2 YBA businesses Best of Western WA finalists!

Out of all of the fine businesses throughout Western Washington, 2 Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) members were finalists in the KING 5 Best of Western Washington Evening contest.

– JZ Rose, Best Antiques #5 finalist
Click here to vote, then click Shopping, scroll down to Antiques.

– Yelm Community Blog, Best Blogger #5 finalist
Click here to vote, then click Online and Social Media, scroll down to Blogger.

– These other area business were also finalists:
– Don Juan’s Mexican Kitchen, Tenino, Best Mexican Restaurant #5 finalist
Click here to vote, then click Easts, scroll down Mexican.

– Simply Organic, Best Healthy Eats #5 finalist
Click here to vote, then click Eats, scroll down to Healthy.

– Stewart’s Meat Market, Best Butcher #2 finalist
Click here to vote, then click Specialty Food & Drink, scroll down to Butcher.

– Wine Cellar of Yelm, Best Wine Shop #5 finalist
Click here to vote, then click Specialty Food & Drink, scroll down to Wine Shop.

Congratulations to our local businesses and their patrons!

YBA submits revised Food Truck Regs. Proposal

Butt Naked Organics owner Aria Cissney brought her food truck to the Yelm city council
parking area to dovetail with the YBA proposal, at the invitation of YBA V.P. Steve Craig.
Photo credit: Butt Naked Organics.

The Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) submitted a revision to Yelm City Hall officials of their landmark Food Truck Regs. Proposal, which was the subject of the first Town Hall Public Forum in Yelm in over 12 years (Nov. 4, 2016). This update was completed with the assistance of Lori Johnson, Executive Director, Washington State Food Truck Association.
Click here

Also included were these reports beneficial in developing food truck regulations, supplied by the WFTA:
* 7 Myths and Realities About Food Trucks
Click here for the pdf.

* New National League of Cities Report Highlights Mobile Vending Best Practices
Click here for the pdf.

– From Lori Johnson, Executive Director, Washington State Food Truck Association
“As the small business industry of mobile food continues to grow in popularity here in Washington, it only makes sense for local governments to make the necessary changes to accommodate this issue.

Many cities are welcoming these innovative businesses by writing simple regulations meant only to protect public health and safety. It is not the role of government, to create protectionist barriers for some business, and not allowing for economic liberty to all.”
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YBA Board unanimously appoints Scott Bradley as a Director – Brings depth of military experience to Yelm’s business community

Scott Bradley
Photo credit: Scott Bradley, Red Cross

– The YBA Board of Directors proudly announces the appointment of Staff Sergeant (Retired) Scott Bradley to the Board.
Bradley is two-time Yelm city council candidate and will be the YBA Board liaison for military affairs. Staff Sergeant (SSG) Bradley has a wealth of experience that he brings to the table, especially his military experience and awareness to support the approximate 40% of Yelm’s population associated with our armed forces.

– Here is a write-up of Bradley’s talents in his own words:
[Staff Sergeant (SSG)] Scott Bradley is a retired US Army combat engineer with 21 years of service. The last seven years of his military career were dedicated to Improvised Explosive Device retrieval and defeat with Joint Improvised-threat Defeat Agency (JIEDDO). Scott received a Master’s Degree in Education with a major in curriculum and instruction and a minor in social studies from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon in 2015. Equipped with both experience and education Scott is currently working to open Pathfinders, an outdoor school [based in Yelm] aimed to provide students of all ages basic outdoor skills including primitive tool making, fire building, blacksmithing, survival, and others imperative in reconnecting with the Earth and human spirit. Scott believes that Pathfinders will fill the fundamental gap within the educational curriculum by integrating hands on project based learning with material taught in the classroom. The program will offer summer camps, home-school workshops, and opportunities for adult learners. Students will learn skills not taught in a classroom and will develop a sense of confidence, critical thinking and best of all empowerment within their environment.

We welcome Scott to our Board and look forward to his vision and contributions to the Yelm Business Assn. (YBA).

Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) Board of Directors
Dan Crowe, Executive Director, Founding Board Member
Cynthia Schmier, President, Founding Board Member
Steve Craig, Vice-President, Founding Board Member
Steve Klein, Secretary, Founding Board Member
Bill Hashim, Treasurer, Citizen Action Committee Ad Hoc Member
Scott Bradley, Military/JBLM Liaison
Marian Lixcandru
Jayne Cameron
Kellie Petersen

Yelm Chamber supports YBA Winter Lights project

Credit: Yelm Chamber of Commerce e-mailer

– From the Yelm Chamber’s e-mailer to their members November 14:
Winter Lights in Yelm

Dear Chamber Members,

The Yelm Business Association asked us to help spread the word for a movement they are creating for the winter season. We think this is a great way to come together as a business community. We are attaching their letter and encourage you to participate this season.
Yours in Business,
The Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Click here for the Winter Lights in Yelm letter.

