April Castañeda, a senior
executive with 20 years of experience leading human resources programs at
Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has been named director of human
resources at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Castañeda joins the
Department of Energy laboratory after serving as assistant vice president for
equity and equity investigations at Caltech in Pasadena, California. In this
role, she was responsible for Caltech’s policies and practices related to
discrimination and harassment, including overseeing the response, investigation
and resolution of allegations, and developing and leading institute-wide
education programs and activities in those areas. Castañeda previously served
as assistant director of human resources with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
which Caltech manages for NASA, and as the executive director for human
resources at Caltech. In those roles, she was responsible for HR strategy and
communications, and for recruiting, employee relations, learning and
development, workers compensation and data management functions. At PNNL,
Castañeda will lead a team of 70 professionals and direct the laboratory’s
compensation and benefits, talent acquisition and university recruiting,
diversity, leadership and staff development, labor relations and other key HR
• Joseph Williams joined
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as director of its Seattle office.
The office is home to more than 130 researchers and support staff spanning
PNNL’s national security and energy and environment missions. A former
executive with Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, Williams also served as dean of
the School of Business, Government and Economics at Seattle Pacific University
before being appointed to the industry sector lead team at the state Department
O’Connor is the new Procurement Technical Assistance Center
counselor in Kennewick, and her office is located within the Tri-City Regional
Chamber of Commerce. Her service region includes seven Washington counties,
including Benton, Franklin, Klickitat, Yakima, Grant, Walla Walla and Columbia.
She joined the PTAC team in April.
• Paul Klein has
joined United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties as the community
impact manager. He is responsible for managing the funding process for local
nonprofit partners who help the growing number of people in need across the
community. Klein comes from a nonprofit background and also has served in the
Peace Corps. He has a master’s degree in public administration from the
University of Washington.
Meyer has been named as the new regional director for Junior Achievement
in the Southeastern Washington region. Meyer formerly served as statewide
programs director for Junior Achievement of Washington. As regional director,
she will manage development efforts and program implementation designed to
bring work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy programs,
currently reaching 11,465 students in Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla
counties. Meyer begins her new tenure in the organization with goals to
increase student access to Junior Achievement programs, and grow the
community’s involvement in the organization’s fall event, the Hearts are Wild
• Yvette Raymond
is Desert Wind Winery’s new chef de cuisine. Raymond is responsible for
creating new signature menu items and food pairings at the Prosser winery.
Raymond will offer customized menus for special events and initiate a private
dining program to offer overnight guests. Raymond brings with her a passion for
cooking as well as decades of experience in the culinary field. She has
previously held positions in all levels of the food and beverage industry from
server to head chef, owning two restaurants and offering large scale
• Dorothy Hunter has joined EverStar Realty as a Realtor. A Tri-City resident since 1999, she has won multiple customer service awards for her business, Paw’s Natural Pet Emporium.
• Debbie Bone-Harris, Franklin PUD’s senior public affairs manager, will be retiring at the end of November. Bone-Harris began her career at Franklin PUD in 2003 and has held various roles throughout the utility with responsibility for community events, communications, legislative affairs and public involvement. She spent hours educating customers and the public about the value of the federal Columbia and Snake river dam system, working with state and federal legislators in Olympia and Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Franklin PUD, she spent 20 years working at Hanford in various positions. She holds a number of leadership roles including sitting on the Pasco Chamber of Commerce, Visit Tri-Cities and Tri-Cities Legislative Council Board of Directors, as well as previously sitting on the Board of Directors for Tri-City Development Council. In the electric industry she serves on boards for the Washington Public Utility District Association, Northwest Public Power Association and the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association. She also was well-known for serving as chair of the Small Business Awards Banquet, which ran for 20 years.
• Jared Balcom of Pasco, vice president of trade affairs the National Potato Council, was named to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade. This committee holds primary responsibility for providing agriculture industry input to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. trade representative regarding U.S. trade policy. He joins 32 other chief executive officers, association executives and trade experts on the committee.
Kadlec Foundation raised
more than $80,000 through sponsorships and attendance at 2019 Kidz Dig Rigz
event on May 18. The event attracted more than 4,000 people. The presenting
sponsor was Numerica Credit Union.
• Hanford contractor Mission
Support Alliance recently donated $12,000 to the Children’s Reading
Foundation of the Mid-Columbia to support the Read-Up program. The money
was used to buy summer libraries for more than 380 incoming third-graders in
the Tri-Cities who may not otherwise have access to books during the summer
months. This is the second year that MSA has supported this program.
