Advisory Council

Whatcom Young Professionals Advisory Council 2023

Whatcom Young Professionals (Whatcom YP) is a program of the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce and abides by the Chamber’s policies, code of regulations, articles of incorporation, and all other governing documents, as informed by the Chamber Liaison. The Whatcom YP program is managed by a volunteer Advisory Council composed of Whatcom YP members.

Brad Barron

he / his

Membership Co-Chair

As Barron Heating, AC, Electrical & Plumbing’s Chief Executive Officer, Brad lives by a servant leadership philosophy—and always with a joke to share. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Washington (go Dawgs!), he spent a number of years as a Professional Engineer before bringing his experience to the Barron Team. Since joining Barron in 2017, Brad has spearheaded the expansion into full plumbing and electrical services, solar, and helped launch the Barron Technician School (BTS). Born and raised in Bellingham, he enjoys spending time outside with his family (wife and three sons) and friends—hiking, boating, skiing, and camping. Brad is a Volkswagen enthusiast and enjoys time behind the wheel of his 1979 Westfalia Camper.

Taylor Beal

she / her

Events Committee

Sam Beardslee

she / her

Member Engagement & Events

I am a marketing representative at Whatcom Land Title and joined Whatcom YP two years ago. Since then I have been motivated to involve others in the benefits an organization like this has to offer.

The excitement I have for connecting people is something I hope will inspire others and help them grow as professionals. Growing up in Whatcom County I still marvel at the beauty of it every day. Enjoy spending time with family, spoiling my dog, and trying all the outdoor activities this area has to offer.

Max Burrage

he / his

Membership Co-Chair

Alexandra (Allie) Damitio

she / her

Marketing Lead

Luis Gonzalez

he / him

Member At Large

My mission as a member at large is to help grow our community as Whatcom Young Professionals, by supporting new developments and projects that enhance our members experience. I enjoy meeting new members who are motivated to expand their professional circle and learn amongst like minded individuals. As a lifetime Whatcom County resident and real estate professional, Whatcom Young Professionals is the community we need to promote the business relationships our local community has to offer.

Matt Haggen

he / him

Operations Administrator

Matt is a dedicated construction management professional with six years in the field. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management from the University of Washington, becoming a certified LEED Green Associate, and spending the first five years of his career in the Seattle area working on projects for Microsoft, UW, and several biotech clients, Matt, a proud native of Bellingham, returned home in early 2022 with a strong desire to make a positive impact in the community he grew up in.
Now a project manager at RAM Construction,  he hopes to share the RAM culture of “Be Safe… Work Hard… Have Fun.” with his colleagues at Whatcom Young Professionals.

Sam Hammes

she / her

Community Engagement – Education

Hi, I’m Sam! I was born and raised in Bellingham, and love everything about this community. After high school, I left Bellingham for a few years to get a degree in Operations/Supply Chain Management, Entrepreneurship and Philosophy from Gonzaga University. I lived abroad in Florence, Italy exploring my love for travel and food and eventually ended up in Seattle working on commercial construction projects. While in Seattle, I got a professional development certificate at UW in Construction Management and had a blast exploring the city with new and old friends. Eventually, after 7 years I found my way back to Bellingham to work at RAM Construction in business development and project management. I truly believe in our mission to “Be Safe, Work Hard, Have Fun” and I’m excited to bring a little bit of that to the Whatcom Young Professionals space.

Sy Hashimi

he / him

Member At Large

I’ve been a Whatcom County resident since I was a kid and I have loved growing up here ever since. A first generation immigrant, I come from a family of 6 who came into this country with nothing but dreams of living a better life. I’m happy to say we have all been given that opportunity from the tireless work and effort my parents put in early in our lives.

Alex Kendall

he / him, they / them

Member At Large

As a New York Life Agent, I sincerely believe that every person wants to, and can, meet their goals: their financial goals, their personal goals, and goals within their community.  I believe in working together to create wholistic, lifelong strategies combining education, protection solutions, and consistent growth. Lastly, I believe in working with people starting at any point in their journey to meet their goals.  In fact, that’s exactly why I joined New York Life.

As a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I share the hopes, and challenges, my clients, and our community face, and I am happy to share with you all the resources and information I, and New York Life, have to offer.  Based on your needs, we can find several ways to help protect your family and loved ones, prepare for major financial events, such as buying a home, planning for retirement, or caring for aging loved ones and creating a strategy for long-term care.  As a professional, I specialize in recognizing and integrating the unique financial needs of the LGBTQ+ community – their families and allies – into highly personalized solutions and plans.  By leading with education, I ensure that as we design solutions, created to fit your needs, you can be confident in understanding how your can work best for you.

To be the best possible agent, I want to get to know you and work with you on the most important first step in your financial plan, having a conversation with someone you can trust.  So, if you’re looking for someone who will help you reach your goals, book a free appointment today and let’s start working together!

Hayden LeMaster

he / him

Marketing Committee

I’m a local business owner here in Bellingham, and have been a member of Whatcom YP for the last 5 years (and counting!)

A self-proclaimed “marketing geek”, I absolutely love helping small businesses and organizations meet their marketing needs in a fun and creative way.

In my spare time, I’m an avid woodworker and DIY-er, and as a baseball fan I love attending Seattle Mariners and Bellingham Bells games any time I’m able.

Marissa Meyrick

she / her / hers

Operations & Communication

After graduating from Western Washington University (Go Vikings!), I was lucky enough to stay in Whatcom County. I love this community and I’m still finding things it has to offer. I currently work as a Personal Banker with WaFd Bank. I’ve been with WYPs for four years, and through the connections I’ve made in this group, I’ve found a job and career I love. You could say I’m a WYPs success story!

When at home, you can find me crocheting, sewing, or completing jigsaw puzzles, as well as having quality snuggle time with my fluffy cat while watching a show. When I’m out of the house I enjoy spending time with people and getting to know them, typically through trivia and game nights.

Now in my second year on the Advisory Council as the Treasurer, I’m excited to see what this year brings. I look forward to meeting you at one of our events soon!

Nickole Murphy

she / her

Marketing Committee

Born in Walla Walla, raised in Anacortes and the bicycle industry, Nickole is a true Pacific Northwesterner.

Schantell Porter

she / her, they / them

Chamber of Commerce Liaison

As the Program and Event Manager for the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce, I am responsible for planning, supporting, and executing our programs and events. This includes programs and events such as monthly networking breakfasts, annual awards dinner, 4th of July, Whatcom Young Professionals, and Leadership Whatcom. I graduated from Western Washington University in June 2021 and decided without a doubt to stay in Bellingham.

Lee Rosales

she / her

Community Outreach – Philanthropy

 Hi, I’m Lee. A PNW woman at heart, by way of Kelso/Longview, Washington.

Jessica Welter-Kolbo

she / her

Community Engagement Lead

Hi, I’m Jessica! I have always had a strong calling to make deep impact and am happy to be able to do that through life coaching. I became a Certified Life Coach to help others overcome and accomplish in many faucets in their lives, but I also enjoy the part where I see my own growth and expansion.
In my personal time, you can find me painting, enjoying nature, indulging in some good tunes, cooking without recipes, and playing volleyball with friends. I also enjoy being a part of my community here in Whatcom County and am excited to become
more of a facilitator for connection within our county through my participation in Whatcom Young Professionals.