People On the Move…

Everett Babbitt, CEO of Bellingham Marine, has announced his retirement, effective Dec. 31, but he will continue as a Director of the company.

Babbitt joined Bellingham Marine in 1984 and held a variety of positions until 2004, when he was named President and CEO. Under his leadership, the company became recognized as the international leader in marina design-build construction and tripled its revenues. It now builds more coastal projects annually than all of its competitors combined.

“As with many of my colleagues, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to be able to spend my career with Bellingham Marine,” Everett said.  “I believe our success is based on our commitment to innovation, building a superior product, serving our clients’ needs, and hiring top talent.”

Owner and Chairman Joe Ueberroth, who also will assume the title of CEO, shared his appreciation of Everett’s contributions.  “We’ve been extremely fortunate to have Everett at the helm of our company for the better part of the last two decades,” Ueberroth said.  “Having him continue on as a member of our Board, and available for special projects, provides our team with confidence that we will take this transition in stride.”

Bellingham Marine specializes in floating docks, platforms and wave attenuation systems for marinas worldwide.


Michael Bayless has been promoted to CEO of Barkley Company in Bellingham, succeeding owner Stowe Talbot, who will remain as President.

Bayless will be responsible for the daily operation of the company, working with the management team on an ambitious 10-year growth plan as well as working with public, private, and community partners on the continued development of Barkley Village.

Prior to joining Barkley last July, Bayless served as CFO of Dawson Construction. A 25-year resident of Bellingham, Bayless has a broad background in real estate development, finance, and construction. He currently serves on the PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation Board.

Talbot said, “I’m excited to hand off some of my responsibilities to Michael. He brings exactly the right set of skills and work experience to the job. This will allow me to devote more time to master planning and long-range business strategy.”

Barkley’s commercial and residential spaces now enjoy near 100% occupancy. Among the new construction projects the company will embark on this year are a built-to-suit office structure and a 90-unit apartment complex. In the coming years, Barkley Company anticipates the build-out of several hundred more residential units, both for sale and rent. The company also will expand its commercial office and retail holdings and further develop its open-space and pedestrian infrastructure.

Barkley Village is a 250-acre urban village with a mix of residential, retail, office and civic uses in Bellingham. Barkley Company owns the majority of land and buildings in this neighborhood center, and serves as its lead developer. Started some 25 years ago, the development is owned by second-generation siblings, Stowe and Jane Talbot. Also see

Riley Cornelsen has joined Chad Fisher Construction (CFC) in Burlington as a project manager. He previously worked for GK Knutson in Bellingham as a project manager and estimator.

“We’re excited to have Riley join the team,” Co-owner Duke Fisher commented. “In working closely with him on many projects as a subcontractor, we appreciated his thorough attention to detail and knowledge in the industry, and we’re intrigued by the relationships he built with clients and co-workers. We’re confident he’ll be a great addition to the Chad Fisher Construction family.”

Cornelsen, a Ferndale resident, has 10 years’ experience in the construction industry and earned his bachelor’s degree in construction management from Washington State University.

Outside of his construction work, Cornelsen volunteers as a coach for both Ferndale High School and Ferndale Youth Football and is a member of the Ferndale School District Bond Task Force & Oversight Committee.

Ansa and Johan Steenkamp—an emigree couple from South Africa—are the new owners of Merry Maids of Whatcom County.

“We’re both passionate about the Merry Maids mission and culture,” Ansa said. “We want all our home and business customers to enjoy a clean and healthy environment, have time to relax, and not stress about cleaning.”

The Whatcom franchise has 13 professionally trained, bonded, and insured employees, with a 720-day incident-free safety record, Ansa said. And it uses state-of-the-art equipment, with environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, she added.

Johan said, “We fell in love with the Pacific Northwest eight years ago when we emigrated from South Africa. Ansa always is looking at opportunities to help and develop people and also likes a clean and tidy house, so Merry Maids was the perfect opportunity.”

Merry Maids offers regular home cleanings on a weekly, semi-weekly or monthly schedule. Special services include deep cleanings, move-in and move-out cleanings, and post-construction or refurbishment cleanings. It also serves some commercial clients.


Eco-Friendlier Cremation Alternative For Pets

Radiant Heart After-Care For Pets in Bellingham is offering water cremation as an eco-friendlier alternative to traditional fire-based cremation services.

