Talk about someone excited about Kalama! If you’ve been curious about our newest Councilmember Rosemary Siipola – get ready to be WOW’d. Rosemary is a bundle of energy. The City and City Council get the benefit of her education - Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Education from the University of North Carolina and a Master’s Degree in Planning from the University of Virginia – and her impressive work history. Rosemary has worked as a school teacher, for U.S. Senator John Melcher, was Executive Director of the Longview Downtown Development Association, also Senior Transportation Planner for the City of Portland, and she worked almost 19 years as the Transportation Planning Manager at Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments. Although now “retired,” Rosemary is Board Secretary of the Columbia Theatre; President of the Red Hat Thrift Store, a non-profit serving the Emergency Support Shelter and Parent Place; and a member of Envision Kalama.
When Rosemary went off to college, her dad told her “Don’t come home with a farmer!” (She didn’t.) The Siipolas ended up in the Pacific Northwest because husband Mark was transferred from Baltimore, Maryland, by the US Army Corps of Engineers to work on Mt. St. Helens projects. In Washington they’ve lived in Castle Rock, Silver Lake, and on Modrow Road. When the Siipolas were getting ready to buy a home in Cowlitz County, they were given advice to “live on a hill.” They have three daughters - Cora, Olivia, and Kaisa.
Although Rosemary loves to travel – she’s visited Africa, China, Spain, France, and Italy – she has managed to maintain her North Carolina accent. Rosemary recently went to Hawaii with her daughter Cora. While in Lahaina, Maui, Rosemary visited the Pioneer Inn, which is the inspiration for the Port and McMenamin’s project. The restaurant/hotel development will make Kalama a destination, benefitting the City.
Rosemary points out many cities would love to be located where Kalama is – right along I-5. She says to be situated between the beautiful waterfront and the proposed Spencer Creek Business Park, there are rich opportunities for Kalama. Rosemary is excited to be part of this next chapter in Kalama’s history. Talk about a win-win situation – Rosemary feels lucky to be in Kalama and the City is certainly lucky to have her.