Bates Technical College Foundation Welcomes JD Elquist to the Board

Posted: June 27, 2024

An alumnus, Elquist currently serves as Downtown Retail Advocate in Tacoma.   

The Bates Technical College Foundation recently announced JD Elquist as a new board member. A Bates Technical College alumnus, JD brings a wealth of experience and dedication to the college’s mission and goals.

JD’s journey with Bates began nine years ago when he first enrolled in the Barber program. Reflecting on his student years, JD recalls the supportive environment and mentorship.

“The Barber program set me up for success,” JD reminisces. “I had really great friendships and connections with fellow students, and through my time there, I was also able to build up a bit of a clientele.”

Benefiting from Bates Foundation scholarships as a student further fueled JD’s desire to give back.

JD’s diverse background uniquely positions him to contribute to the Foundation Board’s mission. Having immersed himself in Tacoma’s retail scene for more than a decade, JD’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish a men’s clothing store before enrolling in Bates’ Barber program and eventually opening his own salon/retail space.

Currently serving as the Downtown Tacoma Retail Advocate for Downtown Tacoma Partnership, JD fosters relationships with local businesses, underscoring his commitment to Tacoma’s economic growth. Beyond his professional pursuits, JD is an avid lacrosse enthusiast, coaching teams at Bellarmine and the University of Puget Sound, while also actively participating in a local men’s team.

Driven by a deep-rooted passion for Tacoma’s economic development, JD saw joining the Foundation board as an opportunity to give back. “I wanted to integrate students into the local economy and foster connections with businesses,” JD explains.

As a member of the Bates Foundation board, JD aims to leverage his unique perspective as an alumnus to enhance the student experience and forge deeper connections between students and the local business community.

“By facilitating connections, I aim to provide students with exciting career prospects within the local economy,” JD shares.

Members of the foundation’s board are thrilled to welcome JD Elquist and anticipate the invaluable contributions he will make in advancing the mission of the foundation to support student success.

For more information about Bates Technical College Foundation, visit

About the Bates Technical College Foundation

To support the college, students and the community, the Bates Technical College Foundation was founded in 1992 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Gifts to the foundation fund student scholarships for tuition, books, tools and supplies, support college initiatives and programs, and fund employee professional development, allowing the foundation to fulfill its mission. To learn more, visit, call 253.680.7160 or email

About Bates Technical College
Founded in 1940, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree opportunities in 45+ career education programs. The college serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 7,000 more community members annually in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs. For more information, go to, or call 253.680.7000. Bates Technical College is proudly part of the Washington state community and technical college system.

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