Page 1

January 2018

Volume 17 • Issue 1

Trios Health cuts more staff amid financial crisis BY KRISTINA LORD

Legal & Taxes

Local business leaders weigh in on new tax reform Page 15

Real Estate & Construction

The old Staples building finds new owner Page 21

Health Care

Yoga studio expands, changes name, ownership page 45

he Said It

“If this business was about making fence posts, I’d probably like that too. I’m a manufacturer.” - Mark Williams, owner of Black Heron Spirits Distillery

Page 53

More Trios Health employees lost their jobs in January amid continued financial challenges throttling Kennewick’s public hospital district. Among the most recent issues are: • Twenty employees losing their jobs Jan. 19. • Declining patient volume. • Delayed reimbursement for services to the tune of $11 million over five years. • Resignation of Trios’ chief financial officer. Despite the financial crisis, Trios officials are imploring the public to continue to get their health care from Kennewick Public Hospital District providers. “We need our community. We need our community not to turn its back. If we don’t have patients, we’ll lose more people,” said Lisa Teske, Trios Health’s director of marketing and development. “We are here; we are ready to serve; we have enough staff. We have very qualified staff to deliver excellent patient care. Our plea to our community is please come and uRead more let us serve you. from Trios Otherwise, we’ll CEO Craig be back here Cudworth on again.” page 47. Trios Health, which operates two hospitals and multiple outpatient care centers throughout Kennewick, filed for bankruptcy protection in June as it works to reorganize $221 million in debt. The January layoffs — which include nonpatient and patient care departments — will save $4 million. They come on the heels of 23 layoffs and reduced work schedules announced in the spring that totaled about 95 full-time equivalent positions. “When we did reductions in April, we had savings from that, but they were negated by our union contracts, which had mandatory raises in them,” said Trios Health CEO Craig Cudworth. uTRIOS, Page 40

The new Bleyhl Co-op store at the corner of Road 68 and Chapel Hill Boulevard in Pasco will be about 20,000 square feet and will include True Value Hardware and Great Harvest Bread Co. (Courtesy Bleyhl Co-op)

Bleyhl Co-op plans to open new Pasco store in fall BYJESSICA HOEFER

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Bleyhl Co-op plans to break ground this spring on a new 20,000-square-foot store in Pasco and share the space with True Value Hardware and Great Harvest Bread Co. The $4.5 million to $5 million project at Road 68 and Chapel Hill Boulevard will replace the current Pasco store at 1126 W. Ainsworth St. Russ Ward, Bleyhl’s vice president of retail, said the company has outgrown the site, which is about 4,000 square feet. “It’s been a temporary location for almost 20 years. We rented the building with the plan to build a bigger location,” he said. “We were waiting for the right time and place and found a piece of land on Road 68.” Along with Pasco, Bleyhl Co-op has locations in Sunnyside, Zillah and its headquarters in Grandview at 940 E. Wine

Country Road. The company also operates fueling stations throughout the Yakima Valley. Bleyhl Co-op is probably best known for its livestock feed and supplies for orchards, vineyards, lawns, gardens and pets. But Ward said the new store will be a flagship for change, and that all of the Blehyl Co-op locations will undergo a facelift this year. “We really want to make this a whole new customer experience. Our vision is about the true hometown farm and ranch and hardware store that we remember when we were kids. You’d visit farmers in there and see your neighbors. We want to capture that, but people want a modern store—bright with big aisles,” Ward said. “When I was brought on with the company, we were looking at building a new store and what we needed to do to grow as a co-op and grow in retail. How could we gain market share?” uBLEYHL, Page 4

Tamale business growing into retail space in downtown Pasco BY KRISTINA LORD

The Tri-Cities’ appetite for Hot Tamales’ traditional Mexican dish continues to grow. The Pasco-based food truck business is now serving its popular tamales through a walk-up window at 110 S. Fourth Ave. in downtown Pasco and hopes to be selling them from a retail store there by spring. “People are excited to see the diversity. It’s a restaurant and a main Mexican dish and we only focus on that,” said Paulina Perez, co-owner of Hot Tamales. It’s all a part of Downtown Pasco Development Authority’s plan to generate more year-round foot traffic and help more businesses like Hot Tamales succeed. It’s also why the downtown revitalization

agency designed walk-up windows for businesses operating out of its Pasco Specialty Kitchen, a commercial incubator kitchen designed for entrepreneurs. It’s a step in the evolution of bigger plan, said Luke Hallowell, executive director of the nonprofit. “We’re trying to truly incubate businesses from startup to storefront,” he said. Thanks to improvements made to the authority’s building and specialty kitchen by the city of Pasco, the plan is beginning to take shape, Hallowell said. A $38,000 interior remodel includes shelving, windows and partitioning, and $29,000 in exterior improvements include the installation of an awning as part of the façade update. uTAMALES, Page 28


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business 8919 W. Grandridge Blvd., Ste. A1 Kennewick, WA 99336



Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018


Kennewick’s Hallmark store to close after 41 years Owner cites customers’ changing shopping habits for dwindling sales BY LAURA KOSTAD

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Crest Hallmark Shops announced plans to close its Kennewick Plaza store this month citing declining sales. The Richland store on George Washington Way in Washington Plaza will remain the sole Hallmark Gold Crown store in the Tri-Cities of the five started by the Jilek family in 1968. Patrick Jilek, a second generation owner, said five to six years ago he didn’t foresee this happening, but in a rapidly changing retail world, external marketplace forces have been shutting down Hallmarks nationwide. “We’ve held on longer than most,” he said. However, declining sales over the past couple of decades culminated in a massive drop-off last year, prompting the decision to close. “You can only sustain so many losses,” he said. Longtime customers like Joe Gallegos, who’s shopped at the Kennewick Plaza Hallmark for the past 20 years, lamented the closure. “I hate to see (Hallmark) leave, but I understand,” he said. Gallegos said he has a lot of friends and family “so, I’m always buying cards.” Jilek cited the greater availability of greeting cards in grocery and drug stores and changes in buying habits as the major factors leading to the closure. “I like your cards better,” Gallegos told Jilek. Online shopping played a role in this shift, though Hallmark Gold Crown stores typically performed well when located in the same shopping center as a grocery store, Jilek said. Customers running in for groceries often would make a stop to pick up cards, he said. “Eight out of 10 of my customers are women,” Jilek said. “The average family makes two to three trips to the grocery store per week, and two to three trips to drug stores per month.” But over the years, grocery and drug


stores have diversified, significantly expanding their selection of greeting cards and enhancing their one-stop-shopping experience. Customers on the go began opting for cards available on their way to the checkout, Jilek said. “It doesn’t sound like a big deal — people buying a few cards at the grocery store instead of coming to us — but when you multiply that all across town, it has a big impact,” he said. Jilek said Hallmark’s signature greeting cards were the major reason people frequented his stores. As for the other merchandise the store carries, Jilek said “the majority of Hallmark stores are independently owned and operated, so we’re free to choose non-Hallmark branded gifts.” However, Jilek said it didn’t really make a difference what products the stores carried because “if traffic counts for the core product line declines, there’s less chance of selling other products.” So, when greeting card sales started to drop off, so did the sales of everything else. Hallmark Gold Crown stores debuted in the United States in the mid-1960s as specialty gift and party supply shops, and were popular well into the early 1990s, even as the company began selling its card line in the grocery and drug stores that eventually eroded their customer base, Jilek said. In the late 1950s, Jilek’s parents, Spence and Carolyn, independently owned several Rexall drug stores throughout the TriCities, which sold Hallmark cards. In 1968, after the Hallmark store concept was introduced, the Jileks decided to open a store in Columbia Center mall, in the space now occupied by Coach. “I remember being 8 years old running around on the concrete slab of the original mall,” Jilek said. After the 10-year lease was up, the mall opted not to renew it, and the Jileks moved the store across the street into what is now Bed, Bath & Beyond. The central Kennewick Hallmark store opened in 1976 in the Highlands Center, where the Albertsons used to be. The shop operated there for 20 years. When that lease was up, the Jileks moved the store to

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Owner Patrick Jilek holds old photographs from when his parents owned Crest Hallmark Shops in the Tri-Cities. The Kennewick Plaza store will close in January. Jilek plans to keep the remaining Richland store open on George Washington Way.

its current location at Kennewick Plaza to be close to Safeway. The Jileks eventually came to own and operate five Crest Hallmark shops throughout the Tri-Cities: two in Kennewick, two in Pasco and one in Richland. Jilek and his siblings grew up working in his parents’ stores. He said he remembers running the register at age 13. He took over management of the shops in 1990 when his father died. According to Jilek, there were more than 5,000 stores throughout the United States at Hallmark’s peak in the mid-1980s. But in the last five to 10 years, two out of three of those stores closed their doors. Today, fewer than 1,700 stores remain. Jilek said as leases ended in the ’90s, he closed stores until Crest Hallmark Shops was down to one store in each city. Then, in the early 2000s, he closed the remaining

Pasco shop on Court Street near what is now a Goodwill. Another aspect of the store’s demise is what Jilek refers to as “how people do things.” For example, Crest Hallmarks used to devote 28 feet of wall space to photo albums, but reduced this to two to three shelves in recent years as photography moved from prints to digital images. “We lost a huge niche in the marketplace,” he said. At the company level, Jilek said Hallmark has been forced to adapt its business model to survive. He said Hallmark now sells directly to Amazon and through its own website. It’s also in the process of creating a line of cards specifically for the Dollar Tree chain, Jilek said. uHALLMARK, Page 8


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

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BLEYHL, From page 1 To answer that question, the company considered the Tri-City housing market and local homeowners’ growing needs. Then Blehyl Co-op reached out to True Value Hardware, Ace and a few other distributors as it looked at expanding the company’s hardware selection. “And True Value was the right fit for us. They treated us like family; they’re a co-op; and we felt a connection with them,” Ward said. All four of the Blehyl Co-op locations will include True Value Hardware by the end of the year, said Ward, but the Pasco location also will lease space to Great Harvest Bread Co. “We wanted something else besides just a retail experience. I reached out to the local Great Harvest franchisee in Kennewick—he has a fantastic site. And we went to him and said, ‘We want to create something new and unique.’ Maybe people want to have lunch or stop in for a sandwich, and then they can walk over and visit our retail site,” Ward said. “It’s a farmto-table healthy brand. Everything is made fresh. We thought it was a good fit with our farming co-op.” The retail floor that includes True Value Hardware will take up about 20,000 square feet, and the Great Harvest Bread Co. will add another 1,800 square feet to the floor plan. Ward said there will be a common area where customers walk in and possibly a coffee bar. “We’re still deciding what to do there,” he said of the plans. “We want to make it an area for people to come in and hang out and visit.”

