Jay Inslee appointed Pasco School District’s Susana Reyes to the
State Board of Education. Reyes is Pasco’s assistant superintendent of
operations and human resources. She has dedicated her more than 20-year career
to serving students and families across all areas of the education system.
Reyes joined Pasco School District in September 2017, and has held previous
educational leadership positions in Mead, Pullman, and Wapato school
districts. She is a member of the
Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club of Pasco and a governor
appointee to the Washington Student Achievement Council. She will serve on the
16-member state board through January 2022.
Jay Inslee appointed Deborah Ruegsegger of Kennewick to the
Affordable Housing Advisory Board in March. The term
runs through 2023.
• At the Mid-Columbia
Meals on Wheels Breakfast Fundraiser on March 5, McCurley Integrity
Subaru presented the nonprofit with a check of more than $27,000 raised
during Subaru of America’s annual Share the Love Event. Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels was selected as McCurley’s
hometown charity. This fundraiser event raised more than $32,000, which will
fully fund more than 4,300 meals.
• A group of Spectrum
employee volunteers supported Charter Communications Inc.’s first
national philanthropic initiative, Spectrum Housing Assist. Spectrum worked
with the American Red Cross to canvas the Lakeview Mobile Home Park
neighborhood in Pasco, offering free smoke alarm installations and homeowner
education March 30.
PUD donated $1,000 toward the purchase of trees for the city of Pasco’s
ceremonial tree planting event in observance of Arbor Day on April 12 and 12
years of being designated as Tree City USA, a program sponsored by the Arbor
Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National
Association of State Foresters. The city planted eight trees, with the Kentucky
coffeetree as the featured tree. Officials also handed out 200 tree saplings to
community members to plant at home.
• Junior Achievement of Washington, Southeastern
Region lassoed the efforts of supporters to raise money for local classroom
programs at its 2019 Western Rodeo Bowl. Organizers
estimate $287,000 was raised at the annual event, which ran Feb. 26 to March 8.
top individual fundraiser was Jamei Perez of Bechtel National Inc. Best
overall costume award went to Danielle Smith of Gesa Credit Union. There were 313 teams from 90 local companies
who bowled to support the organization which provides students with the
knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their
future, and make smart academic and fiscal choices.
Credit Union commercial loan officer Michelle Potts is now serving
the Tri-Cities and surrounding area. She has 17 years of experience in
agricultural and commercial lending and has been with Gesa for four years.
• Terra Blanca Winery and Estate Vineyard of
Benton City has hired Executive Chef Jim Vande Berg, who has seven years
of experience in fine dining at hotels and 13 years in waterfront Italian
restaurants. Vande Berg of Richland and his team have crafted a culinary
program that can accommodate private events, such as weddings, as well as
overseeing the winery’s Vineyard Grill, which offers wood-fired pizzas, salads
• AHBL, which offers civil and structural
engineering, landscape architecture and land surveying services, has three new
employees at its Pasco office:
Mendel, a professional engineer, brings
13 years of experience in civil engineering consulting. He has worked on
projects spanning a broad range of civil engineering disciplines, clients and
geographic areas in Washington.
Sternfeld is a survey crew chief. He earned
a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and comes to the company
having spent the past two years as a survey technician in Kennewick.
Krieg is a survey technician who
graduated from Washington State University in 2016.
• Rosa Torres is the new finance director at Elite Construction & Development in Pasco. As a member of the management team, Torres provides strategic vision and leadership as Elite continues to grow into new sectors of the construction industry. She brings more than 20 years of experience managing finances. Most recently, she worked with Microsoft as a financial controller and senior financial manager. Before that, she served as a senior financial analyst at Starbucks, working on its supply chain.
• Sage Design Group PLLC of Kennewick
will add Zochil Castro toits team in May. She will be leading
the residential division of the landscape architectural “design-only” firm. She
is a recent graduate of the landscape architectural bachelor program at
Washington State University in Pullman.
