Posted by Richard Hull on Sep 23, 2019
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Meeting of September 23, 2019

Program - Old Brew House and Brewery District with the City of Tumwater


Meeting Called to Order: by President Colleen Gillespie @ 12:20 pm

  • Invocation by: Allen Miller
  • Pledge of Allegiance led by: Carly Colgan
  • Song: “America the Beautiful” led by Gloria Strait
  • Four Way Test led by: Paul Knox

Visiting Rotarians

Van Van Jepmond: Lacey Rotary, Real Estate Investment

Guests of Rotarians

Teri Thomas: Actor, guest of Gloria Strait

Happy Bucks led by Laurie Woodland

  • Colleen Gillespie - Reported that Elton John had amazing energy for a 72 year old at his recent concert in Tacoma.
  • Victoria Byerly - Has been asked by Lexis/Nexis to author a book on Taxation of Public Utilities.
  • Sarah Clinton and Kyle Cronk - Reported that the YMCA auction raised over $100,000, thanked the club for its support, and then specifically thanked Lynn Wofford for being the auction chair for the past 12 years.
  • Allen Miller - Announced that the YMCA has received a $1 million grant towards building a YMCA in Shelton
  • Nick Schmidt - Reported that he is holding an informal “State of Scouting” meeting at River’s Edge on October 3rd from 5:30pm - 7:00pm
  • Laurie Tebo - Announced that the Phoenix Awards to celebrate those who have risen above the challenges of mental health and addiction will be held at the Hotel RL on Tuesday November 5th from 11:30am - 1:00pm.
  • Anthony Hemstad - Has relaunched his consultancy which is going well, but accordingly will be unable to make Monday meetings for the next year or so.
  • Denny Peterson and Steve Bean - Reported on their shared birthday, and invoked the four-way test in an effort to ascertain who was the youngest.


Storage Unit Clean Out

President Colleen Gillespie thanked Neil DeBoer, Nate Naismith, Dick and Judy Blinn, and Lori Wofford for their efforts in cleaning out the Rotary storage unit.


President Colleen Gillespie announced that final dues notices have been sent out, and that, unfortunately, termination processes for those with unpaid dues would begin next Tuesday

District Grants

Paul Knox reported that our District Grant this year, to the tune of $21,500, has been awarded to Youth Build. Youth Build, in conjunction with New Market, helps at risk and vulnerable youth through a program of building tiny houses for the homeless.   Paul alerted members that the program would be looking for volunteers to work alongside the youths starting in November.

Harlequin Ticket Auction

Gloria Strait introduced Teri Thomas to help auction off Harlequin tickets to “The Women”, a feisty play that has 16 women acting 45 parts in 80 costumes.  Teri, an actor in the play, recounted her transformative experience as a Rotary exchange student to Bolivia in 1977 before talking about the play.  Bob Wubbena’s winning bid of $80 secured him two tickets to the event.

Program: Old Brew House and Brewery District with the City of Tumwater

Nick Schmidt introduced John Doan, Tumwater City Administrator, and Ann Cook, City of Tumwater Communications Manager.

John gave a brief overview of the 116 year history of the Old Brew House tower, and brewing in general in Olympia, leading up to how its recent restoration efforts came out of the 2011 Vision Plan that set the table for broader redevelopment within the framework of a Craft Brewery and Distillery zone.   He reported that we are advantaged in that Washington State is 3rd in the nation for craft beers, 4th for cider production, and 3rd for distilleries.  John then described the goal of creating a Center of Excellence for Brewing and Distilling within the region based on the “Walla Walla model”; namely an integrated approach to workforce development, supply chain management, branding and marketing, and other key elements.  

Ann presented an update on the plans for the Tumwater site where land has been cleared for a district that will feature a Heritage distillery, Ninkasi brewery and tap room, brewery and distillery incubators, restaurants, a marketplace, and an amphitheater.  She then talked about the restoration of the Old Brew House tower where the initial phase of installing temporary roofs to save the structure have moved into larger restoration efforts of replacing and restoring over 30,000 bricks in the structure.  A new phase of retrofitting the building for seismic stability is being launched with a private capital campaign augmented by public grants.

John and Ann reported that the eventual use of the Old Brew House tower will be largely driven by whether and when the Custer Way site is redeveloped.  If redevelopment is slow, then the Old Brew House tower will be an interpretive center accessed by a footpath.  However, if redevelopment within the recently rezoned Custer Way site proceeds more rapidly, access roads could lead to a tighter integration and broader development of the tower site.

Mr. Snappy

Bill Lahmann won a $25 gift certificate to Fishtail Brew Pub donated by Jim Larsen.

Meeting adjourned at 1:29pm