A sign for the new Bleyhl Co-op store is located south of Interstate 182 and across from Maverik.

Collaborative Design Architects of Billings, Montana, is working with the company to finalize the layout and design, and Mountain States Construction of Sunnyside is the general contractor. Pending weather, the company expects to break ground in March and complete the project by late fall. “Our goal for the new Pasco store is that it will be the destination for any and all who live to roll up their sleeves and get mud on their boots, and more importantly, have fun sharing their successes—and laughing about the failures—with their neighbors,” said Bleyhl CEO Dan Morano. “(The new location) will significantly increase our capacity to offer more products and services, including a greater selection of farm supplies, animal health and pet products, workwear and True Value Hardware just to name a few.” Ward said customers and employees are excited about the future, and the response

on social media since the announcement has been positive. Customers visiting the new Road 68 store also will be able to use a self-service dog and animal wash bay, said Ward, adding with the growth, the company plans to expand its feed and pet supplies. A bigger store also means more employees will be needed, and Ward expects the company will need to hire about 10 to 15 people in retail, warehousing, office and potentially management positions. Once the Pasco store is completed and the three other locations have been remodeled, Ward said the company will turn its attention on expanding to other communities. “We don’t have anything concrete, but once this opens, we’ll start looking for the next one and keep growing,” said Ward. “It’s going to be a big year for us.”


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UPCOMING February Focuses: • Viticulture • Banking & Finance March Focuses: • Hospitality • Insurance


• Jerad Groth’s first name was misspelled on page 15 in the December issue. • The Jan. 16 Victory Medical Solutions Town Hall meeting has been canceled. Information about the meeting appeared on page 7 in the December issue. 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.

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018 uBUSINESS BRIEFS Kennewick’s P.F. Chang’s restaurant to close

The Kennewick P.F. Chang’s restaurant will close Jan. 21. A sign at the 8108 W. Gage Blvd. restaurant thanks customers “for being part of our family.” A P.F. Chang’s spokesman said the restaurant’s lease has expired. The 6,615-square-foot Chinese restaurant has been open for 10 years and employs about 50 people. The building is valued at $1.5 million, according to the Benton County Assessor’s Office. The restaurant features patio dining, curbside pickup and catering delivery. The first P.F. Chang’s opened in 1993 and there are more than 210 U.S. restaurants, plus 66 international locations in more than 19 countries, according to the company’s website. The closure of the Kennewick restaurant leaves four other locations in the state: Spokane, Seattle, Lynwood and Bellevue.

Pasco School District holding teacher job fair

The Pasco School District is holding a teacher job fair from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17-18 inside the student mall at Chiawana High School at 8125 W. Argent Road. Attendees will learn about new teaching positions in the 2018-19 school year. They will also get a chance to meet with

administrators and possibly interview. Interested teachers are encouraged to bring a current résumé with them. Teachers who are interested in attending should RSVP by registering for the event at

Matching campaign underway for You Medical

A donor has agreed to match up to $167,000 toward You Medical’s Going Mobile campaign covering construction and two years of operating expenses for a mobile medical unit. You Medical used to be called the TriCities Pregnancy Network. The bus will serve women in areas surrounding the Tri-Cities with free pregnancy testing, limited ultrasounds, prenatal vitamins, resource referrals and more. You Medical has already raised $35,000 for the project. If the entire $167,000 is matched, the fundraising goal of $367,000 would be met, fully paying for the project. The matching funds campaign runs through the end of January. For more information and to donate, visit

Wine village to celebrate completion of first phase

A Feb. 9 ribbon-cutting is planned to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Columbia Gardens Urban Wine & Artisan Village. The public event takes place at 2:30 p.m. at 421 E. Columbia Drive in

Kennewick. The project’s first tenants are Bartholomew Winery, and Palencia Wine Co. and Monarcha Wines. Their winemakers will be on hand and the tasting rooms will be open immediately following the ceremony. Located on nearly six acres adjacent to Clover Island and the Columbia River, the wine village is a Port of Kennewick and city of Kennewick project to transform a long-neglected waterfront into a pedestrian-friendly, regional waterfront gathering place.

New record set for Columbia Generating Station Columbia Generating Station sent more than 867 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to the Northwest power grid in December, a new record for monthly generation. The previous record was set in January 2016: 860.8 million net kilowatt-hours. Alex Javorik, Energy Northwest vice president for engineering, credited both recent plant upgrades, which boosted Columbia’s output, and good teamwork for the record-breaking performance. Columbia also performs more efficiently during the cold winter months. For instance, Columbia set a record for July generation last year, producing nearly 856 million kilowatt-hours, or about 11 million kilowatt-hours less than December’s total. During December, Columbia operated at a 104.4 percent capacity factor. Capacity factor is a ratio based on the


maximum amount of electricity the plant could send to the grid at the most restrictive time of the year, which for thermal power plants is during summer. The nuclear energy plant, the third largest generator of electricity in Washington state, set annual generation records in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016. During its lifetime, Columbia has produced more than 240 billion kilowatthours of carbon-free electricity. Columbia Generating Station is owned and operated by Energy Northwest and has 1,207 megawatts of gross capacity. All of its electricity is sold at-cost to the Bonneville Power Administration, and 92 Northwest utilities receive a percentage of its output. The facility is 10 miles north of Richland.

Immigrant coalition holding Jan. 23 public forum

The Tri-Cities Immigrant Coalition is hosting a public forum on immigration and the local economy at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 in the Benton PUD Auditorium at 2721 W. 10th Ave. in Kennewick. Local experts representing the farming sector, small businesses, and research and education institutions will present information and answer audience questions. The coalition was formed in 2017 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the public with information to seek equitable solutions to immigration issues.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Upscale bar food, craft cocktails served alongside sweeping views

Owner of Proof Gastropub aims to prove Tri-Citians want more than chains BY LAURA KOSTAD

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

There’s a new restaurant showcasing the Kennewick skyline: Proof Gastropub. The high-rise eatery on Columbia Center Boulevard features a modern space with upscale bar food and craft cocktails offering fresh twists on old favorites along with the sweeping views. Mike Miller, who also founded Stick + Stone Neapolitan Wood-Fired Pizza on Duportail Street in Richland, said he was ready to expand and start something new when the 3,300-square-foot space opened at 924 N. Columbia Center Blvd. above Massage Envy and Sound Audiology and Hearing Aids. The 90-seat main dining area, bar, and kitchen are on the third floor of the building with fourth-floor loft offering overflow seating and its own bar in a space that owner/founder Miller plans to make available for private events. “I wanted to focus on gastro—highend bar food—and present it in a slightly elevated way, with cool bar space where people can hang out that feels like the big city. I want to provide a different experience,” he said. And Miller said having to take an elevator or stairs to reach the restaurant is a part of the experience.

LCR Construction of Richland completed $200,000 in renovation work, which was funded by a Small Business Administration loan through Banner Bank, as well as profits from Stick + Stone. Proof is reminiscent of metropolitan dining experiences in converted industrial space, featuring a mural and selected photography by local artists, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows and a patio on the third floor to take in the views of the city and river. Great for date nights, catching sports highlights, or grabbing a casual bite during lunch hour or before an Americans’ hockey game, Proof offers a variety of seating options from cozy booth space and regular tables, to high-top tables and bar-side seating. Customers can take photos of their dining experience, post them on the Instagram photo-sharing application with the hashtag #proofgastropub and collect a printout at the automatic photo print station at the front of the restaurant. A unique variety of moderately priced items fill the menu, including familiar bar favorites like wings, burgers, finger food appetizers and other handhelds. But Proof’s kitchen also produces several entrees, featuring choice cuts of

Mike Miller is the owner and founder of the new Kennewick restaurant Proof Gastropub at 924 Columbia Center Blvd. The pub offers high-end bar food, craft cocktails and views in a modern setting. A fourth-floor loft features its own bar to handle overflow seating and private events. (Courtesy Proof Gastropub)

salmon and steak. Prices range from $16 to $32. Miller said this is a part of what sets Proof Gastropub apart from the competition. “We use higher-end quality products and really invest ourselves in the final product we’re providing,” he said. Offerings include unique flavors, like truffle fries, creamy bacon and sage potato soup, and the sweet coriander lime vinaigrette that tops the mango and avocado prawn salad. Miller noted there are a lot of chain restaurants in Tri-Cities.

He said the restaurant’s name Proof is a direct nod to his confidence that the restaurant can overcome the negative stereotype that Tri-Citians have traditionally preferred chains over locallyowned restaurants. “It’s about setting yourself apart through the service provided and the food offered,” he said. Miller acknowledged his proximity to the recently-closed Frankenburger’s Fry Lab and Fire & Brimstone Wood-Fired Eatery, which were located next door to his building. uPROOF, Page 8

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018




JAN. 17 – 18

• Northwest Hay Expo: 8 a.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Register

JAN. 18

• Community Lecture Series: “Cycling Through Cuban History:” 7 p.m., Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Drive, Richland. • Mid-Columbia Ag Hall of Fame: 5:30 p.m., Red Lion Hotel, 2525 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. RSVP 509-547-9755. • Pasco Comprehensive Plan Update and Open House: 5:30 p.m., Pasco City Hall, 525 N. Third Ave., Pasco. Visit • Dinner with a Doctor: 6 – 7 p.m., Lourdes Health, 520 N. Fourth Ave., Pasco. RSVP dinnerdoc.

JAN. 19

• One Stop Neurological Services Community Discussion: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., Mid-Columbia Libraries, 1620 S. Union St., Kennewick. Contact

JAN. 20

• 19th annual Crab Feed Fundraiser, benefiting

Benton-Franklin Humane Society: 3 – 7 p.m., St. Joseph Dillon Hall, 520 S. Garfield St., Kennewick. Tickets

JAN. 23

• PTAC Workshop “Market Research for Government Contracting:” 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center, 7130 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. RSVP 509-4913231.

