Page 1

March 2018

Volume 17 • Issue 3

Vandervert owes 56 Tri-City companies more than $865,000 BY TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS STAFF


WSU launches Institute for Senior Living program Page 11

Real Estate & Construction

Trucks & Auto Auctions building coming to Pasco Page 21


Insurance coverage for women’s health issues tackled in Olympia page 39

he Said It

“We’re not a country club anymore. The biggest change is the attitude. We’ll be a welcoming place.” - Clint Ables, general manager, Zintel Creek Golf Club Page 6

A Spokane-based construction company in financial distress owes 56 Tri-City businesses and agencies more than $865,000. Two Tri-City companies are each owed more than $105,000, 13 companies are each owed more than $10,000, and 30 others are each owed less than $5,000. Vandervert Construction Inc. was placed in receivership last month, a move aimed at preserving its assets pending u Read distribution of receipts to more about creditors. Vandervert The 56 Tri-City busion page 35 nesses are among a total u List of local of 350 creditors owed creditors at $18.1 million, according to Spokane County Superior Court records. Most of the companies owed money are construction contractors, and their claims are unsecured. Court documents also list 14 Tri-City projects with active Vandervert Construction contracts or leases: • Kennewick’s Edge Hospitality Corp.’s Red Lion project. • First Richland L.P. of Walnut Creek, California, for Vintner Square Shopping Center in Richland. • Fred Meyer for $12 million Richland store remodel. • Blue Bridge Properties’ retail shell plaza in Kennewick. • Kennewick’s Central Washington Wireless. • Columbia Community Church’s $3.2 million renovation in Richland. • Gensco’s $4.95 million warehouse in Kennewick. • Richland’s Hampton Inn room remodel project. • Heyden Empire for the Roasters coffee shop in West Richland. • Landstar NW Investments’ Hallett Office tenant improvements in Pasco. • MOD Superfast Pizza in Richland. • Norcal Properties in Kennewick. • Panera Bread in Richland. • Riverwalk Village LLC for PBS Engineering tenant improvements in Richland.

Calin Tebay, a work force resource specialist, stands at the new Hanford Workforce Engagement Center, scheduled to open April 2 in Richland. The center’s goal is to help current and former Hanford employees, or their family members, who may need assistance filing claims or seeking benefits for different programs. (Courtesy MSA)

New Richland center to offer support to injured Hanford workers BY ROBIN WOJTANIK

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Hanford workers can soon visit a “onestop-shop” in Richland to receive guidance and assistance with claims and benefits, free of charge. The project has been talked about for years, but finally “grew legs” and is scheduled to open April 2 on Bradley Boulevard. “If somebody doesn’t know who to call and has a Hanford question, this is where they can go,” said Heather Goldie, manager of human resources, technical projects for Mission Support Alliance. Called the Hanford Workforce Engagement Center, it’s a collaboration

between the Department of Energy, Hanford site contractors, Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council and the Central Washington Building and Trades Council. The purpose is to help current and former Hanford employees, or their family members, who may need assistance filing claims or seeking benefits for different programs. Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union 598 political and government affairs director Nick Bumpaous has witnessed the struggles from union members. “We’ve seen an issue with people trying to navigate the workers’ comp system. ‘Is my claim state or federal?’ And, ‘Who do I talk to?” uHANFORD, Page 4

Industry experts give robust economic forecast for Tri-Cities BY KRISTINA LORD

A robust retail, housing and jobs market has industry experts singing the region’s economic praises. Several community leaders provided industry highlights during Tri-City Development Council’s annual economic outlook conference Feb. 15 at the Pasco Red Lion. Barbara Johnson, manager of Columbia Center mall in Kennewick, called the TriCity’s retail sector well positioned, serving as a regional shopping hub for the area. “Despite what you hear in other areas about retail, the Tri-City area is still doing very well in terms of its retail industry,” she said. Johnson pointed to last year’s Tri-City sales tax distributions totaling more than $42 million, a three percent increase over 2016. Statewide, sales tax distributions increased

7.4 percent. In Benton County, they rose 10.8 percent and in Franklin County they went up 4.8 percent. “It continues to be a state that obviously is doing well in the retail sector and people are continuing to buy in our areas,” she said. She said recent — and past — headlines about online shopping putting malls out of business aren’t true. She pointed to a Time magazine story about the demise of malls in 1998 under the headline, “Kiss your mall goodbye” “We’re still here. Like every industry, we go through restructuring,” she said. Johnson said Columbia Center is 97.4 percent leased. “There’s not a lot of vacancy,” she said. Nationwide, brick-and-mortar stores represent 90 percent of the total retail sales pie of $4.5 trillion, she said. uTRIDEC, Page 31


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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018


Two Tri-City Red Lion hotels change ownership New owner, a Hanford High grad, will work on HVAC issues in Richland BY JEFF MORROW

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Gurbir Sandhu was a Hanford High School student in 2005, likely driving down George Washington Way in Richland, past the old Hanford House/ Richland Red Lion. Little did he know then that he’d eventually own that hotel. That’s what happened Feb. 28 when Sandhu, with his company Hanford House Hospitality LLC, bought the Richland Red Lion from the Red Lion Hotel Corp., or RLH. Sandhu and his partners bought the Richland hotel, plus the Red Lion Hotel in Gurbir Sandhu Boise, for a combined $16.75 million last month. The Pasco Red Lion also sold, with the sale of the three regional hotels totaling $29.9 million, according to RHL. The new owner of the Pasco Red Lion could not be reached for comment. RLH Corp.’s total gain on the sales is expected to be about $8 million, and $22.8 million of the sales proceeds were used for debt repayment at the closing, according to an RLH news release. The two buyers signed franchise license agreements to retain the Red Lion Hotels brand. The franchise agreements run for 20 years and call for each hotel owner to pay RL Franchising a monthly royalty and program fees, set at a percentage of the hotel’s gross room revenue. Either party may terminate the franchise agreement without penalty on the fifth or 10th anniversary of the hotel’s opening date by providing at least 180day notice of termination. In 2015, the Spokane-based RLH decided to sell off its hotel properties and get into franchising.

It allows the company to benefit from its brand, yet allows the franchisees to do what they do best — run hotels. Together with the sale of two California Red Lion hotels in Redding and Eureka in February, the five properties accounted for $26.6 million combined revenue on an annual basis for 2017, RLH reported. The hotels’ combined adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, on consolidated reporting was $4.7 million and RLH’s share of the adjusted EBITDA was about $2.6 million for 2017. This impact does not take into account the previously announced corporate overhead adjustments to reduce operating costs. “We are pleased to announce the close on the sale of the next three of the 11 hotels we have listed,” said RLH President and CEO Greg Mount in a release. “The sale of these five properties over the last week is a major step in becoming an asset light company. This effort requires less capital to grow and will provide higher profit margins.” What it means for customers at the Richland Red Lion is hopefully an improved experience, Sandhu said. “We are going to put a lot of capital into this hotel,” said Sandhu, while sitting in the Richland Red Lion’s restaurant. “This place has infrastructure issues.” The biggest issue — heating, ventilation and air conditioning problems — will be attacked first. “There have been heating and cooling issues here for a while,” said Sandhu, 30. “People complain, depending on where your room is, of it being too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. We’re starting to get proposals out to contractors.” Sandhu said there also will be property improvements. “The room lock system will be replaced with cellphone keys, like you see in bigger city hotels,” Sandhu said. “We want to bring the modern amenities

Gurbir Sandhu and his company Hanford House Hospitality LLC bought the Richland Red Lion on George Washington Way last month. They also bought the Boise Red Lion for a combined $16.75 million. The Pasco Red Lion was sold to a different owner. The sale of the three regional hotels totaled $29.9 million. The hotels will retain their Red Lion brand.

to this hotel. People want a quiet, safe, clean place to stay. And you can’t have dimly-lit parking lots for safety reasons.” Sandhu also said Richland’s rooms have been renovated in the last seven years so those aren’t a high priority. These are the sixth and seventh hotels Sandhu and his business partners — some are family members, others from California — have purchased. In 2014, they bought the Kennewick Red Lion near Columbia Center. In February 2015, Sandhu and his company, Edge Hospitality Corp., bought the Red Lion Hotel Wenatchee for $4.1 million. There, Sandhu committed to improvements to the 149 guest rooms, public spaces and the exterior, spending $3 million. In 2016, Sandhu’s company bought the Red Lion Inn and Suites near the

Toyota Center in Kennewick. He’s also an owner of the new Kennewick Hampton Inn; Quality Suites Conference Center in Keizer, Ore.; and a five-story Marriott in East Wenatchee. Sandhu, president of Ignite Hotels LLC, and the managing principal for Core Hospitality Corp., both hotel management companies, is especially excited about the Richland Red Lion. “I like the location,” he said. “I like the hotel size. Operating a 150-room hotel is our bread and butter.” It’s the same size as the Wenatchee hotel, he noted. Sandhu also said operating a hotel with less than 80 rooms can be too easy, while something with 200 rooms or more has additional challenges. The hotel business excites him. uRED LION, Page 8


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

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Jerritt and Hailey Wiser’s last name was misspelled on page 50 of the February edition.

UPCOMING April Focuses: • Sustainability • Transportation

May Focuses: • Retirement • Tourism & Recreation

The Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business, a publication of TriComp Inc., is published monthly and delivered at no charge to identifiable businesses in Pasco, Richland, West Richland, Kennewick, Prosser and Benton City. Subscriptions are $27.10 per year, including tax, prepayment required, no refunds. Contents of this publication are the sole property of TriComp Inc. and can not be reproduced in any form without expressed written consent. Opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of staff, other contributors or other advertisers, nor do they imply endorsement by staff, contributors or advertisers. Every effort will be made to assure information published is correct; however, we are not liable for any errors or omissions made despite these efforts.

HANFORD, From page 1 Goldie is optimistic the new center will provide the solution. “They could go down to this center and talk with our work force resource specialists and get somebody to assist them and connect them with the office who can answer their questions, give them their forms, and help them fill out their forms.” Three people will be employed full time as work force resource specialists, bringing the knowledge of multiple individuals together under one roof. “Currently all those programs exist, but when you go see those individuals, you only get the education of what those programs can provide you,” said Calin Tebay, work force resource specialist. “In some scenarios, people with occupational disease or injury may qualify for two or three programs. So with us, they’ll be able to get all those programs, including documentation and education, the follow-up, and a point in the right direction once they determine which program is best for their scenario.” The official launch of the project came Jan. 1, with a goal to open 90 days later. “There is no other center like this in the whole DOE complex (nationally), so we’re going to be setting the bar,” Goldie said. The center is managed by Mission Support Alliance, which holds the operating contract through May 2019. But Goldie said future management is also part of the successor’s contract that’s currently out for bid. Mission Support Alliance could not share a dollar figure for the cost of opening and operating the center, but the federal government is footing the bill through the fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill. U.S.

Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell worked together to make this a reality for Washington state. Murray is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and saw this center as a key effort to improving worker safety protections at Hanford. “While continued progress at Hanford is important, it should never come at the expense of workers’ health and safety,” Murray said. “I will fight to make sure the Trump administration does everything in its power to put safety first and provide Hanford workers the health care and benefits they deserve.” Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, celebrated the passage of House Bill 1723 that helps sick Hanford workers earlier this month. The new legislation creates a presumption for Hanford nuclear site workers that certain diseases and conditions qualify as occupational diseases for the purposes of industrial insurance coverage. Haler introduced the bill last year but it stalled in the Senate Commerce, Labor and Sports Committee. This year, the bill passed the House 74-21 and the Senate 35-14. “Knowing that sick Hanford workers will now have more options than before, more hope than before – that is something I’m proud of,” Haler said. Currently, many former Hanford workers only seek services through town hall meetings typically held a couple of times a year. In addition, those meetings might be held by advocates for only specific programs, which don’t necessarily offer education on every resource available. “So those folks really have to wait for

those meetings that are once or twice a year, and now they’ve got access to that year-round,” Tebay said. It’s not just increasing access, but offering a professional who has expertise on navigating the systems to make sure a claim or benefits request is processed quickly and accurately. “Mistakes made can put an application into the abyss and stop their claim, or hold it up for months. It’s a lose-lose for everybody,” Bumpaous said. “For a working family to step into the world of workers’ comp, it’s confusing and intimidating. When you’re sick or injured, the last thing your family needs is red tape.” The center is also unique in that it is providing all services at no cost to the worker. A stand-alone computer also will be available for a client’s use to speed up the application process for submissions that may be done online. “There’s several programs where the advocates helping the claimant will charge for those services, whatever percentage is allowable for the program,” Tebay said. “For this, the claimant or their family members, it’s all free of charge. And there is no other service like that at this point.” Tebay said he’s seen cases where a claimant has given up thousands of dollars in compensation by hiring a service to assist with the process. “For many of these people, they need all the money, all the compensation of the program they can get.” The new center is in the same building as the Hanford Resource Center off George Washington Way. “We tried to find a central location so people don’t have to come out to Hanford,” Goldie said. “It’s on the Ben-Franklin Transit line, so if people don’t have a car, they can ride the transit there.” The center’s specialists are looking forward to the April opening, but as a first of its kind program, they have no way of guessing how many clients they will serve. “I think it’s going to be successful and busy. I think we’re going to be pleasantly surprised that we’re going to get a lot of business,” Tebay said. Clients who may be skeptical about an independent claims process will find a diverse background of specialists who are not judges, but rather there to connect the dots on the programs available. “We knew if we wanted people to take this seriously, we’ve got to do it with people they trust,” Bumpaous said. “Workers helping workers, members helping members.” The two union representatives who will be employed at the center were appointed directly by their specific union leadership. “They are not hired by Department of Energy or contractors,” Tebay said. “I think this is the most independent feel from an office that you’re ever going to get to be able to provide this kind of resource.” Bumpaous said he’s taken many phone calls from former workers with injuries to claim, asking when this center will open. The center is expected to launch April 2 with regular hours from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 309 Bradley Blvd., Ste. 120, in Richland. A website is forthcoming, which will provide links to find forms and resources.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018 uBUSINESS BRIEFS Tri-City CEO hired to bring nuclear reactors online

A Tri-City CEO has been tapped to help bring four new nuclear energy reactors online in the United Arab Emirates. Nawah Energy Co., based in the United Arab Emirates, announced its selection March Mark Reddemann 7 of Mark Reddemann as its new CEO. He has been the CEO of Energy Northwest in Richland since 2010. The joint action agency of Washington state employs more than 1,100 people. Nawah is a joint-venture between Emirates Nuclear Energy Co. and the Korea Electric Power Corp. In his new position, Reddemann will lead the Nawah team to the reactors on line at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Nawah expects the reactors to begin delivering a total of 5,600 megawatts to the region during the next four years. “I’m honored to accept this position,” Reddemann said in a statement. “It’s certainly clear to me that this opportunity comes my way as a direct result of Columbia Generating Station’s performance and the industry reputation our team has established.”

Columbia Generating Station is the third-largest electricity producer in Washington, behind the Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams. Reddemann’s last day as Energy Northwest’s CEO is March 30. He begins his duties as Nawah CEO on April 1. His last day is earlier than he announced last June. He had planned to leave this June.

$300,000 invested in Tri-City entrepreneurship efforts

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that the Port of Benton in Richland received $300,000 to support the development of earlystage seed capital funds through the Economic Development Administration’s Regional Innovation Strategies program. The port is the administrator for the Tri-Cities Research District, a state Innovation Partnership Zone that has a goal of accelerating the development of local startups. These dollars will support the expansion of education curriculum and business support services to better prepare local companies for seed funding.  This is the first grant of its kind to be awarded in the Tri-Cities, and it reinforces efforts that are already in place, port officials said. “This is outstanding validation that we are on the right track to grow the Tri-Cities entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Diahann Howard, the research district’s executive director and the direc-

tor of economic development and governmental affairs for the port. The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, housed within the Department of Commerce’s EDA, leads the program to spur innovation capacitybuilding activities in regions across the nation. Forty-two organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education and entrepreneurship-focused organizations from 28 states — received more than $17 million to create and expand cluster-focused proofof-concept and commercialization programs and to support early-stage seed capital funds through RIS. This fourth cohort of Regional Innovation Strategies awardees expands the RIS portfolio to eight new states and continues to build regional entrepreneurial economies. The awardees were selected from a pool of more than 217 applicants.

Pasco company fined $20,000 for hazardous waste disposal A Pasco agriculture company agreed to pay the state to settle violations for improper handling of dangerous waste. Syngenta Seeds’ operation in Pasco treats vegetable seeds with pesticides prior to distribution. Last year, an investigation found Syngenta didn’t properly contain waste from this process, potentially exposing people and the environment to pesticide waste, according to the Washington Department of Ecology. In March 2017, state inspectors


observed red dust outside the area where waste is collected prior to disposal. The dust was residue from the treatment process, and was classified as extremely hazardous waste under Washington’s dangerous waste laws. “When dangerous waste is mishandled, the chances are higher for people and the environment to be exposed to toxic chemicals,” said Karen Wood, section manager for Ecology’s Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program, in a statement. “Proper handling and disposal is crucial.” The penalty was originally $30,000, but Syngenta entered into an expedited settlement agreement with Ecology to reduce the recommended penalty by one-third to $20,000. “Adhering to environmental regulations to protect health and safety is a priority for Syngenta,” said Casey Young, Syngenta Seeds site manager for the Pasco operation, in a news release. “We have improved our administrative processes and addressed Ecology’s concerns.” As part of the settlement, Syngenta waives its right to appeal. Ecology’s expedited settlement process saves the state, taxpayers and the company the expense of costly litigation, the release said. Ecology required the company to immediately correct the violations. The Pasco facility is now in compliance, the state reported.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

Old country club restaurant transforms into edgy new public eatery Edge Steakhouse & Sports Lounge offers 2 options: sports bar, steak restaurant BY JEFF MORROW

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Tri-City diners have another steakhouse to add to their list of options. Edge Steakhouse & Sports Lounge had a soft opening last month, with the official grand opening weekend set for March 23-25. The new restaurant is inside the old Tri-City Country Club restaurant at 314 N. Underwood St., sitting on top of the hill overlooking the rebranded golf course, Zintel Creek Golf Club. The golf course has always been open to the public, but the restaurant had not. When it was the country club, diners had to be members of the club to eat there — or at least be guests of club members. No more. And Edge features two restaurants instead of one. The Sports Lounge portion is open seven days a week: from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday. There are 20 craft beers on tap. A Golden Tee golf video game sits in the sports lounge, with all proceeds from the game going to the Kennewick High golf team. In addition, General Manager Clint

Ables — who doubles as the head golf professional for the Zintel Creek Golf Club — plans to add to the sports lounge. “I’m excited about putting a golf simulator into the sports lounge this fall,” Ables said. “That way you can have something to eat and drink, then work on your golf swing.” The sports lounge includes a breakfast menu Friday through Sunday. “And even if you want a steak Monday through Wednesday, we have a steak on the sports lounge menu,” Ables said. The Steakhouse side of the eatery is open from 4 to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. A sliding, rustic-looking barn door separates the two parts of the restaurant. “The barn door is a nice touch,” Ables said. “It really sets it off. It also gives us the ability to open it up for parties.” The changes in the restaurant – and the golf course – came about last fall when the country club membership voted to allow a new, local group of investors, called Save the Club LLC, to take over ownership of the golf course and restaurant. The majority, if not all, members of Save the Club, LLC, were longtime members of the Tri-City Country Club. The group infused the golf course and restaurant with new money to help pay

The rebranded and revamped Edge Steakhouse & Sports Lounge is now open at 314 N. Underwood St. in Kennewick. It’s the first time the golf club’s restaurant has been open to the public.

outstanding bills and for improvement projects. Had the group not taken over the club, the golf course and restaurant likely would have gone bankrupt. The course since has been improved, with better sand traps, as an example. Once a par-65 course, it’s now a par-66. The No. 18 hole has gone from being a par-4 hole to a par-5. A change in the restaurant also was in the new plans. The group hired Phouty Vongsaly, who was the sous chef at Anthony’s and Budd’s Broiler in Richland, to be the head chef at Edge. “He’s been great,” Ables said. “You know, I wasn’t sure at first. He’s so quiet. I wasn’t sure how he was going to handle the kitchen. But that first night, I walked into the kitchen, and he had the staff and kitchen so well organized. “He and food and beverage manager Shannon Bibe have done a great job with the menu. And he’s whipped that kitchen into shape.” The menu in both the steakhouse and

the sports lounge offers a lot in variety, with prices ranging from $28 for a New York steak dinner and $13 for fettuccine, to $7 for omelets and $15 for salads. Vongsaly and his staff served a dinner for the new owners Feb. 17, and then opened the restaurant for a soft opening and first day of business Feb. 20. “It’s been good so far,” said Ables, who pushed the grand opening back to March 23-25 so it wouldn’t conflict with St. Patrick’s Day weekend. “I’ve been impressed. We’re still going to have some growing pains. But it’s been a good start.” Ables said people should start seeing TV commercials. Then radio ads will begin airing. The new ownership group is hopeful diners will start thinking about Edge Steakhouse & Sports Lounge when they think about Tri-City dining options. “We’re happy to have new customers,” Ables said. “That’s why the biggest thing has been our name change. The attitude is different. We’re not a country club anymore. The biggest change is the attitude. We’ll be a welcoming place.”

Please recycle the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business when you are done reading it, or pass it on to a coworker.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018





• Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber Networking Luncheon: 11:30 a.m., Red Lion Hotel, 2525 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. RSVP: 509542-0933.


• Foundation for the Future Breakfast, benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Tickets: 509-543-9980. • PTAC Workshop “Beginner Proposal Development:” 10 a.m. – noon and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., Tri-Cities Business and Visitor Center, 7130 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. RSVP 509-491-3231. • Prosser Economic Development Association Annual Meeting: 5:30 – 7 p.m., Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center, 2140 Wine Country Road, Prosser. Contact: 509-786-3600.


• Fourth Annual Honky Tonk Hoedown, benefiting the Rascal Rodeo: 5:30 p.m., Red Lion Hotel, 2525 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. Tickets:


• Solutions at Sunrise: 7:15 – 8:15 a.m., CG Public House, 9221 W. Clearwater Ave., Kennewick. RSVP: • PTAC Workshop “Government Contracting Essentials:” 9 – 11 a.m., TriCities Business and Visitor Center, 7130 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. RSVP: 509-491-3231.


