Dianna Biringer’s goal in life has always been to help others. She naturally gravitated to the field of nursing and attended EvCC to gain her nursing prerequisites. During the course of her studies, she met her husband, Mike, who had been farming raspberries since he was in high school. “I didn’t know anything about farming,” she says, “but after we were married, I soon learned!” Today, Biringer Farm is widely known for its assortment of raspberries, strawberries, and tayberries and Dianna is an integral part of it, having spent nearly 54 years in the business.
After attending the Running Start program during his senior year of high school, Lucas Mack decided EvCC was a logical choice for obtaining his associates degree. “One class in particular stood out,” he says. “I got a 4.0 in my public speaking class—I should have known then that my career would involve speaking in front of others.” He went on to attend the University of Washington, eventually becoming a broadcast television reporter. Today, Lucas heads 4th Avenue Media, the marketing and communication firm he founded in 2008.
As a 16-year old high school student struggling with learning disabilities, Chuck Close was advised to pursue automotive repair rather than academics. However, a chance meeting with EvCC instructors Russell and Marjorie Day changed his course. Through their encouragement and advice, Chuck instead pursued his passion for art. “All I ever wanted to do was be an artist,” he says. “My two years at EvCC were a life-changing experience. I owe everything I have become to that encounter.” In the intervening years, Chuck’s work has been shown in the world’s finest galleries, and he is widely considered one of America’s best contemporary artists.
After taking a few years off from school, Tyler Jahn returned to college with some hesitation, but quickly learned that it was just the direction he needed. "EvCC has inspired and fueled me to try harder," he says. Currently working as a personal trainer for 24-Hour Fitness, Tyler also works in the company started by his parents, Black Scottie Chai. An EvCC marketing class spurred Tyler to put his people and goal-setting skills to work, helping the tea company to expand its marketing and distribution.
After 17 years as the chef at Buck’s American Cafe, James and his wife, Anne, took over as owners. James has advice for other students with similar aspirations: “Be humble and ask questions; look for where your current learning can be applied to your whole life and career,” he says. “All of life is an adventure, so use your time at EvCC to learn and experience as much as you can—then get out there and do it!”
In high school John began attending EvCC through the Running Start program, obtaining his college associates degree one day after receiving his high school diploma. He went on to Western Washington University, where he earned separate degrees in economics/accounting and marketing, then to Columbia University to study for a masters in business administration. He later returned to EvCC to attend the Small Business Accelerator program, helping him run the business he owns today, Penway Media. "EvCC’s Accelerator Program has proven to be the most important class I have ever taken,” he says.
Ray’s Drive-In has been an Everett institution since 1962. Founder Ray Campbell opened the business the same year as the Seattle World’s Fair and thanks to Ray’s grandson, Jeff Doleshel, the business is still going strong. Jeff began working at Ray’s in high school and continued while attending EvCC. He took over the eatery in 1999 and recently took advantage of EvCC’s Small Business Accelerator Signature Program. “I take pride in employing more than a few students,” Jeff said, “as well as serving great food since our inception.”
As a high school student, Jasmine Goodwin chose EvCC for the Running Start program and the edge it provided to focus on her career path. In 2014, Jasmine was crowned the 65th Miss Seafair, the second black woman to earn the role in 40 years. Today, she works in public relations, journalism, and marketing, and offers this advice to current EvCC students: “Take advantage of the big opportunities in a smaller community setting. Your future will rely on a solid network of contacts, mentors and support.”
Janina Dale‘s courses at Everett Community College gave her a strong foundation for her eventual career. Janina went on to graduate from Washington State University and today works as a senior event manager for Seattle’s CRG Events. She loves bringing outside expertise and perspective to the many companies she works with. “My time at EvCC helped build my fundamental professional skills,” she observes. “It helped launch my career to the next step.”
