When Bob Waite came to work at the Aberdeen Building Department 35 years ago, there were no computers, just what he calls Stone Age technology to go through the permitting process. He is set to retire March 28. “It’s been a great place to work. I am going to miss all the people I have worked with.” The 1966 Aberdeen High School graduate went into the Army for two years and spent a year in Vietnam. He attended college at Grays Harbor and Contra Costa colleges. He lived in the Bay Area for several years, then returned to the Harbor to work for the department in 1979. He rose to head the department. Waite has two sons by his first marriage: Morgan, 37, who works for Grays Harbor PUD, and Brian, 40, who works for Asplund Tree Service and lives in both Totten Inlet and Laguna Beach, Calif. He and his second wife, Kathy, have been married 19 years and have six grandchildren between them. His father, Jack, who is in his 90s, still lives in Aberdeen.
Subscribe to Question & Answer RSS feed
Question & Answer
Vera Kalkwarf is the Social Services &Mental Health Program Manager for Grays Harbor County Public Health and Social Services Department.
Sitting at the scoring table at Hoquiam Square Garden, Paul McMillan has had one of the best seats in the house as the Hoquiam High School public address announcer for more than 30 years. McMillan is a life-long Hoquiam resident — 1973 HHS grad, plus a 1975 Grays Harbor College grad and 1977 Central Washington University grad (Bachelor’s in Education) — and he has a pretty good seat at the Hoquiam City Council table as well and is a retired middle school teacher. The 59-year-old lives in Hoquiam with his wife Cynthia, who is still working as an elementary school teacher in Hoquiam, and daughter, Molly. The McMillan’s oldest daughter, Katie, lives in Southern California.
Sarah McCauley, 17 and a junior at Aberdeen High School, has been the student representative for the Aberdeen School Board since November. She is the second to obtain the position, and was preceeded by AHS alum Jordan Wolfe. McCauley attends every school board meeting from beginning to end, sits next to the board members and even has her own name card. Her duties include voicing the students’ concerns, updating the board on the goings-on of the high school and taking note of what the board members are doing so that she may be informative to other students.
A native of Frenchtown, Mont., Debbie Lund moved west to attend college at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources. After working in various capacities in several arenas at The News Tribune, including human resources, advertising and marketing, Lund went to work for the City of Tumwater. After 18 years there, Lund accepted the position of Human Resources director for the City of Aberdeen in June. Debbie and her husband, Tim, have been married 25 years and have two children. Their son is a mechanical engineer for Nike and their daughter is a sophomore at Western Washington University.
Nora LeBlanc, executive director of United Way of Grays Harbor , is relatively new to the job, taking the position in June of 2013. However, she’s no stranger to nonprofit work, working as executive director of the American Red Cross and regional director of the Girl Scouts of America in Iowa. LeBlanc is originally from Pennsylvania and met her husband, Aberdeen Police Chief Bob Torgerson, while attending college in the Midwest. The couple moved to Grays Harbor in 2004, and LeBlanc said she’s still enchanted by the the Harbor’s beauty. LeBlanc and her husband have three adult children: Ben, Ingrid and Rose.
Lynn Kiser has been helping the Harbor almost as long as she’s lived here. She and her husband of 50 years, Fred, moved to Montesano in 1971. They have two daughters, Kathleen, of Montesano, and Karolyn, of New Jersey. She started helping out at the Montesano Food Bank and in 1991 became the director. While Harborites’ generosity in the holiday season can be remarkable, Kiser and her dedicated core of about 15 volunteers see the need for a little extra help continue all year through.
Terry Rogers moved to the Harbor 30 years ago in June of 1983 and found work in the print shop business. In 1996, Rogers also began volunteering with the Driftwood Players of Aberdeen. She auditioned for “Father of the Bride” and played a florist in the production. Thirty-eight productions later, she still helps out wherever she can. Rogers has also been the Program Trustee for the Driftwood Board of Directors since 2004 and was recently given the title of Fund Raising Chair as well. She lives with her husband Ron “Cork” Rogers and dog Tootsie.
When Montesano’s boys basketball program opened up its head coaching spot, it found a veteran coach from Olympia with considerable experience in Doug Galloway. The new head coach and math teacher at Montesano Junior/Senior High School is a graduate of Capital High School, with some time spent at Eatonville High, as a three-sport athlete — football, baseball and track.
Seattle native Aaron Nickell attended schools in Aberdeen and has lived in Central Park most of his life. He graduated from Grays Harbor College in 1997, and earned a B.A. with a focus on political science and political economy from the Evergreen State College, where he returned to earn a masters in Public Administration in 2009 with a focus on public policy and non-profit administration. His partner, Becky Chapman, is a personal trainer in Bellevue. Nickell has played guitar for “two decades” and is an avid music and vinyl record collector. “My love of the rock band Van Halen knows no limits.” He played guitar in the Driftwood Theater production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” “My favorite smell in the world is when I open the case for my Martin D-35 acoustic guitar.” He is “Daddy” to “a usually well-behaved border collie (Fidel), who is great at catching Frisbees, herding cats and sneaking pastry off the counter when nobody is looking,” he said.
Paul Salopek is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and National Geographic fellow who is one year into an epic seven-year project to walk around the world, retracing the ancient footsteps of modern mankind. The first of his magazine stories about the project runs in this month’s issue of National Geographic.
Sandra Greene is the executive director of Beyond Survival, Grays Harbor’s sexual assault resource center. She has been with the organization for almost a decade. Beyond Survival, a non-profit, strives to support, educate and empower all people affected by sexual abuse on Grays Harbor. The organization strives for greater education about the prevention of sexual and domestic abuse, and staff members spend much of their time in schools, community centers and with families, raising the level of awareness around sexual assault prevention.
Shelly Dixon is the owner of Lana’s Hangar Café, KCM Trucking and Hangers new and gently used clothing and shoes shop. She was born on the Harbor, left as a child and returned to raise her son Eric here. She opened Lanas in May of 2007 after 10 years of working in the restaraunt business as both a waitress and cook. Recently she opened the newest business.
Editors Note: This article incorrectly identified Jenny Fisher in the original headline and story published on Nov. 19, 2013. She is the current Treasurer of the Harbor Art Guild.
Todd Bridge recently completed his third season as North Beach High School’s head football coach. State-ranked for most of the season, the Hyaks fell one win shy of their first state playoff berth since 2004. An all-state football lineman and state track champion in the throwing events at Montesano High School prior to his 1988 graduation, Bridge was a reserve offensive lineman at the University of Washington. The 44-year-old Bridge teaches social studies and weight training at North Beach. He and his wife, Christina, have four children, Caleb, Seth, Benjamin and Sarah.