Rick Norrie – New Stage Project Manager

Rick Norrie — New Stage Project Manager

Photo: Rick Norrie (right), new project manager for the Schoolhouse Park Stage, studies the stage plans with Tom Fouts


Community Center Board Welcomes Rick Norrie as Stage Project Manager

On May 16, the Guemes Island Community Center Association board announced at its monthly meeting that Rick Norrie was appointed to be the new project manager for the GICCA Stage project at Schoolhouse Park. The project has nearly completed Phase 1 (crawlspace slab, foundation, ramps, decking, electrical panel, and acoustic sound wall). Phase 2 will begin soon to install uprights, shear walls, roof, and sound platform and complete the electrical work and landscaping.


Related post: The Benefits of Volunteering


Following a 14-year military career in the Navy, which brought him to Whidbey Island, Rick Norrie joined the Island County Sheriff’s Office in 1987. He was introduced to Renee Van Iterson, daughter of the late Ria Foster, and Guemes Island, where Renee was raised. It was love at first sight on both accounts. Renee and Rick married and began living on Guemes fulltime in 1993.


Rick was schooled in woodworking and construction by his father-in-law, master craftsman Tony Foster, who Rick says “could pretty much  build anything.” He enjoys working in his shop doing woodturning and learning when he is not volunteering or working in his private investigative business doing background checks.


During his 31 years in law enforcement, he became a drug-recognition expert and was nationally recognized for his ability to spot symptoms of drug and alcohol impairment. He traveled across the state promoting drug education and early intervention. Rick retired in June 2018.


Wanting to give back to the community that “has benefitted my family so much,” Rick joined the volunteer Guemes Island Fire Department and has already taken the strenuous firefighting course and plans to take the challenging EMT course this fall.


When he learned about the need for construction and constructive management of the stage project, he again volunteered his services. Rick’s goals for the stage project are to realign the project, improve communication, and overcome adversity and conflict so that the community can work together to accomplish short-term and long-term goals in a reasonable time frame. With a positive and inclusive attitude, he states, “I want to help the community achieve its dream.”


Please contact Rick Norrie at 360-661-5770 with questions or to volunteer.

Read more

The Benefits of Volunteering

The Benefits of Volunteering

An article by HelpGuide.org notes that volunteering is a way to support people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community — but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer. (See “Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits.")


Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Working collaboratively with others in the community towards a common goal can help you reduce stress, strengthen friendships, meet new people, and learn new skills. Making progress on a volunteer-based community project is a great motivator for the entire community. Completion of such a project provides a sense of personal accomplishment, builds community, and strengthens pride-in-place.


The GICCA Stage Project at Schoolhouse Park began as a dream of islanders who successfully raised money to save Guemes Mountain from development. Much progress has been made at the GICCA Stage site and many in the community have been involved at various times. Everyone who has donated their time, money, or materials has the sincere appreciation and gratitude of the entire community.


The Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA) announced some Stage Project enhancements (see related article) that will better position the project for successful and timely completion. We hope that those of you who have volunteered with us over the years (and all of you would-be volunteers as well) will rally around the progress to date, the latest project enhancements, and the ongoing community support to (re)engage with us on the Stage Project. We all need to come together to help drive this project to completion. We look forward to having this lasting resource available as a venue for the many fun and enriching times that islanders can enjoy together as a community.


When it comes to volunteering, the most valuable assets you can bring to any volunteer effort are an open mind, compassion, and a willingness to pitch in wherever needed — with a positive attitude. Please join us.


GICCA thanks you! We look forward to engaging with you to make our community even better — however you might choose to get involved.