YEAR | 2010

Revenue Approves Five Local Revitalization Financing Projects

Washington Transportation Plan 2030

Downtown Seattle Association

The Downtown Seattle Association and Seattle’s Office of Economic Development contracted with BERK to identify key policy issues affecting Downtown Seattle’s competitiveness and market position as a vibrant Life Sciences and Global Health cluster of research institutions and companies. Through research and interviews, and facilitation of a stakeholder meeting, BERK developed a Strategic Situation Assessment, identifying the current challenges and opportunities for growing and sustaining the cluster so that the City of Seattle and the DSA can develop a policy agenda to make improvements.

The Situation Assessment highlights key infrastructure needs and regulatory issues that were identified as challenges and also outlines several opportunities for the South Lake Union and Denny Triangle Downtown neighborhoods, ranging from place-making to childcare and housing.

Puyallup Local Revitalization Financing Application Assistance

KEXP Redevelopment of Seattle Center South Fun Forest Area

Seattle Girls’ School

BERK worked with Seattle Girls’ School to develop a five-year strategic plan to ensure that the School will continue to meet its mission while maintaining financial sustainability. The Plan identified the long-term vision for the School, as well as short-term and immediate goals to support decision-making for reaching objectives.

We conducted financial, market, and competitive analysis to identify strategic issues and opportunities for SGS, and developed alternative options for consideration during the strategic planning process. We facilitated seven meetings of the Strategic Planning Team, which included representatives from the Board of Trustees and the School’s leadership team.

Seattle Girls School

Washington Transportation Plan 2030

Washington State Transportation Commission

BERK led development of a Statewide Transportation Plan that aligns with State priorities for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and growth management goals. For the first time, the State’s Transportation Plan integrates across all transportation modes and incorporates regional and local planning issues.

The project involved statewide outreach including regional listening sessions and extensive use of social media. We designed and developed blog posts, and managed the overall blog strategy to further increase opportunities for the public and key stakeholders around the state to participate in Plan development.

Washington State Transportation Commission

Seattle Public Schools PreK-3rd Partnership Action Plan and Implementation

Seattle Public Schools

BERK worked with a Partnership group led by Seattle Public Schools, the City of Seattle, and the New School Foundation to develop a Five-Year Action Plan for Seattle’s PreK-3rd Early Learning Initiative. Our work involved designing a new system to integrate and align Seattle’s PreK early learning programs with the District’s K-3 educational system, developed in collaboration with preschool providers and educational and community stakeholders.

The Action Plan presents a clear road map for taking action, tracking progress, and measuring results. The project also included development of communication materials to convey the vision, goals, and priorities of the PreK-3rd Initiative and Action Plan.

Seattle Public Schools

Pierce County

BERK conducted fiscal analysis of Pierce County’s Rural Separator Zone, a zoning designation intended to preserve low-density rural development patterns. The analysis began as an effort to understand the scale of tax revenues and service costs generated within the zone and how these might change under alternative land use scenarios. However, it became apparent that the questions surrounding this area could not be evaluated in isolation from the rest of the county.

BERK developed an analytic framework that allowed for a deeper understanding of the geographic distribution of county revenues and costs throughout the county according to the County’s three lines of business: regional services, local services, and contract services. Using this foundational knowledge, we evaluated the fiscal implications of alternative land use and development scenarios within the Rural Separator Zone.

Sound Transit

Transit projects like East Link can change patterns of regional and local mobility and access, which in turn can affect aspects of the regional or local economies such as development patterns, employment opportunities, business accessibility, and/or retail sales. BERK conducted an economic impact analysis of proposed light-rail alignments for Sound Transit’s East Link Final Environmental Impact Statement.

The analysis focused on job displacement and local property tax impacts that would result from the construction and operation of East Link at three levels: regional, city and site-specific. BERK also provided a high-level assessment of potential indirect and induced impacts related to the construction of the preferred route alignments and made recommendation.

Washington Transportation Plan 2030

Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics

The Center for Health Statistics provides vital records to Washington citizens. However, the Center’s business model is challenged by cost factors and the growth of online services. BERK developed a comprehensive cost and fee analysis to help ensure the program’s financial sustainability.

