Monthly Archives: July 2013

KIRO Cohorts Cavort (aka Lunch Together)

KIRO Cohorts Cavort (aka Lunch Together)

Nick Latham, Melissa Milburn, Ken Hatch

Recently husband, Ken Hatch, had the opportunity to get together with a couple of his team members from KIRO Broadcasting days, Melissa Milburn and Nick Latham.  They both served as his personal Executive Assistants and had broad responsibilities to support him and his work.  After being married to Ken for the past eighteen years, I completely understand why it took TWO of them!!

Nick lives in San Francisco now and Melissa lives on Mercer Island, so the three of them don’t have many opportunities to reconnect and share old memories of their time together.  They finally had the chance to schedule lunch at John Howie Steak and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of their get-together.  Of course they all loved having “breakfast at lunch” when General Manager, Annie, brought them an order of the incredible deep-fried bacon and deviled eggs as a starter.

Melissa and Nick had fun remembering “Ken-isms” and want to plan another party where everyone gets to come and do their best rendition of a “Ken-ism”.  A couple of examples they remembered was the way he points his finger when he is pontificating and one of his favorite phrases, “How can you be wrong when you are on the right side of right!?”

Though I wasn’t part of the get-together, one of the funny stories that I’m sure they recounted was the year that friend Trudi Syferd, decided to anonymously gift Ken with “Twelve Days of Sheep” over what would normally be the “Twelve Days of Christmas” in recognition of his earlier birthday party that year, which was themed “Sheepish in Seattle”.  Every day a new anonymous “sheep” gift arrived at his KIRO office and he would arrive to find it sitting in the middle of his desk.  Of course Nick and Melissa had to be “in” on the subterfuge to make it all work. 

Thinking about the Sheepish in Seattle party, that was a party worth remembering since it was a surprise birthday party.  When Ken arrived, he saw 100 people there greeting and staring at him, all with sheep masks on!  And Little Bo Peep (Mary Pennington) made a guest appearance in full costume in a Medina Police car with lights flashing and demanded the arrest of Ken for stealing her sheep.  Ken was handcuffed and led away towards the police car until pardoned just before the actual arrest.

People were instructed to bring “no gifts” unless they were “cheap sheep gifts” and the guests complied.  Never have I seen so many different sheep gifts before or since!  Wearing matching vests adorned with black sheep, part of the entertainment included Debi Giannola, Patty Barrier, Toni Hoffman, Jeri Rice and me performing a song rendition about sheep!?  Don’t ask!

Another funny story was around nineteen years ago in December when Ken gave his infamous “values” speech at my birthday party at The Ruins.  It was a lovely surprise dinner party with around 40 friends there.  NIck had written Ken’s remarks which I believe were supposed to be a toast to the Christmas season and a happy birthday wish to me.  Ken got rattled because he saw Jeff & Susan Brotman sitting at one of the front tables and decided that it might be inappropriate to toast Christmas because he was worried about offending Jeff (not that it really would have of course!).  So Ken’s remarks went something like this, “I am so happy to toast you during this Thanksgiving (it wasn’t) season of values which I value and are so valuable . . . value . . .blah, blah, blah . . . valuable values which are so valuable . . . value your friendship . . .value, value value!  The remarks went on and on and we really did need a hook to get him to sit down because he couldn’t figure out how to conclude the remarks.  Nick turned to me redfaced and said, “That is NOT the speech that I wrote!”

Anyway, it sounds like they had fun remembering their time together and I look forward to joining them next time and hearing more of the old, inside stories! 

A Summer Sock Hop Party at the Beach 50’s Style

A Summer Sock Hop Party at the Beach 50’s Style

Cathi Hatch, Brad Harlow, Brian Vowinkel

 This evening Ken and I joined John & Molly Otter at their new home on Mercer Island for the annual Harlow-Otter summer party.  This year’s theme was a 50’s Sock Hop at the Beach.  It was a perfect evening; not too hot and not too cold.  The lake was beautiful and the two Adirondack wood chairs placed at the end of the Otter’s long dock were so picturesque and inviting. Everyone gathered on the back lawn, the dock and on the new deck at the lake’s edge where the very brand-new fire pit was lit for the first time.

Brian Vowinkel and Rolf DeDamm

Brad Harlow showing off his white socks to Steve Kutz

Molly and John were the most gracious hosts welcoming friends to their new home.  Co-hostess, Alison Harlow, admitted to being very relieved that the party was at the Otter’s home this year after having hosted it at the Harlow home for the past eight years.

