Speaker Date Topic
Betty Capestany and Jeff Robinson Oct 01, 2020
Economic Development: the Pandemic Pivot
Economic Development: the Pandemic Pivot

Betty Capestany serves as the Director of Economic Development for Pierce County.  Her department focuses on retaining, growing and bringing new jobs to Pierce County. Currently she is overseeing $30 million dollars of CARES economic stabilization and recovery funds to help Pierce County businesses receive resources during the pandemic. The department also oversees the Arts and Tourism boards and commissions.  She joined the department in 2018. 

Betty’s career has focused on building communities with the knowledge that successful, supported businesses help a community thrive. Betty’s work has been dedicated to having a deep understanding of how each community functions - its synergies, its quirks, its strengths – and leveraging those to the advantage of the businesses she serves. Betty thrives on pushing the envelope, being the first to try out a new technology brings her joy and has her quickly thinking of ways it could be applied to the advancement of business.

Prior to coming to Pierce County Betty served as CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce for 17 years; and prior to that the City of Renton Economic Development Director, Renton Chamber of Commerce CEO and Assistant Director for the Kent Chamber of Commerce.  

Betty and her husband George have a blended family of 4 boys (20-25), two loveable labs and 3 blackberry eating goats.  For fun Betty runs marathons (has done all the world majors except Tokyo) loves to travel, reading and entertain family and friends.  Her civic involvement includes 30+ years as a Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow.  She is currently a member of Tacoma 8.  She has is also a mentor and serves on the Milgard Women’s Initiative Advisory Council, is on the Board for the Red Cross South Puget Sound and Olympics Chapter and serves on the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Educational Foundation.

Jeff Roinson was appointed in July, 2018 as Director of the Community and Economic Development Department, Jeff is responsible for the development, administration, leadership and implementation of the City’s strategies and programs for neighborhood revitalization and business assistance, business recruitment, retention and expansion, as well as housing initiatives and partnerships that will offer equitable access to programs and resources for the citizens of Tacoma with a special focus on underserved or underrepresented communities.

Jeff has over thirty-five years of experience in the public, private, non-profit and financial sectors in community and economic development. 

Jeff has served on numerous boards and commissions.  He has a B. S. in Political Science from Willamette University and a Master’s in Urban Planning and Community Development from Portland State University

He is a Seattle native, but is a long time Tacoma resident.

 

Cornell Harris Oct 08, 2020
Progress House- Providing Life-altering Programs For Re-entry From Prison
Progress House- Providing Life-altering Programs For Re-entry From Prison

Cornell Harris is an Administrator at Progress House Association and works as the Program Director for the Progress House Clubhouse. The (PHA)Progress House Association was founded in 1977 and is one of the largest non-profits work-release programs in the state of Washington. Working with the Department of Corrections, Progress House Association, specifically works with transitioning residents to reenter into society from prison, with the necessary life skills and tools to survive into the real world. PHA has three facilities in three counties, housing both men and women, which Cornell helps oversee. Progress House's evidence-based programs are geared toward addressing typical barriers to reentry, which Cornell will share with us. Cornell recently helped to open a Clubhouse; a facility/program centered on helping individuals who are challenged with mental illness. He is looking forward to sharing the incredible, life-altering programs the Progress House administers for the success of re-entering into society. For more information, go this link and notice some familiar faces: Progressive House

Cyndie Fajardo and Ed Troyer Oct 15, 2020
Pierce County Sheriff Forum
Pierce County Sheriff Forum

A native New Yorker, Cyndie Fajardo started her law enforcement career in Colorado in 1984. She has been with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department for over 32 years and is currently in charge of the Mountain and Foothills Detachments which cover over 1400 square miles! She has served in patrol, search and rescue, contact cities, special investigations and as the Chief of the Town of Steilacoom. Cyndie is a Task Force Leader for the Washington State Urban Search and Rescue -FEMA trams as well as serving on FEMA’s National Incident Command Team. She has responded to events all over the Nation include 9-11/ World Trade Center, Columbia Shuttle Disaster, Hurricane Katrina, and the OSO Landslide. Cyndie had the honor of being nominated and selected to attend the FBI- National Academy which she graduated in 2003. Cyndie and her husband have 2 grown children and 1 grandson and live on their farm in Roy.

Terry and Joan Toone Oct 22, 2020
Rotary's Polio Story
Rotary's Polio Story
Steve Dunkelberger Oct 29, 2020
Tacoma Ghost Stories and the Facts That Created Them
Tacoma Ghost Stories and the Facts That Created Them

Steve Dunkelberger is a former reporter and editor (Lakewood Journal, Business Examiner and Tacoma Weekly) as well as a writer at SouthSoundTalk.com, where he writes about local history. He has co-authored three books on local history and is a member of pretty much every local historical (Tacoma Historical Society, Historic Tacoma, Lakewood Historical Society, Fort Steilacoom Historical Association, Pierce County Heritage League, Grave Concerns Association) and fraternal organization in the greater Tacoma area. He is also an instructor at Pierce College and substitute teaches in Tacoma Schools. He also presents on local history in retirement communities and in restaurants, when the pandemic allows such things, as Steve's Drunk History: Tacoma Edition, which can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.