• Tri-City Regional Chamber Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. RSVP: 509-7360510.


• Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation annual breakfast: 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. RSVP: 509-737-3373. • TRIDEC 55th annual meeting: noon – 1:30 p.m., Red Lion Hotel, 2525 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. RSVP: • Business Development University “Expo Like A Pro:” 3 – 5 p.m., Tri-Cities Business and Visitor Center,

7130 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. RSVP: 509-7360510.


• 8th annual Crimson Fest: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., WSU Tri-Cities, 2710 Crimson Way, Richland. Visit: tricities.


• Fans Night Out, benefiting Soroptimist International of PascoKennewick: 4:30 – 9 p.m., Southridge Sports & Event Complex, 2901 Southridge Blvd., Kennewick. Tickets: soroptimistpascokennewick. org.


• Tourism Tune-Up: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center, 2140 Wine Country Road, Prosser. Tickets: • Prosser Chamber Member Luncheon: noon – 1 p.m., Jeremy’s 1896 Public House, 1232 Wine Country Road, Prosser. RSVP: 509-786-3177.


• National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association lunch meeting:

11:30 a.m., Red Lion Hotel, 1101 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Kennewick. Visit • West Richland Chamber Membership Luncheon: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Sandberg Event Center, 331 S. 41st Ave., West Richland. RSVP: 509967-0521.


• Historic Downtown Kennewick Networking Breakfast: 8 – 9 a.m., Clover Island Inn, 435 N. Clover Island Drive, Kennewick. RSVP: 509-582-7221.


• Tee off for Type 1 Charity Golf Tournament: 1 p.m., Canyon Lakes Golf Course, 3700 Canyon Lakes Drive, Kennewick. Register:


• Pasco Chamber Membership Luncheon: 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Red Lion Hotel, 2525 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. RSVP: 509547-9755.


• ASQ Section 0614 Dinner Meeting: 5:30 p.m., Shilo Inn, 50 Comstock,

Richland. RSVP: 509-5446183.


• Downtowner Banquet: 6 – 9 p.m., Clover Island Inn, 435 N. Clover Island Drive, Kennewick. Tickets:


• Una Noche de Exitos, A Night of Achievements: 6 – 9 p.m., Red Lion Hotel, 2525 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. RSVP: 509-542-0933.


• Crimson Food and Wine Classic: 6 p.m., Hamilton Cellars, 55410 N. Sunset Road, Benton City. Tickets: ccb/signup/index. castle?formid=33


• Senior Times Expo: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Red Lion Hotel, 2525 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. Visit: expo.

APRIL 17 – 18

• Safety Connect 2018: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., TRAC, 6600 Burden Blvd., Pasco. Contact:


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

uBUSINESS BRIEFS State’s retail sales get boost from auto sales, construction

Washington’s retail sales got a boost from summer sales of vehicles as well as steady growth in construction. Taxable retail sales grew 7.3 percent in third-quarter 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, and total sales reached $41.3 billion. Other highlights of July to September 2017 include: • Construction rose 9.7 percent to $8.5 billion. • Taxable retail sales reported by new and used auto dealers increased 5.5 percent to $3.5 billion. • E-commerce and mail order sales increased 18.8 percent to $788 million.

• Drug and health store sales increased 10.2 percent to $741 million. • Lawn and garden supplies and equipment rose by 14 percent to $202 million.

Trade council, Newhouse blast steel, aluminum tariff

The Washington Council on International Trade recently issued a statement to say that it strongly disagrees with the Trump Administration’s tariff announcement on steel and aluminum. The council said tariffs would negatively affect Washington state companies and consumers alike by driving up prices of goods and inviting retaliation against Washington state exports and investment. Forty percent of jobs in Washington

are trade-related, the council said. “In Washington state, we depend on our global competitiveness. Trade – both exports and imports – paves the way for Washington-made goods and services to reach foreign markets, provides Washingtonians with products that raise our quality of life, and sustains familywage jobs in numerous local industries. These proposed tariffs will undermine Washington state jobs and prosperity,” says Lori Otto Punke, president of the council, in a statement. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Washington, joined 106 Republican colleagues to send a letter to Trump expressing concern that broad, global tariffs on aluminum and steel imports could have negative, unintended consequences on U.S. businesses and consumers.

Richland to break ground on 11th elementary school

The Richland School District expects to award the construction bid for a new West Richland elementary school in early April. The district’s 11th elementary school will be built near the intersection of Belmont Boulevard and the future Sunshine Avenue. Design West of Kennewick is the architect. The new school will be 65,000 square feet and enroll about 600 students when it opens in August 2019.

Uber now offering scheduled rides

Uber is now offering scheduled rides in Eastern Washington, including in the Tri-Cities. The ride-sharing company announced the new perk last month. Rides can be scheduled up to 30 days in advance via the Uber app.

Ecology funds more than 200 clean water projects

Five projects in Benton County are among the 230 clean-water projects funded by the state Department of Ecology’s $220 million in grants and loans to communities across the state. Projects include upgrading sewage treatment systems, management of polluted stormwater runoff and pollution prevention projects. Projects funded in the Tri-Cities include Benton County Conservation District’s Lower Yakima River water quality, nutrient and aquatic vegetation dynamics program; city of West Richland Public Works Department’s Ironton stormwater retrofit construction; city of Richland’s Meadow Springs limited improvement district stormwater project; Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group’s environmental analysis and design of changes to the Yakima Delta; and city of Richland’s Columbia Park Trail stormwater retrofit project. For more details and descriptions on projects statewide, go to an interactive map at

RED LION, From page 3 “I like tearing it down, building it back up, and seeing what the customers think,” he said. “Hotels have marketing, human resources, staffs. It’s a minieconomy of itself in one hotel.” Having a solid staff is key to their success because he can’t be everywhere, Sandhu said. “You have to trust your staff,” he said. “The only way to have these hotels is to trust your staff. So you don’t have to be there every day.” He’s ready for these new hotels to be added to his portfolio. “I’m very excited,” he said. “I just love the Northwest. I’m 30. I spent my first 15 years in California. I spent the last 15 years in the Northwest. I’m a West Coast guy.”

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

Kennewick company fined $5,000 for housing discrimination against veteran Celski & Associates said incident stems from misunderstanding of an acronym BY JOHN STANG

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

A Kennewick property management firm was one of eight state corporations recently hit with allegation of illegal housing discrimination against veterans by the Washington Attorney General’s Office. However, Jason Celski, owner of Celski & Associates, said the incident stems from an employee at an apartment complex not understanding an acronym when asked whether a prospective tenant could use Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing, or VASH, vouchers. VASH is a joint program between the U.S. departments of Housing & Urban Development and Veterans Affairs. The program offers housing vouchers combined with VA support services for veterans who have a disability, including a serious mental illness, a history of substance abuse disorder or a physical disability. “One of the complex’s employees was called and asked about VASH voucher,” Celski said. He said the employee at the complex did not understand what VASH meant and said the complex did not accept the vouchers. Celsksi said the complex does accept them. In the email exchange, the apartment complex manager said it could not accept third-party money for “assisted living.” The applicant’s email referred to VASH vouchers, with the acronym not spelled out. He said Celski & Associates does not own the complex. The company is the property management firm. Celski & Associates paid a $5,000 penalty to the state for the violation stemming

from a September 2016 email exchange for a $600-per-month apartment at Tanglewood Apartments at 465 N. Arthur St. in Kennewick. Washington law prohibits housing practices that discriminate on the basis of disability or veteran status. Overall, the state Attorney General’s Office uncovered 10 cases of alleged discrimination against holders of VASH vouchers. Eight companies agreed to take remedial actions, including Celski & Associates. The other seven included TJ Cline LLC in Walla Walla, Welcome Home Properties LLC in Walla Walla, three companies in Spokane, one in Issaquah and one in Yelm. Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s Office is targeting two other corporate housing providers for legal actions on the same issue. These are Utah-based Apartment Management Consultants LLC and Colorado-based Mission Rock Residential LLC, which also refused to accept VASH vouchers from veterans. Both have refused to take remedial actions, according to an Attorney General’s Office news release. Apartment Management Consultants manages 24 residential rental properties in 10 cities in Washington, including the HighGrove and Wildreed apartments in Everett. Among Mission Rock’s 13 properties in nine Washington cities are the Lakeside Landing Apartments in Tacoma and Sierra Sun in Puyallup. Neither manages any housing in Benton, Franklin or Walla Walla counties. “No veteran should be denied a roof over their head based on how they plan to pay their rent,” Ferguson said.

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Trios makes another swap of top leadership BY KRISTINA LORD

Three weeks after announcing a new interim chief executive officer and four weeks after introducing a new chief financial officer, Trios Health has made a n o t h e r change to its top leadership team. Scott Landrum has been appointed as the new interim CEO and Tom Marshall Scott Landrum is the new CFO. Both are Quorum Health Resources employees. The Tennessee-based consultants were hired by the Kennewick Public Hospital Board of Commissioners in 2016 to help analyze and manage the financial crisis that forced Trios into Chapter 9 bankruptcy last summer. The two new executives are expected to lead Trios Health through the final stages of bankruptcy proceedings and a potential acquisition. The Kennewick Public Hospital District Board of Commissioners made the appointments at its Feb. 22 meeting. Landrum brings more than 30 years of executive experience in health care with much focused on bringing stability to hospitals and health systems in dis-

tress, a Trios news release said. Marshall, a certified public accountant, has spent nearly four decades working in the health care industry on Tom Marshall turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions and startups. “Trios Health has made tremendous progress in its bankruptcy proceedings and talks with RCCH Healthcare Partners the last few weeks,” said Marvin Kinney, board president, in a statement. “These two gentlemen (Landrum and Marshall) are our ‘closers,’ having direct and relevant experience in finalizing bankruptcies and transactions. They will see us through this final chapter.” Mark Armstrong, who has worked with Trios Health since the board hired Quorum, was named interim CEO in early February to bridge the gap between Craig Cudworth’s departure and Landrum’s appointment. Cudworth, also a Quorum employee, served in the CEO position for a year. Trios is mum on why it opted to swap Cudworth for Armstrong, saying only that Cudworth’s contract was up and the board wanted someone else in the role. uTRIOS, Page 10


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018 

uBUSINESS BRIEFS Albertsons announces plans to merge with Rite Aid

Albertsons recently announced plans to merge with Rite Aid. The grocery store and drug store chains announced the deal Feb. 21. The integrated company will operate about 4,900 locations, 4,350 pharmacy counters and 320 clinics across 38 states and Washington, D.C., serving more than 40 million customers per week. Most Albertsons pharmacies will be rebranded as Rite Aid, and the company will continue to operate Rite Aid stand-alone pharmacies. Rite Aid has seven stores in the TriCities, plus one in Hermiston and one in Sunnyside.

Albertsons operates in Kennewick, Pasco and Richland. There are two Safeway stores, one in Richland and the other in Kennewick. Albertsons operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners including Albertsons and Safeway. The combined company is expected to generate revenues of about $83 billion and about $3.7 billion in estimated annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Rite Aid Corp. reported fiscal 2017 annual revenues of $32.8 billion.

Public hearings set on Lourdes hospital sale

The state Department of Health has scheduled two public hearings to gather

comments about the sale of Lourdes Hospital in Pasco and Lourdes Counseling Center in Richland. Capella Healthcare LLC wants to buy both facilities from Ascension Healthcare, based in St. Louis, Missouri, for $21 million. If the Lourdes deal is approved, the type of ownership of the two hospitals will change from non-profit to for-profit. State law requires the Department of Health to review and approve the application before the change in ownership type occurs. Capella’s parent corporation is RegionalCare Hospital Partners Holding, Inc. which does business as RCCH HealthCare Partners, based in Brentwood, Tennessee. Capella’s parent company, RCCH, is

privately-owned and operates 17 regional health systems. RCCH has hospitals located in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Washington. Trios Health also is exploring a relationship with RCCH and UW Medicine, but first must clear bankruptcy. Paperwork filed with the state describes the terms of the Lourdes sale and steps taken by Ascension Healthcare in determining the need to sell the hospitals and in soliciting purchase bids. The Richland hearing is from 9 to 11:30 a.m. March 19 at the Richland City Council chambers, 975 George Washington Way. The Pasco hearing is from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at Pasco Police Community Services Building, 215 W. Sylvester St. Comments are limited to three minutes per person. In-person Spanish interpretation services will be available at both hearings. Written comments also will be accepted by March 19 by writing Department of Health, Certificate of Need Program, Mail Stop 47852, Olympia, WA 98504-7852; or via email to; include “Lourdes Sale” in subject line.

Tourism Tune-up training offered in Prosser

A one-day conference aimed at helping employees give customers the best experience their company business has to offer is planned from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 3 at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser. Keynote speaker for the Tourism TuneUp event is Bill Levisay, a consultant and public speaker who has worked for companies such as Bolthouse Farms and Coca-Cola. Seminar topics include human resources, the guest experience and audience engagement. A networking and social time is scheduled for the end of the day. Cost per person is $45 for the full day and $30 for half the day. Group discounts are available. Lunch is included. Tickets required in advance and are available online at under “events.”

TRIOS, From page 9 Armstrong will remain closely involved as Landrum transitions in and through Trios Health’s exit from bankruptcy and acquisition, the news release said. Interim CFO Mike Rolph, who took over for Tony Sudduth in early February, unexpectedly departed Trios Health for “personal/familial reasons,” according to Trios. As a consultant, Marshall picked up where Rolph left off. Sudduth, who worked at Trios for about four years, left for another job on Feb. 2. “We appreciate the community’s continued support and understanding as we navigate bankruptcy and acquisition. There are a lot of moving parts, but things are lining up for a great outcome,” Kinney said in a news release. “It’s important that TriCitians know we remain committed to continuing to serve them well into the future.”

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018



WSU hospitality school rolls out Institute for Senior Living BY JESSICA HOEFER

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

A Washington State University professor knows firsthand the importance of hiring well trained, qualified “senior living” professionals. Scott Eckstein lived in an assisted living facility for a while to help settle his maternal grandparents into one. He also believes living in one may have prevented his grandmother’s death. He knows the business side of the industry, too, as he used to develop senior living facilities and manage them. “Most students have no idea what senior living is about. They think it’s an old folks home, and they see it’s more like a hotel that grandma and grandpa are living in—not like a hospital. There’s so many similarities between hospitality and senior living, so I tell the students, ‘This is not calculus and English. This is about how senior living fits with everything else you’re learning.’ To understand senior living is to understand what daily living is: How you engage residents, what’s the customer experience like, marketing. The senior wants to be cared for,” Eckstein said. WSU recently launched an Institute

for Senior Living through its Hospitality Business Management program. It comes on the heels of announcing the addition of an online senior living program to its hospitality business management curriculum in the fall. The demand is there. The industry needs to recruit 1.2 million new employees by 2025, according to one industry study. Managers are getting scarce to find and hire, with industry leaders resorting to stealing employees from each other, Eckstein said. Rather than continuing to spar over workers, competitors decided to come together and turned to WSU for a solution, he said. The new institute will focus on three major initiatives to develop the future work force: academic programs, industry partnerships and research. The WSU Senior Living Management program was originally developed in partnerships with Aegis Living, Merrill Gardens, Emeritus (now Brookdale), and Leisure Care. Additional industry partners, including NIC and Argentum, have helped shape and expand the senior living management curriculum from a single introductory course offered as an

Scott Eckstein, clinical assistant professor of hospitality business management, takes program students on a field trip to gain real-world experience to help them better understand senior living. (Courtesy Washington State University)

elective under the hospitality business management major, to courses offered across the state and the new, online senior living certificate option. The noncredit certificate program will help students gain a better understanding of the senior living industry with realworld industry experience through the school’s 1,000-hour internship graduate requirement. There are seven modules in the certificate program that range from

finance and operations to leadership and risk management. The program is selfpaced and takes students on average seven to 12 weeks to complete. “We talk about international senior living. I explain it’s not just a U.S. issue. I teach about the history of the business, I teach about the care, and then you go on a field trip,” Eckstein said. uSENIOR LIVING, Page 20


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018 


Hospitality association’s top priority for year is tourism BY ANTHONY ANTON

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

I love hospitality. We are welcoming and solution-oriented, constantly finding ways to improve the experience we deliver to guests. The team here at the Washington Hospitality Association is working on solutions to policy issues that fit the needs of our industry and work for Washingtonians. During the past several years, we’ve had a string of successes delivering solutions, from workers’ comp reform to privatizing alcohol to, most recently, proactively finding a paid family leave solution. In 2018, tourism is our association’s No. 1 priority. This month, we secured an industrywide win with the passage of a bill that will reinstate a statewide tourism promotion program. Washington is the only state in the U.S. without a statewide tourism promotion program. We’ve been working to restore funding since 2009. By comparison, Oregon invests more than $15 million into global sales and marketing. They receive $237 in new visitor spending for every $1 spent, according to Travel Oregon. Tourism is an absolute return on investment that would provide for more wages, more hours, more jobs for our people, more tax dollars and would generally create a sense of community pride. Our team has been working to give us the platform to craft our megaphone to talk about Washington’s adventures and indulgences – the strategy of the Washington Tourism Alliance’s draft marketing plan. And we have great things to shout into a megaphone. Traveler polls show Washington is recognized for having great restaurants. You see picturesque photos in magazines that show our incredible resorts and bed and breakfasts from the Tri-Cities to Walla Walla to Prosser. When you see “Visit the Northwest,” it almost always features Washington locations. And yet, when people think of where to visit, the survey numbers show we’re ranked behind Oregon and Idaho. A state this beautiful should be second to none. If we had state tourism funding, we could really begin to talk about our beautiful state to the outside world. We’ll need to work beside destination marketing organizations, visitor and convention bureaus, and tourism promotion areas around the state, as well as our partners in tourism and other industries – and yes, you! The Washington Hospitality Association will be there to help get it done and recruit the best brains to accomplish it in a way that is measur-

able and that you can be proud of. That sense of bonding and trust with the Washington Tourism Alliance, destination marketing organizations and other tourism-related industries is only going to continue and benefit us as we go from securing our funding and permits and laying the foundation to actually building a great tourism-promotion program. Why does this matter for TriCities? Rural communities like the Tri-Cities are where we would expect to see the biggest focus of the tourism marAnthony Anton keting plan and Washington bump in occuHospitality pancy rates and Association revenues. Occupancy rate is the number of rooms a lodging place has and the number that are full at any given time on average. The average lodging occupancy rate in Seattle is much higher than it is in the rest of the state. What this tells you is with Seattle’s investment in its own tourism promotion, its own infrastructure and the buzz around Seattle, rooms have averaged around 62 percent occupancy during the course of a year. It’s the rural Washington communities that are at 40 percent occupancy in their lodging businesses. Every time someone stays in a hotel room in the Tri-Cities, they spend money in our restaurants, in our retail stores and on our local experiences. And by doing so, they provide for wages, more hours and good jobs for our people, as well as more tax dollars and generally create a sense of community pride. The world sees Seattle when they watch the Seahawks games on TV. Different shows that are based in Seattle show the skyline. We need to add to that and show travelers the beauty of the Columbia River, the bounty of wine country and all they can explore around Southeast Washington. We have a great story to tell. We don’t have the megaphone to tell it. It is in our industry’s nature to find solutions to problems facing our communities. Today we’re celebrating. We worked to give our community a platform to talk about why travelers need to come to Tri-Cities for great local, personal experiences. Now it’s time to open the door and say, “Welcome to Washington hospitality.” Anthony Anton is president and CEO of the Washington Hospitality Association.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018 



Growing home rental market gives Tri-City travelers more options BY LAURA KOSTAD

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

With vacation rentals opening their doors throughout the Mid-Columbia and Uber now available across the Tri-Cities, it’s becoming easier than ever for visitors to connect with locals and seek out a unique, personalized travel experience. Nearly 150 vacation rental properties are available in and around the Tri-Cities. Tri-City tourism is big business, generating $50.7 million in local and state tax receipts in 2016. The area’s hotel industry is also robust, showing a 62.6 percent occupancy rate in 2017, a 7.4 percent increase over the previous year. But more vacation-goers are turning to online home rental programs like Vacation Rental by Owner, or VRBO, Airbnb and HomeAway to find and book short-term rentals. Ralph Erath of Richland said he was the only VRBO host in the Tri-Cities when he listed a Ralph Erath standalone home in 2009. He started flipping and renting homes in Walla Walla and listing them through VRBO in 2005. He said he got the idea from his sister, who lives in Arizona. “We started with a condo in Phoenix,” Erath recalled. “We purchased it together and rented it for a while with good success.” Other homeowners turned part-time property entrepreneurs have caught onto the idea of capitalizing on the growing tourism market by leveraging property assets to make extra money. A 2014 HomeAway survey revealed that, on average, their standalone properties are available 36 weeks out of the year and rent at a rate of $217 per night, resulting in an annual gross income of $27,360 for the owners. LeeAnne Parrish of Kennewick, who rents rooms out of her home, said she and her husband use the extra income to do more home improvement projects. Airbnb host Shawna Holland said it’s helped pay for her daughter’s college education. “It was my husband’s idea,” admitted Holland, who had her doubts about the new enterprise when they posted their first listing in 2015. “I didn’t think there was a market here.” That assumption was proved wrong when they had 13 stays in their daylight basement-turned-apartment in the first month. They’ve since added a standalone home in Richland to their offerings, and hope to add more in the future. Both of their properties are typically 100 percent booked from the first of April to the end of October, and often reserved by repeat customers who request up to six months in advance. Parrish said she had a similar experience when they listed two bedrooms in

their Kennewick home; she was concerned that as new hosts with no reviews, it might be slow going initially. Their first booking came within just two days. So, who’s coming to stay in TriCities? Holland reported that about 30 percent of their guests are wine lovers, another 30 percent come to visit family, attend a wedding, funeral or reunion, and the rest come for business or for sporting events. Hosts located in-city report hosting more guests who are in town on multimonth work contracts at Hanford and other construction projects, or in the medical field. Holland, whose primary home and apartment rental is off Dallas Road, said when they joined there were only seven houses listed on the rural fringe of TriCities, but now there are about 25. She said this is a testament to increasing volumes of tourism in the area, as well as the rapid growth of the vacation rental industry. Rentals United, a “channel manager” software company which provides advertising services for lodging, reported in 2015 that the vacation rental industry is worth an estimated $85 billion and that 14 percent of travelers booked a private home or apartment for at least one trip that year. Airbnb, founded in San Francisco in 2008, boasts more than four million listings in 65,000 cities and 191 countries worldwide. Rival VRBO, which was the pioneer of the vacation rental industry, made its debut in 1995 with the birth of the internet. The company was later acquired by a five-site merger of vacation rental-byowner platforms, and became a subsidiary of HomeAway Inc. in 2006. Almost another decade later, Expedia bought out HomeAway. Despite the merger, according to HomeAway’s website, there are now about one million properties available through its platforms across 190 countries. Holland and Parrish said their choice to list through Airbnb was due to VRBO’s reputation of excluding properties in which the owner lives in the accommodation. Though this rule changed when VRBO/HomeAway was bought by Expedia, it seems not to have dulled Airbnb’s competitive edge. Holland reported that despite her property’s location in an older neighborhood, it garners more bookings than the apartment. “I think people prefer that privacy,” she said. However, neither rental attracted additional bookings when simultaneously listed on VRBO for a period last fall. “We only got one bite in two months,” said Holland, who decided to stick with Airbnb exclusively after that. Erath said VRBO is not as host-friendly as it used to be. He explained how if he refuses a short-term request to book, in favor of waiting for a longer-term guest to inquire, it negatively affects his rating. “Expedia’s going to get their money

