Chef, radio personality to lead WWCC program

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A Northwest chef known both for his work behind the grill as well as on the airwaves will lead the culinary arts program at Walla Walla Community College.

Chef, restaurateur and radio personality Dan Thiessen has accepted the position as director of the program.

The community college plans to welcome him with a reception next week.

Thiessen was most recently with Archery Bistro in the Normandy Park area of Seattle. He also previously owned or partnered with several Bellevue spots, including 0/8 Seafood Grill, the Twisted Cork and Stir Martini and Raw Bar.

Additionally, Thiessen was a well-known radio personality with cooking shows broadcast on Seattle radio.

He joins the community college's American Culinary Federation-accredited program. The student-centered program includes an active Culinary Arts Club and structured labs, classroom and hands-on learning environments, according to an online description. The program provides "basic skills in product knowledge, food production, service and management while incorporating extensive hands-on instruction and internship opportunities."

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Allstate insurance agent and local agency owner Machelle Colligan was recognized as the top agent in the Northwest region for the first quarter of the year.

Colligan, who owns the Colligan Agency at 425 W. Tietan St., achieved the 14th best ranking for agents across the country, a particular feat given Walla Walla's relatively small market area.

The top billing for the Northwest was among agents in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii. The rankings are determined by factors such as customer satisfaction, production and financial services.

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The website for Walla Walla's new independent living community has gone live.

Those interested in more details about Affinity at Walla Walla can visit www.affinityforliving.com.

The more than $10 million apartment complex for those 55 and older is being constructed along State Route 125 next to Applebee's.

An article in the Union-Bulletin last week included some details about the facility slated for opening in December. But at the time, the website for the operation had not been launched.

Operators say 120 studio, one- and two-bedroom units are in the works. Lease rates have not yet been finalized. However costs of the units will vary depending on a variety of services opted for by residents. Those include housekeeping and food delivery services.

Affinity operators are accepting "pre-lease reservations." Those who sign up will be entered for a raffle to receive three months of free rent at the property. The raffle takes place Sept. 30. Check out the website for more details.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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