Networking – July 2021


  • Gov. Jay Inslee appointed Jacqueline Stam to the Benton & Franklin Counties Superior Court. She will replace Judge Carrie L. Runge, who is retiring July 30. Stam currently serves as a Benton & Franklin Counties Superior Court commissioner, a position she has held since 2011. In that role, she presides over family law, probate, guardianship and juvenile dockets. Before joining the bench, Stam was a senior partner at Cowan Moore Stam Luke & Peterson LLC, a Richland law firm, where she practiced family law and conducted mediations from 1993 through 2011. In the community, Stam volunteers with the local YMCA Mock Trial Competition as a lead judicial officer and attorney. She is also involved in the local Adoption Day and Law Day committees and previously served as a member of the Benton County Parks Board. Stam earned her bachelor’s degree at Northern Arizona University. She earned her law degree at Gonzaga University.
    Gabriela Valencia of Kennewick, a Tri-Cities business owner, was recently appointed to the board of directors of Yakima Federal Savings and Loan Association. Valencia is the founder of ValTran Professional Translation Services, which was established in 2006. Prior to launching her own company she worked at Columbia Industries and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories. She received a bachelor’s in business administration from Gonzaga University.
  • The Othello School District Board of Directors appointed Pete Perez as superintendent of the district. The board unanimously approved a three-year contract in a June 30 special board meeting. The contract replaces the interim superintendent agreement that had previously been approved by the board for the 2021-22 school year.


  • LifeCenter Northwest presented a collaboration achievement award to Kadlec Regional Medical Center and Trios Health Southridge Hospital in Kennewick in recognition of their superior organ donation performance in 2020, recognizing their ability to plan a collaborative family conversation to ensure the best possible experience for the organ donor’s family. This award is reserved for hospitals reaching or exceeding a collaborative request rate of 90%.
  • Crystal Sullivan, a medical assistant at the Trios Spine & Interventional Clinic, has been recognized as the hospital’s 2021 Mercy Award winner for ensuring every person she encounters receives the highest level of care and compassion. The Mercy Award recognizes one employee from each of LifePoint Health’s hospitals who profoundly touches the lives of others and best represents the spirit and values on which the company was founded. Sullivan and her family started a nonprofit, Grateful Soles, to be able to give socks and shoes to children who need them through local schools. They have for several years, out of their own pockets, bought coats, clothes, food and Christmas presents for families in need. Each hospital winner will be considered for LifePoint’s 2021 companywide Mercy Award. The companywide winner will be announced this summer and honored during a ceremony in August in Nashville.
  • Two Richland School District employees have received Educational Service District 123 awards. Linda Johnson, lead ECAP teacher at the Early Learning Center, is the ESD 123 Teacher of the Year. She was nominated because of her way of engaging and inspiring her youngest learners and supporting her fellow staff. Holly Hernandez, kitchen manager at Chief Joseph Middle School, has been named regional classified school employee of the year. She was nominated by district leaders due to her exceptional work ensuring children had access to meals. Regional ESD winners go on to compete for state awards.
  • Pasco-Kennewick Rotary awarded $1,000 to the Columbia Basin Veterans Center for exemplifying high ethical standards. The nonprofit administers the Veterans Relief Funds that enables local counties to give assistance to veterans in financial need. CBVC also administers two homes which help veterans transition from homelessness to stable living conditions.
  • Pasco-Kennewick Rotary Charitable Trust awarded five $3,000 scholarships to students from Kamiakin, Kennewick, Pasco and River View high schools. The scholarships recognize students who show outstanding service above self, achievement in leadership, community service, scholarship and financial need. Winners are Kamiakin’s Olivia Mancinelli; Kennewick’s Wendy Yuliaana Sanchez-Garcia; Pasco High School/Delta’s Kathy Do; Pasco’s Emilia Quintero; and River View’s Alejandra Gomez, who also received the Spirit of Rotary/Dr. Somach Award.
  • Two students from Hanford High School have been recognized in the 2021 Congressional Art Competition. Alexander Marquez, a junior at Hanford, created the winning entry. Yarixa Perez, also a junior, earned second place.