JAN. 24

• Google My Business workshop: Noon, Cougar Digital Marketing & Design, 4001 Kennedy Road, Suite 5, West Richland. Register • Business Development University “Manage Your Time for Results in 2018:” 3 – 5 p.m., Tri-Cities Visitor & Business Center, 7130 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. RSVP 509-736-0510.

JAN. 24 – 25

• Washington Oregon Potato Conference: 7:30 a.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Register potatoconference. com.

JAN. 25

• Presentation: What If? Preparing for Health Changes and Family Crisis: Noon – 1 p.m., Tri-Cities Cancer Center, 7350 W. Deschutes Ave., Kennewick. RSVP 509-737-3427. • Columbia Basin Badger Club annual meeting: 6 – 8 p.m., Shilo Inn, 50 Comstock St., Richland. RSVP cbbc.

JAN. 27

• Point to Success Brunch, benefitting WSU TriCities Carson College of Business: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Anthony’s Restaurant, 550 Columbia Point Drive, Richland. Tickets 509-3727132.

JAN. 29

• Community Awards Banquet: 5:30 – 9 p.m., Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center, 2140 Wine Country Road, Prosser. Tickets 509786-3177.

JAN. 31

• Women in Business Conference: 8 a.m. – 5:15 p.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. RSVP 509-736-0510.


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• Washington Policy Center’s Legislative Lunchbox: Noon, Tri-Cities Home Builders Association, 10001 W. Clearwater Ave., Kennewick. RSVP

• Washington Wine Industry Foundation Party and Auction: 5 – 10 p.m., Toyota Center, 7000 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. washingtonwinefoundation. org.

FEB. 3

FEB. 8

• St. Joseph’s Art & Wine Gala: 5 – 10 p.m., St. Joseph’s Catholic School, 901 W. Fourth Ave., Kennewick. Tickets

• Agriculture Policy Dinner: 6:30 p.m., Red Lion Hotel, 2525 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. Tickets

FEB. 6 – 8

• Pasco Chamber Membership Luncheon: 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m., Red Lion Hotel, 2525 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. RSVP 509-547-9755.

• Washington Winegrowers Convention and Trade Show: 8 a.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Tickets

FEB. 7

• National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association lunch meeting: 11:30 a.m., Red Lion Hotel, 1101 N. Center Blvd., Kennewick. Visit narfe1192. org. • West Richland Chamber Membership Luncheon: Noon – 1 p.m., Sandberg Event Center, 331 S. 41st Ave., West Richland. RSVP 509-967-0521.

FEB. 12

FEB. 13 – 15

• Evergreen Rural Water of Washington Annual Conference: 8 a.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Tickets erwow. org.

FEB. 16

• A Night with Cougar Football: 5:30 p.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Tickets 509-3350220.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

PROOF, From page 6 Another local restaurant based out of Richland, Porter’s Real Barbecue, plans to move into the vacant space left by Frankenburger in spring 2018. “You’ve got to offer something equal or better when you’re across the street from the busiest burger restaurant in town,” said Miller of Red Robin. “We’re focusing on what we do well.” He said execution, having people in the right place and focusing on the details, makes a difference to new restaurants competing with well-known established eateries. “You don’t want to just fit in,” he said. He said they’ve been surprisingly

busy, despite having hosted their grand opening on the Friday that kicked off the Christmas holiday weekend. “It’s been nonstop burgers,” he said. Miller identified Proof’s homemade meatloaf, which features a red wine barbecue sauce, firecracker salmon, and garlic-, lemongrass- and gingersautéed Manila clams as signature items. Proof is still hiring in the kitchen. Miller plans to employ about 25 fulland part-time employees. Though Miller said he looks forward to cultivating the culture at Proof through relationship-building with new employees and customers, he admitted it’s weird overseeing a new place after the four years he spent developing

Stick + Stone. Miller explained he will eventually oversee both businesses, but in the meantime, his 20-person crew will be manning the ship at Stick + Stone. “We have a good system in place there and it’s solid,” he said. In September, Stick + Stone was a part of the UberEats Tri-Cities launch, and Miller said the new service has led to an even greater uptick in sales than he’d originally anticipated. He said he’s not sure yet if Proof Gastropub will be joining UberEats, but the restaurant’s Facebook page did mention the possibility of takeout service in the future. Information: 509-820-3321; Facebook; Instagram.

HALLMARK, From page 3 The Richland store has maintained a steady customer flow, thanks to its location along a stretch of the Hanford commute that’s traveled by people living throughout the Tri-Cities. Jilek said that based on previous experience, traffic from the Kennewick store should almost directly transfer to the Richland shop. He said when other Hallmarks closed in nearby Yakima and Oregon, many customers began making the trek to the Tri-Cities, especially for the brand’s signature Keepsake Christmas ornaments. The Richland store is about the same size as the Kennewick store, and what remains of the core greeting card inventory after the closing sale will be moved to Richland. The remaining surplus that doesn’t sell will be boxed up and donated, Jilek said. “We have to be down to bare walls by the end of the month,” he said. “It’s just part of retail; there comes a point where you always have stuff that doesn’t sell, even at 90 percent off.” Jilek said letting his Kennewick store employees go hurts him most. Each Crest Hallmark store employs three to four part-time employees in addition to the store manager. And there aren’t any open positions at the Richland store to absorb the Kennewick employees. Melissa Hendricks, the Kennewick store manager of 30 years, said retirement isn’t an option for her, but she hopes to find a way to be involved in the community at her next job. She said she’ll miss the customers most. So far, there’s no word on what might be moving into the vacated space. Jilek noted the suite next door, a former staterun liquor store, has been vacant for the past three years. As Jilek looked around the store wistfully, he said, “We’ve had many, many loyal customers over the past 20, 30, 40 years. We’ll miss being here, and I wish it wasn’t the case.”

uBUSINESS BRIEFS Pasco seeking applicants for boards, commissions

The Pasco City Council is seeking applicants to serve on city boards and commissions. Those interested can go to pasco-wa. gov/boards for a description of the city’s boards and commissions. Applicants appointed to boards are expected to regularly attend meetings. To apply, call 509-545-3404, go to the city manager’s office at City Hall, 525 N. Third Ave., Pasco or go to boards. The deadline to apply is Jan. 19.

Reach offers prehistoric art makerspace activities

The Reach museum will be offering a free self-guided makerspace activity from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in January. Supplies and instructions will be available. Inspiration for the makerspace is from the new exhibit of prehistoric art. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for students, seniors and military. Those under 5 and Reach members are free.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018 


Top issues to watch in Washington Legislature this session Legislative council BY JOHN STANG North Franklin School District bus center. Local bills brings Tri-City “Families are not working today As of Jan. 3, Sen. Maureen Walsh, because the Legislature has failed to pass R-Walla Walla, and Haler were the only goals to Olympia Will several delayed Tri-City construcfor Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

a capital budget … These projects have tion projects finally start up? Will the been unnecessarily delayed,” said Gov. Washington Legislature reach a Jay Inslee. compromise on permits for digging wells Rep. Larry Springer, D-Kirkland, a in rural areas? negotiator on resolving this deadlock, is The issues are among several of interest cautiously optimistic that a compromise to Mid-Columbia residents. will be reached in January. The DemoThe 60-day state legislative session crats’ last offer would set up local commitbegan Jan. 8. tees in each region of the state consisting The ongoing impasse between Demoof people from all the appropriate special crats and Republicans on the so-called interests, from tribes Hirst ruling  in 2016 to local government blocks landowners to state agencies, to from digging new review and rule on “My biggest wells without provrural well-digging ing they won’t threatconcern has applications, with a en nearby stream levprocess set up to always been els needed for fish. appeal those deciIn coming up with economic sions. a law to deal with the A major change in development.” ruling, legislative the Legislature from Republicans want to the 2017 session is - Rep. Larry Haler, loosen up Supreme that Democrats have Court’s restrictions R-Richland control of the Senate more than the Legisand House. Demolature’s Democrats crats have controlled the House for more want to. As part of that impasse, Republithan a decade. However, the GOP domicans refused in 2017 to pass a $4 billion capital budget — including state funding nated the Senate since 2013 until Republifor Mid-Columbia projects — until they cans lost a seat in the northeastern Seattle get what they want on the Hirst fix-it bill. suburbs last November, giving Democrats This has stalled construction projects a 25-24 edge of the Senate  But Republicans have significant clout statewide. In the Mid-Columbia, this include on this one matter because 60 percent each delays to upgrading the intersection of of the House and Senate must approve the Highway 395 and Ridgeline Drive serving $4 billion in bonds to finance the projects. south Kennewick, water supply projects in Democrats need GOP help to reach that 60 the Yakima and Columbia river basins, percent mark within each chamber. Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, design work for a 40,000-square-foot center for an Army infantry Stryker company plus Reps. Larry Haler, R-Richland, Brad in the Horn Rapids area, and on expansion Klippert, R-Kennewick, Terry Nealy, and fix-it work at Richland’s Jefferson R-Dayton, and Bill Jenkin, R-Prosser, said they needed to study any actual comproElementary School. Other delays include building labs, mise before voicing an opinion on it.  “My biggest concern has always been classrooms and offices in the middle of the Washington State University Tri-Cities economic development, and eventually campus; constructing a 9,000-square-foot we’ve got to get it right,” Haler said.  Brown added: “I hope we resolve this new building to hold classrooms, exhibits as soon as possible.” and offices for student outreach at the Nealy said: “I’m not really positive Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave we’ll reach a conclusion until later on. It’s Observatory, or LIGO; upgrades to the a complex matter to determine on each city of Kennewick’s water-meter-reading basis. It’s going to take time.” system from using workers walking from Here are some other issues the Legislahome to home to transmitting all the information electronically; and building a new ture will tackle this session:

