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Jun 17, 2022


Portland-based NAVEX, a leader in integrated risk and compliance management software, announced Cindy Raz has been named the company's first chief people officer, reporting directly to CEO and president, Sean Thompson. In her more than 10 years at NAVEX, Raz has served in progressively senior roles responsible for human resources and associated organizational development programs. Under Raz's leadership, NAVEX has furthered its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, including the creation of an LGBTQ+ Community Group, a Racial Justice Task Team, a Women in Sales Group and the NAVEX Parents Group. Raz previously held HR roles at EthicsPoint and Waggener Edstrom. She earned her bachelor's degree from Portland State University and is a Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional.

Strong Tower Consulting

Strong Tower Consulting, a Bellevue-based management-consulting firm, was named a finalist for the 2022 Microsoft Supplier Prestige Awards. As a Certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprise and a Women Owned Business Enterprise, Strong Tower was recognized for its dedication to trustworthy client service and leveraging the power of diversity to solve problems. With more than 70% of its workforce female, Strong Tower has created programs to support women such as the Women's Leadership and Development Group and Returning Caregivers program, which provide formal and informal mentorship and company incentives. Strong Tower also operates as a 100% carbon neutral firm, encouraging lower carbon work patterns while offsetting transportation and energy use by investing in clean energy programs and planting one tree for every week worked by each employee. Additionally, Strong Tower's philanthropy program focuses on giving back $1 for every billable consultant hour to the firm's 10 non-profit charity partners, as chosen by each Strong Tower consultant. In 2021, Strong Tower was named one of Washington State's “100 Best Companies To Work For” by Seattle Business magazine and previously Washington's Most Equitable Workplace by The Puget Sound Business Journal.


Seattle-base Banzai, an enterprise SaaS Engagement Marketing platform for virtual events, announced that it has entered into a share subscription facility agreement with GEM Global Yield, a Luxembourg-based alternative investment group for an investment commitment of up to $100 million to be made within 36 months after a public listing. In this tailored agreement, Banzai will control the amount and timing of any drawdowns under this facility with no minimum subscription obligation and will issue shares of common stock. The proceeds from this capital investment will enable Banzai to expand further to service the company's roster of customers. Banzai customers include Argyle, HubSpot, Nutshell, and ActiveCampaign, among thousands of others. Global Emerging Markets (GEM) is a $3.4 billion alternative investment group based in Paris, New York and the Bahamas.

Amazon Prime Day

Amazon's annual Prime Day event is back. The 48-hour event kicks off July 12 at 3 a.m. EDT and runs through July 13 for Prime members in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, the U.K., the U.S., and for the first time ever in Poland and Sweden. Later this summer, Prime Day deals events will be held in India, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as in Egypt for the first time.

Jun 16, 2022

Seattle Opera

Seattle Opera has selected Dennis Robinson, Jr., a seasoned theater administrator with extensive experience as a stage director, as its next director of programs and partnerships. Robinson studied opera directing at Carnegie Mellon University. He was most recently the manager of artistic administration at Palm Beach Opera. Before arriving in Palm Beach, Robinson served as director of education and accessibility at City Theatre Company in Pittsburgh and manager of community programs and accessibility at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. His directorial career includes engagements at Boston Lyric Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Pittsburgh Opera, and Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, where he was resident assistant director for five years. Robinson designed collaborations in Pittsburgh with organizations such as the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Seattle Opera was established in 1963.


BECU's CEO and President Benson Porter announced that he is retiring at the end of the year, after ten years leading the credit union and more than 35 years in the financial services industry. During Porter's time at the credit union, BECU has grown from just under $10 billion in assets to more than $30 billion in total assets today. During that same period, membership grew from over 800,000 members to more than 1.28 million members this past year. The credit union also expanded its business services to serve over 68,600 business members.

The BECU Board of Directors has established a CEO Succession Committee to select its new leader. Recruiting efforts will begin soon, which includes executing a nationwide search that will consider internal and external applicants.


Altavair appointed Brian Rynott as senior vice president, marketing – Americas. Rynott will play a key role in expanding and deepening relationships across the Americas to further grow Altavair's managed fleet of leased commercial aircraft. Rynott brings over 20 years of airline and aviation experience to Altavair. Prior to joining Altavair, he held senior positions at Alinda Capital Partners, an independent investment manager, and Alton Aviation Consultancy, where he contributed to the firm's practice areas in aircraft financing and leasing, airline advisory and restructuring, and strategy and management consulting engagements. Previously, Rynott was the chief investment officer with Intrepid Aviation, a commercial aircraft lessor. Earlier in his career, he served as vice president of risk management at aircraft lessor AWAS. Altavair is an asset manager focusing on the acquisition of new and used commercial aircraft for leasing to domestic and international passenger airlines and cargo operators. Altavair maintains offices in Seattle, London, Dublin and Singapore.

