Winning brand – Tran Creative founder sets standard in image design

Recently Ben Tran was asked, “Which is more challenging? Being a five-time Ironman triathlete or being the father of five children?”

In true Ben Tran style, he thought about it for a moment, smiled, then moved forward to the work at hand. What was the work at hand? Tran was directing a focus group of community volunteers in a brand refresh for Kootenai Health. Why was he running a branding group for Kootenai Health? Simply stated, the answer is that Ben is the owner of Tran Creative, a brand design firm in downtown Coeur d’Alene.

However, this isn’t a story about Kootenai Health. It’s about Ben Tran and what he does for our community. He has been involved in providing the fresh look for many of North Idaho’s most prominent local companies, including Kootenai Electric Cooperative and Family Home Care, not to mention McEuen Park for the city of Coeur d’Alene.



Tran Creative – owned by Ben Tran – specializes in image design for both local and international companies. Tran Creative promotional material for Toshiba is pictured above.
Contributed Photo.

What Tran does is complex, but it has a very simple name – branding. It’s kind of like living the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ is very simple. Treat others as you would be treated. Forgive yourself, forgive others and serve as Christ did. Very simple principals – but it takes work to get it right.

Branding requires a team of creative people, trying different ideas, colors and shapes to find the right visual message for a particular product. It also takes participation in the form of focus groups and considerable market research to position and execute the message... Read Full Story →

Hayden Lake seminar provides unique history lesson

When is thank-you sufficient enough? – After one? two? four?

Well, for Connie Godak, it’s been five – a total of five annual free Family History Seminars sponsored by the Hayden Lake (Idaho) Stake. As the director of the Family History Center there, Godak and over 35 patrons, both LDS and non-LDS, spent last year planning and preparing for the event on Oct. 27.

Was the seminar a success?

The Coeur D’ Alene Press – which had an informative feature story on the event – thought so, and so did we.

This year, we thought we’d let our pictures help tell the story.

A picture tells so much -it’s a moment in time. To restore an old photo is to bring to back to life something in the present for the family to enjoy – it’s a real blessing. Dave Van Etten’s “Repairing Photos with Photoshop I and II” provided an overview of the restorative process.

From the “Preserving Memories with Scrapbooking Class” with Lois Nemeck.

Connie Godak not only organized this day but taught a class on the “World Wide Family Search Indexing” class.

Julienne Dance, public information specialist for the Hayden Lake Stake, had this to say about the seminar:

“I visited with several people at the conference – many were Family History consultants for their stake buildings,” she said. “They came to the conference from Walla Walla, Spokane, and many other stakes in eastern Washington, southern Idaho and western Montana. They came to learn more about family history so that they could take it back to their stakes... Read Full Story →

Coeur d’Alene dentist brings smiles to Central America

Doug Pulsipher, DDS of Coeur d’ Alene, and his staff are all smiles, literally.



Dr. Doug Pulsipher, a Coeur d’Alene dentist, and his wife, Sally, volunteer time to a Church humanitarian program called “Smiles for Central America” that provides dental care for departing LDS missionaries in countries like El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras.
Contributed Photo.

Dr. Pulsipher and his crew been traveling with a group called “Smiles for Central America” to help fulfill a mission statement “to provide dental and medical services for young Latter-day Saint men and women in Central America.”

Twice each year, Smiles for Central America sponsors humanitarian service expeditions to Central America for the purpose of delivering medical and dental services for young LDS men and women to help them prepare to serve full-time LDS missions. The group rotates through the countries of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Panama.



Sally Pulsipher with several smiling missionaries. The Pulsiphers have traveled to Central America four times as part of Smiles for Central America.
Contributed Photo.

Dr. Pulsipher has gone four times with this group to Central America. He usually goes twice a year and pays his own way, which costs from $2,300 to $2,800 per person. His wife, Sally, has gone with him each time. He has been to Peru, the Dominican Republic and Belize. He has traveled with his son John (a dentist) to El Salvador and with his daughter, Lindsey (a... Read Full Story →

Hayden family employs frugal, ambitious approach to successful business

Balance between a business, family and an active church life is sought after daily by the Tanner Family of Hayden, Idaho. They have blended the various aspects of their life in many ways but one that helps daily is something called “extreme couponing.”

Tamara and Tom Tanner have a bustling LDS family and business, Hayden Valley Assisted Living. Their three children are 9, 11 and 13. Hayden Valley Assisted Living has 16 residents and is a full house. The Tanners are opening two more assisted living homes this year, Bristol Heights 1 and 2. Within a few years, they plan to open buildings 3 and 4 of Bristol Heights.



