The Tri-City Association of Realtors has announced the winners of its 2017 annual awards: Realtor of the Year, Gayle Stack, owner of Everstar Realty; Sunrise Award (for contributions to a better tomorrow for the community), Cathryn Tames, executive director of the Children’s Developmental Center; Realtor Community Service Award,
Jed Morris of Windermere Group One Real Estate; Affiliate of the Year, Pat Doherty, manager of Cascade Title; Rookie of the Year, Londa Harpster of Windermere Group One Real Estate.
The association is an 800-plus member regional trade association of real estate professionals in southeastern Washington dedicated to the protection of private property rights.
The Washington state Senate adopted a resolution to honor Kris Watkins, president and CEO of Visit Tri-Cities, who is retiring after 24 years. During her career, Watkins helped start the Washington State Tourism Commission, served on the Washington Tourism Alliance Board of Directors and helped established community projects such as Three Rivers Convention Center and TRAC facility. She also was awarded the 2009 Governor Smart Communities Award.
Association of Washington State Principals named Cascade Elementary Principal Chad Foltz the Lake Wallula Regional Elementary Principal of the Year, which covers 12 school districts in Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla counties. Foltz began teaching at Horse Heaven Hills Middle School in 1995 and also served as assistant principal at Park Middle School. He will be the principal of Amon Creek Elementary when it opens in August 2018.
Interwest Communications Corp. of Kennewick was named among the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America. The list highlights the fastest-growing privately-owned businesses showing the highest revenue growth over a three-year span. The company was ranked No. 1 telecom company in Washington, No. 57 overall in Washington and No. 27 among telecom companies in the U.S.
The recipient of the 2017 Kathryn A. Wheeler Safety Leadership Award is Capt. Rudy Almeida of Mission Support Alliance’s Hanford Patrol Training Academy. Almeida, who joined Hanford Patrol in 1979 as an officer, is now an emergency driving instructor trainer for the Department of Energy, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. Almeida has been an advocate for increasing vehicle safety on the Hanford site. He has designed training courses to promote safe driving habits to help reduce site vehicle accidents. He also promotes safe driving at the annual Safety Expo using a simulator he designed and built. The annual Wheeler award recognizes a member of the MSA work force who demonstrates support of safety through worker engagement and activities that are collaborative, cooperative and proactive.
The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has recognized the performance of Washington’s family law attorney Zachary Ashby among the 2017 10 “Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction.” He is an attorney with Ashby Law, which has an office in the Tri-Cities. The institute is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in each state.
Benton County was recently recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association with a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting for its comprehensive annual financial report. This is the 14th consecutive year the county and the auditor’s office have received the award.
Financial services company Edward Jones, which has offices in the Tri-Cities, has been named among the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine. It also was ranked sixth in the securities and asset management category.
Elouise Sparks of Pasco was named the winner of the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award for her commitment to positive social change. Sparks received the honor in conjunction with Columbia Basin College’s 27th annual Martin Luther King Bell Jr. bell ringing ceremony. The CBC committee and CBC President Rebekah Woods said Sparks established and directs the Tri-Cities Miss Juneteenth Scholarship Pageant, has volunteered to minister to inmates at Coyote Ridge Correctional Center for 15 years and has directed the Tri-City Community Choir at the past 14 Martin Luther, Jr. ceremonies at CBC.
Jamin Clark, Julie Rogers and Sandy Loosvelt have joined Community First Bank as part of its mortgage team. The team, led by Clark, has more than 60 years combined experience. Clark, senior vice president and mortgage department manager, was born and raised in the Tri-Cities. Community First Bank is the only locally-owned bank in the Tri-Cities, offering home mortgage, construction loans, refinancing, conventional, FHA and VA loans, as well as jumbo and investment loans.
Jean Petersen has joined Nilson & Oord PLLC of Richland. Petersen was formerly with H&R Block for 13 years as a tax professional preparing tax returns for individuals and businesses in the Tri-Cities.
Bobby Egeberg has been hired to provide project engineering support at Meier Architecture — Engineering in Kennewick. Egeberg has a bachelor’s in environmental engineering and a master’s in civil and environmental engineering.
Clay Hill has been hired by the Association of Washington Business to join its government affairs team as a tax policy expert. Hill has worked with the House Republican Caucus as a policy analyst from 2013-17 and has a legal work history as criminal defense attorney and a deputy prosecutor.
Jared Haff has been hired as a bond specialist for Basin Pacific Insurance & Benefits in Kennewick. He has been working in insurance since 2005.
