Merriman Super Bowling Celebration with Earl Thomas & Marshawn Lynch

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When Joe Allen, CEO of Strikes For Kids, reached out to us and asked if we would like to sponsor their bowling tournament for the second year in a row, we were delighted to say yes. Strikes For Kids organizes bowling tournaments across the country to benefit different nonprofit organizations. This year, the event was hosted by Seattle Seahawks Earl Thomas & Marshawn Lynch, and benefited the Guardian Angel Foundation and Fam 1st Family Foundation. We were happy to support these great nonprofit organizations!

During this exciting evening, a few Merriman clients and employees bowled and hung out with Earl and Marshawn, and Russell Okung even dropped by. ESPN’s sports journalist Kenny Mayne got a lesson from Pro Bowler Norm Duke and knocked down a strike. Seahawks mascot Blitz was also there showing off his bowling skills for the kids. There is no better feeling than you get when you see excited kids meeting their favorite Seahawks players and having fun with their family.

You can watch some video coverage of the event here. Next time you are in our office, be sure to check out our autographed Seahawks bowling ball at the front desk!

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Seahawks, Merriman and Bowling

We recently had the opportunity to be the title sponsor for Merriman Live Bowl United Presented by Team Avril, a bowling tournament for all ages and skill levels hosted by Seattle Seahawk Cliff Avril. He was joined by several of his teammates: Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Michael Bennett and Clinton Mc Donald.

DMerrimanSeahawksuring this fun evening, a few Merriman clients and employees got to hang out with some Seahawks and show off their bowling skills at West Seattle Bowl. I think I threw more gutter balls than strikes, but that did not matter because the evening was about having fun and supporting a great nonprofit organization.

Net proceeds benefited United Way of King County and Strikes for Kids, a nonprofit organization that partners with professional athletes in bringing local business, fans, children and sports together for great causes. There is no better feeling seeing the excitement that the children have to meet their favorite Seahawk while having fun with their family. Strikes For Kids coordinates these bowling and golf tournaments across the United States. We were thrilled and honored to sponsor this first event in the Seattle area.

Below are some links to check out video coverage and photos from this event. Go Hawks!

Seahawks video

Komo News coverage

Live Bowl United

 

 

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You’re invited to a Merriman-sponsored Earth Day planting event!

When: April 20th and April 27th, 2013, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Where: McCormick Park in Duvall, WA

I am pleased to announce that Merriman employees and their families will be partnering with Sound Salmon Solutions to plant trees along the Snoqualmie River to help restore salmon habitat!

On April 20th and 27th, we will be working side by side with Sound Salmon Solutions staff and volunteers to restore salmon habitat at McCormick Park along the banks of the Snoqualmie River in downtown Duvall, WA.  Over 1,600 new trees need to be planted! These new trees will provide shade, erosion control, and essential food and habitat for the insects that rearing juvenile salmon need during multiple stages of their lives

If you are interested in making a positive impact on the future of salmon populations and our community, please come join us!  This is a unique site where volunteers will have the opportunity to see exactly how big of a positive impact their efforts will have on salmon recovery in as little as 5 years!

Please join us by emailing Dave@Merriman.com or signing up directly with Sound Salmon Solutions!

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Volunteering with Friends of the Cedar River Watershed

I consider myself very fortunate to work at Merriman for many reasons, two of them being our dedication to community involvement and our commitment to being a “green” organization. Merriman employees are given 100 hours per year to volunteer at other non-profit organizations during regular business hours. As someone who is passionate about watershed restoration and education, I have chosen to use my volunteer hours assisting Friends of the Cedar River Watershed.

Friends of the Cedar River Watershed has been a private, non-profit organization since 1996. Their mission is to engage people to enhance and sustain watersheds through restoration, education, and stewardship.

The Cedar River and Lake Washington Watershed is the land area in which rainwater drains to Lake Washington and out through the Hiram Chittenden Locks in Ballard. The watershed includes the Cedar River and its tributaries, May Creek, Coal Creek, Mercer Island, Mercer Slough, Kelsey Creek, Fairweather Creek, Yarrow Creek, Juanita Creek, Forbes Creek, Lyon Creek, McAleer Creek, Thornton Creek, Ravenna Creek, and Lake Washington. The river itself is about 45 miles long, originating in the Cascade Range near Abeil Peak, flowing generally west and northwest, emptying into the southern end of Lake Washington. The watershed is home to more than 83 species of fish and wildlife, including 14 species of concern, such as sockeye salmon, and the endangered Chinook salmon – it is considered to be one of the best remaining salmon habitats in King County.

So why exactly am I interested in helping Friends of the Cedar River Watershed carry out their mission? I was taught how to fly fish about 10 years ago and it quickly became a passion of mine. The best part of fishing, in my opinion, is not landing the biggest fish but simply being on the water. My fondest fishing memory is being on the banks of the Madison River in the Madison Valley of Montana, outside of Yellowstone National Park, and watching the sun set while listening to the fish munch on the latest hatch of insects. It is a day I’ll never forget and something I hope my future children and grandchildren will be able to experience.

