Green Companies Celebrated at Decision Makers’ Breakfast

By Rachel Pritchett


Clean, green industry was the theme of the annual Decision Makers’ Breakfast on Thursday.

Two Bainbridge Island firms were held up as examples of the future at the annual economic-development gathering hosted by the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance. Sponsors hinted more companies such as In The Works and Evergreen Electromotive would fit right in.  

Underlying all that is the Port of Bremerton’s proposed Kitsap Sustainable Energy and Economic Development project, which calls for a green business incubator surrounded by startups companies near the Bremerton National Airport.

The owners of In The Works spoke last year with Port of Bremerton leaders about someday locating in the proposed park. Those talks did not result in a lease, however.

Some 200 business people heard In The Works CEO Scott Reynvaan explain his company’s prototype catalytic converter for gas-driven pleasure boats. The converter cuts levels of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxides almost down to zero.

He and the other owners of the startups company hope to expand the technology to diesel, and to uses in industry and agriculture, he said Thursday.

All while keeping the planet green.

“For us, it’s more about the people, the planet and the profit,” in that order, Reynvaan said in describing his company’s mission.

Bob Fraik, founder of Evergreen Electromotive, has similar passion about climate change and what it will mean for his 5-year-old daughter.

“I’m really concerned what her world’s going to be like,” he said.

Fraik began Evergreen Electromotive in 2007 to develop new-generation electric vehicles to help the environment and cut down on dependence on foreign oil. His company rolled out a prototype last year, and the small white hatchback stood on display outside the Kitsap Conference Center on the Bremerton waterfront, where the Decision Makers’ Breakfast took place.

Fraik is aiming for the slower, non-highway niche, such as fleets of parking-patrol vehicles.

Both admitted developing breaking-edge technologies in a recession isn’t easy.

“I’ve never seen anything like we’re experiencing today,” Fraik said.

But both also remain convinced their prototypes will succeed.

Detroit had its shot with the electric car, Fraik said.

“I personally don’t believe that’s where the next-generation solutions are going to be coming from,” he said.

Next up at the breakfast was well-known economist John Mitchell of Portland, Ore., a former banker and professor.

Mitchell called this recession “a black swan,” or something that’s seldom seen. What makes this recession so unique is that it’s driven by woes in the housing industry and credit markets, he said.

Mitchell said this recession, while very serious, will begin to turn around in late 2009, but full recovery will take much longer.

It was the 11th year for the Decision Makers Breakfast.

7 thoughts on “Green Companies Celebrated at Decision Makers’ Breakfast

  1. “Underlying all that is the Port of Bremerton’s proposed Kitsap Sustainable Energy and Economic Development project, which calls for a green business incubator surrounded by startups companies near the Bremerton National Airport.”

    Today’s Port Orchard Independent is reporting that the Port of Bremerton has contracted with recently “retired” CEO Ken Atterbery to oversee the ongoing fiasco that is the SEED project. He is scheduled to make $150 an hour. That’s pretty “green”.

  2. Blue Light,

    Thanks for sharing your opinion regarding the SEED project and the contract with Ken Attebery.

    I disagree the the SEED project is a “fiasco”. The project has been vetted and supported by every economic development office/agency that has reviewed it. Experts in economic development believe that it is a worthwile project that will be successful.

    As far as the contract with Ken Attebery goes, maybe you should get your facts straight instead of relying on newspapers. The contract calls for an hourly fee of $100.00 per hour.

    Bill Mahan

  3. Oh, only $100 an hour, huh, Bill? 33% less cronyism than original reported.

    As for the project being “vetted and supported by every economic office/agency that has reviewed it”… I have no doubt. Our incestuous little groups are extremely supportive of one another.

  4. As for “getting my facts straight”, Bill…

    This is currently on the PO Independent’s website in an article titled: “Port Commissioner Critical of SEED, Interim CEO”:

    “The reporter wasn’t wrong. (Thomson) was,” Stokes said. “I got off the phone with the port not five minutes ago, and I was hot about it. If the acting CEO doesn’t even know the details of a contract before he goes off and reports it to the newspapers, there’s something seriously wrong here.”

    Thomson later confirmed he had misspoke and Attebery’s consultant fee would be $100 an hour.”

    Looks like it’s the Port that can’t get its facts straight, Bill. But that’s characterized the SEED fiasco (yes, FIASCO!) from the start.

  5. Hey, Bill… I assume you are crafting your apology for chastising me to “get my facts straight” when, in fact, it was your CEO that put out the wrong information in the first place. While we await that, though, let’s discuss your assertion that, “The project has been vetted and supported by every economic development office/agency that has reviewed it. Experts in economic development believe that it is a worthwile project that will be successful.”

    Are these the same “experts” that “vetted” Richard Hayes’ idea to build a Kitsap Transit passenger-only ferry empire? Are they the same “experts” that “vetted” Norm McLaughlin’s idea to get our public housing agency into the upscale condominium business? Maybe we ought to take a closer look at these “experts”…

  6. Here’s the editorial that appears in today’s PO Independent:

    Port’s SEED project just keeps getting seedier by the minute

    The Port of Bremerton’s so-called Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) project, you may remember, began life as a golden parachute stitched together by the port commissioners for Tim Botkin after he’d been ousted in 2002 after one lamentable term as Central Kitsap’s county commissioner.

    Botkin subsequently collected tens of thousands of dollars in fees as SEED’s nominal manager with little or nothing to show for it — until last February when, perhaps chastened by longtime Port Commissioner Mary Ann Huntington’s decisive defeat at the polls, the remaining commissioners gave port CEO Ken Attebery orders to fire him.

    A year later, there are indications Attebery may covet the position as SEED manager for himself. Only his hiring would be an even more audacious gambit on the part of the commissioners than their deal with Botkin.

    Attebery, 61, “retired” from his $120,520-a-year CEO post in December with a state pension that pays him $72,000 a year. On top of that, the commissioners voted last week to retain him at a rate of $100 an hour to perform consulting duties for SEED.

    But that’s just the beginning. There’s also been speculation that Attebery could be named manager of the SEED project, a move that would enable him to collect his pension in addition to a handsome salary from a nonprofit corporation the commissioners conveniently created to oversee the SEED project.

    Interim port CEO Tim Thomson, asked point-blank whether Attebery would be a candidate to replace Botkin in the position, couldn’t rule out the possibility.

    “That’s double-dipping,” said Port Commissioner Larry Stokes, vowing to fight any attempt to appoint Attebery.

    It would also, by the way, shine a whole new light on the enthusiastic support Attebery has shown for SEED all along.

    In any case, if it turns out that’s what Stokes’ fellow commissioners, Bill Mahan and Cheryl Kincer, have in mind, it would really stink.

    Then again, what about SEED hasn’t?

    Here’s the link:

    It is telling (but it isn’t new) that the Kitsap Sun hasn’t said a word about the latest fiasco (I used that word again, Bill) concerning SEED. One would think that after the way they strenuously objected to the Bremerton School District’s rehiring of Bette Hyde that they would be consistent in objecting to the obvious cronyism being shown Ken Attebery. What about it Sun? Are you going to report on the SEEDiness at the Port of Bremerton? Or are you going to remain quiet (in hopes we don’t see) until you can cheer the next bankrupt utopian cult member that comes along and expresses a willingness to take our subsidies?

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