Networking — November 2019


Lucas Organizational Performance Training Team of Richland has hired two new trainers, Seth Gulley and Dan Gilliam. Gulley works with Mission Support Alliance providing instructional design support for its respiratory training program. He has experience in operational excellence, leadership and training program development, process safety management, human performance improvement, apparent cause, organizational effectiveness and emergency management. Gilliam also works with MSA as a fire system maintenance field worker mentor. He has several years of supervisory experience at multiple U.S. Department of Energy sites and a management background in weapons component production, deactivation and demolition of Category 2 nuclear facilities, packaging and shipping of nuclear waste for final storage, soil remediation activities and conduct of operations mentoring.

Incyte Pathologists of Richland has hired two new pathologists. They are: Dr. Nerissa A. Ladd, board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology. She graduated from the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. She completed her residency at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a surgical pathology fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. David D. Fink, board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology. He graduated from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and completed his residency at Texas A&M- Baylor Scott and White Medical Center. Fink then completed a surgical pathology fellowship at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Priscely Gutierrez has been hired at Tippett Co. in Pasco. Gutierrez joins the commercial real estate team, which specializes in landlord-tenant representation, commercial real estate sales and acquisitions, and investment analysis. A lifelong Tri-City resident, she brings eight years of real estate experience and is bilingual.

Sean Haselrig has joined Baker Boyer Bank as an investment advisor representative for the Tri-City team, and Becky Kettner joined the Walla Walla team as investment advisor representative. Haselrig brings more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry to his role. Kettner joined Baker Boyer in 2017 as a trust advisor, bringing with her nearly two decades of business management and marketing experience.


IHOP franchisee Susan Mendenhall has been named the IHOP Global 2018 Franchisee of the Year. After being selected as the IHOP Northwest Franchisee of the Year earlier this year by her peers and IHOP support staff, she was in the running with six other franchisees from different regions.She was recognized for her outstanding servant style leadership, role in implementing new restaurant technology and initiatives, member of Franchisee Leadership Committee, chairperson of Technology Advisory Committee, always exceeding restaurant cleanliness and operations guidelines during the IHOP Global Franchisee Conference in Las Vegas in October. Her “constant smile and always helpful nature” also contributed to her selection. Mendenhall is the second woman franchisee to be acknowledged with this award and the first to win this award from the Northwest region. She has been the Franchisee of Record for the Pasco and Kennewick IHOPs for 10 years. She has been operating these restaurants since 2001 and became the owner in 2010. Susan, her husband Russ and their three children have lived in Kennewick since 1994.

The 2019 Chefs on Parade winners were Andrew Chilton and Tanner Guy of Doggie Style Gourmet. Second place went to Chris Nokes of Hot Mess Burgers & Fries. There was a tie for third place between Paulina and Guadalupe Perez of Hot Tamales and Ron Swanby of Swampy’s BBQ Sauce & Eatery. The People’s Favorite Chefs on Parade award went to were Megan and Jason Savely of Frost Me Sweet Bakery & Bistro.

The winners of the 2019 Parade of Homes were Gale-Rew Construction in category 1; Don Pratt Construction in category 2; Pahlisch Homes in category 3; and Gretl Crawford Homes in category 4. The Parade of Homes and Chefs on Parade event is organized by the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities.

The Kennewick School District’s Community Partner of the Year is Hispanic Academic Achievers Program. The nonprofit HAAP  provides scholarships to Hispanic students throughout the Tri-Cities. HAAP has helped 150 students from the Kennewick School District with higher education costs through scholarships since it started in 1989. Those scholarships have totaled more than $300,000. The group also has given thousands more in scholarships to students in other Tri-City area districts.

Marian Evenson, a principal in the firm MMEC Architecture & Interiors, which has offices in the Tri-Cities and Spokane, was recognized by the International Interior Design Association Northern Pacific Chapter for her contributions to professional interior design. She is the 2019 IN Awards professional honoree.

For the 10th time, financial services firm Edward Jones, which has several offices in the Tri-Cities, was ranked highest in employee advisor satisfaction among financial investment firms by J.D. Power.

The nonprofit Project Timothy was recently selected as a winner of the 2019 Bayer Grain for Good Sweepstakes. The organization was nominated by farmer Gene Warren of Dayton. Warren was one of 10 entrants chosen to direct a donation to the organization of his choice. Project Timothy will receive $5,000. The organization, established in 1990, serves the communities of Dayton, Starbuck and Waitsburg by offering financial assistance for emergency housing, food, rent assistance, utilities, transportation and prescriptions for families in need.

Shawn Flinders was the grand prize winner of the 2019 Rotary Mid-Columbia Duck Race. He won a 2020 Toyota Corolla XLE donated by Toyota of Tri-Cities. This is the 15th year Toyota of Tri-Cities has donated a new Toyota vehicle to the duck race. More than 33,000 tickets were sold for the duck races this year. Proceeds from the event fund nonprofits, student scholarships and humanitarian efforts.

