GraysHarborTalk.com is currently seeking writers who live, work, and play in Grays Harbor County. We are looking for smart, motivated individuals who love to share positive stories about the Grays Harbor County communities. To apply to be a freelance writer, send your resume along with a 200-word writing sample about why you love your community to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kurtis Dawson, Community Manager
Building on more than 15 years of experience in the non-profit world, Kurtis works every day to produce positive community impact and build strong collaborations. His business degree from The Evergreen State College helps guide his business decisions which are based on strengthening relationships. He and his wife Sasha have four beautiful daughters. He enjoys the outdoors, fishing, camping and, most importantly, time with his family and great food with good friends.
Amy Rowley, Publisher
Born and raised in Aberdeen, Amy Rowley earned her bachelors degree from UW before heading east to earn a Masters in Business Administration. After a career in human resources, she has found a niche in operations of small businesses and a sincere love of non-profit management. She has written numerous articles, newsletters and fundraising brochures and translates these content development skills to GraysHarborTalk. Beyond volunteering as a board member for three local, non-profit organizations, you will find Amy shuttling her two young daughters, sewing a quick project, or paddle boarding.
Margo Greenman, Associate Editor
Margo Greenman is a food, beverage and lifestyle writer based in the Pacific Northwest. A graduate of the University of Washington, Margo holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts, Media and Culture. Growing up playing on Washington Coast beaches, in Margo’s adult life she enjoys surfing at Westport, exploring local restaurants, and taking in all that Grays Harbor and the surrounding region have to offer. Margo’s favorite thing about GraysHarborTalk? Sharing positive stories about the people, businesses, and organizations that make Grays Harbor such a great place to live, work and play.
Dan Jones, Founder, Research and Development
Dan has been running his own businesses in the technology realm for the last 13 years. He currently has around 35 team members working between his 3 organizations. After receiving his BS in Engineering and Master of Science degrees, he focused on creating products that create long-term impacts in the marketplace. When not working long hours as an entrepreneur, Dan enjoys skiing, wind surfing, and spending time with his wife and twins in Olympia.
Martin McElliott, VP of Sales
Martin married his high school sweetheart and is the father to two daughters. Martin credits his experience in the grocery business for developing his people skills. A realtor since 1997, Martin now enjoys being part of a fantastic team creating a positive new business.
Stephen Backholm, VP of Technology
Stephen is passionate about using technology to help businesses succeed. He has 12+ years experience architecting and managing large, enterprise systems, and has held a variety of senior technology leadership positions. He enjoys spending time cooking, drinking well made wines, and traversing the mountains and valleys of North America. Stephen is happily married to a beautiful girl named Paige and together they have four amazing children. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Western Washington University. Stephen has cried three times in his life: at the birth of his first child, when Spain won the World Cup in 2010, and during the final scene of Rudy.
Kristine Lowder is a multi-published author and freelance journalist. Her passions include classic English literature, Andrea Bocelli tunes, and raspberry white chocolate cheesecake. She also enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and exploring the Cascades with her husband and their four sons. Kristine earned her degree in Communication/Print Media from Biola University.
Over the past few years, I have enjoyed working with the people of Grays Harbor through my photography business. It has been an enriching and fulfilling experience to see our community thriving in so many different capacities. Being a native of this area myself, means “giving back” and I have enjoyed every opportunity to capture memorable moments.
Chelsea Royer has been married two years to her husband, Jake. No children yet, they have managed to adopt/rescue four pets who now believe they own their owners’ existence. Chelsea finds her passion in many shades of art and also in travel. She serves Washington State with creative and mostly candid photography through her business, Chez Photography. Always on the lookout to try new things, Chelsea loves meeting new people and finding new beauty in the crazy adventure of life.
The ruggedly handsome man known as Douglas is commonly found deep in the wilds of Olympic National Park, either along a river next to Sasquatch or standing on the summit of a remote peak, flanked my mountain goats. As the head guide and writer at Exotic Hikes, Doug knows about every corner of numerous National Parks and is a nerd when it comes to local history and culture. While not hiking, Douglas is a published guidebook author and community organizer all around the Olympic Peninsula.
Lisa Shell is a mother and celebrates 20 years of marriage this year. She is a freelance writer and barista at heart. She has 30 years experience leading teams and serving people. She connects people with each other and the community. She was born in California and moved to Washington State at the age of eleven. You can find her playing with her young son, if she’s not working.
Madi Ivey is a Junior at North Beach Jr./Sr. High School. She has resided in Ocean Shores since age four. Her hobbies include playing sports, such as volleyball, basketball, and fastpitch. After high school she plans on attending college in New York to begin her film career. She is currently working on her first script.