Blogs from Toni Wise Tue, 23 May 2017 17:29:06 -0700 en-gb Silicon Valley tech firm, RealWear expanding to Vancouver b2ap3_thumbnail__MG_3371sm.jpg

RealWear, a rapidly growing Silicon Valley company, has signed a letter of intent with the Fort Vancouver National Trust to occupy 12,000 square feet in the newly renovated Artillery Barracks at the Fort Vancouver National Site. The announcement was made Thursday during Mayor Tim Leavitt’s State of the City address, held in the space that RealWear will occupy.

President and CEO of the Fort Vancouver Trust, Mike True said, “This is a very exciting partnership for the Trust and a welcome addition to the Historic Site. The presence of RealWear in the West Barracks will create new vitality for downtown Vancouver. Bringing new technology-based business into a freshly renovated historic building is a perfect way to sustain and honor our community’s history, while looking toward the future.”

RealWear is building the world’s first voice-powered, hands-free and fully rugged head-mounted tablet solution for connected industrial workers, the HMT-1. The move is in response to early significant industry demand for the device. It is the company’s first major North American expansion, and will serve key corporate functions in anticipation of the general availability launch of the HMT-1 in July 2017.

“We selected Vancouver for its vibrant, growing business environment, talent pool, economic advantages, and quality of life offerings for our employees. The superb facilities at the Fort Vancouver National Site, and the enthusiasm and dedication of the people we met from the City of Vancouver, the Fort Vancouver National Trust, and the CREDC only made our decision easier,” said Andy Lowery, CEO, RealWear. “We are thrilled to be in Vancouver and expect that our expansion will provide us the support and flexibility we need to grow our company rapidly and efficiently.”

“We are thrilled that RealWear has chosen Vancouver as its Pacific Northwest home, and look forward to the addition of this company to our burgeoning network of tech companies. This move shows once again that our city is a great place for companies to do business and I know they will enjoy the many amenities and high quality of life that Vancouver offers,” said Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt.

RealWear’s expansion comes as the company has built increasing momentum of its own in 2017. Awarded “Best Enterprise Solution” at Wearable Technology Show 2017 in London, England, the RealWear HMT-1 has received global acclaim for its innovation. More than 60 major industrial enterprises, channel partners, integrators and software solution partners including American Airlines, Boeing, Canon, and Hewlett Packard Enterprises have signed on as Pioneer Partners and are already using the HMT-1 in real-world scenarios.

"We are excited to welcome RealWear to Clark County, where they will be a great addition to the IPZ community in Vancouver and Camas,” said Mike Bomar, President of the CREDC. “The software as well as computer and electronics industries are growing clusters in the region and RealWear’s decision to locate its first major expansion here will be a great boost to add to the momentum we've been building in these sectors."

About the Trust

The Fort Vancouver National Trust holds the master lease for the West Barracks, which enables the Trust to manage property operations, renovations and development of the historic buildings owned by the City of Vancouver. The mission of the Trust is to inspire civic pride and economic vitality through education, preservation, and celebration of our community's history. For more information, visit or call 360-992-1800.

About RealWear

RealWear is a Silicon Valley company building the world’s first voice-powered, hands-free and fully rugged head-mounted tablet solution for connected industrial workers. Our team of seasoned executives and human factors experts hails from the ultra-rugged smartphone, smart glasses micro display and industrial augmented reality spaces. Together, we are engineering wearable hardware, software, cloud and AI solutions for enterprises in heavy industry. For more information, visit

Read more]]> (Toni Wise) President’s Column Wed, 05 Apr 2017 14:46:40 -0700
Fort Vancouver National Trust receives grant for Pearson Field Education Center from Vancouver Energy Community Fund

The Fort Vancouver National Trust has been awarded a grant from the Vancouver Energy Community Fund, a charitable fund at the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, in the amount of $5,019.

The funds will be dedicated to the Pearson Field Education Center’s STEM-based aviation education programs, which introduce students and the public to potential careers in aviation through a curriculum steeped in the rich history of Pearson Field. Specifically, the grant will be used to purchase model airplane and toolbox kits for teaching students metalwork and riveting skills needed to build a full-sized kit airplane.

In March, 2016, the Pearson Field Education Center received a generous donation of a partially assembled Zenith 701CH kit airplane. Youth aged 12-20 years old who are interested in acquiring the skills to assemble an airplane will be invited to participate in completing the project.

“This program is intended to give youth hands-on STEM education and career experience leading into the aviation industry. We are going to take a walk-before-you-run approach to building this airplane by first introducing the students to a simple sheet metal and riveting project by having them each construct an RV-12 model kit plane and toolbox,” said Pearson Field Education Center Director, Garrett Schmidt. “This project will teach important safety skills and introduce students to the proper use of flush cutters, metal files, vices, needle-nosed pliers, and rivet guns.”