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Mid-Columbia legislators to pre-file bills for the 2018 session. Walsh’s bill is a big one. She and several Democratic senators introduced a bill to repeal the death penalty in Washington for first-degree murder and replace it with life without parole. When they were in the House in 2015, Walsh and Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, introduced the same bill to start public discussions on repealing the state’ s death penalty. That 2015 bills died in a Democratic-controlled House Judiciary Committee. At that time, committee chairwoman Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, said the public was not ready to repeal the death penalty. Also in 2015, the GOP controlled the Senate and would have likely killed the bill. In a 2015 committee hearing, testimony overwhelmingly favored repealing the death penalty. Repeal arguments were that imposing the death penalty is prohibitively expensive, and there is a chance of erroneously sending an innocent person to death row. At least nine people are currently on Washington’s death row. In 2014, Inslee declared a moratorium on executions that will last until he leaves office. Haler has pre-filed two bills to tweak how voters approve public facilities district projects and wastewater treatment operators’ qualifications.  uLEGISLATURE, Page 10


for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

A group of Tri-City business leaders will travel this month to the state Capitol to promote a regional economic development agenda. The Tri-Cities Legislative Council will make its annual visit to Olympia on Jan. 25-26. The group is made up of members from all of the area chambers of commerce, including the Pasco, West Richland Area, Tri-City Regional and TriCities Hispanic, as well as Visit Tri-Cities and the Tri-City Development Council, or TRIDEC. Its goal is to demonstrate a united front when promoting the Tri-Cities to elected leaders throughout the state, with the purpose of sharing resources and avoiding duplication of efforts. “The goal is to try to gather around what are our community issues that are relevant to the Tri-Cities, as a whole, and to try to share those with the state as one voice. And there has to be complete consensus on the issues,” said Diahann C. Howard, director of economic development and governmental affairs for the Port of Benton, and a member of the legislative council. uCOUNCIL, Page 13


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018 

LEGISLATURE, From page 9 He also plans to revive his 2017 bill to aid Hanford workers in declaring cancers, beryllium diseases and neurological diseases as occupational diseases in getting industrial insurance coverage. His stalled bill would add heart and respiratory ailments to that list if they occur within three days of being exposed to toxic fumes.  That bill easily passed the House in 2016, but died in a Republican-controlled Senate Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee. Haler said the committee’s new Democratic chairwoman Karen Keiser of Kent is more friendly to this bill and is optimistic about its chances this session. Brown said she wants to try to boost the presence of small modular reactors and hydropower as part of renewable or alter-

native power sources covered by 2006’s Initiative 937, which requires Washington’s utilities to use renewable power sources — excluding hydropower — for 15 percent of their electricity by 2020. She also wants to revive a stalled bill to provide tax deferrals on building two new manufacturing facilities each year, one on each side of the Cascades. She also wants to introduce a bill to use money from increased assessed values in targeted business districts to help pay off local government bonds for improvements in those areas. Brown also is working on an anti-human-trafficking bill of which the details are still up in the air. Plus, she wants to streamline access to youth-suicide-prevention services. Klippert plans to introduce several bills. These include one to allow local jurisdic-

tions to prohibit the growth and sales of marijuana within their boundaries, and tightening zoning restrictions on allowing pot operations near preschools. He wants to make residential burglary a crime against a person. Klippert also wants to have pornography and strip clubs declared as public health hazards. And he wants to loosen mental health professionals’ restrictions on putting a potentially dangerous person into a 72-hour psychiatric hold. As of Jan. 1, Nealy and Jenkin did not have specific bills in mind to introduce. Jenkin said he would have introduced the public facilities district bill if Haler had not already done so.

Carbon tax

Last month, Inslee unveiled his pro-

posal to create a tax on carbon emissions to pay for the final one-year shortage of $1 billion needed to deal with a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that the state needs more teachers in grades K-3 and they need to be paid more competitive salaries. The state reserve funds will pay for that one-time need for an extra $1 billion in 2018, and the first $1 billion from a proposed carbon tax would replace that money. “It’s the final step to take care of this constitutional obligation,” Inslee said.  Emissions generated by transportation fuels and power plants would initially be taxed at $20 a ton, starting July 1, 2019. The tax rate would increase annually by 3.5 percent, plus inflation. The tax would generate an estimated $1.5 billion in new revenue over the first two years and an estimated $3.3 billion over the next four years. Since Republicans controlled Washington’s Senate from 2013 to November 2017, they have stopped or helped stop five Inslee legislative proposals to control carbon emissions. Inslee cited carbon emissions leading to global warming, which leads to less and more erratic water flowing from the mountain snowpacks to farmlands, increasing risks of wildfires, and heating Washington’s shoreline waters enough to threaten the shellfish industry. Republicans have cited increased costs on businesses to deal with carbon emissions. In 2015, Inslee used his executive powers to enforce a 2008 state law that says polluting industries must gradually trim their carbon emissions. Business interests are challenging Inslee’s 2015 decision in court. It puts gradually decreasing caps on carbon emissions with fines for non-compliance. Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, took an opening shot at Inslee’s new carbon tax proposal. “According to the Institute for Energy Research (a conservative Washington, D.C., think tank), carbon taxes reduce economic growth and achieve no real environmental improvement. And, it would force companies who employ workers around the state to move overseas, costing many Washington families their jobs,” Schoesler said. The Association of Washington Business said the governor’s proposed carbon tax would mean higher costs for energy to heat homes, fuel to drive to work and higher prices for natural gas that has helped fuel industries while lowering emissions. “We should all be sensitive that the governor’s carbon tax would also hit middle-class families especially hard because manufacturing and trade sectors, which support good-paying, family wage jobs, could be impacted,” said Kris Johnson, AWB president, in a statement. Sen. Ray Palumbo, D-Maltby, a lead on the carbon tax issue, said if a carbon tax stalls in the upcoming session, it will likely be a public ballot issue next November. Palumbo said a law crafted by the Legislature is more thorough and precise than a “blunt force” ballot initiative. Another recent state Supreme Court ruling requires an overhaul to the state’s fish culverts to the tune of $1.1 billion to $2.1 billion. The proposed carbon tax could be applied to tackling that expensive court mandate.  uLEGISLATURE, Page 11

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018 LEGISLATURE, From page 10 In the past, House Democrats—the longtime majority caucus in that chamber — haven’t been able to guarantee the 50 votes within their own caucus needed to pass any carbon tax proposal on the full House floor. Even though Democrats now control both the House (50-48) and Senate (25-24), all it would take is for one Democrat to break ranks in either chamber to put a carbon tax bill into jeopardy. Inslee does not have a Plan B to fund the final $1 billion needed for education in 2018 if a carbon tax bill fails. “We don’t go into the new year planning for failure,” Inslee said. Brown, Klippert, Jenkin, Haler and Nealy all oppose Inslee’s proposed carbon tax. “A carbon tax makes it more difficult for business to make a go of it. … It’s a tax grab,” Jenkin said.

Improving rural broadband

Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, expects to introduce a bill to improve internet speeds and bandwidth in rural Washington. As January began, she was still working on her proposed bill’s details.

Net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission voted to eliminate net neutrality, an Obama administration rule that required internet providers to treat all users the same. Without net neutrality, providers can arbitrarily block services to specific users and arbitrarily provide different internet speeds to different users.

Without net neutrality, providers would be able to charge users in the same region different prices for the same services. Reps. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge Island, and Smith have introduced a bill to make Washington the first state in the nation to have in-state net neutrality despite the feds revoking it. If a provider blocks a Washington customer from using any internet sites or deliberately slows down internet speeds for some users, the state would be able to file a lawsuit to stop that practice and seek punitive damages, Hansen said. Attorney General Bob Ferguson claimed only big broadband providers have supported the FCC’s decision. He said evidence in a few states has surfaced that support for revoking net neutrality have been sent to the FCC from false names. He said at least three Washingtonians have complained about their names being used in messages to the FCC to revoke net neutrality without their knowledge or permission. Ferguson plans to file a lawsuit soon to combat the FCC’s decision. Nealy and Haler support the bill. Klippert is more cautious, but does not like the idea of internet providers blocking customers. Brown and Jenkin had not read Hansen’s legislation, and declined to give an opinion until they did so.

Children’s health care

Congress has failed so far to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program, commonly called CHIP. That program officially expired Sept. 30 due to congressional inaction. It has provided

almost $14 billion annually since 1997 for health insurance coverage for nine million uninsured children whose families don’t make enough to pay for private insurance while also earning too much money to qualify for Medicaid. There is a good chance Congress will vote on whether and how to renew the CHIP program while Washington’s Legislature is in session. The problem is no one knows whether Congress will renew all of the program or just parts of it — meaning Washington has no idea how much extra money it will have to find to counter any cuts in CHIP, said David Shumacher, director of the state Office of Financial Management.

ISPs and personal data

Last session, Hansen introduced a bipartisan bill that would forbid Internet Service Providers from selling people’s personal data with their permission. The bill overwhelmingly passed the House and had enough Republican and Democratic support to easily pass in the Senate. But the Senate Republican leadership refused to send the bill to a floor vote. With Democrats winning a special November Senate election in the suburbs northeast of Seattle, that party now controls the Senate. Hansen said he plans to resurrect his bill and try to get it quickly through the Legislature. Haler supports the bill. Jenkin and Nealy thought it was rushed through too fast toward the end of the 2017 session without adequate study. Brown and Klippert did not have an opinion on it because

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they had not read it as of Jan. 3.

Paying for abortions

The Reproductive Parity Act would require health insurance plans that cover maternity care to cover abortions as well. From 2013-15, Hobbs and Rep. Eileen Cody, D-Seattle, have introduced this bill in each chamber each year. Cody’s bill kept passing on a roughly party-line split. Both would then see their bills die in the Senate Health Care committee each year. With Democrats now controlling committee chairs in the Senate, Hobbs said he plans to resurrect the bill this session. Last year, Oregon became the first and only state to mandate abortion coverage. An abortion’s basic costs are roughly $600 to $650, which does not count traveling and hotel expenses, according to several women’s health organizations. Sometimes women seeking an abortion must travel to another city or even another state. Washington’s abortion rate in 2015 was 12.5 percent, compared to 25.7 percent in 1991, according to the Washington Department of Health. 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, which is the latest year that the data is available. Klippert and Nealy oppose the proposed bill. Brown, Haler and Jenkin had no opinion on it, wanting to read the legislation first.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018 

