Historic Port Gamble

Port Gamble, Company Owned Town

A popular tourist destination is filled with unique textile, antique and gift shops, mouth-watering restaurants, and a historic theater. Many of the businesses are located from original New England-style homes that were restored, and adding the town’s general store. A former sawmill town, Washington State’s oldest company-owned town founded in 1853. Port Gamble is a National Historic site. Before closing in 1995, the Port Gamble Mill was the oldest continuously operating sawmill in North America.

Mentor Benefits Insight

Mentors

Having mentors throughout my career has been an enlightening experience for me. Mentoring others has been equally rewarding. Mentoring can be within a formal program or occur informally. A mentor – mentee relationship is a commitment between two people.

The role of a mentor is to encourage the personal and professional development of a mentee through the sharing of expertise and knowledge. The mentoring relationship is developed through mutual trust, respect and communication. Both parties agree to meet regularly to exchange ideas, discuss progress and set goals for further development. Mentoring is a process.

Benefits

Guidance from a mentor can offer a mentee the opportunity for personal and professional growth. Mentors can offer advice on how to develop ones strengths, develop new skills, or expose them to new ideas and ways of thinking.

Benefits for Mentees

  • Increased self-confidence
  • Exposure to new and different perspectives
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Developing their communication skills
  • Increasing their personal and professional networks
Confidence and Self Awareness

My first manager after college graduation was my first mentor I realized years later. He taught me to be selective of the battles I fought and told me to take my seat at the table, I earned it. Those words of wisdom have guided me throughout my life and career, especially with the “imposter syndrome”. Another mentor guided me through the maze of office politics in the federal government. I learned through her how political alliances materialize in the workplace. You can be an outstanding employee, but if others do not see your brilliance, your career will stall.

Insight

I have observed people that I have mentored develop to become outstanding speakers or improve their technical skills. Watching a mentee give her “Ice Breaker” speech in Toastmasters, thrilled me to the core. Watching another mentee learn cyber skills was rewarding. Through mentees, I have gained technical expertise and honed my leadership skills. Mentoring is more than the transfer of advice, knowledge and insights. It is relationship building.

Feedback

The reciprocity for mentors and mentees is an opportunity to reflect on ones personal and professional goals, exposure to new perspectives, and recognizing ones self worth. I am grateful for mentors who took the time to guide me through my professional journey. Thankful for the mentees and mentors who guided me through the labyrinth of life.

Water Bubbles

I have enjoyed bubbles since I was a child. In the summer, I would play with my soap bubble wand and spray bubbles across the yard. A simple pleasure on a hot summer day in Central Washington.

Walking by a water fountain in Edmonds, Washington on Friday; I discovered large water bubbles floating in the fountain. Numerous bubbles. It was a hot summer day filled with smoky air from the forest fires. A gloomy morning. I saw this as a photographic moment capturing bubbles and water drifting. The bubbles provided relief from the stagnant air and grey clouds. I was smiling. Sharing the fun memory.

Recalling memories from my past. Enjoying today gives me happiness now, and this too will become a memory tomorrow.


Check Point: Form W-4 Withholding Tax

Time to check your tax withholding. Last tax season was a shocker to many tax payers; they owed the IRS for the first time. The tax withholding is not calculated by deductions anymore. The W-4 bases tax withholding based on filing status and has for a few years. The IRS and your employer expects you to change your form to reflect your filing status and consider any annual tax deductions, i.e., Child Tax Credit or Educations Credits that lower your tax liability.

Allowances are no longer used for for the W-4 form. This change was meant to simplify, and be more accurate. In the past, the value of a withholding allowance was tied to the amount of the personal exemption. Presently, you cannot claim personal exemptions or dependency exemptions due to changes in IRS tax laws.

You should consider completing a new Form W-4 each year, or whenever your personal or financial situation changes. Review your tax liability if you receive a raise, change jobs, or if your family household changes in size. You can change the information on your W-4 any time throughout the year,. I recommend taking time half way through the year to see if you are still on track. Update the Form W-4 as needed, to ensure your employer withholds the correct federal income tax from your salary. Not withholding enough taxes can lead to a penalty, and taking out too much for taxes can result in a penalty.

The links below provide more information on the W-4 Tax withholding form. There is a link to the IRS online Tax Estimator tool. It is a good idea to research tax laws annually. The IRS web site is a valuable resource. Plus, it is free to use.

Form W-4, Employees Withholding Certificate

IRS Tax Estimator Tool

Summer Escape

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is a treat, Generally, not too hot or humid. A few days this summer records were broken. We are back to the norm currently. A day trip to Whidbey Island to reconnect with friends after two years was wonderful. A day of laughter and joy as we dug for gooey ducks and clams for lunch.

Gradually, meeting friends who are fully vaccinated. Outside dining capacity has increased. I hope outside dining continues and becomes a year round option. I prefer fresh air and the dog friendly atmosphere. Taking one day at this variant phase. Wishing everyone a beautiful summer.

Embrace this moment, life and your dreams!

Reflection From The Water

The year of 2021 is passing, Covid 19 is still here. It has been a year of turmoil, frustration, anger and sadness. Despite the craziness, we need to count the moments of joy in our lives. Watching the ducks and people playing at Silver Lake inspired this blog post; reminding me that this time will become the past and the future lies before us.

“Time and reflection change the sight little by little ’till we come to understand.” — Paul Cezanne

“Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.”
― Yvonne Woon

Media’s Impact

In these turbulent times, with numerous voices screaming and lines are drawn to divide us. The quote by Malcolm X captured my attention.

“The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent. The media will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. This is the sort of propaganda tactic that I would call psychological warfare.” Malcolm X

Value Lessons Learned

The “Lessons Learned” concept is a tool I learned from my Masters Certificate program at the University of Denver. It has been valuable to me throughout my career.

Project Management

Lessons learned sessions are an informal process after the project or phase is completed, a time for retrospection. It is generally conducted as a meeting involving the project manager and key representatives from the customers side.

Feedback

Setting time for “Lessons Learned”,  is an opportunity for the project team to discover their strengths and weaknesses. A timeframe for team members to discuss successes, mishaps, and unintended outcomes during the project. Feedback and and recommendations from others and what worked and what did not should be recorded for others to glean from for similar projects in the future.

Documentation

The lessons-learned meeting should not serve as a venue for blaming. It is important to address shortcomings where expectations were not achieved. It is an opportunity to identify what worked or even exceeded expectations. Documenting the lessons learned should be in-depth and shared in a project lesson database to team members for future reference. Build on the knowledge gleaned from projects to better serve your customers and stakeholders.

Celebrating Independence Day

 It was actually on July 2, 1776, that the Declaration of Independence began? It started with a letter to Britain’s King George to explain why the Continental Congress voted to declare America’s independence.

On July 4, 1776, the final wording of the declaration was agreed upon

The Declaration of Independence was printed on July 4, 1776, then distributed throughout the colonies.

More Interesting Facts about Independence Day

Positivity Check In

“A smile puts you on the right track. A smile makes the world a beautiful place. When you lose your smile, you lose your way in the chaos of life.” ― Roy T. Bennett

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
 Helen Keller

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will”. — Stephen King

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