How does your garden grow? Or, in this case, where does your garden grow? Based in Issaquah, Countryside Floral & Garden (1420 NW Gilman Blvd #1, Issaquah, WA 98027) grows beautiful plants in the shop’s greenhouse as well as on owner Jon Robert Throne’s Covington area farm – Farm, Fare & Floral.
Countryside Floral & Garden has been an Issaquah staple for 40 years. Jon has worked at the store for 19 years, buying the store in 2012. The store’s offerings run the gamut. It’s got everything from African violets and long stem roses to candles and bunny-driven carrot cars. The store’s all decked out for Easter!
When you enter the store, your senses are filled with delightful smells and vibrant colors in a wonderland where Jon and his staff design beautiful floral creations for all occasions, including weddings, corporate events, birthdays, funeral arrangements, and more. What’s unique about the store is the talent of his experienced staff who have 135+ years of combined experience. When needed, the store calls in extra designers for particularly large events and holidays to be sure they can serve all of their customers.
Originally from Michigan, Jon got his first spider plant at age 5 and his first tomato plant at age 6, and he was hooked.
“I’ve always loved watching things grow, whether it is a seed, plant, person, animal or business,” Jon said.
When we asked Jon what his specialty was, he said it was hard to choose one thing, because the store is diverse and they offer so many things, from locally made gift items (e.g., candles, chocolates, bath & body products) to plants and incredible floral masterpieces.
So why would a Covington customer use an Issaquah floral shop?
A little about Jon
In addition to Countryside Floral & Garden, Jon owns Farm, Fare & Floral, a Covington Chamber member at the Community Leader level (thank you, Jon!). He is also a member of the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce and NACE Tacoma/Seattle. He holds the AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers) and CFD (Certified Floral Designer) designations, signifying his experience.
On the personal side, we asked Jon:
Wine or beer? He prefers wine, especially a buttery chardonnay.
Dogs or cats? He prefers dogs, but he has both.
Happy place? Feeding the animals on his farm gives him a special energy.
A fact few people know? Jon is a preacher’s son.
Three words to describe himself: eclectic, charismatic, unique
If you haven’t already visited Countryside Floral & Garden, it is worth the short drive to meet Jon, his lovely staff, and their wonderful store and designs.
Take a video tour!
In retail management for 10 years, Brad Hanson was ready for a career change. When deciding what to do next, Brad remembered his own home-buying experience, which was not a good one. He loves serving people, so he decided to become a REALTOR® to elevate the experience for clients. During 2017 – his first year in real estate – Brad sold 27 homes, and now he is regularly in the top 1% of REALTORS® for John L. Scott.
Giving his clients his full attention, Brad caters to each individual client’s needs and treats them like family. Brad tries to educate, teach and help them understand the real estate market and their options, so clients can make the best decisions for their lives. This is probably why he has grown a very successful business in such a short period of time.
“They aren’t just a contract to us,” Brad said. “It’s about what’s best for the client, not what’s best for me.”
In one example, Brad was able to help a buyer purchase a $275,000 manufactured home. The buyer was someone who thought they would never be able to buy a home, so this sale is particularly memorable for Brad.
“It brings me joy to help people,” said Brad.
With an office in Black Diamond, Brad and his six-member team are hyperlocal, focusing primarily on the real estate markets in Black Diamond, Maple Valley, Covington and Kent. They also serve other cities within King County as well as Pierce and Snohomish Counties. Brad is the managing broker. His team includes Jereme Farmer, operations manager; Lisa Holle, listing agent; Kate Humpherys, buyer’s agent; Hilary Gardiner, transaction coordinator; Davin Lee, marketing coordinator; and Sarah Beckler, listing coordinator.
When not “wowing” their clients with personalized service, Brad and his team are actively involved in their local communities. Brad is currently the president of the Tahoma Schools Foundation, and he has a partnership with Ticket to Dream, a nonprofit that provides hope and opportunities to foster children across the country, hosting a pajama drive every year.
On the personal side, we asked Brad…
In today’s world, it is so easy to get distracted and multitask, but Brad wants to really experience life and be fully present whatever he’s doing. That’s great advice we can all learn from.
Learn more about Brad Hanson and the Bradley Hanson Group online.
Meet Pat Hanis of Hanis Irvine Prothero PLLC, a Covington Chamber member since 2008. Based in Kent, the full-service law firm serves Kent, Covington and the South King County area. They will celebrate their 20th year in business this summer. We met with Pat, a partner with Hanis Irvine Prothero and the Covington Chamber’s chair-elect to learn more about the law firm, also known as “HIP.”