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018  COUNCIL, From page 9 Those who attend try to get as much face time with legislators as possible, whether it’s a sit-down meeting in their office, or speaking quickly to make a pitch in the hallway while a legislator hurries from one meeting to another. The council hopes to have a larger delegation this year compared to 2017 when severe weather affected attendance. Closures of mountain passes and flight cancellations resulted in 10 people participating, compared to the 60 to 120 who typically attend annually. “Some of the people who did make it over, you got more one-on-one time. A lot of times the meetings can be more effective that way,” said Troy Berglund, president of the legislative council and representative of the West Richland Chamber of Commerce. The group also is joined in Olympia by members of the current class of Leadership Tri-Cities. The council meets in the months leading up to the session to determine the region’s priorities. “You have to adjust the agenda around how we can be most impactful for the community while we’re there,” Howard said. This year’s strategy includes supporting the re-authorization of Local Revitalization Funding, or LRF. The program authorizes cities and counties to create revitalization areas allowing certain increases in local sales and use, and property tax revenues generated within the revitalization area, additional money from other local public sources and a state contribution to be used for bond payments for financing local public improvements within the revitalization area. The program has not been funded since 2011. “We have been working for the last three years to reinstate LRF,” Howard said. She described the program as a “version of where you frontload investment using state and public dollars and with an idea that you’ll make that investment back on the property tax you’ll collect on the back end from the private investment.” Howard calls LRD a “very attractive tool” to pay for infrastructure because Benton County doesn’t qualify for funding through the Community Economic Revitalization Board, or CERB, program. “We don’t qualify because there’s a wage criteria you must meet, and in Benton County, it’s higher because they include Hanford federal jobs. So it’s hard for us to get a road in for a company that might need that for value-added ag with jobs at $14 or $17 an hour when we’ve got to be at $19.45 (an hour),” she said. Even if Benton County met the wage qualifications, CERB is also inactive, just like LRF. CERB funding was put on hold following the lack of a state biennium capital budget for 2017-19. Howard said Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, is interested in bringing these programs back. “She has been the lead and we have been working to support her efforts to try to re-establish Local Revitalization Financing, or a version of it,” Howard said. The legislative council also is looking to the future with a goal of economic development and diversification. The council sees an opportunity to shape

future economic development that includes creating necessary infrastructure to keep drawing new businesses and jobs to the region as Hanford cleanup winds down. Pointing to past experience with LRF, Howard said, “The city of Kennewick and the city of Richland were both successful in using that mechanism to finance development. For Kennewick, it was the Southridge area. For Richland, it was the north Richland area, which includes the research district and the city of Richland’s industrial park. We’ve had over $400 million of private sector development over the $11 million that was bonded.” Those projects included the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Washington State University Wine Science Center, The Lofts at Innovation Center housing, Preferred Freezer Services, the processing line expansion at Lamb Weston, and the new facility being built by SAI Steel. “The intent of this is, you take an increment of the taxes from new construction and they go toward the infrastructure that allowed for the new construction to happen,” said Gary Ballew, director of economic development and marketing for the Port of Pasco, and a member of the legislative council. “So the infrastructure in Richland was some roads within the port (of Benton) that really supported the things going on in the research district, broadband and then some utilities and roads in the industrial park. You do that, and all of a sudden somebody comes in and builds a $100 million building.” Ballew described it as “zero risk” to the state because Washington has no obligation to pay unless there is private development resulting in an increment of those taxes. If the new development doesn’t come, the risk is on local government to pay for what was built. “Both in Southridge and in Richland, the growth has far exceeded what you need to pay for that, so the state got a lot more money back than what it paid out,” Ballew said. This comes as no surprise to Howard, who has been a part of the council for the last decade, and was part of past successes that included support for a food processing center in Pasco and the drive to make WSU Tri-Cities a four-year institution. She’s aware of the direction the community is headed and hopes to emphasize the need for greater certainty in permitting environmental reviews to keep the momentum going. “It’s important to understand your growth, needs and demands, and I think that the reflection of both Southridge and Richland, showed the pent-up demand for the Tri-Cities,” she said. The legislative council also sees education as a key component to the future of the community and wants to focus on growing and retaining jobs in STEAM fields: science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. This may come through the support of internships and apprenticeships in these fields that could develop into future employment. The council believes this legacy of STEAM will encompass other industries, including agriculture, tourism and technology that will continue to positively impact the Tri-City economy. The annual visit to Olympia begins Jan. 25 with a working lunch at the Washington


Tri-Cities Legislative Council members Gary Ballew, from left, director of economic development and marketing for the Port of Pasco,Troy Berglund, president of the council and a representative of the West Richland Chamber of Commerce,and Diahann C. Howard, director of economic development and governmental affairs for the Port of Benton, helped to develop a list of TriCity priorities to share with state legislators during its annual visit to the state Capitol on Jan. 25-26.

Public Utilities District Association, followed by a “hill climb.” The council holds an annual dinner reception which includes a host of goods created in the Tri-Cities, and concludes the following day with a breakfast meeting with Tri-City legislators before traveling back to the East Side. “Each year, after we do our trip to Olympia, we re-evaluate what went well, tweaks we can make to improve,” Berglund said. When council members return to the Tri-Cities, it’s back to work to prepare for the next state session. “We always start the process by reach-

ing out to our local legislators to see what their focus is going to be for the upcoming session and we support them where we can, where there’s consensus from our group. But we also reach out to all of the counties, cities, ports, all the local governments, to see if there’s anything else that they want on here, or topics they’re requesting so we make sure we’re being supportive, too, as long as there’s consensus,” Howard said. Legislators convened Jan. 8 and the session is scheduled to end March 8.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018 

Richland’s Areva NP gets new (old) name BY KRISTINA LORD

Areva NP is now called Framatome. The international company’s Richland plant supplies fuel and fuel-related products for commercial pressurized water reactors and boiling water reactors. Framatome isn’t an unfamiliar name to Areva. The company changed its name to Areva NP in 2006. Resurrecting the Framatome name won’t affect much at the Richland facility, said Ben Reynolds, spokesman for the Richland plant. “We are still the same company; we just have a different name. Not much will change other than our signs,” he said.

Construction on the Richland company’s scrap uranium recovery facility is continuing and the exterior of the building is almost complete, Reynolds said. Framatome has 14,000 employees worldwide, including 550 at the Horn Rapids Road plant in Richland, making it among the biggest manufacturers in the Tri-Cities. Framatome has about 2,320 employees at 11 sites in the United States. The Richland site is the fuel fabrication hub in North America, producing uranium dioxide powder, pellets, fuel rods and fuel assembles. The France-based Framatome contributes to the design of power plants, supplies the nuclear steam supply system,

designs and manufactures components and fuels, integrates the instrumentation and control systems, and carries out the maintenance of in-service nuclear reactors. Areva announced last year the addition of $560 million in fuel contracts for four nuclear energy facilities and is developing advanced nuclear fuel assemblies to allow operators more time to respond in emergencies. In 2016, Richland’s Areva manufactured more than 2,300 fuel assemblies and more than 92 million fuel pellets. Areva bought the current Richland facility in 2001, the same year the subsidiary of the French atomic energy commission, CEA Industrie, merged with Framatome and Cogema to form the Areva Group. The Framatome name has replaced New NP, the Areva NP subsidiary holding the Areva Group’s nuclear reactor operations. The company’s capital is owned by the EDF group (75.5 percent), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (19.5 percent) and Assystem (five percent). The New NP divestment to EDF occurred Dec. 31. In November, Areva and EDF signed a contract setting the terms of the sale of an interest conferring exclusive control by EDF of an entity (New NP), a 100 percent

subsidiary of Areva NP, that will combine Areva Group’s activities relating to design and equipment manufacturing of nuclear reactor and, fuel design and assemblies manufacturing and services to reactors. “Framatome possesses unique knowhow in an industry that today is and will remain key for a low-carbon energy mix. Our employees in France and around the world have been able to face considerable challenges in recent years,” said Bernard Fontana, chairman of the managing board and chief executive officer of Framatome, in a statement. He said Framatome is steeped in a rich heritage and is “one of the reference players in the nuclear sector worldwide, benefiting from unparalleled operating feedback. Our ambition is delivering a level of industrial excellence that is recognized by our customers.” The technology company holds about 3,500 patents covering some 680 inventions. Framatome operates on more than 250 reactors worldwide. With an existing global fleet of some 440 reactors representing output of around 390 GWe in 31 countries and with new nuclear capacity on its way, the nuclear market presents opportunities in the areas of components, fuel, retrofits and services, according to a Framatome news release.

Young professionals group dissolves after 12 years BY KRISTINA LORD

A professional development group made up of about 70 people disbanded at the close of 2017. Emerging Tri-Cities — previously called Young Professionals Tri-Cities — dissolved Dec. 31. “The needs for young and emerging professionals are well-served in the community through other, more industry specific organizations. It is the consensus of the board that the time and financial resources dedicated to (Emerging TriCities) would be better spent in support of other initiatives,” said N. Zach Ratkai, president of the Emerging Tri-Cities board, in an email to members and stakeholders. Ratkai pointed to Fuse SPC’s co-working community and young professional groups associated with some of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory contractors, Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, West Richland Chamber and the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber for their continued outreach and inclusion of young professionals. The LinkUp2Us networking group and Leadership Tri-Cities also contributed greatly, he said. The 12-year-old group formed after TriCity Development Council, or TRIDEC, commissioned a study that said more young professional support was needed to foster economic development and business

attraction, Ratkai told the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business. Young Professionals Tri-Cities formed in 2005 to attract, support and retain young professionals throughout the Tri-Cities. “Nearly 13 years later, we feel that our initial contribution to the community has carried forward in the formation of other young professional groups. For this reason, we are incredibly proud of our community and the growth we have achieved,” Ratkai said in his email. Emerging Tri-Cities spearheaded several events in 2017: a volunteer symposium, which connected over 40 community members to 17 nonprofits; Shop Around the Corner event, a panel of local small business owners who discussed how they started and what it was like to operate a small business in the Tri-Cities; a power networking event; and a city candidate forum with 18 candidates from four cities. The group refunded membership costs to those who were not able to take advantage of all events in 2017 because they signed up later in the year. The board extended free memberships to existing members of Young Professionals Tri-Cities for 2017 after the rebrand. Membership was $25 for a year. Ratkai ended his email by encouraging members “to continue to go out and support organizations that help develop our wonderful community.”

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018



Several local business leaders feeling optimistic about tax reform BY JESSICA HOEFER

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

As 2018 ushers in changes to the United States tax code, many Tri-City business leaders are trying to wrap their head around what it means and how it will affect their companies. The bill was signed by President Trump just before Christmas and is the first major change to the tax code since former President Reagan signed the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Opponents believe the Republicanbacked bill benefits the wealthiest Americans while hurting the middle class and adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit. Proponents believe it will spur job growth and allow people to keep more of the money they earn. The bill will lower the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and eliminates the alternative minimum tax. The finalized bill also affects pass-through businesses that are typically sole proprietorships, joint ventures, limited liability companies and S corporations. Rather than being taxed as corporations, these businesses are counted in the owners’ personal tax returns and gives those filers a 20 percent deduction for the first $315,000 of joint income.

