It's quite a challenge to create a website that folks will want to visit regularly to shop for Handmade & Fair Trade Crafts, catch up with news and politics and read features on science, economics and cultural trends. Maybe we are trying to accomplish too much, but our passions are varied and there are so many important issues to explore.
If you have feedback please email us or comment on our facebook page. And send us your contributions whenever you feel that you have something important [funny, witty, interesting] to say.
A dear friend told me something years ago which will inform our work at Illuminate as it did with Fair Trade Quilts & Crafts. "You can't change the world, but don't let that stop you from making some small part of it a better place." Love you Ronnie!
Illuminate Our World & Illuminate Fair Trade are owned & Operated by Illuminate LLC which is located in Beautiful Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Editor: Don Lam
I Iive in Virginia Beach, VA with my beautiful wife Brooke and we have two wonderful sons, Nick and Wyatt.
I've been a college professor for 32 years, managed an international Fair Trade textile business for 22 years, served as the Vice President of an International NGO, practiced law for 6 years in PA and VA, and lived and worked in Central America and Mexico. I became involved in politics at the age of 7 when I handed out my first brochure at a polling place for my father, and have managed or participated in more than a dozen local and national campaigns since. I teach International Law, International Politics, US Politics, Environmental Policy and Constitutional Law.
That's what I do. What I love...beaches, beer, renaissance art and architecture, travel, laughing, exotic textiles, history and archaeology, horror movies, baseball, photography, and having shockingly candid conversations on religion and politics at family dinners and neighborhood gatherings after several shots of Tequila.
Tommy "Catman" Westerhold, Associate Editor
Don Lam, Editor
Tommy Westerhold, Associate Editor
Born & partially raised in Ohio by two caring parents, William & Julia. I Took electric guitar lessons from age six, and later learned many other instruments. The family moved around quite a bit, and finally landed in York, PA, where I spent many weekends sailboat racing with my father and younger brother, John, on the Susquehanna River.
After high School, I attended several colleges, such as West Chester State, where I became the head of the Program Board, bringing in some notable artists, including the Duke Ellington Band, The Little River Band, John Hartford ( "Gentle on My Mind"), Pat Metheney, The Kinks, Harry Chapin, and many more unforgettable concerts. I also wrote concert reviews for the school newspaper and formed several musical groups & did a fair amount of recording during that time with some great musical collaborators.
While in West Chester, I met my bride-to-be (referred to here as "Mrs.Catman" who's now a retired chemist) in a family restaurant, where we were both servers. We've been together since 1980.
As you may imagine, Mrs. Catman & I have shared our lives with some wonderful feline companions, who are our only children. We've traveled to Canada, FL., Mexico & the Caribbean. Also during this time, I attended many of my brother David West's poetry performances in San Francisco, and often played back-up keyboards for them. We recorded a CD, called "Go Down Doris Fish".
I finished my college career at the University of PA's Wharton School in 1983 and founded Feline Design Cat Furniture in 1987, from which I expect to supply the high end cat furniture market until I keel over in the workshop.