  • The city of Pasco has hired Mike Gonzalez as the new economic development manager in the Community & Economic Development Department. He started June 14. His role includes business development, retention and attraction, including the promotion of city-sponsored projects and initiatives. He comes to the city from Franklin PUD where he was responsible for understanding Franklin PUD’s policy positions, advocating with government officials, customers and critical stakeholders. Gonzalez spent nearly 20 years in the news business. He holds a bachelor’s in communications from North Carolina State University and is a licensed real estate agent. He serves on several boards, including the Tri-Cities Legislative Council, Pasco Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Pasco Development Association and Columbia Basin Veterans Center.
  • Jeremy Santo has joined J. Bookwalter as head winemaker for the 50,000-case, Richland-based winery. Prior to joining J. Bookwalter, Santo was head winemaker for Mercer Estates Winery from 2017-21. Santo got his start in Washington’s wine industry in 2003 as a lab technician at Snoqualmie Winery. In 2006, he joined Canoe Ridge Estate Winery as an enologist and eventually was promoted to assistant winemaker. He left Canoe Ridge in 2012 for Wahluke Wine Company, where he became head winemaker for Ryan Patrick Winery. He is a native of Eastern Washington and attended Washington State University. He lives in west Pasco with his wife Michelle and their two children
  • Amanda Schoch has been named chief communications officer at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She joins PNNL from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, where she was the chief communications officer and the assistant director of national intelligence for strategic communications.
  • Alyssa Neil, a certified physician assistant, has accepted a position with Lourdes Health Family Medicine. Neil previously practiced at Lourdes Cardiology and will now see patients at Lourdes West Pasco. She earned her master of physician assistant studies from Kettering College in Ohio in 2019 and her bachelor of science in biology at Walla Walla University in 2016. She has completed several clinical rotations, including in general surgery, emergency medicine, psychiatry, OB/GYN, pediatrics, internal medicine, and family practice. She is board certified and has certifications in Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support from the American Heart Association.
  • New U Women’s Clinic and Aesthetics in Kennewick has hired Andrea Stevens as a women’s health provider for gynecological and genetics care. She has experience in contraception care, comprehensive gynecologic care, preconception planning, gynecologic cancer risk assessment and preventive women’s wellness care. She has been a preceptor for students from the University of Washington Medex program the last two years. Prior to this, she was a labor and delivery traveling nurse since 2001 at several dozen hospitals throughout the country. Stevens has contributed to a national position statement for Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health on pre-pregnancy carrier screening and serves on the Educational Advisory Board for comprehensive genetics with NPWH. She also is a consultant for Myriad Genetics
  • SVN Retter and Company in Kennewick has hired Scott Howell as a senior advisor, specializing in commercial sales and leasing. He graduated from the University of Washington in 2004. He spent two years as the government account manager for the Central Washington region at Verizon for two years, before spending 14 years in commercial lending. Four years ago, he made the transition from lending to commercial sales and leasing.
  • Wenaha Group, a construction management consultant with five offices throughout Washington, Oregon and Arizona, has hired Anthony Bonifer and Shandiin Yessilth as project managers; Nathan Ware as assistant manager of logistics and business operations; Kailee Simmons as assistant manager of client relations and logistics; and Katy Byers as marketing coordinator.
  • Kandice Schultz, a registered nurse and board-certified family nurse practitioner, has been hired to practice at Lourdes Family Medicine. She comes to Lourdes from Pacific Northwest Laboratories, where she had been employed in an occupational health and urgent care setting for staff. She has a wide range of experience as a family nurse practitioner, including urgent care, primary care and occupational health settings. Schultz earned her bachelor’s of science in nursing in 2006 and master of nursing in 2008 from Washington State University Intercollegiate College of Nursing.
  • Academy of Children’s Theatre has hired new staff. Adrienne Fletcher has been hired as the music director and office specialist. She has master’s degrees in orchestral conducting and vocal performance/pedagogy from Central Washington University and an undergrad degree in harp performance from Pacific Lutheran University. Brandon Harbo joins as marketing coordinator. He is an ACT alumni and recent Washington State University business/marketing graduate. Lisa Howell joins as productions manager, a new position. She will coordinate and execute MainStage productions at ACT.
  • Richland-based Gesa Credit Union donated $100,000 in student and education scholarships across Washington state. Local winners are Tewachech (Te) Feser of Delta High School and Chanda Baie of Chiawana High School, both of Pasco. Feser won $11,000 in scholarships. After being diagnosed with polio at age 2, Feser entered the foster system at age 8 and went on to excel as a Gesa student teller and intern in high school, all while maintaining a 3.9 grade-point average. Baie received $1,000 in the student loan repayment category. She is a teacher and advisor for Gesa’s High School Credit Union Campus Branch at Chiawana High School and has led its program to consistently be a top performing campus branch. Baie received $1,000 in the student loan repayment category.
  • The Bechtel Group Foundation donated $20,000 to the Junior Achievement of Washington, Southeastern Washington Chapter. This enables Junior Achievement to deliver its free, virtual programs to educators and students to help sustain learning during the pandemic.


  • Adele Connors has retired as director of development at Academy of Children’s Theatre in Richland.


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