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Federal Way mayor reveals Blue Ribbon Panel members for Performing Arts/Conference Center

Members of the new Blue Ribbon Panel stand with Federal Way City Council members during the meeting on Tuesday. The panel of local experts will help the city develop objective operational and financial information for the proposed Performing Arts and Conference Center (PACC). - Chris Carrel, City of Federal Way
Members of the new Blue Ribbon Panel stand with Federal Way City Council members during the meeting on Tuesday. The panel of local experts will help the city develop objective operational and financial information for the proposed Performing Arts and Conference Center (PACC).
— image credit: Chris Carrel, City of Federal Way

Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell revealed the nine members of the  Blue Ribbon Panel that will help provide objective expertise on the proposed Performing Arts and Conference Center (PACC) during the Federal Way City Council meeting on Tuesday.

Ferrell characterized the members of the panel as “the best and the brightest” in the local community, so they can bring “the full weight of that intellectual capability to an issue that has been debated and bandied around” in Federal Way for a number of years.

The nine members include Dave Berger, a retired city, government and economic development manager; Steve Lewis, a former president of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Companies; Scott Brown, the director of operations for Piramco, Inc; Rob Harpster, owner of Olympic Aerospace; Susan Streifel, CEO, Woodstone Credit Union; Kathi Ferrari, vice president/principal business banker for Wells Fargo N.A.; Pam Smith, director of the Auburn Performing Arts Center; Brian Bullard, branch manager for Columbia Bank; and Mildred Olle’e, a college administrator.

“These nine individuals are a dream team of local expertise in finance operations and management,” Ferrell said in a press release from the city. “I am confident they will give the community a fresh and objective review of the Performing Arts and Conference Center.”

Ferrell noted during the meeting that the Blue Ribbon Panel’s review of the PACC’s pro forma will happen concurrently with a review by Nida Tautvydas, the executive director of McIntyre Hall Performing Arts & Conference Center in Mt. Vernon. Ferrell said McIntyre Hall is a useful resource because it bears a lot of resemblance to the type of facility Federal Way is hoping to build.

Ferrell noted that Webb Management Services will also review and update the feasibility study the company conducted in 2008 to help the council further consider the pros and cons of the PACC. The mayor added that this is going to hopefully be a quick process.

“Time is of the essence. Whether it’s the PACC or another project, we need to move downtown economic development forward,” he said.

In this condensed timeframe, Ferrell said he hopes the panel will be able to give a short report back to the Council at its retreat, which is currently scheduled for Saturday, March 8. After that initial review, he hopes the panel will be able to give its opinion to the council at a special study session in April, which will be open to the public.

“I really want to thank these nine volunteers, who in a spirit of true public service, are helping us work through these weighty issues,” said Ferrell, who selected the panel with input from Council members and community leaders.

To contact the Blue Ribbon Panel, email blueribbonpanel@cityoffederalway.com.

For more information about the PACC, visit the city's website.

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