• Lamb Weston presented
Washington State University Tri-Cities with a $25,000 check to support
the campus’ food pantry program called the Cougar Cupboard. The money will go
toward a new industrial freezer, salaries for student workers who will ensure
that the cupboard will remain open longer and the cost of additional food and
toiletry items not regularly being provided. Lamb Weston also will provide
$25,000 to the Cougar Cupboard program next year to support student salaries
and the overall program, and has pledged an additional $25,000 for a third
year. At WSU Tri-Cities, about 37 percent of students have identified that it
is difficult for them to meet their daily living expenses, and 7 percent of
students indicated they are at risk of homelessness.
Gov. Jay Inslee
announced $5.8 million in grants to fight poverty in Washington. The Economic
Security for All grants, awarded from the governor’s federal Workforce Innovation
and Opportunity Act Statewide Activities fund, supports organizations in four
local Workforce Development Areas which are developing plans and sustainable
activities to improve the lives of families to above 200 percent of federal
Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council received more than $856,000 with the expected outcome of moving 138 families out of poverty. Proposed activities will focus on Connell, building a partnership around four pillars of support: transportation, health care, child care and employment. Benton-Franklin
Workforce Development Council will establish regular transportation to connect
residents of Connell to opportunities and resources in the Tri-Cities; provide
access to physical and mental health care; support access to affordable,
reliable and quality child care; and focus employment and training efforts on
high-demand occupations in Connell and the Tri-Cities. This model is designed
to enable replication in other rural population centers in Washington, upon
• Retter & Company Sotheby’s International Realty of Kennewick announced owner/broker Dave Retter was recognized on the 2019 REAL Trends & Tom Ferry “The Thousand,” a summary of the top 1,000 independent real estate agents and teams in the United States. The “The Thousand” comprises four categories: the top 250 agents by sides, top 250 agents by sales volume, top 250 teams by sides and top 250 teams by sales volume. Retter was ranked in the Top 250 agent by sides in the United States. The Sotheby’s International Realty brand claimed 41 of the top 250 sales associates in the REAL Trends individual sales volume category, more than any other real estate brand. The brand also had the highest combined individual sales volume from sales associates in the same category.
Leaders/Columbia Basin Travel of Richland and Kennewick won a 2018 Agency
of Excellence Award. To earn the distinction, each Travel Leaders agency is
scored in multiple categories that reflect business growth; utilization of
marketing programs to reach local consumers; participation in training programs
to enhance service to clients; participation in local and national business
networking meetings; and their overall promotion of the Travel Leaders brand. Sondra
Wilson is the company president and Julie Harrington is the chief
• For the third consecutive time, Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, known as the vit plant, has earned the U.S. Department of Energy’s highest certification for excellence in occupational and health protection. The vit plant was first awarded Voluntary Protection Program Star status in 2010 and was recertified in 2014 and again this year. Contractors whose programs meet requirements for outstanding safety and health programs receive this recognition. Earlier this year, a VPP team from DOE headquarters conducted a site review to gauge employee and management involvement in safety programs. The team noted several positive attributes of the job site’s culture and worker-safety programs, including management observations, culture and safety committees, and stop-work authority. The review team also noted that management expectations are communicated effectively and there is a trusting and respectful environment among workers and management.
• Janet Bryant will
receive the 2020 Award for Volunteer Service from the American Chemical
Society. This award is presented annually to honor volunteer efforts that have
served ACS and contributed to the organization’s goals and objectives. Bryant
is being honored for her holistic and strategic approach to volunteerism, unwavering
commitment to empowering chemists, and proven track record of translating goals
and needs into tangible actions. Bryant, recently retired after 38 years with
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been an ACS member for more than 20
years. During this time, she has been deeply involved in a number of society
activities and committees, with a particular focus on career building,
networking and the advancement of women in the chemical sciences. She has
served as the chair of the ACS Women Chemists Committee, the ACS Richland
Section and the ACS Division of Business Development & Management, among
others. As part of her award, Bryant will deliver the keynote address at the
ChemLuminary Awards ceremony during the fall 2020 ACS National Meeting and
Exposition in San Francisco.
