Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Local breaking business news prepared by Business Examiner staff.

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Copyright 2012, PCBE Inc. All Rights Reserved

Washington records 51 workplace deaths in 2011 ñ a historic low
Tacoma fire chief retiring
State files charges against Thurston nursing assistant
BE names 2012 Top Places to Work
Survey indicates wide disparity about portfolio performance
Advancing Leadership accepting applications for 2012-13
Absolute Mobility recognized for customer satisfaction
Blog watch: Awards, kids, billboards, gas prices maps and fraud
Washington records 51 workplace deaths in 2011 ñ a historic low
After years of steady decline, deaths in Washington due to fatal workplace injuries fell to 51 in 2011, the lowest number of work-related deaths in the state’s history.

The deaths are reported in the Washington FACE 2011 Work-Related Fatalities Report and based on preliminary data. Researchers count only deaths from traumatic injuries or acute chemical exposures. Deaths due to illnesses related to work are not included in the report.

During recent years, Washington has averaged between 80 and 90 work-related deaths annually. The previous low was in 2009 when 65 workers died on the job.

The 2011 report noted that fewer workers in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and manufacturing industries died on the job. There were also fewer incidents involving multiple victims.

Tacoma fire chief retiring

Tacoma Fire Department Chief Ronald W. Stephens has announced his retirement effective March 29. He was appointed chief in 2006 and has served 35 years with the department.

Under Stephen’s command, the Tacoma Fire Department achieved national accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. He oversaw an effort to increase the diversity of the organization and developed a culture of public service.

City Manager T.C. Broadnax has appointed Assistant Chief James Duggan to serve as interimñfire chief until a replacement is named following a nationwide search.

State files charges against Thurston nursing assistant
The license of Thurston County Nursing Assistant Daniel R. Sigafoos has been immediately suspended on charges of sexual contact with a child. The charges by the Department of Health Nursing Assistant Program mean Sigafoos cannot practice in Washington until the case is resolved.

Sigafoos has been criminally charged with first degree child molestation. The Department of Health Nursing Assistant Program alleges that Sigafoos poses an unacceptable risk to public health, safety and welfare.

Sigafoos has 20 days to respond to the charges and to ask for a hearing. Legal documents are available by clicking the link to Provider Credential Search on the agency’s home page or by calling (360) 236-4700.

BE names 2012 Top Places to Work

Business Examiner recognized its 2012 Top Places to Work honorees last night during a ceremony at Clover Park Technical College.

This year’s honorees included: Dillanos Coffee Roasters – Gratification and Medium Company; Eden Advanced Pest Technologies – Solidarity; Heritage Bank – Appreciation and Large Company; CodeSmart Inc – Equity; Charles Wright Academy – Integrity; Doty, Beardsley, Rosengren & Company – Small Company; and HopeSparks – Nonprofit.

Learn more about each of the 2012 Top Places to Work in the March 19 issue of Business Examiner.†

Survey indicates wide disparity about portfolio performance
Most financial advisers and their clients appear to hold different opinions on how a portfolio’s performance should be measured, according Russell Investments’ latest Financial Professional Outlook.
The majority of advisors (53 percent) indicated that they measure performance in terms of the portfolio’s progress toward meeting the client’s investing goals. But only 29 percent say clients also measure performance this way.

Instead, advisers said that clients typically gauge portfolio performance by short-term factors such as one-year returns (54 percent), the portfolio’s absolute return (49 percent) and portfolio volatility (41 percent).

“With the market volatility seen in 2011, it’s not surprising that individual investors are fixated on one-year returns and portfolio volatility. But there is little actionable value in these short-term, backward-looking measures for the individual investor,” said Frank Pape, director of consulting services for Russell’s U.S. adviser-sold business. “Advisers play a critical role in helping their clients define desired outcomes and performance expectations from the outset. With a common understanding of the end goals in hand, advisers can develop plans that take a total portfolio perspective toward achieving the outcome − not just beating a benchmark or achieving a specific return.”

The latest FPO survey also reflects a continued gap between advisers and clients around market sentiment. Advisers maintained a strong sense of optimism about the capital markets over the next three years (78 percent), yet reported a sustained lack of optimism amongst clients.

Only 18 percent of advisers believed that clients were optimistic about the markets. While this is higher than the 9 percent recorded in the December iteration of the FPO survey, the overall level of perceived optimism among clients remains below the levels seen in early 2011.

Advancing Leadership accepting applications for 2012-13
Federal Way’s Advancing Leadership program is now accepting applications for the 2012-13 class. Men and women living, working and/or volunteering in the Federal Way area are eligible to apply.

Advancing Leadership is an intensive leadership development program founded by the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce and it’s partners in 1998.  It is designed to help local adults enhance their leadership skills, deepen their understanding of community assets and issues and expand their network of relationships with other leaders in the city, county and state. More than 350 people have completed the program.

In addition to leadership and personal skills training, team building, field trips throughout the community and working with hundreds of leaders in government, business, education, healthcare, nonprofits and service clubs, Advancing Leadership participants choose a team project they design, organize and implement to benefit Federal Way.

Applications are due May 18. Click here for more information.

Absolute Mobility recognized for customer satisfaction
Absolute Mobility is among six dealerships that have received the the Ralph Braun Signature Award from the Braun Corp., the world’s largest manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles, lifts and ramps.

The recognition is based on customer satisfaction survey results from 2011.

This is the second Signature Award the Tacoma Absolute Mobility team has won during the last two years.

Blog watch: Awards, kids, billboards, gas prices maps and fraud
Find out more about the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s upcoming Business Environment Awards on The Live Wire.

OlyBlog reports that The Evergreen State College’s Campus Children’s Center will be open to the public beginning April 2.

Stop by Exit 133 for the latest about the ongoing billboard debate.

Olympia Business Watch says gasoline prices are impacting the economy and the upcoming elections.

From Our Corner reports on the Washington Supreme Court decision about the Redistricting Commission’s maps.

And read about an insurance company claims representative who pleaded guilty to fraud on her own car at Washington State Insurance Update.

Editor’s note: This BE Daily feature is meant to bring you the latest news and conversation summaries from the Blogosphere. We’ll scan South Sound blogs each Wednesday and provide roundups of the business topics people are blogging about.

If you have a news item or story idea that you would like to see in the BE Daily, please send an e-mail along with your contact information to daily@BusinessExaminer.com.

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