By Mary Ricks March 23, 2015 6 a.m.
After retiring from the Air Force, the Air Force Reserve and managing a military personnel office, Cathy Sevier attended a professional organizers meeting. She felt like she was home. "I like being a part of helping a client organize their cluttered spaces into organized spaces," Sevier said. "My actual reward is observing them. The look of being overwhelmed is replaced by a look of happiness and relief when the job is finished."
By Mary Ricks March 16, 2015 6 a.m.
For 42 years, Dave Smith built computers and had a woodworking hobby. Five years ago, he switched the two around. He now makes game boards that he sells, while building computers as a hobby. "There has always been the smell of sawdust in the air around me," Smith said. "When my clients are wowed by the items I have created, I am thrilled."
By Mary Ricks March 2, 2015 6 a.m.
Phil Auer was raised in a dance family and at age 24 he became the youngest-ever franchise owner of an Arthur Murray Dance Studio. After giving 40 to 45 private lessons per week for a few years, Auer now owns several Arthur Murray studios. "I like to say at the dance studio we give unexpected customer service," Auer said. "I like to see people open up and become more outgoing when they get involved in dancing."
By Mary Ricks February 23, 2015 6 a.m.
In early 2004, Joan Armstrong traded her software engineering job for something very different — being a dog trainer. Working with a well-known trainer for several years, Armstrong learned many skills by training chickens. "The first thing is teaching your dog that it is worthwhile to pay attention to you," Armstrong said. "Both the person and the dog have to be engaged."
By Mary Ricks February 16, 2015 6 a.m.
Kathy McLaughlin has years of experience in social work and hospice care, which she now puts to use in helping people find housing for their loved ones in need of specialized care. Because she has been responsible for the care of parents and grandparents herself, she understands the emotional strain on families. "I love working with people, especially seniors," McLaughlin said. "I like knowing I was able to make the process easier for a family."
By Mary Ricks February 9, 2015 6 a.m.
After eight years on the job as a livestock brand inspector for the state, Ron Balkowitsch still finds the job exciting. "People call 911 to report animals are on their property, he says. "Animal control doesn't deal with larger animals and it is not the sheriff's department's job, so I get the call. One caller said there was a 'strange' animal in her yard and wanted it picked up. It was a pig."
By Mary Ricks February 2, 2015 6 a.m.
Alicia Perry admires her father and she is following in his footsteps. He is a fire chief and she has earned her fire prevention and fire investigation certifications.
By Mary Ricks January 26, 2015 6 a.m.
Barbara Beale mostly treats people for pain and injury. A former certified athletic trainer, Beale said she is able to get results for people through acupuncture. "It is a very gratifying career. I have never regretted one day of getting into acupuncture," Beale said.
By Mary Ricks January 19, 2015 6 a.m.
Mark Rodgers likes to know how things work. He started taking computer programing classes after serving in the Army. While working for the Oregon Department of Transportation he figured out how to repair the computer-run traffic signals. Now he trains others on how to repair the signals. "I am known as 'The Guy' in knowing how to fix the signals," Rodgers said.
By Mary Ricks January 12, 2015 6 a.m.
Eva Metcalfe and her mother started their e-recycle business with some tools, one table, one chair, and a desire to make Clark County greener. Although the work is physically hard, she likes working with her mother, Rachel Treasure.
By Mary Ricks January 5, 2015 6 a.m.
After serving in the military, Frank Costanza was volunteering with a mountain rescue group when one of the other volunteers told him about a surveyor job at MacKaySposito. Costanza applied and was hired. "I like the camaraderie. … It is nice to bond with others and experience something new together," Costanza says.
By Mary Ricks December 22, 2014 6 a.m.
"I want every day to be great for the folks living at Glenwood Place Senior Living," James Winther says. Although he was born with optic nerve damage and can't drive, it doesn't diminish Winther's energy and enthusiasm for his job as an activities assistant. He keeps the seniors involved and moving, especially with the bean bag baseball game. Only a handful of residents participated in the game when he started, and now there are 60 enthusiastic players. "I love to be able to put a smile on their faces when I do an activity with them," Winther added.
By Mary Ricks December 15, 2014 6 a.m.
Barbara Erskine has always known what she wanted to do in life. She became a speech pathologist and today is still as passionate about her career as when she first began. "I am always happiest when helping other people. I get a wonderful feeling to be part of seeing my clients overcome their communication challenges," she said.
By Mary Ricks December 8, 2014 6 a.m.
