Trade show highlights Cougar-affiliated products, services

cougsfirst-logoBELLEVUE, Wash. – More than 100 Cougar owned, managed and affiliated businesses will participate in the second annual, free CougsFirst! trade show for Washington State University alumni and friends 4-8 p.m. April 23 at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.

There will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar. To register, visit

Apparel, wine, getaways, automotive specialists and professional services are among dozens of products and services that will be showcased. Last year’s show drew 40 exhibitors and more than 500 attendees.

Bill Moos, WSU athletic director, alumnus and business owner, will be the keynote speaker and an exhibitor. He and his wife, Kendra, own Special K Ranch in eastern Washington and produce grass fed, hormone free, U.S. Department of Agriculture certified Angus beef raised in a sustainable environment.

CougsFirst! is a nonprofit corporation that educates WSU alumni and friends regarding Cougar owned and managed businesses. The volunteer initiative was created by six alumni who believe the bond Cougars share around academics and athletics should extend to the business arena.

“Our goal is to use special events, social media, advertising and other marketing so WSU alumni and friends can network and interact in a positive business environment,” said Jack Thompson, a CougsFirst! founder.

Lead sponsor for the show is Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC. Other sponsors include Howard Wright’s MTR Western Group and Griffin MacLean Insurance, owned by former WSU and Seahawk football center Rob Tobeck.