Shawna Holland and her husband, John, began renting out a daylight basement apartment unit in their home as a vacation rental on Airbnb in 2015 after their daughter moved away to college. Guests started booking immediately and the Hollands now report being booked from the first of April through the end of October each year. (Courtesy Shawna Holland)

one way or another,” he said, explaining that the declined short-term guest will probably just turn to Expedia to find the lowest priced hotel in the area. He said VRBO’s rental process has become more cumbersome since Expedia took over and travelers are turning to other venues. “I depend a lot on repeat customers now—my business has dropped 90 percent,” said Erath, who used to receive three to four bookings per week and is now down to one to two per month. As a result, Erath had to sell two of his three Tri-City properties and is consider-

ing taking his remaining property off VRBO and converting it into a long-term rental. He said he considered switching to Airbnb, but just found more of the same problems developing on that platform. Parrish and Holland both talked about the increasing cost of staying in Airbnbs, due to the cleaning fee policies that most hosts are now tacking onto their price. Hosts set this cost and it isn’t reflected in the nightly rate, making it more difficult for customers browsing listings to find the lowest price. uVRBO, Page 15


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018 


Winemaker offers advice for choosing best wine for casual dinner party BY DAVID FORSYTH

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

OK, so here’s the challenge. I’ve got company visiting from out-of-town, California wine country to be exact, folks who know and are active in the wine industry. Which Washington wine should be served to showcase the true essence of Washington wine? Do I distill the choice down to one white and one red, without being pretentious, and forego some obvious heavy-hitter of a variety or winery? Let’s consider the elements of the decision. First premise is what makes Washington wine so amazing? The

clarity of fruit, fresh acidity and the richness and structure are all wrapped up in a balanced wine from the beginning to end. Also complicating my decision is that if we have a problem in Washington state, it is not that we are limited to what varieties we can grow and wine we can make, but rather that a large number of varieties grow well here and produce unique and beautiful wines. There is such a diverse selection that we can’t agree on a signature variety for the state. But then again, why limit the industry and the wine lover by doing so? First the whites. The obvious ones on the list are Sauvignon Blanc with grapefruit and mouth-watery acidity, or

a Chardonnay, which may run the range from unoaked with unadulterated pear fruit to a full-throttle buttery oaked version. I love them all. One could certainly David Forsyth entertain Four Feathers Riesling, which Wine Estates lends itself to Washington’s cooler climate to produce dry Rieslings with white peach and tangerine to something a little riper with ripe apri-

cot. Riesling is our house white at home. No, I think I would go with something a bit more esoteric that has fallen by the wayside in modern wine culture. The first to consider is Chenin Blanc. It is planted as a workhorse in warm regions of California at very high crop volumes to fill the need for white wine blends. Grown in the cooler climate of Washington, these grapes make beautiful and complex wines. Chenin Blanc, often made dry or with a slight residual sugar, has a full round mouthfeel with ripe pear fruit and a touch of grassiness to add some complexity. This wine invites another glass every time. However, tonight we’ll go with Semillon. This is a wine with ripe honeydew melon and lanolin flavors and an interesting herbalness. This is a variety that always receives the comment, “Why don’t I drink more of this?” Semillon, incidentally, ages great in a wine cellar. It holds up in the bottle over the years to produce a silky complex wine redolent of figs and dried pear. Now to consider the reds, where the list is even longer: Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Syrah, Sangiovese, and certainly, the King of Reds, Cabernet Sauvignon. For better or worse, a wine region is often decided whether it is a world-class player on the qualities of its reds alone. Washington steps up here and has the wines and the reputation of that class. For this dinner, I will have to go with Merlot, the poor stepchild and wannabe wine. It became wildly popular in the early ’90s and was overplanted in the wrong regions, producing a lot of bad Merlot that was deservedly panned by the wine press and Hollywood. Due to the size of the California wine industry, the Merlot available in the market completely over-shadowed the great Washington Merlot that was and is still be produced. Merlot is an earlier ripening variety than Cabernet Sauvignon and really needs to hang longer on the vine to reduce the green and herbal notes that Merlots can have. Being grown in cooler Washington, we can allow our Merlot this essential longer hang time, picking in late September rather than a month earlier in August, as in California. Merlot grown and done right in Washington produces a wine with ripe blackberry, ripe cherry, mint with some earth all wrapped up in a rich and balanced red, with good tannin structure sure to please and fool the most ardent Cabernet Sauvignon lover. The good news is that whether you go with these suggested varietals or any other Washington wines, they will deliver an experience at a great value. It is a great time to be a Washington wine lover. David Forsyth is the winemaker and general manager at Four Feathers Wine Estates in Prosser.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018



$6.7 million extended-stay hotel planned in Richland BY ROBIN WOJTANIK

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

A new extended-stay hotel is going up near Kohl’s, Mor Furniture and the Holiday Inn Express on Tapteal Drive in Richland. The $6.7 million project has a targeted opening of late 2018. The four-story WoodSpring Suites will feature 122 rooms and a fitness center. Construction financing is still being finalized and a planned ground-breaking of Feb. 1 has been pushed back. Construction is expected to take 11 months. The site overlooks Highway 240 to the north. There are two WoodSpring Suites hotels in Everett and Redmond, and project coordinator Kerri Findlay said the Richland hotel will include a similar “Northwest vibe.” WoodSpring Suites follows a “lean operating model,” with minimal staff, Findlay said. The hotel is expected to employ about seven to 10 people once it opens. Findlay said the properties operate simi-

VRBO, From page 13 Parrish opts to roll cleaning into her all-inclusive $50 per night room rental fee. She explained how another listing might have a lower nightly rate, but might end up costing more than her accommodations due to the hidden cleaning fee. “We’re here to give people a place of respite and comfort,” said Holland, who is also opposed to exorbitant cleaning fees and refuses to raise prices for peak season, holidays or events. She said she feels such moves defeat the point of Airbnb, and make it so an individual can book a standard hotel, often with

lar to an apartment building, with unit cleanings every two weeks instead of nightly for long-term guests. Typical customers are people in need of transitional housing or contract workers. The hotels are pet-friendly with in-room kitchens. The hotels are considered basic economy in the extended-stay model, similar to competitors like MyPlace or Extended Stay America. Prices advertised at the Everett WoodSpring Suites property were $70 a night and rates in Redmond were listed at $85 nightly. Customers can stay nightly, weekly or for a long-term basis. WoodSpring Suites reports averaging a new hotel opening “every few weeks” with dozens of hotels in development, according to its website. WoodSpring is part of a national chain of 240 extended-stay hotels that was recently acquired by Choice Hotels International for $231 million. Choice Hotels includes 6,500 properties, including brands like Sleep Inn, Clarion and Econo

more amenities, for the same price or less. Erath said vacation rentals are still the way to go for couples traveling together who can split the cost. Despite these growing pains as the vacation rental industry continues to evolve, feedback on the overall host experience was positive. “We’ve met some really neat people from many different countries,” Holland said. Erath said he likes “the idea of providing top-class accommodations … I’m a customer service evangelist.”

WoodSpring Suites expects to break ground soon on a 122-room extendedstay hotel on Tapteal Drive in Richland. The four-story hotel will be near Kohl’s.

Lodge, among others. This project is being developed by West77 Partners, a real estate investment company based out of Bellevue, with Richland Hotel Holdings LLC listed as the owner. This first Tri-Cities’ WoodSpring Suites is part of an immediate plan to bring six

WoodSpring hotels to the state, with construction on two other properties scheduled to begin later this year in Kent and Lakewood. The company’s long-term plan is to open 25 WoodSpring hotels throughout the state, mainly in and around Seattle.

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018 

Degrees of hospitality limited only by imagination BY MARILOU SHEA

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Hospitality is a vast industry comprised of a lot of different things — food and beverage, lodging, conventions, travel, attractions and leisure. The industry is typically divided into two measureable sectors: arts, entertainment and recreation; and accommodations and food services. I’m going to focus on the latter because that’s where the job growth and opportunities are, according to our local labor expert Asja Suljic. Like a lot of opportunities, the recent launch of Columbia Basin College’s hospitality program was predicated on solving an industry problem. Industry leaders shared with us their acute need for qualified candidates with entry-level, documentable skills. Two prime examples: a manager hiring line cooks. Of the 25 who showed up, six had negligible cooking or culinary skills. One lodging owner mentioned that he had 100 applicants for an entry-level position and eight were minimally qualified. These scenarios are indicative of what’s happening at the regional and national levels, too. CBC’s Career and Technical Education program adopted the American Hotel Education Lodging Institute, or AHELI, curriculum and partners with the Washington Hospitality Association. AHELI is a well-regarded credentialing body that offers hospitality certifications in the U.S. and worldwide.

Currently in the leisure and hospitality space, the accommodations and food services sub-sector accounts for 84 percent of the job market with the remaining 15.8 percent in Marilou Shea the arts, entertainFood Truck ment and recreAcademy ation sector. That translates to 11,700 jobs versus 11,396 jobs, respectively. The good news is that 3.47 percent is the expected accommodations and food services sector growth (versus 2.25 percent in arts, entertainment and recreation) through 2020 and that means — you got it — more jobs and more opportunities for those interested in hospitality, and especially in lodging, food and beverage sub-sectors like restaurants, wineries and culinary endeavors. Evidence of that growth is seen all around our community: construction of 11 new hotels in the Tri-Cities in the past three years, expanded agri-tourism events, thanks to collaborative efforts by Visit Tri-Cities and its members; the spike in wineries — currently 200 within the Tri-Cities; our new entry-level certificate program; and Washington State University’s School of Hospitality Business Management program. Not only does the hospitality employ-

ment forecast look good but so does the pay. In 2017, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce launched The Good Jobs Project. Researchers defined a “good job” as one paying $35,000 a year ($17 per hour for full-time job) for those under 45, and $45,000 a year ($22 per hour for fulltine job) for workers aged 45 and older. Since 1991, leisure and hospitality and personal services industries ranked No. 1 for the most growth in “good jobs” nationally. There are different ways to slice and dice the data with the project’s nifty multi-media tools and the website is full of other relevant data that underscores a few key takeaways for Washington state: • Between 1991 and 2015, Washington gained 30,000 blue collar non-bachelor’s “good jobs” and 93,000 skilled services “good jobs” for workers without a BA. The skilled services industry includes hospitality, health services and financial services, among others. • From 1991-2015, there was a 46 percent increase in skilled services “good jobs.” The share of “good jobs” held by Washington workers without a BA is 44 percent (we’re just shy of the national average at 45 percent). • In 2015, 51 percent, or 770,000 workers, had “good jobs” with at least a BA, versus 49 percent, or 733,000 workers, at a “good job” without a BA. How big is the non-BA work force in our state? Forty-two percent of non-BA workers have a “good job,” and 62 percent of all workers have a BA. • Since 1991, more “good jobs” have gone to associate degree holders than high school graduates in nearly every state. The takeaway? The more education you have, the better off you’re going to be. While nationally, 55 percent of good job holders have a BA, associ-


ate degrees are becoming significantly more critical for finding a “good job.” Maybe you’re geared toward maintenance because you’re good with your hands and like to fix stuff, excel at customer service, or want to beef up your culinary chops and become a kitchen cook, CBC has a two-credit certificate for that. And like pancakes, they’re stackable. You can take one course, you can take three, you can take more consecutively. The great news? These classes require only 11 weeks and are reasonably priced. Options include front desk representative, maintenance, kitchen cook, restaurant server, breakfast attendant, guest room attendant and guest service gold (customer service). Paid internships at area properties and restaurants are in the works for qualified students. Some may include hotel job rotations where you do a stint at the front desk, move on to housekeeping, then banquet services. This scenario delivers students a very hands-on, 360-degree experience of all areas of a hotel, which can help you define and pursue your passion. WorkSource and our very own worker retraining team have proven to be valuable partners from a financial and networking perspective. They have a streamlined vetting process to determine whether students qualify for tuition assistance and offer myriad ways to connect employees to employers. These job resources, plus CBC’s hospitality certificate program, combine to create a marketable future employee — plus a bigger paycheck. What’s not to love? Food Love columnist Marilou Shea is the creator of Food Truck Fridays and adjunct faculty at Columbia Basin College’s Food Truck Academy.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018



Channel the art of hospitality to keep customers coming back BY ROBERT J. HARRINGTON

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Hospitality and tourism make up one of the largest industries in the United States. At the same time, the market is saturated with competition, and consumer expectations are evolving. In changing times, how can hospitality businesses change to meet the needs of their customers and still run a successful operation? One tip is to understand what customers are looking for. Then, develop creative and innovative experiences to keep them coming back for more. A key to success is understanding that “hospitality” is no longer confined to traditional hotels and restaurants. Historically, restaurant and hospitality businesses have been very productioncentric, focused on providing goods through a one-way channel from business to consumer. But modern customers expect more out of their experiences, and because of new technologies, are much more informed, active and connected to each other and the world around them. They show a strong appetite for experiences creating a positive impact on their quality of life, from digital detoxes and wellness cleanses, to spiritual retreats and opportunities to escape the humdrum of daily life. People are taking shorter but more frequent vacations, excursions and even staycations. This allows them to unplug from the day-to-day while still enjoying quality dining, shopping, arts, culture and other

experiential activities — particularly those related to entertainment, sustainability, education, health and wellness, or a combination of these elements. Robert J. Harrington Millennials are a Washington State showcase examUniversity ple, as they notoriously prioritize spending on experiences over material things, including traveling abroad, trying new bars and restaurants, and attending concerts and festivals. Consumers also crave authenticity and personalization more than ever before. This trend signals a larger shift in consumer values away from passive experiences toward more interactive, co-created experiences. Adjusting to this new notion of service quality will enable hospitality businesses to grow and flourish in new ways. At its core, the concept of “co-creation” is a dynamic and collaborative process to create an experience through two-way dialogue and input between the customer and service provider. Organizations embracing co-creation devote time and attention to tailoring the guest experience for each person. Whether in-person or digitally, every customer touchpoint presents an opportunity for hospitality businesses to enhance the guest experience while creating a

competitive advantage. For example, food and wine pairing in a restaurant can be used strategically to appeal to guests’ senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing, giving them an immersive encounter with the brand and enhancing their overall dining experience. The process of food and wine pairing shows how layering new components, textures and flavors affects a patron’s pleasure and fulfillment with the entire dining experience. Other factors such as eating location, light, ambiance, music and dialogue can also play an important role. Understanding these synergies can boost service providers’ confidence when providing recommendations to customers and can significantly increase the average check (at the end of the day, that means bottom-line profits). From the guest perspective, it can augment the perception of service professionalism and authenticity and make their dining experience more satisfying, resulting in more return business and positive recommendations. Other interactions between customers and staff may be with hotel concierge and guest services, wait staff and housekeeping, and even travel agents and tour guides, among many others. Often the customer also has engaged online before even setting foot in the building, through the company website, social media or a mobile app. Each touchpoint plays a role in the co-creation process. On the employee side, the concept of co-creation affords greater opportunities for organizations committed to engaging

and empowering their staff to play a role in the process. Within this context, employees feel pride and support, and are fully engaged through an emotional commitment that trickles down to all who come in contact with that employee. The most successful businesses aim to foster a culture of rewards and recognition for superior service, and they encourage employees to go above and beyond to address customer needs and solve problems. This is where employees’ skills, knowledge and levels of motivation and commitment bring the most value to the business. The practice of sharing information and taking into account customer feedback and recommendations can further improve staff’s understanding of customer needs, thus making their jobs less demanding and the service more effective. The ability to meet and even exceed customer expectations—before, during and after the service—through the art of hospitality is key to crafting an all-around rewarding and enriching experience for guests today. Keeping in mind the contemporary notions of hospitality, and empowering staff to play a role in the cocreation process, will ultimately help businesses evolve with the needs of their customers while still driving bottom-line profits. Robert J. Harrington is a professor of hospitality business management at WSU’s Carson College of Business. He holds a doctorate in strategic management and is author of “Food and Wine Pairing: A Sensory Experience.”


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

CSS Farms to rebuild Pasco onion shed destroyed by fire BY LAURA KOSTAD

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Millions of blackened red onions lay piled among the wreckage of CSS Farms’ shed in Pasco, which caught fire in February, resulting in about $3 million dollars in damage. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, but once insurance matters are settled, the company plans to rebuild.

CSS Farms is eager to rebuild its 7,500ton capacity onion storage shed in Pasco in anticipation of the fast-approaching growing season after a fire destroyed millions of last season’s red onions, many of which were committed to customers through April. “We hope to rebuild for the 2018 season,” said Reagan Grabner, vice president of business development and part owner of CSS. “We’re counting on the use of that storage for the middle of June.” Though the source of the shed’s fire has yet to be determined, Grabner speculated it likely was caused by a failure in either the heating system or an electrical component. The fire was spotted from Highway 12 by

a motorist around 3 a.m. Feb. 2. Crews from several area fire districts responded, containing the blaze by 4 a.m. No CSS employees were in the shed at the time. The six acres of land and metal-framed 33,260-square-foot shed, built in 1989, at 4560 Venture Place are valued at more than $900,000, according to Franklin County assessor’s records. Though the company’s insurance is still pending for the $3 million dollars in damages, Grabner has wasted no time in getting quotes for site cleanup and construction for a new storage shed. Thanks to CSS’ five other storage sheds, Grabner said remaining customer orders were filled with uncommitted market stock on hand, and that CSS is investigating the prospect of selling salvageable onions from the shed fire to cattle feed manufacturers. No workers will be laid off as a result of the damage, he said. South Dakota-based CSS came to the Columbia Basin four years ago because “we knew it was the best place in the world to grow potatoes and we wanted to be a part of that,” Grabner said. He said the company also had prior experience with growing onions in California. Upon arriving in the area, an unexpected opportunity presented itself with Fairview Organic Farm, in Arlington, Oregon, which primarily produces garbanzo beans for hummus, several ancient grain varieties, and sweet corn, in addition to potatoes and onions. Grabner said the farm is unique for the area, and provided CSS the opportunity to meet increasing market demand for organic crops. “In all we do, we try to create solutions for our customers,” he said. “It’s great to be a part of the organic industry and serve those customers … who really care about what you’re doing,” he said. Grabner said the company’s focus on growing potatoes and onions in the region has developed over the past two years. “We’re committed to excellence. … We’re a low-cost provider, but strive also to be high-quality,” he said. Locally, CSS operates chip and seed potato and onion farms around the Columbia Basin and Pacific Northwest, employing about 190 employees in Pasco and another 30 throughout the region. CSS was established in 1986 and has since grown to operate in 14 states. CSS was founded on the cultivation of chip, table, and seed potatoes, and expanded its repertoire to include several varieties of onion and an array of organic crops. Grabner said CSS is a core supplier of onions to the Columbia Basin market. “Most of our onions remain in North America — some of our best customers are in California and western Canada,” he said. As for potatoes, “most of our volume potatoes go to the Pacific Rim — Korea and Japan.” He cited Lamb Weston and the local french fry industry as another element that attracted CSS to the region. “Our first priority for 2018 is to fully execute on opportunities and deliver top-tier product to customers. And if we’re able to deliver on that, we hope it will give us continued opportunities to grow,” Grabner said.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018


Richland clinic’s facials help to pay for children’s book illustrator Doctor diversifies integrative medical practice to offer aesthetic solutions BY LAURA KOSTAD

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Dr. Margaret Merrifield took out a $100,000 loan at age 64 to buy a state-ofthe-art machine to do facials. The Richland integrated medical doctor decided to diversify her practice to help pay for quality illustrators needed for the children’s storybooks she’s writing. The Dr. Merrifield Clinic and Med Spa in Richland aims to help patients achieve optimal health, she said. The medical spa portion of the practice recently launched as part of her clinic. Merrifield founded her Richland practice in 1997 and has many loyal patients. She has worked in the field of medicine for 34 years. She started in conventional medicine, including several years in the emergency room and as director of a major collegiate wellness center. She said she chose to expand into integrated medicine because she needed more tools to treat her patients. “I’ve included and integrated the best of modern medicine with well-established modalities,” Merrifield said. Integrated medical physicians take a whole-person approach to treatment. Offering facials also might be another way to offer this holistic approach to

patients, she said. “People don’t want to go to the doctor, but they’ll do aesthetics,” she said. Her new facial machines include a Legend+ device for skin contouring and tightening, and an OxyGeneo facial machine, both manufactured by aesthetic medical device company, Pollogen, a subsidiary company of Lumenis. So why would a self-proclaimed granola mom expand into the multi-billiondollar aesthetic medicine industry? “Skin is how we present ourselves,” she said. “It’s the icing on the cake — the result of everything we do.” The OxyGeneo cleans skin and stimulates the body’s natural processes during a 25-minute facial to rejuvenate skin, providing improved complexion, brightening, tightening, plumping and hydrating effects, noticeable after one session, Merrifield said. Patients can choose between two formulas for anti-aging, and skin lightening and nourishment. The facial begins with the application of one of these treatments, followed by a gentle yet deep exfoliation using Pollogen’s proprietary formula. As the skin is cleared of dead skin cells and other impurities, the formulas react, oxygenating the skin and leading to increased blood flow to the treatment area.