Hanis Irvine Prothero has 11 attorneys who offer a wide range of legal services, including bankruptcy, business law, criminal defense/DUI, estate planning and probate, family law, homeowner’s associations, immigration law, personal injury and real estate law. There are five partners in the firm including Mike Hanis, Pat Hanis, Cynthia Irvine, Greg Girard and Greg Cromwell, as well as an experienced team of support staff.
The law firm is invested in the local community and their attorneys are active in a range of local organizations. Of the 11 attorneys at HIP, four are graduates of the Kent School District: 3 from Kentwood and 1 from Kent-Meridian. You can’t get much more local than that!
Pat followed in his father Mike’s footsteps to become an attorney, as did his brother Brian. Pat has a bachelor's degree in speech communications from the University of Washington and a law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law. He specializes in probate and estate planning, real estate, business, and water and sewer districts. Pat was attracted to the law because he wanted to help clients navigate legal questions and situations.
“I often get calls from clients after a family member has passed away. Many of them don’t understand what’s next, and I like being able to make the process less of a mystery,” Pat says. “I want to give my clients peace of mind during an emotional experience.”
When not working, Pat serves as a commissioner for the Lake Meridian Water District, and he supports local organizations including the Covington Chamber. He is the former president of the South King County Bar Association and past president of the Meridian-Kiwanis Club. He and his wife Sarah live in Kent where they have raised five children.
When you meet Pat, you’ll be greeted with a smile and feel like you’ve met a friendly neighbor. You’ll also understand that he is very smart and good at what he does, and you’ll know he truly wants to help people, whether they are friends, family, clients or the community.
Visit HIPLawFirm.com to learn more about Pat and Hanis Irvine Prothero PLLC.
When Bryan LaBelle walks into a room, his height is often the first thing people notice, but it isn’t what they’ll remember about him. They will remember his smile, warm and welcoming nature, positive attitude, love of community, and his focus on faith, family, and friends. Bryan is also known for being approachable and a really good listener.
Bryan has been an Edward Jones advisor for 2½ years, but he has been interested in finance since college. He attended Northwestern University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Studies. During college, Bryan also played football, moving on to the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and the XFL’s Chicago Enforcers. After his football career, Bryan held a number of management positions for UPS, including director of business development of major accounts, enterprise accounts, and global accounts, where he traveled all over the world, working with Fortune 500 companies.
Passionate about finance, Bryan mentored under another financial advisor for eight years. He now has his own Edward Jones office in Covington and loves helping clients work toward their goals (e.g., home ownership, retirement, generational wealth) while managing risk.
“I get to help people with things they don’t share with anyone else. It is an honor to be trusted with that information and to be able to help,” Bryan says. “I like to treat my clients’ money as if it is my own.”
In addition to his day job, Bryan helped found the Covington BNI group in April 2021, where he serves as the group’s president. He is also a proud ambassador for the Covington Chamber, welcoming and supporting our members. Bryan is married to his wife Lyrica. They live in Covington with their three children: Callia, 13; Elise, 9; and Bodan, 6.
Fun facts about Bryan:
The next time you see Bryan, let us know what you remember the most about him!
We are proud to have Novo Apartments as a member of the Covington Chamber. Their beautiful property, upscale apartments, and warm hospitality are wonderful assets to the Covington community.
The serenity of life at Novo provides the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life! With a tranquil lake view providing the perfect backdrop, their spacious apartment homes offer everything you have been looking for, including new gourmet kitchens, complete with stainless appliances and wood style flooring.
At the end of a long workday, you will be re-energized with a dip in the beautiful pool and spa, or a workout in their state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center! With favorite restaurants and retailers just steps away, Novo combines the tranquility of a lakeside retreat with all the upscale luxury and convenience of modern living.
Visit Novo Apartments online for more information, or contact Jose or Haillie at 253-201-0590 to schedule a tour!
After six years in the auto industry, Clayton Pantano started Entrust Marketing in March 2020. Since then, he’s been putting his marketing degree from Green River College to good use. In his first year, Clayton worked mostly with local businesses, building websites, managing social media, running digital ad campaigns, and improving search rankings via Google My Business tools. In a little over two years, Clayton’s team has grown, and he now has clients across the U.S. and Canada.
