I enlisted in the US Coast Guard in 1978 at 18 years old. I did it on a dare, not knowing what the Coast Guard was all about and it was just when they were letting women enlist. My original plan was to just do my 4-year enlistment to earn some money to go to College to be a Graphic Artist. I tested well enough in the military entrance exam (ASVAP) to be a Mechanical Engineer, which at that time was a new path that females in the Coast Guard were being allowed to explore.
When I attended my training school in Yorktown Virginia, I was the third female in the Coast Guard to go thru and the second to graduate as a Mechanic Technician. I quickly learned that the "Old Salts” in the Coast Guard were not excited to be working alongside a female, especially a female in a non-traditional role such as a mechanic. Other than the prejudice, I enjoyed the work but realized that I would have to work 4 times as hard to earn the acceptance of my male counterparts. I figured out the best way to work with men was to be strong physically, emotionally, and mentally and to be their boss!
So, as time went along my hard work was showing and paying off and I advanced to be in a supervisory position. Because I had worked so hard to make my way, I was very skilled and knowledgeable in my trade and as a supervisor that was eventually well respected. I continued my Coast Guard career for over 20 years obtaining a rate of E-7 (the second female in the history of the Coast Guard at the time) as a Mechanic Technician.
I retired in 2000 at the age of 40 yrs. old. This set the pace for all my following ventures in life, as felt I was able to hurdle and do what everybody said I couldn’t do by working hard, not quitting, and believing in myself. Along the way I had a daughter and ended up adopting my brothers’ 5 year-old daughter after he passed away. I wanted my girls to be confidant and understand that they have the option to try and be anything they wanted to be. I strived to set a strong example for them, and always told them “Be the best person they could be every day”.
Although not always easy I have achieved my goals and been able to be successful in life while still maintaining my strong personal values of kindness and fairness. Since my Coast Guard retirement, I worked for over 12 years with the School District working with “at risk" students. I have started and run several business ventures. I enjoy jobs where I have the opportunity to help others, encourage, and mentor. I am proud to tell my story to others that “second guess” themselves, because I figure if I can do it anybody can!
Alyssa Springs is the owner of Flow Motion, a yoga sanctuary, salt cave, and healing spa in Ferndale, Wa. Originally from Eastern Pennsylvania, she is a graduate of Northampton Community College with an associate degree in business and a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s in international politics. Prior to settling in Bellingham eight years ago, she opened the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s first commercial bellydance studio with a dance community that is still active to this day.
Alyssa holds many dance and fitness certifications and is active in many local and national networking groups. Having grown Flow Motion from a dance and fitness facility into a holistic wellness center for locals and a destination for out-of-towners, her mission has always been one of making self-care accessible for all.
Social connectedness and community engagement hold equal weight to the tradition of eating right and exercising when it comes to living well. Alyssa is most proud of making accessibility an option for everyone. There are free book and hiking clubs for anyone to join in, memberships are attainable regardless of finances through an Energy Exchange program, and a space-share program for Women entrepreneurs gives them access to free space rental to hold business events.
Alyssa most recently opened up access to the salt cave and yoga classes on an ongoing basis to a local group helping survivors of sex trafficking. With a former career working in Federal law enforcement on the Arizona border, Alyssa had first-hand experience with human trafficking. Alyssa is dedicated to easing suffering and communicating care by sharing Flow Motion with others, especially women, to find healing.
Alyssa knows every human walking through the doors of Flow Motion has life happening to them, from victims of crimes to people going through divorce, the passing of a family member, or “simply” daily life stress. Alyssa’s passion for hospitality reaches to her volunteer efforts with the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador helping other business owners connect and feel welcome.
She’s won several awards in the last five years including Member of the Month twice, Ambassador of the Year twice, and the Spirit of Ferndale Award. Flow Motion has also won Bronze for Best Yoga Studio in Bellingham Alive’s Best of the Northwest and Alyssa was recently nominated to be in the running for the 2019 Dream Big Award with the U.S. Chamber. She holds several annual community events around the holidays centered on creating memorable experiences for the local community and was a 2018 Neighborhood Champion for the Small Business Saturday movement by American Express where Flow Motion was open for local small businesses without storefronts to come do business the day after Black Friday.
In her personal time, she enjoys life with her cats, hiking, pulling weeds, and finds peace in the quiet time waiting for a cup of hot tea to cool just enough.
I grew up in Lynnwood and Mukilteo reason of Washington, the youngest of three kids.
My childhood years were filled with good memories-camping in the Northwest, spending summers at our family cabin in Northwestern Ontario an playing in the woods near our family home.