Executive assistant Tammy Astley, left, and Dr. Margaret Merrifield pose with the clinic’s new Pollogen+ Legend body contouring machine and the educational children’s storybooks the clinic’s new spa treatments are funding. They have been working together for more than 20 years to provide integrated health solutions to patients throughout the Tri-Cities.

Increased metabolic effects enable more enhanced absorption of the formulas’ active ingredients, giving way to skin improvements, Merrifield said. The process offers patients a minimally invasive, virtually pain-free option for eliminating stubborn fat deposits, fine lines and wrinkles, as well as skin resurfacing, plumping and tightening—all with no down-time. “This technology is truly on the cutting edge,” Merrifield said.

A patient of Dr. Merrifield’s for over a decade, Patti Ammonet of Richland, a sexagenarian, said she has tried just about every anti-aging procedure available in the Columbia Basin and surrounding area short of plastic surgery. Ammonet was the first to try Merrifield’s treatments and she’s a fan. She also said the Legend+ can be used to eliminate fat deposits, as she’s had success with this treatment.



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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

SENIOR LIVING, From page 11 Further industry collaboration will help the institute eventually offer a new senior living major for undergraduate students, according to WSU officials. Eckstein said the millennial and X generations are really interested in having an impact on lives and the future, and jobs in senior living fulfill that need while providing students with incredible career potential. “Imagine every day you can go to work and make a difference,” he said. “You can make somebody’s life better every single day.” Interest in the classes and certificate program have been phenomenal, Eckstein said, and industry leaders are already seeing the benefits. Randy Cyphers, senior regional vice

president of Brookdale Senior Living— the nation’s largest senior living provider that has facilities in the Tri-Cities, such as Brookdale Canyon Lakes and Brookdale Meadow Springs—is excited to see this program continue to grow. “At Brookdale, we are always looking to attract, develop and retain top talent,” he said. “We’ve seen firsthand some of the incredible graduates who’ve completed this program and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for the next generation of senior living leaders.” Eckstein started teaching senior living classes in spring 2016 and continues to do so at WSU’s Pullman, Vancouver and TriCity campuses. He didn’t intend to focus on the senior living industry. He wanted to be a real

estate developer just like his grandfather. So, after graduating from college, he headed off to Washington, D.C., and landed a job in the industry. Little did he know, the real estate market was about to crash, taking his dream along with it. “My job at the company was to figure out what to do if we were going to stay alive,” he said. “And I determined that we should be building for the senior market or the medical care office building market.” But it wasn’t long before the viability of the market became the least of Eckstein’s worries. His grandfather became ill, and the family had to figure out how best to care for him. “At the time, there was no assisted living. You went to a nursing home. So my grandma would live in the apartment Paid Advertising

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they’d lived in for eons, and she’d visit my grandfather,” he said, adding that despite being fiercely independent she, too, suffered from medical issues. “She ended up having an aneurism in her kitchen,” he said. Nine hours went by before Eckstein’s grandmother was found. She died on the way to the hospital.  “That had a major impact on me. If she were around people, people would have addressed it sooner. She probably would have still been alive,” he said. Eckstein decided to change career paths and went back to school. He soon was hired by a company in California— but it wasn’t in the position he’d hoped for. “I didn’t get into the operations side that I wanted to be on,” he said with a laugh. “I got into the real estate side. That’s how I worked my way into the business.” His job took him overseas to Spain and Portugal, but eventually Eckstein returned and started calling his contacts in the industry, determined to get into operations.  It worked, and he landed a job as the director of Sunrise Senior Living in Santa Monica. “I did that for a number of years … then they transferred me to the real estate side developing senior properties. I ended up as a real estate guy - again,” he said.  When Eckstein’s maternal grandparents began having medical issues, he had to leave work to care for them, going so far as to live in a senior community with them while they got settled in. When he returned to California, he received a phone call that would change his career trajectory yet again, sending him toward a job that encompassed the breadth of knowledge he had gained in the industry. “My friend called and said, ‘Do you have a master’s degree,’ and I said, ‘Yes,’ and he hung up on me.” Then he called me back a couple of days later and recruited him to apply at WSU. For more information about WSU’s Senior Living Management program, call 424-262-1288.

uBUSINESS BRIEF Pasco council approves resolution to promote inclusivity in city

The city of Pasco passed a resolution to reinforce the city’s commitment to inclusivity. The resolution, passed in February, declares the city as being committed to embracing diversity and equality among its work force, residents, businesses and visitors. It also creates a citizen Inclusivity Committee to assist the council in its efforts. Mayor Matt Watkins will appoint seven members to the ad hoc commission with confirmation by the council. The members, who will serve a 24-month term, must have been residents of Pasco for at least one year or own a licensed business operating in the city.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018


REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION New public car, truck auction business to open this fall in Pasco Truck & Auto Auctions, a Musser Bros. affiliate, plans 8,000-square-foot facility BY KRISTINA LORD

Tri-City car and truck buyers can kick back in theater-style seats to bid on vehicles at a new Pasco auction business this fall. Trucks & Auto Auctions, a Musser Bros. Inc. affiliate, is building a new 8,000-square-foot facility just off Argent Road near Columbia Basin College. Cars, trucks, SUVs, ATVs and RVs will be offered at auction to the public and dealers. “It’s a great opportunity to buy cars and save money, and buy at auction prices,” said CEO Scott Musser. Located on 4.5 acres at 3135 Rickenbacker Drive, the new building will house offices and an auction room. Vehicles will be driven through the auction room onto a stage for bidders to see during the live auctions. “Auctions will be held as frequently as once a week on Tuesday nights, depending on the volumes,” Musser said.

Trucks & Auto Auctions is a separate company from Musser Bros., which specializes in auctioning real estate and construction equipment, but they share resources and expertise, Musser said. Since 1956, Musser Bros. has been serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The company operates a Trucks & Auto business in Nampa, Idaho, where about three auctions a month are held, attracting an average of 550 online and on-site bidders, Musser said. The Idaho facility employs 24 staff and when the Pasco site opens, total employment will number 50, Musser said. The new facility will be managed by owner/operators Jake and Josh Musser. Both men were involved with the launching of Idaho’s Trucks & Auto. “We are a family-owned and operated company and we attempt to treat all of our customers, both buyers and sellers, like family,” Jake Musser said. “Buying a car or truck at auction is exciting and

Musser Bros. Inc. CEO Scott Musser stands at the construction site of Trucks & Auto Auctions, a Musser Bros. affiliate. The company is building a new 8,000-square-foot facility just off Argent Road near Columbia Basin College in Pasco. Vehicle auctions will be open to the public.

exhilarating, and we’re excited to bring this to the Tri-Cities.” Scott Musser said the Tri-Cities used to have a wholesale auction dealer more than 25 years ago that serviced the needs of dealers and moved 500 to 600 cars a week. “Our difference will be it’ll be a public auction, not wholesale auction. We

will sell for dealers, municipalities and the public,” he said, explaining wholesale auctions are open to licensed dealers only. MH Construction of Kennewick is the general contractor for the new building, valued at $947,900, according to public building records.

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

Real Estate & Construction

New aircraft hangars going up at Tri-Cities Airport The new building, valued at $1.2 million, will include three private hangars under one roof. The Tri-Cities Airport expects to see The 19,200-foot-wide hangar will several million dollars in new hangar include three 80-by-80-foot hangars big construction this year in Pasco. enough to fit “medium-size corporate Airport Director Buck Taft said three jets,” Watts said. new planned hangars will help to create Watts said one of the hangars will a good mix of general and commercial house his planes and helicopter, and aviation offerings at the airport. he’ll sell the other two hangars “to corThe airport is home to more than 120 porations with their own planes,” he fixed-wing aircraft, which include jets, said. multiple- and single-engine aircraft, and He expects the project to be comhelicopters. pleted by mid-sum“Nice aircraft are mer. stored in those han“We’ve got the “It all adds up to building gars and they all may ordered, and do maintenance here, make a healthy we’re doing site work buy fuel here and do now and have a buildairport.” operations here. It all ing permit in hand,” adds up to make a he said. - Buck Taft, healthy airport,” he Watts and his Tri-Cities Airport director brother Doug have said. The Port of Pasco constructed four other is negotiating with hangars in Pasco. Battelle on a hangar “My brother and I lease. have built all of those white ones out The port would build the there,” Loren Watts said. 18,000-square-foot hangar and Battelle These four have been sold to other would lease it, Taft said. businesses. Tentative plans call for hangar conMusser Bros. plans to complete construction to start later this year, he said. struction on a new 9,000-square-foot The new hangar would be west of the aircraft hangar later this year that will airfield. Battelle’s current hangar is on be adjacent to its new Trucks & Auto the east side. Auctions facility (See story on page 21.) The demand for more hangar space in the port’s Tri-Cities Airport Business prompted Loren Watts to build one at Center on Rickenbacker Drive. 4218 Stearman Ave. BY KRISTINA LORD

Three new aircraft hangars, valued at several million dollars, are planned at the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco this year. (Courtesy Google Earth 2018)

MUSSER, From page 21 The Trucks & Auto building isn’t the only construction project the Mussers have planned in Pasco. Construction is underway on a new 9,000-square-foot airplane hangar. Musser Bros. recently sold its old hangar, built in 2008, and began building a new one adjacent to where the Pasco Trucks & Auto Auctions building will be. “We’re coming out of the ground with the hangar in about 45 days,”

Scott Musser said. The hangar will be used to house company airplanes, which are used to travel between the Pasco and Idaho businesses, and to host real estate auctions, he said. Musser Bros. sold its current office and hangar at 3035 Rickenbacker Drive to Tim Bush, a partner with Bush Car Wash, which has several express car wash facilities around the Tri-Cities, Musser said. Musser Bros. leases land from the Port of Pasco.

Real Estate & Construction

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018


Kennewick School District buys church for alternative high school Remodeling to begin in September, with Legacy High’s new building opening in 2019 BY ROBIN WOJTANIK

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Kennewick’s alternative high school is getting a new home as the school district makes way for a new Kennewick High School about three years from now. Legacy High currently sits next to the Kennewick High School Annex on South Dayton Street. The school enrolls 250 students and the building once was the former home of the Keewaydin Discovery Center. The Kennewick School District recently bought the 10-acre property that includes the 23,892-square-foot City Church building at 4624 W. Tenth Ave. The property also includes a field and parking lot. The district’s capital projects director, Doug Carl, said moving Legacy from a complex of portables “has been on our radar and part of our plan for a while.” Eventually, the property became more attractive as the listing price dropped and additional land was included in the $3.4 million purchase. Thanks to this opportunity, “Legacy got moved up,” Carl said. The district expects to ask voters to support construction of a new Kennewick High School with a bond in a February 2019 special election. If the bond receives a 60 percent supermajority and passes on the first try, the district would look to start construction in summer 2019. When school resumes that fall, students would be housed through a combination of the former Legacy site, Kennewick High School Annex, the Fruitland building and portables. Doing so would allow the district to avoid building the project in phases, as is often required for high school construction. Carl said he believes the project could be sped up, with a targeted opening for a new Kennewick High School building in fall 2021. There is no current budget estimate

for the work needed to ready City Church for the alternative high school. Carl said the district is still in the programming and schematic design period. He called the work more of a “tenant improvement” rather than a construction project. The church was desirable to the district because it is a “clearspan, level building that can be reshaped to whatever the needs are,” Carl said. “Clearspan” refers to buildings free of supporting posts and beams. The project timeline includes remodeling the City Church building in September 2018, with a targeted completion in February 2019. Legacy students would be moved into the new location after spring break, which falls the first week of April 2019. The team is currently working on the design but knows the new layout would include spaces for classrooms, offices and a cafeteria. Considered a “choice” high school, Legacy started as a program called The Resource Opportunity Center of Kennewick, or The ROCK, and was initially housed in portables behind Kamiakin High School. It grew to an “official” high school and moved into the Fruitland building for a time before relocating to the portables next to Kennewick High. Robyn Chastain, district spokeswoman, described Legacy as “more of a traditional model alternative school where students have the opportunity to earn up to eight credits per year taking four classes per day. In a traditional high school, students earn up to six credits per year.” The purchase of the City Church property closed Jan. 31. City Church will lease the space from the Kennewick School District until it vacates the building in June. City Church officials said the church’s 100-member congregation plans to move into a smaller building that’s about half the size. They have not yet confirmed where this will be.

The Kennewick School District recently bought 10 acres that include the 23,892-square-foot City Church building at 4624 W. Tenth Ave. The church will be remodeled for Legacy High School. The project timeline includes remodeling the building in September 2018, with a targeted completion in February 2019.

Legacy High School currently sits next to the Kennewick High School Annex on South Dayton Street. The alternative school enrolls 250 students.

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

MERRIFIELD, From page 19 Pollogen recommends six treatments administered once per week over a sixweek period for results that can last for up to two years. Monthly treatments following the initial course can maintain skin improvements longer, according to the company. Unlike other treatments Ammonet has tried, such as filler injections, Botox, intense pulsed light and other laser-based therapies, she described her Legend+ experience as a “soothing feeling” of circular motions over an area with a radio-frequency wand. Merrifield said the technology uses heat rather than freezing to “melt away” the fat deposits, monitoring dermis temperatures via thermogram to ensure they stay between 104 degrees and 113 degrees. “Some people describe it as being like

getting a hot stone massage,” Merrifield said. Merrifield said the method stimulates collagen production, while helping to break up fat deposits, which is then naturally eliminated by the body’s lymphatic system — a major player in circulatory and immune function. Legend+ also features a short microneedle approach to skin tightening, volumizing, skin resurfacing and wrinkle and fine line reduction—without bleeding, pain and recovery time common with traditional long needle approaches, Merrifield said. She said the procedures are effective on all skin tones and types. Merrifield hired master aesthetician Mary Johnson to help administer the new treatments. Merrifield and her team are in the process of developing package deals for treat-

REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION ments, but individual session costs are about $150 for an OxyGeneo session, and about $350 to $500 each for Legend+ treatments, depending on the size of area treated. “We want to make it a real healing experience using state-of-the-art technology … to integrate all the best into an experience: value, optimal outcomes, renewing of the mind, body and spirit through education,” Merrifield said.

Merrifield’s books

But let’s return to the reason Merrifield launched this treatment at the new med spa — the books. “What we’re trying to do is change culture through young people,” she said. Her series of 10 educational children’s storybooks will be funded through profits from the new spa services. They explore

topics such as bullying, cancer, diabetes, abuse, intergenerational love, community activism and discrimination. The books provide tools and resources to help children and their families navigate these often difficult topics, Merrifield said. Merrifield, who has chosen to self-publish them, said the artwork in the books will be done by acclaimed Canadian illustrators, Alan and Lea Daniel. The first book underway is an autobiographical piece called “Bea’s Fleas,” which demonstrates the impact one small act of kindness can have on a person’s life. Her earlier book, “Come Sit By Me and Morning Light,” soon will be translated into multiple languages and offered free in the public domain, with the hope that more people will be reached, she said. Dr. Merrifield Clinic and Med Spa:; 509-628-3060.


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Real Estate & Construction

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

uBUSINESS BRIEFS Town hall meeting set for Hanford workers

Construction on a new 10,000-square-foot office space at 8200 W. Grandridge Blvd. is set to begin this spring. (Courtesy Pandora Architecture)

Developers plan Kennewick office space BY LAURA KOSTAD

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

RE/MAX at 8200 W. Grandridge Blvd. in Kennewick soon will be welcoming new neighbors. Prime Development Group, based out of Tumwater, Washington, is seeking tenants for a 10,000-square-foot professional building. Construction is expected to begin this spring. “It’s a little more modern than the existing (Re/Max) building. It’s going to look pretty cool,” said Jeff Powell, owner of Prime Development. “One of the things that’s going to attract tenants is that it’s positioned to have a nice view down the valley toward the river,” he said. Lance Bacon, managing broker for Kiemle Hagood’s Kennewick office, reported good interest in the building so far, though pre-leases have yet to be signed. Powell confirmed there is at least one likely tenant considering 4,000 to 5,000 square feet of the space. He anticipates three tenants will occupy the building. Lease price is set at $24 per square-foot, triple net, or NNN, an agreement where the tenant agrees to pay all real estate taxes, building insurance and maintenance. Bacon said a “generous tenant improvement package to build out the space” is available and the square footage can be divided down to as small as a 1,000-squarefoot suite. Prime Development is the general contractor. The building, designed by Pandora Architecture of Spokane, will feature modern design elements, including a shed- or butterfly-style roof with lots of large windows.


Powell noted a major selling point for the new building will be its high level of energy efficiency compared to existing spaces on the market. The developers call the GrandridgeCenter Parkway area prime land in the heart of what is known colloquially as the Grandridge professional services district, an area in northwestern Kennewick where the offices of many doctors, dentists, lawyers, insurance firms and financial service providers are located. Prime Development made its debut on the east side of the state with the placement of one of its clients, RE/MAX, in a newer, more spacious facility. Before RE/MAX moved in, the building housed Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute, which relocated to 6695 W. Rio Grande Ave. in Kennewick. The three-acre lot at 8200 W. Grandridge features “a nice park-like environment,” Powell said. “And we’re going to keep it that way; we’re going to disturb very little landscaping.” “In the summertime, it’s a really neat spot with a lot of trees, a lot of foliage, beautiful landscaping, really nice lawn, a really professional environment,” he added. Powell said the new building will take advantage of existing infrastructure, such as a 110-stall parking lot, to reduce impact to the green space. Ground has not yet broken for the project. Bacon said the main focus right now is to secure tenants. Once Prime Development has ensured at least 50 percent occupancy, it will move forward with permitting and construction. “I’m confident it will be filled 100 percent,” Bacon said.

Cold War Patriots will host free town hall meetings for nuclear weapons workers in Kennewick and Richland. Meetings are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. March 21 at the Red Lion Columbia Center, 1101 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Kennewick, and 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. March 22 at the Richland Red Lion, 802 George Washington Way. The morning sessions, starting at 10 a.m., will be customized for people who have already applied for Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act, or EEOICPA, benefits and have either been awarded a U.S. Department of Labor white medical benefits card or have a pending claim. Morning session participants will also learn how to file for medical expense reimbursement; how impairment ratings can get them more monetary compensation; why they should add conditions to a claim; and why in-home care might be right for them. The 1 p.m. afternoon sessions and 6 p.m. evening session (Richland only) are for workers who haven’t yet applied for their bene-


fits or those who have applied but their claims have been denied. Afternoon and evening session participants will learn if they qualify for up to $400,000 in monetary compensation and free health care; how to apply for benefits; what benefits are included; and how to reopen denied claims. Anyone who worked at the Hanford Site or any other nuclear weapons facility is invited to attend. Resources will be on hand to help workers understand the financial and medical benefits available to them – including home health care – and to guide them through the process of proving the connection between their workplace exposure and their illness. Refreshments will be offered. The EEOICPA program is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and offers monetary compensation and health care benefits to workers who participated in the nuclear weapons program from 1942 until the present day and became sick because of radiation exposure. Cold War Patriots is a division of Professional Case Management, which provides specialized in-home health care services to nuclear weapons and uranium workers.

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

uBUSINESS BRIEFS New REACH exhibit features story of migratory fish

A new exhibit with fish as the star has opened at the REACH museum’s Hoch Gallery. “Aquatic Travelers, The Migratory Fish of the Columbia River” tells the story of anadromous fish (Chinook salmon, Pacific lamprey and white sturgeon) that are born in freshwater streams and migrate to the ocean. It includes information on research, recovery, anatomy of a health watershed and information about how the work dams are doing to get fish through them with fish ladders, special barges and trucks. The museum at 1943 Columbia Park Trail in Richland, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for students, seniors and military, and free for children younger than 5 and museum members.

Benton clerk’s office warns of jury duty scam callers

The Benton County Clerk’s Office is reporting that scammers are targeting the community using jury duty as the bait. The fraudulent callers claim to be the county clerk and tell individuals that they owe money for not appearing for jury duty. They tell victims that they must get a Green Dot gift card, read out the card information and meet the scammer in front of the justice center to get documents releasing them from claims or damages. If you receive a phone call related to

REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION jury duty that’s suspicious, call the Benton County Jury Department at 509-735-8388, ext. 3094.

Tri-City group gets state OK on Medicaid project plan

Greater Columbia Accountable Community of Health has received state approval of its Medicaid transformation project plan. The plan will transform health care in a nine-county region, including Benton and Franklin counties, and improve the overall health of Apple Health (Medicaid) populations, according to a release. The areas of focus will be the opioid crisis, integrating behavioral and physical health care, addressing chronic disease and transitional care. The agency earned its full valuation of

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$24 million, which triggers release of incentive payments and marks the start of the implementation phase of the Healthier Washington Medicaid Transformation, a partnership between Washington and federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid services aimed at improving the health care system.

Water supply forecast is for full supply for season

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s forecast for the Yakima Basin indicates the water supply will fully satisfy senior and junior water rights this irrigation season. Specific water delivery levels will not be determined until later in the year after reservoir storage begins to decline. Kennewick Irrigation District said it is anticipating a near full annual water allotment for the upcoming water season and does not anticipate the need for restrictions or mandatory enforcement of watering schedules. The bureau’s March forecast is based on flows, precipitation, snowpack and reservoir storage as of March 1, along with estimates of future precipitation and river flows. Other future weather conditions that determine the timing of the runoff and the demand for water also are critical in determining stream-flows, pro-rations and the extent to which the reservoirs fill. If spring precipitation and runoff are unfavorable, the bureau said it still expects an adequate supply. Because longer term weather conditions can be unpredictable, the agency recommends water conservation always be considered by Yakima Basin water users.


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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018


Painting company owner to build new commercial building in Kennewick BY KRISTINA LORD

Construction of a 13,200-square-foot commercial building is expected to begin in early April on one of the last buildable lots near Steptoe Street and Gage Boulevard. Jason Zook, owner of SmileA-Mile Painting of Kennewick, will be moving his growing business into the new $1.2 million building Jason Zook at 8804 W. Victoria Ave., next door to Garland’s Gymnastics. Smile-A-Mile Painting will occupy a two-story, 3,360-square-foot section of the building. Five other suites are available for lease on the 1.07-acre site, he said. James Wade, realtor and commercial broker for the Kenmore Team of Kennewick, said there’s strong market interest “due to the exemplary location, attention paid to design and great space availability.” “We paid a lot of attention to using different materials, different colors, different awnings and entrance treatments so every suite looks unique while still blending with the design of building,” Wade said.