We identified the Center’s costs and allocated them to core business areas and services. Using these results, the study examined the Center’s funding model, assessing cost recovery and revenue stability. BERK’s recommendations included fee adjustments to improve cost recovery on business lines where that is feasible, and longer-term options for reducing reliance on the sale of paper certificates.We also evaluated equity among customer groups and implementation constraints on fees negotiated by the department that are set in WAC and in statute. The project included process mapping, research on practices in other states, and development of a financial model that the Center can use to assess its fee structure going forward.

Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics

Professional Educator Standards Board

BERK worked with Board Members and staff to develop a new strategic plan to guide PESB’s work over the next 5 years. Focused on preparation and certification of education professionals, the Strategic Plan addresses PESB’s roles as policymaker, program implementer, advocate and advisor in Washington State and establishes specific, actionable goals and strategies, with measurable outcomes.

The project involved working closely with a Strategic Planning Committee and the design and facilitation of several Board meetings.

Washington State Ferries

BERK conducted a review of customer service functions at the Washington State Department of Transportation Ferries Division (WSF) as part of a broader WSF Marketing Plan to increase ridership and manage future demand. The review assessed all aspects of WSF operations that impact the customer experience and identified opportunities for improvement and increased efficiency. Specifically, BERK evaluated WSF’s customer service protocols, training programs, and incentive structures and reviewed WSF’s complaint tracking and reporting processes.

Throughout the review, we identified improvements in internal systems to streamline communication and problem-solving and assessed customer service staffing impacts due to the implementation of a new reservation system. Ultimately, the review should lead to improvement in WSF customer service processes and highlight the importance of creating a culture of customer service throughout the organization.

WEDC Defense Cluster Impact on Washington State Economy

City of Snohomish

IMAGINE SNOHOMISH: Promoting Vitality and Preserving Character & Strategic Plan Update

From 2006 to 2011, the City of Snohomish was managed according to the goals and aspirations of its first Strategic Plan, created by BERK and guided by a Planning Committee. With the expiration of this first document, BERK was asked to facilitate an update of the Plan. The new Strategic Plan and accompanying tools will guide the City’s budget setting and work planning for the next five years according to the Vision and priorities established by the Planning Committee, community members, and City Council. The Vision articulates lasting aspirations for the future of Snohomish, which are addressed through eight Initiatives that will be the City’s priority focus areas for 2014-18. The Plan articulates desired outcomes and establishes a series of tools that will be used by City Council, staff, and community members to manage implementation in a flexible and realistic manner. Soon after the Plan was adopted unanimously by Council, BERK facilitated a Council retreat to establish the workplan for the first year of implementation.

KEXP Redevelopment of Seattle Center South Fun Forest Area

Washington Transportation Plan 2030

Washington State Board of Education

BERK worked with Board Members and staff to develop a new Strategic Plan to guide the State Board of Education’s (SBE) work over the next seven years. The Plan clarifies SBE’s role within the state’s dense ecosystem of educational agencies, and establishes specific, actionable goals and strategies, with measurable outcomes. The Plan also includes a summary of priorities and key action tasks, including a first year implementation timeline.

The project had a fast-track process, which involved working closely with SBE’s Executive Committee. BERK led the design and facilitation of several Board meetings and retreats.

Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County

BERK identified federal and state funding expected to flow into the four-county Puget Sound Region to support an emerging “green economy” and foster job creation. The green economy sectors studied included Green Building, Clean Energy Production/Distribution, Environmental Protection/Remediation, and Transportation.

The study also provided a framework to estimate jobs supported per $1 million dollars of expenditure in the region in the Green Building and Clean Energy sectors, along with descriptions of the types of jobs that may be created.

Multifaith Works

Strategic Plan: 2002-07

BERK provided analysis, design, and facilitation of a comprehensive strategic planning process; conducted a needs assessment for AIDS in Seattle-King County, a peer group survey, a three-year financial assessment, and interviews with more than two dozen stakeholders; and developed a SWOT assessment and strategic consultant recommendations. We also designed and facilitated a retreat with the Strategic Planning Committee and the full Board.

WEDC Defense Cluster Impact on Washington State Economy

Mountlake Terrace Sustainable Development Strategy

Seattle Public Schools PreK-3rd Partnership Action Plan and Implementation

Pierce County Division of Arts and Cultural Services Department of Community Services

Working with the Pierce County Arts & Cultural Services Division we created a poster sized Arts & Cultural Asset Map. This schematic communicates the vast array of assets contained within the County to both celebrate and raise awareness of the area’s organizations, events, venues, learning programs, and artist initiatives.

