Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    5-28-15 The Children’s Writing Contest involved collaboration between more organizations that NILA and WCT 

    Last week I wrote about the collaboration between the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (NILA) and Whidbey Children’s Theater (WCT) in organizing this year’s Celebrate Writing Contest. The contest was open to children in the 3rd through 8th grades who are students at any of the schools on Whidbey.

    I got an email from NILA’s Program Director, Petra Martin, who pointed out that the collaboration involved in putting this contest together extended beyond our two agencies. Whidbey Life Magazine agreed to publish the winning entries and Whidbey TV will be there this Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Whidbey Children’s Theater in Langley filming the children reading their poems and stories.

    Petra explained to me: “The ‘tragedy’ of not receiving a grant forced us to be creative about how we recognize winners. In the real world, writers who are ‘winners’ get published. Thanks to Whidbey Life Magazine, that is actually going to happen.”  She added, “Very good writers, like the JK Rowlings of the world, get on TV, and thanks to Whidbey Telecom, that is going to happen, as well.”

    This is a win-win-win for all of these Whidbey organizations, and for the children, who are likely to share their successes with friends and family through social media.

    Here is the link again about the contest and the winners:


    5-20-15 Collaboration benefits non-profits just as it does for-profit businesses

    For several years the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (NILA) has encouraged and recognized writing talent among Whidbey Island students through its Celebrate Writing Contest. This year, the contest was done as a collaboration between NILA and the Whidbey Children’s Theater (WCT). The contest was open to children in the 3rd through 8th grades who are students at any of the schools on Whidbey.

    As a Board member of WCT, I played a small role helping with the tabulation and coordinating the involvement of WCT. One of my tasks was to call each of the families whose child was a winner, and because there were so many excellent entries, we had several who scored high enough to win a first, second or third prize. Each call I made produced the same result: An excited parent and a thrilled child.

    All of those who won a prize have been invited to read their entry at an event to be held at the Whidbey Children’s Theater on Saturday, May 30th at 7 p.m. These winners have also been invited to come early for a tour of the theater by two of our directors and to receive some group coaching on presenting their piece.

    Most who didn’t receive a prize did writing projects that showed a high level of commitment to doing something of value. The scoring was very close and it was challenging figuring where to draw the winner/non-winner line.

    Both organizations benefited by sharing the responsibilities. But, the real winner in this is our community, sharing the efforts of two great non-profit organizations doing something of significant value.

    I hope you’ll come to hear the children read their works on Saturday, May 30th at 7 p.m.

    Here is more about the contest and the winners:


    5-14-15 Would your business make a good story for the Business Spotlight at Whidbey Local?

    I’ve been writing business stories for Whidbey Local ( for three years.  I truly enjoy spotlighting the creative and courageous work it takes to develop and run a business.

    If you look at the stories on the Business Spotlight Blog you will notice a range of types of businesses; some are new, some have been on Whidbey for several years, and many are one-of-a-kind.

    I especially appreciate learning about businesses that are unique, where a particular niche is being filled.  And, I enjoy learning about what brought someone to Whidbey, and why someone created their business.

    Everyone has a special story to tell, but I do believe that someone who operates a business can often share a story of having a vision and acting on that vision.  Most of the business people about whom I have written are passionate about what they are doing and truly dedicated to making a positive difference in the community.

    Do you have a business story to share with me?  Please let me know.


    5-7-15 Hearts & Hammers on Whidbey Island: Businesses give back to the community

    In a small community like South Whidbey, you notice how much the local business people donate to the local non-profits and help out in many other ways. 

    Last weekend was Hearts & Hammers.  Rich and I have participated in this wonderful community program for several years.  The concept of having large numbers of people come together on a single day to help elderly or low-income people with home repairs so they can comfortably stay in their homes has become a template being used in many other communities.

    Somewhere around 400 – 500 volunteers participate.  Many, like my husband and I, simply show up and do what we can to help.  But, there are also many skilled crafts people who donate their skills, as well, like the two master carpenters who were on my team.  Electricians, plumbers, roofers and other skilled people who have their own businesses, participate.  Many of the large commercial businesses in the community offer special prices for materials needed for the projects.

    When you see businesses giving back to the community, it certainly makes you want to do business with them whenever you can.


    4-30-15 Filling a business niche by noticing what’s missing

    I wrote a story for Whidbey Local a week ago about Whidbey Island Charters 

    This business story has many of the items that you have probably seen mentioned in these Blogs several times: a passion for the business, collaborating with others to make something happen, a strong focus on the needs and interests of the customer, etc. 

    What also is true for this story is that the owner of Whidbey Island Charters, Bob Maschmedt, identified a niche market and decided he could fill it.

    Here is some of what I wrote: “Bob owns a 32 foot Bayliner Classic Elite.  He has lived on Whidbey Island his whole life, and over the years he heard people talk about how much they’d love to cruise in a small boat, but didn’t want to spend the money for a boat or its upkeep.  As a business man, Bob realized that no one else on the island was doing custom leisure cruises, and he saw the potential to create a successful day cruise business.”

    Bob made several other smart business moves to create Whidbey Island Charters.  But, most importantly, he saw a business need and had the vision to fill that need.