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Eye on '13: Tacomans and Olympians with big plans in 2013

Weekly Volcano has 13 South Sound movers and shakers in our sights for 2013

KEEP AN EYE ON THEM: Roderick Campbell, Nancy Balderas, Brian Wilson and Chuck Knigge have big plans in 2013. Photo credit: Winter Teems

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It's the first week of the year, and you know what that means: crystal-ball time at weekly newspapers. Here at the Weekly Volcano, we have identified local people we expect to make headlines in the coming 12 months.

How did these South Sounders make our list? We define each as a person who has the clout, influence, imagination and guts to get the job done. They are folks who help drive his or her entire industry, both through direct influence and leading by example. They are not only on the scene - they make the scene.

Each one earned a spot on this list, but the Weekly Volcano is more interested in what they plan to do next. We asked each of our illustrious 13 to tell the South Sound what they intend to accomplish in 2013.

Sen. Jeannie Darneille

Freshman state senator, 27th District

HUMAN SERVICES: "My goals for 2013 will be to quickly acclimate to the new environment in the Senate, where I will rekindle relationships with 21 of the members who previously served with me in the House and build new relationships. My committee work will focus primarily on human services - economic poverty, mental illness and recovery, criminal and juvenile justice and health care - access, quality and cost, and, of course, continuing to balance the state budget. Also, all of us have been deeply impacted by violence that has cut short the lives of children. In my work on human services, I will work to find a rational strategy for our state that improves gun safety and reduces violence."

Derek Young

Partner, Seasonal View program management agency
Founder, Suite133 coworking space
Publisher, Exit133, voted best blog in Tacoma last five years

COMMUNITY: "After a year where I spent a significant amount of time accumulating frequent flyer miles, my goal in 2013 is to focus on my community and family. I'm putting a lot of effort into several new opportunities that will allow us to work in Tacoma. Separately, we're looking to further expand the Tacoma running community. This is a community that has exploded in the last few years. A couple friends and I started the Tacoma Runners nearly three years ago and it has grown to more than two thousand members based on a weekly organized beer run. We're now launching a weekly timed 5k (3.1 mile) run at Point Defiance Park every Saturday morning. My hope is to further create running opportunities that motivate and inspire runners. More importantly, by continuing to be free, I hope to expand access so that people from any corner of our city can join us for a timed running event. We're permitted for more than 100 runs in 2013. I'm excited."

Tasha Ina Church

Co-facilitator, Ladies First Women's Group
Director, Vibrant Schools Tacoma

SCHOOLS: "Ladies First is an in-school and after-school program piloted last year at First Creek Middle School. The program works on self-esteem, body image and self-defense training for ladies. Three schools have picked up the program for 2013. I'm also director of the non-profit Vibrant Schools Tacoma, which focuses on advocacy work for Tacoma students of color and students impacted by poverty to help make them college and career ready. The year 2013 is busy, but I love it."

Brian Wilson

Downtown liaison, city of Olympia

NEW PARK: "We're in the middle of planning an urban park at the Artesian Well. We have secured $100K for the park next year. The park will "potentially" include a basketball court, food trucks, additional seating, a kids play area and a stage for performances. I'm also committed to getting the community involved in the future of downtown."

Doug Stoeckicht

Marketing, The Warehouse

MUSIC: "Our quarterly Candle Lit Series kicks off late January. It will be our first event of 2013. For those unfamiliar with the event, it's held at Urban Grace and is illuminated by candles only. Artists/groups play with minimal instrumentation. The kicker is that we seat our patrons on the stage with the artist. Our end product is something simple, intimate and unique that creates and builds a bond between our guests and artists. We've had nothing but positive feedback. We're lining up some fantastic acts already. We also plan to continue our House Shows and our Warehouse large shows. All events will be posted on Facebook and, of course, our frequently stolen posters will be posted throughout the city. Keep your eyes open."

Rob Richards

Program manager, Olympia Downtown Ambassadors

SAFER DOWNTOWN: "The biggest thing for me will be taking on the Olympia Downtown Ambassadors full time - mediators, street cleaners, resource providers and friendly faces that work to keep downtown clean and safe - and really getting the chance to make that program shine. The pilot period over the last six months of 2012 was great, but I think this program can continue to excel, and do even more. I hope to guide it toward that in the coming year."