Jason Zook, owner of Kennewick’s Smile-A-Mile Painting, expects to break ground in early April on a new 13,200-square-foot commercial building at 8804 W. Victoria Ave. in Kennewick. (Courtesy Steve Varner)

Zook launched Smile-A-Mile Painting in 2007 in Oregon, and when he moved to the Tri-Cities in 2011, he sold the Oregon company to the manager. The business focuses on residential and commercial painting. “Our mission is to complete your painting project the way you want,” Zook said. Smile-A-Mile Painting employs 17 people, increasing to 22 employees seasonally. Zook said the company has outgrown its space at 320 N Johnson St., Suite 900, in Kennewick. “We were looking for good visibility, a central location and being able to keep expanding,” Zook said. He said the new

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office will create a supportive and caring environment for people to pick paint colors, which is often the most difficult part of the painting process. “The new building is going to work more efficiently and service more of our customers in the Tri-Cities. And it is

going to bring us back to our goal to provide the highest customer service and a personalized experience so you can smile at a job well done. In doing that, that’s our goal,” Zook said.

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018



Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018



The Kitchen at Barnard Griffin recently completed a major kitchen remodeling project and rolled out a new menu. The kitchen, adjacent to the Richland winery at 878 Tulip Lane, was expanded and the existing wine bar kitchen received an upgrade. The full-service restaurant focuses on fresh, local cuisine with options ranging from small bites and salads to sandwiches and pastas. The remodeled restaurant re-opened March 2. Construction began Jan. 2. Chervenell Construction of Kennewick was the general contractor with John Franklin serving as superintendent. KDF Architecture of Yakima was the designer. Ryan Pharmer was the architect. For restaurant reservations, call 509627-0266, option 2.



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Real Estate & Construction TRIDEC, From page 1 “Not everybody wants to buy online,” she said. “Most people want to lay on their mattress before they purchase it.” She said 72 percent of Generation Z members visit the mall at least once a month. This is the group born between the mid-1990s to mid-2000s that follows Generation X. “They still like to see their friends and share the experience of the mall, or anywhere you can find great entertainment and dining,” she said. Johnson said she sees a “lot of pent up demand for retailers to come into this market” who are waiting for the “right opportunity or right piece of property,” she said. That said, she cautioned shoppers to continue to spend their money in local shops. “We have to support our retail in the Tri-Cities,” she said.

Housing market

The region recorded a four percent year-over-year increase in the number of single-family residential permits filed in 2017, with 1,446 tallied in Benton and Franklin counties. “We’re still very bullish,” said Jeff Losey, president of the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities. He said to expect more of the same in 2018. In 2017, a total of 4,182 homes were sold in Kennewick (1,586), Pasco (1,198), Richland (1,069) and West Richland (329). Of those homes sold, 23 percent were new construction and 77 percent were re-sales. Historically, the area typically has 1,250 homes on the market, said Vicki Monteagudo, owner and broker of Century 21 Tri-Cities and principal partner of NAI Tri-Cities Commercial. On the day of the TRIDEC meeting, there were about 450. “Houses at certain price points are lasting days, if not hours,” she said. She said inventories are low and demand is extremely high. Home prices will continue to rise in 2018 with increasing labor, material and land costs, Monteagudo said. “I hope that echoes really loud. … It’s hard for builders to get ahead. Window (costs) are up 5 percent to 8 percent. Cabinet (costs) always go up. The builders can’t get ahead of the pricing,” she said, saying some consumers may erroneously think builders are making money handover-fist. But, she said, profit margins are at the lowest point since 2015. She said agents were selling lots for $40,000 in 2014 and now they’re going for $65,000. Builders typically allocate 20 percent of the overall price of the home for land acquisition, she said. The Tri-City’s median home price in 2017 grew to $252,800 from $229,900 in 2016. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s

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loan limits for mortgages in Benton and Franklin counties have increased from $417,000 to $453,100 and interest rates are on rise — from 3.25 percent in 2016 to 4.25 percent in 2018 — with the historical average at 8 percent.


The bi-county area is expected to have a good run in employment with the labor force rebound shaping supply and demand, reported Asja Sulic, a state regional labor economist. She said industries to watch are manufacturing, health care, education, transportation and warehousing, and leisure and hospitality. The Kennewick-Richland labor force totaled 135,621 in December 2017, up 1.7 percent over the previous year.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018 Washington added an estimated 91,900 new jobs from January 2017 through January 2018, not seasonally adjusted, according to recently released state data. The private sector grew by 3.1 percent, or 82,600 jobs, and the public sector increased by 1.6 percent, adding 9,300 jobs. The three industry sectors with the largest employment gains year-over-year, not seasonally adjusted, were: professional and business services with 15,700 new jobs; construction with 14,100 new jobs; and  education and health services with 14,100 new jobs. Washington’s economy added 6,800 jobs in January and the state’s seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, according to the state Employment Security Department.    Benton County’s unemployment rate


was 6.8 percent and Franklin County’s is 8.8 percent in January, not seasonally adjusted. The national unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in January. The state’s labor force totaled 3,757,900 — an increase of 3,000 people from the previous month. The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16. The most recent statewide report, with data from January, shows the greatest private job growth occurred in construction, up 3,100; professional and business services, up 2,000; and retail trade, up 1,800. Other sectors adding jobs were transportation, warehousing and utilities, up 1,100; manufacturing, up 700; and wholesale trade, up 600.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018



STEM education got a $3.5 million boost in the Finley School District. The recently completed new construction and remodeling project aims to bolster the district’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, and agriculture focus at Finley’s River View High School. Called the CTE Center, which is short for Career and Technical Education, the project included the addition of about 2,000 square feet, and the remodel of about 5,000 square feet, including two science classrooms, a woodshop, welding shop, two greenhouses, several offices, bathrooms, and working storage rooms. An exterior walkway also was installed with personalized donor bricks. Funding for the project came from a state $3 million STEM grant and a $10 million bond passed by school district voters in February. The bond included more than $2.1 million for the CTE Center at 37012 S. Finley Road. The state grant requirement asked for a $100,000 community matching grant. Local businesses stepped up to help the district reach the goal, including Battelle, Waste Management, Agrium, Oxarc, Sandvik and numerous others. The project completion date was Jan. 31. The district hired Design West Architects of Kennewick. DGR Grant Construction of Richland was the general contractor. DGR Grant Construction supervisors were Matt Frederickson and David Hilbert Brandon Wilm and Rudy Olson made up Design West Architects’ design team.


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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

uBUSINESS BRIEFS Delta Dental seeks nominations of those who better communities

Delta Dental of Washington is seeking nominations for Smile Makers, or community members who bring smiles to others through acts of kindness, volunteering and good deeds. The company, along with the Tooth Fairy, will surprise selected Smile Makers during its annual Smile Power tour across the state to thank them for making their community a better place. The surprise is personalized and planned in partnership with the nominator. Smile Power tours are scheduled April through September and nomina-

tions are accepted through the duration of the program. For more information and to nominate a Smile Maker, go to deltadental ty/smile-power.

Job event planned for short-term training options

WorkSource Columbia Basin and Columbia Basin College are holding an information session about short-term training options — three months or less — for job seekers wanting to get to work quickly. The Fast Track to Jobs session is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 21. Check-in starts at 9:30 a.m. at 815 N. Kellogg St., Suite D, Kennewick.

Real Estate & Construction Job seekers can talk with employers who are hiring and CBC officials about available training and to see if they qualify for free tuition through WorkSource. Programs offered include certified production technician, certified logistics technician, commercial driver license and hospitality certification.

WSU receives grant for self-replicating materials

Washington State University scientists have been awarded $1 million from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop molecular machines that selfreplicate, producing pounds of 100-percent pure material. Their research is the first step toward

a new paradigm in manufacturing where everything from smartphones to life-saving cancer drugs could be designed one atom at a time to exact specifications and then grown out of a vat. The two principal investigators for the Keck grant, James Brozik, the Donald and Marianna Matteson Distinguished Professor of chemistry at WSU, and Kerry Hipps, regents professor of chemistry, have decades of experience in molecular spectroscopy, single-molecule research and material science. Their team will include two postdoctoral fellows and two graduate students who will work full time on the interdisciplinary project for the next three years.

Real Estate & Construction

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018


Vandervert’s financial crisis sends ripples through construction industry Spokane-based company owes $18.1 million to 350 creditors in 13 states, Canada BY KEVIN BLOCKER

Spokane Journal of Business

A Coeur d’Alene-based company recently laid off four employees as a direct consequence of Vandervert Construction Inc. entering into receivership. Aaron Kayser, owner of Innovative Electrical Solutions LLC, said the workers were dedicated exclusively to working on projects for the now-shuttered Spokanebased general contractor. “I don’t think I’ll see my $144,000,” said Kayser, referring to the amount Vandervert Construction owes his company. That figure is just a little more than 14 percent of the company’s gross revenue from 2017, he said. Innovative Electrical is one of 350 creditors—businesses, individuals and government entities—in 13 states and one Canadian province owed a total of $18.1 million by Vandervert Construction, according to Spokane County Superior Court records. At the end of 2017, the company reported $14.4 million in total assets. Control of the 42-year-old company was placed under receivership on Feb. 2, and the company is facing imminent liquidation. The company has done millions of dollars in business in the Tri-Cities. Recently completed projects include Panera Bread in Richland, Fred Meyer’s $12.4 million remodel in Richland and West Richland’s Roasters Coffee. On Feb. 14, the company released a statement saying Vandervert Construction began facing financial troubles after securing bids on substantial hotel projects in Washington and Oregon. After the start of construction, “several subcontractors

refused to honor bid-day pricing,” said the statement. The Courtyard by Marriott in Pullman, and Marriott Towne Place Suites projects in Beaverton, and Lakewood, were completed last year but with cost overruns of $2 million. “In addition to the operating losses on the hotel projects, Vandervert Construction’s cash flow issues were compounded by nonpayment of third-party obligations that are owing to the company,” the statement said. For subcontractors that are owed money, one recourse is to place liens on property on which they completed work. Kayser said he’s placed up to nine different liens on properties where Vandervert hired Innovative Electrical to do work. Kayser said he notified those businesses and property owners of his intention to secure payment of the debt before submitting the lien. “It makes for an uncomfortable conversation,” he said. “Now we’re getting told that they paid Vandervert (Construction) to pay us, but we never got anything. Right now, we owe supply houses and a whole bunch of subs underneath us. It makes a very large crater in the middle of the budget.” Another Vandervert Construction creditor listed in court records is Spokanebased R&R Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. R&R has a $38,400 claim against the construction company. “I work really hard to collect,” said R&R President Randy Hastings, of not only Vandervert, but creditors in general. “In accounts receivable, after 30 days past due, we chase our money down hard.” Related to Vandervert, Hastings said, “There’s been a lot back-and-forth conversation I’ve had with other subs

Work was at a standstill in mid-February at the College Avenue Apartments project at 1318 W. College just north of the Kendall Yards neighborhood, in Spokane. Vandervert Construction Inc. had been the general contractor on the $3.4 million project. (Courtesy Spokane Journal of Business)

calling me. And in some instances, you can tell where they may not have been as aggressive in going after what they were owed.” A judge appointed Spokane law firm Davidson, Backman, Medeiros PLLC to serve as the general receiver for Vandervert Construction to help the company pay off as much of its debt as possible, court records say. Firm partner Barry Davidson said his office is moving quickly to begin the process of paying off Vandervert Construction’s creditors. The assets include $2.5 million in property and equipment,

including vehicles, trailers and forklifts. “Proceeds of sales of equipment and all other assets will be converted to cash to pay the creditors,” Davidson said. The voluminous initial court filing detailing Vandervert’s financial obligations approaches 100 pages in length and details debts ranging from as little as $49 to Dallas-based 170-Praxair Distribution Inc., to the largest creditor, the Washington state Department of Revenue, which has a secured $2.1 million tax warrant against the construction company. uVANDERVERT, Page 36


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

VANDERVERT, From page 35 The state revenue department has a second claim, also secured, for $763,400, according to court records. Most of the other claims against the company are unsecured. One of the larger six-figure claims against Vandervert Construction is a $654,000 indemnity claim that lists Dick Vandervert, who founded the company in 1975. Vandervert said that amount is for a secured line of credit Vandervert Construction owes to Washington Trust Bank for which Dick Vandervert is the guarantor. He said he was willing to serve as the co-signer on the line of credit when he sold the business to President Tim Stulc between six and seven years ago.

“(Stulc) has always made his payments on that credit line, so it hasn’t been a problem,” Dick Vandervert said. “But if the receivership doesn’t pay on it, I could end up getting stuck with some of it. In a worst-case scenario … all of it.” Added Dick Vandervert, “It’s a sad state of affairs. I’m so disappointed at where things are now.” Today, Dick Vandervert operates Vandervert Development LLC, which does business as Vandervert Development & Hotels and is separate from Vandervert Construction. The 73-year-old said he sold the general contracting business because he was approaching retirement age. “The construction business is a hard business, and you don’t do just a little

Real Estate & Construction of it. It takes all of your time,” he said. Dick Vandervert said he operates 10 property businesses with holdings mostly in Spokane—and a few in north Idaho. His businesses didn’t have any active projects occurring with his former construction company. “I at least dodged a bullet there,” he said. A court-issued stay put a stop to all Vandervert Construction activity, and now, any potential future the company has, rests with Davidson. Stulc gave Davidson “sole discretion and authority” regarding whether to file for federal bankruptcy protection, according to court records. When asked about the prospect of filing bankruptcy, Davidson said, “There is no present intention at this time to

move in that direction.” Davidson said about 80 Vandervert Construction employees were laid off. However, in a strong construction economy, the majority have been offered jobs and most have returned to work at other companies, he said. “There’s a real shortage of skilled workers in construction now, so that’s at least good news for the Vandervert workers,” Davidson said. Doug Tweedy, a Spokane-based regional economist for the Washington state Employment Security Department, said it’s too early to determine what impact Vandervert Construction’s demise will have on the construction sector, if it has an impact at all. “Usually, it’s a market decrease that affects the construction sector,” he said. “But the market’s been increasing the last couple of years. I can’t think of anything else to compare this to.” The receivership marks a reversal of circumstances for Vandervert Construction, which in late 2016 described itself as being in a steep growth mode. The company had opened satellite offices in the Tri-Cities and Bellevue in recent years. Vandervert reported $58.1 million in 2016 contract revenue, ranking the company ninth on the list of leading Spokane-area contractors as published in the Spokane Journal of Business last June. Recently completed projects included the $11.8 million Courtyard Inn by Marriott in Pullman and the $8 million My Fresh Basket grocery store in the Kendall Yards development, northwest of downtown Spokane.

uBUSINESS BRIEF Numerica Credit Union acquires Monad in merger

Numerica Credit Union acquired Monad Federal Credit Union in a merger, effective March 1. Monad is a one-branch credit union at 1817 W. Sylvester St. in Pasco. It will become a Numerica branch. The $14.8-million Monad and its approximate 2,500 members approved the merger with the $2 billion Numerica at a special Feb. 5 meeting. The merger between the credit unions was precipitated when Camelia Uhling, Monad’s president and CEO, announced her upcoming retirement. The boards of directors of both credit unions, as well as both CEOs, supported the merger, viewing it as an opportunity to combine resources to take advantage of the key strengths of each credit union, including providing an even more attractive portfolio of products and services for members and professional advancement opportunities for current Monad employees. Monad members will be able to use the 20 branches provided by Numerica. This includes additional products, services and delivery channels offered by Numerica, which has more than 135,000 members.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018


Wade Wolfe, owner/winemaker of Thurston Wolfe Winery in Prosser, walks through a vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills during harvest. The total crushed last fall added up to 227,000 tons, down considerably from 2016, when winemakers crushed a record 270,000 tons.

Washington wine grape harvest falls short of record BY ANDY PERDUE Wine News Service

As predicted last fall, Washington’s wine grape crop fell short of record numbers, according to the annual harvest report recently released by the Washington State Wine Commission. The total crushed last fall added up to 227,000 tons, down considerably from 2016, when winemakers crushed a record 270,000 tons. Even so, that total equaled 2014 numbers as the second-largest ever. Leading the way was Cabernet Sauvignon, which weighed in at 62,200 tons. The noble red variety has led the way in Washington for the past three years and continues to, but appears to have reached its zenith. Growers across the state pointed to last year’s harsh winter as one reason for the lower crop size. Wade Wolfe, owner/winemaker of Thurston Wolfe Winery in Prosser, heard of temperatures reaching as low as minus 14 in areas, damaging buds and reducing not only the number of clusters but also the size. Dick Boushey, who farms a vineyard in the Yakima Valley, as well as several on Red Mountain, pointed out the wet winter and spring also led to mildew pressure, damaging mostly white varieties. He observed this to be a widespread problem. He also pointed out with last year’s

record crop, many wineries have plenty of inventory to cover any shortfalls. Riesling fell to 33,000 tons from 41,300. This is widely viewed as a market correction by Chateau Ste. Michelle, the world’s largest Riesling producer. Kevin Corliss, vice president of vineyards for Ste. Michelle, said upwards of 200 acres of Riesling got grafted to different varieties, and some fruit was lost to mildew. He said one Riesling vineyard was pulled out because it wasn’t planted in a good spot. He said this is a reflection of the marketplace, and he feels the tonnage is more in balance with marketplace projections. He also expects Cabernet Sauvignon to keep building momentum as new plantings come online this fall. Wolfe said he is pleased with the quality of his 2017 wines so far. Even with the smaller crop, he had no issues getting all the fruit he needed. Boushey said he has heard from his client winemakers that they are thrilled with the quality and balance of their wines so far. “I think I picked some of my best fruit ever last fall,” he said. Andy Perdue, along with Eric Degerman, run Great Northwest Wine, an award-winning media company. Learn more about wine at greatnorthwestwine. com.


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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018



Lawmakers tackle women’s health issues related to insurance coverage BY JOHN STANG

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

The debate took four years to hit the Washington Senate floor in early February. The topic was a bill by Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, to require an employer that provides health insurance to include contraceptive and abortion coverage at no extra cost to that employee. This was a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s so-called Hobby Lobby ruling in 2014 that declared for-profit companies can refuse to pay for birth control on religious grounds. In early February, the Senate passed Hobbs’ bill 26-21 to send it to the House with only Republican Sen. Joe Fain of Auburn crossing party lines. On Feb. 28, the House passed it 50-48 along party lines with a couple of tweaks to send it back to the Senate to get its approval. Since 2015, the GOP Senate leadership has killed this legislation annually until the Democrats took over the Senate this year. This is one piece of an unleashed logjam of bills oriented toward women. Several bills have been stalled for years by the

Senate GOP leadership and this year sailed through the Legislature with Democrats in control of both chambers. In December 2012, the GOP took control of the 49-member Senate with a coalition of 24 Republicans and two Democrats — Rodney Tom of Medina and Tim Sheldon of Potlatch. While a fiscal conservative, Tom leaned left on social issues. Meanwhile, a couple of other moderate Republicans — Fain and Steve Litzow of Mercer Island — appeared inclined to support some Democratic bills on social matters. But the original 26-member coalition in 2013 — co-led by Tom and conservative Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville — agreed not to touch social issue bills and instead to tackle primarily budget bills. So the moderates in the majority coalition never could vote on women-oriented bills. This situation lasted from 2013 through 2017 when Democrats earned a 25-24 edge in the Senate. Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, has been a leader on trying to get women-focused bills through the Senate, and is happy with the change in majorities. “We’re taking care of a huge backlog that has already been worked on,” she said.

Keiser noted the bills that zoomed through the session were tweaked and fine-tuned for three or four years in their previous unsuccessful attempts to get through the Senate. Consequently, most flaws and concerns already have been addressed. She also said the recent #MeToo movement raised people’s consciousness of the issues. Sen. Kevin Ranker, a Democrat, said the Legislature is now reflecting social attitudes held by the majority of Washington residents. Keiser speculated that bills on women’s

issues might move slower in 2019, assuming Democrats keep control after this November’s elections, because they will have to be written from scratch and won’t have gone through years of fix-it work. She speculated that more matters on health care for women and dealing with problems of the 21st century’s gig economy, where more people work as contractors, will become major social issues in the 2019 session. “I don’t think we’ll have the problems of sexism and equal pay fixed,” she said. uINSURANCE, Page 40


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

INSURANCE, From page 39 Here is a rundown of other women-oriented bills the Legislature tackled this session:

Reproductive Parity Act

This Hobbs bill would require maternity insurance to also cover abortions. An abortion’s basic costs are about $600. “It’s unfair that an employer’s religious beliefs should decide whether someone has access to insurance,” argued Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, on the Senate’s floor. Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas added: “No company, no corporation, no boss has any business making health care choices for their employees. It is their personal choice.” Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, countered: “People of faith should be able

to abide by their faith, not to have secular values imposed upon them.” On Feb. 28, the House debate took the same tack. Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, said: “You should trust a woman to make the decision for herself.” Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, countered: “These owners should be able to choose what to do with their businesses.” Rep. Bill Jenkin, R-Prosser, told an emotional story to the House about how he and his wife decided that she should have an abortion when he was 20 and she was 18. The abortion occurred, but soon afterward, it was discovered his wife had a second fetus in her womb — a twin who was born. Their daughter is now 38 years old. “It’s the worst feeling in the world to

INSURANCE know that twin could have been alive today,” Jenkin said. Jenkin, and Reps. Larry Haler, R-Richland, Terry Nealey, R-Dayton, and Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, and Sens. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, and Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, voted against the bill. Jenkin and Nealey cited increasing health insurance costs for their opposition. “It’s the premature taking of a human life,” Haler said. Klippert pointed to The Arc of the TriCities, which helps developmentally disabled children and their families. He said disabled children are frequently targeted for abortions. “These children are so precious. Somebody chose to give life to them,” Klippert said.