For entrepreneur Eric Smith, persistence is the name of the game. After graduating from EvCC, Eric obtained a business loan, met with suppliers, and crunched a lot of numbers. Today, he is the proud owner and operator of Bayside Bikes, a full-service Everett bicycle shop that offers sales, repairs, and rentals. “Once I felt ready to open my own bike shop, I took business and marketing classes to help with the business operations side. I’m a great example of someone who took their time to get their degree—and I’m glad I did!”
After graduating high school in 2010, Daniel Parrish selected EvCC for its well-established engineering department and flexible schedule. Four years later, he was accepted to the University of Washington, where he joined with two partners to create a start-up company, JikoPower. The team recently won over $22,000 from two competitions for the creation of a revolutionary portable thermoelectric generator, a technology that promises to transform communities in developing nations. “Without a doubt, EvCC made me who I am today,” says Daniel.
A love of marine sciences and a desire for rigorous courses brought Briauna Mariah to EvCC’s ORCA (Ocean Research College Academy) program. With plans to attend a university, her path detoured when she received a call-back for America’s Next Top Model. She spent the next year saving for a move to New York to pursue her passion for modeling. Today, she is “on a mission” and has created her own agency for fashion brands to hire health-approved, drug-free models who promote positive body image.
From the age of 14, Casey Miller knew that she would someday be a business owner. With strong goals in mind, Casey attended EvCC to set herself up for success and graduate without debt. Casey went on to graduate from Western Washington University. eventually opening her own business, The Skin Care Loungue, in 2008. Casey offers proven advice to EvCC studebts: "Chase your dream! Life is pretty fantastic when you go after what you want."
Judy Baker & Cathy Deller
Cathy Deller always knew she wanted to be a teacher, but it was not until she enrolled at EvCC that she learned to love the process of learning and education. Cathy went on to teach for 34 years in the Everett School District and now enjoys working for a local clothing boutique. Cathy followed in the footsteps of sister Judy, who earlier attended EvCC and transferred to Stanford during her sophomore year. Judy earned a master’s degree by the end of her senior year, went on to teach history, and served as a member of the Everett City Council and several Everett non-profit organizations.
A self-described ‘natural-born leader,’ Cynthia Andrews found a new path by attending EvCC. She was a 30-year old single mother looking to change careers, with no idea how to do so. After enrolling at the college, she became the student body president and the program coordinator for multicultural services, working with people from different cultures and enhancing her public speaking skills. Today, Cynthia is a business consultant, aging enthusiast, and host of the radio talk show, Living It Up After 50.
As a guest student from Ecuador, Diego Gavilanes planned to return to his home country after a year of attending 12th grade in the United States. Days before graduation, however, he decided to work as a YMCA summer camp counselor and attend college here. Calling his decision to attend EvCC “one of the best decisions of my life,” Diego studied hard and went on to earn a law degree. Today, he works as an immigration attorney.
Inspired by the success of athlete Terry Metcalf, Dennis Cook made the decision to attend EvCC. Like Metcalf, Dennis was a stand-out track athlete who held the triple-jump record during his time at the college. Today, Dennis runs his own consulting company, Dennis Cook Consulting. “At EvCC, I was encouraged to look to the future and make the most of my current experiences,” he says. “I believe EvCC prepared me for life.”
Thanks to EvCC and the Kennedy Space Center, Amy Felt is a few steps closer to her dream of becoming a mechanical engineer. Over the last two summers, the EvCC alum served as an intern for NASA, including engineering work in the fluids and propulsion branch and cryogenics test laboratory at the space center.
Michael Taggart and Timothy Oshie
In the 1980s, Timothy Oshie and Michael Taggart began a friendship at EvCC that endures today. Their time at the college was significant for another reason: it enabled them to pursue careers they loved. Michael, a math instructor in the Everett School District for over 26 years, credits EvCC with providing strong teachers and great role models. Today, Timothy is president of the Oshie Sports Foundation and raves about his EvCC education.
