Jorge Magana has been promoted to store manager at the Kennewick UScellular store. Magana has nine years of wireless sales experience and five years of leadership experience. Most recently, he worked as store manager for UScellular in Pasco. In his new role, Magana will lead a team of wireless technology experts to help customers make choices of electronics that best meet their needs.
Abby Mattson is the new director of career and college readiness for the Kennewick School District. Mattson has 20 years of experience in career and technical education. She received a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision from Arizona State University, a master’s degree in teaching from Grand Canyon University and a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences from Central Washington University. Mattson previously served as the assistant director of career and technical education for the Kennewick School District, the assistant director of Tri-Tech Skills Center, an assistant principal at Sandstone Middle School in the Hermiston School District and as a family and consumer science teacher at Kennewick High School.
SCHOLARSHIPS & GRANTS
Aaron Kirby, an HVAC student at Charter College in Pasco, has received The Home Depot Foundation’s Path to Pro scholarship, totaling $2,000. The scholarship is meant to help train the next generation of skilled tradespeople by alleviating the financial burden and ultimately helping to fill the labor shortage. Kirby, who plans to graduate in October, has experience working in a variety of trades, including insulation installation and working as a vessel engineer in Alaska, and he hopes to become a commercial or residential HVAC service technician.
The Richland School District has received a $5,000 grant from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which is operated by Battelle, to further STEM education for elementary students. The district used grant funds to buy Sphero education robots for classrooms. The robots are designed to help teach the basic principles of computer science and computational thinking through play-based learning and open-ended scenarios. This technology was used during summer elementary STEM camps and will be used in elementary schools during the 2023-24 school year.
The Wildhorse Foundation, established by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, has announced its grant awards for the second quarter of 2023. The foundation awarded $346,205 to various organizations for projects in public health, public safety, arts, education, historic preservation and cultural activities. Three Tri-City organizations were awarded grant funding: Grace Clinic in Kennewick received $13,500 for its hypertension management program, United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties in Kennewick received $10,000 for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and The Rude Mechanicals in Richland received $3,475 for free Shakespeare in the Park.
Fred Brink, mayor pro tem of West Richland, has been elected as secretary of the Association of Washington Cities, an organization that represents Washington’s cities and towns before the state legislature, executive branch and with regulatory agencies. Brink has been active in the association for several years and has served on its board since 2022. He serves on the Education and Training Advisory Committee and has received the AWC’s Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership. Brink has served on the West Richland City Council since January 2018 and as mayor pro tem since January 2020, and he is a commissioner for Benton Fire District 4 and is on the Benton County Law and Justice Council. His professional experience includes six years as an officer in the Navy, 25 years as a special agent of the FBI and 10 years as a national security program manager at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. As the secretary of AWC, Brink will serve on the association’s board of directors, a governing body comprised of 25 directors. The secretary also serves on the AWC’s executive committee and is second in line to become president.
Seventeen custodial leaders with the Richland School District are now internationally certified in their roles. The maintenance foremen and forewomen completed basic and advanced training with the Cleaning Management Institute of the International Sanitary Supply Association over the summer. The certification process is a part of the district’s effort to ensure staff have the best tools at their disposal for their roles. Miguel Palencia, the school district’s custodial supervisor, said, “Understanding how cleaning chemicals interact, the properties of the different surfaces and spaces that need to be cleaned, and doing it all within the confines of a school day, require dedicated staff and we want them to be prepared and set up for success.”
Zachary Fisher has become a certified financial planner, a certification requiring successful completion of financial planning coursework at an accredited college or university and passing a six-hour comprehensive exam. Fisher is a financial advisor at RBC Wealth Management in Kennewick, where he has worked since 2021.
Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed several state board and commission members from the Tri-Cities area. Nichole Banegas of Kennewick has joined the Environmental Justice Council, Fred Brink of West Richland has joined the Forensic Investigations Council and Taylor Brummett of Connell has joined the Traumatic Brain Injury Council.
