Smart, Connell, Childers and Verhulp has changed its name to Smart Law Offices, paying homage to founding partner Darrell K. Smart.
Marcus Henry, a Pasco native, has been promoted to shareholder. He works exclusively in workers’ compensation at the firm’s Kennewick office.
Mariah Wagar, a Kennewick native, has joined the firm as shareholder and will work primarily in personal injury and wrongful death for the firm’s Kennewick and Yakima offices.
Carol Moser has been named executive director of the Greater Columbia Accountable Community of Health.
Moser has served as executive director of the Benton-Franklin Community Health Alliance since 2011.
Incorporated in 2016, the 10-county Greater Columbia Accountable Community of Health helps communities advance the health of their populations. The organization is funded by the Washington State Health Care Authority as part of its Healthier Washington initiative.
The Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation will graduate 24 people from its 38th Leadership Program Class at a ceremony in Spokane on April 28.
Graduates include Jensena Newhouse, Washington State University Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Service; Bjorn Gjerde, Senske Lawn and Tree Care; and Reid Klei, Ste. Michelle Wine Estate.
Participants in the 18-month program completed 11 three-day seminars on critical topics, a seven-day seminar in Washington, D.C., and a two-week seminar in India and Nepal.
For more information, and a complete list of Class 38 graduates, visit agforestroy.org.
Cory Briggs, associate adviser with Petersen Hastings in Kennewick, has earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation from Fiduciary360.
The Fiduciary360 organization offers training, tools and resources to promote fiduciary responsibility and improve the decision-making process of fiduciaries. The AIF designation signifies knowledge of fiduciary responsibility and the ability to implement policies and procedures that meet a defined standard of care.
Petersen Hastings is a registered investment advisor and currently has nine AIF advisors.
Apollo Mechanical Contractors and Apollo Inc., based in Kennewick, announced it received an experience modification rate of .038, which is 69 percent lower than the statewide contractor rating, which makes the company the “construction contractor with the lowest EMR rate in the state of Washington for the eighth consecutive year,” according to a press release.
EMRs are calculated using a formula that gauges cost of injuries and losses as well as future chances of risk and expected losses. The lower the EMR, the lower worker compensation premiums are. Washington state’s experience modification factor is shown in WAC 296-17-855.
Washington State University Extension’s Master Gardeners of Benton and Franklin counties recently honored staff from the Pasco Lowe’s store for building and installing 99 community garden beds to help feed more than 100 local low-income families.
More than 45 Lowe’s Heroes volunteers contributed time, money and supplies to build the eight gardens containing the garden beds over the past three years. It is estimated the garden beds save Pasco-area families $20,000 annually.
The Master Gardeners’ food garden team trains volunteers to be effective community educators for gardening and environmental stewardship.
Columbia Basin College has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.
The President’s National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace and the International Strategy for Cyberspace addresses the critical shortage of professionals with cyber security skills.
Currently, 62 students are enrolled in CBC’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Cyber Security degree program, which started in 2013.
Certificates will be presented at a reception at the National Cyber Security Summit in Huntsville, Alabama, in early June.
The city of Kennewick recently received a stewardship award from the State of Washington Auditor’s office.
The award recognizes the city’s outstanding leadership in promoting a culture of accountability for public resources and dedication to making government work better.
Terri LeBlanc has joined INB’s Tri-City team as credit analyst II, and Stacy Dumas has joined as commercial loan assistant.
LeBlanc has been in the local banking industry since 2007 and Dumas since 2009.
INB is a growing community bank with 16 locations in the greater Spokane area, North Idaho, the Palouse and the Tri-Cities. The company is currently occupying a temporary location in Richland on Spaulding Avenue, and will move into its permanent location on Grandridge Boulevard in early June.
Solarity Credit Union, which has a branch in Kennewick, received one of five customer experience Customer First awards from InMoment as part of its Red Shoes initiative. Solarity was chosen from more than 350 clients for putting customers “at the center of everything they do.” Other winners of the award were Petco, Rite Aid, Tiffany and Co., and Caesar’s Entertainment.
Solarity also was recently honored with a Diamond Award, and Category’s Best Diamond Award, which recognizes outstanding marketing and business development achievements in the credit union industry.
Solarity Credit Union won the Diamond Award for best video, “Experience Extraordinary.” The collaborative video brought employees together to share their culture and core values in an innovative way, according to a release.
Solarity also won the Diamond Award for its website, which represents an online branch to serve digital members.
Award winners were recognized at the council’s 24th annual conference held March 29-April 1 in San Antonio, Texas.