– UPDATE: November 23, 2016
“YBA Encourages Businesses to Light Up Yelm”
“The Yelm Businesses Association, with the support of the Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce, is encouraging area businesses to light up their storefronts,” quoting the Nisqually Valley News.
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City Admin. candidates Round 2 Interviews November 16 – Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) rep. on the interview committee

* Yelm Business Association (YBA) asked to send community rep. for the interview panel
* The YBA Board chose Yelm Blogger Steve Klein to serve on the panel
* Klein is a YBA founding Board member and Board Secretary
* Klein served on the previous city admin. selection panel in September

– “Yelm to Interview City Admin. Candidates”
“Potential City Hall Leaders Hail from Texas, California and Tacoma”

“The city of Yelm once again has received three candidates to fill the open city administrator post from the executive search firm Prothman, which the city hired in May.

The candidates will be interviewed by a panel made up of city council members, city staff and members of the community on Wednesday, Nov. 16. A meet and greet, open to the public, will be held from noon to 1 p.m. then the panels will discuss their thoughts on the candidates. Mayor JW Foster will make a decision on who to offer the position to for council approval before the end of the year,” quoting the Nisqually Valley News.
Read more

Businesses invited to join Winter Lights decorations

October 20, 2016

Dear Yelm Business Owner,

We would like to share one of our aspirations/visions for the Yelm business community and our community at large: Picture a community of cohesiveness and beauty that invites and rewards those traveling to/through the City of Yelm.  A sight that, whether passing through Yelm on their way to another location or arriving here as their destination, will inspire visitors to stay just a little bit longer and remark to their friends how beautiful the city of Yelm has become. Reward them with something that makes them smile, the joyful smile being the reward.

What could inspire such adulation? It is simple. We all do it in one way or another.  But what if we did it as a team…with a theme?  At the risk of being too late for this winter season approaching, we are suggesting that Yelm business owners follow a simple theme using white lights for their winter decorating: white lights to frame your windows and in the trees in your store fronts.

Why white lights? Simple elegance. Festive yet non-defining – so they can stay up through the long winter months (dare we say March?) Imagine the pleasure and surprise experienced if from the moment a visitor drives into town they can see the entire city mile lit up simply by white lights. Imagine people looking left then right to see the lovely display, taking notice not only of the beauty but of each business itself, possibly seeing a business for the first time by doing so.

Small towns do it all the time and become known for their common themes.  Large cities do it on certain streets and it lights up the dark winter nights with joy.

Please consider joining us in this vision and goal to bring more people to Yelm, help them enjoy even just passing through so that the next time, maybe they will stop to patronize some of our businesses.  Our goal is to both beautify and promote commerce in Yelm, to show our community spirit, to come together as a welcoming committee to all of those who visit our fine city and its businesses.

Thank you for your consideration. Your participation will make the difference. We look forward to “seeing” you!


Yelm Business Assn. Board of Directors

Dan Crowe, Executive Director & Founding Board Member
Cynthia Schmier, President & Founding Board Member
Steve Craig, Vice-President & Founding Board Member
Steve Klein, Secretary, Founding Board Member
Bill Hashim, Treasurer, Citizen Action Committee Ad Hoc Member
Marian Lixcandru
Jayne Cameron
Kellie Petersen

YBA Newsletter – Executive Director Dan Crowe on 2016 Accomplishments

– The 2016 YBA end-of-year Newsletter sent to members:

This last year has been a busy one. One of the main foci for the board was to put all of the information that we had gathered from 2015 into a workable form. Information is only valuable when it leads to action. In the course of several meetings, the Yelm Business Association (YBA) Board developed a strategic plan to more efficiently tackle those issues most important to the Yelm business community. During the first two YBA-conducted Town Hall meetings, we heard loud and clear those problems that both the Yelm businesses and Yelm’s citizens face with the city.

Using those problem statements as a starting point, the YBA began to brainstorm solutions on those problems about which we thought we could contribute. The YBA Work Plan for 2016 was a start, but we have a long way to go.