David Rosenau is STCU’s new director of business banking. Rosenau received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and is a graduate of the Executive Development Program at the Washington Bankers Association. Previously, he was the senior vice president of Banner Bank and the retail division manager of its Spokane branches. In his new role, Rosenau and his team serve businesses with up to $2 million in annual revenue and those with basic needs for services such as banking, payroll, lending and more.
The Support, Advocacy and Resource Center has hired three new employees. Nuur Khuranna joined the center as a human trafficking and child exploitation advocate. Khuranna received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Washington State University Tri-Cities. She is passionate about working with and empowering survivors and creating safe and positive environments. Howard Hunt was hired as an engagement specialist. Hunt has a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice and is working toward a master’s degree in social work. He has 20-plus years of experience in crime prevention and self-defense, and he is committed to working with victims of crime and those marginalized in society. Morgan Robinson joined SARC as a prevention specialist. Robinson has experience in social services, having previously worked as a crisis advocate and a prevention specialist. She cares about advocating for and supporting survivors, violence prevention education and serving her community.
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Samantha Pedersen has joined Prosser Memorial Health, where she will provide podiatry services at the Prosser Orthopedic Center and wound care at Prosser Memorial Hospital. Pedersen received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Seattle University and her Doctor in Nursing from Washington State University. She is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the Columbia River Nurse Practitioner Association, in addition to holding basic life support certification. Pedersen has worked as a registered nurse at medical facilities including Kadlec Wound Healing Center, and she has experience in specialty fields such as urgent care, dermatology and oncology.
Alana Berdiyev has joined the health care team at New U Women’s Clinc. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Seattle University and graduated from Washington State University as a family nurse practitioner with a doctorate in nursing practice. Berdiyev began her nursing career at Kadlec Regional Medical Center on the resource team as well as in various units throughout the hospital, including the clinical decision unit. Her expertise is in women’s health and gynecology and hormone management.
Lori Katterhagen is the new chief nursing officer for Trios Health. Katterhagen has more than 30 years of experience, including 10 years in executive leadership management. She most recently worked as the chief operating officer/chief nurse executive officer at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley, California. Katterhagen earned her bachelor’s in nursing as well as her master’s in nursing from San Jose State University and received her doctorate in nursing practice – health care leadership from the University of San Francisco.
Dr. Jillian Thayer has joined Trios Health as a general surgeon. Dr. Thayer will see patients for broad general surgery, breast surgery, cancer surgery, complex hernias, peritoneal dialysis catheters and chemo ports, minimally invasive surgery and more. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Washington and received her medical degree from Drexel College of Medicine. Dr. Thayer went to Swedish Medical Center in Seattle for a general surgery residency.
Dr. Ashlea McManus has joined Lourdes Surgical Services as a general surgeon. Starting this September, McManus will see patients for hernia repairs; gallbladder, appendix and soft tissue issues; colorectal issues; stomach, duodenal and liver issues; peritoneal dialysis; cancer and cancer-related issues; endocrine and breast diseases; and more. She completed her undergraduate education at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, received her medical degree at Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica, and completed her residency at The Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jack Janezic is the new assistant administrator for Trios Health. Janezic received his bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology and his master’s in health care administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Before joining Trios Health, he served as the assistant administrator of Havasu Regional Medical Center in Lake Havasu, Arizona. Janezic is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and has volunteered for several community organizations.
The Bubbles & Brunch event held by Chaplaincy Health Care on Aug. 4 raised $56,000 to benefit the organization’s services, including hospice and palliative care, spiritual support, bereavement care and the Cork’s Place Kids Grief Center.
Numerica Credit Union distributed more than $315,000 in grants to 19 regional nonprofits through the 2023 Numerica Charitable Fund. The Numerica Charitable Fund is made possible by the Skip a Pay voluntary program available on certain loans. Tri-Cities Numerica Charitable Fund recipients include Communities in Schools Benton & Franklin Counties, Mirror Ministries and B5. Numerica also pledged $100,000 each through multiyear grants to the following nonprofits: Communities in Schools of Benton-Franklin, Tri-Cities; Women’s Resource Center, Wenatchee; Family Promise, Spokane; and Safe Passage, North Idaho. These grants are in alignment with Numerica CARES for Kids, a new philanthropic initiative that aims to build brighter futures for local youth.
