Picture of Joshua PutnamSo who is this Josh person, anyway?

I was born and raised on Vashon Island, Washington, a semi-rural island in Puget Sound, between Seattle and Tacoma. An island with a fairly small year-round population, Vashon was a place where, if you didn't necessarily know everyone, you certainly knew someone else who knew them; a small enough place that the only movie theater in town congratulated my parents on the birth of twins by putting a birth announcement on their main marquee.

If you're interested, here are a few views of Vashon and Maury Islands. (What's up on the Island these days? Check out the new web edition of the Beachcomber, our local weekly newspaper.) Also, check out the Vashon Links page at FinchHaven.com.

While Vashon was always "home," I lived in Valsad, Gujarat State, India, as a Rotary International Youth Exchange student, 1984-85, and in Claremont, California, while attending Claremont McKenna College, 1985-89.

After getting my BA in International Relations from CMC I returned to Vashon and, apart from occasional vacations, lived there until the fall of 2000.

In the spring of 2000, I fell head over heels in love with Koralee Roup -- we first "met" on the international bicycle touring mailing list, and then met in person on a ride in Seattle. Our first date was the Seattle Bicycle Expo, of course, and by fall we got engaged and I moved to her home in Kent, Washington, just across the water and up the hill from Vashon Island. (It's a small world -- my grandparents, Kay and Put, lived in the same complex for a while when I was about knee-high.

Moving off the island also meant I had to resign from my position on the Vashon Maury Island Community Council. After three generations of Island busibodies, my family has for now stopped poking our noses into everyone's business. I still maintain an active interest in Vashon Island -- it's still home to my father and one of my brothers, and I have quite a few friends on the island.

Koralee and I were married in February, 2001, a year after that first date. We had to miss the Bike Expo that year.

The year 2001 brought us a huge change: the birth our twin sons, Morgan and Derek, in November. The boys arrived a bit early, at 36 weeks, and spent some time in the Neonatal ICU at the University of Washington, but soon they were home and doing well, making messes and taking more time than seemed humanly possible.

In the summer of 2004, after an offhand question to a client who happens to be a realtor, Koralee and I bought a house that has everything we had decided our dream house should have:

  • It's old, 1908, with lots of character.
  • It has four bedrooms, two full baths, and a kitchen big enough for company to stand around and talk.
  • Our lot is a quarter acre, including mature fruit trees and a small stream.
  • It's in a small town -- just over 5,000 people. (A small enough town that, when I emailed the community info page to get on their mailing list, I got a personal reply from the mayor.)
  • It's literally next door to the south end of the Interurban Trail.
  • We're within walking distance of the grocery store, post office, City Hall, and the library.

Now we just have to spend a few years updating this and that.... If you happen to be cycling through The City of Pacific this summer, you'll probably see us toiling away by the trailhead.

I've gotten over having to leave the Vashon Community Council. In its place, since moving to Pacific, I've been a planning commissioner and park board member, and now serve on the City Council.

Professionally, for eleven years after college I was lucky to work as a securities analyst for a private investment company, I. S. Wolfe & Partners, headquartered in a secluded home on Maury Island. In my years working with Irving I went from the junior analyst to managing the daily trading activity of the Partnership. Sadly, the sudden death of Irving Wolfe, shortly before Koralee and I were married, led to the liquidation of the partnership in mid-2001. I remained with the Partnership during its liquidation, helping Irving's family and friends deal with this difficult time.

With the investment industry reeling in 2001, and not wanting to uproot the family to take offers elsewhere, I decided to try the old family business of insurance. (My great-grandfather came to the Washington Territory selling insurance, writing binders longhand on horseback.) I enjoyed being an insurance agent, and grew a profitable little agency in downtown Auburn. But as the years went on, I found it harder to achieve work/life balance with growing children and evening hours.

By late 2007, it was time for a change, and I accepted a position as a writer and marketing consultant for a life insurance company. Believe it or not, life insurance can be interesting, even fascinating. But don't worry, I'm no Ned Ryerson (“Groundhog Day”). I can go to a dinner party and not talk about life insurance all night, unless you make the mistake of asking me about it....

Other Tidbits

Besides being a financial analyst, insurance agent, writer, and marketing consultant, I've occasionally been a photography instructor and a professional photographer. My photography is primarily amateur – making pictures of subjects that interest me, simply because I enjoy the creative outlet. But I do still occasionally license my work, shoot for hire, or give lessons. See the photo pages link below for more on my photography.

In case you're wondering if I'm the same Josh you knew under some other email address in the past, here's a list of old email and web addresses for Joshua Putnam.

This page written by Josh Putnam. Please feel free to email questions, comments, corrections, suggestions, etc.

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