Franklin County PUD’s Debbie Bone-Harris received the Lacy Peoples Award for her lifetime commitment to the public power industry, communication and public involvement. The Northwest Public Power Association’s 2019 Northwest Communications & Energy Innovations Conference Planning Committee selected Bone-Harris, a public affairs manager, based on her accomplishments of at least 10 years of marketing and communication experience; at least 20 years of service to the industry; and promotion of public power through efforts such as community service. Bone-Harris, who retires from the PUD at the end of November, has more than 35 years in the utility industry.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is the recipient of two R&D 100 awards and one gold medal. The innovations awards program honors achievements in research and development for the past 56 years, honoring pioneers in science and technology from industry, the federal government and academia. This year’s awards bring PNNL’s total to 111 since the awards’ inception. This is the first year that medalists have been included in the cohort of winners. Medalists are those technologies that demonstrated exceptional impact in one of four special recognition categories: Corporate Social Responsibility; Green Tech; Market Disruptor—Services; and Market Disruptor—Products. PNNL was honored for its work with Xenon International, a fully-automated radioxenon monitoring system developed with Teledyne Brown Engineering, that drastically improves existing national and international radioxenon monitoring capabilities by doubling the sensitivity of today’s systems; and MLSTONES, which stands for Machine Learning String Tools for Operational and Network Security, a malware detection tool identifying never-before-seen malware. The gold medal for market disruptor (services) was awarded to PNNL for its work with VaporID, a vapor-sampling device developed by PNNL that enables the detection of narcotics and explosives down to the parts-per-quadrillion level in ambient air. 

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has recognized Washington’s family law attorney Katherine Sierra-Kelly as 2019’s “10 best family law attorneys for client satisfaction.” Sierra-Kelley works at Gravis Law in Richland.

The city of Hermiston received the Urban Renewal Project of the Year award for its recruitment and development of the Holiday Inn Express and support of additional downtown business expansion. The award, announced Oct. 28 by the Oregon Economic Development Association, highlights the first major project undertaken by the Hermiston Urban Renewal Agency. The 96-room Holiday Inn Express opened in January 2017 and has been a catalyst for downtown development since, encouraging local businesses to open and expand in the immediate area.

The state Employment Security Department recognized a Hanford contractor with a Hire-A-Vet award for its efforts to employ military veterans in 2019. Washington River Protection Solutions, a hazardous waste management company, employs 2,100 employees in the state, of which 303 are veterans. Whenever the company has a job opening, WRPS contacts WorkSource to check for potential veteran candidates. The company also regularly participates in veteran résumé workshops, mock interview panels and veteran internship recruitment events. Employment Security created the award to call attention to the state’s unemployed veterans and to recognize companies with a good track record of hiring, retaining and celebrating veterans in their workforce. One business winner was selected from each of the 12 workforce development areas in the state. WorkSource places about 10,000 veterans into jobs each year. There are 514,000 veterans living in the state.


Three Rivers Community Foundation distributed $391,000 in social determinants of health grants to six local nonprofits from funds provided by the Greater Columbia Accountable Community of Health: Catholic Charities, Communities in Schools, Community Action Connections, Grace Clinic, The Chaplaincy and Tri-Cities Residential Services.

Brett Lott Homes of the Tri-Cities donated the proceeds from the sale of its Parade of Homes Charity House to two local nonprofits. Elijah Family Homes and KCHelps each received $25,391.

STCU recently awarded a $3,000 grant to the Academy of Children’s Theatre in support of its education programs. The money will support ACT’s after-school, weekend and summer session classes. In recognition of the funding, STCU will be named as the 2020 education sponsor at ACT.


The Kennewick Kiwanis Club recently held its annual installation of officers for the 2019-20 year. Officers are Rick McKinnon, president; Vickie Bergum, president elect; Micki McKinnon, vice president; Maureen Bell, secretary; Penny Gardner, treasurer; and Cory Manley, past president.

Board directors are Gerry Berges, Amy Coffman, Stan Case, Dave Eakin, Patti Gunn, Pat Johnstone-Jones, Art King and Benita Nyberg.

Rick Peenstra, a retired community banker with 40 years’ experience in helping small businesses, will serve as a the local SCORE chapter chairman for the next two years. Peenstra replaced Paul Casey, who led the chapter for two years. SCORE is a resource partner of the Small Business Administration, providing free business counseling.


Amy Spurlock, formerly a physician liaison for Northwest Cancer Clinic, a 21st Century Oncology affiliate with offices in Kennewick and Hermiston, has been promoted to market success manager. Spurlock will manage additional markets in Central California. She will oversee four radiation treatment centers: Northwest Cancer Clinic in Washington and Oregon; 21st Century Oncology clinics in Modesto and Lodi, California; and St. Theresa’s Comprehensive Cancer Care in Stockton, California.


Diahann Howard, interim executive director for the Port of Benton, recently earned a professional port management certification from the American Association of Port Authorities.

Maria Alleman has become a certified meeting professional through the Events Industry Council’s certified meeting professional program, which launched in 1985. She is Visit Tri-Cities’ convention sales manager. The qualifications for certification are based on professional experience, education and exam.


Terry Walsh, who has been with the city of Kennewick for more than 28 years and has served in her current role as executive director of employee and community services for the last 10 years, will retire on Dec. 31. As a member of the senior leadership team, she leads the efforts of human resources, parks and recreation and economic development. Walsh has been engaged in many areas of the community, including serving on the Historic Downtown Kennewick Association, leading the Kennewick’s Art Commission, and serving as the city’s executive ambassador for Junior Achievement. Earlier this year, Walsh received the Athena leadership award from the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce in recognition of her professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of leadership skills.

The city will not fill the executive director position after Walsh’s retirement and instead will be realigning several areas of responsibility to include moving economic development to the Community Planning Department.


The Downtown Pasco Development Authority has appointed Gustavo Gutierrez Gomez as its new executive director. Gutierrez Gomez bested a field of nearly 20 candidates, following a national recruitment process. He brings a diverse background in community engagement and economic development, including with the city of Woodburn, Oregon, and volunteer work as a member of the Woodburn School District Board of Directors, and host of a Spanish language radio show, “Charla Informativa” on Radio Poder 98.3. Gutierrez Gomez studied business and marketing at Tecnologico de Colima (Colima Technical Institute); and graduated from Oregon State University, with a bachelor of science in business administration.

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