Roderick Campbell

Co-founder, CommitChange, Olympia

SOCIAL WELFARE: "My goal is to build a wildly successful company by exclusively doing good in the world. To that end, we started working on CommitChange, a charitable giving platform that allows you to explore local nonprofit stories, make sustainable donations and see your impact on the community. We are investor backed and launched our most basic features in December, but you can expect our most exciting features this spring. I can't tell you what they are yet, but they'll radically change community participation as we know it."

Nancy Balderas

Branch manager, Anchor Bank, Lacey

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: "I'm a graduate of the Leadership Thurston County Class of 2012. I am currently researching and developing a youth model (high school) similar to the leadership program, which is aimed at enriching the lives and opportunities of young people in Thurston County. I am a passionate community volunteer and divide my time between mentoring and supporting kids at Lacey Elementary School, serving as a committee member of the Lacey Chamber of Commerce Education Council, and as the Assistant Treasurer for Masterworks Choral Ensemble."

Andrea Erickson

Director, Flow Gallery, Tacoma

ART: "Flow is often referred to as a ‘tiny' gallery but we have big things planned for 2013. It's the Year of the Snake in the Chinese lunar calendar and just like the snake, Flow plans to make our upcoming shows fun loving and passionate, with no compromises. The year will start with our continuation of our current show, "a retrospective of the artwork by Fumiko Kimura" through February. Though no dates have been set, shows that we are planning and really looking forward to will feature the stunning photography of Sharon Styer. Sharon was the Tacoma Visitor's Bureau Grand Prize Winner, Where Art Meets Nature, in 2012 and her amazing work often features Tacoma as the back drop or as the featured subject."

Chris Keil

Owner, 1022 South, Tacoma

BUSINESS: "Right now I'm working on developing a beverage program for a larger restaurant group. Also, I'm in discussions with a couple of different people about collaborating on different projects here in town. In a few months we will celebrate 1022's 4th anniversary. I'm really excited to continue to develop our food and beverage program. We have a lot of exciting plans in the works for 2013. We'll divulge the details as soon as we can. Personal mission statement for 2013? Better living through alchemy."

Chuck Knigge


ART: "My 2013 project: "Long Live Queen Freddie" is an art series that celebrates and remembers the greatest voice of rock, Freddie Mercury of Queen. by playing dress up with the most memorable queens of history, fiction and pop culture, such as Queen Elizabeth, Queen Amidala, etc. On average, I'm able to put out about one Queen Freddie painting per month. I have four done. Currently working on three. I still have a day job, as well as other projects I'm working on. But what I'd really like is to put out four a month, and have a show of at least a dozen by spring."

Ryan Rutledge

Business development for ThurstonTalk
Former marketing director at Rutledge Corn Maze

BUSINESS: "I'm at the beginning stages of leading a major economic development project on behalf of Glen Schorno to diversify his business. I believe there is an opportunity to significantly benefit the Yelm and surrounding communities and I am really excited - think event center, produce stand, corn maze, possible hand cider mill and more along Hwy 507. I get to work with the Nisqually Tribe, Yelm Farmers Market, Nisqually Land Trust, The Yelm Shoreline Nature Preserve, Thurston County Commissioners, Schorno's team and many others on this project."

Julian Pena

Artist, curator of the Cumulus Collective
ART: "To sum it up for 2013, I plan to continue holding art events for the creative community at The Mix and perhaps other venues, curate and organize solo and group art shows. Many local artists with no prior experience have become motivated to do art professionally after these events. I will conduct more art research academically and on the field, continue to pursue my BFA at University of Washington School of Art, complete a few body of works, promote local artists, and bring the Cumulus Collective to Tacoma - and hopefully beyond." The Cumulus Collective strives to seek as much talented local artists as possible, promote the local artists, and to encourage support for these local artists. ... We promise to create exclusive, limited edition products through an online storefront for convenience of the patrons."


Sara and Nate Reilly

Owners, Darby's Café, Olympia
PARTY: "We will be on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Monday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. There will be a screening at the Capitol Theater; doors will open at 5 p.m. We will show it live as it airs, show a short food documentary, hos a raffle and provide show memorabilia. Proceeds will go to food bank. The filming was a whirlwind; we were very tired. It went by very fast - 22 hours with the production crews - but we all had fun. It's going to be a surprise, we're scared and excited at the same time!"

LINK: Best of Olympia 2013

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