To begin, we decided to pick an action item that we could use as a test case. We heard during the YBA Town Halls that people and businesses would like “food trucks”. Currently, there are no city guidelines on permitting food trucks within the city limits. Although not of preeminence to business owners, we decided to make this issue a priority on our 2016 Work Plan to-do list, because this would give us an opportunity to learn how to work with the City of Yelm in proposing an ordinance within the Yelm codes and follow-through to adoption. While the process of amending a resolution is, on its face, a simple one, the practicality of enacting and changing an ordinance can be much more complex. In response to complaints about the City’s focus on big box store development, city leaders stated repeatedly they support all businesses wishing to come here and cannot pick and choose what kind of businesses are allowed. It stands to reason, then, that the City would not want to eliminate an entire category of businesses with food trucks. The result to-date has been that the city will have the first issues- oriented Yelm Town Hall to garner public input in 12 years.

These lessons learned with food trucks will help us as we start to implement more actions from our 2016 Work Plan, and should assist us to continue to work on developing a positive relationship with the City as we move forward with some of the more complex issues that businesses face.

Your YBA Board of Directors meets twice monthly in a commitment to bring a fresh awareness to the potentials and opportunities inherent in such a diverse community as Yelm.

Executive Board:
Executive Director Dan Crowe has been reviewing ordinances and looking for places where changes can be made. He is also the YBA’s lead public relations interface in the community. He and his wife Molly Carmody have been privileged to purchase and restore the Masonic Grange into the Crowe Law office building, providing Yelm with a Historic Landmark that combines the history of the past with a modern business, committed to Yelm’s future.

President Cynthia Schmier is on the Food Truck and Christmas Decorations Committee and provided her Re/Max Country business as the site for the co-sponsored Summer Art Show. Cynthia has almost 3 decades as a leader in Yelm’s real estate market which has provided her with an insight that made her the unanimous choice to be selected as YBA President.

Vice-President Steve Craig has been tireless in his work on the Beautification committee,
and crafted two art shows; plus, he has brought several ideas on which he is working to make Yelm a “destination” instead of a “drive-though” community. Steve is retired from a career in state government, a member of the Nisqually Land Trust Board, and owner of Yelm’s National Historic Wolf Building.

Treasurer Bill Hashim is the YBA’s Ad Hoc member working on our citizen’s advisory committee. He has brought his wealth of experience from state government in developing and implementing the YBA Strategic Plan. Bill has an astounding love for Yelm and has raised three children here, each of whom have become stand-outs in their fields of endeavor. His perspective has been of great benefit to the YBA.

Secretary Steve Klein takes all of the YBA Minutes and keeps them archived. He has worked to redesign the YelmBusiness.org website, created the YBA Twitter news feed, and shared his business acumen and experience with the board. Steve published a weekly Newsletter in Yelm from 2001-2011 inclusive and has written local, daily Blog news stories for almost 11 years. Steve’s vision on local issues has been a valauable asset to the YBA.

Additional Board members:
Kellie Petersen joined our board in early 2016 and immediately contributed her many talents to the Food Truck and Christmas Decorations Committees, bringing her unique understanding to these important projects, as owner of Gordon’s Garden Center.

Marian Licxandru is also new to the YBA board in 2016, which utilized his marketing talents as owner of Yelm’s & Olympia’s Pizzeria La Gitana, his strengths in social media, and his youthful passion of new ideas to bring visitors to Yelm.

Jayne Cameron is our newest Board member and rounds-out the YBA board’s talents, as she brings her legendary experience from the arts world and in Las Vegas, as owner of Yelm’s Triad Theater. Jayne’s insights of Community Theater being an asset to draw visitors to Yelm is a welcome addition to the YBA Beautification Committee

YBA founding Board member and Secretary, Molly Carmody, was elected to the Yelm City Council, November 4, 2015. As 2016 began, local business owner Tad Stillwell and Joe DePinto, who has with almost 6 years’ experience working for a representative in the state legislature joined Carmody on the city council. All three have shown a deep commitment to public safety, transparency, open government, and building a business-friendly environment. While these new additions to the City Council faced challenges from others entrenched in the past, they have brought a fresh, pro-business perspective to the council and we have seen great things from them since their inauguration. Indeed, in the last year, 5 council seats have been filled and a new interim Mayor, former councilor JW Foster, were seated. Mayor Harding accepted a position elsewhere and resigned. YBA President Schmier and Interim Mayor Foster met to discuss avenues of mutual interest, which was a very positive development.

