Monthly Archives: November 2011

“Jump the Line” with UW Student Entrepreneurs

Team “Jump the Line” Billy Watters, Gil Pennington
and Marco del Rosario with Cathi Hatch

I have been mentoring a team of three student entrepreneurs from the University of Washington Foster School of Business Introduction to Entrepreneurship 370 class this quarter.  The team included Gillian Pennington, Marco del Rosario and Billy Watters.  I met with them several times over the quarter to provide a little advice and look at their business plan, hear their nascent pitch as it was being developed, and see the powerpoint presentation in the making.

The name of the business they were developing is called “Jump the Line” and is a mobile app that will enable customers of quick service restaurants to make their food and beverage orders and handle payment remotely so they can quickly pick up their order without waiting in line.  Their customers will be both the restaurants to whom they will sell their service and the individual consumers who will use the app to place their orders.

Gil kicking off the pitch

Yesterday morning, I went to Paccar Hall for the final presentation of their pitch to their professor (Emily Cox) and the rest of their class and visitors.  They really nailed their pitch!  Marco did a fantastic job with the graphics on the Powerpoint and the pitch was divided between the three students and each really did a great job.  Congratulations, Gil, Marco and Billy!

Now they will have to make the big decision whether to follow through and actually start the business . . . or not. 

Sip. Talk. Laugh. Sip again.

Judith Kindler, Tom O’Keefe, Cathi Hatch

Yesterday afternoon, nationally recognized artist and friend, Judith Kindler and real estate and coffee magnate and friend, Tom O’Keefe joined me at my home for another edition of Virtual Vino LIVE!  My partner, Blaine Millett, was on hand to help facilitate the details of the blind tastings and serve as photographer for the programs.

We had fun together tasting a flight of red blends, another flight of Syrahs and a final flight of Cabernet Sauvignon and sharing our non-professional wine opinions with one another and the viewers of the program.  Our favorites turned out to be the 2008 Dussek Family Cellars Syrah from Woodhouse Wine Estates, the Pondera 2007 Sericus for our Red Blend first choice and the Pondera 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve as the standout for Cabernet Sauvignon.



Tom and I go way back since I met him around 20 years ago when I joined the Pacific Northwest Ballet board and he was already on the board.  At that point, he was enmeshed in working to build the Phelps Center for PNB which was successfully completed in 1993 and his first Tully’s Coffee store which opened at about the same time.  Tom is a great storyteller and kept us entertained and laughing during the tastings.
Judith and I met a few years ago, and have become great friends primarily in the past year.  Judith is amazingly talented and has brought another creative element to my life that I so enjoy.  We went on a Dalmatian Coast Seaborne cruise with other friends last year and recognized that we were sympatico. We share a love of golf and Scrabble and laughing together at our foibles.

I loved having them participate and look forward to a future Virtual Vino LIVE! wine tasting with them again soon.  Cheers!

Charity Wine Dinner at Pearl Chef’s Table

A toast! 
Jeannie Butler, Ron, Delores & Ron Gaspers,
Mitzi & John Morris, Cathi & Ken Hatch

Last night, Ken and I were invited to join friends, John & Mitzi Morris at Pearl for a Chef’s Table wine dinner featuring Lachini Vineyards wines which they had purchased at a charity auction.  Along with their other guests including Jeannie Butler and Ron & Delores Gaspers , we sat down to a sea of Reidel glasses  at the Chef’s Table with a full view of the bustling kitchen.

Our hosts, Mitzi & John Morris

Pearl owner, Brad Dickinson stopped by to say hello and announced the exciting news that he will be opening another restaurant soon at Bellevue Place by the name of KORAL.  Stay tuned for more information about this soon.