Growing up, Patti Safley heard a lot of great things about EvCC. That’s because her dad, Bill Deller, was the Dean of Students at the college. When it was time to select a college, “there was a bit of encouragement from him,” she laughs. Today, she is a first-grade teacher at Whittier Elementary, next door to the college that has played such a big part in the life of her family. An avid bicyclist, Patti is currently working toward the goal of riding her first century (100 miles within 12 hours).
Chet Hovde & Frank Willson
Long-time friends and graduates of the Everett High School Class of ‘65, Chet Hovde and Frank Willson found life changes at EvCC. Frank attended the college to lay a foundation for his 40-year career as an Everett-area attorney, later teaching business law for EvCC’s night classes. Chet attended the college, obtained his bachelor’s degree in education, and has served as the EvCC women’s basketball coach for the past 34 years.
Jerry Gay started taking pictures at age 11 and dreamed of some day becoming a professional photographer. He went on to attend Brooks Institute of Photography, eventually working for several newspapers, including The Everett Herald. In 1975, while a staff photographer for the Seattle Times, Jerry was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for news photography. Many more accolades and opportunities followed. After a diverse communications career spanning 50 years, Jerry is now looking ahead to a new career in public speaking.
Katrina Koontz, Russ Larson, and Gabrielle Gould
Following in the footsteps of their father, Russ, sisters Katrina and Gabrielle made EvCC a family tradition. Katrina is now Assistant Director of Community Relations for Trinity Lutheran College, while Russ is retired from a career in banking and works part-time for Washington State University. Gabrielle currently works as a medical assistant.
Tim Johnson truly exemplifies the spirit of the EvCC tagline, “Stay Close…Go Far.” Graduating from the EvCC aviation maintenance training program in 1971, Tim eventually joined Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing services to indigenous people and enabling the work of some 1,500 churches, healthcare organizations, and relief agencies.
Krissy Swanson began with Running Start at EvCC, eventually obtaining her associates degree in elementary education. Today, you'll find her working at Everett's Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que doing everything from hosting, serving, and catering to marketing and event coordinating. Krissy has also returned to EvCC to obtain a certificate in early childhood education.
Star Fischer and Caryl Thorp
As an EvCC accounting student, Caryl Thorp found strong mentors in her instructors. Later, while employed as managing partner for the accounting firm of Moss Adams, Caryl provided mentoring to another EvCC student, Star Fischer. Now a senior manager for Moss Adams, Star recalls: “Caryl ecnouraged me to stretch myself greater than my experience level; she recommended classes and provided an amazing example of a successful professional.” Both women credit EvCC with helping them determine their interests and develop fulfilling careers.
Philip Kramer’s fascination with photography began in high school and led him to EvCC’s photography program, where he found “the perfect combination of academic guidance and creative freedom.” EvCC’s education positioned Philip to receive a full-time position traveling the world as a photographic assistant. Today, Philip runs his own business as a travel and adventure photographer, undertaking adventures like hiking the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail.
Glen Bachman began his journey in international trade and commercial development by first attending EvCC. Now general manager of the Everett Mall and a commissioner for the Port of Everett, Glen credits EvCC educators and counselors with guiding and encouraging him.
Co-owner and accountant for ONB Automotive, Shelley Kerr relied on EvCC to help her learn the ropes of being a business owner. Having previously attended the college to learn accounting, Shelley worked from home and raised her sons. When the opportunity arose for Shelley and her husband to purchase the automotive repair business, Shelley turned to EvCC to further her business education through the college’s Small Business Accelerator program.
EvCC alum and Snohomish County Engineer Owen Carter is a role model for hard work and professionalism. Carter, who also serves as deputy director of Snohomish County's Public Works Department, says, "EvCC laid the foundation for my career as a civil engineer."
Howard and Owen Bargreen
Howard Bargreen, president of Bargreen Coffee Company, has more in common with his son, Everett psychologist Owen Bargreen, than a love for a great cup of coffee. Both are proud alums of EvCC, where each began a venture toward success in their respective careers.