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

Benefit Assessment and Economic Impact Analysis for the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center

BERK conducted an economic assessment of the value the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center (NWAC) provides Washington State and the State’s constituent communities. This economic assessment was conducted in response to funding challenges faced by NWAC, to inform discussions about how the Center can achieve a sustainable business model.

We conducted a benefit/cost analysis to examine the value of NWAC’s services and benefits derived by its direct users, and provided perspectives on funding, to inform potential methods for NWAC to generate revenues. The study details the economic impacts of snow-sports activities and industries, examining the economic and fiscal impacts that these industries have on rural and small-town economies in the Cascade and Olympic regions of the State.

Bellingham Whatcom Economic Development Council

Northwest Washington Marine Industry Cluster Study

BERK worked with a consortium of 13 counties, ports, workforce agencies, and educational institutions in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, and San Juan Counties to develop a strategic economic development plan for the region’s ship building industry.

The project included defining the marine subsectors within the industry, assembling a database and directory of marine businesses in the region, and developing a regional model to track the industry’s performance over time. The strategic plan presents actions to address industry needs and challenges, including infrastructure, workforce education and training, business expansion and retention, regulation, and marketing.

Washington State Joint Transportation Committee

Implementing Alternative Transportation Funding Methods

Commissioned by the Legislature, this study analyzed the feasibility and practicality of implementing funding methods. BERK’s role in this effort included quantifying the revenue impacts to the state, the cost impacts to different profiles of tax payers, and the revenue distribution impacts and spending restrictions of potential alternative funding sources. In addition, BERK conducted a risk assessment that considered the potential impact of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency standards, changing fuel consumption patterns, and increasing market penetration of hybrid and electric vehicles.

City of Seattle Department of Transportation

Transit Allocation Modeling and Alternatives Analysis

With constrained funding and an increasing cost equation, King County Metro has struggled to determine how best to meet the region’s transit needs. This study explored various policy frameworks and models for allocating new transit services in the County.

Our analysis identified potential methods for linking desired policy outcomes with transit investment choices, and proposed a set of specific transit investment policies. We also developed measures to gauge individual route performance and prioritize service investments; assign new service investments to improve route frequency; and evaluated the resulting investment from a subarea planning perspective.

City of Renton

An Economic & Fiscal Benefits Assessment of the Proposed King County Events Center

BERK prepared an economic and fiscal benefit assessment of a proposed Events Center on behalf of the City of Renton. The Events Center concept was conceived by the City as a venue for National Basketball Association games, and as a future home for the Seattle SuperSonics when the team’s ownership began discussions about moving the Sonics to Oklahoma City.

The analysis focused on quantification of potential benefits of the Events Center from local, County, and State revenue perspectives. This study modeled future operations of the Events Center, identifying total spending and income associated with building operations and planned events. Our analysis also distinguished the flow of money between “new money,” dollars that originate outside the area of study, and “local money,” which originate within the study area.

King County Library System

Future Services Strategy

The Future Services Strategy involved defining library services in light of rapidly evolving demographics, changing technology, and financial realities. BERK facilitated a diverse, 17-member Task Force of senior managers and staff from across the Library’s 1,200 employee workforce. Key elements of the Plan included action-oriented strategies to provide effective services and a framework to deliver services in the library, “beyond the building,” and online.

Reaching under served populations in King County and providing English language learning services was a significant component of the strategy. Our collaborative plan development process also included staff focus groups, patron outreach meetings, Board presentations, and the design and analysis of online staff and patron surveys.

The Seattle Public Library Strategic Plan

Washington Transportation Plan 2030

Washington Transportation Plan 2030

Washington Transportation Plan 2030

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

Strategic Plan 2010-2014: The Goldmark Agenda

BERK worked with Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark and DNR’s Executive Management Team to craft a roadmap to guide the agency’s actions over five years, building on and making real the positions and priorities that Commissioner Goldmark articulated in securing the support of Washington voters. Through its six goals, the Strategic Plan emphasizes the need to protect and create jobs for Washington residents and the need to protect Washington’s natural environment.
In support of the strategic planning process, BERK conducted stakeholder outreach, including online surveys and facilitated statewide public open houses inviting comment on the Draft Plan. BERK staff facilitated project meetings of the Executive Management Team and assisted DNR with staff engagement at the 1,200-plus employee agency. Each action was assigned a lead and timeline for initiation to ensure accountability.