• Dena Putnam-Gilchrist has joined Trios Health and as the new chief nursing officer and Chad Pew as the chief operating officer.Putnam-Gilchrist joined Trios in February and has more than 29 years of experience as a nurse. Most recently, she worked as an interim CNO and assistant CNO at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon. Pew joined Trios in March. Originally from Nebraska, Pew has worked for 20 years in medical facilities and was most recently interim CEO at a facility in Nebraska. Pew completed his undergraduate degree in biology at Chadron State College in Nebraska, as well as a medical tech degree from Hayes Pathology in Kansas and a master’s in business administration from the University of Nebraska.
Hirai joined the Franklin Conservation District as a classroom-based
educator. She will provide hands-on science lessons to students in kindergarten
through grade six.
Spirits Distillery of Richland won several awards at the 2019 American
Distilling Institute Judging of Craft Spirits. Its Eclipse Vodka won Best of
Class, Best of Category and a gold medal. Silver medals went to its London Dry
Gin in the contemporary gin category and Grappa Brandy in the
grappa/pomace/marc brandy category.
Hicks, Baker Boyer’s consumer loan supervisor, received the Patriot
Award from the Washington Committee for Employer Support of the Guardand
Reserve. Hicks was nominated by David Keeley, a Baker Boyer consumer loan
advisor who serves as a first lieutenant in the Air National Guard, for her
outward recognition and support for his service in the Guard.
• Two Columbia Basin College employees received National Institute of Staff Organizational Development Excellence Awards: Kim Tucker, director for CBC’s nursing program, and Su-Hyun Kim, physics instructor. The awards recognize men and women each year who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment and contribution to their students and colleagues. Recipients will be celebrated during NISOD’s annual International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence on May 25-28, in Austin, Texas.
The Auction of Washington Wines, a nonprofit wine event that has been around
for 32 years, recognized Chris Gorman of Gorman Winery in
Woodinville as its 2019 Honorary Vintner, and Scott Williams of Kiona
Vineyards outside Benton City as its 2019 Honorary Grower. He is a supplier
to some of the most esteemed wineries on the West Coast, including Betz Family
Winery, Long Shadows and Gorman Winery. He owns and farms more than 260
estate-grown acres on the Red Mountain American Viticultural Area and works
with his father and sons to run the operation. The
men were selected because they exemplify leadership in the industry and have
made significant contributions to the Washington wine community. These honorary
positions are peer-nominated and reserved for leaders who invest in and
positively affect the Washington state wine community.
Riesenweber of Cornerstone Wealth Strategies in Kennewick was
recently recognized among the best in the state and in the country, appearing
in Barron’s 2019 Top 1,200 Financial Advisors in America ranking. Barron’s
annual list highlights financial advisors based on data provided by more than
4,000 advisors nationwide.
E. Johnson, a private wealth advisor with Ameriprise Financial with
offices in Kennewick, was named to the “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” list
published by Forbes magazine. The list recognizes financial advisors who have
demonstrated high levels of ethical standards, professionalism and success. He
was chosen based on assets under management, industry experience, regulatory
and compliance record and revenue produced over a three-year period.
• The American Institute of Family Law
Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of Washington’s Family Law
Attorney Katherine Sierra-Kelly of Gravis Law as one of the 10
Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction in 2019.
Mathew Purcell of Purcell Law in Kennewick has been ranked by the American
Institute of Family Law Attorneys as among the 10 best in the state for client
satisfaction for the third year.
Felsot, academic director for math and science in the College of Arts
and Sciences at Washington State University Tri-Cities and professor of
entomology, is the recipient of the Pacific branch of the Entomological Society
of America’s award for excellence in teaching. The award honors educators who
have excelled through innovations in developing new courses, programs and
teaching methods in the field of entomology and the sciences. In his 26 years
at WSU, Felsot has mentored more than 50 master’s and doctoral students. He
also has been instrumental in developing new courses at WSU Tri-Cities, as well
as several for the WSU Global campus. His research at WSU has focused on
environmental toxicology and risk assessment of pesticides. The regional award
was presented during an April 2 awards luncheon in San Diego.
Hastings, a registered investment advisory firm in Kennewick, has been
named one of InvestmentNews’ 2019 Top 50 Best Places to Work for Financial
Advisors in the nation for the second consecutive year. This program is
dedicated to identifying and recognizing advisory firms across the United States
that empower, encourage, and inspire employees to provide their clients with
the best possible investment and financial planning advice. The firm,
established in 1962, was named a Top 50 Employer in March 2018 by
InvestmentNews in the inaugural year of the recognition.