The Senate passed the tweaked House version 27-22 on March 3. According to the Washington Department of Health, the state’s abortion rate in 2015 was 12.5 percent compared to 25.7 percent in 1991. In other words, in 1991, a total of 110,778 women became pregnant and 30,390 had abortions. In 2015, a total of 106,716 Washington women became pregnant, and 17,208 had abortions. The 2015 figures are the latest available. Benton County had 9.8 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 in 2015, down from 11.2 abortions per 1,000 in 2011, according to state health department figures. In Franklin County, that ratio dropped from 12.5 per 1,000 in 2011 to 8.3 per 1,000 in 2015. The most abortions in percentages of pregnancies are in the more populated Puget Sound counties. In 2015, Pierce County had the highest rate of 16.3 percent, followed by King County at 14.2 percent of all pregnancies in 2015.

Strengthening equal pay laws

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Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, and Cleveland introduced twin bills in 2017 to bolster the law that men and women in equal jobs with equal duties must be paid the same. The bills also would enable women to find out the pay of their male counterparts — meaning businesses cannot hide that information from them. The bills provide for investigation and penalties by the state Department of Labor and Industries. Senn’s bill passed the House in 2017 with some Republican support before the then-GOP Senate leadership stopped both bills. Both were revived this year. The House passed Senn’s bill with a bipartisan it 69-28 tally. Haler voted for the bill, and Klippert and Jenkin voted against it. Nealey was absent. The Senate passed Senn’s bill 36-12, with Brown supporting it and Walsh absent. Walsh was recovering from a mild heart attack and had missed some floor votes.

Sexual harassment

A Keiser bill sailed through the Senate 48-0 Senate vote and the House 98-0 to require the state’s Human Rights Commission to set up a work group to develop model policies and best practices for employers and employees to keep workplaces safe from sexual harassment. Then the commission and the Washington Department of Labor and Industries would post those model policies and best practices on their websites for businesses to study and use. Both chambers unanimously passed a Keiser bill to prohibit employers from requiring a worker, as a condition of employment, to sign a nondisclosure agreement that prevents the employee from disclosing sexual harassment or sexual assault occurring in the workplace, at work-related events, or between employees, or between an employer and an employee. Any nondisclosure agreement signed by an employee as a condition of employment that prevents the disclosure or discussion of sexual harassment or sexual assault becomes unenforceable.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018



Entrepreneur aims to help business owners retain, attract workers Owner of Kennewick’s In4ormed Benefits Solutions says more clients seeking to offer ancillary benefits BY JESSICA HOEFER

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

For as long as Jolene Johnson can remember, she’s had an entrepreneurial spirit. In high school, she worked alongside her parents at the RV park they owned on Snoqualmie Pass, but she learned quickly that she loved helping people much more than sitting behind a desk doing accounting work. Johnson received a double certification in business management and business accounting from Yakima Business College and became an independent contractor selling blinds for her sister’s company. “Then my husband (Joe) and I started our own boat dealership and jet boat manufacturing company,” she said. Toward the end of 1999, people stopped buying high-ticket luxury items, including custom-built jet boats. Shortly after they decided to close shop, Jolene had the opportunity to get into the insurance industry as a voluntary benefits representative. “When I got into it and started learning about it, I realized so many business owners don’t know some of the products and services that they could be taking advantage of,” she said. “Going from a business owner to an insurance agent that could help other business owners put policies in place to help employees—it just got me going. I understand the challenges they face from my experience being in their shoes. The pre-tax savings, the ancillary benefits, all the benefits a broker can bring to the table.” In 2015, Johnson decided to branch out on her own and started Kennewick’s In4ormed Benefits Solutions to connect business owners to insurance options, including medical, dental, vision, short-

term disability, medical bridge, accident, cancer, life and critical illness. “When I first got started, I worked with individuals and small businesses,” she said. “Now, most all of my business is from business owners and human resource reps.” When it comes to spending money on different benefit options, Johnson said there’s no one-size-fits all answer. However, most people want financial protection, especially because health care costs are the No. 1 reason for bankruptcy. Johnson said more than ever, prospective employees are considering benefit packages before accepting a job offer. “It used to be, ‘How much do I get paid?’ Now it’s ‘What do you have to offer benefit-wise?’ ” Johnson said. While benefits packages can affect an employer’s recruiting and retention rate, Johnson said offering a generous medical plan is not always financially feasible for small mom-and-pop shops. That’s where voluntary products—known as ancillary benefits—can help business owners meet the needs of their employees. “For example, Colonial has a medical bridge plan, so one strategic idea is to raise the deductible and marry it with a bridge plan. Most people seriously sick or injured end up in the hospital, and a bridge plan can pay cash to help fill that deductible gap for your confinement,” she explained, adding that gap coverage can provide peace of mind. “I also enjoy consulting with businesses who have never offered medical benefits before. I have a lot of compassion for them. If we learn group medical plans are still too far out of reach for their budget, we can look at offering an array of other plans and products that fit their current needs and budget.” Johnson said the first step in helping an

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owner is to get to know their business and employee needs. Then she puts together a proposal with a variety of options. “Companies are desperate for advice, creative ideas or alternative strategies to avoid passing on annual premium increases and ultimately delivering more negative news to their employees. I’ve heard that for so many years, and that’s the trajectory companies seem to be on. And now more than ever, there’s policy and plans and opportunities that they don’t need to be in that rut.” Technology also has helped improve access to benefits, she added, explaining that companies can sign up their employees digitally, saving already overburdened human resource staff time and energy. “That’s the future of benefits for smaller businesses—everything online. Poor HR people are so overworked and burdened by having to do everything by paper and collecting paperwork,” she said. “I have the technology to ease some of that burden. Colonial has a platform I can offer my clients to help their HR people keep track of their employees’ details, including enrolling in their medical benefits and Affordable Care Act reporting. This not only saves valuable time, but these tools simply are necessary.” There’s also been an influx of new ideas and policies that are helping the industry she said, including direct primary care. While it’s not health insurance, Johnson said it’s an important step to help employees have access to primary care when health insurance is out of reach.

Jolene Johnson started In4ormed Benefits Solutions in 2015 to connect business owners with policies that provide “financial protection and peace of mind.” (Courtesy In4ormed Benefits Solutions)

“It’s a method of accessing primary care for a fixed monthly fee. It’s not health insurance, it’s just access to it. A monthly fee to a client, and you get your primary care needs met. The focus of health care is returned to the patient and their families versus it’s visit-focused care,” said Johnson, who added that’s why 70 percent of people go to a doctor at the primary care level. uIN4FORMED, Page 43


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018


How to protect against attractive nuisances to avoid liability BY BEAU RUFF

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

If you’ve ever driven past an abandoned house with rusted play equipment in plain sight and thought that it looked like a dangerous trap for unwary children, then you intuitively know about the concept of an “attractive nuisance.” Landowners owe a duty to those who come on their property. The level of “duty” owed to a person on your property usually depends on the status of the guest. And, that level of duty affects the potential liability of the property owner. The status of the guest and resulting duty can be broken down into the following categories: Invitee, Licensee, or Trespasser. Here’s how they’re defined (Source: Younce v. Ferguson, 1989): • Invitee: A person who is invited to enter or remain on land for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with business dealings with the possessor of the land. This applies to most businesses. They are owed the highest duty to prevent harm to the invitee under all circumstances under a standard of reasonable care. • Licensee: A person who is privileged to enter or remain on land only by virtue of the possessor’s consent. This includes social guests and others invited onto the land who do not meet the legal definition of an invitee. They are owed a lesser duty to prevent harm but only if the landowner knows or has reason to know of the condition and should realize it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such licensees, and should expect they will not discover or realize the danger, and landowner fails to exercise reasonable care to make the condition safe, or to warn the licensees of the condition and the risk involved, and licensees do not know or have reason to know of the condition and the risk involved. • Trespasser: They are owed the lowest duty. The general rule is that a landowner owes no duty to a trespasser, except to refrain from causing willful or wanton injury to him. The status of the guest and resulting duty becomes more nuanced, however, when the guest is a child. Our laws recognize that young children need greater protection. Thus, the

“attractive nuisance” doctrine was created out of concern for the welfare and safety of children who trespass on land to take advantage Beau Ruff of an attractive, Cornerstone but dangerous, condition (Degel Wealth Strategies v. Majestic Mobile Manor, Inc., 1996). At its heart, an attractive nuisance is simply a condition upon property that draws the attention of children (be they trespasser or not) that can expose the child to harm. When applied, the attractive nuisance doctrine substantially increases the duty owed to the guest, even in the case of one who would otherwise be categorized as a “trespasser.” Courts have generally required the following five elements to be present to apply the attractive nuisance doctrine: a condition existed which was dangerous and likely to or probably would cause injury to those coming into contact with it; it was attractive or enticing to young children; the child was incapable, by reason of his or her age, of comprehending the danger involved; it was left unguarded and exposed at a place where children were accustomed to resort; and it was reasonably practicable and feasible either to prevent access by children or else to render it innocuous without obstructing any reasonable purpose or use for which it was intended (see e.g. Schneider v. City of Seattle, 1979). So how does this commonly come up? You’ve likely seen examples of people or businesses protecting against the attractive nuisance doctrine in many ways. Think of the building being heavily renovated in the middle of the city that is surrounded by plywood or dark mesh screening. A construction site is a common attractive nuisance that requires safeguarding from children. The screening not only keeps the child out but obscures the construction site, so the child can’t see the attraction. Think of the swimming pool that has its own fence surrounding just the pool portion with a secured gate. Though natural features are often exempt from


IN4FORMED, From page 41 “So with that, if people have a high deductible, if they know they have to pay for that cold or flu, they’ll probably suffer through it. But if they have direct primary care and they’re paying a low-monthly fee, they can walk in and get their needs taken care of, and it’s better for their health.” Johnson said the cost is about $100 a month. The program operates in the same fashion as a gym membership in that clients can go an unlimited number of times for their primary care needs. She works with a company called EverMed who contracts in the Tri-Cities with Total Care Clinic and a couple of Trios locations but expects it to expand as more members come on. Telemedicine, a 24-hour-doctor phone line, is also another service that companies can consider when building a benefits package. Trios Health and Kadlec Regional Medical Center offer the service. “Colonial offers it with our new clients that have 10 or more employees, if we’re able to sit down with 75 percent or more of their people and to educate them. That’s a free perk,” she said. “They can enhance their employee benefit package without any premium cost, and their employees can use these complementary resources for free.” In4ormed Benefits Solutions:; 509-3669305.

attractive nuisance laws, the man-made variety of ponds and canals are subject to the laws and require safeguarding. Abandoned cars or trucks or farm equipment can also be an attractive nuisance. What’s the potential liability? Failure to comply with safeguarding obligations is not, in and of itself, wrong. However, when a person is injured on the property due to the landowner’s failure, then the landowner has potential liability, usually to the hurt child or his or her family, through a lawsuit. What can you do to protect against potential liability? First, survey your property and the items located on your property. If you find something that children would generally like to explore, then add safeguards. Put up a fence. Put away the equipment. Block the view of the attraction. Put up warning signs. Second, consider your homeowner’s or business owner’s insurance. Talk to your agent about your specific concern and how to guard against the attraction both with and without insurance. Consider getting, or adding to, an umbrella policy. Attorney Beau Ruff works for Cornerstone Wealth Strategies, a fullservice independent investment management and financial planning firm in Kennewick, where he focuses on assisting clients with comprehensive planning.

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

Defense secretary honors Richland surgeon with public service medal patriotism, good citizenship and a sense of public responsibility.” Zirkle, founder and president of A Richland doctor’s legacy across the SIGN, was recognized for his signifiglobe for treating trauma fractures in cant contributions to improving the field impoverished countries recently earned of orthopedics in developing countries. him a federal public service award. “This is only the latest chapter in Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a what was a self-assigned, never-ending Richland native, presented the Depart- mission for you, Doc,” Mattis told ment of Defense Medal for Distin- Zirkle. guished Public Service to Dr. Lewis Since 1999, SIGN has treated more Zirkle on Feb. than 210,000 26 at SIGN patients in 50 Fracture Care countries, Internationeducated al’s north more than Richland 5,000 surheadquarters. geons and “ S o m e launched 330 things in all of SIGN proour lives are grams. work and SIGN’s some are pleastainless steel sure, and this nails, used to is a humbling mend and pleasure — a connect brohumbling ken bones, are honor — to be manufactured U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, left, here for this,” in north RichMattis said. congratulates Dr. Lewis Zirkle for his distinland. guished public service. “It’s unique, Typically, obviously, for Department a Richland guy to be honoring a Rich- of Defense medals are awarded to those land guy.” who have worked directly with the most Nominees for the award must have senior officials of the federal governprovided service to the Department of ment. Defense “at considerable personal sacriHowever, in Zirkle’s case, SIGN fice and inconvenience … motivated by CEO Jeanne Dillner said she submitted BY LAURA KOSTAD

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Dr. Lewis Zirkle, center, founder and president of SIGN Fracture Care International in Richland, received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, right, presented the award Monday, Feb. 26 at SIGN’s headquarters in north Richland. Zirkle received the honor for his work to improve the field of orthopedics in developing countries. Former colleagues presented the framed photo.

the nomination, and within five minutes, Mattis responded with a resounding “Yes,” and began making plans to travel to Richland. Zirkle’s work as an Army orthopedic surgeon during the Vietnam War inspired him to embark on his mission to educate and equip surgeons in developing countries and conflict zones with the tools and knowledge they need to treat patients and raise them and their families out of poverty. It all started with a 10-year-old Vietnamese boy whose leg had been rendered useless by serious Napalm burns. He couldn’t walk, but Zirkle was able to treat the complex injury and restored the leg’s functionality.

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“As he walked away with his father, I looked at the mango that his father had given me, with a thumbprint still in it, and I thought, ‘This is the best gift I’ve ever received,’ ” he recalled. After the war, Zirkle established his own orthopedic practice and then launched SIGN, devoting a lot of his time to visiting clinics in third world countries to educate surgeons and analyze the 200,000 cases in the SIGN database, the only orthopedic database of its kind in the world, to identify new ways to better treat disadvantaged patients. Putting others first is the theme of Zirkle’s life work, Mattis said, calling the Richland doctor a “home run of a human being.” “You are part of the power of inspiration. You are part of the reason America will stay a great country because you prove we’re a very, very good country. We are obviously proud, the Department of Defense, to say, too, that your unfailing sense of kindness and purpose grew out of the trauma of the work,” Mattis said. In addition to the Department of Defense medal, Zirkle received a gift from his former colleagues at Northwest Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine and the Tri-City Regional Surgery Center of a photo from his days as a surgeon in Vietnam, accompanied by a plaque thanking him for his service. “Distinguished is not something you should seek,” Zirkle said. “I’m very humbled by this.” The nonprofit SIGN, which operates on a $5 million budget, relies heavily on donations to continue to diversify its programs and support the ongoing growth of 30 new SIGN programs per year. Tax-exempt donations to SIGN may be made through its website at

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018


Senske wins Sammy Award for entrepreneurial leadership BY LAURA KOSTAD

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

The owner of Senske Services in Kennewick received the Sam Volpentest Entrepreneurial Leadership “Sammy” Award at the Richland Rotary Club’s 22nd annual awards luncheon. Chris Senske said he accepted the award Feb. 27 on behalf of his 500 employees. “As an entrepreneur, you come up with the dreams of what you want to do and how you want to be — a success — but it is the people who really do the work that make it successful,” he said. The Sammy — named in honor of one of Tri-Cities’ entrepreneurship pioneers — is awarded annually to a “community leader for providing support to entrepreneurs in this region,” said Diahann Howard, Rotary president. Senske Services was founded in Spokane in 1947 and provides lawn, tree and pest control services throughout Washington, Idaho, Utah and Nevada. Since then, it has remained a familyowned company, with Chris Senske carrying on the legacy of his father, Bill, who started it. Chris Senske became president of the company in 1974, then CEO in 1984. Senske Services now operates 11 locations. This year’s Sammy Award presenter, Dr. Gary Spanner, the 2006 recipient of the award, said Senske Services has been “very benevolent to the Tri-Cities community.”

Chris Senske, owner of Senske Services, received the Sam Volpentest Entrepreneurial Leadership “Sammy” Award at the Richland Rotary Club’s 22nd annual awards luncheon on Feb. 27.

The company has donated its services to local charities and stages an annual holiday lights show that raises thousands of dollars for the local food bank. Senske’s “Decorated Soldier” program installs holiday lights for veterans and actively deployed military personnel pro bono, as well as for the Ronald McDonald House. Chris Senske is also involved in several industry associations and civic organizations. Richland Rotary’s entrepreneurial awards were created to “recognize the importance of entrepreneurial spirit in the

community for future economic diversification,” said Howard, who added that a key Rotary value exemplified by award recipients is “service above self.” “As we are proud of the entrepreneurs among us, we are also equally proud of the community spirit and infrastructure that

fosters entrepreneurial success,” she said. Nominated businesses are those that are “not fully mature, but show promise for the future,” Howard said. Since the program’s inception in 1996, Richland Rotary has recognized 175 area companies. Ten other local businesses were nominated for the award and recognized: Doug Perez of Clean Image Carpet & Restoration; Kara Vogt and Jessica VanDine of The Village Bistro; Ray Gonzalez of The Lawn Guy Complete Landscaping LLC; Heather Skinnell of Squeaky Clean Janitorial LLC; Porter and Kate Kinney of Porter’s Real Barbecue; Abel Campos of Three Brothers Moving; Aaron Stites, Zachary Stites and Megan Fehrenbacher of High Gear Coaching; Erik Ralston of LiveTiles; Paul Labrie of Labrie Glass Studio; and Brian and Beth McCance of B&B Custom Metals. The selection committee was led by Scott D. Keller, executive director of the Port of Benton, and nominating organizations were the Tri-City Development Council, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Port of Benton. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory served as a sponsor for the program.

community Support local businesses

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

Community advocates chosen as Kennewick Man and Woman of Year BY TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS STAFF

A lifelong Kennewick resident, judge and Army Reservist whose father was named Kennewick Man of the Year and a former elementary school teacher whose husband received the honor earned their own Man and Woman of the Year awards this year. Steve Osborne and Marilee Eerkes were recognized for their community service during a ceremony on Feb. 26.

Kennewick Man of the Year

Osborne was honored for his work

as a longtime volunteer with Tri-Cities Water Follies organization, “one of the more high-visibility, low-thanks, maximum-headache volunteer jobs in our community,” according to his nomination letter. Until his judicial appointment in 2015, he was the senior partner at the law firm of Rettig Steve Osborne Osborne & Forgette LLP in

Kennewick. He also served on the governing boards of the Visit Tri-Cities, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and Kennewick Kiwanis Club. He served 37 years with the Army Reserves. The lieutenant colonel deployed to Saudi Arabia in 1991 and Joint Base Lewis-McChord from 200304, where he performed legal services for soldiers deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.  He has been very active as a volunteer in the city of Kennewick through the years. Presently, he serves as chairman of the governing board for

Columbia Industries, and continues to be an active member/leader of the Kennewick Kiwanis Club. He also has served as a coach for city league basketball in Kennewick. “Steve really loves Kennewick as a place to live and raise his family. By his continuing community involvement over the years, he has demonstrated a remarkable willingness to give back to his hometown by supporting volunteer efforts with Water Follies, Columbia Industries, Kennewick Kiwanis Club and the other organizations mentioned,” his nomination letter said. Osborne was nominated by Bill Lampson and Fran Forgette.

Kennewick Woman of the Year

Eerkes was honored for her “steadfast and heartfelt service” for her work with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties and Children’s Reading Foundation. “Working in humility, and exerting great influence on those around her, Marilee has made our comMarilee Eerkes munity a better place. Her overarching focus is the well-being of children, and her efforts have benefitted countless families and will continue to do so for many years,” according to her nomination letter. She led a campaign to bring a new Boys & Girls Clubs location to downtown Kennewick and to champion the Reading Foundation’s SunMart reading van. “Marilee demonstrates a philanthropic heart for our community, especially Kennewick. She is willing to give of her time, talent and treasure to make our community a better place and that is a great blessing,” said Brian Ace, Boys & Girls Clubs director, in the nomination letter. Eerkes also has been a member of P.E.O., a women’s philanthropic group, since the mid-70s.  She helps ensure the Laura Eerkes Memorial Golf Classic, which benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs and Young Life, is a success. In 2017, the event raised $248,000. She also was a founding partner for the George and Pat Jones Community Service Day and Kennewick Police Department’s Community Cares Fund. The Kennewick School District honored her as an outstanding community partner. When the district developed a school readiness program in 2002, Eerkes volunteered and helped to guide curriculum improvements, film training videos and conducted focus groups. Eerkes was nominated by Bev Abersfeller.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

B&O tax relief plan for manufacturers fails BY JOHN STANG

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Maybe the second time will be the charm. A bill that would have provided tax relief to Franklin County manufacturers died during the last week of the 2018 legislative session. Now, Mid-Columbia legislators — all Republicans — will have a chance to persuade Democratic legislators have modify the bill next year to make sure the Benton County also gets that benefit. The business and occupation, or B&O, tax on manufacturers is important in both counties as there are 7,733 manufacturing jobs through 236 manufacturers, according to 2016 state Employment Security Department statistics. The bill did not survive the final behind-the-scenes negotiations between the Senate Democrats and House Democrats, said the budget negotiators for those caucuses. Since Republicans are the minority parties in both chambers, they had no say in the March talks to tweak the state’s 2017-19 biennial budget. Kris Johnson, president of the Association of Washington Business, called the inaction a missed opportunity not to do more to address Washington’s urban-rural economic divide. “This is especially disappointing considering the widespread recognition among lawmakers about the need to boost the economy in rural Washington and the extraordinary growth in state revenue that made the tax relief feasible,” he said in a statement. Rep. Mike Chapman, D-Port Angeles, one of the bill’s sponsors, wanted to gradually trim the B&O taxes for rural

manufacturers from 2019 to 2024. The bill applies to “rural” counties with a pollution density of less than 100 people per square mile. “These are good jobs and need to be saved,” he said. Chapman said he got the idea for the bill at Association of Washington business meetings in Moses Lake and Olympia. His bill targeted rural manufacturers because non-urban areas have not been as prosperous in Washington’s economic rebound as the metro regions have been, Chapman said. Unemployment in rural areas usually averages about 2 percent above urban regions, he said. He left the cities out of the proposed change in B&O tax changes because adding them would create too big of a shortfall in the state’s overall budget.  Of interest to Benton and Franklin counties is the 100-people-per-squaremile part of the bill. Franklin County has 1,264 square miles. Its 2010 population in the U.S. Census of 78,173 equals a density of 62 people per square mile. Its estimated 2016 population of 90,160 results in a density of 72 people per sure mile. However, 1,760-square-mile Benton County added too many people this decade to qualify. Its federal census figure for 2010 was 175,171 for a population density of 93 people per square mile. But the 2016 census estimate for Benton County was 193,688, translating to 110 people per square mile.  Under the Chapman bill, the current B&O tax rate of 0.484 percent would have remained until Dec. 31. Then the tax rate would have dropped gradually each year to 0.2904 percent by 2024.