Solarity Credit Union has more than $1 billion in assets under management. The co-op serves more than 54,000 members. Membership is open to everyone who lives, works, worships or attends school within a Washington State school district.
Kimberley Fall of Conover Insurance has earned the “Specialist in Transportation and Risk” designation from Great West Casualty Co.
One of the largest truck insurers in the U.S., Great West provides insurance products and services to the trucking industry.
To receive the designation, Fall completed more than 15 courses in topics including risk management and loss control methods, and passed written exams after each course.
Conover Insurance’s transportation division has served the trucking industry for more than 30 years, and is a member of the Washington Trucking Association and Trusted Choice. The full-service independent insurance agency has roots back to 1908 and has offices throughout the Pacific Northwest.
John Jeskey, leader of Mission Support Alliance’s Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council and longtime employee and safety advocate at the Hanford site, is the recipient of the 2016 Kathryn A. Wheeler Safety Leadership Award.
Jeskey helped start the HAMTC safety representative program 20 years ago and is dedicated to safety practices.
The Kathryn A. Wheeler Safety Leadership Award is awarded each year to a member of the MSA workforce who demonstrates support of safety through worker engagement. It is named in honor of the late Ms. Wheeler, a longtime Hanford employee who was dedicated to the safety of her coworkers.
Alejandra Cardoso, a recent psychology graduate of Washington State University Tri-Cities, was chosen as one of three representatives from Washington state to participate in the Council for Opportunity in Education’s National Policy Seminar in March in Washington, D.C.
The seminar gives representatives of low-income, first generation college students in the TRIO and GEAR UP communities a chance to talk with members of Congress and the president’s administration about the history and success of the support programs.
Cardoso said the TRIO program at WSU Tri-Cities helped her succeed academically and led her to work as a crime victim advocate with the Support, Advocacy and Resource Center in Kennewick.
Kirk Williamson has been named program manager for the Benton-Franklin Community Health Alliance.
A Tri-Citian since 1975, Williamson worked for Group Health for 23 years as community relations manager.
A partnership of the Benton-Franklin Health District, Kaiser Permanente, Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Lourdes Health Network, PMH Medical Center in Prosser and Trios Health, the community health alliance started in 1993 and addresses significant community health issues.
Nikki Berglund, owner of Vybe Salon and Spa in Kennewick, recently became certified in Babe hair extensions and thinning hair. Haley Guse and Alysha Miller, semi-permanent makeup artists and brow specialists, are now certified in microblading, a technique used to define and reconstruct eyebrows by using a special pen to draw on individual strokes, with results lasting up to three years.
Michael Crowder, Benton Conservation District board member, has been elected as second vice president of the National Association of Conservation Districts, representing more than 3,000 conservation districts in the U.S.
Crowder has an extensive background in conservation, agriculture and service, and manages farm operations in Washington and Illinois. He serves as national director of the Washington Association of Conservation Districts.
Local conservation districts encourage wise stewardship of natural resources through voluntary programs and education.
Connor Eck, a senior student winemaker at Washington State University Tri-Cities’ Blended Learning program, has been named a national Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit working to advance public purposes of higher education.
The fellowship provides learning and networking opportunities to teach students leadership and how to bring communities together for positive change.
Eck was one of 273 students to be honored in 2017.
Lupe Mares is Communities in Schools of Benton-Franklin’s new executive director.
Mares began her journey with the group as site coordinator at Marcus Whitman Elementary in 2014 when the program was implemented in the Richland School District. Prior to that, she served with Commitment to Community in Walla Walla.
Mares has a master’s in social work from Walla Walla University.
Communities in Schools is a national drop-out prevention program that was founded in 1977.
Bianca Chavez, a Washington State University freshman studying human development, was one of six students from across the nation chosen for an all-expense paid, eight-week summer leadership internship in Washington, D.C.
The National High School Equivalency Program/College Assistance Migrant Program Association internship works to improve the quality of life for farm workers through education.
Chavez participates in WSU’s CAMP, a federally funded program for first-year students from farmworking backgrounds. During her time in D.C., she will meet members of Congress and participate in leadership seminars with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
Andrea Clare, personal injury lawyer at TZMC Law in Richland, has been named one of the 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys for Client Satisfaction in 2016 by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys.
The AIOPIA is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the top attorneys in each state. To make the list, attorneys must pass AIOPIA’s selection process, which is based on client and/or peer recommendations, research and independent evaluation.