Valley Electric foreman Doug Hunsaker, along with his wife Jennifer and daughter Gayle, are proud to have attended EvCC. Jennifer, a certified medical assistant at The Everett Clinic, says, “EvCC is a wonderful atmosphere for people of any age and background.” Gayle, an elementary school teacher, agrees, “EvCC gave me the opportunity to follow my dream of becoming a teacher."
Cameron and Becky Wright
EvCC played an integral role in the lives of Cameron and Becky Wright: the two met and married while attending EvCC and earned degrees that laid a foundation for their lives today. Cameron is now a nurse practitioner in the intensive care unit at the University of Washington Medical Center and a teaching associate with the UW School of Medicine.
Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” star Travis Arket entered EvCC’s U3 (Youth Re-Engagement) program during his senior year of high school. A self-proclaimed “high school drop-out with intelligence,” Travis chose EvCC for its innovative, nurturing programs and the opportunity to learn. Today, the business owner, commercial crab fisherman, investor, programmer, designer, author, and entrepreneur says that EvCC helped incubate the foundation for his success.
The daughter of a Filipino mother and African American father, Jennifer Nonisa is a first-generation college graduate who credits the support of her family, college mentors, and community with helping her to stay focused in school and her career. Today, she teaches third grade at Everett’s Whittier Elementary School and is thrilled to be a positive role model for her students.
As editor of the Mukilteo Beacon, EvCC alum Sara Bruestle oversees and produces writing, photography, and copy editing for the weekly newspaper, as well as manages the newspaper website and several columnists. She credits her experience as a reporter and copy editor for EvCC’s school newspaper, The Clipper, and her education at the college for igniting a passion for her career.
Larry and Richard Hanson
Two brothers turned to EvCC to create the foundation for their successful college educations and careers. Larry enjoyed a 45-year career at The Everett Herald, becoming president and publisher, and Richard was a science teacher and coach who went on to be principal of Everett High School and assistant superintendent for instruction for the Everett School District.
Brett and Jerry Wynne
Brett and Jerry Wynne share more than the average father-son relationship. Son Brett purchased the family business, Alexander Printing Company, after working alongside his dad since 1999. He also followed his dad’s footsteps in attending EvCC, and credits his college mentors with being a positive influence and giving him that extra push when needed.
From an early age, EvCC alum Justin Bailey knew that he wanted to be a pilot. When his dream of flying was ruled out due to bad eyesight, he decided to pursue aviation in another way. The whiz at math and science set his sights on aerospace engineering. Two years before graduating high school, he began attending Running Start classes at EvCC, eventually graduating community college and the University of Washington. Today, Justin works in his dream job as an aeronautical engineer for Boeing.
Dave Surface has been committed to providing services for youth for nearly 38 years. A former assistant executive director and associate director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County for over 16 years, Dave took on the duties of executive director for Snohomish County’s Camp Fire USA organization in 1991. Dave’s solid leadership and dedication to kids has ensured financial stability for the organization, even with the challenges of a sagging economy.
The Zuvela Family
The Zuvelas are one of many local families who have made Everett Community College a family tradition. Since the college opened its doors in 1941, a Zuvela has attended or worked at EvCC in every decade. Soccer coach, Boeing engineer, marketing specialist, budget analyst - these are a few of the roles they have played in our community.
Susan Brokaw, EvCC alum and former student body secretary, describes her time at the college in the 1970s as fun and challenging. Building on the foundation she gained through EvCC's rigorous business program, Susan went on to work as a legal assistant and then a paralegal before finally landing in her current position as office manager and public information officer for the Port of Everett.
When Bill Fulton arrived at Everett Junior College (EvCC) in the fall of 1964, he had desire and little else. EvCC provided the venue for Bill to acquire and hone his academic skills. A picture developed of future action and he grew in the environment. A plan of becoming a certified public accountant, business owner, community leader, and family man was born, becoming the template that guided the direction of the rest of his life.
