Rose Lathrop New Interim Exec. Director

Rose Lathrop has been named by the Sustainable Connections’ Board of Directors as Interim Executive Director as current executive director, Derek Long, leaves for a six-month sabbatical on October 21, 2022.

Lathrop started at Sustainable Connections 10 years ago as the Green Building Program Manager. She brings a strong background and core understanding to the organization. The Board of Directors is enthusiastic about having Lathrop support Sustainable Connections as Interim Executive Director. “She brings a breadth of knowledge and experience to this position, which will allow the organization to continue its momentum in supporting our community,” said Long, Current Executive Director, who co-founded the organization 20 years ago in 2002.

When Lathrop assumes the role on Oct 21, she will manage all day-to-day operations for Sustainable Connections. “I am grateful for the opportunity to support Sustainable Connections during this time, and to work in collaboration with our board, staff, members, and partners to continue our work while Derek receives a much deserving break. I look forward to furthering our involvement in the community and welcoming Derek when he returns in six months.”

Sustainable Connections also recently welcomed Scott Pelton as their new Housing and Smart Growth Program Manager. Pelton has been an instrumental anchor in the Bellingham community for many years and the organization is excited for his enthusiasm and drive to support our community. After earning both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Western Washington University, Pelton worked for the Cascadia Weekly, founded Tap Trail, and grew Skagit Valley Malting. His recent sales management experience at Brewers Supply Group and Bird will be appreciated as he works on growing the Whatcom Housing Alliance.

Cloud Mountain Farm Center continues to grow and develop its management team as well. Maia Binhammer has been promoted to Fruit Program Manager, Jacob Mills to Field Manager, and Edward Johnson as Nursery Assistant Manager. Their knowledge and expertise have distinguished them as leaders at the farm and in the nursery. Cloud Mountain Farm Center merged with Sustainable Connections in 2019, and continues to connect the dots from local farms to community plates as well as provide education and research for growing fruits and other plants in our region.


WCLS welcomes Alix Prior as the new Ferndale Library manager

Alix Prior is the new manager of the Ferndale Library. She succeeds Sarah Koehler who retired earlier this summer after 25 years with the Whatcom County Library System. As manager of the 15,000-square-foot, city-owned library building, Prior works with a team of 24 staff members to deliver library services to the Ferndale community.

“Alix’s professional background and her personal affinity for library work make her well-suited for this position,” says Whatcom County Library System Executive Director Christine Perkins. “Her experience leading teams, overseeing facilities, managing projects, and providing direct services through a trauma-informed lens aligns with needs at the Ferndale Library and is sure to inform our strategic goal to serve everyone in our communities equitably. We’re thrilled to welcome her to the library system and hope Ferndale residents will drop by the library to say hello.”

Prior earned her undergraduate degree at Western Washington University and a master’s degree in social work from Portland State University. She held a variety of roles supporting programs that provide shelter to individuals and families in Portland, Ore. She also worked for four years as the director of SafeChoice, a domestic violence program in Vancouver, Wash. Prior moved to Ferndale in November 2021 and had been working as a housing programs coordinator with the Opportunity Council.

“I grew up going to the library,” she says. “And before starting as manager, I visited the Ferndale Library at least once a week with my son.” A fan of historical fiction, Prior’s favorite library services include the Libby app, children’s programs and pre-school learning kits.

She adds that library services play an integral role in meeting community needs and providing a safe haven. “Beyond reading and literature, the library provides access to information, technology and research,” she says. “The library has a significant role in community development. By bringing people together in a public space open to all, we create opportunities for families and individuals to learn and grow. And we strengthen the community with programs and other services.”

Prior looks forward to engaging with the Ferndale community. “I want to learn and to be active in community growth,” she says. “I want to hear what the community needs and to evaluate how the library can serve those needs.” Her community activities include serving on the board of Ferndale Community Services.


About Whatcom County Library System

Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) connects people with information, ideas and community. WCLS circulates more than 2 million items annually through 10 branches, the bookmobile and a Library Express location on Northwest Drive. Residents have access to WCLS’s rich collection, including books in print and digital formats, music and movies and online digital services. Library system staff plan and host inspiring events for every age. Experience “The Power of Sharing” by visiting in person or online at<

Spring 2018 Newsletter

The season isn’t the only thing changing, stay up to date with the Chamber as we shift into spring!

In this edition:

  • -Goodbye Kelsey
  • -Winter Quarter Recap
  • -Upcoming Events & Programs
  • -Growth
  • -Membership
  • -Letters from Leadership

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