Articles by Laura Kostad

Laura Kostad is a freelance reporter for the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business and Senior Times. After completing her bachelor’s degree in creative writing at the University of Washington in 2015, she moved to Kennewick to pursue new opportunities and launch her career. She has been with the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business since 2017 and has enjoyed getting to know her new community through journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys working on the many book ideas she has and the occasional poem.
Dennis Miller and Derek Munson of Kennewick-based Artmil Design spoke at TRIDEC’s fourth annual FABREO expo about making their online marketing campaigns a success using real-life case studies from Artmil’s clients.

E-commerce experts offer tips for navigating digital marketplace

The new storefront is online and to be successful there, it’s best to learn all you can about how to do it. That’s according to James Bledsoe, director of the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration’s eCommerce Innovation Lab in Tacoma. “That’s how people are finding you and finding your products,” Bledsoe said during…

Spokane-based Bouten Construction, which has an office in Richland, has built several high-profile projects in the Tri-Cities, including Kadlec Regional Medical Center’s six-story patient tower. Bouten recently hired a director of performance and innovation to provide strategic leadership and guidance to the growing company. (Courtesy Bouten Construction)

Company creates new position to ‘lean’ into efficiencies

Bouten Construction recently made a progressive business move not often seen among Eastern Washington construction firms, but more common among larger companies across the nation: it hired a director of performance and innovation. “We’ve come to a point now where we’ve grown a little bit in size,” said Tony Spratling, who was appointed to the…

Stephanie McCarl, co-owner of Lotus of the Moon spiritual supply store in Richland’s Uptown Shopping Center, said the shop received such an outpouring of community interest following its opening last year that it had to move into a bigger building.

Richland spiritual supply store offers tools, classes for self-discovery

A Richland shop that opened a year ago already has expanded its footprint and offerings with a goal of providing “spirituality for all.” Lotus of the Moon, a metaphysical and spiritual supply store, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. The shop opened in June 2017 using $5,000 in savings and donations inside a 350-square-foot space in…

Dayton-based Columbia Pulp is building its first mill, anticipated to be up and running by the end of 2018. The mill will synthesize a projected 140,000 tons per year of paper-making pulp from wheat straw via a proprietary process developed by two University of Washington researchers, Mark Lewis and Bill McKean. (Courtesy Columbia Pulp)

New mill to convert wheat straw to pulp expects to hire 80 people

Progress is moving forward on Columbia Pulp’s new plant north of Dayton. With a pilot plant starting in July in Pomeroy and the goal of beginning pulp production at the Lyons Ferry operation in the fourth quarter this year, the company is ramping up recruitment efforts. CEO John Begley said the pilot plant “is a…

Wade Carter, president of Northwest Agricultural Consultants, stands outside the Kennewick-based analytical lab, which specializes in soil, plant fertility and water testing for both residential and commercial clients. The company was founded in the 1970s by Marr Waddoups.

Kennewick lab provides fast, accurate analysis of ag samples

For more than 35 years, Northwest Agricultural Consultants has been providing the Columbia Basin with quality, in-house soil, plant and water testing services, continually upgrading its equipment and testing methods to deliver fast results. Company President Wade Carter said the accredited lab strives for one-day or better turnaround, processing tens of thousands of samples from…

Construction is underway at Hill’s Restaurant and Lounge at 24 Vista Way in Kennewick, with a reopening planned for November. The locally operated homestyle diner closed in fall 2016 after a kitchen fire caused extensive smoke damage. 

Hill’s Restaurant and Lounge plans to reopen this fall

Less than a year and a half since a kitchen fire closed Hill’s Restaurant and Lounge in Kennewick, the diner is making a comeback. A majority of the original building has been demolished, but when the restaurant reopens in November, Tri-Citians will once again be able to enjoy their favorite homestyle meals at 24 Vista…

More than $11 million in financing has been secured for The Commons at Innovation Center, next door to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in north Richland. (Courtesy Prodigy Property Management)

$11.3 million in financing secured for The Commons apartments

Less than a year since construction wrapped up on The Commons at Innovation Center apartments in north Richland, $11.3 million in permanent financing has been secured as the complex closes in on full occupancy. Located in the Tri-Cities Research District across the street from The Lofts apartments, the 95,102-square-foot, 150-unit Commons complex, completed in 2015,…

John Boyd Jr. of The Boyd Company, from left, Terry Thompson, Adams County commissioner, who previously served as a Port of Othello commissioner for 10 years, and Chris Faix, executive director for the Port of Othello, stand in front of the Beta Seed facility that opened last fall at the port’s Bruce Industrial Park, about five miles east of the city of Othello. (Courtesy Stephen McFadden)

Adams County to build waste treatment plant to lure food processors

Tri-Cities’ northern neighbor, Adams County, is moving forward with plans for infrastructure to support the growth of its food processing and distribution sectors, based on positive projections for the area’s potential as a low-cost hub for these industries. Results from two recent site selection studies conducted by The Boyd Company, a New Jersey-based consulting service,…

Workers at Hanford’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant continue the startup and testing phase for the plant’s support infrastructure. This includes about 20 utility-related facilities to supply electricity, water, air, steam, and communication and control systems to support future radioactive waste vitrification operations. (Courtesy Bechtel)

Waste treatment plant project relies on contracts with local businesses

With 79 percent of the Department of Energy’s waste treatment and immobilization plant’s support facilities having transitioned from the construction phase to startup, Bechtel is encouraging local small businesses to contribute their products and services to the project. “More opportunities are becoming available for small businesses as we get up and running, transitioning from traditional…

Veterinarian Sheila Erickson, owner of the new Horse Heaven Hills Pet Urgent Care in south Kennewick, welcomes her first canine visitor, who appeared to approve of the clinic’s “fear-free” room that’s designed to look like more like a living room than exam room.

Tri-Cities’ first animal urgent care clinic opens in Kennewick

The Tri-Cities now has a walk-in veterinary clinic to handle daytime pet emergencies. Horse Heaven Hills Pet Urgent Care opened this month in the Southridge area of Kennewick. “We’re trying to fill a gap in the community,” said owner and veterinarian Dr. Sheila Erickson, who explained that previously there was no place in the Tri-Cities…

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