With a blend of smart spending, an emphasis on family and a consistent work ethic, Tom and Tamara Tanner have turned Hayden Valley Assisted Living into a successful venture.
Contributed Photo.

Add this to busy weekends of camping and four-wheeling with family and friends while maintaining their home in a clean and orderly fashion. How is all this achieved? What is the secret to their balanced life?

“We put our family and living the gospel as our top priority and everything else seems to fall in place,” Tom said. “Each member of our family is very involved and our family has grown closer together. My wife and I love being able to work with each other every day. We know we are here for a reason and we feel very blessed.”

Tamara agreed heartily but she also talked about the practical division of duties they have agreed upon. She spoke about how she handles the grocery shopping, which can be daunting. It seems providing three meals a day, plus snacks, to 20 people can be a massive task.

“The best advice I’ve ever received was from a... Read Full Story →

Dr. Kevin Olson – a modern-day composer

On Friday, Aug. 19, Dr. Kevin Olson from Utah State University presented a workshop at Music City in Spokane. It was well attended by over 50 local piano teachers

Dr. Olson, a native of Utah, began composing at the age of 5. At 12, his composition,” An American Trainride” received the Overall First Prize at the 1983 National PTA Convention at Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since then, he has been a Composer in Residence at the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy and has written music commissioned and performed by groups such as the American Piano Quartet, Chicago A Cappella, the Rich Matteson Jazz Festival and several piano teacher associations around the country.



Dr. Kevin Olson, a professor of music at Utah State and well-respected composer, taught a class earlier this month to over 50 piano instructors at Music City in Spokane.
Contributed Photo.

Dr. Olson maintains a large piano studio, teaching students of various ages and abilities. Many of the experiences of his piano students have led to more than 100 books and solos published by the FJH Music Company, which he joined as a writer in 1994.

His wife, the former, Julia Aubery, is also a piano teacher. The couple has four children, ages 15,12, 8 and 5. An endearing story told by Dr. Olson to the capacity gathering of piano teachers earlier this month was of a day when Julia was teaching a piano lesson to a student using sheet music written by Dr. Olson. The student looked over the music and noticing Dr. Olson’s picture on the back cover and said, “Hey, I just saw this guy mowing your lawn!”

As part of his presentation, Dr. Olson discussed how to teach music to the millennial generation, recognized as some of the brightest and best... Read Full Story →

Coeur d’Alene Scouts soar toward Eagle awards

These Scouts are flying in formation.

Troop 209 of the Old Mission District, Inland Northwest Council in Couer d’Alene, has five boys working concurrently on their Eagle Scout awards.

What makes this unique is not just the fact that five boys in the same troop are working toward the most prestigious award that can be earned by a Boy Scout but that there are two families with two sons working toward this award at the same time.

The Weeks family has sons Ammon and Caleb and the Rawson family has sons Damien and Tevin. The boys’ projects are in various planning and implementing stages.

Ammon Weeks, 14, and Caleb Weeks, 13, are homeschooled by their parents. Caleb is interested in collecting non-perishable items for babies. Ammon Weeks, 13, is arranging a workday for the cleaning of the Hope Cemetery in Coeur d’Alene.

Matthew Edwards, 15, is also homeschooled and his quest for the Eagle award follows his older brother into this prestigious rank.

Damien Rawson, 15, and Tevin Rawson, 14, of Lakes Middle School are also working on their projects. Both of these boys have defined projects in place. Damien is making a display stand for hygiene awareness. His booth will become a permanent display at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. Damien is also on the wrestling and football teams for Lakes Middle School

Tevin has been working at Popcorn Island. He created erosion control barriers and worked on trail maintenance for the Forest Service. Another project that he was in charge involved cutting out a spot for a picnic table. When we, the general public, sit at one of the picnic tables they are pleasant sites for us to eat lunch or rest. But, did you know that creating this one spot took 209 man hours and at least 15 people? All this was accomplished with volunteers. Many of the volunteers camped overnight and just went to work the next day. It took them a total of three days to complete the project,... Read Full Story →

Hayden youth cycle to Spokane Temple in honor of pioneer

Youth in the Hayden Fourth Ward traveled to the Spokane Temple last month courtesy of some pedal power and the remarkable legacy of a Mormon pioneer.

“Fit for the Kingdom” is a program inspired by John Rowe Moyle, a pioneer who arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1846 with one of the first handcart companies. He was later part of the effort led by the prophet Brigham Young to build the Salt Lake Temple, a project that spanned 39 years, beginning in 1853. We see Moyle’s work on the east side of the temple in the words “Holiness to the Lord.”