Ed Buma knew he didn't want to have a desk job. He didn't get one. As a journeyman lineman/serviceman he is always outside and many times has left home in the middle of the night to go out in freezing rain or snow. "My job has been very rewarding to me," the easygoing Camas resident says. "You just have to put on your gear and suck it up, because you are out there until you get the lights back on."
By Mary Ricks November 24, 2014 6 a.m.
When he was a youngster, Todd Shade rode the bus around Portland with his grandmother. He told her someday he would be driving the bus. He kept his promise and this year his peers awarded him the title C-Tran Operator of the Year. "I enjoy what I do," Shade said. "I like the interaction with the riders and other people at C-Tran."
By Mary Ricks November 17, 2014 6 a.m.
Patrick Gallaher started thinking about a career in pharmacy because he admired his scoutmaster, who was a pharmacist. Now he likes what he does, and he is working on a plan to change the way some patients are treated. When someone does not need medication any more, that is a good thing. "I love having the chance to contribute to someone's success," Gallaher said.
By Mary Ricks November 10, 2014 6 a.m.
From the time she was a child, Tiona Dumas wanted to own a hotel. Working in one as an event and catering director is the next best thing. "Where else can you arrange a safari-themed event with a live tiger or schedule fire dancers?" said Dumas, who was recently named "Outstanding Tourism Professional" for 2014 by Visit Vancouver USA. "I like creating experiences," she added.
By Mary Ricks November 5, 2014 6 a.m.
Eight Boy Scouts from Fort Vancouver District were advanced to the rank of Eagle Scout in August. They include:
By Mary Ricks November 3, 2014 6 a.m.
From the first time Kevin Nettleingham walked into a recording studio he was fascinated with the process. It wasn't long until he was off to college to learn more about the recording industry. Nettleingham returned to Vancouver, and for 17 years he has run his own studio.
By Mary Ricks October 29, 2014 6 a.m.
In a photo taken in May to celebrate Mother's Day 2014, Shannon DeVito, 53, of Vancouver, left, is pictured with family members in a five-generation photo. Others, left to right, include DeVito's mother, Juanita Houston, 72, Tacoma; her grandmother, Betty Barnes, 90, Tacoma; her daughter, Elizabeth Johnson, 33, Vancouver; and her granddaughter, Dahlia Johnson, 2, Vancouver. All women are the firstborn of their families.
By Mary Ricks October 27, 2014 6 a.m.
While still in high school, Dan Wolff was converting a gas engine to propane. That was the start to his long career. Many conversions later, Wolff started his own business and continues to push to using greener fuels. "We need to take care of Mother Earth and to care about what fuel we put in our vehicles," Wolff says. "We need to learn how to recycle instead dumping everything into a landfill."
By Mary Ricks October 20, 2014 6 a.m.
Laureano Mier became interested in aviation at age 8. Now 53 years old, Mier is passionate about everything aviation and the historical importance of Fort Vancouver's Pearson Airfield. "The moment I built my first model airplane I knew I had to be involved with aviation," he says. "I want people to know that Pearson is the first airport in the Pacific Northwest and one of the oldest operating air fields in the world."
By Mary Ricks October 13, 2014 6 a.m.
Self-described as curious, Kathryn Kohl loves research, especially in the technology field. She thought she was finished with college for good, but when she decided that library school was the right thing for her, Kohl packed up her family and moved cross country to hit the books again. "It was fabulous, I felt like a sponge and was engaged in everything at school. I appreciated it more in my late 30s than I would have earlier in my life," Kohl said.
By Mary Ricks October 6, 2014 6 a.m.
Don Mitchell exudes music. He sings in a trio, plays numerous instruments and teaches music. When Mitchell teaches how to tune, repair and service pianos he said, "I love seeing a beginner grow from being immature and uncertain to a person who is confident with improving self-esteem." Although he doesn't teach anyone to play the piano, they receive some music instruction in order to learn to tune and repair a piano.
By Mary Ricks September 29, 2014 6 a.m.
Chris Baker was about 10 years old when he starting thinking he would like to be a pilot. He continued to think of flying all through high school and beyond. "I graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida," Baker explained, "and was ready to get my career started." Although his job takes him away from home more than most, Baker likes the fact that he doesn't bring any work home with him.
By Mary Ricks September 15, 2014 6 a.m.
