George Henny, President
George Henny is Co-CEO of Whidbey Telecom and is a 30-year veteran in the telecom and technology fields. He is passionate about change and motivating people to discover how to empower, enhance and inspire people and companies to thrive in their communities. George is highly entrepreneurial and enjoys sharing insights on technology innovation with leaders, changing company culture, and being proudly different. In his role, he provides vision and strategy for business and technology. He holds a BA in Drama and an MBA from the University of Washington, and has served on numerous community boards. He is a featured performer in local theatrical and film productions. George is proud to be a Rotarian since 1993 and has served as president of the South Whidbey and Whidbey Westside Rotary Clubs.
Dave Paul, Vice President
Dave Paul has served in higher education for over 20 years, both as an instructor and administrator. For the past 11 years, Dave has worked at Skagit Valley College, where he has served as Dean of Students, Vice President of Student Services, and Vice President of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness. Dave also has significant experience with PreK-12 schools. Dave served on his local School Board in Ohio. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Oak Harbor Educational Foundation since 2009, where he is currently President. He was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in November 2018 and serves on the Transportation Committee, the College and Workforce Development Committee, and the Education Committee. Dave and his wife Rachel Anderson-Paul live in Oak Harbor with their four children and two dogs.
Todd Morrow, Treasurer
Todd Morrow brings a wealth of experience to his role as Executive Director of Island Transit and has consistently focused on ensuring public transportation is at the table during discussions regarding our region’s economic health. He has shown a commitment to the well being of local communities and looks forward to immersing himself into ours. For the past 18 years, Todd held senior-level management roles at both Community and Intercity Transits. He is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Washington School of Law.
Jeff Pleet, Secretary
Jeff Pleet has enjoyed an over 30-year career in financial services, currently employed by Edward Jones. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce and previously as President of the Skagit Valley College Foundation, the Board of the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, and as Past President of the Board of the Northwest Washington Estate Planning Council. As Jeff sees it, the role of the EDCIC, is to promote the amazing community and geographic setting of Island County while striving to secure new opportunities for rational growth. He believes we can look for creative, collaborative solutions for our challenges while looking forward to enhancing our common economic goals.
Walt Blackford, Member at-large
Walt Blackford is Community Outreach Manager for Puget Sound Energy. He has lived in Langley since 1996 and joined PSE in 2008 after serving as Langley City Administrator. His responsibilities include a range of customer engagement and community relations activities on Whidbey and in Skagit County. Walt has been on the EDCIC board since. He is the at-large member of the Executive Committee, as well as a member of the Planning Committee.
Mayor Tim Callison
Tim Callison retired in 2012 from the International Corporate world after 26 years of progressive management assignments with a global leader in engineered products. His last position was that of President and CEO for the Americas. Tim has a degree in Engineering Technology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University. He relocated to Whidbey Island at the time of his retirement. Subsequent to his retirement and relocation,Tim ran for and was elected to the office of Mayor of the City of Langley. He is in the last year of his first 4 year term and is unopposed for his election to a second term.
Nathan Davis has been in love with business his entire life. He started his first business at the age of 26 and has continued to pursue many different businesses since, whether through ownership, management, and or creation. His current business Savage Screen Printing and Embroidery was started out of his garage in late 2014. With customers from Alaska to Montana, they moved into manufacturing space in Clinton. While supporting the place he was born and raised, Whidbey island, and while supporting his passion for being an entrepreneur, Nathan looks forward to working on many new Whidbey Island businesses in the future.
Jim Deanne, along with his wife Lori, owns and operates Tyee Farms LLC on Camano Island’s south-end. Jim’s career has included working as a law enforcement officer/investigator in the public sector and a variety of banking roles in the private sector. He has started, operated and sold several businesses and is keenly aware of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and small business. Jim will be an advocate and resource for all Island County businesses with a focus on Camano Island.
