Networking – October 2021


  • Carbitex, the Kennewick manufacturer of flexible carbon fiber composites, recently announced the retirement of its CEO Ron Boninger. Carbitex appointed footwear industry veteran Rob Langstaff as CEO. With over three decades of experience in the performance footwear industry, Langstaff began his career working for more than sixteen years at Adidas, including executive roles at Adidas Japan, where he grew the brand’s market share. In early 2006, Langstaff returned to the U.S. to assume the role of president Adidas North America. He returned to international business in late 2013 to work as senior vice president of Asia-Pacific/Latin America for Brooks Running and, most recently, worked as vice president of International Business at Keen Footwear for four years.

Awards & Honors

  • The Tri-Cities Regional Chamber of Commerce presented awards during the 2021 annual meeting and awards luncheon on Sept. 22: Christensen Inc., Business on a Roll Award for a business with 51+ employees showing revenue/employee/client growth; Carbitex, Business on a Roll Award for a business with 11-50 employees showing revenue/employee/client growth; Roof Maxx of Tri-Cities, Business on a Roll Award for a business with 1-10 employees showing revenue/employee/client growth; Greater Columbia Accountable Community of Health, Community Impact Award; Tri-Cities Food Bank, Most Valuable Covid-19 Nonprofit Response Award; City of Kennewick Parks & Recreation Department, Most Valuable Covid-19 Government Response Award; RDO Equipment Co., Most Valuable Covid-19 Company Response; Jim Arneson of Community First Bank & HFG Trust, S.T.A.R. (Service, time, attitude and reliability) Award; and Washington River Protection Solutions, Corporate Impact Award.
  • Erik Nelson, managing broker with Kiemle Hagood, was recently awarded the Commercial Realtor of the Year Award by the Washington Association of Realtors. He began his commercial real estate career in 2006 when he joined Kiemle Hagood. As a licensed Realtor in Washington and Idaho, Nelson specializes in sales, leasing and landlord tenant representation.
  • Visit Tri-Cities has been recognized as a “Trailblazer,” or a high performing destination, according to an assessment conducted by an industry-leading consulting firm specializing in travel and tourism. Visit Tri-Cities contracted MMGY NextFactor to lead the organization’s development of a three-year strategic plan. The process included an assessment of the Tri-Cities using DestinationNEXT, a tool which uses data-driven methodology to create a shared vision and practical strategies for ongoing success as premier destination. The assessment categorizes destinations (Trailblazers, Mountaineers, Voyagers and Explorers) based on the success factors of destination strength and community alignment, with “Trailblazers” being the sought-after category.

Visit Tri-Cities also was honored with a Best Idea Program Outstanding Achievement Award by the Destination Marketing Association of the West during the 2021 DMA West Education Summit held in Vancouver, Washington. The annual Best Idea Program showcases innovative projects and creative marketing strategies. It was recognized for its pandemic response campaign, which developed, created and deployed 38 high-quality public service announcements to amplify messaging from local leadership, the Benton-Franklin Health District, as well as created unique messaging to mitigate the adverse economic and public health impacts of Covid-19.

  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency have designated Eastern Washington University as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. EWU said it is the only four-year institution on the east side of the state of Washington to earn this classification. It means EWU will be a validated cyber defense program of study through 2026.


  • The Society for Cultural Reform of Eastern Washington has elected Phil Ohl to its board of directors. He is a longtime resident and philanthropist of Richland. Since retiring from full-time work in 2016, he has focused his energy on local nonprofit boards, working with growers and ranchers, primarily in the hop, tree fruit and cattle/beef industries. Throughout his career, he’s worked with manufacturers, wholesalers, contractors and outdoor recreation companies.


  • Kristyna De Veaux was recently promoted to vice president, Eastern Washington commercial lending relationship manager at HomeStreet Bank. With 10 years of experience, she’s worked with manufacturers, wholesalers, contractors, construction, logistics and distribution companies, professional practices and commercial real estate. She was born and raised in Yakima and earned a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Central Washington University.
  • KIE Supply Corporation recently announced the promotion of Cory Scott to plumbing manager. He joined KIE in 2000 as a counter salesman in the plumbing department before moving to the role of commercial quotations specialist, and then to his most recent role in outside sales. As plumbing manager, he will lead the Kennewick-based plumbing department in residential, commercial, and showroom sales.
  • Gesa Credit Union promoted of Kim Pierret to vice president of accounting and finance. She brings more than 20 years of experience in accounting, finance and audits to her new role, five of which she has spent at Gesa. In her new role, Pierret will oversee Gesa’s accounting, finance, enterprise risk management, vendor management, insurance and business continuity planning. After earning her bachelor of science in accounting from the University of Idaho, Pierret began her career at PwC in Spokane as a business assurance associate. Since then, she has worked for CliftonLarsonAllen, Battelle and as of 2015, Gesa Credit Union.
  • Gesa Credit Union promoted Andrew Chung to vice president of information technology. He brings more than 20 years of experience to his new role, 12 of which he has spent at Gesa. In his new role, he will oversee the team members, performance and production of all IT groups, which include security, data center and infrastructure, products and development, core operations and end user support. Chung, who was raised in Santa Clara, California, received his bachelor of science in management information systems from San Jose State University and his master of science in management information systems from Florida State University. After spending five years at Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union, Chung joined Gesa.