Pearson Field Education Center is seeking youth participants who are interested in assembling the airplane and adult mentors to oversee the project.

The Center is located at the bottom of East Reserve Street, at 201A East Reserve Street, Vancouver WA 98661. For more information, please visit or call Deborah Bessette at 360-992-1815.

The Pearson Field Education Center is a program of the Fort Vancouver National Trust, a 501c3 nonprofit since 1998. Pearson Field Education Center delivers experiential, aviation-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs for youth. It is open on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for youth and families to enjoy free activities, such as glider building, flight simulation, and other educational aviation fun.

The Vancouver Energy Community Fund focuses primarily on supporting programs and projects related to Education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), Career and Technical Education (CTE), and Early Childhood Development and Literacy); Public Safety; and Environmental Conservation and Sustainability. Grants from the fund are reviewed and determined by the Community Advisory Board, which includes leaders in the community with experience and passion for the focus areas of the fund. The fund was launched in 2015 by Tesoro Savage Petroleum Terminal LLC dba Vancouver Energy, with initial funding from company partners, Tesoro and Savage, along with BNSF.

Read more]]> (Toni Wise) Aviation Education Programs Fri, 06 Jan 2017 14:00:22 -0800
Fort Vancouver National Trust receives $10,000 donation from the Price Foundation

A donation in the amount of $10,000 was presented to the Fort Vancouver National Trust during its Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, September 6. The gift was from the Honorable Frank L. and Arlene G. Price Foundation, and presented by Foundation Executive Director, Kay Dalke/Sheadel.

"The Trust's historic preservation work represents one of the three areas the Price Foundation supports," said Dalke/Sheadel. The Foundation serves nonprofits within Clark and Cowlitz counties.

Arlene Price grew up in Vancouver, and was a graduate of Vancouver High School in 1943. She later became an art teacher in Kelso, where she met her husband, Frank, who obtained his law degree after serving as a Naval officer in WWII. He was a superior court judge in Cowlitz County for several years. According to Arlene's sister and Vancouver resident, Joanne Galloway, Frank and Arlene believed in the importance of historic preservation, and Arlene always felt especially closely tied to Vancouver.

"We are extremely grateful for this donation," said Trust Board Chairperson, Steve Horenstein. "The legacy of Frank and Arlene Price will be reflected for generations to come in the historic properties the Trust preserves."

Read more]]> (Toni Wise) President’s Column Tue, 13 Sep 2016 14:31:10 -0700
Partnership with Providence Employees Brings Color To Providence Academy

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Employees from Providence Health and Services will volunteer to conduct a cleanup and planting of colorful flowers on the property of the Providence Academy (400 E. Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver WA.)from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 26. The employees are members of ProvNext, an organized networking group of professionals within Providence Health & Services.

"This planting not only gives the historic Providence Academy a springtime facelift, it symbolizes new beginnings for the property," said Fort Vancouver National Trust President and CEO, Mike True. The Academy was awarded $1 million out of the Washington state supplemental budget in April, to replace the roof and repair the front porches of the 143-year-old building. That work is scheduled to begin this summer. "We are grateful for our friendship and partnership with Providence, and for their heartfelt commitment to this beautiful Vancouver landmark."

Over 20 ProvNext volunteers will plant about 100 annuals and perennials. The plants and five yards of bark dust are being donated to the cause by LandCare in Tigard, Oregon. The plants will be arranged within the heart-shaped grassy area that is encircled by the original carriage turnaround at the Academy entrance. It was made in the shape of a heart by Mother Joseph, who designed and built the Academy, to represent the Sisters of the Sacred Heart.

"ProvNext organizes group service projects and events designed to serve the local community," said Eric Robinson, Providence Health & Services, Oregon -- Strategic Management Services.
"The Providence Academy Clean-up/Beautification of the Sacred Heart event is a great example of just such a community-oriented project."

Providence Academy was designed, constructed, and opened as the first "House of Providence" in 1873 by Mother Joseph and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart who traveled to Vancouver from Montreal, Canada. The Academy served an orphanage and school, and now is home to 65 small business tenants. The chapel and ballroom are available for events and weddings.