Lynda Eccles is the Executive Director of the Coupeville and Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information Center. Her favorite challenge was to create a Chamber and Visitor Center that supports local business, create new and innovative events and increase tourism, her sensible level-headed approach succeeded in every aspect. Through her background in the nonprofit sector she has developed an excellent team of volunteers who provide Visitor Information on a daily basis. She enjoys spending time with her family and two golden retrievers, enjoying and supporting her community, the arts, gardening and walking.
Ozell Jackson grew up in Oak Harbor. Upon graduating from Oak Harbor High School, he moved to the Seattle area to study at the University of Washington. Later he began a career in mortgage banking. As a community development manager, he partnered with several different organizations. Through these partnerships, he helped implement programs supporting home ownership for tribal members and new immigrants. He also focused on programs that help people afford to live and work in the same city.
Ozell understands the benefits of growing up on the Island. In 2013, he returned to Oak Harbor so his two children could have the same experience. Now, he’s focused on giving back to the community that has given him so much.
Currently, Ozell works as a mortgage originator for Homebridge Financial, Inc. He also serves as an Opportunity Council board member and is a Habitat for Humanity volunteer.
Commissioner Helen Price Johnson
Island County Commissioner
Patrick Kennedy brings to the EDCIC more than thirty years professional experience helping organizational leaders succeed. From the largest corporations to emerging entrepreneurial businesses and nonprofits, he helps leaders realize their vision. His career has spanned leadership roles at the large international banks Sumitomo Mitsui and BBVA, as well as the leading regional banks KeyCorp, HomeStreet Bank, and Washington Trust. Patrick’s education includes an executive MBA and he is at this time completing a dissertation for his Organizational Leadership PhD. Patrick and his wife have a home in the Greenbank community where he advocates for regional economic empowerment and the incredible natural habitat enjoyed by our Island County communities.
After a 25-year career as a Professional Electrical Engineer, Gary chose to pursue a different path. By opening a woodworking business, specializing in antique restoration and fine custom furniture, he returned to an early passion taught by his Grandfather. As the business outgrew its basement shop, Gary and his spouse/partner, Sandy, relocated to Whidbey Island in 2000. Today, the business continues as one of the very few professional furniture restoration businesses in the area. In addition, the shop always has numerous projects in process, including custom pieces and artistic pieces shown in a number of NW art galleries.
Rob Mellish has lived on Whidbey Island for 25 years and has served on the board of the Island Economic Development Council previously. Rob has been in banking for 35 years with experience in Finance, Marketing, Commercial Lending and Branch Banking, now overseeing the three south end branches for Whidbey Island Bank. Married to Kelli, an instructor with Skagit Valley College, he has four children (one at home – age 12) with all attending the South Whidbey schools. Residing in Freeland, Rob is currently the Treasurer for the South Whidbey Schools Performing Arts Boosters and has been actively involved in scouting for the past 18 years, recently taking the reigns as Scoutmaster for Troop 57 in January this year.
Jack was born in a small village outside of Canton China. He, along with his family, immigrated to Anacortes in 1989. They worked hard as a family to learn the American way and eventually started their own family business. Jack and his family have successfully owned and operated three restaurants since 1999. Jack learned how to work in restaurants all throughout high school, and continued his hard work being a fisherman in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. As a resident of Whidbey Island since 1999, Jack has consistently influenced the community by being a leader. A devout Rotarian since 2008, he became President of the Rotary Club of South Whidbey in 2014, also holding various board positions throughout his time with the club. He spearheaded a fundraising wine club for the organization, and is very involved with the committee that plans the Rotary’s Annual Holiday Wine Tasting fundraiser. Jack has helped raise over a hundred thousand dollars for the community’s benefit and improvement In his spare time, Jack enjoys golf, basketball, and spending time with his friends and loved ones, especially his son, Jacob.
Brian Tyhuis, Ex-Officio
Brian Tyhuis is the Community Planning and Liaison Officer for Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island. He represents the installation regarding encroachment management and land use. He is a Whidbey Island native who grew up in Oak Harbor. Brian began working at NAS Whidbey Island in 2009 as a facility planner with the Public Works Department. Previously, Brian worked for URS, in Albuquerque, New Mexico before returning to Whidbey Island.