The Seattle Public Library Strategic Plan

The Seattle Public Library Strategic Plan

The Seattle Public Library Strategic Plan

The Seattle Public Library Strategic Plan

City of Tumwater

In close collaboration with the Mayor and City Manager, BERK facilitated the City Council through a strategic planning process that addressed multiple complex issues, including the scale and character of desired future economic development and the City’s role in facilitating investment in the community. The Strategic Plan establishes a Vision for the future of the Tumwater community and details short- and longer-term Goals and Strategies to achieve that Vision.

BERK designed and facilitated a parallel economic development planning process with a Citizens Advisory Committee. The Economic Development Plan adheres to the direction established in the Strategic Plan and includes fiscal and market analysis to support the long-term financial sustainability of the City. The Strategic and Economic Development Plans were unanimously adopted by the City Council and are used to guide the ongoing priorities of the City Council and other boards and commissions, the work of City staff, and the City’s annual budget-setting process.

City of Stanwood

BERK worked with the City to create an action-oriented economic development plan to strengthen the City’s economy and address employment, tourism, and residential quality of life. Project elements included facilitation of a Citizen’s Advisory Committee; creation of an Economic Development Profile summarizing the City’s demographics and market position, a land use assessment and fiscal analysis, and a Marketing Plan for effective promotion of the City.

We also created a suite of marketing materials for use by the City and its partners in recruiting business and new development activity.

City of Stanwood

Pioneer Square Business District Revitalization Initiative

Pioneer Square Business District Revitalization Initiative

City of Seattle Office of Economic Development

Pioneer Square 2015: A Strategy for Seattle’s First Neighborhood

BERK worked with the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development and a Steering Committee, made up of local business owners, residents, property owners, social service providers, and other stakeholders to develop an economic development action strategy and organizational structure for Pioneer Square.

Washington State Auditor’s Office

BERK conducted a comprehensive Lease Management Services and Cost Study for the State Auditor’s Office, to support the Governor’s reform initiative on use of shared services to improve service delivery and reduce agency costs.

BERK worked closely with GA staff to develop communication materials detailing GA’s planned new approach to real estate management. These materials included a folio, system schematic, and executive summary suitable for senior management.

Washington State Auditor’s Office

Pioneer Square Business District Revitalization Initiative

KEXP Radio Station

BERK helped KEXP, an independent non-profit station, develop a proposal to locate at Seattle Center. The plan would allow KEXP to expand operations and interactive programming. BERK estimated financial returns and public benefits of the proposal, including estimated spending by visitors, valuation of free on-air advertising of the Center, city tax revenues, and public benefits from free KEXP events.

Based on the strength of KEXP’s proposal and broad public support, Seattle Center selected KEXP, along with a new Dale Chihuly glass museum, for the campus. The new KEXP station will be located on the west side of the Center and will have interactive design elements, performance venues, and open space.

Washington State Ferries Reservations Process & Facilitation

Northwest Tissue Services

Northwest Tissue Services (NWTS) is a division of the Puget Sound Blood Center established in 1988 that provides high quality tissue for transplant in a service area encompassing Washington, Montana, and Northern Idaho. BERK conducted a Customer Perception and Market Survey to identify what customers value in tissue distribution services and in NWTS; assess customer satisfaction with NWTS services; and identify trends and opportunities in the tissue distribution market.

In coordination with NWTS, we identified key customers in the state, region, and across the U.S. We conducted 30 customer interviews and summarized key findings, and documented our approach into a concise report for the Board of Directors and staff. The report recommendations inform NWTS’ continued efforts to improve its service delivery to customers.

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

BERK evaluated GSWW’s existing facilities and the services provided at each facility to inform the strategic assessment. As inputs to this analysis, we facilitated four focus groups comprised of staff and volunteers from across the region, conducted site visits, and developed an online survey for community members and staff regarding current facilities and future needs.

In the second phase of this project, BERK collaborated with ARC Architects to develop alternative concept proposals to guide GSWW’s decisions regarding future locations and facility configurations consistent with their needs and vision.

