Networking – June 2022

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Spectrum donated $10,000 to Richland’s DrewBoy Creative through the 2021-22 Stand For The Arts Awards, a partnership with Ovation TV that recognizes local arts, cultural and educational organizations and programs. Since the initiative started in 2017, Ovation TV and Spectrum have given out 50 awards totaling $500,000 toward art education. DrewBoy Creative will use the grant to support the general operational health of the organization, as well as an art installation at the Union Gospel Mission.


Leslie Streeter joined Washington State University Tri-Cities as director of marketing and communication on May 9. She will oversee the campus’ advertising, marketing, public relations, social media and website with a focus on growing enrollment. Streeter comes to WSU Tri-Cities with a background in consumer and nonprofit marketing strategy and brand management. Streeter is a WSU alumna with bachelor’s degrees in communication and business administration/marketing. She is also a graduate of Leadership Tri-Cities Class XVIII, and serves as the organization’s board secretary. Streeter is a Tri-City native and lives in Richland.

  • Cindy Lovato-Farmer, a specialist in employment law with two decades of experience in legal and leadership positions at national laboratories, has been named general counsel at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland. She joins the U.S. Department of Energy laboratory after serving as senior managing general law and litigation counsel at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Prior to her time at Sandia, Lovato-Farmer led the Employment Law and Litigation Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, also in New Mexico. Lovato-Farmer earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, and a juris doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law in Albuquerque.
  • SVN | Retter & Company has hired Ashley Moala as a commercial real estate broker. She was raised in rural Eastern Oregon and is an Oregon State University graduate. She transitioned to real estate in 2018 after honing her skills in contracts, case management and client advocacy as a litigation and estate planning paralegal.
  • Miramar Health Center in Pasco hired dietitian Karli Page. She earned her bachelor’s in dietetics from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
  • Focal Point Marketing, a marketing and advertising agency specializing in creative solutions, hired Abreena Sheppick as a social media specialist. Sheppick researches, plans, writes, publishes and manages social platforms for Focal Point’s social media accounts.

Sheppick earned a bachelor’s in business applied management from Columbia Basin College. Her talents also extend beyond social platforms to behind the lens, where she’s established herself as an award-winning photographer.


  • The Washington Public Ports Association has announced Rep. Matt Boehnke, R-Kennewick, as the winner of the 2022 Cross Award. Each year, the association recognizes legislators who provide “extraordinary leadership and unparalleled vision” in its efforts to advance the importance and future of public ports for the residents they serve. At the request of the Washington Trucking Association and other partners, Boehnke launched the Legislative Supply Chain Caucus this year which resulted in funding dedicated to improving the truck driver shortage, as well as educating other legislators on how vital effective supply chains are to the economy. In 2021, he championed passage of legislation that established a goal to double manufacturing jobs in Washington over 10 years and advance funding to accelerate regional economic clusters. Boehnke is a ranking minority member on the House Community & Economic Development Committee and sits on both the House Appropriations Committee and House Environment & Energy Committee. He represents Washington’s 8th legislative district, including the ports of Kennewick and Benton.
  • Leslie Kjarmo, a registered nurse and critical care nurse in the Lourdes Health Intensive Care Unit, earned The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses at Lourdes. Kjarmo was nominated by a patient’s family member who was impressed with the meaningful care she provided for the patient’s mother. Kjarmo has been part of Lourdes Health for more than 30 years. The award is an international program started in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, whose family experienced first-hand the difference his nurses made in his care through clinical excellence and compassionate care. The family created the award to express gratitude to nurses and to enable other patients, families and staff to thank and honor their special nurses.
  • The city of Richland’s Duportail Bridge project received statewide accolades. The project earned the “Best in State – Silver Award – for its Complexity” from the American Council of Engineering Companies, Washington State Chapter. The Washington State Chapter of the American Public Works Association named the bridge as its “Transportation Project of the Year” in the $25 million to $75 million category. These honors complement the city’s recent “Complete Streets Award” recognizing the transportation design improvements made throughout the city’s main arterials.
  • Nine awards were presented to businesses and individuals during the Regional Chamber’s Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon on May 25 at the Three Rivers Convention Center. The premier sponsor of the event was Numerica Credit Union.

The awards were distributed as follows:

Chamber S.T.A.R. Award: Chris Rivard, Christopher E. Rivard P.S. The award is presented to a volunteer who goes above and beyond for the chamber. The acronym stands for service, time, attitude, reliability.

Community Impact Awards: Columbia Basin College and Washington State University Tri-Cities. The awards are presented to nonprofits that provided the chamber with the most financial support over the previous year.

Corporate Impact Awards: Battelle and Washington River Protection Solutions. These awards are presented to the for-profit organizations that provided the chamber with the most financial support over the previous year.

Business on a Roll Award, 1-10 Employees: Express Employment Professionals.

Business on a Roll Award, 11-50 Employees: Sculpt Wellness.

Business on a Roll Award, 51+ Employees: North Wind Solutions.

The Business on a Roll awards recognize regional chamber members that achieved significant success over the previous year. Criteria includes revenue, sales, employee growth award and community involvement.