Wagyu beef with Roquefort crust

Seared scallop atop risotto

Duck with root vegetable hash

We were very ably taken care of during the evening by our server, Todd, as well as Pearl General Manager Rashawd Willett and Chef, JJ Ullakko. The food and wine were paired beautifully.  My favorite courses were a light red beet salad served with a wheel of goat cheese (I promptly gave the goat cheese to Ken), a delicious seared duck course atop a hash of sweet potatoes and other root vegetables and the very best was the Wagyu beef with Roquefort crust.  Yum!


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Our server, Todd, serving the Lachini wine.
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Pearl Chef JJ Ullakko

We missed seeing Ron Lachini at the wine dinner, but certainly did enjoy the fruits of his labor!

Jim Bianco featured speaker at Rainier Club Business Leaders Forum



Dr. Jim Bianco speaking at Business Leaders’ Forum

Yesterday I attended the Rainier Club Business Leaders’ Luncheon Forum which included Dr. James Bianco, CEO & Co-Founder of Cell Therapeutics Inc. as the featured speaker.  Business Leaders Forum chairman, Brendan O’Farrell, introduced Jim to the full room of Rainier Club members and guests who had come to hear Jim speak.  A few of Jim’s many supporters in the audience included Sue Bianco, Ken Hatch, Mike Kunath, Lou Bianco, Kjell Schei, Dan Eramian, Ron Elgin, Michael Hatch, and Renee Braun.

Brendan O’Farrell introduces Jim Bianco

Jim shared the fascinating and very long journey of what it takes to get a drug approved today.  It was interesting to understand that only one in five drugs actually gets approved by the FDA and that the average time it takes for this to happen is 15-17 years!

Since it takes such a long time, there is a huge cost to bring a new drug to market and many investors are skittish about investing in a company in which their investment will be illiquid for such an extended length of time.  However, Jim suggested the best times for investors to invest in biotech companies is one of these three inflection points:

  1. When the drug is ready for Phase 3 clinical trials.  The likelihood of approval is much higher at this stage than earlier.
  2. When the drug does actually receive FDA approval.
  3. When the drug is on the market and beginning to perform with compounded annual sales volume.
Listening to Jim’s insights in the bio-tech sector.

It was also fascinating to understand that in this genomic era as bio-engineered targeted drugs are aligned with the patients that actually have the bio-marker indications of the disease that there is a much higher rate of success in treating and/or curing the disease.  This allows clinical trials to be much more targeted and show high success rates with fewer people involved.

CTI Mission Statement

Jim ended his remarks by suggesting that most important for the future in this genomic era is for regulatory agencies to re-think the approval hurdles that are currently in place which will help bring these drugs to market more quickly.

Congratulations PSBJ Women of Influence 2011

Jan Hendrickson, Kelly Tweeddale, Janet True,
Cathi Hatch, Bobbe Bridge

Last night I invited my daughter, Katie Laramore, to join me to attend the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 8th Annual Women of Influence award event.  The event was held at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency and appeared to be a sell out as it was last year too.  Monica Alquist of Puget Sound Business Journal along with the rest of the PSBJ team organized a great event.
I have had the honor of serving as a Women of Influence judge for the past few years. This year, along with Phyllis Campbell, Jeff Raikes, Constance Rice and Patti Payne and facilitated by PSBJ Assistant Managing Editor Becky Monk, we once again had the difficult task of choosing just a handful of women to recognize. Each year there are literally hundreds of nominations for these honors and I am amazed each time that there are so many dynamic and accomplished women that have not already been recognized that are so deserving of the award. Just look at the list below at the end of this blog post and you will see what I mean.

Simon Woods, Dale Chihuly, Evelyn Zabo, Katie Laramore

Katie and I arrived early to attend the VIP Honorees reception and once again I was so impressed with the women we had selected this year.  We had a chance to interact with the honorees and then PSBJ Publisher, Gordon Prouty raised a champagne toast to the 2011 Women of Influence.