While several business owners are optimistic about the changes ahead, Carl Adrian, president and CEO of the Tri-City Development Council, or TRIDEC, said it’s too early to know what impact the bill will have on the community. “What we’re hearing right now is a lot of partisan rhetoric. Without really seeing what’s in (the bill), I don’t know that anybody is going to see dramatic impact for quite some time,” Adrian said. “I suspect in two or three years we’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, that makes sense.’ But trying to see into a crystal ball right now is like shooting in the dark.” Paul Guppy, vice president of research for the Washington Policy Center, an independent nonprofit research and educational organization based in Seattle, has been following what the critics say closely. “They’ll say most of the benefits go to the rich, and in proportion that’s true because wealthy people in business pay most of the taxes, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t benefit everyone—and that’s the one thing that upsets us about opposition to the biggest tax relief package in over 30 years,” Guppy said. “We know there’s been a lot of debate, and we know it’s complicated, but overall, we’re encouraged

Carl Adrian

Dr. Wali Martin

Paul Guppy

Chris Eerkes

Michelle Pfister

about what it will do for our country and Washington state.” Sun Pacific Energy Vice President Chris Eerkes also is optimistic. The act extended and modified the bonus depreciation, allowing businesses to immediately deduct 100 percent of the cost of eligible property

Darren Szendre

in the year it is placed in service. Eerkes said this change will benefit Sun Pacific Energy multiple ways, allowing the company to invest more in its employees as well as expand. uTAX REFORM, Page 19


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018 

Legal & Taxes

Experts discuss ways to find deductions before new tax law takes effect BY ROBIN WOJTANIK

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Tri-City tax professionals are boning up on the new tax code as they prepare for the start of the 2017 tax filing season. Signed into law just before the end of the year, the changes mark the first major reform of the tax code since the mid 1980s. It won’t take effect until 2018 taxes are filed, allowing “plenty of time to become familiar with all the new rules and regulations, and what you should be planning for when you file in 2019,” said Michelle L. Boddy, a certified public accountant with PorterKinney, PC in Richland. Tri-City tax professionals expect many of the noticeable changes will be seen only when filing personal income taxes. “Most of what’s in the new tax law affects individuals and not businesses. Some things in the tax law affect corporations, but most of that isn’t going to affect small business owners in our community,” said Joseph W. Crowther, certified public accountant and investment advisor representative with Christensen, King & Associates in Richland. Crowther is encouraged by the removal of the marriage “penalty,” which happens when a couple is pushed into a higher tax bracket and has a larger tax liability, simply by becoming a household with two incomes instead of remaining single and filing separately. Nathaniel Burt, certified public accountant and president of Burt Tax and Accounting Inc. of Kennewick, said, “typ-

Michelle L. Boddy

Joseph W. Crowther

Stacey K. Miles

ically middle-class folks will see, generally speaking, a tax decrease of close to a thousand dollars for a family,” based on the new changes taking effect with 2018’s filings. One of the biggest changes includes a doubling of the standard deduction for married couples filing jointly, which will raise the deduction from $12,700 to $24,000. This will steer more people away from itemized returns, which could affect union members who travel to various job sites.

Nathaniel Burt

Thomas M. O’Brien

“They might be working out of town, paying for their own tools, using their own vehicle. And all of those expenses are totally eliminated now. So some of those folks could potentially not see a reduction in taxes, especially since the standard deduction was doubled,” Burt said. Taking all this into consideration, what are the tax deductions most often overlooked by business owners? One of the biggest deductions might already be in the driveway. “The deduction for a vehicle is often overlooked as too much work, or a red flag for an audit. But all those miles add up. And now, apps are adequate for the government to provide a mileage log,” said Stacey K. Miles, tax preparer with AmeriTax & Accounting in Richland. She personally uses an app called MileIQ, which senses when her car is in motion and geo-tags each location. When she stops, the app prompts her to record whether the miles driven were for a business need or a personal trip. She finds that by having it run in the background, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of keeping a mileage log in a spreadsheet or logbook. “The mileage is a big one people miss by not keeping track,” Crowther said. The use of a car falls under any “personal costs incurred to run the business that aren’t going through the business’ checking account,” Burt said. He finds these can be overlooked by business owners, “if there’s any personal use of phones or vehicles or home or storage, you want to capture those.” Crowther doesn’t see a lot of missed opportunities by business owners. “Most businesses pick up most of their deductions. If it’s in your checkbook, they pick it up. If you wrote a check for insurance, it’s deducted. It’s those things that aren’t in your checkbook that are overlooked,” he said. And it’s also a matter of categorizing an expense properly. “If you sponsor a nonprofit on their poster, that’s advertising. Sometimes people will put that down as a charitable contribution, whereas it’s better as a business deduction for advertising,” Crowther said.

Boddy pointed to a deduction that’s applicable to many in the construction industry, but not widely known. It’s called the domestic production activities deduction, or D-PAD. “If you are turning something from raw materials into something that is a different product, you can get this deduction. There’s not a lot to it, besides keeping good records, and not many businesses know about it,” Boddy said. Contractors are part of those who “take raw materials and turn it into a house, producing something tangible from previous materials.” Knowing that the tax law is changing for filing 2018 returns, Thomas M. O’Brien, certified public accountant and principal with CliftonLarsonAllen of Kennewick, advises business owners who are cash based, like farmers: “If you can decrease income in ’17 and recognize it going into ’18, if you’ve got that opportunity from a planning perspective, it’s probably the right thing to do. If you’ve got a higher income year and you can drive down that number to get that where you want it to be,” O’Brien said. What deductions sound worthwhile on the surface, but may not be as beneficial in the end? Most experts cited the common misstep of making purchases right before the end of a calendar year as a means of lowering tax liability. “That’s always our biggest caution and the biggest question we get every year, ‘Should I buy this?’ You have to ask yourself, ‘Is it going to make you money? Is it going to enhance your business or help you grow your business?’ Then, yes, now might be the time to do it,” Miles said. Otherwise, she cautioned that such a purchase could end up as a “paperweight” that only helped lower taxes in the short-term. “Making a purchase to save money on your taxes is not always beneficial,” Boddy said. “You spend a thousand dollars on new equipment just to save $250 on your taxes.” She suggested determining the reason behind the purchase before going ahead with it. “Purchasing equipment just to get a tax deduction is really not the best idea. Purchasing equipment because you will need the equipment is great. Purchasing the equipment in December because you think you’re going to need it in March is probably a good idea,” Boddy said. This is also a case for large purchases, like vehicles, that may be used for a business a portion of the time. “Getting the most you can out of a vehicle takes a few requirements that people are not always aware of before purchasing a vehicle. So I would suggest talking to a tax professional first, so that they buy the best vehicle to get the best number of deductions possible,” Boddy advised. “I also think sometimes business owners just buy stuff to lower their taxes but it’s not improving their overall wealth,” Burt said. “Like some people buy big trucks or SUVs, and it’s like, is it worth having a $500 car payment for the next few years? If you’re going to buy one anyway and it makes sense to use it, that’s different.” uDEDUCTIONS, Page 18

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Legal & Taxes


Nonprofit board members should be aware of liability pitfalls BY BEAU RUFF

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Charities and nonprofits need good people who are willing to donate time and energy to make sure the enterprise is running efficiently and doing good deeds. So, they seek out volunteers who are willing to devote time and energy to serve on the board and help to oversee the group’s operations and mission. But, no good deed goes without liability exposure. Knowing some of the rules can help. It’s my goal that this column not stifle volunteerism among our local nonprofits, but rather to create awareness of possible pitfalls so every willing board member can make a positive difference in our community and beyond. When serving on a board, you take on legal liability for its operations. Board members are charged with the duty to oversee the organization and act as its legal governing body. Board members have at least three sources of authority which guide their duties: state law, the organization’s bylaws and federal law, especially as it relates to nonprofit tax-exempt status. Legally Recognized Entity Status is necessary to limit liability. Make sure the nonprofit is an entity recognized by state law. Without entity protection, it is possible that all persons acting as a corporation, but without corporate authority, may be held liable for debts and liabilities incurred (RCW 24.03.470). This means the organization should be incorporated as a state-recognized nonprofit entity under the auspices of the state Secretary of State. Tax-exempt status is important and separately obtained by filing with the Internal Revenue Service. Board members must act in good faith and as a prudent person. Under Washington law, a board member is charged with serving “in good faith, in a manner such director believes to be in the best interests

of the corporation, and with such care, including reasonable inquiry, as an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances.” Beau Ruff (RCW 24.03.127). Cornerstone The statute states Wealth Strategies a board member must act like a prudent person and not be negligent in his or her duties. Negligence, by the way, is often defined (not so helpfully) as the failure to exercise the care of a reasonably prudent person. This means that in the event the board member fails to act with reasonable prudence, he or she may be held liable for the negligence. Negligence can be both by commission (acting without prudence) and by omission (failure to act when an ordinary prudent person should have acted). Be involved. Be informed. Be critical. It is important to always attend and be involved in the decision-making of the governing body, at least to the extent possible. It is not a defense to a claim of liability that the board member didn’t know about the action or event giving rise to liability (see above regarding failure to act when a prudent person should have acted). It is also important to gain the facts necessary to make a good decision. If the facts are not sufficient, ask for more. So, if the board president wants to hire his friend to act as the president and the board member is unsure that the proposed salary is reasonable, request industry salary information or contact a human resources specialist. If a board member gains insight into a product or organization through work on the board that could assist personally or professionally, don’t use it. Keep nonprofit business private.