Ready, Set,


YMCA Youth Baseball We are looking for volunteer coaches for our Spring Baseball League. Volunteers must demonstrate the values caring, honesty, respect and responsibility in their daily lives. Our compensation package includes smiles, learning, growth, fulfillment, and being part of a fantastic organization! The YMCA… For a Better Us! Call YMCA of The Greater Tri-Cities today at 374-1908

or visit for more details.

uBUSINESS BRIEFS Deadline approaching for Leadership Tri-Cities class

Two information sessions are planned for those interested in applying to be part of Leadership Tri-Cities, which assembles, develops, and educates a diverse cadre of skilled leaders to be catalysts for positive change. Information sessions about the program are from 5:30 to 7 p.m. March 20 at the Zintel Creek Golf Club, 314 N. Underwood, Kennewick, and March 28 at the Tri-City Development Council’s office, 7130 W. Grandridge Blvd., Bechtel Room, Kennewick. Over the course of a year, class members attend several sessions led by community experts focusing on the various sectors and industries shaping the region. Class members also participate in a retreat to focus on team-building, participate in leadership development, and must complete a class project that benefits a community organization. Leadership Tri-Cities tuition is $1,200 per year. Applications are due April 30. Interviews will be conducted in midMay. For more information and to apply, visit


Pet advocate group seeks new board members

Pet Over Population Prevention seeks new board members. POPP’s primary purpose is to promote responsible pet care through educating the public on the importance of spaying and neutering their cats and dogs, as well as providing spay and neuter assistance. Board members are needed to support a number of POPP’s activities, including fundraising, community outreach and supporting spay/neuter clinics, etc. Learn more by visiting http://

Revenue department online portal changing

The state Department of Revenue is launching My DOR as the secure portal for all online services March 18. My Account, the existing online service portal, will be retired. Businesses that previously used My Account will be able to access all their tax and business licensing accounts using their SecureAccess Washington login. Those who use electric funds transfer will need to re-enter information into My DOR after March 19. For more information about the change, go


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

PUBLIC RECORD uBANKRUPTCIES Bankruptcies are filed under the following chapter headings: Chapter 7 — Straight Bankruptcy: debtor gives up non-exempt property and debt is charged. Chapter 11 — Allows companies and individuals to restructure debts to repay them. Chapter 12 — Allows family farmers or fishermen to restructure finances to avoid liquidation for foreclosure. Chapter 13 — Plan is devised by the individual to pay a percentage of debt based on ability to pay. All disposable income must be used to pay debts. Information provided by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Spokane.

CHAPTER 7 David T. Ellingson, 483 N. 60th Ave., West Richland. Troy N. Turner, 7705 Latah Ct., Pasco. Josue A. Perez Silvia, 814 S. Fourth Ave., Pasco. Cheyenne A. Kentch, 6310 Robert Wayne Drive, Pasco. Glenn J. and Melodie L. Oberdorfer, 2839 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick. Edna M. Whitney, 2455 George Washington Way, Richland. Cecelia Rocha, 6405 Chapel Hill Blvd., Pasco. Marcann Chichester, 1850 Steves Drive, Richland. Jesus B. Garibaldo, 1119 E. Sixth Ave., Kennewick. Pablo and Maria E. Lara, 1608 W. Yakima St., Pasco. Taylor J. Sheldon, 4620 W. Hood Ave.,

Kennewick. Kevin J. Frankenfield, 4403 Karriba Court, Pasco. Andrea Nagle, 308 Greentree Court, Richland. Richland J. and Tara M. Corburn, 8612 Zephyr Court, Pasco. Michaela J. Rose, 1202 Brentwood Ave., Richland. William D. and Linda L. Sykora, 2917 W. 19th Ave., Kennewick. Carmen Garcia, 1910 Dogwood Road, Pasco. Cheryl A. Brooks, 4409 Campolina Lane, Pasco. Eleuterio E. Gomez, 1306 S. Cedar St., Kennewick. Miguel A. Guerrero Guevara, 200 Waldron St., Richland. Victor M. Rodriguez, 4508 S. Kent St., Kennewick. Jordan L. Potts, 90 S. Verbena St., Kennewick. Steven A. Longmeier, 3708 W. Clearwater Ave., Kennewick. Nataly V. Morales, 215523 E. Cochran Road, Kennewick. Sonja E. Tutwiler, 119 N. Waverly Place, Kennewick. Charles W. Clark Jr., 10207 S. 2034 PRSE, Kennewick. Cody L. S. and Lacie N. Fetcho, 2508 S. Zillah St., Kennewick. Sharon M. Krumsick, 5207 W. Hildebrand Blvd., Kennewick. Leslie W. Kirk, 2812 W. Hood Ave., Kennewick.

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CHAPTER 13 Christina Riley, 209617 E. Schuster Road, Kennewick. Rodolfo Lopez-Brito, 12504 N. Missimer Road, Prosser. Garry D. Gorsuch, 109 N. Waverly Place, Kennewick. Jeffrey O. and Rashelle M. Benefiel, 70201 Ridge Road, West Richland.


Top property values listed start at $500,000 and have been rounded to the nearest hundred figure.

BENTON COUNTY 21809 S. Cottonwood Springs Blvd., Kennewick, 3,671-square-foot, singlefamily home on 1.4 acres. Price: $815,000. Buyer: Robert & Terry Marshall. Seller: Douglas & Tara Hanson. 3801 E. Lattin Road, West Richland, 3,758-square-foot, single-family home on 3.4 acres. Price: $801,000. Buyer: Scott & Ali Hertzel. Seller: Tyler & Megan Borders. 733 Snyder St., Richland, 2,920-square-foot, single-family home on 1 acre. Price: $535,000. Buyer: Kellen & Sarah Springer. Seller: Eva Kuusen & Clarence Corriveau. 84704 E. Wallowa Road, Kennewick, 0.57 acres of undeveloped land. Price: $575,000. Buyer: Kelly & Lisa Green. Seller: Hammerstrom Construction.


530 N. Edison #F107, Kennewick, multi-unit apartment buildings on 4.56 acres. Price: $8,941,300. Buyer: First Edison. Seller: Edison Village. 6024 W. Deschutes Ave., Kennewick, 8,147-square-foot, commercial building on 1.2 acres. Price: $725,000. Buyer: Pik Properties. Seller: SMI Group XVII. 91901 E. Valencia Road, Kennewick, 4,062-square-foot, single-family home on 1.1 acres. Price: $532,000. Buyer: Lindsey & Christopher Meagher. Seller: David & Debra Schumann. 1001 N. Volland St., Kennewick, 3,124-square-foot commercial building. Price: $830,000. Buyer: Blue Star Petroleum. Seller: Royal Gasoline. 96 N. Conway St. & 206 N. Conway St., Kennewick, Multi-unit apartment buildings on 0.67 acres. Price: $970,000. Buyer: Michael & Jonette Atkinson. Selller: Conway Silver Star. FRANKLIN COUNTY Undisclosed location, 12.64 acres of undeveloped land. Price: $950,000. Buyer: Big Sky Developers. Seller: Liberty Bankers Life Insurance. 3035 Rickenbacker Drive, Pasco, 6,750-square-foot, commercial storage hangar. Price: $625,000. Buyer: Bush Force Hotel. Seller: Scott Musser.



Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

PUBLIC RECORD, From page 49


Building permit values have been rounded to the nearest hundred figure.

BENTON CITY City of Benton City, 1210 Horne Drive, $50,000 for an antenna/tower. Contractor: T Mobile. Central Investments, 16004 E. Field Road, $25,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: Don Pratt Construction. BENTON COUNTY Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, 239653 Canoe Ridge Road, $10,000 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractor: Campbell & Company. FRANKLIN COUNTY River View Baptist, 4815 W. Wernett Road, $15,000 for commercial reroof. Contractor: owner. James Klaustermeyer, 795 Lowe Road, $93,000 for new commercial construction. Contractor: Quality Structures. KENNEWICK Blue Bridge Properties, 402 N. Ely St., $25,000 for tenant improvements and $24,000 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractors: APC Services and Chinook Heating & Air. City of Kennewick, 416 N. Kingwood St., $18,000 for new commercial construction. Contractor: Big D’s Construction. Washington Securities, 8901 W. Tucannon Ave., $5,000 for tenant

improvements. Contractor: Signature NW Construction. Steve Oord, 3101 W. John Day Ave., $45,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: Perfect Circle Construction. PRPS, 3911 W. 27th Ave., $150,000 for tenant improvements. Contractor: West Equipment Sales. Tri-Cities Community Federal Credit Union, 3213 W. 19th Ave., $1,800,000 for new commercial construction, $90,000 for plumbing and $266,500 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractors: DGR Grant Construction, BNB Mechanical and Total Energy Management. LAIC Inc, 7035 W. Clearwater Ave., $18,500 for a sign. Contractor: Mustang Sign Group. Gary Long, 1022 N. Columbia Center Blvd., $15,000 for a sign. Contractor: Mustang Sign Group. Benton County, 1500 S. Oak St., $300,000 for tenant improvements, $31,700 for a heat pump/HVAC and $9,900 for plumbing. Contractors: owner, Apollo Sheet Metal and Columbia River Plumbing. City of Kennewick, 602 S. Columbia Center Blvd., $35,000 for commercial construction. Contractor: Total Site Services. TriCity Investors, 3 W. Columbia Drive, $14,000 for a sign. Contractor: Quality Signs. City of Kennewick, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., $14,000 for a sign. Contractor: Pro Sign. PM2 West Limited Partnership, 8551 W. Gage Blvd., $28,200 for a sign. Contractor: Pro Sign. Taggstrick 1, 4898 W. Hildebrand Blvd., $35,900 for a sign. Contractor: Pro Sign. Edward Rose Millennial, 10251 Ridgeline Drive, $70,000 for a commercial addition. Contractor: Anderson

Poolworks. Kennewick Baptist, 2425 W. Albany Ave., $8,200 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractor: Campbell & Company. Kennewick Irrigation, 2015 S. Ely St., $11,300 for commercial addition. Contractor: owner. Hutton Settlement, 4309 W. 27th Place, $45,000 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Elite Construction & Development. South Hill Plaza, 4305 W. 27th Ave., $15,500 for demolition. Contractor: Cliff Thorn Construction. BMB Development, 4001 S. Vancouver St., $10,000 for plumbing and $21,000 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractors: DDB LLC and Bruce Heating & Air. Lonnie Peterson, 417 W. First Ave., $24,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: ServiceMaster Building Maintenance. PASCO Kings Corner Properties, 3421 King Ave., $28,300 for tenant improvements. Contractor: owner. Port of Pasco, 4218 Stearman Ave. #1-79, $1,232,500 for new commercial construction. Contractor: Doug Watts. Northwest Frozen Foods, 1825 N. Commercial Ave., $204,000 for a fire alarm/system. Contractor: Fire Control Sprinkler Systems. AAA Renovation, 618 W. Clark St., $20,900 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Ambience Anew. Port of Pasco, 3412 Stearman Ave., $7,400 for tenant improvements. Contractor: AJ Construction & Development. Viera’s Bakery, 4908 Robert Wayne Drive, $9,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: Tri-City Heating & Air.

Mi Tierra Real Estate, 1603 W. A St., $347,100 for new commercial construction. Contractor: Eastern WA Construction. City of Pasco, 110 S. Fourth Ave., $29,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: Vestis Systems. Hogback Sandifur, 5710 Road 68, $179,800 for tenant improvements. Contractor: to be determined. Dickeys/Garam LLC, 6627 Burden Blvd., $135,300 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Elite Construction & Development. Tri-City Union Gospel Mission, 221 S. Fourth Ave., $31,000 for a fire alarm/system and $16,900 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractors: Advanced Protection Solutions and Campbell & Company. Columbia Basin College, 2600 N. 20th Ave., $43,100 for commercial construction. Contractor: Burton Construction. Jean You, 8120 Sunset Lane, $9,700 for commercial reroof. Contractor: Perfect Circle Construction. Mark Fortune, 1601 E. Salt Lake St., $19,800 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Blue Mountain Telecom Services. Bleyhl Farm Services, 6705 Chapel Hill Blvd., $2,706,300 for new commercial construction. Contractor: Mountain States Construction. MBS Holdings, 6225 Burden Blvd., $23,500 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Inspiration Builders. Gesa Credit Union, 2202 W. Sylvester St., $70,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: to be determined. Sunbelt Properties, 3309 Road 100, $45,700 for demolition. Contractor: Goodman & Mehlenbacher. Pasco Processing, 5815 Industrial Way, $6,800 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractor: Campbell & Company.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018 PUBLIC RECORD, From page 50 St. Patrick Catholic School, 1016 N. 14th Ave., $9,000 for miscellaneous. Contractor: Campbell & Company. Port of Pasco, 3601 N. 20th Ave., $3,000,000 for commercial addition. Contractor: Bouten Construction. Hogback Sandifur, 5710 Road 68, $122,400 for fire alarm/system. Contractor: Inland Fire Protection. Salvation Army, 303 W. Court St., $12,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: Superior Glass. PROSSER Calvary Baptist Church, undermined address, $10,000 for a sign. Contractor: owner. Grace Fellowship Church, 520 Seventh St., $6,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: owner. McDonald’s Corp, 103 Merlot Drive, $115,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: EM Precision. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, 6600 Frontier Road, $6,900 for a heat pump/ HVAC. Contractor: Campbell & Company. RICHLAND West 77 VP, 1370 Tapteal Drive, $6,744,200 for new commercial construction. Contractor: Chervenell Construction. Seventh-day Adventist, 1807 McMurray Ave., $9,500 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractor: Apollo Sheet Metal. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 895 Gage Blvd., $10,800 for plumbing. Contractor: Campbell & Company. D E Properties, 2451 Logston Blvd., $307,400 for new commercial construction. Contractor: Wildlands Inc. Horn Rapids Storage, 2701 Kingsgate Way, $200,000 for a fence/brick/retaining wall. Contractor: LCR Construction.

uBUSINESS LICENSES KENNEWICK All Seasons Heating & Air Conditioning, 302 S. Third Ave., Yakima. Garda CI Northwest, 601 W. Riverside Ave., Spokane. First American Title, 8131 W. Grandridge Blvd., Suite 100. Christensen, Inc., 1060 Jadwin Ave., Suite 150, Richland. Sca Pacific Case Management, 601 W. First Ave., Suite 1400, Spokane. Craftsman Cabinets & Floor Coverings, 122 Wellsian Way, Richland. Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corporation, 9711 E. Knos Ave., Suite 1, Spokane Valley. Downing Construction & Repair, 770 Midvale Road, Sunnyside. Family First Dental, 7521 W. Deschutes Ave. Family First Dental, 804 S. Washington St. Woods Nursery & Garden Store, 1020 N. Center Parkway, Suite B. USA Auto Sales, 615 W. Columbia Drive. D.A.M. Concrete, 98403 E. Sidibe PRSE. Versatile Design Studios, 4125 S Pittsburg St., Spokane. Western Tree Services, 370 Hill Drive, Eltopia. Partners in Grime, 1731 N. 16th Ave., Pasco. Schryver Medical Sales and Marketing, 12668 Interurban Ave. S., Tukwila.

Frenches Recording Studio, 220 W. Kennewick Ave. A Clean View, 6210 Pimlico Drive, Pasco. Southbank Development, 7025 W. Grandridge Blvd., Suite A. Money Engineering, 7100 W. 13th Ave. Tu Decides Media, 1411 N. Nevada Court. Quality Medical Billing, 2325 N. Pittsburg St. Nutricion Y Energia, 404 S. Vancouver St. Premier Chiropractic, 2411 S. Union St., Suite C. Roasters Coffee Bar, 2000 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite B. Roasters Coffee Bar, 4898 W. Hildebrand Blvd., Suite B. Bauder Construction, 8708 S. Toro Place. Outlawz On the Edge Studio and Salon, 4303 W. 27th Ave., Suite G. 3 Nails Construction, 380 S. Outlook Road, Outlook. Morasch Counseling Services, 1409 N. Pittsburgh St., Suite C. Northwest Bath Specialists, 17702 E. Sprague, Suite 1-B, Spokane Valley. Biggest Little Shop of Fun, 8220 W. Gage Blvd., Suite 113. Palencia Wine, 421 E. Columbia Drive, Suite A140. Bare Wax Studio, 7514 W. Yellowstone Ave. Forever Life System Stucco, 237 E. Eighth Place. Gina Peak Virtual Assistant, 3700 W. 19th Court. Clean King Carpet Cleaning, 402 E. Fourth Ave. Vibetech Specialties, 6435 SW 90th Ave., Portland, Oregon. Cascade Utility Adjusting, 5522 Elaine Ave. SE., Auburn. Ddb LLC, 6103 Balsam Court, West Richland. The Kraft Shack, 4726 W. Hood Ave. Platt Electric Supply, 8300 W. Gage Blvd. 1st Place Concrete, 209903 E. 315 PRSE. 4G Car Wash Consulting, 140 Center Blvd., Richland. Project Pros, 1709 W. 10th Ave. The Rustic Rosebud, 7607 W. Sixth Ave. Genesis Drywall & Paint, 4815 Airway Drive NE, Moses Lake. Bang for Buck Backflow Testing, 2665 Waggoner Road, Walla Walla. Top of the Line Electric, 3610 Scenic Drive SE, Auburn. Integrative Chiropractic and Extremities, 7101 W. Hood Place, Suite A101. Winton Capital, 530 N. Edison St. Reliance Energy, 4009 S. Anderson St. Martha’s Cleaning Service, 209804 E. Perkins Road. Optimum Satellite Connection, 4501 W. Fourth Place. BW Search Group, 8350 W. Grandridge Blvd., Suite 200. Nitro Construction, 4815 W. Clearwater Ave. Calbom & Schwab Law Group, 1240 S. Pioneer Way, Moses Lake. Reliable Northwest Painting Services, 5015 Catalonia Drive, Pasco. Mendenhall Investments, 2816 W. 27th Ave. Affordable Construction, 8202 Kootenay Court, Pasco. Myprocontractor, 5426 N. Road 68. Bonson Northwest Incorporated, 2200 Melrose St., Suite 4, Walla Walla. Unlimited Labor Solutions, 2417 W. Kennewick Ave., Suite A. R&R Cleaning Services, 601 S. Beech

Ave., Pasco. Auto Value Pro’s, 3104 W. Kennewick Ave., Suite A. Md Packaging USA, 9228 W. Clearwater Drive. Jec Enterprise, 9021 W. Rio Grande Ave. Spotless Personal Cleaning Services, 200 E. Sixth Ave. Mobile Mountain Trails Windshield, 516 Ninth St., Cheney. CC’s Cauldron, 3925 W. Metaline Ave. Graves Family Sales, 312 E. 36th Place. Haus of Sausage, 5442 Fern Loop, West Richland. All-Safe Abatement Services, 6223 W. Deschutes Ave., Suite 316. Cm Bradley, 511 N. Iler St., Moxee. Leveke & Page, 317 W. 21st Ave. Supreme Drywall, 31107 S. Haney Road. Crossfit 12 Stones, 101 N. Union St., Suite 209. Spotless Cleaning, 3324 W. 19th Ave. 3D-Fitness, 201 N. Edison St., Suite 242. 9 Round, 321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite B. Widman’s Agency, 1121 N. Argonne Road, Suite 211, Spokane Valley. Atoms Services, 725 N. Center Parkway. My Bomb Squad, 4900 S. Washington Place. Tri Cities Holdings, 830 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite H. Family Food, 5608 W. Clearwater Ave. Evermore Enterprises, 6705 W. Victoria Ave. Jaike Group, 6223 W. Deschutes Ave., Suite 208. Golden Maid Services, 1020 S. Fifth Ave., Pasco. Reasonable Solutions, 6918 W. Second Ave. Accessible Interpreters, 1004 N. Road 60, Pasco. M&M Tax Consulting, 132 Vista Way. Fusion Plumbing, 4712 John Deere Lane, Pasco. Foley Custom Masonry, 206 S. Olson St. Omega Sheet Metal HVAC, 4316 Campolina Lane, Pasco. J Sokol Appraisals, 1503 W. Ninth Ave. Soto Lawn Maintenance, 1904 W. Ninth


Ave. Clean Cut TC, 1009 W. Park Hills Drive. Landmark Grading & Landscape, 109 N. Washington St. Adela S. Valencia Agency, 3104 W. Kennewick Ave., Suite D. D&M 2018, 6208 W. Okanogan Ave. Farmers Exchange, 215 W. Canal Drive. DB Carpet, 7010 W. Willamette Ave. JN Solutions, 2101 Steptoe St., Richland. Malcom Benefit Solutions, 3627 W. 48th Ave. D&G Quality Construction, 2402 S. Anderson St. Curtis Lee Dahl Agency, 8903 W. Gage Blvd. Gary Allen’s Management Services, 3303 W. Seventh Ave. Hill’s & Sons Services, 4309 Finnhorse Lane, Pasco. Luxe Lace Designs, 8180 W. Fourth Ave. Kennewick Lawn Care, 4306 W. 35th Court. Kenmore Team Construction Services, 8927 W. Tucannon Ave., Suite B201. Hummel Construction and Development, 84719 E. Reata Road. Badger Tactical, 418 N. Kellogg St., Suite A. Tyguy Woods, 487 S. Irving Place. Miranda Construction, 451 Green Road, Pasco. Committee to Elect Christine Brown, 906 W. 26th Ave. K2 Bookkeeping Services, 425 N. Columbia Center Blvd. Tri-Cities Delivery, 1612 W. 34th Ave. Huminsky’s Heating & Cooling, 3921 W. Park St., Pasco. National Site Consulting, 714 S. Hawthorne St. Davis Transportation Service, 8620 W. Canyon Ave. Hairbrained Studios, 4303 W. 27th Ave., Suite G. Playlive Nation, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 303. Carnegie Dartlet, 3221 W. Fifth Ave. The Integrated Advisor Life, 8656 W. Gage Blvd. Top One Solutions, 1783 Citrus Ave., Richland.