Youth from the Hayden Fourth Ward biked from Post Falls to the Spokane Temple on June 29. The trek was part of a program called “Fit for the Kingdom” inspired by the dedication of Mormon pioneer John Rowe Moyle who walked 22 miles each week to work on the Salt Lake Temple.
Photo by Natalie Langford

Each week, Moyle walked a distance of 22 miles to the temple, beginning at 2 a.m. every Monday. Each Friday, he would depart Salt Lake at 5 p.m. to begin the long walk back to his farm in Alpine. He suffered dehydration, blisters and even being kicked in the leg by one of his cows. The injury left him with a leg that would not heal and eventually had to be amputated.

Remarkably, none of these physical afflictions caused Moyle to withdraw from his commitment to the Church and building the temple. He took time to carve a wooden leg and, after many weeks of practice, he walked again to the temple grounds. Today, all who view the inspiring words, “Holiness to the Lord” are blessed by Moyle’s legacy.

Moyle’s unique example of dedication drew attention in the Church when Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf told his story in the... Read Full Story →

CdA Junior Miss, valedictorian succeeds with integrity, work ethic

It’s been a time of transition for Rachel Olvera of the Hayden Fourth Ward of the Hayden Lake, Idaho Stake.

A senior at Lake City High School, Olvera ended her reign as Coeur d’ Alene Junior Miss 2011 earlier this year and moved onto being valedictorian for her graduating class this month. Rachel officially earned the title of “Junior Miss” on March 20, 2010.

Education and service top the list of priorities for this accomplished senior. Rachel has volunteered as a tutor for the past two years at Lake City in their free after-school tutoring program.

Being elected to the title of Junior Miss, Rachel felt it happened because of her commitment to her schoolwork, her community service and sense of self-confidence. She points to effort and dedication as keys on the path to realizing her divine potential.

“Having a testimony of my Heavenly Father and Savior allows having a sense of self worth,” she said.

Olvera added that the competition was a great learning experience.

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Local musician, singer shine at spring concert

It was a concert by youth to support youth.

Rachel Averett, accompanied by Val Wold, sang in a Spring Harmony Benefit Concert for the Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County at the Kroc Center on Sunday, April 17. She sang “Memory” by Andrew Webber from the play “Cats.”

The Boys and Girls Club is a community effort to provide a safe place to keep kids involved in positive activities. Both Rachel and Val spoke of the honor they felt to be a part of this activity.

Rachel, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Ryan Averett, is a student of the CDA Charter Academy in Coeur d’Alene.

Rachel has been involved musically in a variety of local events. Recently, she and Rachael Mylroie, who are affectionately known as the “Two Rachaels” in their Hayden Fourth Ward, won a “Superior” rating for a duet at the District Solo and Ensemble contest.

Val Wold, a 12 year old pianist, started learning piano at the age of 6. He played his first public concert at the age of 7. He has performed at over 120 concerts for various organizations, banks, local chambers, schools and retirement communities and recently was among the featured musicians at a concert for Idaho State Governor Butch Otter and 350 other state legislators.



Val Wold and Rachel Averett were featured at a spring concert benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County on April 17. Contributed Photo.

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Geneology steps to forefront at third annual Family History Seminar

Some 200 genealogists gathered in North Idaho last month for the third annual Family History Seminar at the Hayden Lake LDS Stake Center in Hayden, Idaho.

Under the direction of Family History Center Director Connie Godak, a fast-paced day filled with enthusiasm and people making or remaking acquaintances was enjoyed by all.

Sister Godak expressed gratitude for the support the seminar has received from local priesthood leaders, the guidance offered by Area Family History

Advisor Frank Wagstaff of Spokane and the wonderful teachers who so willingly shared their expertise, fielded questions, and made the classes so worthwhile. She also thanked stake Technical Clerk Russ Bowen, without whom these seminars could not happen.

A total of 16 classes were included as part of the agenda on Oct. 23. There were four to choose from each hour, including Internet classes, family history software classes, some on digital scrapbooking and photograph repair, file organization, and the DAR. The teachers this year were David Van Etten, Luc Comeau, Diana Cook, Connie Godak, Liz Jones, Sandy Doutre, Steven and Ann Woods and two well-known Family Historians from Spokane, Donna Potter Phillips and Miriam Robbins Midkiff.

Phillips taught two classes: “Researching a Place Online” and “Family Search Labs and Indexing.” MidKiff spoke on “Finding Your Ancestor’s Vital Records Online” and “Accessing Newspapers Online.”

Because of the interest in learning about the new technology that interfaces with the New Family Search records, people involved in family history work are eager for classes about the various programs. The new Mac Family Tree was also demonstrated.

Read Full Story →

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