With a growing demand for its boutique funeral services, Radiant Heart’s owner Bobbie Ruth Langley had been considering adding a second natural-gas-fired crematorium, but she was concerned about the additional environmental impact.

“Flame cremation of one pet can produce the same amount of CO2 as a 500-mile car trip,” Langley explained. Two years ago, she learned about a Seattle business that was offering a new water-cremation process that reduces an animal’s remains to bone, using water and alkali, rather than fire.

The result of both water and traditional flame-based cremation is the same—the pet’s body is reduced to bone, Langley said. However, the processes, and their effects on the environment, are very different. Traditional cremation uses a flame fed by natural gas, and the by-product is CO2. Water cremation uses alkaline hydrolysis, and the by-product is an effluviant that is released directly into the sewer system. Estimates are that water cremation has 1/10th the carbon footprint of traditional cremation.

“We believe water cremation is an attractive option to pet parents who care about the environment,” Langley said. Putting her money where her mouth is, as they say, Langley bought and installed the new water-cremation equipment at a cost of $100,000. She raised the funds through a combination of business savings, an equipment loan, and a personal loan.

Radiant Heart After-Care for Pets, Whatcom County’s sole pet-only funeral home, opened in the Fall of  2013 and serves pet owners as far south as Seattle.

‘Library Liftoff’ Airport’s New Digital Innovation

Here’s a worthwhile way to spend your time while awaiting a flight to depart or arrive at Bellingham International Airport!

The Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) and Bellingham International Airport (BLI) have partnered to launch “Library Liftoff”—an eye-catching space that encourages travelers to download free library eBooks and eAudiobooks while at the airport.

“With a WCLS library card, or a card from most public libraries, people can access thousands of digital materials, anytime and anywhere,” Christine Perkins, WCLS Executive Director, said. “Library Liftoff is an innovative way for us to engage more people outside of the library’s walls, while making airport wait times a little more enjoyable.”

Although the Library Liftoff space is at Gate D, travelers may use the free wireless Internet access anywhere in the airport to download the free Libby eBook and eAudiobook reader to their personal mobile phone or tablet and stock up on great reading.

“BLI always is looking for ways to improve our customers’ experience, and Library Liftoff does exactly that,” Marie Duckworth, BLI Landside Supervisor, said. “Our visitors now can enjoy free digital materials and carry a library in their pockets while traveling.”

Both WCLS and BLI have made major service changes over the last few years. WCLS offers 40,000 eBooks and eAudiobooks, 13 million songs to stream and download, nearly 150 digital magazines, and access to online research tools, like NewsBank, Consumer Reports, Chilton’s Online Library, and many others.

In the Fall of 2018, BLI launched direct flights from Bellingham to Tucson. It also offers non-stop flights to Seattle, San Juan Islands, Oakland/San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, Phoenix-Mesa, and Las Vegas. Seasonal service is offered to Hawaii (Kona) and Maui from November through April. More information about airport services can be found at

To learn more about Library Liftoff, visit

Bellingham Farmers Market Expands To Barkley Village

The Downtown Bellingham Farmers Market runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday from April through December 21. And this year, there will be a new farmers market at Barkley Village every Wednesday, from June through September, with hours to be announced.

“We’re thrilled to have the Bellingham Farmers Market as part of the Barkley Village community this year and hope that the new location can serve both the employees who call Barkley Village home by day and the greater neighborhood in the early evenings,” said Neal Swanson, Vice President of Barkley Village. “Providing access to the bounty of fresh produce this area produces has been a goal of the Village for a number of years, and we’re excited to see it come to fruition.”

The Bellingham Farmers Market is taking a hiatus from its Wednesday Fairhaven Farmers Market this year, to evaluate the location, hours, and consumer needs.

The addition of Barkley Village offers an opportunity to expand vendor membership. “Barkley Village has the advantages of space and ample parking, so we can explore options such as food trucks, CSA (Community Supportive Agriculture) box pick-up points, and picnic-table seating,” Market Director Caprice Teske noted.

This year, the Market’s focus is on vendors offering specialty crops, processed foods using locally grown ingredients, and crafts not already represented in the current market mix. For vendor and other information visit