Rolf & Nicole DeDamm were dressed perfectly for the occasion; Rolf in skinny jeans and a tee shirt and Nicole’s hair combed “dogs’ ears” style.  Brad & Alison Harlow were also in party attire in black leather and looked as if they had just stepped out of the movie, Grease!  Janet True was in the theme and wore husband Doug’s burgundy letter sweater with rolled up jeans and a “Janet” pin on her white Peter Pan collar blouse.

When we arrived, the first bottle of Moet Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne had just been sabered by Rolf using his special saber invention which is perfectly

Gathered on the new deck at lake’s edge

balanced to take the top off a champagne bottle cleanly.  It is scimitar shaped with a special stand to protect the blade.  Of course, that was definitely not the last bottle of champagne that was sabered at the party and several had a hand at opening additional bottles including Brian Vowinkel!  I thought the passed hors d’oeuvres which included two favorites that everyone was raving about; crab salad on a Ruffles potato chip and devilled eggs were perfect accompaniments to the champagne.  Does anything taste better than a salty potato chip!?

Cathi Hatch and Rolf DeDamm
with his saber invention

Of course there was lots more food including burgers and salad and fries and many choices of beverages in addition to the champagne.  And for dessert, they served two of my personal favorites of all time; root beer floats and brownies.  Yum!

We arrived early and left early (after all I did have Curmudgeon Ken in tow) but some of the other friends that we saw also attending the party included Greg & Lauren Porter,

Adirondack chairs in the background with
Brian Vowinkel preparing to saber a bottle

Sarah Rindlaub, Susie & Brian Vowinkel, Steve Kutz, Jackie & Peter DunbarRobbie London, Tim Larsen, Janet & Doug True, Stephanie & Dustin True and dozens of others.

What a fun party!!  Thank you Otters and Harlows!

Harvest Dinner Extraordinaire

Harvest Dinner Extraordinaire

Tommy Trause greets guests with Anne-Marie Hedges,
Marty Clubb and Beth Droppert looking on

It was a spectacular evening on Sunday when a few of us were guests of Tommy Trause, Columbia Tower Club General Manager, for an elegant harvest dinner.  Tommy generously hosted a dinner for a few of the “legends” in the wine industry on the eve prior to ZINO Vino, Spirits & Brew Liquid Assets Forum.  

It was a family-style dinner in the Harvest Dining Room which boasts an unbelievable view of Mount Rainier.  For the feast, there was a large table beautifully set with colorful garden flowers, lots of wine glasses and casual metal quarter-sheet pans to serve as oversize plates and glass towels serving as

Clockwise, L-R: Dick Boushey, Norm McKibben, Luanne Boushey,
Ken Hatch, Rose Ann Rinkel, Marc Droppert, Tom Hedges,
Chef Tyler, Cathi Hatch, Server, Chris Wentlandt,
Anne-Marie Hedges, Marty Clubb, Beth Droppert, Stephan Martinez,
Charles Finkel, Thomas Henick-Kling

oversize napkins.

The guests had brought with them a bottle or two of a “braggable” liquid asset to share so it was lots of fun to taste so many different wines including selections from Pepper Bridge, Cinq Cellarss, Hedges Family Estate, L’Ecole, Lachini Vineyards, Col Solare, and a number of European wines too.

Columbia Tower Club’s Food and Beverage Manager, Chris Wentlandt saw that the service was friendly,yet impeccable while Chef Tyler and his team did an amazing job with the food

Chris Wentlandt serving fried chicken to Anne-Marie

which included the BEST fried chicken and potato salad I have ever tasted!  To give you a sense of the menu, here is what was on the table when we arrived:

Bowls of fresh cherries
Bowls of fresh nectarines
A selection of unusual cheeses with Quince Jam
Artisan Bread and Lavoshe crackers
Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes with Feta Cheese
Fresh String Beans with Cream 
Fingerling Potato Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette


Chef Tyler and Chris then brought around the incredible fried chicken in a giant bowl and grilled salmon with a delicious cherry compote accompaniment.  This is one of the few dinners where I have seen people actually take “seconds”.  The fried chicken and potato salad were both readily accepted when more was offered. 

And then the piece de resistance was a delicious molten chocolate cake drizzled with rosemary fruit vinegar.  It was a beautiful dinner with new and old friends.