New Hires

  • Anthony Muai has been hired as the community planning director for the city of Kennewick. Muai has worked for the city of Kennewick since April 2007, most recently as the planning manager and interim community planning director. He graduated from the University of Washington-Tacoma with a degree in urban studies and a certificate in Geographic Information Systems. He also holds certification with the American Institute of Certified Planners.
  • Prosser Memorial Health has hired board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nicola Nylander to lead its new Dermatology Center in Benton City. Nylander received her bachelor’s of science in biology from Baylor University and her doctor of medicine degree from John Hopkins University. She also boasts residencies and a title of chief resident from the University of Washington. She has professional affiliations with the American Academy of Dermatology, Washington State Medical Association and the American Medical Association. Some of her services include general dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, treatment of skin cancers, Botox and injectables, laser hair removal and more.
  • HomeStreet Bank has hired Greg Loudon as vice president, commercial banking team lead in Eastern Washington. Loudon has worked in banking and finance for over 20 years. His most recent experience was working with growers and ranchers, primarily in the hop, tree fruit and cattle/beef industries. Throughout his career, he’s worked with manufacturers, wholesalers, contractors and outdoor recreation companies.
  • Jeff Thompson has been hired as vice president of business development for Keller Williams Tri-Cities, along with Keller Williams Walla Walla and Keller Williams Columbia Basin. He comes to Keller Williams from Columbia Industries where he was chief operations officer. The Tri-City native had a 20+ year career with CI, where he has held multiple management and executive leadership roles, including leading the startup and purchases of several companies at CI, including Shop CI, CI Shred, and CI Information Management. He also led the acquisition of Paradise Water, Round Table Pizza and turned around the operations CI Express, a FedEx company in Lewiston, Idaho. He is a member of the Columbia Center Rotary, Leadership Tri-Cities Class of XI and volunteers at his church. He also has held several board positions in various local charities, most recently in youth sports where he coached and was president for the Kamiakin Jr. Braves Youth Football and Cheer.
  • Gesa Community Credit Union has hired Cheryl Adamson as vice president, general counsel. She brings more than
    30 years of successful experience working in private practice with an emphasis on commercial litigation, business representation and insurance matters, including coverage opinions and litigation. In her new role, Adamson will provide legal counsel, support, and guidance on a multitude of issues throughout the credit union. The Kennewick native earned a bachelor of business administration from Gonzaga University and a juris doctor degree from the University of Washington School of Law. Prior to joining Gesa, Adamson practiced at Rettig Forgette Iller Adamson LLP in the Tri-Cities and Bohrnsen Stocker Smith Luciani Adamson PLLC in Spokane.
  • Prosser Memorial Health has hired pediatrician Dr. Brian Proctor to the team of providers at the Grandview Clinic. Proctor received his bachelor of science in physical education, majoring in sport science with a minor in biology, from the University of Idaho. He went on to study at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, graduating from the College of Osteopathic Medicine. He recently completed a residency at the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Department of Child Health.
  • Lourdes Health has hired Dr. Janak Patel as a family medicine provider at Lourdes Family Medicine in Pasco. He joined the team in September and began seeing patients on Oct. 4. He recently completed his family medicine residency with West River Health Services in Hettinger, North Dakota. Patel attended medical school at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences in St. Kitts, West Indies, and then went on to complete a one-year internship with Sanford Hospital and CHI St. Alexius in Bismarck, North Dakota. Following his internship, Patel completed his three-year residency. Patel is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, is board certified in family medicine, and has certifications in advanced cardiovascular life support, advanced trauma life support and pediatric advanced life support.
  • Petersen Hastings hired Joshua Eslinger as a portfolio analyst for the firm, which has offices in Kennewick and Walla Walla. In this role, he is responsible for working with the Petersen Hastings team to perform a wide range of investment related services for new and existing clients. These duties include executing equity and fixed income security transactions, reviewing and maintaining client account asset allocation targets, preparing financial reports, and providing general support and research of portfolio and investment strategies. While attending Kamiakin High School, he enlisted in the military. Following his graduation in 2003, he continued to serve in the Army until 2007 when he was awarded an ROTC scholarship. In 2011, he graduated from Gonzaga University where he received his bachelor of business administration in finance. He then rejoined the military to serve as an Army officer for four more years before returning to the Tri-Cities.
  • SVN Retter and Company has hired Brenda Garibray as a commercial real estate broker. She provides strategic marketing and transaction management for her clients and their real estate needs. She has more than 14 years of experience in both commercial and residential financing and property management.
  • Gloria Olsson, ARNP, has joined the team at Miramar Health Center in Kennewick. She received her post-baccalaureate doctor of nursing practice – family nurse practitioner from Gonzaga University, Spokane, and her bachelor of science in nursing from University of Nevada, Reno.
  • Peter Korfiatis has been named general manager of Bluewood ski resort outside of Dayton. Korfiatis fills the position previously held by Kim Clark, Bluewood’s general manager for seven years, who died of an apparent heart attack on Aug. 31 while on the mountain. Korfiatis most recently worked as senior director of guest experience at Mammoth Mountain. Born and raised in Wenatchee, Korfiatis grew up skiing at Mission Ridge and was on its race team. He remembers skiing at Bluewood for the first time when he was about 10.


  • Trios Health offered $10 sports physicals at its Urgent Care to local middle and high school students throughout the summer, with all proceeds donated back to students’ respective schools. Typically, Trios Health sees about 300 students during its annual one-day sports physical clinic. This year, Urgent Care conducted 738 sports physicals so will donate $7,380 to the schools. Students from 33 area schools participated in the sports physical offering.


  • Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed Kennewick police Chief Ken Hohenberg to the Criminal Justice Training Commission, and Ofelia Bredt to the Columbia Basin College Board of Trustees.


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