Don’t allow the nonprofit to make loans to board members or officers. No further explanation is necessary here. Nonprofits have statutory duties for the investment of funds. Washington has implemented the Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act under RCW 24.55. Generally, this law provides statutory standards of conduct upon an institution’s investment fund. Often, a charity will have a fund or reserve that is maintained to either fund current operations or it is used as a rainy-day fund. Simply choosing to invest the funds, without attention to these other matters, is insufficient. The statute specifically lays out the criteria the institution should employ to set up the fund, choose investments and investment advisors, and the factors to consider in the ongoing management and investment of the institution’s funds. Those


Hydroplane racing series gala planned for Feb. 10

H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Series and the Tri-Cities Water Follies is holding the 53rd annual Champion’s Gala on Feb. 10 at the Red Lion Hotel at Columbia Center in Kennewick. The event commemorates the H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Series and will include presentations of the national championship trophy along with other awards. It is the first time since the sport’s

considerations should be included in both the Investment Policy Statement and the minutes of the regularly scheduled meetings of the board or investment committee. Director and officer insurance can help. Talk to your insurance agent to see if you are currently covered for director and officer insurance. It can provide an additional layer of protection and potentially entice otherwise hesitant volunteers to serve on the board. Now that you are aware of the responsibilities, opportunities and challenges of serving as a board member, volunteer and make this world a better place. Attorney Beau Ruff works for Cornerstone Wealth Strategies, a full-service independent investment management and financial planning firm in Kennewick, where he focuses on assisting clients with comprehensive planning. awards presentation began in 1964 that the gala will be held in the Tri-Cities. Cost is $75 per person, or $600 for a table for eight. Cocktails will be served from 5 to 6:45 p.m., where attendees can mingle with drivers; dinner begins at 7 p.m. with an awards presentation to follow. Tickets are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tri-City Water Follies Office, 621 N. Gum, Suite A in Kennewick, or at Dinner selections can be made when buying tickets. For more information, call 509-7834675.

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

DEDUCTIONS, From page 16 But for other purchases that will be worthwhile for businesses, a big change coming when filing 2018 taxes will include a revision to bonus depreciation, under section 179. The current rule allows companies, especially small businesses, to immediately expense up to $500,000 each year for equipment placed into service. The deduction starts to phase out once a business acquires more than $2 million in property. Under the new tax law, a company can expense up to $1 million in property each year, with an increase on the phase-out to $2.5 million in new property. “The bonus depreciation change is pretty exciting, especially for larger businesses that buy equipment, like contractors who might be buying backhoes or other large items,” Miles said. The 2018 changes also

expand the kinds of property that can be expensed under section 179 to include building improvements like a new roof, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or security systems. While there are many deductions that can be worth the effort to document and claim, tax professionals also offered a variety of responses when asked which deduction might not be as beneficial as it seems. The home office deduction was raised as both an oft-overlooked deduction and also as one that might not be worth the return when it comes to an investment of time. “I’ve had a few clients that say, ‘Well, I don’t have a room designated as my home office.’ It is not always necessary to have a specific room in your house,” Boddy said. “You just have to have a specific space.

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LEGAL & TAXES So it could be just one-half of a room that you claim.” O’Brien pointed out. “The depreciation you’re going to have on a home for a substantial number of years, it just doesn’t add up to a whole lot most of the time. And then you’ve got a piece of your house that’s now business versus personal.” Crowther added, “While there are times it can be beneficial, there’s limitations on (the home office deduction) where there’s times it doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you’ve got such a small office in a bigger home, and you’re only allocating five percent of the entire square footage to home office expenses, it can be something that’s not worth your time.” It may be worth your time when filing 2018 tax returns. “The new tax code is making the home office deduction a little bit more user-friendly,” Miles said. But she also cautioned, “Do you have the proper records to back-up that the home office was substantially necessary and exclusively used for your business?” For those who do have a home office and are interested in claiming it as a deduction, they may be able to avoid the research and record-keeping needed to determine how much was spent on utilities, insurance or rent for that portion of the home. “You can take actual expenses as a percentage as whatever space that home office takes up in your room, as far as a percentage of your house,” Boddy said. “But the IRS has also come up with a simplified method, where, if you don’t want to bother with determining all of those actual expenses, you can just take $5 per square foot.”


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Uber now offering rides in Pasco

Pasco residents began catching rides via Uber in their city before the new year arrived. The ride-sharing is possible because the Pasco City Council in early December passed new for-hire regulations eliminating a fingerprint requirement allowing the operation of transportation network companies like Uber. Uber launched in the Tri-Cities in 2016 but couldn’t pick up passengers in Pasco because it couldn’t operate in a market requiring driver fingerprint checks. Uber pick-ups are now available in all of the Tri-Cities, including West Richland and at the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco. “We’re thrilled to be rolling out in Pasco,” said David Williams, territory manager for Uber in Washington, in a news release. “We’re grateful that people will now be able to request an Uber ride no matter where they are in the TriCities, even if they’re at the airport.” Uber connects people seeking a ride with people looking to earn money by providing transportation. Rides are requested via an app on iOS or Android smartphones. “Not only is Uber an easy way for people to make extra money and a convenient way to get around, it is also a safe, alternative form of transportation

Burt pointed to two other deductions that have the potential to eat away at their own benefits. “There are some tax credits that are so cumbersome to use that it really takes unique circumstances to get a benefit from them,” he said. He pointed to the heavy documentation required for both the research and development credit and also the work opportunity tax credit. The latter, “is really time-consuming. By the time you pay your accountant to figure it out, it’s eliminated a lot of the benefits,” he said. Tax professionals are cautiously optimistic about the tax law changes taking effect with 2018 returns. “Most people will see some type of reduction in their tax,” O’Brien said. “There’s a couple windows in there that may be different as you climb up the income scale. From a business standpoint, you’re going to need to talk to someone this year, is my suggestion, just due to the pass-through deduction piece to make sure that’s calculated correctly. And make sure you’re thinking about it if you’re starting a new business.” Burt agreed: “Not everybody’s going to get a tax cut. There’s some people who might see even tax liabilities, or possibly an increase” on 2018 returns. Looking for those opportunities to take advantage of the lesser-known deductions when filing 2017’s tax return, or putting aside those without a great benefit, could be helpful to individuals and business owners alike. “All legitimate deductions are beneficial because it’s going to lower your tax liability,” Miles said.

for people who should not be behind the wheel,” Williams said. For those interested in driving, more information and directions on how to sign up can be found at Founded in 2009, the company operates in more than 600 cities and 70 counties around the world.

Boys & Girls Club celebrates opening of new teen center The Boys & Girls Club of Benton and Franklin Counties celebrated the opening of its new teen center in early January. The new teen area at the Main Branch Club at 801 N. 18th Ave in Pasco boasts a fully stocked kitchenette, modern workspaces, game areas and more in a contemporary, industrial environment. The nonprofit received a $50,000 Lowe’s grant to renovate and remodel a section of the Pasco club, and the home improvement store’s staff worked to renovate the space. The Boys & Girls Club said that is has noted a significant increase in teen membership over the past four years. The club serves 100 middle and high school youth each day throughout the region. Currently, the Main Branch Club sees 30 teens after school each day. Teens are always welcome at the club and membership is free. The Boys & Girls Club held a ribboncutting for the new teen room in early January.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018



IRS offers tips for choosing qualified tax return preparers As the tax filing season approaches, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers to start thinking about who will prepare their federal tax returns. In 2017, more than 132 million individual and family tax returns were e-filed, the most accurate, safest and easiest way to file, according to the agency. More than 16 million were prepared on a computer and printed or prepared by hand, then mailed. The IRS emphasizes that no matter who prepares a federal tax return, by signing the return, the taxpayer becomes legally responsible for the accuracy of all information included. Each year, millions of tax returns are prepared for free by taxpayers using “IRS Free File” or by volunteers at community organization sites nationwide. “IRS Free File” lets taxpayers who

earned less than $66,000 prepare and e-file a return for free. Go to and click on the “Filing” tab for options for using commercial tax software. Those who earned more than $66,000 are still eligible for “Free File Fillable Forms,” the electronic version of IRS paper forms. This more basic “Free File” option is best for people who are comfortable preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers at thousands of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (VITA and TCE) sites nationwide offer free tax preparation and e-filing. VITA offers free tax return preparation to taxpayers who generally earn $54,000 or less. The TCE program is mainly for people age 60 or older and focuses on tax issues unique to seniors. AARP participates in the TCE program and helps any taxpayer who needs assistance. To find the closest VITA site, visit and search the word “VITA.” Or download the IRS2Go app on a

smartphone. Site information is also available by calling the IRS at 800-9069887. To locate the nearest AARP Tax-Aide site, visit, or call 888-2277669. There are also VITA and TCE sites that provide bilingual help for taxpayers who have limited English skills. Many taxpayers pay for tax return preparation. By law, all paid tax preparers must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN. Paid preparers must sign the return and include their tax identification number. The IRS also offers tips to help taxpayers choose a tax return preparer wisely. The “Choosing a Tax Professional” page has information about tax preparer credentials and qualifications. The IRS’ “Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications” can help identify many preparers by type of credential or qualification. Taxpayers who use paid preparers should still keep copies of their most

recent tax returns for their own records. Taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their adjusted gross income amount from their prioryear return to verify their identity. The IRS urges taxpayers to avoid flyby-night preparers who may not be available after the due date or base fees on a percentage of the refund. The IRS also wants taxpayers to be aware of several factors that could affect the timing of their tax refunds. By law, the IRS cannot issue refunds on tax returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February. Under the change, the IRS must hold the entire refund — even the portion not associated with the EITC and ACTC. This law change, which went into effect in 2017, helps ensure that taxpayers get the refund they are owed by giving the IRS more time to help detect and prevent fraud.

