Networking — October 2018


Skip and Shannon Novakovich, owners of Esprit Graphic Communications with offices in Kennewick and Enterprise, Oregon, were honored at the 2018 Pacific Printing Industries PrintRocks Award celebrating excellence in print. Esprit received a “best of” category award for a full color and gold foiled poster produced for St. Anthony’s Hospital in Pendleton. It also received a second-place award for its production of the Chief Joseph Days poster for the Chief Joseph Days event held annually in Joseph, Oregon.

The city of Kennewick received the 2017 Wastewater Treatment Plant Outstanding Performance award from the Department of Ecology for achieving full compliance with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. The city was evaluated on compliance with effluent limits, monitoring and reporting requirements, spill prevention planning, pretreatment and overall operational demands. It has received the award for a consecutive 11 years.

The Mid-Columbia Tri-Cities SCORE honored the following SCORE volunteers: Janice Vesper, most volunteer hours; Rick Peenstra and Doug Lemke for most mentoring hours; Jim Reinhardt for five years of mentoring; and Tim Reed received the Dynamite Award for the greatest impact in the first year. SCORE is a nonprofit focused on helping small businesses start, grow and achieve their goals.

The Heaston Thompson Vision Clinic in Richland received the 2018 Literacy Legacy Award from the Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia for its support of children’s literacy at the organization’s annual fundraiser. The clinic has served as the corporate sponsor of the Books and Vines benefit event for 12 years, as well as having representation on the board of directors.

Washington River Protection Solutions received a Voluntary Protection Program Innovation award for the fourth time from the Department of Energy. WRPS received the recognition for developing and implementing tools that reduce radiological and industrial hazards to workers while removing pumps and other long-length equipment from Hanford’s waste storage tanks. The tools are critical to safely managing tank waste and will support future evaporator campaigns and waste retrieval.

Wm. Winkler Co. of Newman Lake, Washington, recently received two awards for Tri-City area projects at the Washington Aggregates and Concrete Association’s Excellence in Concrete Awards ceremony Sept. 27 in Seattle. The awards were for the company’s work on the Second Avenue reconstruction in Burbank in the infrastructure and transportation category. The project included American Rock Products of Richland. The second project receiving honors was for the company’s work on the Autozone distribution center in Pasco in the tilt up structures category. The concrete team also included Poppoff Inc. of Moxee and American Rock Products of Richland. The project encompassed 27,900 cubic feet of concrete for the 409,800-square-foot facility.

Coach Rob Hart, program director for the Richland Lacrosse Club, received the U.S. Lacrosse’s national award for “Excellence in Growing the Game” because of his work to develop lacrosse in the Tri-Cities. His lacrosse career started with Three Rivers Lacrosse in 2008 when he coached the middle school team. He went on to coach the high school team where his son played goalie. When Richland High School lacrosse started in 2014, he became one of its assistant coaches, specializing in goalie training. In 2017, he became the program director of the Richland club, helping put together its youth program for 2018. In addition to his coaching efforts, he has also served as tournament director of several area events, including the Three Rivers Shootout from 2009-13 and the Columbia CRUSH High School Jamboree from 2014 to present. 



Felice Presti has been selected as the new deputy project director for the Hanford vit plant. Presti has been with Bechtel since 2004 and has nearly 25 years of experience in engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning. Presti holds a doctorate in fluid dynamics and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with management from the University of Liverpool, U.K. He replaces Kim Irwin, who will be transitioning to the role of deputy project manager at Horizon Wylfa Newydd project in the U.K.

Scott Monson has been selected to fill the role of direct feed low-activity waste area manager, which Presti held for the past year. Monson joined Bechtel in 2011 and has held leadership roles in Quality and Six Sigma for Bechtel’s Oil, Gas and Chemical division, and most recently was the vit plant’s pretreatment and high-level waste facility area manager. He began his career in engineering with the Boeing Co. and United Technologies and later worked for Raytheon before joining Bechtel in 2011.

Tara Wisall has been hired as a new financial advisor at the Edward Jones Kennewick branch. She has a bachelor’s degree from Lewis & Clark College, a master’s from Portland State University and more than 15 years of experience in the field.

Trios Health has accepted nine new medical residents. Drs. Wyatt Boles, Danielle Ello Cruto, Jessica Luo and Lauren Tsai are family medicine residents. Drs. Andrea Chang, Angeli Duran, Nate Eisenhut, William Graven and Rachel Steiner are internal medicine residents. Family medicine residents take patient appointments at the Trios Residency Clinic – Family Medicine at 216 W. 10th Ave, Suite 204, Kennewick and internal medicine residents take patients in Suite 202.