Washington State Department of Natural Resources

BERK worked with Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark and DNR’s Executive Management Team to craft a roadmap to guide the agency’s actions over five years, building on and making real the positions and priorities that Commissioner Goldmark articulated in securing the support of Washington voters. Through its six goals, the Strategic Plan emphasizes the need to protect and create jobs for Washington residents and the need to protect Washington’s natural environment.
In support of the strategic planning process, BERK conducted stakeholder outreach, including online surveys and facilitated statewide public open houses inviting comment on the Draft Plan. BERK staff facilitated project meetings of the Executive Management Team and assisted DNR with staff engagement at the 1,200-plus employee agency. Each action was assigned a lead and timeline for initiation to ensure accountability.

Pioneer Square Business District Revitalization Initiative

Puget Sound Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Program

BERK conducted stakeholder interviews to assess critical resources management in an eight-county region, exploring resource needs, tracking and sharing across agencies. Together with Beck Disaster Recovery, the project lead, we established a situation assessment and developed a plan to strengthen the region’s approach through enhanced information sharing, resource sharing agreements and processes.

We facilitated discussions of a Steering Committee and Regional Catastrophic Planning Team. BERK also researched national best practices for use of GIS to coordinate regional resource sharing, and used GIS to display the location of staging areas and points of distribution in the region.

Coeur D’Alene Tribe

BERK analyzed the Coeur D’Alene Reservation’s market position and economic development opportunities, building from the vision and ambitions articulated in the Tribe’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).

Quantitative analysis, including location quotients, employment and wage analysis, journey-to-work maps, and estimation of retail sales leakage, were combined with stakeholder interviews to identify target industries with potential for employment generation and retail niches that may be expanded to augment the goods and services available on the Reservation.

The Seattle Public Library Strategic Plan

The Seattle Public Library Strategic Plan

The Seattle Public Library Strategic Plan

Imaging the World

Imaging the World (ITW) is a non-profit founded in 2007 dedicated to developing medical procedures and technologies to enable medical imaging in remote areas around the world. BERK facilitated a full-day retreat for ITW with more than a dozen participants including the Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers from the Seattle area, as well as from Arizona, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Canada.

The retreat focused on fostering working relationships among members and across committees and identified key strategic issues, focus areas, and initiatives for the next three years. Retreat participants reviewed the ITW working model to ensure successful implementation of a pilot program in Uganda.

City of Seattle Office of Economic Development

BERK worked with the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development and a Steering Committee, made up of local business owners, residents, property owners, social service providers, and other stakeholders to develop an economic development action strategy and organizational structure for Pioneer Square.

Washington State Department of Transportation

BERK worked in conjunction with Hill & Knowlton and ZAAZ to determine the feasibility of monetizing the WSDOT website. The study identified how WSDOT could potentially leverage its website assets to generate new revenues for the agency. BERK researched hundreds of government websites and conducted telephone interviews with government agencies that have advertising programs on their websites. We also summarized the primary monetizing structures currently used in the industry and estimated the range of potential revenues and costs of implementing a new WSDOT program.

Port of Port Angeles

BERK worked with Port staff and a team of engineering consultants to develop the pricing elements in an offer to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for relocation of its Marine Operations Center. The Port competed with several other Western Washington communities for potential relocation of the NOAA facility, which would bring high quality jobs and economic activity to the successful community.

BERK’s role in the project involved financial modeling, risk assessment, and analysis to support decision-making around the final offer price from the Port to NOAA.

PSRC Clean Tech Cluster Analysis Update for the Puget Sound Region

Coquille Indian Tribe

BERK is working with the Coquille Indian Tribe to update the Tribe’s Strategic Plan, which will guide government operations over the next five years. The Plan will help align various departments and ensure that tribal members are being served best.

The project involves staff and department-level information gathering and visioning, tribal member outreach for visioning, feedback, and building support, and integration of the Plan with the Coquille economic development strategy and employee performance tracking.

The Seattle Public Library Strategic Plan

City of Kenmore

BERK designed and developed a marketing folio for the City to raise awareness of the community and its assets, summarize the recently adopted Economic Development Strategy, and highlight ongoing public investment in the City. The folio included photographs, maps, and other visual elements that highlight Kenmore’s location in the Puget Sound Region, demographics, community assets, City investments in the downtown area, development opportunities, and the City’s business-friendly practices and process.

City of Kenmore

PSRC Clean Tech Cluster Analysis Update for the Puget Sound Region