The Central Washington Fair Association board of directors recently recognized
longtime board member and chairman Sid Morrison, who retired from the
board. Morrison spent two terms on the board and has been a lifelong volunteer
at the fair. The board also recognized longtime president/general manager Greg
Stewart for 45 years of service to the association.
• Grant Blake,
based at the Richland Framatome fuel unit, received an Engineer of the
Year award. Framatome honors employees in North America who have achieved
engineering excellence through notable achievements in their profession and the
company’s engineering activities. Winners were nominated by their peers.
• The Tri-City Association of Realtors has
announced the winners of its 2018 annual awards. They include Realtor of the
Year, Mary Harris, Smart Realtors; Rookie of the Year, Shana Brown,
Keller Williams Tri-Cities; Citizen of the Year, Larry Haler, former
legislator; Larry E. Miller Award for
Excellence in Real Estate, Louise Olsen, Smart Realtors; Affiliate of
the Year, Jonas Rosenberg, Summit Lending; Realtor Community Service
Award, Mike Alvarez, Vision Mortgage; and Sunrise Award, Jerry Rhoads,
• Columbia Basin College celebrated its 10th year as a
designated a Tree Campus USA by planting 12 trees on campus April 10 as part of
Arbor Day. New this year, the campus community planted a noble fir tree in
honor of the accomplishments and campus work of the late Karen Grant, a
CBC professor emerita who helped build the Pasco college’s chemistry program.
Grant died in November.
Fines paid for water quality violations in Washington in the last few years
will pay for $331,000 in projects designed to restore local ecosystems. Mid-Columbia
Fisheries Enhancement Group in Benton County received $22,585 to increase
the cool water influence of a disconnected oxbow on the lower Yakima River,
north of Benton City. The state Department of Ecology awarded up to $45,000 for
12 projects that will improve water quality through environmental enhancements
via its Terry Husseman Account. Husseman was a longtime Ecology deputy director
who died in 1998. This year, Ecology considered 32 grant requests. The grants
support work starting in May.
• Columbia Basin College was one of 48 colleges and
universities receive a grant from Truth Initiative to adopt a 100 percent
tobacco or smoke-free campus policy. The Pasco college received $19,980. The
effort is part of a national movement among students, faculty and
administrators to address smoking and tobacco use at college campuses
throughout the U.S. Over the next 16 months, CBC will form a campus task force
to assess tobacco use behaviors and attitudes, identify a treatment plan for
smokers and develop a smoke- or tobacco-free policy. Two student leaders will
develop and lead educational efforts to build a movement to become a
• The Tri-City Association of Realtors’ 2019 Board of
Directors include President Dave Shinabarger, Smart Realtor, and the
board of directors: John Keltch, Windermere Group One; Cindy House,
Keller Williams Tri-Cities; Cari McGee, Keller Williams Tri-Cities; Jeff
Smart, Smart Realtors; Ron Almberg, Keller Williams Tri-Cities; Barry
Long, Everstar Realty; Jerritt Wiser, Coldwell Banker Tomlinson; John
Mower, Retter & Co., Sotheby’s International Realty; Nate Biehl,
ReMax Northwest Realtors; Chad Markel,
Markel Properties; Gayle Stack, Everstar Realty; and Melissa
Montgomery, Re/Max Northwest Realtors.
• Members of the Central Washington Fair Association recently elected a slate of officers and re-elected three members to its board of directors.New officers are: Local insurance professional Dave Hargreaves, chairman; Tom Stokes, a community volunteer and recently retired as CEO/president of Tree Top Inc., vice chairman; Lower Valley dairy owner
LaVonne Boogerd, secretary; and Sunnyside hop rancher Halley Newhouse, treasurer. Stokes, Ignacio Marquez and Don Whitehouse were re-elected to the board for another term. The Central Washington Fair Association and its board of directors operate the Central Washington State Fair and State Fair Park under a long-term lease with Yakima County.
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