My parents were hardworking and very resourceful. They taught me the value of hard work. My mother always worked, first at our family business, later as a sales representative. She would bring me along with her to work. Even as a preschooler, I had my own little desk in our store and proudly told customers I was the Assistant Manager. As I grew older, my mom found age appropriate tasks for me. Pricing merchandise, putting it nicely on shelves and doing product inventory. By the time I was a teenager, I was earning money by working after school and during school breaks filling offers in the company warehouse.
My mom was and is a tremendous influence on my life and has always been a great example of what it is to be a professional woman.
My family has long been my source of encouragement and motivation. When I was young, I wanted to make my parents proud, and now I want to set a good example for my own kids and make them proud of me. My husband and I are raising our two children, Jack-13 and Cate -10. They are the light of our lives and we feel tremendously blessed to be able to raise them here in Whatcom County close to mountains, the Salish Sea and Puget Sound. We love being close to the woods so they can run around an play like I did as a kid. I remember loving Bellingham so much as a college student at Western Washington University and at the time I really wanted to stay here but I couldn’t find any local job opportunities.
One of the things that drives me today is a desire to create an environment of economic prosperity-one where people can stay in Whatcom County and find meaningful work, where they have equal opportunity for education and training and the creation of good paying jobs which will contribute to the larger success of our community..
Lynn Giuliani is the President and Founder of Progressions Inc, a training and consulting company specializing in helping companies create a customer driven sales culture with confident, professional team members. Her approach is to form a partnership with her clients, so she walks them through all the steps of change using her coaching model and vast experience. Lynn has authored 5 books and created over 300 training modules. She takes great pride in customizing all her training to her client's needs. The skills that Lynn imparts are universal skills that help in all parts of ones’ life.
Lynn holds the prestigious designation of Certified Speaking Professional earned by less than 300 women worldwide. She is often asked to spend time with classmates or their family to help them with career direction or the simple challenges of life. Lynn is always willing to do so, as with nearly 50 years of experience it is a joy to help others. From speaking on Cruise Ships, to Classrooms throughout the US, to one on one Executive Coaching- Lynn’s experience and people skills are vast.
In the past 5 years she has dedicated a good portion of her time to sharing her speaking and training talents with Non- Profits. Lydia Place, Engedi Refuge, NW Youth Services and Jansen Art Center are just a few of the organizations she donates her time to in training and fundraising. Lynn serves on the Board for Jansen Art Center. You will also see her at most of local auctions with undoubtedly one of her hand made pottery pieces as a donation.
Lynn and her husband Mike have 4 children between them and 5 grandchildren. They are grateful for the full and rewarding life they share.
Teresa Taylor was born in Chicago, IL, but moved to Whatcom County at the age of 3 where she has lived most of her life. Both her mother and father are U.S. Army veterans, both honorably discharged from the military. It was very important to them to establish permanent roots to raise their family, the reason they moved to Washington. Those same values were instilled in Teresa, raising her own family in Ferndale. Both her daughter Justina and son Steven attended Ferndale schools from kindergarten through high school graduation. Like any mother, she wanted to ensure that her city remains a great place to raise children.
Teresa ran for an elected Ferndale City Council position in 2015 and won. She is serving her fourth year as an elected Ferndale Council Member. Her liaison responsibilities include the Ferndale Downtown Association, Ferndale Heritage Society, Ferndale School District, Ferndale Community Resource Cooperative, Bellingham International Airport Advisory Committee, and Whatcom Transit Authority.
Teresa is an enrolled member of the Lummi Nation. Teresa currently works as the Project Manager for the Lummi Indian Business Council’s Office of Economic Policy Division. The Project Manager implements projects approved by the Economic Development Commission, LIBC Treasurer and LIBC. This is a key position in building sustainable economic growth for the Lummi Nation. This role is highly collaborative and requires managing work across internal and external teams to drive projects to completion.
Teresa was appointed to the Board of Trustees for Whatcom Community College, by Governor Jay Inslee. The board’s duties include setting the college’s strategic direction, establishing policy, awarding tenure, approving the operating budget and hiring the college President.
In her consulting practice, Strategic Development Northwest LLC, Teresa has also worked on code research and revisions, public relations work, and non-profit management. She is also the proud owner of a small business, Washington Fireworks.
Teresa is a former board member for the YWCA Bellingham, serving for 8 years. She served as Treasurer of the board in 2014 and Chair of the Selection Committee for the Northwest Women’s Hall of Fame Board Member, a subsidiary committee.
Teresa served on the Executive Board for the Washington State Democrats, served as the State Committee Woman for the 42nd Legislative District, and was the Secretary/Treasurer for the Native American Caucus for the Washington State Democrats. In 2012 she went to the Democratic National Committee as a National Delegate for Barack Obama.
Teresa is a former board member of the Lummi Nation’s Law & Justice Commission, serving for 10 years, which specifically focused on issues of violence against women, peace with justice, code revisions, legislative issues and oversight of the Chief of Police and Chief Judge.