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the largest winery in the Pacific Northwest and the third-largest premium winery in the United States, announced several changes to its winemaking team, under the direction of Chief Winemaker Juan Muñoz-Oca. After 9 years as winemaker for Col Solare and 26 years with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Darel Allwine will retire at the end of June. Allwine joined Col Solare in 2006 as a cellar master before taking over as head winemaker in 2013. Stephanie Cohen, who has been working alongside Allwine at Col Solare since 2020, has been named winemaker. Cohen has held vineyard and cellar roles at wineries in New Zealand, California, Australia, and Oregon prior to joining Col Solare. And, after nearly 20 years at the helm of one of Oregon's founding wineries, Gary Horner of Erath Winery, will also retire at the end of the month. Leah Adint has been named head winemaker for Erath. Adint is just the third head winemaker in Erath's 50-year history. She has held viticulture and winemaking roles at wineries in California, Australia, France, Switzerland, and Washington. Prior to joining the winemaking team at Erath in 2021, she was the traveling winemaker for Chateau Ste. Michelle. Col Solare is a partnership between Chateau Ste. Michelle and Italy's Marchesi Antinori. The Ste. Michelle Wine Estates portfolio includes Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14 Hands Winery, Columbia Crest, Intrinsic Wine, Erath Winery, Patz & Hall, Borne of Fire, Northstar, and Spring Valley Vineyard, along with several other premium brands.

C&W has $193M role in Belltown high rise

Security Properties broke ground about two months ago on The Confidential, a 29-story, 212-unit project in Belltown. The developer then said MetLife Investment Management was its equity partner, and that a construction loan would soon follow for the roughly $200 million venture. Now Cushman & Wakefield has announced its recent role in arranging $193 million in financing: about $115.2 million from MetLife, and an over $65.1 loan from Bank OZK. Public records indicate that the latter deal closed this week. For the whole package, C&W's Dave Karson, Chris Moyer, Alex Lapidus and Meredith Donovan worked with all parties. Karson said in a statement, “The region is still facing a significant housing shortage due to the incredible big tech job growth in area. The Confidential is going to be one of the nicest apartment buildings in the Pacific Northwest.” VIA Architecture is the designer, and Exxel Pacific the builder.

Spire 50% sold; pricey penthouses available

Laconia Development opened its 41-story, 343-unit Spire last August, with the condominiums being sold in tranches. Now on the market are premium penthouses on the uppermost floors. (The gym and amenities are on the very top floor.) Unit 3904 is priced at $3.85 million, says the developer. It's in a range between $1.2 million for 677 square feet and $4 million for a three-bedroom with 2,616 square feet. Luxury features in the penthouses include fully automated parking, Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, fireplaces and deep soaking tubs in select penthouses. Laconia's Paul Menzies said in a statement, “Our penthouse collection is an inimitable blend of luxury and grand vistas. Spire is indisputably unrivaled in the market. For anyone looking for the pinnacle of luxury living in Seattle, this is it.” Polaris Pacific is selling the units, with about 50% now sold.

Broadmark loans $57M for 58 Factoria units

Basel Capital announced this week a $57.3 million construction loan for its Cambridge Manor condominium project in Factoria. Broadmark Realty Capital provided the funds; its Mike Incrocci led that effort. Basel's Dr. George Li said in a statement, “The closing of this loan kicks off a new project phase for us. In the coming months, we are going to start seeing the site transforming into a purpose-built townhome community.” The 5-acre site on Coal Creek Parkway Southeast will get 58 units in nine buildings. Basel broke ground in February, doing its own construction and design in-house. Freiheit Architecture also consulted on the project. Completion is anticipated by late next year.

Northmarq secures $33M refi in Bellevue

Earlier this month, Northmarq said it had secured $33 million in refinacing for the 168-unit Gardens at Town Square, a 24-year-old midrise senior housing community in downtown Bellevue. Stuart Oswald led the effort, and said, “This is a well-run community which has maintained an excellent reputation serving the Bellevue, Washington seniors community for over two decades. It was a pleasure having an opportunity to work with the team members at ERA Living” (the latter being the owner and borrower. The lender wasn't named. Northmarq says the new money comes with a 10-year fixed-rate term, and a 30-year amortization. It replaces an old $20.4 million loan.

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