Archive for September, 2009

Foundation for the Future Lecture- Donald C. Johanson, Ph.D

September 30, 2009
Donald C. Johanson, Ph.D

Donald C. Johanson, Ph.D

Tonight RJ shot a lecture with a HDV video camera for the Foundation for the Future at the Town Hall in Seattle.  The guest lecturer was Donald C. Johanson, the paleoanthropologist who discovered “Lucy” the 3.2 million-year-old fossil hominid skeleton.  Johanson’s lecture was focused on “Darwin and Human Evolution.”  It has been thirty years since my last anthropology class, so I was spellbound by Johanson’s educational lecture about the history of evolution and how recent finds in fossil discoveries are proving Darwin right time and time again.  Johanson talked about how the origins of man all point to Africa and how changes in diet and tools have helped effect the size of our teeth.  I really enjoyed shooting the High Definition Video for the Foundation for the Future.  You can learn more about their mission and other lectures at www.futurefoundation.org


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Joe & Kay Regan – B-17 gunner shot down in WW2, POW in Germany, Married 65 years

September 29, 2009
Joe Regan with his wife Kay, and Director RJ McHatton

Joe Regan with his wife Kay, and Director RJ McHatton

Joe Regan shows us the spoon he made from a tin can and shared with  all the POWs shared

Joe Regan shows us the spoon he made from a tin can and shared with all the POWs

Joe Regan

Joe Regan

It was a glorious day in the Northwest.  I drove along the lake and the sky was perfect blue.  I was there to pickup Joe and Kay Regan.  My goal was to interview Joe for a video biography interview.  Joe served as a B-17 belly gunner and his aircraft was shot down over Germany.  Joe was captured by the Germans and became a POW of Stalag 7a with thousands of roommates.  Joe told some incredible stories about his experiences over there.  It was a very emotional time for both of us.  Luckily Joe’s beautiful wife Kay was there to calm us down.  Joe and Kay have been married 65 years.  I feel blessed to have met Kay and Joe.   They are most proud of raising five children and then another five foster kids, too.  After the war Joe didn’t do much flying but he was able in recent years to fly in a B-17 a couple of times.  Sometimes its real hard for Joe to think about those days as a POW.  He remembers the hunger, the joy he realized when his POW camp was liberated, and the times he met Patton and Eisenhower.   He also remembers the spoon he made out of a tin can, and how he shared that spoon with so many other POWs in the Stalag.

Brian Vance – CEO of Heritage Bank

September 27, 2009
Brian Vance with Director RJ McHatton

Brian Vance with Director RJ McHatton

I had never been to downtown Olympia before.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  We were there in Olympia to interview Brian Vance, the CEO of Heritage Bank, for the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Best Workplaces” video project.  Brian did a great interview.  Brian is originally from a farm and ranching family in Southern Idaho.  He calls himself a cowboy because that is where his roots came from.  Brian told me how he had started in the banking business as a teller and over the years he had worked almost every job in the bank.  Now he is the CEO of one of the fastest growing community banks in the country.  He was proud that his bank just became a “Billion Dollar” bank, which is a huge milestone in his industry.  We talked about how his company has become a “Best Workplace.”  Brian said it all came down to the values of integrity, listening to your people, and doing the right thing.  He talked about the importance of keeping constant communication with the team and keeping to the fundamental vision.  Brian talked about the 80 year history of the Heritage Bank and how proud he was to see it growing still, even in tough economic times.  I could tell that Brian was very passionate about the importance of honesty and integrity and having fun with his team.  Some of the Heritage team made sure I heard about Brian’s famous “Pancake” recipe.  Brian talked about the company picnics and Pancake parties.  Sounds like a great place to work.

Interview with Rob Harris – Founder & CEO of Pacific Market International (PMI)

September 24, 2009
Rob Harris with Director RJ McHatton

Rob Harris with Director RJ McHatton

It was a fantastic morning in downtown Seattle as we headed over to the Pacific Market International headquarters.  We were there to interview CEO and Founder Rob Harris for the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Best Workplaces” video project.  We were greeted by a very enthusiastic team including HR Manager Doreen Huether and Marketing Communications Coordinator Jenn Ottele.  Rob Harris is a very nice guy.  During our interview he talked about the history of his company and how he started it 26 years ago in his home.  Now it is an international company with offices in several countries including China and England.  We talked about the culture of his organization and how important it was to create a great place to work.  Rob talked about the core values of his team and the fantastic character they have shown over the years.  He said his proudest moments were when he saw his people grow as people.  He talked about his joy in seeing people move up in his organization and he thinks the secret to success is listening to your people.  I really enjoyed meeting Rob Harris and his team at PMI.  They are very positive, nice people.