Taylor Christensen has been hired as a search engine optimization specialist for Cougar Marketing & Design in West Richland. 

Mason Mendel has been hired as a senior civil engineer at Meier Architecture – Engineering of Kennewick. Mendel is a licensed civil engineer with 12 years of experience where he has worked on water, sewer, storm, irrigation, site development, roadways and pipelines, along with planning, design and construction. He has a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Washington State University.

Thomas Bright has joined Gesa Credit Union at 51 Gage Blvd., Richland, as a home loan officer in construction lending. He graduated from Washington State University and has 26 years of experience in commercial lending.

Alex Garza is the new branch manager for the Numerica Credit Union Pasco branch at 1817 W. Sylvester St. He graduated with Washington State University and has seven years in loan servicing and branch management.

Joe Peterson Insurance in Kennewick has hired Mikele Nunamaker and Patricia Garcia. 

Nunamaker has an associate degree from Columbia Basin College and a bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University. 

Garcia rejoined Joe Peterson Insurance in Kennewick after a break to focus on family. She started with the company as a receptionist and returns as a licensed insurance agent.

Constance Savage is the new general manager for L’Ecole No. 41 in Walla Walla, replacing Debbie Frol, who is retiring at the end of the year. Savage has a degree in marketing communication and a master’s in business administration. Savage was previously the vice president and director of supplier relations for Kobrand Corp. in New York.

The Academy of Children’s Theatre named longtime employees Josh Darby as the director of education and Julie Schroeder as the director of outreach, a newly created position. Darby graduated from Central Washington University and was previously ACT’s artistic director. Schroeder has been a teaching artist for ACT for nearly 20 years and is a certified teacher of drama for autism. She also is a participant in the Leadership Tri-Cities program.

Kamran Hasan has joined the sales team at EverStar Realty. Hasan has nine years of experience as a mortgage broker and eight years of experience in international real estate development consulting with a focus on acquisition, remediation, land development and financing. He is a certified international property specialist through the National Association of Realtors.

The city of Pasco hired Jacob Gonzalez as senior planner for the Community and Economic Development Department. He studied geography and urban design/regional planning at the University of Washington.



Washington State University President Kirk Schulz will serve as the Pac-12 representative to the College Football Playoff Board of Managers. The board governs the playoff’s business, property and affairs. It also develops annual budgets, policies and operating guidelines.

Brian Reilly joined the board of the Energy Facility Contractors Group, an organization that promotes excellence in operation and management of Department of Energy Facilities. Reilly is a project director for the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, known as the vit plant, and a senior vice president at Bechtel.

The Kiwanis Club of Kennewick installed the following officers and directors for 2018-19: Cory Manly, president; Rick McKinnon, president elect; Kevin Gunn, vice president; Maureen Ball, secretary; Penny Gardner, treasurer; Chuck DeGooyer, past president. The board of directors includes Gerry Berges, Stan Case, Amy Coffman, Patti Gunn, Pat Johnstone-Jones, Art King, Micki McKinnon and Benita Nyberg.

Michael Novakovich, president and chief executive officer of Visit Tri-Cities, recently was elected to the Washington Tourism Alliance Board of Directors. The board works to advance the alliance’s mission to advocate, promote, develop and sustain the economic well being of the Washington tourism industry. He serves an extended term of three years and nine months. In addition, Karisa Saywers, director of marketing for Visit Tri-Cities, was selected to join the WTA’s Communications Committee, which will focus on destination publicity through the development of a statewide media list and image library, travel media outreach, media familiarization trips and monthly destination related newsletters. The committee is comprised of communications authorities from destination marketing organizations and tourism-related industries throughout the state.



The Washington State Auditor’s Office gave the Port of Benton a clean audit opinion for its compliance to laws and regulations and its own policies and procedures.

Jay Freeman of Edward Jones in Kennewick achieved the professional designation of Accredited Asset Management Specialist by completing the Professional Education Program from the Denver-based College for Financial Planning. As part of the program, he also passed a final exam and signed a code of ethics and disclosure to earn the designation.



The Benton Franklin Fair donated more than $1,300 to Second Harvest Tri-Cities that it collected from ticket sales on opening day of this year’s fair. The fair donated $2 from each ticket sale on opening day before 2 p.m., along with proceeds from a cook-off. 

Columbia Basin College in Pasco recognized Battelle for a donation of $75,000 to put toward the purchase of computers, monitors, chairs and software for CBC’s Engineering Technology Lab. A sign was placed naming it the Battelle Engineering Technology Lab.

The Washington Wine Industry Foundation gave $15,000 to the Northwest Immigration Rights Project to assist in the mission of providing legal service to immigrants and their families in Washington while they navigate the U.S. immigration system.

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