Singing the praises of the unsung heros

“This summer’s technology conventions, proclamations and festivities brought much publicity to Tacoma. More community leaders have acted as catalysts to these developments than could ever be recognized. Some humbly choose to promote the city behind the scenes; recognizing what is good for the city is good for business and good for us all. This column is devoted to heroes who work outside of the limelight to promote America’s #1 Wired City. Janine Terrano’s Business Internet Services (BIS) is one such modest hero. The web development company takes a proactive approach to assisting clients. Steve Naccarato, digital strategist for BIS, stated that the company enables clients to harness the Internet to meet their needs and goals. BIS is Tacoma’s hidden Internet technology treasure, said Rob Greenlee, director of marketing for Shopper Box Networks. Janine is a technology pioneer in Tacoma, Greenlee added.Naccarato agrees with Greenlee’s description of Terrano. BIS was launched from Tacoma and has operated here for almost five years, said Naccarato. Other community leaders concurred that BIS and Terrano were among the first tech representatives to locate in Tacoma. With plans to expand into Seattle in 2001, Tacoma will remain the company’s headquarters. BIS is a silent success story, Terrano said. Adding, We’ve been so focused on building our business that the glamour side of success has not been on our radar. The fundamentals of business have been is one of BIS’s success stories. The radio station’s web site, built by Terrano’s company was named one of the top five radio station web sites in the nation by the Radio Advertising Bureau.Our clients get the notoriety for what we do for them, Terrano said.With the success of BIS, Terrano started a second Tacoma based high-tech company last year.Topia Ventures is developing new technology based on mobile agent architecture. The operating system makes personalized computing faster, easier and mobile according to the company. The technology benefits consumers by enabling a high-tech personal agent to shop, schedule meetings, coordinate travel and access email for the user. By using the personal agent the consumer is freed from the office and from syncing personal digital assistants (PDA’s) and personal computers.Tacoma’s second pair of humble heroes are Jim Crabbe and Nick Huzar, co-founders of the Tacoma Network. Through the formally, informal networking meetings on the first Wednesday of each month, Crabbe and Huzar have strengthened business opportunities for the high-tech community. New additions to the Tacoma Network web site will also create and foster future relationships in the community. Additions include Pierce County’s high-tech press release and news archive, calendar of events, job posting space and a free resume board accessible to a global audience.Both Crabbe and Huzar are employees of Web-X, which like BIS was one of the first high-tech companies to locate in Tacoma. Crabbe often acts as an advocate for Tacoma’s technology businesses at the Seattle Online Network. Several Web-X employees, including Crabbe, interact with traditional business to ensure Tacoma’s economic prosperity as Rotary members.Scott Bourne, Tacoma’s Most Wired Individual, pointed to various heroes in the audience upon receiving the award from the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce last month.Jim Crabbe is someone I deeply regret not mentioning when I received the award, Bourne said. He could have been there instead of me. Jim Crabbe along with Joey Caisse will be the next Frank Russell in the community. Bourne also recognized Juli Wilkerson, director of the city’s Economic Development Department, as someone who promotes Tacoma behind the scenes.Juli Wilkerson is the most humble of all the heroes in Tacoma, Bourne said. She doesn’t seek the glory or get the stock options, but what she does directly benefits the high-tech community, businesses and Tacoma in general.Tomorrow is a sad day for Tacoma as the community looses one of its finest advocates. Steve Brown, editor of the Tacoma Daily Index, also worked without stock options or glory to promote the success story of America’s #1 Wired City.Brown’s effort has resulted in syndication of Tacoma’s business news from the Index to 50,000 web sites globally.Always the first to report breaking high-tech news without undue cynicism, Brown’s move will be felt by all involved in the economic development movement in Tacoma.In saying goodbye to old friends and recognizing community heroes, it is important to welcome those that could be Tacoma’s future advocates. Bonnie West replaces Steve Brown at the Index next week. Approach her with story ideas and feature suggestions at future technology events.Another newcomer is Kelli Kubista, who recently moved from Arizona to handle public relations for InsynQ. “