Dan O’Neill and Gretchen Beck have joined HomeStreet Bank’s Home Loan Center in Kennewick to provide residential home lending services as mortgage consultants.
O’Neill will specialize in home purchases, refinances and first-time homebuyers.
Beck will focus on new construction loans, after spending eight years in residential development and six years in lending with other companies.
HomeStreet Bank began in 1921 and is based in Seattle. Its Home Loan Center works with customers on a variety of loans, including renovation, Veterans Affairs, Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, condominums, jumbo, construction, manufactured home and investment property.
Junior Achievement of Southeastern Washington’s annual Bowl-A-Thon in March raised $300,000. Eighty-nine companies participated, comprising 311 teams.
Kacie Hogan with Gesa Credit Union was the top individual fundraiser; Jean Mathews with Clover Island Inn was the runner up. Terra Bunten with Bechtel and Kent Ozkardesh with AECOM were honorable mentions.
Top coordinators and companies are as follows: Karen Sinclair and Lori Araujo, Mission Support Alliance; Tom Evers and Kris Parfait, Bechtel National; Lynn Tegeler, CH2M Hill; Kathie Bunn and Brandy Gray, Washington River Protection Solutions; Angie Brotherton, Gesa Credit Union; Bridget Bersell, Battelle; Enif Michael, HAPO Community Credit Union; Kent Ozkardesh, AECOM; Curtis Kalahar, Lamb Weston; and Paul Baxter, Edina Halilovic and Sonja Young, Walmart.
Money raised will support JA school programs in the region. Each year, more than 12,000 K-12 students in the area are impacted by JA educators and business people.
The owners of Castle Event Catering and Anthology Event Venue in Richland, Kathy and Andy Craig announce the addition of two new staff members at the 20-year-old business.
Martin Loving is the company’s new sous chef. He works with Andy Craig, who is executive chef. Loving joined the company in December after working as an executive chef in some of Montana’s top restaurants and resorts.
Leeann Hall is the company’s new event coordinator. Most recently with the Pasco Red Lion, Hall has experience in managing all aspects of events.
Dylan Walker has joined the sales team at Hedges Family Estate to support the 80,000-case winery’s North American sales initiatives.
In his new role, Walker will focus on Midwest and East Coast markets. He has 10 years of national sales account management in the wine industry, most recently for Okoboji Wines in Iowa City, Iowa.
Hedges Family Estate was founded in 1987 and today manages 120 acres of vineyards on Red Mountain.
Paul Hansen with HFG Trust in Kennewick has received his certified financial planner designation.
The CFP designation distinguishes an adviser as a professional who has met the educational and ethical standards established by the Certified Planners Board of Standards. To receive the designation, candidates must study a number of finance-related topics and complete a six-hour board exam.
Hansen has more than 25 years of accounting and tax experience. He received a bachelor’s in business administration with a focus in accounting from the University of Washington and later earned his certified public accountant designation. He joined HFG Trust in 2015.
HFG Trust was founded in 1983 and currently manages more than $400 million in assets.
Angie Heise, president of Leidos Civil Group, a global science and technology solutions company, was recently appointed to the Mission Support Alliance board of directors.
Heise leads 10,000 employees who provide solutions to improve the environment, energy efficiency, federal infrastructure, homeland and transportation security and aviation experience to the public and private sectors across the globe.
MSA is made up of Leidos, Jacobs and Centerra Group, as well as several partners with specialized Hanford expertise.
Financial services firm Edward Jones received a number five ranking on the 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list. This is Edward Jones’ 18th appearance on the list.
Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, and several offices in the Tri-Cities, provides financial services for individual investors in the U.S., and through its affiliate in Canada. Its 15,000-plus financial advisers work directly with more than seven million clients.
Atomic Auto Body in Richland has been officially certified by Assured Performance, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, for maintaining the right tools, equipment, training and facility necessary to repair participating automaker brand vehicles.
To become certified, Atomic Auto Body passed a certification process that, according to a release, less than five percent of body shops across the nation can meet.
Southeast Communications Center, a division of Benton County Emergency Services, has selected Aimee Fournier-Plante as its 2016 Dispatcher of the Year.
Fournier-Plante was selected for her superior performance throughout the year, along with high ratings for attendance, behavior, attitude, skill, knowledge and extra effort. She was recognized for going above and beyond to train new employees, adjusting her schedule to accommodate others and accepting unpopular shifts to ensure training priorities were met. Last year, more than 65 percent of her scheduled shifts were spent training others.
The award criteria are based on performance, attitude, integrity, excellence, and teamwork.
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