Once we were seated in the ballroom and the dinner event began, Patti Payne and Gordie Prouty invited all the past honorees to come on stage for a photo op prior to announcing the current winners.  While we were on stage, Gordie surprised Patti completely by announcing that although she can’t be recognized as a PSBJ Woman of Influence” since she has been a judge from the onset of the Women of Influence program, that we all recognize her as one of the Women of Influence anyway.  She was asked to answer a question and share some of her thoughts with the audience and then presented with a big bouquet of flowers, applause and hugs all around.

In addition to the women being honored last evening, we saw and talked with so many friends that were there to help celebrate including Renee & Carl Behnke, Lorna Kneeland, Doug True, Sue Hovis, Patrice Auld, Glenna Olson, Andrea Baseler, Patty Barrier, Betty Tong, Angela Wu, Jessica Blixseth, JJ McKay, Barbara Cahill, Dale Chihuly, Evelyn Zabo, Simon Woods, Alta & Stan Barer, Nancy Pellegrino, Kim Richter, Deborah Jensen, David Wu, Jon Bridge, Karen & Chuck Lytle, Jill Ashton, Detra Segar, Norm Rice, and Angie Lepley.

Congratulations to Patti and all the 2011 PSBJ  Women of Influence!

Publisher Gordon Prouty toasts 2011 Women of Influence

The 2011 PSBJ Women of Influence honorees include:
Marla Beck, Founder and President, Andelcare
Bobbe Bridge, Founder and CEO, Center for Children and Youth Justice
Harriet Bullitt, President, Owner and Founder, Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort and Icicle Broadcasting Co.
Janet Denyer, CEO, Gene Juarez Salons and Spas
Sheila Edwards Lange, Vice President Minority Affairs/Vice Provost Diversity, University of Washington
Anne Farrell, President Emeritus, Seattle Foundation & Co-founder, City Club and Washington Women’s Foundation
Jan Hendrickson, Managing Partner, Denny Hill Capital
Leslie Jackson Chihuly, President, Chihuly Inc.
Lynette Johnson, Founder and Owner, Lynette Johnson Photography & Founder, Soulumination Photography
Sharelle Klaus, CEO & Founder, DRY Soda Co.
Jennifer Potter, President and CEO, Initiative for Global Development
Mary Snapp, Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Products & Services, Microsoft Corp.
Myra Tanita, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Janet True, Co-owner, Iron Springs Resort & Immediate Past President, PONCHO
Kelly Tweeddale, Executive Director, Seattle Opera

Piper O’Neill’s Solo Art Show Opening Party

Artist Piper O’Neill and Gallery Owner, Stacey Winston Levitan Wednesday evening was artist, Piper O’Neill’s opening party for her new body of work which is being showcased by Stacey Winston Levitan at the Winston Wachtner Gallery.  Piper’s proud husband, Billy O’Neill, was there cheering her on along with Leslie & Dale Chihuly.  Wine was being poured courtesy… Continue Reading

Jr. Achievement Dare to Dream Gala

Soup please!  Cathi Hatch, Nicole Vogel, Pam Pearson On Sunday evening, the Party Curmudgeon was under the weather so I attended the Junior Achievement Dare to Dream Gala at the Marriott Seattle Waterfront alone as a guest of Pam Pearson of KCPQ 13 FOX and her husband, Mike.  Pam has been on the board of… Continue Reading

A Delightful Master of Wine Tuesday at Ray’s Boathouse

ZINO Society members Sandra Fowler, Brad Vancourand Randa Mirkovich Last evening ZINO Society members and guests joined Ken and me along with Wine Gurus, Greg Lill of DeLille Cellars and Stacy Lill of O Wines at Ray’s Boathouse for a beautiful Master of Wine food and wine tasting event.  Ray’s Senior Catering Manager, Amy Stevens worked… Continue Reading

A Toast to the Rindlaubs

John & Sarah Rindlaub, Najma & Firoz Lalji Last evening, Ken and I attended a lovely dinner party at the spectacular home of friends, Najma & Firoz Lalji in Newport Shores in honor of Sarah & John Rindlaub.  It was a Farewell Party (one of the many coming up) to wish John and Sarah well as they… Continue Reading