About six months ago, I launched WhatcomWorkflow.com. I wanted to create a website that gave professionals in Whatcom County a chance to share how they got their work done and how they enjoy life around this beautiful area, the northwest of the Northwest as I like to refer to it. In preparing for this website’s launch, I researched a number of local websites to see how they publicized businesses and professionals. Sites such as Bellingham Business Journal, Business Pulse Magazine, Bellingham Wins, and WhatcomTalk. All are fine sources of timely, newsworthy information about business activity around the county, but I found WhatcomTalk to exude positivity, which is what I’m hoping to achieve with this website. I reached out to its Community Manager, Stacee Sledge, to see if she wanted to be my first featured professional for the website. She agreed, and I was off and running. With featured professional number 15, I’m proud to have one of Stacee’s colleagues at WhatcomTalk, Kevin Coleman, join me for an interview. So let’s get started…
– Chris Powell, editor of WhatcomWorkflow.com
Thanks for joining us on WhatcomWorkflow, Kevin! Tell us a little about what do you do with WhatcomTalk.
I spread joy and positivity to our entire community and everyone I meet. It truly is about the ripple of positivity. I have been working with WhatcomTalk since March of 2016 and have never been happier about what I am doing in my life. I would say that I have always been in the business of finding the best in people. I would just say that I now have a platform to really be a beacon of light for so many people to find their best.
What’s a unique word or phrase that describes how you work?
Genuine Professional seeking the best in everything.
Tell us about your desktop computer.
My Surface Pro, Judy. She goes with me everywhere. I name everything.
What mobile phone and/or tablet do you own?
A Samsung 6 phone, Samsung Tablet, Surface Pro 4 (Judy) and I’m all wireless and remote anywhere I go.
What software applications do you use to get your work done and why?
I have my own methods after having my own design company for so many years. I also grew up in a family business, so time management and use of space and time were ingrained into me at a young age. I use a lot of Microsoft Office programming, but love using Salesforce for my daily reminders and client maintenance. It’s remote, cloud based and available on all my devices through apps and easily accessible with my entire team statewide. I also link up my phone and calendars, shopping lists and other apps to Alexa for all reminders to help keep an easy running home. Having two boys, a busy spouse, and working remotely from home has its challenges, so finding ways to simplify things are always important to me.
What apps on your phone can’t you live without?
Well since I’m a social media junkie…Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Salesforce, Remind (teachers keeping parents in the loop), SnapChat (I know, but I have children and need to keep up), Pinterest (I’m a foodie), Alexa (Amazing capabilities for on road or in home use), and Amazon. I always test out other apps, but those are good staples.
What artists do you listen to while working, and what music source do you use?
I love all forms of music and my music varies on what I am doing. If I am painting and doing art work, I go into a deep trance of Josh Groban and George Michael along with a mix of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. You throw in a little Paul Oakenfold for some trance fun, and I’m all good. I’m also an old school 80’s teenager, so anything that has Prince, Depeche Mode, Erasure, and Pet Shop Boys, and old 80 metal rock always get me going.
Besides your phone and computer, what else (analog or digital) can’t you live without?
My easel and my sanity. I have to paint from time to time to escape the digital world.
Describe for us your dream workspace and technology. No budget limitations. Sky is the limit!
I would love to have four open connected windowed buildings, I could walk into and talk to it and it does what I want on a multi-platform system for full functional realistic usage. This would be fully self-sustaining (this includes hydroponic food growing capabilities) and energy available to others who needed it. In rooms, I would love to have holographic meetings worldwide and digital databases to interact in a 3D digital world providing positive and truthful information and positive culture to all people at all times. This would include all arts, culture and knowledge from all regions of the world in the best positive representation. Professionals and colleagues along with schools and students would be invited to help create a leadership and mentorship programs to create a stronger future. Sorta like a modern day Digital Library of Alexandria. I think big and can you tell I have thought about this before?
[This is the best description of a dream workspace in the history of WhatcomWorkflow.com. – CP]
What is your biggest pet peeve with technology?
No wifi and slow connections.
What is your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?
Planning out my family calendar along with meals for the week. This cuts off so much wasted time. Not to mention finding my breath and meditation for at least 10 minutes everyday. Finally setting a monthly plan and creating a color code system for success each month.
Where is your favorite place to get work done in Whatcom County?
I love so many places in this amazing County but I am a fan of any place that I can sit down and absorb our community. This could be sitting at Black Drop, Caffe Adagio, or a number of Woods around town. Along with so many great shops and places that make our community the unique and genuine place I love calling home.
Where do you go to relax in Whatcom County?
Whatcom Falls for a hike, Silver Lake with the family to camp, and anyplace that has a great happy hour with yummy appetizers. My husband and I love to go to happy hour around town on a weekly basis for “dad’s date night” and finding new places to tell others. During the spring and summer I love being outside and digging in the dirt.
In your opinion, what does Whatcom County need more of?
Various good paying jobs (tech, service, and manufacturing) and homes for families moving here from other areas. We have a large portion of our college graduates at Western that have to leave because they don’t have the opportunity to find a real job that other areas have. We could be a more appealing market if we brought in more tech jobs and real opportunity for growth from outside sources with proven success. Much like what is happening on the waterfront with the port and Hartford Group. It’s all about building relationships for positive growth. We also have a large poverty rate in our county and we need to find a way to allow them back into the workforce and a way for them to prosper without enabling them with handouts.We are growing as a county and need to be aware of how we grow and the future of how that growth will look.
What are you the best in the world at? Something that no one can take your crown away from you?
I know that I am an amazing artist and pride myself on my detail to things with steadfast patience, and direct honesty. With that being said, I would say I feel my ability to see the silver lining that others rarely care to see is something I know I have in the bag. It allows me to stay positive and that sets me apart.
What books or magazines are you currently reading?
I am a nerd and into anything Star Wars. It’s true. I keep up with geopolitics and domestic and global finances on a daily basis through my credible online sources. I have always loved my subscription to Real Simple for mainly the meals alone. Great ideas in most issues. I have had to downsize my magazine subscriptions since I used to have a problem with not being able to let them go. True story! Thank goodness for the digital world and being able to see all them online, but there is really nothing more enjoyable than feeling paper turn in between your fingers.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I grew up having the opportunity to be given so much positive and useful advice but there is one phrase that stays with me every single day of my life. “Good. Better. Best. Never let it rest. Until your good is your better, and your better is your best.”
Fill in the blank: I think ____________ should be a featured professional on Whatcom Workflow.
How can someone visit you on the internet?
I am on every social media platform and pretty easy to find personally. I am active most of the time of multiple sources and like keeping up with business people on Linkedin. You can always find me with WhatcomTalk.com and all that we are doing!
That works out just fine, Kevin! Thanks very much for a wonderfully in-depth interview, and continued success with WhatcomTalk. And congratulations to WhatcomTalk.com for reaching their 1,000th article in only three years!
Would you like to be featured on WhatcomWorkflow.com? Send us an email at email@example.com.