After earning a Masters in Architecture from the University of Washington and spending nearly three decades in commercial and residential design, Alex discovered an excitement for helping others create the perfect home for the way they want to live. Although corporate projects are exciting and challenging, he found the relationships and friendships created while doing residential design have been the most rewarding.
Alex believes strongly in the importance of place, the strength of community, and the comfort and security that comes from walking in the door and knowing that you are home. It is this set of values and passion that has brought him to working with the Coldwell Banker 360 Team as a licensed Realtor on Whidbey Island.
As a former Vice President of Habitat for Humanity and the current President of Island Thrift, Alex’s community connections are strong. Whidbey Island is a very special place. His hope is that you see the community as he sees it . . . a wonderful place to raise a family, retire, or even escape from the mainland.
Samar is a community leader with global experience in managing programs and projects from initiation to execution—in multicultural, cross-functional, and complex environments—across government, corporate, and nonprofit. She directed more than 70 initiatives and governed on the boards of 10 nonprofits within the United States, Sweden, Dubai, Lebanon, Abu Dhabi, and rural regions close to the borders of Saudi Arabia and Oman. She manifested expertise in community building with robust talent in fostering engagement, empowerment, diversity, and inclusion.
In 2020, Samar was awarded the “Military Spouse of the Year AFI Naval Air Station Whidbey Island” and was in the top three Navy spouse candidates nationwide. She was recognized by the Second Lady of the United States, Mrs. Karen Pence, in a congratulations letter recognizing her community leadership and support.
Samar leads community projects to empower more than 7,500 military spouses within the 50 commands on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) as the base commanding officer wife. She proudly serves and directs on the boards of five organizations. Since 2018, she led and executed 15+ empowering initiatives in partnership with community leaders and executives from Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft, Nordstrom, USO, and other organizations. Her mission is to empower military spouses and the military community on the professional, educational, and wellness levels—through promoting inclusion, diversity, and connectedness.
In 2015, Samar joined the State Department as Community Liaison at the American Embassy in Sweden, where she was an advocate and liaison between the embassy and the community. She led the “Meet & Greet with Vice President Joe Biden”, planned 26 community events, and directed on the boards of four organizations. Since 2017, Samar remained with the State Department as a Foreign Service Family Reserve Corps member and maintained an active top-secret clearance.
Samar is pursuing at Harvard University a master’s degree in Management. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing from Notre Dame University of Beirut (Cum Laude).
Community is Samar’s passion. She enjoys entertaining, mastering art of the table, and culinary talents.
Ken Eelkema grew up in Oak Harbor and served 25 years on the Oak Harbor Fire Department. He is now a retired business owner and is a past board member of Habitat for Humanity Island County.
Kyle grew up in Oak Harbor and graduated from OHHS in the Class of 2008. He holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from Western Washington University. Kyle currently works in technology for a nonprofit organization called Candid and is one of the founding board members of the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society. In his spare time you might find him at one of the many beaches, forests, and parks on Whidbey Island.
Barry was the Commanding Officer of NAS Whidbey Island and retired in 1990. He is the former State Representative for District 10 which includes all of Whidbey and Camano Islands and parts of Skagit and Snohomish Counties. Barry is also a past board member of the local nonprofit New Leaf, Inc.
Rhonda believes in giving back to the community.
Rhonda worked for the City of Oak Harbor and retired in 2013 after 34 Years. During her career she advanced to a Water Specialist, Water Manager 4 and customer service specialist who specialized with complicated solutions across all departments. She also served as the liaison between the community and City during large projects. After retirement she continues with those gratifying experiences.
She has served as founding members of the board of directors of the Music Festival, Oak Harbor Main Street, and the Hydro Races, better known has Hydro’s for Heroes. She is the past President of Oak Harbor Main Street and is currently a Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and a Police LEOFF Board Member.
She loves hiking, exercising, all things with nature and animals, and finds a special joy working with and helping seniors.
Island Thrift is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to enhance the quality of life in Island County. By efficiently operating our store, we provide a pleasant and affordable shopping experience, a convenient system for recycling donated items and a generous grant program that supports a variety of services for all ages.