Mercer Island Chamber lunch to feature business etiquette speaker

In other business news, Microsoft features FASPS and New Seasons announces parental leave benefit.

Chamber lunch to feature business etiquette speaker

The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce invited Arden Clise from Clise Etiquette to be the speaker at its February luncheon, to be held at noon on Feb. 1 at the Community and Event Center.

Clise, an author, speaker, trainer and coach, teaches etiquette savvy that is essential for workplace success.

“To succeed in this very competitive environment it’s crucial that professionals have not only strong technical skills but polished soft skills as well,” according to the chamber newsletter. “In fact, according to a Harvard University study, statistics show that 85 percent of your workplace success is due to your personal skills.”

RSVP by calling 206-232-3404, registering online through the chamber’s website under its calendar tab, or emailing

Microsoft features French American School for teaching language of technology

Microsoft shined its spotlight on the French American School of Puget Sound in December, for the school’s use of technology in and out of the classroom and for ensuring its students are well-versed in the “language and logic of programming” so that they go on to high school and university with the skills necessary to thrive “in their increasingly connected futures.”

FASPS, located on Mercer Island, offers education with the highest standards of both the French and American systems from preschool (age 3) through eighth grade.

Brian Hoyt, FASPS’s technology director, who was interviewed extensively for Microsoft’s article — “Cutting Edge in Any Language: Technology at the French American School of Puget Sound” — talks about keeping the school on the cutting edge of technology with the latest Lenovo ThinkPads for its teachers and Surface Pros for its students, and managing those devices with Intune for Education, Microsoft’s cloud-based application and device management service for schools, all to provide the best tools available for FASPS’s dual (or more) language learners: “When the devices come out of my hands, they’re set to English. But then the students can set them to French, or Spanish if they want to use them in Spanish class, or Chinese in Chinese class, and so on. With Windows and Office 365, we have the flexibility to install language packs, and then students just make their device their own. It’s really powerful.”

FASPS’s vision is to inspire the next generation of global citizens to learn, understand and act wisely in a multicultural world.

“FASPS considers technology a language that we teach widely across the curriculum,” Hoyt noted.

Visit to read the article.

New Seasons announces paid parental leave benefit

New Seasons Market CEO Wendy Collie announced that, effective Jan. 1, New Seasons will provide paid parental leave to eligible staff. New Seasons is one of the first grocery stores in the country to provide a paid parental leave benefit to its employees.

“We consistently seek feedback from our staff, and they shared that paid parental leave is one of the areas of need so they can spend critical time at home when they have a child, adopt or become long-term foster parents,” said Collie.

New Seasons will give any benefits-eligible staff member up to four weeks of fully paid parental leave for the birth, adoption or long-term guardianship or foster placement of a child or children. This benefit recognizes and includes all types of families and will be available for employees of all genders.

New Seasons is committed to advocating for policies that improve equity and livability, championing policies for increasing the minimum wage in Oregon, for increasing affordable housing and for legislation that requires fair and predictable scheduling for all workers.

Visit for more.