Washington State University has named André-Denis Girad Wright as the new dean for its College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences. He currently is the director of the School of Comparative Biomedical Sciences at the University of Arizona. He will begin his role at WSU on June 1.
Angie Furubotten-LaRosee, a certified financial planner, has launched a new firm, Avea Financial Planning LLC. Furubotten-LaRosee has been a CFP for seven years. The firm operates out of Richland’s co-working space, Fuse SPC.
Amanda Jones joined Community First Bank’s Commercial lending team as vice president of commercial lender in January. With more than a decade in banking, her expertise and focus includes working with contractors, real estate investors and high net worth clientele with numerous business interests, as well as engineering, medical and other professional service providers.
Kennewick School District teachers who have earned National Board Certification are: Christopher Becker, Hawthorne Elementary; Shannon Burleyson, Kennewick High School; Luke Clemmens, Kennewick High School; Rama Devagupta, Southridge High School; Amy Francis, Chinook Middle School; Sara Glenn, Kennewick High School; Anne Gowdy, Westgate Elementary; Amanda Haan, Westgate Elementary; Megan Hagihara, Cascade Elementary; Jennifer Hedges, Kennewick High School; Amy Jennings, Vista Elementary; Ngan Le, Highlands Middle School; Matthew Luttrell, Kamiakin High School; Megan McGrath, Kamiakin High School; Chenoa Meagher, Sage Crest Elementary; Lisa Page, Southridge High School; Megan Palmer, Washington Elementary; Erin Patterson, Eastgate Elementary; Elida Rodriguez, Southridge High School; Brandee Veitenheimer, Kamiakin High School; and Judy Walker, Special Services.
Nuclear Care Partners has received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care. Nuclear Care Partners is a medical provider serving former Department of Energy workers who have been diagnosed with work-related illnesses and provides no-cost in-home medical benefits.
ARES Corp. employees donated $7,200 to the Richland Firefighters Community Fund to help the group offset the loss from its annual Christmas tree sales which were affected by increasing tree costs and decreasing tree quality. The Richland company held its 13th annual Charity Auction on Jan. 19 at the Red Lion in Kennewick. Each year, the ARES employees choose a local charity to donate to. This annual event is held in conjunction with the ARES Employee Recognition Banquet. In the 13 years that ARES has been holding the event, it has raised and donated more than $82,000 to local charities.
The Kadlec Auxiliary recently committed $275,000 in support of several programs and services, including: Kadlec Academy; Kadlec Auxiliary Mammogram Assistance Program; Kadlec Neurological Resource Library materials; the Northwest Autism Conference; the Community Health Transmitter newsletter; and suicide prevention programs. In December, the auxiliary pledged $750,000 over five years to the Kadlec Foundation for operations of Kadlec’s Healthy Ages program.
Efforts to educate and inspire Mid-Columbia students about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related fields received a $40,000 boost from Washington River Protection Solutions. Company President Mark Lindholm made the donation to the Washington State STEM Education Foundation at its January board meeting. Much of the money will be used to expand a successful “STEM Like Me!” program. WRPS has contributed $105,000 to the Foundation over the last three years.
The Benton County Historic Preservation Grant Program has awarded grants to seven local organizations to use for historic preservation projects or education programs within Benton County. Recipients are: Benton County Museum, $8,512; Benton-Franklin Council of Governments, $10,000; East Benton County Historical Society, $8,000; Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership, $2,960; REACH museum, $5,473; Wheelhouse Community Bike Shop, $4,800; White Bluffs Quilt Museum (Native American Heritage Month), $2,240; and White Bluffs Quilt Museum (Quilt Index Project), $3,025. The grant program is funded by a $1 document fee used at the discretion of the county commissioners to promote historical preservation or historical programs, including preservation of documents.
A $2,000 grant from the Mid-Columbia Ag Hall of Fame helped New Horizons High School students Eliseo Cardenas and Job Cardenas and FFA advisor Carol Travis attend the National Future Farmers of America Convention & Expo in Indianapolis. It was the first time the school was able to send students to the event, which lasts four days and attracts nearly 60,000 students from across the country.
Mellinda Renteria has been promoted to president for Charter College’s Pasco campus. She has been with the college since 2011, most recently serving as director of enrollment processing. She has a bachelor’s in accounting.
Yakima Federal Savings and Loan has promoted the following employees: Melanie Kimm to senior vice president, Janette Smith to vice president, Adam Coe to assistant vice president, Andrew Bales to assistant vice president, Cristy Swearngin to assistant vice president, Cindy Marcear to assistant vice president and Enero Macias to assistant secretary.
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