That’s what friends are for


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

PUBLIC RECORD, From page 51


Atomic Tile, 1601 W. Fourth Ave. Four Stars Auto Body, 4815 W. Clearwater Ave. Laura Kostad Writing Service, 9356 W. Sixth Place. Rico Commercial Cleaning, 1107 W. Fifth Ave. Azdion, 723 N. Williams St. American Income Life, 1127 Broadway, Suite 10, Tacoma. M3Solutions, 6680 Marble St., West Richland. Gathered Home, 211 Kennewick Ave. Attic Threads, 4215 W. Metaline Ave. Rock & Roll Records & Collectibles Etc., 323 W. Kennewick Ave.

Krueger Sheet Metal Co., 731 N. Superior St., Spokane. Edward Jones, 1024 Queensgate Drive. Duportail Dairy Queen, 3250 Duportail. Abadan Tri-Cities, 79 Aaron Drive. Handyman Landscaping, 2307 Muriel Court. Puget Sound Services, 244 Sydney Ave. N., North Bend. Falcon Video Communications, 12405 Powerscourt Drive, Saint Louis, Missouri. Advanced Protection Services, 6908 W. Argent Road, Pasco. Dogz on the Run, 301 Seventh St., Benton City. Legacy Lawn and Landscape, 4315 Messara Lane, Pasco. Action Man Plumbing, 315 Thayer Drive. KB Event Planning, 2949 Karlee Drive. Pacific NW Contractors, 105 W.

PASCO M&L Contractor, 105 W. Bonneville. Rasier, 1455 Market St., San Francisco.

Washington Ave., Yakima. Tax Services of America Inc. DBA Jackson Hewitt Tax Serice, 2801 Duportail St. Lancaster Trenching, 2492 E. 2800 N., Filer, Idaho. Intentional Counseling Services, 750 George Washington Way, Suite 8. Garcia’s Rock, 3520 W. Margaret St., Pasco. Seal Springs, 198818 E. 73rd Ave., Kennewick. Shelby’s Place Mobile Salon, 5720 Oleander Drive, West Richland. Babylon Construction, 4608 W. Hood Ave., Kennewick. Aunty Wonderful’s Artisan Crafts, 252 W. 53rd Ave., Kennewick. A-1 Quality Construction, 1518 Grant Ave., Prosser. Apex Contracting & Paving, 1020 N. Center Parkway, Suite B., Kennewick. Cactus & Clove Nutrition Counseling,

6106 Canyon View PRNE, Benton City. Avea Financial Planning, 723 The Parkway. All of the Above Construction, 62306 N. 106 PRNE, Benton City. Wonderlust Designs, 1388 Jadwin Ave. J’S Precision Remodeling, 2512 E. Alvina St., Pasco. Crystal Nails & Spa, 129 Gage Blvd. Aavikko, 8350 W. Grandridge Blvd., Suite 200, Kennewick. Barracuda Investments, 107 Casa Sueno Court. BTPizza, 1310 Totten Ave. Market Equipment, 1114 N. Ruby St., Spokane. RXLTC, PLLC, 800 Swift Blvd., Suite 140. Pyramid Painting & Construction, 904 Sanford Ave. TriCity Remodel, 320 Scot St. Keepsafe Home Inspection, 4604 S. Ledbetter St., Kennewick. Christ the King Catholic School, 1122 Long Ave. New Flag Design, 5628 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite D1., Kennewick. Birthmarx Tattoo & Piercing 2, 741 The Parkway. Rebecca’s Home, 714 Coast St. Fathom Marine Services, 496 Golden Drive. Relationship Renewal, 718 Jadwin Ave. Contreras Lawn Care Service, 18394 S. Myrtle St., Kennewick. Martell Properties, 1008 Pattyton Lane. David’s Mobile RV and Motorhome Repair, 2642 Eagle Watch Loop. Kcraigo Clothing, 1928 George Washington Way. O’Brien Logistics, 3813 W. Jay St., Spokane. NewLook Landscaping, 1108 E. 23rd Ave., Kennewick. The Growler Guys, 110 Gage Blvd., Suite 204. Images by Jeff, 2216 Redwood Lane. 2Dautels, 693 Tanglewood Drive. Justin E. Brown, Financial Advisor, 8905 W. Gage Blvd., Suite 300, Kennewick. Tri Cities Licensing, 3400 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite 1, Kennewick. Elevacy Inc, 4764 Cowlitz Blvd. Passiflora Professional Massage Therapy, 2038 Howell Ave. Schwarz Software & Consulting, 87 Sibert St. Ensign Insights, 2100 Bellerive Drive. Dundee Processing, 1294 Monrean Loop. Dataelis, 4350 Tami St. VL Flooring, 1743 S. Cascade St., Kennewick. Answers in Art, 511 Shaw St. Schirmer Anesthesia Incorporated, 1125 N. Shannon Lane, Post Falls, Idaho. Jordan Mechanical Group, 1606 S. Roosevelt Place, Kennewick. DPR Logistics, 1087 Samish Drive, Richland. WEST RICHLAND Shelby’s Place Mobile Salon, 5720 Oleander Drive. Home Remodeling Solutions, 209 N. Washington St., Kennewick. Dynasty Construction, 1364 Onyx Ave. Mendoza’s General Contractor, 804 S. Morain St., Kennewick. Bleyhl Farm Service, 940 E. Wine Country Road, Suite A, Grandview. M3Solutions, 6680 Marble St. Distinctive Technologies, 3028 Bluet Drive. Margyl Drywall, 4004 W. Dusty Lane, Benton City.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018 PUBLIC RECORD, From page 52 Robyn Leingang Photography, 1730 Goldfinch Court. Kover Lawn Care, 284 S. 39th Ave. LKPhotography, 4604 Kendall Way. Allegiant Drone Services, 4711 N. Dallas Road. Fusion Plumbing, 4712 John Deere Lane, Pasco. Izzy’s Construction, 7300 W. Van Giesen St. Huminsky’s Heating & Cooling, 3921 W. Park St., Pasco. Kenmore Team Construction Services, 8927 W. Tucannon Ave., Suite B201, Kennewick. White Linen Interior Staging, 64217 E. 99 PRSE, Benton City. Hansens Concrete, 2005 S. Tacoma St., Kennewick. Lozas Concrete, 616 N. Hugo Ave., Pasco. Alpacas At Red Barn Farm, 4220 Norma Lop. Foley Custom Masonry, 206 S. Olson St., Kennewick. Soto Lawn Maintenance, 1904 W. Ninth Ave., Kennewick. Miranda Construction, 451 Green Road, Pasco. L Woody Health Consulting, 3107 S. Highlands Blvd. Atomic Tile, 1601 W. Fourth Ave., Kennewick. Quail Springs Apartments, 4711 N. Dallas Road. NRCCUA, 701 Brazos St., Suite 1608, Austin, Texas. Spotless Personal Cleaning Services, 200 E. Sixth Ave., Kennewick. Genesis Drywall & Paint, 4815 Airway Drive NE., Moses Lake. Davis Transportation Service, 8620 W. Canyon Ave., Kennewick. Christensen, 1060 Jadwin Ave., Suite 150, Richland. Power Pro Construction, 6371 Shale St. My Bomb Squad, 4900 S. Washington Place, Kennewick. Bang for Buck Backflow Testing, 2665 Waggoner Road, Walla Walla. Matz Surveying, 4720 Mallard Court. EOS Mobile Holdings, 2271 E. Continental Blvd., Suite 120, Southlake, Texas. Oscar Cerda Consulting, 985 Belmont Blvd. Tri-Cities Remodel Pros, 5252 Pinehurst St.

uJUDGMENTS The state can file lawsuits against people or businesses that do not pay taxes and then get a judgment against property that person or business owns. Judgments are filed in Benton-Franklin Superior Court. The following is from the Franklin County Superior Court Clerk’s Office.

Alpha Auto Glass, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Feb. 1. L&M Auto Sales, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Feb. 1. Jennesson Estrada, unpaid Department of Licensing taxes, filed Feb. 2. Vinicio Marin Gomez, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Feb. 5. Home Tile Marble, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Feb. 5. Jesus M. Yanez, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Feb. 5. Hector Garcia et al, unpaid Department of Licensing taxes, filed Feb. 8. Francisco Gomez et al, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Feb. 9. Lonestar Innovations LLC, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Feb. 9. Joel Salas Corral et al, unpaid

Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Feb. 13. Cristian Martinez, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Feb. 13. Graciela Ramirez, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Feb. 13. Luis A. Lara, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Feb. 13. Raul Solis Jr., unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Feb. 13. Conrad L. Vela, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Feb. 13. Pedro Benitez, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Feb. 13. Robyn A. Huetter, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Feb. 13. Daniel Gutierrez, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Feb. 13. Taqueria Mexico, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Feb. 13. VR Automotive, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Feb. 15. Nicolai C. Marsolek, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Feb. 16. Jesus Ramirez et al, unpaid Department of Licensing taxes, filed Feb. 16. Stephen J. Hartley, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Feb. 16. Melquiades Ray Rojas et al, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Feb. 16. Isaac Garcia, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Feb. 20. JCS General Contracting, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Feb. 20. VR Automotive, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Feb. 21. Carniceria Los Toreros LLC, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Feb. 22. Fidel Contreras, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Feb. 22.

uLiquor Licenses

Information provided by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

CORRECTION: Incorrect information about Zintel Creek Golf Club and Carniceria La Carreta’s liquor licenses appeared on page 67 in the February edition due to a source error. The correct information is below.

BENTON COUNTY NEW APPLICATIONS The Lodge at Columbia Point, 530 Columbia Point Drive, Kennewick. License type: hotel. Application type: new. Foodies, 308 W. Kennewick Ave., Kennewick. License type: spirits/beer/ wine restaurant; direct shipment receiver in/out of Washington; catering. Application type: added/change of class. The Bradley, 404 Bradley Blvd., Suite 106, Richland. License type: direct shipment receiver in Washington only; spirits/ beer/wine restaurant lounge. Application type: new. APPROVED Zintel Creek Golf Club, 314 N. Underwood St., Kennewick. License type: spirits/beer/wine restaurant. Application type: new. Carniceria La Carreta, 1305 W. Fourth Ave., Suite B, Kennewick. License type: beer/wine grocery store. Application type: assumption. Palencia Wine Company, 421 E. Columbia Drive, Suite A140 & A110, Kennewick. License type: domestic winery <250,000 liters. Application type: new. The Growler Guys, 110 Gage Blvd., Suite 204, Richland. License type: direct


shipment receiver in/out of Washington. Application type: new. Gamache Vintners, 505 Cabernet Court, Prosser. License type: domestic winery <250,000 liters. Application type: alcohole permits. Jet Mart Conoco, 1001 N. Volland St., Kennewick. License type: beer/wine grocery store. Application type: assumption. At Michele’s, 2323 Henderson Loop, Richland. License type: direct shipment receiver in Washington only. Application type: new. Indian Cuisine Express, 8524 W. Gage Blvd., Suite A4, Kennewick. License type: beer/wine restaurant. Application type: new.

Farmers Distributors, 237004 E. Legacy PRSE, Kennewick. License type: marijuana producer tier 3; marijuana processor. Application type: added/change of class. Gordon 4-M-J Nation, 15505 Webber Canyon Road, Suite C-1, Benton City. License type: marijuana processor. Application type: assumption.


ubusiness UPDATES



Express Mart of Pasco, 1724 W. Clark St., Pasco. License type: beer/wine restaurant. Application type: assumption.

Cigar Savvy has opened at 8390 W. Gage Blvd., Suite 110, Kennewick. The business sells premium cigars and pipe tobacco. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Contact: 509-579-4444,, Facebook. Creekstone Care Assisted Living is now open at 3321 W. 10th Ave. in Kennewick. The business is a 28-bed assisted living community for seniors. Contact: 509-491-1318, Fabric 108 is now open at 5215 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite 105 in Kennewick. The store sells fabric, sewing and quilting supplies. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Contact: 509-586-0108,, Facebook.

Studio 41, 306 W. Lewis St., #306, Pasco. License type: snack bar. Application type: new. APPROVED Restaurante Y Botanas Plaza Chapulin, 528 W. Clark St., Suite B, Pasco. License type: spirits/beer/wine restaurant lounge. Application type: new.


Information provided by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.


APPROVED Inland Desert Concentrates, 65710 N. Hysler Road, Suite A, Benton City. License type: marijuana processor. Application type: change of corporate officer.



Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018

uBUSINESS BRIEF Two WSU fundraisers showcase wines, food

Two upcoming Washington State University fundraisers will showcase wine and foods. • A dinner event introducing new wines from the WSU Blended Learning student-made wine program is set for 5:30 p.m. March 28 at Budd’s Broiler in Richland. Cost is $125 and includes a wine tasting reception, followed by a four-course dinner paired with wines. Guests will be treated to the first samples of new WSU Blended Learning student-made wines poured by WSU Viticulture and Enology students. This student winemaking project supports hands-on learning by pairing students with local growers and winemakers who collaborate on all aspects of the winemaking process. This is the third consecutive year for the fundraising event where 100 percent of the money raised supports the Blended Learning program. Pro-

uNEW HIRES • Al Thiemens has joined Gesa Credit Union as a commercial loan office at Gesa’s Queensgate branch in Richland. He has 17 years of Al Thiemens experience in commercial lending. • Dr. Sofia Scholar will be providing outpatient care with Trios Medical Group — Trios Urgent Care Center at 7201 W. Grandridge Blvd., Suite 100, in Kennewick. Before joining Dr. Sofia Scholar Trios, she practiced family medicine at the Walla Walla Clinic for more than 20 years. • David Doak has joined Community First Bank’s commercial lending team as assistant vice president and commercial lender. He has David Doak more than 20 years of experience in business and mortgage lending. • Agatha Doctor has been hired by Meier Architecture Engineering as an electrical engineer. She has more than

ceeds pay for lab modifications and new equipment at the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center in Richland. Ticket available on WSU Foundation website, gocougs. • WSU Tri-Cities’ Crimson Food and Wine Classic at Hamilton Cellars is April 14. Proceeds go toward the university’s hospitality business management and wine business management programs. The evening begins at 6 p.m. at Hamilton Cellars, 55410 N Sunset Road in Benton City, and will feature six Hamilton wines paired with dishes developed by WSU Pullman lead chef Jamie Callison and WSU students that integrate local and season tastes and flavors. During the event, students also will present food pairings, manage the silent auction and interact with guests. Cost is $75 per person on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets may be purchased at index.castle?formid=33.

seven years of experience in the field and earned her bachelor’s of science degree in electrical engineering at Washington State University. • Ted Robbins has joined WCP Solutions in Kennewick as an account manager. He was formerly with Veritiv Corp. He brings to WCP Solutions more than 25 years of technical sales experience in lean packaging Ted Robbins and equipment automation applications. • Dr. Thomas Halvorson, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, has joined the PMH Medical Center Surgical Group in Prosser. With nearly two decades of orthopedic surgery experience, Halvorson joins PMH from Spokane, where Dr. Thomas he most recently Halvorson worked and served as chief medical officer at the Orthopedic Specialty Institute. He served as a team physician for Eastern Washington University. • Brian Newberry has been hired as the incoming CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho to replace Pam Lund, who is retiring. Newberry was the executive director of Leadership Spokane. • A familiar face has returned to

PUBLIC RECORD, From page 53

6448,, Facebook.

Find Your Center is now open at 411 W. Clark St., Suite E in Pasco. The business offers ballet, capoeira and Spanish dance classes for all ages. Contact: 509302-4866,, Facebook. Neighbor’s BBQ has opened in Prosser. The business offers Texas-style barbecue catering for events and parties. The menu includes brisket, pulled pork, baby back ribs, smoked chicken, side dishes and desserts. Contact: 979-450-1655, On The Marq Custom Apparel & Sports Cards has opened at 711 W. Vineyard Drive in Kennewick. The store offers custom vinyl printed apparel and sports cards. Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Contact: 509-302-7883, Facebook. Wanderlust Tattoo has opened at 1108 Meade Ave. in Prosser. The shop offers a variety of tattoos and cover-ups. Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Contact: 509-781-


Baker Boyer. Ted Cohan was rehired as vice president and senior portfolio manager. He previously was a member of Baker Boyer’s Ted Cohan asset management team before he left to work in the Walla Walla School District as executive director of business services. He worked in the school district for four years. • Nikkie Jones  has joined Richland’s Legacy One Insurance team as an insurance agent. She brings 11 years of insurance experience Nikkie Jones to the team.

uHONORS • Edward Jones, with offices in the Tri-Cities, has been named among the best places to work. The company was No. 5 on the 2018 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work. It was the 19th time Edward Jones has made the list. • The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys recognized Kennewick lawyer Mathew M. Purcell of Purcell Law as a member of Two Years 10 Best Family Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction in Washington. • The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys recognized Kimberly Powell, managing attorney of Ashby Law’s Walla Walla office, to the 2017

Michael Workman, M.D. Tri-Cities Plastic Surgery has moved to 4309 W. 17th Ave., Suite 202 in Kennewick. Contact: 360-326-1350, ADDITIONAL LOCATION Porter’s Real Barbecue, 1022 N. Columbia Center Blvd. in Kennewick. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (or until sold out) Monday through Saturday. Contact: 509942-9590,, Facebook. NAME CHANGE Telequist Ziobro McMillen Clare, PLLC is now TMC Law. Contact: 509-737-8500, Facebook. CLOSED Dynamic Fat Loss at 7535 W. Kennewick Ave., Suite E in Kennewick has closed.

10 Best Family Law Attorneys for Client Satisfaction in Washington. • Nine Chiawana High School students have qualified for the National Speech and Debate Tournament, which will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in June. They are: Trevor Schmitt in Big Questions Debate, Monica Winn in Dramatic Interpretation, Audra Totten and Malene Garcia in Informative Speaking, Linh Truong in Lincoln Douglas Debate, Eric Harrod in Original Oratory, Isaiah Moore in Program Oral Interpretation, and Caleb Hernandez and Ford Powers in Duo Interpretation. Pasco High School’s Yerushalaim Solano also has qualified to compete at the national contest.

uDonation • Wells Fargo & Co., with locations in the Tri-Cities, donated $3.3 million in 2017 to support nonprofit organizations across Washington. Washington team members volunteered 36,000 hours with their communities and personally donated $808,000.

uON THE MOVE • Pam Lund, CEO Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, will be retiring at the end of April. She has served in the position for 11 years.

Share your networking news with us. Email, or submit online at by clicking on the “Submit Business News” button at the top of the page.

Pam Lund

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • March 2018


Mission Support Alliance won the Project Management Institute’s Columbia River Basin Chapter 2018 People’s Choice Award for Hanford Live 2017, an interactive broadcast designed to enable people from across the world to participate in a public meeting. Project team members pictured are, from left: DOE’s Rich Buel, MSA’s Dana Cowley and Jennifer Colborn, and North Wind’s Dieter Bohrmann. (Courtesy MSA)

The Kiwanis Club of Kennewick recently honored outstanding law enforcement officers and firefighters who serve Kennewick. They are, from left, Benton County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Ohler for his commitment to follow-through on investigations and sharing information with the community, and Kennewick police Sgt. Todd Dronen for being a key player in the development of a recruiting unit for the department after the Criminal Justice Sales Tax was passed. He is sergeant with Tri-City Metro Drug Task Force. Also, Kennewick Fire Department Capt. Tim Harkin for his leadership in the department and community, as well as directing a successful rescue of a two-year-old from a burning building; and Washington State Patrol Trooper Carlos Mata for his extensive missions to seize drugs and firearms, participation in Safe Kids Saturday at Kadlec Regional Medical Center and serving as a cadet mentor. (Courtesy Kennewick Kiwanis Club)


CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company won the Project Management Institute’s Columbia River Basin Chapter 2018 Project of the Year award. Individuals from CHPRC and its small business partners Intermech Inc. and Ojeda Business Ventures accepted the award for outstanding planning and work that went into the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility, or Purex, Tunnel 1 project. From left: Rochelle Twomey of CHPRC, Mark Malloy of Intermech Inc., Andre LaBonte of CHPRC, Mark Wright of CHPRC, Jhivaun FreemanPollard of CHPRC, Darin Corriell of CHPRC, Luis Ojeda of Ojeda Business Ventures, and Kory Voldman of CHPRC. (Courtesy MSA)

The Trios Foundation awarded six scholarships totaling $12,000 to students pursuing degrees related to health care at its annual breakfast on Feb. 21. Winners, from left, are: Dayne Ivarson of Pasco, Chloe Carr of Richland, Anneka Walton of Richland, Hanna Ownby of Pasco, Ashlyn Small of Richland and Kyler Welch of Richland. The foundation also honored the Trios Auxiliary and volunteers with the Jim Mokler Leadership and Service Award. More than 320 guests were in attendance and raised $25,338 to support women’s health screenings and the foundation’s scholarship program. In 2017, the foundation raised $772,684 for patient programs, services and equipment. (Courtesy Trios Health)

Ashton Chan, right, an Eagle Scout candidate, coordinated a project to install “The Madonna” statue at the Little Hearts Remembrance Garden at Desert Lawn Memorial Park. The Trios Foundation dedicated the statue March 1. The burial site, created to give parents who have experienced early pregnancy loss a place to focus their feelings of grief and loss, is designated for babies born at Trios Health who are less than 20 weeks gestation. The statue was donated by local philanthropist Cora Villanueva. (Courtesy Trios Health)

Email Around Town photo submissions with captions to

Jerry Sooter, left, of Kennewick-based Bruker Corp., presents a S1 TITAN handheld X-ray fluorescence alloy analyzer to SIGN Fracture Care International’s Richard Grizzell. Bruker manufactures spectrometers, which can evaluate a material’s chemical composition. This instrument will help SIGN ensure the proper metal alloys will be used in their custom surgical implants. (Courtesy Bruker)


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business â&#x20AC;¢ March 2018

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business -- March 2018  
Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business -- March 2018