Q&A with James Donaldson

James Donaldson

James Donaldson

Stephanie Davison, Staff Reporter

Meet James Donaldson, former Seattle SuperSonic who has recently moved to Ellensburg and plans to get involved with the community. He has joined the Rotary Club of Ellensburg of Rotary District 5060, and has met with Linda Schactler, chief of staff in the office of the president at CWU and the board vice chair of the Ellensburg Business Development Authority.

Q: What drew you to Ellensburg?

A: I’ve always enjoyed the smaller town atmospheres of college towns. Ellensburg reminds me a lot of Pullman, where I went to school and graduated from Washington State University. In a smaller city, especially where there is a university, so many aspects of what goes on in the city revolves around the university. It’s a great feeling, and also it offers tremendous potential with the students who are going to school there.

Also, at this point of my working career and my life, I was looking for a change of pace and a better quality of life, and Ellensburg offers that.

Q: What changes would you like to see here in town?

A: It’s exciting to see the changes that are coming to Ellensburg in the near future. Of course, change isn’t for everyone, and often it is difficult to adapt to, but I think the changes that are projected for Ellensburg will be very good in making Ellensburg more of a “destination place,” then just a stop for gas or a quick snack off of I-90.

One of the changes I have heard about is the Amazon fulfillment center that will be coming to Ellensburg most likely in 2022, and will create about 1500 jobs. That alone will add to the economic vitality of Ellensburg. Another large development is scheduled to get underway in the early part of 2022, which will consist of residential homes, a commercial district and a recreational area. I’m looking forward to being part of all this, and all aspects of economic development in Ellensburg.

Q: If you could give students who are struggling with mental health a piece of advice, what would it be?

A: My best advice that I give to students who are struggling with mental health, is to please not choose to struggle alone. Make sure you reach out to your medical professionals, and schedule a counseling/therapy session with a behavior health counselor. Also, be sure to have two or three close, intimate friends who truly care about you, and you can reach out to them any time day or night.

Everyone is going through very difficult times right now, and we have to be sure to be there for each other. But if you are the one struggling with mental health issues, people cannot tell that you’re struggling just by looking at you from the outside, so it’s up to you to reach out for help and it will be there for you.

Q: What are some of your favorite hobbies/activities?

A: I guess I would say some of my favorite hobbies are playing a round of golf with my friends, traveling, especially internationally, reading and writing books, enjoying coffee shops and restaurants with friends wherever I am.

Q: What are some of your favorite books?

A: Some of my all-time favorite books are “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, “Date or Soulmate” by Neil Clark Warren, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey just to name a few. I like books that make me think and then prompt me to action.