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By Janet Moore

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For the last 18 years, I have been a White Suiter, which is what we—the volunteers with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association that puts on the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California— are called. Originally organized by the Hunt Valley Club to promote the climate and culture of the “Mediterranean of the West,” 2016 marks the 127th year of events. I have been fortunate to learn the operations of one of the country’s most treasured traditions from the inside out, and have learned a few things along the way.

 

1. The Parade is 100% Volunteer-Driven. Each year, the parade is orchestrated by 935 volunteer members, providing more than 80,000 hours of combined manpower each year, many of whom also work in the design and construction industries. To maximize the time and efforts of each and every volunteer, there are specific organizational guidelines across 31 different committees to maximize volunteers’ time. Each White Suiter spends two years on each committee and placement follows a prescribed trajectory to learn about the parade operations. For example, your first six years are divided among the Big Three Street Committees: Formation, which organizes floats coming in the night before the parade; Operations, which oversees the parade along its route on the day-of; and Post-Parade, which operates the “park” of all the floats for viewing the day-after.

 

2. The Committees are 100% Community Driven. To be a member of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Volunteer Committee, you must live or work in the city of Pasadena. Once you become a member, you can live anywhere, but the organization requires that all volunteers are part of the Pasadena community at the time of registration.

 

3. Volunteers Run 100% of the Weekend’s Events—Including some of the team-related events prior to The Rose Bowl Game. From organizing the order line-up the night before the parade to mechanical testing of each float’s chasse to organizing events for family and players in the Rose Bowl game presented by Northwestern Mutual, the White Suiters have a hand in operating every single aspect of the events in Pasadena. This includes a day at Disneyland and/or ESPN Zone for visiting teams, as well as organizing and hosting events for team players, coaching staffs, and their families.

 

4.  Membership in the Parade Committee is a Long-Term Commitment. Regular membership is achieved after approximately 12 years of volunteering with the Parade. Prior to the 12-year-mark, volunteers are referred to as associate members.

 

5. You’ll Never See the Parade on a Sunday. In 1893, the organization instituted an agreement with the city of Pasadena never to host the parade and game on a Sunday. Since January 1 falls on a Sunday in 2017, the Tournament of Roses and Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual will take place on Monday, January 2.

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In a city with the highest concentration of coffee houses in the nation, it can be challenging for visitors in Seattle to find the best cup of java with so many options.

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Save the Starbucks for the airport and check out one of the city’s independently owned coffee shops. Michelle Kelly, vice president of architectural solutions, shares the best places in and around the city to grab the best cup.

  1. With locations in Bellevue and downtown Seattle, Fonte is both convenient and delicious with a strong focus on using fresh beans in unique blends. Like the café in a workplace, it’s also a great place for serendipitous run-ins with local business men and women.Touristing or visiting Seattle for business wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the iconic Pike Place market, and Storyville—located inside the market—is the perfect place to curl up on a rainy day in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re not sure the trip to the market is worth the cup, consider this: The original Starbucks opened in Pike Place in 1971, as did the first Seattle’s Best coffee in 1984. Storyville opened in the market in 2013, and has since opened locations in Queen Anne and downtown Seattle on Madison and 1st Ave. Don’t miss the chance to say “I drank Storyville coffee when.”
  2. Located between Seattle’s central business district and South Lake Union, Mr. West is the spot when you’re looking for a mutually central meeting place. Located on the ground floor of the newly-renovated 720 Olive building, Mr. West feels like more of a lounge than coffeehouse with a food menu and bar, in addition to great coffee. However, an adjacent lobby that doubles as coworking space, which helps lend some coffeehouse-buzz to the refined interiors.
  3. Milstead coffee house is a staple of the Fremont area, and currently in a state of transition as their existing space is updated. Their temporary home a few lots down N 34th Street still sources beans from across the coffee belt to craft the best brews possible. And make sure to say hi to our friend Andrew Milstead when you stop by!
  4. With 10 locations across the city, you can always find a great cup of coffee at Cherry Street. And with one located right next to Western’s Seattle office, this is an office favorite. Each location has its own unique feel to it, but is equally dedicated to making everyone feel comfortable with multiple seating options, wifi, and easily accessible electric outlets.
  5. I love bringing clients to Caffe Senso Unico; I think it’s one of the coolest spots in the city. The owner is originally from Italy, so it has a very European vibe and it’s also one of few coffeehouses in Seattle that don’t provide wifi. This makes each visit the perfect time to unplug, relax, and communicate the old-fashioned way.  
  6. Caffe Ladro has 14 locations across the greater Seattle region, and they all serve fantastic coffee. The bakery also serves locally made fresh pastries, which changes seasonally. And they do a great job of sharing the sources of their coffee with roaster profiles on their website.
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