"For the residents of this community, the Academy is a significant reminder of the early days of the Pacific Northwest. For People of Providence, the House of Providence holds great significance in our heritage, tradition and culture as an organization," said Robinson. "The more we learn and understand the fundamental depth and importance of Providence Academy to the past and to our ongoing Mission, the more invested we feel in working to ensure that this sacred landmark is preserved in honor of Mother Joseph and the pioneering Sisters of Providence. The opportunity to partner with the Fort Vancouver Trust on this cleanup project not only benefits the community with a beautiful area to relax and enjoy, it deepens our connection to our history and the amazing group of women who came before us to serve the Northwest. We hope to form a lasting relationship with the Trust and look forward to contributing to the conservation of this beautiful property."

This event has inspired a next level of interest, in a proposed project with the Fort Vancouver Rose Society. They are hoping to propagate roses to plant at the Providence Academy landscaping project. The roses are from the era in which the Academy was built, and are currently growing in the Heritage Rose Garden at the O. O. Howard House, on Officers Row.

About ProvNext:

"ProvNext", is an organized professional networking group and has established a venue for motivated professionals within Providence to connect and network across the organization. With a primary focus on building long-term business relationships that lead to a sense of community, this group provides members with growth and development opportunities in line with the Mission and core values of Providence Health & Services. Members are People of Providence who live that Mission and are called to serve as future leaders in the organization.


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Read more]]> (Toni Wise) The Academy Tue, 31 May 2016 10:40:24 -0700
This year's Independence Day at Fort Vancouver presented by Bank of America promises bigger fireworks show!

Tickets are now available for Independence Day at Fort Vancouver presented by Bank of America, on Saturday, July 4 at the Fort Vancouver National Site. It is a full day of family fun with live music, games and entertainment, culminating in a spectacular fireworks show. The event is produced by the nonprofit, Fort Vancouver National Trust.

Fort Vancouver has over a 50-year history of providing one of the region’s most memorable fireworks displays. This year, the fireworks will be even bigger and better, with an increase in shell size of 25%. The larger fireworks will launch to 500 feet high, cover a radius of 500 feet wide, and will feature special effects never before seen at the Fort Vancouver fireworks show. The 2015 display will once again be staged from Pearson Air Field, and synchronized to music. Fireworks may not be visible from Portland or the Columbia River.

“Independence Day at Fort Vancouver is a beloved event that our community has enjoyed for more than 50 years,” said Craig Christenson, Bank of America SVP & small business banking manager in Oregon and Southwest Washington. “I’m proud that Bank of America recognizes this as an important economic engine and local tradition, and this is just one of many investments we’re making toward strengthening our communities. I grew up watching the fireworks here, and I’m excited that this year’s show will be bigger than ever before!”

Featuring live music, games, entertainment, food and more, this event has something fun for everyone. It all begins Saturday, July 4, with gates opening at 8 a.m. Entertainment kicks off at Noon, the Kids’ Patriotic Parade presented by Fred Meyer begins at 4 p.m. and the spectacular fireworks show launches at 10:05 p.m. The Vancouver Toyota Main Stage features a wide variety of local and regionally recognized entertainers, including Patrick Lamb, Portland Taiko, and The Nu Wavers.

General admission is $5 in advance and $7 at the gate for those 13 and over. Kids 12 and under are free. Purchase tickets online at Presale general admission tickets will also be available starting June 1 at any Southwest Washington Fred Meyer. With Prime Viewing tickets, attendees will have access to the exclusive Prime Viewing area, where they will enjoy a 4th of July picnic dinner, the exclusive Alaska Airlines stage, featuring Soul Vaccination, and unobstructed front row seats to the spectacular fireworks show. Prime Viewing tickets are $50 for guests 21 and over, $25 for those under 21, and free for 5 and under.

Other available activities include:
• Guided walking tours of the Vancouver Barracks
• $3.00 admission to the reconstructed Fort Vancouver (free for age 15 and under)
• Bi-plane rides at Pearson Airport (fee)
• Adult beverage pavilion featuring domestic beer and microbrews, wine and more

Getting to the event is convenient with help from C-Tran. Hop on one of C-Tran’s shuttles running every 15 minutes from the north side of Westfield Vancouver Mall to the fireworks display from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Return service will be available immediately following the fireworks show. Paid parking lots will be available to the east and west of Fort Vancouver and all downtown metered parking is free for the holiday. Bicyclists are encouraged to bike to the event and leave their bikes at volunteer-staffed bike parking.

This event would not be possible without the generous support of cash sponsors. The Fort Vancouver National Trust thanks presenting sponsor Bank of America, as well as Toyota, Les Schwab, Fred Meyer, Alaska Airlines, Davidson & Associates Insurance representing Pemco Insurance, AMR, Homewood Suites, and media partners, Alpha Broadcasting and The Columbian.

For more information, to purchase tickets, or to volunteer visit, email or call 360-992-1808.

Read more]]> (Toni Wise) Events Fri, 15 May 2015 09:12:38 -0700