• The city of Pasco
was named one of 20 finalists for the national All-America City award from
by the National Civic League, but did not win it. The award application
involved a description of three community projects focused on celebrating
examples of civic engagement practices that advance health equity in local
communities. Pasco’s three projects submitted for consideration were the Hot
Spotters mental health program, Tri-Cities Community Health’s “Let’s Prevent
Diabetes/Prevengamos las Diabetes,” and Pasco School District-Columbia Basin
College’s Food Student Support Program.
• Blaine Tamaki and
Vito de la Cruz of Tamaki Law, which has an office in Kennewick,
were selected as 2019 Super Lawyers honorees. This is a rating service of
outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a
high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Megan Hale of
Tamaki Law was selected as a 2019 Rising Stars honoree. To be eligible, a
candidate must be 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less.
While up to 5 percent of the lawyers in a state are named to Super Lawyers, no
more than 2.5 percent are named to Rising Stars.
• Yong Wang, a
laboratory fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, received the
2019 Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Practice Award from the American
Institute of Chemical Engineers. He was recognized for his pioneering
contributions to catalysis and chemical reaction engineering. The
internationally-recognized researcher is known for the development of novel
catalytic materials and reaction engineering that convert fossil and biomass
feedstocks into important industrial products, such as chemicals and fuels.
Wang has been a leading researcher in catalysis at PNNL since 1994, where he
assumed the position of associate director of the Institute for Integrated
Catalysis in 2008.
• Hanford site
contractors were recognized by The Green Electronics Council and managers of
the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment tool for their efforts to
protect the environment by using sustainable electronics. The contractors,
which include CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co., HPMC occupational
medical services, Mission Support Alliance, Washington River
Protection Solutions and Wastren Advantage were among 59 worldwide
winners to receive an award from the council and EPEAT. EPEAT is a ranking
system that helps companies compare and select office equipment that helps
reduce environmental impacts. Ranking criteria include greenhouse gas
emissions, hazardous waste production and total energy usage. In 2018, over 95
percent of the electronics bought by Hanford contractors met the EPEAT
• Trios Health received
the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The
Guidelines Target: Stroke Honor Roll Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The
award recognizes Trios’ commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most
appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based
guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.
• Apollo Heating
and Air of Kennewick received the Carrier President’s Award which
recognizes Carrier dealers who exemplify leadership and management, customer
satisfaction, expertise, business growth and operational excellence.
• Roger Harnack
of Sunnyside has been selected as a 2019 Golden Dozen commentary writer by the
International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors. He is the regional publisher
of Horizon Publications’ holdings in Eastern Washington, which include the
Statesman-Examiner, The Sun, Deer Park Tribune, Mid-Week Extra and press plant
operations. Harnack previously served as editor and publisher of Daily Sun News
in Sunnyside and The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle in Omak.
• Michael Novakovich,
president and chief executive officer of Visit Tri-Cities, has achieved
credentials as a certified destination management executive, the tourism
industry’s highest individual educational achievement. The four-year credential
is available to senior executives through Destinations International. The
program blends theory with experience and application of knowledge to help
industry leaders thrive in a constantly changing environment by focusing on
vision, leadership, productivity and implementing business strategies.
Certification requires 88 classroom hours, group projects, presentations and a
series of papers including a research paper suitable for publishing. While the
program typically takes two to four years to complete, Novakovich accelerated
the program and completed it in less than a year. In addition, Novakovich has
been selected as a speaker at Destinations International’s annual convention in
St. Louis, Missouri, where he will present on tourism advocacy. He also has
been selected to play drums in the Destinations International House Band at the
convention. The House Band will be performing at the Ballpark Village at the
St. Louis Cardinal’s baseball stadium during the welcome reception.
The U.S. Chamber of
Commerce awarded the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce with 4-Star
Accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures and
positive impact on the community. This honor puts the regional chamber among
the top 3 percent of chambers nationwide. It is now the only accredited chamber
of commerce in Washington. Accreditation is a national program that recognizes
chambers for their effective organizational procedures and community
involvement. To receive accreditation, a chamber must meet minimum standards in
its operations and programs, including areas of governance, government affairs
and technology. This self-review can take six to nine months to complete.
• More than $2 million in scholarship dollars were awarded to 89 students in the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas to pursue STEM and health care degrees in Washington state through the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship program. The program aims to prepare students for Washington jobs by reducing barriers for low- and middle-income students to pursue high-demand science, technology engineering, math or health care degrees at eligible Washington state colleges and universities. Students receive up to $22,500 in scholarships, as well as mentorship and professional development to support the launch of their career in Washington.
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