Jim Sypher – MassMutual Financial Group

September 24, 2009
Director RJ McHatton with Jim Sypher of MassMutual

Director RJ McHatton with Jim Sypher of MassMutual

It is always very exciting to drive into downtown Seattle on a beautiful sunny morning.  Today my son Jason and I could feel our ears pop as we rode the elevators up to higher floors of the big black Columbia Tower.  We were there to interview Jim Sypher of MassMutual Financial Group. MassMutual was a finalist as one of the “Best Workplaces” as awarded by the Puget Sound Business Journal.  We were interviewing all the top leaders of these companies for a video project.  I really enjoyed meeting Jim and the MassMutual team.  They are so enthusiastic and cheerful.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time.  Jim did a super job in the interview.  He talked about the unique “team” culture there at MassMutual and the important values that have been so profound during the recent financial crunches.  He talked about the incredible dedication his team has focused on integrity and courage and character.  Jim talked about how important attitude can be to the success of an organization.  I learned a lot in my meeting with Jim.  He has one of the best view offices I have ever seen.  You can almost watch a Seahawks or Mariners game from his office. Jim explained to me how important the concept of “Mutual” is to his industry and how proud he was to work for MassMutual.

Voice over for Camp Korey Video

September 23, 2009
Filmmaker Julia Welbourne, Director RJ McHatton, with Camp Korey Coordinator Eva Dankanics

Filmmaker Julia Welbourne, RJ McHatton, with Camp Korey Marketing & Communications Coordinator Eva Dankanics

We are very proud and happy to help the Camp Korey team in any way we can.  I first heard of Camp Korey about three years ago when I read an article about the actor Paul Newman being in the area.  He was here to check out the property at the old Carnation Farm located near my Ames Lake area home in the Snoqualmie Valley.  Camp Korey is associated with the “Hole in the Wall Camps” which offers supervised camps for very sick kids and their families.  Recently I was contacted by the voice over artist Patti Payne to see if they could use our studio to record some voice overs for the Camp Korey team.  We were happy to help in any way we can.   I lost my Dad to cancer back in the early 1990s and I will never forget how devastating the experience was for my family.  I think the Camp Korey project is a wonderful cause and I recommend you check out their great website and videos at www.campkorey.org

Ben Wiener & Salomon Stavchansky

September 23, 2009
Ben Wiener & Salomon Stavchansky

Ben Wiener & Salomon Stavchansky

I had a fantastic meeting with Ben Wiener & Salomon Stavchansky.  We met in Vancouver to discuss the production of my new historical documentary on the “Impact of Generic Drugs on the Changing Health Care Environment.”  Dr. Stavchansky is a Professor at the College of Pharmacy, University of Texas at Austin, and an internationally recognized expert on the generic drug industry.  Ben Wiener was one of the early entrepreneurs in the Generic Drug industry, dating back to the 1940s.  Both Ben and Sol are fantastic mentors to this documentary project.  I am tremendously grateful for their influence and support.

Scott Dietzen – CEO of Lemaster Daniels CPA

September 21, 2009
Scott Dietzen with Director RJ McHatton

Scott Dietzen with Director RJ McHatton

My son Jason and I drove over to Spokane to interview Scott Dietzen, CEO of Lemaster Daniels CPA.  We were interviewing Scott for the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Best Workplaces” video project.  Scott did a super job in the interview.  He talked about the very strong legacy and Core Values of the Original founders of the firm.  Lemaster Daniels recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary.  Scott talked about his experience as a basketball coach and how important it was that every member of the firm understand and grab onto the expectations of positive behaviors.  I was very impressed by the leadership philosophies of Scott Dietzen.

Russell Steele – CEO Clearwater Casino & Resort

September 21, 2009
Russell Steele with Director RJ McHatton

Russell Steele with Director RJ McHatton

My son Jason and I took the fairy to Bainbridge Island.  It was a fantastic day.  Jason brought the binoculars.  We were there to interview Russell Steele, the CEO of Clearwater Casino and Resort.  Russell did a super job in the interview.  He talked about the many programs that his company has put into place to help inspire a “Best Workplace” culture.  He talked about the importance of offering educational opportunities for the team and providing a great environment for listening to the employees needs.

Brad Burkett – Kimpton Restaurants & Hotels

September 21, 2009
Brad Burkett with Director RJ McHatton

Brad Burkett with Director RJ McHatton

I really enjoyed meeting Brad Burkett from Kimpton Restaurants & Hotels.  I was there at the Alexis Hotel in Seattle to interview Brad for the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Best Workplaces” video project.  Kimpton was a finalist for the Best Workplace of the year awards.  Brad told me some of the fundamental values that helped create such a winning culture at Kimpton.  He talked about the importance of his team overdelivering with clients and doing whatever it takes to make experiences special.  He talked about the vision of the Founder and how their company has grown from one location to fifty.   Brad talked about the empowerment that he and all Kimpton employees feel and how wonderful it was to work for such a friendly company.