Clients usually reach out to Clayton when they have a problem to solve. Maybe they don’t have time to develop and manage social media accounts, something on their website isn’t working, or maybe their business isn’t ranking high enough in Google search to be found online easily. Clayton helps solve the problem and then, taking a high-level view, looks at the individual parts of a business to see how they fit together. What’s working? What’s not?
The name for his company – Entrust Marketing – is meaningful for Clayton, embodying how he views his business. Building trust with his clients, he sees them as more than third parties. They are an extension of his business. Meeting with each client, he asks himself, “How do I serve this client?” and “What would I want if I were the client?”
Clayton really listens to his clients and what they want, putting their needs at the forefront of the work they do together.
“Every business has a story,” Clayton says. “I help them tell their personal story.”
Learn more about Entrust Marketing online.
Meet Lavonne Dideon, a long-time member of the Covington Chamber and the owner of Aspire Pest Solutions. Aspire PS offers full-service pest solutions from bugs to rats and attics to crawlspaces to help protect your home and family.
"We treat your home like it was our own home or business." ~ Aspire
Lavonne and her team love dealing with pests and using science to resolve pest issues that can be harmful to your health and your home. Using integrated pest management and other tools, Aspire serves the greater Seattle area. Aspire is a local, woman-owned and operated business, and their solutions are family and pet friendly!
Have pest problems or suspect that you might? Aspire can help.
- Property management
- Real Estate
- Home pest inspections
Visit Aspire-PS.com for more information, or call Lavonne and her team at 425-318-8551.
Meet Leslie Wright of Cruise Planners, a new cruise-based travel agency in Covington. With a love of a travel since she was a little girl, Leslie enjoys planning trips for family and friends. This passion for travel was the impetus for Leslie’s plan to one day purchase her own travel business. In 2019, she took a step toward that dream by working as a travel associate for a cruise franchise. In October 2021, she bought her own – Cruise Planners in Covington – where she helps clients plan cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, and more.
Leslie’s long-term plan is to do travel planning full-time when she retires early, so she can see more of the world herself. Her all-time favorite destination is Hawaii, but she has been all around the world, including Switzerland and South Africa. Two trips left on her bucket list are Bali and Maldives.
Want to learn more? Meet Leslie at an upcoming Chamber event, or visit Leslie online at https://www.travelandsea.com/ or on her YouTube channel, Travel and Sea.
"TRAVEL and SEA the world!"
Meet Victor Torres and Peter Haroldson of the Law Offices of Torres & Haroldson. Serving the greater Maple Valley-Covington-Black Diamond area, the firm joined the Chamber earlier this year at the Community Leader level.
Though they both have had impressive careers and degrees prior to teaming up in 2018, Victor (Seattle University) and Peter (Tulane University) say they are “just regular dudes” with families who enjoy serving the community in a variety of ways. Victor specializes in personal injury law, wrongful death, employment law and litigation. Peter has a family-centered practice which includes domestic relations, estate planning, and elder law.
“We are one of you for you,” they say.
If you visit their law offices in the historic Gibbon House, you will find a few surprises throughout, including some of the original design features of the home, a Batman mirror, Yoda, a 49ers football and Victor’s red cape signifying his status as a Super Lawyer. You’ll also find staff including an associate, two paralegals, and a client relations liaison. When not at work, Victor and Peter are often shuttling their kids back and forth to sports games and events or participating in community events like the Fishing Derby.
Learn more about these "regular dudes" online.
If you haven't already met Jean Wall of Jean Wall Insurance, stop by her State Farm office at 27121 174th Pl SE Suite 103, and introduce yourself. She loves meeting new people! Jean has been with State Farm since 2010 and moved her office from Seattle to Covington last summer. She joined the Chamber soon after and has been an active member, participating in the Clean Safe Welcome City committee and attending Chamber events.
Jean loves being an insurance agent because she has the independence of being a business owner. She gets to set her own hours, work remotely when needed, and be a part of the Covington community. Why insurance? Jean says that there is a meaningfulness to her work that may not be immediately obvious. She has the opportunity to help clients plan for the "what ifs" of life by helping them protect themselves and their assets, and she loves building client relationships and earning their trust.With Jean, insurance is much more than a transaction. It is a lasting relationship.
In addition to helping clients with their insurance needs, Jean enjoys mentoring other agents. So far, she has trained 12 agents, helping them develop their professional skills and leadership abilities. When not working, Jean and her husband Steve enjoy traveling and spending time with their grandchildren. Next time you're in the neighborhood, stop by and say "hi" to Jean and, of course, to Jake! Both are sure to greet you with a friendly smile.