Paul Baldwin discovered his passion for teaching after subbing at the Washington State School for the Blind. He has been teaching visually impaired students since 1997 and loves it. "I certainly want the students to get an education, but I really want to see them develop into a complete individual. They can be successful in whatever endeavor they want to pursue," Baldwin said.
By Mary Ricks September 8, 2014 6 a.m.
Carolene Carroll worked several jobs before she found a job that she loves. When she finishes her work making the area around the county buildings look nice, chances are Carroll is off to help a relative or a friend with cleaning their house or working in their yard. "I especially like working outside, and when I finish work, I go home and work in my yard," Carroll said.
By Mary Ricks September 3, 2014 6 a.m.
Great-great-grandmother Mildred Becker, 91, of Vancouver, left, is shown in a five-generation photo taken recently. Other family members, from her left, include Becker's son, Lonnie Becker, 68, of Ridgefield; her granddaughter, Lonna Robertson, 44, of Vancouver; and her great-granddaughter, Ashley Keller, 22, of Vancouver holding son Hunter Keller, 5 months.
By Mary Ricks September 1, 2014 6 a.m.
Jeremy Hubbard feels he got lucky. After his Army service, he applied to work as a bail bondsman and got the job. Fourteen years later he still likes what he is doing. "More than 85 percent of my clients have never needed me before. They are good people that made a mistake," Hubbard says.
By Mary Ricks August 25, 2014 6 a.m.
Working with people who are missing limbs, Mark Sauser always faces a problem he hasn't seen before. But he doesn't like to say "We can't do anything," so he usually finds a solution. The reward is great. When a person who's been confined to a wheelchair can walk with a new leg, "they are an entirely different person. … They are so proud."
By Mary Ricks August 20, 2014 6 a.m.
In honor of Helen Louise Herrera's 100th birthday Thursday, family and friends from around the country are gathering at her home in Vancouver for a family reunion.
By Mary Ricks August 18, 2014 6 a.m.
After burning out in the computer science industry, Nick Marcelja turned his blacksmithing hobby into his business. "I had been doing historical creations for the Society for Creative Anachronism," Marcelja said. "It took me about six months to get my business running. When someone says they want to buy what you have made it is rewarding. Although I don't make a lot of money, I am happy."
By Mary Ricks August 11, 2014 10 a.m.
I worked for Hilton Reservations Worldwide in Vancouver. I liked my job, but they closed the call center and I was unemployed. I started working as a bridal consultant at The Hostess House/Bridal Arts Building 10 years ago. I have learned a lot from the brides and from my mistakes, but I have a job I love.
By Mary Ricks July 28, 2014 6 a.m.
Mar Meyerhoefer was born in Madrid, Spain, but lived and traveled in the United States growing up. She and her husband began dreaming of owning a vineyard and introducing people to Spanish wines and culture — when they retired. They moved the timetable up and launched their wine venture even while holding their day jobs. Mar wanted to share her love of travel, culture and food over a glass of wine. Emanar Cellars was launched.
By Mary Ricks July 21, 2014 6 a.m.
"I examine each painting like a doctor examining a patient," Troy Lucas said as he explained his work as one of only five conservators in the Portland-Clark County metro area. "The process is like unraveling a puzzle."
By Mary Ricks July 16, 2014 5:59 a.m.
Fisher's Landing: Friends and family helped Robert Kimball Cassidy celebrate his 100th birthday at an open house July 12 at Emeritus in Fisher's Landing. He was born July 13, 1914, in Grand Forks, N.D., and moved to Vancouver with his mother and sister in 1918.
By Mary Ricks June 30, 2014 6 a.m.
"I always have liked fireworks and was probably more involved than I should have been. My dad let me be creative. I like setting off fireworks because it makes people happy."
By Mary Ricks June 16, 2014 6 a.m.
Dustin Meyer worked a variety of jobs after high school. Since being hired at Corwin Beverage Company he seems to have hit his stride and is doing well as a salesman. “I am friendly and like people. Getting to know store managers where I sell my products makes my job much easier,” Meyer said.
By Mary Ricks June 16, 2014 6 a.m.
The Columbian welcomes submissions about Clark County residents or businesses as well as regional business events. Information must be received by noon Tuesday preceding the intended Monday publication date. Send to email@example.com or fax 360-735-4598.
By Mary Ricks June 9, 2014 6 a.m.
“I always knew I wanted to do what my grandpa did,” says Chris Wilson, a Ridgefield High School graduate who has spent 10 years as a farrier. “From the time I was very little I watched him work and never left his side. I learned the trade from him.”