Being able to live sustainably in places such as the Madison Valley, at home right here in Seattle, and everywhere in-between is very important for our future generations. The Cedar River/Lake Washington Watershed area is home to 22% of the population in the state of Washington. There are over 30 cities in the watershed and each of these cities is connected to the health of another and the greater whole. Think of it this way, if you live in the Cedar River/Lake Washington Watershed, everything you pour down the drain or onto the ground eventually gets to the river, making its way to one of the tributaries, and ultimately ending up in the Puget Sound. The connection between the people, the river, the lake, the sound, and the land is profound.

How can you help? Friends of the Cedar River Watershed offers a variety of events, programs, and services that you can learn more about on their website. They are always looking for volunteers and are currently looking for board members. I hope to see you there!

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Volunteering for the Washington Trails Association

On Thursday, June 21st, Washingtonians saw what seemed like the first rays of sunshine peak through the clouds. It was the perfect day to experience the beautiful terrain our wonderful state has to offer. Luck would have it that I had previously scheduled this as a volunteer day with the Washington Trails Association (WTA). “Volunteer day,” you ask? You heard me right. As Merriman employees, we are each granted 100 volunteer hours per year. It is a way for us to give back to the organization(s) that matter the most to us.

For me, the choice is obvious. The WTA gets you outside and gives you the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people. Most importantly it preserves the trails that have exposed millions of people to the Washington wilderness.

For this trip, our group met at a local Park and Ride and carpooled 40 minutes east to the Franklin Falls trailhead located in the central Cascades. Our projects for the day included first cutting up an old tree that fell on the trail last winter, and then rebuilding the trail entrance. The first project was tougher than I anticipated. The tree was four feet in diameter and we had to use an old fashion crosscut saw (think circa 1900 logging photo) to cut it up. Luckily we were 8 people strong and with a few rotations our crew managed to clear the trail.

The driving force behind our second project was a grant given to the WTA to make trails wheelchair accessible. This translated into using rock from a scree field to widen the entrance. We then put a layer of fine gravel on top to smooth it out.

By the end of the day we had accomplished what we set out to do. It was time to head back home and plan our next volunteer outing.

Whether it is a one day work party or a week long “volunteer vacation” it’s not all about work. The experience of meeting new people, relaxing in a beautiful location and connecting with the environment makes volunteer work with the WTA a truly unique experience.

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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…)

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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.

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The house that Merriman is building

Our company tagline “Invest Wisely. Live Fully.” is centered on a healthy balance between work and life. This includes working passionately to better our clients’ investments as well as our community as a whole. For 2011, our company gave each employee 100 paid hours to do volunteer work during company time. When I heard that, I immediately realized the seriousness of this commitment. This was no token gesture; this was a real pledge to improve the community outside the walls of Merriman.HabitatTeam

Spearheaded by our Client Experience Director, Elaine Scoggins, an ever growing group of Merriman employees has been volunteering one Friday of every month with Habitat for Humanity at the Rainier Vista location in South Seattle, a generally lower income area. Habitat works in partnership with people everywhere, from all walks of life, to develop communities with people in need by building and renovating houses using volunteer labor, donated land, and donated materials. After making a down payment and contributing 500 hours of “sweat equity” on the construction of their home, families are given the keys to their new house with a no-interest mortgage, funded by Habitat. Families are selected based on level of need, willingness to become partners with Habitat, and ability to repay their loan. (more…)

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We are green as we update our logo

Here at Merriman we take our commitment and responsibilities for managing your investments earnestly.  Because remaining true to our commitment for sustainability and being a carbon neutral firm is so important to us, we made a responsible decision when updating our logo. You may see some variation in our stationary when you receive correspondence from us in the near future. Our logo on our letterhead may be updated, but you may see our old logo on the envelopes. Rest assured this is a conscious choice on our part because we feel passionately about not wasting resources. Whenever possible we reduce, reuse and recycle – it is not a catch phrase around here, it is something we all value and live by.

We ask that you please pardon us if we are wearing mismatched socks for a little while. We plan to responsibly exhaust our existing supply while integrating our new supply of printed materials.

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Why go green?

You may have notice our employees email signature, We are proud to be a carbon neutral firm and a partner with Carbonfund and SeattleClimatePartnership.

When we decided to look at sustainability and become a green organization in 2007, the goal seemed vast. I think a lot of people feel this way when they begin the process of leaving a carbon neutral footprint. A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

The City of Seattle’s Climate Protection Initiative was formed by Mayor Nickels and pledged that Seattle would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. To carry out the policies and to achieve the reduction Mayor Nickels approved the creation of the Seattle Climate Partnership. We have volunteered to be part of this program and committed to become a green organization. (more…)

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