* In conjunction with the Triad Arts Theater, the YBA conducted a first-of-its-kind community arts and crafts show highlighting our local artists’ talent, December 12, 2015. The Masonic Lodge, next to Gordon’s was filled with art and attracted a very large crowd of people. The YBA’s involvement was prominently featured. Featured in the Nisqually Valley News (NVN):
Read more

* Your YBA supported the Yelm Community Schools Replacement Maintenance & Operations Levy and their New Construction, Renovation & Safety Bond, February 4, 2016. The Levy passed, the bond did not. The YBA’s position was that properly funded schools produce high quality employees, future business leaders, and attract families to Yelm.
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* Your YBA approves news board member Marian Licxandru, owner of Pizzeria La Gitana, February 10, 2016. Marian replaced Molly Carmody who resigned pursuant to the bylaws when she was elected to public office.
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* Your YBA adopts a months-in-the-making Strategic Plan, incorporating action items from suggestions submitted from public Town Halls, February 24, 2016.

* Your YBA was the ONLY organization that responded to the Yelm Comprehensive Plan updates during the public comment period, which closed March 1, 2016. This plan has the potential to have a serious and lasting effect on the way we do business here in Yelm, and it was critical that your voice be heard. This comment also resulted in YBA President, Cynthia Schmier opening a dialogue with the City about strategic planning and the importance of supporting the local business community.
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* Your YBA Executive Board attended the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Forum which hosted Mayor Harding’s State of the City Address on March 8, 2016. In addition, the YBA met with the then newly-hired Chamber Executive Director in order to discuss a mutually beneficial working relationship with them and a brainstorming of ideas.

* Your YBA interviewed two prospective new Board members, March 9, 2016. Kellie Petersen joined the Board later that month.

* Your YBA’s comments submitted to the city on the Yelm Comprehensive Plan were published in the Nisqually Valley News (NVN), March 11, 2016.
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* Your YBA approved new board member Kellie Petersen, the owner of Gordon’s Garden Center, March 23, 2016.

* Your YBA was asked to send a representative to the City Administrator interviews selection process.
Read more

* Your YBA’s redesigned website went public Summer 2016.
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* Your YBA introduced a Twitter page featuring the latest YBA news.
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* Your YBA rounded-out their social media platform with a Facebook page.
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* Your YBA and The Triad Arts Theater co-hosted the first annual Summer Arts and Crafts show the weekend of September 10th, garnering Nisqually Valley News coverage.
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* Your YBA drafted Food Truck regulations, which Executive Director Dan Crowe submitted for consideration as a proposal to the Yelm City Council on September 13, 2016. These regulations are designed to allow Food Trucks to operate in Yelm. The city will induct the first city-issues Town Hall public forum in 12 years to include public comment on this proposal.
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* Your YBA Exec Dir. Dan Crowe and his wife Molly Carmody were lauded for Masonic Bldg. restoration in the Nisqually Valley News.
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* Your YBA approved new Board member Jayne Cameron, owner of The Triad Theater, October 11, 2016.

* Your YBA President Cynthia Schmier presented a proposal October 25, 2016, to name the Community Center for the Wolf Family, who served Yelm with distinction for over 8 decades.
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* Your YBA Food Truck proposal has been recognized and supported by the Washington Food Truck Assn.
Read more

* Your YBA Food Truck regulations proposal will be vetted in the first open-to-the-public city issues Yelm Town Hall in 12 years.
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* “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
– Jack Welch

For the last year and a half, the Yelm Business Assn. Board has been all about action. As the quote I’ve included above implies, information without action does not achieve results. We committed to take the information we’ve worked so hard to obtain and make it work for you. We need your help, though. We still require your direction, your input, and your involvement in our organization. You can contact any board member at any time, as we are all happy to listen to you about your concerns and how we can address them. More importantly, we need your help implementing the action plan, organizing a community event, out-reach, and more.

There is plenty of room for everyone at the table, so if you want to see Yelm be a place that truly supports local business – your business, then chip in! We invite you to join us and bring your passion, your interest for Yelm’s future.

Dan Crowe, Executive Director & Founding Board Member
Cynthia Schmier, President & Founding Board Member
Steve Craig, Vice-President & Founding Board Member
Steve Klein, Founding Board member, Secretary
Bill Hashim, Treasurer, Citizen Action Committee Ad Hoc Member
Marian Lixcandru
Jayne Cameron
Kellie Petersen

Email: Info@YelmBusiness.org

Click here for the YBA Newsletter print edition.