Editor's note: This article has been corrected to note that Rose Yu is included among the Jewish riders. JTNews regrets the error.
Along with 10,000 other bike riders and, I’m sure, a few dozen or more folks from our Jewish community, a group of riders from Seattle’s Congregation Beth Shalom took off on July 18 for the annual two-day “double century” (200 mile) STP — Seattle to Portland bike ride.
The group’s nucleus was Ellen Spear and Lori Safer, friends who have been riding together a long time.
“We’ve probably ridden thousands of miles together,” Ellen told me a few weeks after the ride. Both women did the “RSVP” from Seattle to Vancouver last year. Ellen did the STP once before.
When they decided to do the STP together, they reached out to friends to form a training group. Not everyone who trained did the ride, including Lori’s husband Allen, who instead drove some of the group home from Portland.
“It was a multi-generational team,” says Ellen, and a multi-congregational and multi-faith group. The team that weekend included Lori’s son Martin, Rob Snyder and his daughter Julia, Margot Kravette, Donna Massoth and Leo Santiago and their son Noah, who belong to Temple Beth Am, Rose Yu, and Cathy Jeney, who is not Jewish, but liked the team.
Most of the team qas raising money for Seattle Children’s — along with a very large group of riders on the entire tour. The hospital provided lunch on both days.
“We didn’t ride together for much of the time,” the first day, explained Ellen, but when meeting up “we would ride…in a big, long pace line.” Despite the number of riders and distances covered, “we would bump into each other at stops [and] would have lunch together.” The team rode together more the second day.
According to Wikipedia, the Cascade Bicycle Club’s STP ride is one of the 10 biggest recreational rides in the country, drawing participants from around the U.S. and other countries. See more at www.cascade.org.
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Kirkland resident Allison Kollack, tax manager and CPA with Clark Nuber, is the 2010 outstanding graduate from Golden Gate University’s Master of Science in Taxation program. The award is given to the student with the highest grade point average in the class.
“I didn’t start out seeking that” award, said Allison, however, “in my first class I got an A.” That was followed by an A- and another A, so it became “a personal goal” to try and keep up the streak.
Allison got her undergraduate degree from University of Washington in 1998 and started the part-time GGU program in 2005. In her field, she says, a Master’s degree has become almost mandatory.
“In order to progress in public accounting, it really is something you should do,” she says.
Golden Gate’s program is “geared toward working professionals.” Classes are taught by CPAs, attorneys and other area professionals giving students the chance to study “real client situations.
“In my ninth class I got a B,” she reports. “I thought I’d blown it. I was really kind of disappointed.” But she let it go and so was pleasantly surprised to get an e-mail early this summer telling her she’d made her goal.
“This is a tremendous honor for Ali,” says Rob Wheeler, shareholder in charge of Clark Nuber’s tax department. There are students from firms all over Puget Sound in the GGU program, “and Ali’s selection is not only a fitting reward for her hard work …but…reflects positively on the firm and her co-workers.”
Born and raised in Bellevue, the daughter of Linda and Robert Kollack represents the fourth generation of a Seattle Jewish family. Her great-grandfather, Sol Esfeld, was instrumental in the establishment of a number of local Jewish institutions. (Go to www.content.lib.washington.edu to see historic photos of him and others.) She attended Temple De Hirsch Sinai religion school through Confirmation.
When she’s not working she enjoys outdoor activities, skiing in the winter and “anything to do with water” in the summer. She’s recently started stand-up paddle boarding on Lake Washington.
At work, Allison focuses on high-net-worth individuals, estate planning and family business. Bellevue-based Clark Nuber has served Northwest clients for five decades. Their client roster includes many non-profits in the Jewish and general community including Jewish Family Service, the Jewish Day School and the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, an institution her great-grandfather helped found.