ZINO Vino Expands as Spirits & Brew is added to the Liquid Assets Forum

ZINO Vino Expands as Spirits & Brew is added to the Liquid Assets Forum

L-R: Bob Betz, Greg Lill, Charles Finkel, Dick Boushey, Anne-Marie Hedges, Marc Droppert, Cathi Hatch
Norm McKibben, Scott Hansen, Marty Clubb
Scott Hansen, Anne-Marie Hedges

Bob Betz, Dick Boushey

Yesterday was ZINO Society’s annual high-energy and educational ZINO Vino, Spirits & Brew Liquid Assets Forum at Columbia Tower Club.  Over 200 people came together over the day and evening to share their knowledge and gain knowledge about the businesses of artisan wine, craft beer and craft spirits.

Following greetings by Steve Warner, Washington Wine Commission, Eric Radovich, Washington Beer Commission and Jason Parker, Washington Distillers’ Guild, there were seven separate expert

Marty Clubb, Charles Finkel

panels comprised of 35 individual experts.


The Libations Legends panel included those who have been in the “liquid assets” business for 20 years or more: Bob Betz, Betz Family Winery, Dick Boushey, Boushey Vineyard, Marty Clubb, L’Ecole Winery, Charles Finkel, Pike Brewing Co., Scott Hansen, Bellevue Brewing Co., Anne-Marie Hedges, Hedges Family Estate, Greg Lill, DeLille Cellars, Norm McKibben, Pepper Bridge Winery moderated by Mark Droppert, Cinq Cellars and Graham and Dunn.

Matt McClung, Kendall Jones, Audrey Richards


Other panels presenting were:

John Robertson, Dale Rasmussen, Scott Hansen
Thomas Henick-Kling and Steve Case
  • How to Spot Legal Opportunities Before They Drain Your Glass; a discussion about what business owners can do proactively to protect themselves from future expensive “libation litigation” as it relates to trademarks, contracts, etc.  moderated by Susan Betcher , Perkins Coie.
Deni Luna and Emma Landis

The panels which were very positively received by the audience were followed by an after-party which featured tastings of wine, beer and spirits, entertainment by singer-songwriter Scarlet Parke, a barbecue and Deni Luna, a lipsologist doing lip readings.

Event sponsors included Perkins CoieGraham and Dunn, Trysk Print SolutionsColumbia Tower Club, Davis Wright Tremaine, Washington State University Viticulture & Enology, Wine Storage Bellevue, Vintners Global Resource, and Uber.

Meg Landies, David LeClaire, Dale Rasmussen, Darlin Gray


Please see related Washington’s Wine Legends blog posting from Ronald Holden of Cornichon.org blog HERE and Great Northwest Wine blog posting by Eric Degerman HERE.  

SVP Fast Pitch Picnic

SVP Fast Pitch Picnic

Lead Volunteer Sue Oliver (center) with Christine Gilbert.

After the Woodland Park Zoo Jungle Party last evening (see related blog post here), today was the Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch Picnic back at the Zoo again.  Today it was a little more challenging to get there from the Eastside with the SR-520 bridge closure, but it was a beautiful day for a picnic.


Chair and Lead Volunteer, Sue Oliver, and ZINO Society SVP Fast Pitch Project Manager, Christine Gilbert, arrived early to get everything set up for the get-together which included burgers and all the fixins’ along with salads, fruit, cookies, soft drinks

Chuck Roxin and Mike Waggoner

and lots of chips.  Grillmaster volunteer, David, sharpened the knives, cut the onions and tomatoes and grilled the burgers while Christine, Kristin and the other ladies organized the food.


ZBDS Managing Director, Chuck Roxin, was there and got into an interesting conversation with Mike Waggoner, one of the social innovators, who is developing a compostible plastic cup.  It was also fun to see and taste the multi-colored carrots with green tops still attached that social innovators, Ebba and her husband brought.  Each carrot had a tag tied on reading “A

typical carrot travels 1,838 miles to become part of a U.S. meal.”   I’m looking forward to getting into the social innovator applications and reading more.


Other attendees included SVP President Paul Shoemaker and SVP Fast Pitch Immediate  Past Lead Volunteer, Will Poole, along with volunteers Luni Libes, Chaitra Vedullapalli, her husband Ram Dutt and their two boys Chirag and Neal, Claire Dillow and Emma Landis of ZINO Society and a number of other social innovators and assorted children and dogs.

It was a casual and relaxing afternoon for all.  Now on with the pitches!