Flag Salute & Invocation by Steve Brummel
Visiting Rotarians: None
Guests: Debbie’s husband Rick Kiene, Tim Brockman from Whatcom Community College.
Business Minute:  Mimi had happy bucks and gratitude for Tonja Myers and the St. Francis Care Center, which provides such wonderful service to our community.
Business Minute:  John Templeton reported that the current climate is ideal for refinancing or taking a bank loan; interest rates still low but are likely to climb soon, while bank lending has loosened up.  The situation won’t stay this way for long.
Steve Kimberly reported that last week's Ciao Thyme fundraiser dinner raised $5,200 for international projects.
Thanks everyone for participating in the District online survey.
Terry Myers update on Skip Sailors, who is now at Highland Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Short program
Tonja Myer’s niece, Jules, recently attended RYLA and talked about what a positive impact the experience was for her.
  • May 24th, Sunday 6-9pm: John Templeton will be hosting a wine & cocktail tastings evening at Fireside Bistro (put it in your calendar, $75/ticket, please let John know);
  • June 2nd lunch meeting and tour at Bellingham Cold Storage;
  • June 6-9 Rotary International World Convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • June: Bellingham Bells Baseball with Nick Caples (date TBA)
  • July: Crab Feed with Eddie (7/16) at Vartanyan Estate Winery, and then Brewers (7/26)
  • August 8th Rotario Dinner at Gordon Plume’s.
Bucks in the Bay
  • Eddie $500 for Mike Hammes’ international project;
  • Bill Gorman upcoming 20th wedding anniversary, recent trip with Taimi to Paris and Normandy Beach, much to celebrate! 
  • Tim Krell took a trip back to Nebraska to see relatives, some funny stories;
  • Michael Boczek, missed meeting to attend NCI mountain school (Lake Diablo) with daughter, and reported Yahoo is developing a new “ear biometrics recognition software”…hmmm;
  • Mark Turner will be teaching a photo class at NCI, highly recommends visiting the old growth forest trails at Rockport State Park (on N. Cascades Hwy just past Concrete);
  • Tonja’s daughter Sheridan got married last weekend;
  • Brent Walker with IOU for foundation, kudos for the Greatest Generation and their efforts during WWII;
  • Terri Myers also for the wedding last weekend;
  • Doug Wight for John Templeton;
Sergeant at Arms by Flo Simon.
National Law Enforcement week. Police department trivia.
Long Program
Dannon Traxler introduced Bob Pritchett, founder and CEO of Faithlife.  Faithlife started as a bible software company - tools for studying or referencing the bible, useful for pastors to compose their sermons, for example.  The company was started in 1991 with his brother, privately held still, and their products reach the entire spectrum of Christian members (from fundamentalists to mainstream denominations) and even non-Christian bible scholars. Faithlife now has 2.9 million customers around the world, and have averaged 20% growth annually.  420 people work in the Bellingham office.  The company recently rebranded from the “Logos” name to “Faithlife”, which he says is a better overarching brand name.  They have many other products beside bible study software, such as text research and language tools in many languages, ebooks, an advertising website, a social network, a publisher, a tv channel, etc.  Faithlife has big aspirations for a global reach:  They want to be the dominant media platform for the entire Christian world
Bob was enthusiastic on the the future prospects of the city of Bellingham, and downtown in particular.  Says downtown now has all the key services and entertainment options for an auto-free life, and none of the sprawling parking lots in other parts of Bellingham.  Bob, who owns all of Faithlife’s buildings downtown, even has plans to convert some of the floors of the Flatiron building to residences and move there himself.  Bob encouraged everyone to embrace our downtown revitalization, bring business and housing there.
But as Faithlife has grown, problems have arisen with their Bellingham location too:  Bellingham housing is 50% more expensive than national average - hard to get new hires to relocate when it’s so expensive to live here.  We need to have more affordable housing - both apartments and single family housing, and unfortunately our community tends to be very difficult in approving new housing developments and opportunities.  
Bellingham also needs better transportation networks - thankfully we have good airport with a variety of distant connections which allows us to travel without driving to SeaTac.
Bob also pitched the idea of a locating a second university here to really cement Bellingham’s status as a college town.  Faithlife, by the way, is already WWU’s second biggest undergraduate employer, behind Boeing and ahead of Microsoft.
Respectfully submitted, 
Stowe Talbot