (ZINO) Life!

19th Anniversary Dinner at Altura

Chef Nathan Lockwood of Altura
Chef Nathan Lockwood of Altura

Ken and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary on Tuesday evening.  Ken made the dinner reservations and my request was to go to a restaurant that I had not seen previously so he chose Altura on Capital Hill.  What a great find!  Their menu provides the kind of reading that I didn’t want to put down with lots of unusual food items and fascinating pairings.  Altura is known for the tasting menu, which on the night we were there included 19 items which were a series of small bites, snacks and tastes interspersed with five main plates each.  Though the table next to us ordered the “full meal deal”, we elected to order conservatively with only 3 courses each but were surprised with a pre-dinner tiny cordial of rhubarb juice with a float of hazelnut oil and a sprig of tarragon plus a bouche amusee of truffled popcorn panna cotta and an after-dinner tiny espresso cup of Affogato, which was a Roman-style hot chocolate over a teaspoon of mascarpone gelato.

Affogato Roman-style Hot Chocolate with Mascarpone Gelato
Affogato Roman-style Hot Chocolate with Mascarpone Gelato
Service team James Chan with Rachel.
Service team James Chan with Rachel.

We were pleased to have waiter, James Chan, take care of our table, whom we fondly recalled previously had served us at Rover’s Restaurant.  Altura is a small restaurant with around only 48 seats with a display cooking line and saute station.  With the restaurant business in my background, I was impressed with some of the small touches such as how organized and clean the cooking line was with very shiny, neat stacks of stainless saute and sauce pans and copper sauce pans angelthat were polished and glowing.  There is a beautiful angel statue with outstretched wings which is a focal point in the dining room that had been recovered from a bombed church in France after World War II along with four others that are currently located at the Four Seasons in New York City.

Chef Nathan Lockwood has focused his Italian inspired menu on “wild foraged products, pristine Puget Sound seafood and locally raised heirloom meats and vegetables.” according to the website.  But when I read to expect to spend two to three hours enjoying 10-15 courses, I decided to order fewer courses which was still plenty since we left with a doggie bag with most of my Potato Gnocchi leftover.  For me the over the top item in flavor profile was the Sweet Corn Soup which included an artistic arrangement in the bottom of the oversize rim soup bowl with tiny amounts of chili roasted crab, smoked mussels, garlic scapes and orange nasturtium petals with a miniscule portion of velvety smooth bright yellow corn soup ladled over.  It was truly a flavor masterpiece!

Sweet Corn Soup
Sweet Corn Soup

We both look forward to returning to Altura since there are many more fascinating  menu items to taste.

 

 

Honoring D. David Brown, Executive Director Extraordinaire!

Friday evening was the opening night of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Giselle with many opportunities to celebrate.  PNB Principal Dancer, Kaori Nakamura was dancing her last opening night and D. David Brown, was attending his last opening night as PNB Executive Director, prior to retirement.  The pre-performance dinner was at the Ruin’s and as everyone arrived they…Continue Reading

Connected Through Music

Yesterday Ken and I attended the Seattle Symphony Musical Legacy Society luncheon at Benaroya Hall.  As always it is inspiring to connect with people who care about music and about making it accessible to all.  The program focused on a young high school composer, Will Langlie-Miletich, who had written a piece for a string quartet and…Continue Reading

What a Night for Men and Women at ZINO Woman

ZINO Woman Intentional Investment Forum this past week at the Columbia Tower Club was a big success with 200 angel investors, entrepreneurs and business professionals attending including 24 Judges, 13 Elevator Pitchers, 8 Volunteers, 7 Business PItchers, 6 Panelists, 5 ZINO Team Members, 4 Winemakers, 2 Event Sponsors, 2 Dealflow Flight Facilitators, 1 ZINO Annual Angel…Continue Reading

PATH Breakfast

Some of the statistics I heard this morning at the PATH Breakfast were startling.  Steve Davis, PATH President and CEO, matter-of-factly stated that PATH is the leading innovator in global health and that in 2013, over 219 million people globally have been impacted by PATH with new vaccines and drug treatments, breakthrough health tools, and…Continue Reading

Celebrating PONCHO 1963-2013

Earlier this week, I was delighted to attend the 50 year anniversary of PONCHO.  Though as you may know, PONCHO ceased to exist as a separate 501C-3 organization this year, many of us played a role in its success in raising over $35 million for the Arts during the past 50 years. As the evening’s program proclaimed:…Continue Reading