From Marine Corps aviator to banker and real estate developer, Hank Robinett’s contributions to Snohomish County over the last 40 years are myriad. An EvCC alum and partner in the firm Boyden, Robinett & Associates, Hank says, “EvCC was a good experience. The college was convenient, affordable, and gave me the opportunity to move forward.”
EvCC alum Howard Behar is the former president of Starbucks Coffee Company North America and Starbucks Coffee International. Howard joined Starbucks in 1989 as vice president of sales and operations, and grew the retail business from 28 stores to more than 400, by the time he was named president in 1995.
Tracey Graham has worked in the field of business continuity management for almost 10 years, most recently as a Principal Program Manager for Microsoft. A graduate of EvCC, Tracey earned associate’s degrees in network administration and business applications. “EvCC’s internship program gave me real-life experience and allowed me to utilize the skills I learned in college,” Tracey says. “EvCC was critical to my success.”
From 17 years as a successful business manager to his current role as mayor of the City of Marysville, Jon Nehring is proud to be an EvCC alum. "Not only did I receive a quality education at EvCC, but the educational experiences the college offered—everything from student activities to meeting diverse groups of people—really helped launch me into the world," Jon says. "I’m a big believer in EvCC."
Kirke Sievers & Jocelyn Sievers-Bailey
Snohomish County Treasurer Kirke Sievers and daughter, Jocelyn Sievers-Bailey, Whittier Elementary fifth-grade instructor, share a passion for teaching and public service that was ignited while attending EvCC.
John & Kelly Hoyt
John and Kelly Hoyt are more than husband and wife and parents to three active boys. The two are also partners in business and recent graduates of EvCC’s business program. Together, the couple attended EvCC and was inspired to open their business, “Thrifty 4 You.”
Ed Morrow considers his experiences at Everett Community College as “life shaping.” The retired elementary school teacher and principal, city council member, port commissioner, and champion of the city of Everett says, “EvCC opened up so many doors for me in my access to jobs in education and enabled me the opportunity to help others during my 14 years of elected public service.”
Being general manager of Castle & Cooke Aviation at Paine Field airport is the perfect career for Terry Wilcoxson, who fueled his love for aviation by attending EvCC's Aviation Maintenance Technology program.
Rock Peterson, the owner of Brien Motors Ford-Mitsubishi in Everett, looks back on his EvCC education as an affordable start to his college career - and a lot of fun.
Journalism professor and PhD Jim Richstad traveled the world educating future journalists, but his adventures began at Everett Junior College.
As a former Cleveland Indians pitcher and current executive director of the Snohomish County Boys & Girls Club, Bill Tsoukalas is a prime example of how an EvCC student can "Stay Close and Go Far."
As an EvCC nursing student, Kim Williams never could have envisioned one day becoming the chief nursing officer for one of America's top 100 hospitals.
Snohomish County Clerk Sonya Kraski's EvCC internship in the Clerk's office inspired a rewarding career with the county judicial system.
Natasha and Sabrina Habib
Besides being sisters and Everett Community College alums, Natasha and Sabrina Habib have something else in common: they are both dentists who love their profession. The sisters get a kick out of smiles—particularly smiles they helped to bring about.
Barb Lamoureux built a successful real estate business from scratch through perseverance, integrity, and referrals by satisfied clients. The Everett Community College alumnus said, “My two years at EvCC helped me find my voice and broaden my horizons. All these years later, I still remember conversations with instructors that influence my decisions today."
Brett, Mike, and Bill Deller
Proud to carry on a tradition of academic excellence, the Dellers are one of many multi-generational families with connections to Everett Community College.
Jack and Larry O'Donnell
For brothers Jack and Larry O'Donnell, life is a grand adventure. Whether touring by foot, bicycle, or cruising in a Chevy convertible down Route 66, the two share a passion for history, travel, and learning and show no signs of slowing down.