Most Valuable Covid-19 Response Award: Benton-Franklin Health District. The award celebrates an organization that stood out during the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Three local Tri City-area Banner Bank employees have been selected to receive Banner’s Best award, which represents the highest level of recognition within the company. The following employees received the award for surpassing their individual professional goals last year, as well as providing exceptional customer service to the bank’s clients and their fellow colleagues: Ruben Garcia, mortgage loan officer; Shaun Gordon, senior vice president, senior commercial relationship manager; and Winifer Schimp, mortgage disclosure specialist.
  • Tracy Gowan, a registered nurse, has been recognized as the Lourdes Health’s 2022 Mercy Award winner. The award recognizes one employee from each of LifePoint Health’s facilities who profoundly touches the lives of others and best represents the spirit and values on which the company was founded. Lourdes noted that Gowan is a genuine, compassionate individual with a big heart and a gentle soul. He inspires others by his positive attitude and the love he has for his job and patients. He often works late, covers others’ shifts as needed, demonstrates professionalism, respect and compassion to all individuals. He is also committed to serving the people and organizations of his community. He has served as a volunteer at Kennewick Nazarene Church for many years.

The award is an annual recognition program established in 2002 to honor the life and contributions of Scott Mercy, LifePoint’s founding chairman and chief executive officer. The award is considered the highest honor a LifePoint employee can receive. Gowan will be considered for LifePoint’s companywide Mercy Award in August.

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Melanie Johnston has been named one of the Top Women in Communications, crisis navigator category, by Ragan Communications. Throughout the turmoil and uncertainty related to Covid-19, Johnston, a senior communications professional served as voice of PNNL’s Covid response team.

Ragan is a global leader in delivering communications news, training, and intelligence for over 50 years. Its annual awards celebrate communications professionals who are making an impact in their daily jobs and career, advancing their profession and positively affecting their organization.

  • The Association of Washington Cities (AWC) recently announced that the city of Pasco was awarded a Municipal Excellence Award. Pasco is one of five cities honored for putting creative ideas to use for its community. Chosen from 22 applications, Pasco was honored for increasing housing access and opportunities. This project is the city’s effort to address the growing housing crisis by using a variety of local, regional, and state resources and guidance to identify practical housing policy solutions. This year’s award marks the third for the city in four years, including the Pasco police and fire departments’ “Hotspotters” program in 2019 and the city’s effort to recognize historic African American properties and history in east Pasco in 2020.
  • The United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties recognized Bechtel National Inc., Amentum and Bechtel Principal Vice President Rick Holmes for their commitment and positive impact on the Tri-Cities community during its Breakfast of Champions event on May 26.

Rick Holmes was named Volunteer of the Year for 2021. This award recognizes the “dedication and engagement of an individual for extraordinary support” of United Way’s mission. Holmes was the board chair during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020-21. He serves as past board chair in 2022. Holmes received the honor for making a difference in the community and providing mentorship and strategic advice during the pandemic. Holmes is general manager of the Waste Treatment Completion Co., a limited liability company owned by Bechtel and Amentum performing work at the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant at the Hanford site.

Bechtel National Inc. received the 2021 Live United Award for its outstanding leadership through a high level of employee participation in special events, employee campaign, corporate gift or sponsorship and volunteer engagement.

Amentum received the 2021 Corporate Leadership Award for its “extraordinary focus on community service and corporate social responsibility.” The team has a high level of involvement by employees in the annual United Way campaign at the Hanford vit plant.

  • Michelle Clary, founder/CEO with Piton Wealth of the Thrivent Advisor Network in Kennewick, has received the 2021 Voice in Philanthropy Award from Thrivent Charitable Impact & Investing in Minneapolis. She is one of 89 financial advisors nationwide to be recognized. Clary is being honored for her exemplary service in helping clients put their values and charitable goals into action. Selection for the award is based on total outright and deferred charitable gifts made by Clary’s clients through Thrivent Charitable in 2021. Additionally, she is a member of Thrivent Charitable’s VIP-Hall of Honor, which is awarded when their clients’ cumulative charitable gifts to Thrivent Charitable exceed $5 million. Her lifetime designated gifts now total nearly $28 million. All these gifts will benefit a variety of local, national and global charities according to her clients’ wishes.
  • The Pasco-Kennewick Rotary Club recently presented the John Goldsberry Award in honor of longtime Rotarian, community benefactor and Tri-Citian of the Year, John Goldsberry. The award recognizes outstanding members of the Kennewick and Pasco police departments. It is not an officer of the year award. Recipients are honored for a body of work demonstrating commitment to the highest standards of modern policing and to the Rotary ideas of “service above self.” Police chiefs for each jurisdiction approve the nomination.

Sgt. Travis Park of the Pasco Field Operations Division received the award representing the Pasco Police Department. On several occasions Park used his personal funds to assist needy community members. He always looks for solutions to help, according to Rotary.

Detective Elizabeth (Liz) Grant represents the Kennewick Police Department this year. She sets aside her investigations when appropriate to help fellow officers. Grant’s empathy when interviewing victims is role model for all. She treats everyone with respect regardless of the situation. Service above self is her daily standard, according to Rotary.

Each recipient receives a plaque and $500. Additionally, each recipient directs $500 toward the charity of choice. A permanent plaque carrying the names of annual recipients is displayed at each police headquarters.

Joe Lusignan, retired Benton County Sheriff Deputy and Pasco-Kennewick Rotary president elect, presented the awards.

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