Meet Aries!

As we closed out 2011, we added a couple of really great new hires to the Merriman team. Aries Lazaro came on board this past December as our new Assistant Controller as we bid adieu to Sandy Chudler, his predecessor who retired in February 2012. We wish Sandy many great ventures in her new life of leisure and we are truly excited to welcome Aries aboard!

Aries has five years of great experience as an Audit Supervisor for Clothier and Head. Although he enjoyed and valued his experience there, Aries was looking for a new opportunity to utilize his skills in a more expansive business capacity.

Born in Seattle, Aries grew up in the area and his parents still live in the house where he was raised. He graduated from Issaquah High School, then ventured north to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Most of Aries family is in the Philippines, and he and his wife Mary have made several trips to visit. Aries and Mary are also new parents to their four month old daughter, Caroline. Here are a few fun, random facts about Aries that he was willing (well, some he was a little reluctant!) to share:

  • Aries is a big sports fan and an active hiker, loves camping and anything he can do in the great outdoors.
  • He once pitched a no-hitter while in sixth grade little league baseball!
  • Aries and Mary love to travel. Besides the Philippines, they have visited Italy, Spain and France. With the addition of little Caroline, he is wondering when they will travel again…
  • For the first week of his life, his name was Troy, but his dad decided the name just did not fit, so they changed it to his astronomical sign, Aries.
  • Aries frequently got himself in trouble as a child by cutting his own hair. His mom would give him a haircut, and he wouldn’t like it, so he’d sneak out to the back yard with a pair of scissors and have at it. Needless to say, his mom wasn’t too thrilled. He has since realized that a professional salon is a much better choice. J

We are very excited to have Aries joining our fantastic finance team at Merriman!

The house that Merriman is building (UPDATE)

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you may remember that a group of Merriman employees have been using our volunteer hours with Habitat for Humanity at the Rainer Vista location. The house was scheduled for completion in December, but we finished greatly ahead of schedule and the ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Sunday, October 2nd!

Having now completed our first Habitat house as a team, there is much to reflect on.  Was the work strenuous and tiring?  Yes.  Did the notoriously fickle Washington weather make things uncomfortable?  Frequently.  Were we always sore at the end of the day?  Definitely.  But did our team leave the worksite every single day with smiles on our faces?  Absolutely.  Would we ever choose to use our volunteer hours with Habitat in the future?  In a heartbeat.  This relationship that we have built with Habitat as well as the new inhabitants of the four-plex we  and other volunteers worked side by side with for the whole year has been unfathomably rewarding as well as productive. (more…)

Meet Dawn!

In continuing with our great hiring success in 2011, I have the pleasure of introducing our newest member to the Merriman team, Dawn McGeorge. Dawn joined us on April 27th and is the newest member of our support services team.  By now you have likely had the chance to speak with Dawn, as she is one of the fantastic people you initially interact with when calling our office. She is a truly great addition to our already wonderful support services team!

Dawn has several years of great experience serving clients and trying to help make their experience memorable and pleasant. Dawn just moved to the Seattle area from North Carolina where she was the manager of a well-known barbecue restaurant called The Pit. She takes great pride in making sure our clients know how much we love working with them. She looks forward to her daily interactions and loves to help each of our clients in any way possible.

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Public transportation for Merriman and you!

The honor of being recognized as one of the 50 greenest companies in Washington by Seattle Business Magazine means a lot to us.  We are always looking for ways to encourage green living and commuting.

In 2010, Americans took 10.2 billion trips on public transportation.   From 1995 through 2010, public transportation ridership increased by 31%.  The American Public Transit Association claims that public transit saves an estimated 1.4 billion gallons of gas annually, which translates into about 14 million tons of carbon dioxide.

In an effort to offset our carbon emissions, reduce the cost of parking in downtown Seattle and shorten the length of commute times, we know that providing our employees passes for public transportation is the most cost effective and efficient way for them to get to work.  We are pleased that 90 percent of our employees use public transportation to commute to our office.

We want our clients to have options when they come to our office as well.  The next time you travel to our Seattle office for your review we would be happy to give you a bus ticket for your ride home.

Merriman named one of Washington’s 50 Greenest Companies!

We are proud to be named in the October 2011 issue of Seattle Business Magazine as one of the 50 greenest companies in the state of Washington.  Making this list demonstrates pronounced leadership in areas of sustainability, green practices, commitment to our environment and the future of our natural resources.  Part of the entry was an essay submission written by Merriman employee Megan Stariha.

Merriman is passionate about conducting business as an environmentally responsible organization.  Dedication to these values extends beyond company objectives and is instilled in each one of Merriman’s employees.  Major pillars of Merriman’s business operation are driven by our effort to be green and encourage those we do business with and our community to adopt that same priority.  The efforts of our business are echoed in policies meant to foster and encourage green living in the office and at home.  The evolution of Merriman’s existence as a Green organization began with the construction of our office, continued with mastering the foundations of reducing, reusing and recycling, and is renewed and updated through various communications and programs in the organization.
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Meet Mallory!

2011 has been a great year for hiring fantastic new team members at Merriman. Mallory Braun, our newest client services team member, joined us on March 31st.  There is something quite soothing in her extremely pleasant phone voice. If you get the chance to speak with Mallory, you will quickly hear what I mean. She is a fabulous addition to our already wonderful client services team!

Mallory BraunMallory has three years of great client service experience under her belt, having worked for Key Bank prior to joining Merriman. She won numerous awards for achieving her goals and treating her clients with great care. Mallory gives every client an extraordinary experience and she is very excited about the interactions she has in talking with different Merriman clients each day.

Mallory grew up in Spokane, WA and went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Washington in Seattle. She comes to us with a great deal of enthusiasm and truly wants to make a difference for our clients. You can read more about Mallory on our website, and here are a few fun facts that you won’t find in her bio:

  • Mallory was named after the TV character on the sit-com “Family Ties”
  • The first car she owned was built the same year she was born
  • She contemplated fashion or art school before deciding to attend the UW
  • She played tennis for her high school, Shadle Park
  • Mallory’s favorite vacation spot thus far is the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas

We are excited for you to get to know Mallory and we are thrilled to have her on our team!