The WhatcomTalk team had quite a night at the 2018 Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Dinner – honored with not one but two statues.

At the ceremony held on December 6th at the Four Points By Sheraton, founder Stacee Sledge was named 2018 Woman of the Year, while business development and community relations manager Kevin Coleman was crowned Man of the Year.

“It still doesn’t seem quite real,” says Sledge. “My co-nominees – Lynn Murphy of Puget Sound Energy and Nicole Burdick of Waddell and Reed – are phenomenal role models in our business community and to be in their company makes this honor all the more special.”

Kevin Coleman sees the accolade as much more than simply an award. “It’s a validation of purpose for what we do and who we are in our community,” says Coleman. “We are blessed and privileged to be recognized by the Chamber and the amazing people in our business community.”

Sledge launched WhatcomTalk – a community social network that publishes positive stories about the people, businesses and organizations doing good things all around Whatcom County – in January 2014. Coleman came on board in early 2016. Together, along with colleague Bill Schwartz and a team of local writers, they have grown the business into a formidable local media disruptor.

WhatcomTalk is all about finding the positive in our community and sharing it with its readers.

“Great things are in store for the Talk team in 2019,” Coleman continues, “and I’m excited about the ripple of positivity that will be created from it all!”

WhatcomTalk is just one of 17 Talk platforms, which have all grown out of Olympia-based NorthAmericaTalk, including the recently launched SkagitTalk. Already spreading positivity down the I-5 corridor in Western Washington and into Oregon – sights are set on a full roll-out across North America.

2018 Bellingham Regional Chamber Annual Award Recipients:


Large Business of the Year

RE/MAX Whatcom County


Small Business of the Year

Bob Wallin Insurance


Tourism Business of the Year

SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention


Nonprofit Business of the Year

Lighthouse Mission Ministries


Young Professional of the Year

Ellie Margulies, Flex Movement Lab


Man of the Year

Kevin Coleman, WhatcomTalk


Woman of the Year

Stacee Sledge, WhatcomTalk


CEO of the Year

John Barron, Barron Heating & Air Conditioning


Chamber Ambassador of the Year

Cameron Stewart, Minuteman Press


Lifetime Achievement Award

Rand Jack


Photos courtesy of Radley Muller Photography.