• Gesa Credit Union plans to donate $25,000 to Second Harvest in support of Hunger Action Month. Throughout the month of September, Gesa will host food drives at each of its branch locations and will offer volunteer opportunities to both its team and members.
AWARDS & HONORS
The American Heart Association has nationally recognized both Richland Fire & Emergency Services and Kadlec Regional Medical Center. Richland Fire & Emergency Services received the Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver achievement award for its excellence in heart attack and stroke care, including offering rapid, research-based care. Kadlec Regional Medical Center received Get with the Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus achievement award for treating stroke patients in accordance with nationally recognized, research-based guidelines. Kadlec received this distinction for the second time.
Noel Schulz is the inaugural recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Women in Technology and Leadership Award. The award recognizes women technologists for their contributions to engineering and technology, as well as their empowerment of diverse populations. Schulz, Edmund O. Schweitzer III Chair in Power Apparatus and Systems in the WSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was selected for her work “advancing power systems research while educating the next generation of power engineering and working tirelessly to provide support for the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in IEEE, STEM and beyond,” according to the IEEE Women in Engineering Website. Shulz is also the inaugural director of WSU’s Institute for Northwest Energy Futures.
A recruiter for Pasco School District’s migrant program has earned a prestigious state honor. Juana Melo has been named Washington State Migrant Education Program’s Recruiter of the Year for the 2022-23. She was presented with the award on Aug. 17 during a conference in Yakima. This coming school year will be Melo’s third as a migrant program recruiter, and she was chosen for the state award because of her creativity in engaging and forming relationships with families. She’s worked for Pasco schools for 18 years in all, including as a bilingual paraeducator, nutrition services helper, social worker and home visitor, according to a statement from the district.
Stephanie Schirm, career center specialist and work site learning coordinator at Richland High School, has received the Washington Association for Career Counseling & Employment Readiness’ Counseling and Career Development Professional award. The award is given to educators who are committed to helping students find opportunities for success, are innovative in career development and advocate for career and technical education, or CTE, as a viable option for all students. Schirm has worked at Richland High as a CTE teacher for 23 years and has encouraged inclusion and supported all students in planning for their career goals.
Ben Franklin Transit received the statewide Washington ACTE Business-Education Partnership Award in recognition of its work with the Richland School District’s Community Based Transition Center. Ben Franklin Transit has been a partner of the district’s CTE Work Site Learning Transition class, providing safe transportation for students to access community job sites. The Business-Education Partnership Awards honor business and education leaders who understand that economic livelihood is linked to the success of career and technical education programs.
Steve Norberg received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agriculture Agents during its annual meeting and professional improvement conference on Aug. 16. This award is given to members who have worked in Extension programs for over 10 years and have helped put an outstanding program into effect. Norberg has served for 27 years and is currently a professor with Washington State University. He received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture and his master’s in agronomy from the University of Nebraska and earned his doctorate from Oregon State University. Norberg has several research projects with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, runs the alfalfa variety trials and quality results, and is working to put on the NW Hay Expo in Kennewick.
The Kiwanis Club of Kennewick, present at the Benton Franklin Fair’s inception 75 years ago, was recognized as the 2023 Fair Booster of the Year. This year, club members helped by volunteering at the entrance to the fair and also built a motorized Ferris wheel made of corks, led by Rick Corson and Brian Bergum. The wheel won several awards, including best of show, superintendent’s choice, first place, a special award, people’s choice and best fair theme. Co-chairs Vickie Bergum and Michelle DeGooyer challenged club members to design the wheel’s cars to represent various community service projects performed by the club.
Kadlec Regional Medical Center received the COAP 2023 Performance Recognition Award from the Foundation for Health Care Quality and Cardiac Care Outcomes Assessment Program. The award recognizes Kadlec for its care of patients experiencing chest pain or heart attacks through the percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) program, which involves a non-surgical procedure that helps open blood vessels in the heart that have been narrowed by plaque buildup. Not only can a patient quickly undergo this procedure in an emergency, but the program has low rates of complications. Kadlec first offered PCI procedures in 2001 when it opened its first nationally accredited chest pain center in the region.