TAX REFORM, From page 15 “If I go out and build a store or buy equipment, I’ll be able to eat up that depreciation—basically expensing those profits quicker—which will allow us to grow,” he said. “In our company, we more than doubled our profit sharing program for our employees because of this. We’re able to expense and take those profits and pass those along to the employees.” A doctor with clinics in Prosser and Kennewick hopes the tax reform helps her business to get ahead. Dr. Wali Martin opened Martin Medical in Prosser four years ago. Her second location at 35 S. Louisiana St., suite 120 in Kennewick, opened shortly after but she has yet to draw a salary from either location. “I have not paid myself yet because it’s about volume, and I don’t have volume. In medicine, you see patients and you don’t get paid for three months. I work at PMH (Medical Center in Prosser) as an (emergency room) doctor to pay the bills. The income I get from patient insurances pays for the practices themselves. This tax change might allow me to get ahead,” she said. “It makes me hopeful that all businesses in towns like Prosser can be more successful because they bring more home to feed their families.” While there are some major components to the act that business owners like, many popular itemized deductions have been limited or eliminated altogether. For example, the mortgage-interest rate deduction has changed from $1 million to $750,000 of mortgage value. Michelle Pfister, a realtor with RE/ MAX Professionals in Kennewick, fields a lot of questions from buyers and sellers alike about what the benefit of moving will be for them. “I get asked about deductions on mortgage interest, home equity, property taxes and home improvement. All of

those aspects are changing and will really affect what we as homeowners can deduct for changes or improvements on our homes,” Pfister said. “Currently, you could deduct reasonable moving expenses if you met certain requirements, but that deduction has been eliminated.” A few real-estate related provisions were scrapped from the bill in the final hours, such as the changes proposed to capital gains on the sale of a primary residence. But the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit, which offered a 25 percent tax credit to anyone who refurbished a certified historical site, as well as a 10 percent credit for work done on a building constructed before 1936, will no longer be available. “This credit helped investors who fix up decrepit parts of cities and towns,” said Pfister, adding that the domestic production activity deduction also was nice for rehabbers, developers and builders to claim to further reduce their tax liability. “Builders and developers will work this loss into their pricing per home to compensate. It doesn’t help that so much building and construction material was lost internationally with fires and hurricane damage causing huge demand for rehab materials to be sent to those areas in need.” Of course, how the tax bill impacts individuals and businesses is subject to circumstance, where you live and tax breaks a payer ordinarily takes. Darren Szendre, a certified public accountant with Tri Cities Tax, has more than 17 years of experience in providing tax consulting, compliance, accounting and business advice. “The research and development credit will have a big impact on businesses and individuals as (alternative minimum tax) is gone for corporations and the AMT exemption has been increased for individuals. Mortgage interest is still deductible but with lower caps on the loan amount. The personal exemptions are eliminated

but the standard deduction has been almost doubled,” said Szendre, adding that it’s important to talk to a CPA as taxpayers begin to navigate through the law. Eerkes has been in touch with Sun Pacific Energy’s tax accountant and said business owners aren’t alone in their confusion.

“I’ll ask a question, and (our accountant) will say, ‘I’m working on that same issue for 500 clients,’ ” Eerkes said. “I don’t understand all the details, but I’m optimistic. I think it will be a good deal for small businesses and the community as a whole.”



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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018


REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION Experts call Tri-City commercial real estate market ‘hot’ Standard Paint and Flooring buys vacant Staples building for store expansion BY KRISTINA LORD

Commercial real estate growth in the Tri-Cities continues to mirror the region’s robust residential housing growth. “The market is hot,” said Vicki Monteagudo, a broker and principal with NAI Tri-Cities Commercial in Richland. Key growth areas in the Tri-Cities for commercial real estate include the areas of Road 68, Road 100, Richland’s Queensgate Drive area and Kennewick’s Southridge area, said Todd Sternfeld, a broker and principal partner with NAI Tri-Cities Commercial. Sternfeld and Monteagudo pointed to a few recent commercial property sales that underscore the reason for their positive outlook for the market, as well as their company’s hold on 49 percent of the TriCities’ commercial real estate market share based on percentage of property sold. That’s according to July 1 to Dec. 27, 2017, figures from Multiple Listings

Services. The median price for NAI TriCities Commercial’s sales during this period was $2 million. The real estate business recently sold the vacant Staples store at 1480 Tapteal Drive in Richland for $2.5 million to Standard Paint and Flooring. Staples closed in June 2016 when the office supply chain shuttered several stores nationwide. The family-owned Standard Paint and Flooring said the 24,000-square-foot building will include a showroom with a full design center. It’s expected to open later this year. The current 9,500-square-foot store at 360 Kellogg St. in Kennewick will remain open until renovations at the new building are complete. It’s been located there for more than five years but was in Richland before that for many years. The company owns the building and it will be either rented or sold. There are currently 17 employees but moving to the new store will mean the addition of four to six new employees.

Standard Paint and Flooring bought the vacant Staples store at 1480 Tapteal Drive in Richland for $2.5 million. NAI Tri-Cities Commercial handled the sale and officials with the firm predict a strong commercial outlook for 2018. (Courtesy NAI Tri-Cities Commercial)

The store offers paint, flooring and design, window coverings, concrete polishing and stucco. “We are really excited about this new building. We have been looking for a bigger location for a while now. We never thought that we would have out grown our current building so fast, but we desperately need more space. This new location will help us continue to grow and service more of our great customers in the TriCities,” said Regan Myers, one of the owners of Standard Paint and Flooring, in

a statement. Other recent NAI Tri-Cities Commercial sales include several properties under contract: a 9,817-square-foot retail center at 3617 Plaza Way in the Southridge area of Kennewick, which sold for $3.3 million; 160,526-square-foot multi-story office building at 1100 and 1200 Jadwin Ave. in Richland, which sold for $2 million; City Church’s 23,892-square-foot building at 4624 W. 10th Ave. in Kennewick, which sold for $3 million. uNAI, Page 26

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Real Estate & Construction

Construction underway for Richland pancake restaurant BY KRISTINA LORD

Construction is underway on the TriCities’ second The Original Pancake House and if the winter weather cooperates, it could be open by summer. The 4,544-square-foot restaurant at 424 Keene Road in Richland, in front of Yoke’s Fresh Market, will offer occupancy for 214 people and a covered patio area, according to a building permit approved by the city of Richland on Dec. 20. The project is valued at $681,000. “Right now, we are anticipating a July open, but it could move forward or back depending on many factors during the construction process, weather being a big factor during the winter months,” said co-owner Ryan Medford. He pointed out that construction of the Kennewick restaurant was delayed because of last winter’s snowfall. It was expected to open in early 2017, but the 4,500-square-foot facility opened in the Southridge area of Kennewick in April. It’s near Bob’s Burgers & Brews, Hampton Inn and Trios Southridge Hospital off Highway 395. Medford said when his company first started looking at the Tri-City market, it wanted to open in Richland first. “Due to the difficulty in acquiring the land, we chose to move forward with the Kennewick site first,” he said, explaining the Keene Road property has

The Original Pancake House is under construction at 424 Keene Road in front of Yoke’s Fresh Market in Richland. Kennewick welcomed the franchise to 3717 Plaza Way near Trios Southridge Hospital last spring.

been secured and fallen through multiple times. Richland’s economic development manager N. Zach Ratkai said he’s excited “to see new breakfast options in town, as well as a ‘sit-down’ restaurant along Keene Road.” Medford said the south Richland area surrounding Keene Road continues to see wild residential growth supported by schools, parks and retail shops. “All factors we believe are perfect for the ideal The Original Pancake House target market. We expect to hit the ground running this upcoming summer. We are anticipating an even busier open-

ing than we saw in Kennewick based on the time of year and the increased exposure to the The Original Pancake House brand having been open in Kennewick for over a year,” he said. The Tri-Cities has embraced the Southridge location, Medford said. “We’ve consistently had the best opening performance of any of our restaurants.  With the Southridge store being our first in a new market, we inevitably had some challenges to overcome that should be greatly lessened in Richland,” he said, explaining the difficulty of training a new staff without an existing location.

Medford said each restaurant employs more than 35 people. “We’ve been fortunate to find and hire an outstanding team since opening (in Kennewick) last April. We can only be as good as the people who prepare our food and serve our guests. The Kennewick community has greatly exceeded our expectations.  We anticipate the same out of the Richland area,” Medford said. Over the next several months, Medford said the restaurant will start hiring for the Richland eatery and “this time have the luxury of a training store in Kennewick.” The popular Portland-based franchise, established in 1953, has found a niche for serving up made-from-scratch breakfast items all day. Most of the menu features buttermilk-based pancakes that require a fermenting process. In addition to pancakes, customers will find eggs, crêpes, French toast, waffles and meat on the menu. Medford, whose wife grew up in Richland, and co-owner Blake Williams, both of Puyallup, operate four Pancake House franchises including the one in Kennewick. They opened their first one in Puyallup nine years ago. The Maple Valley location opened in 2013 and Tacoma in 2014.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018


Richland School District chooses sites for district office, elementary school Administration center will be in West Richland, 12th elementary school south of Badger Mountain BY ROBIN WOJTANIK

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

The Richland School Board will build its new Teaching, Learning, and Administration Center in West Richland and its 12th elementary south of Badger Mountain. The board made the decisions at the Jan. 9 school board meeting. The new $10 million Teaching, Learning, and Administration Center, or TLAC, would replace the aging 70-yearold administration building on Snow Avenue. The new $24 million elementary school will be within the Badger Mountain South development, near Richland’s Country Mercantile. The school district expects 5,000 homes and 15,000 residents in the area when the development is completed. The two projects were among 10 others included in a February 2017 bond. The $99 million ballot measure received 62 percent approval in the election. Timelines for the two projects have not yet been set and project costs are estimates. The new TLAC will be built off Keene Road, adjacent to the West Richland’s newest school, Leona Libby Middle School. The district said its current administration building has a lack of meeting space for training or conferences. A delay on the site selection for the TLAC put the design process on hold for months. The district was considering two properties it already owned and one it considered buying. The two sites owned by the district included the chosen site next to the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) middle school which opened last fall. This area was considered the most ideal of the three options because of its size and proximity to current and future school sites, according to a district staff report. The district also expects future development within its boundaries to be heavily concentrated in this area. Site preparations already were completed during the construction of Libby, which included environmental assessments and utility access. The TLAC will be built on a portion of the 70 acres the district owns and intends to use for a future high school. The district believes building its administration office near other schools will provide the same benefits currently found by having the Snow Avenue office

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near three schools, as well as easing the demand for parking during evening events. Master planning on the district’s planned fourth high school will take place at the same time the planning is done for the new TLAC. The land adjacent to Libby is part of a 10-year financing plan which includes the option of an early payoff. The board intends to potentially modify the financing to make use of the unused portion. Any leftover money earmarked for the project may be considered for up to six classrooms at the TLAC. The superintendent reported a need for classrooms separate from a school which may be used for special education tutoring rooms for students unable to be served at school, work classrooms for transition students who need a business-like setting, or alternative classrooms for students who are suspended or expelled but mandated to receive an education despite removal from their assigned school. Before settling on the Libby location, the district also considered property on Keene Road near the Bombing Range roundabout due to its ability to “easily accommodate new construction.” The board had two conceptual site plans for a layout of the TLAC on this land, but were concerned about limitations on future expansion at the site. Also, a homeowners’ association covenant may have limited options on building design and landscaping. The district also had made an offer on property owned by Bethel Church for about 10 acres on Shockley Road near Queensgate Drive. This option was considered the least attractive due to associated costs, according to a district memo to the board. The land was undergoing environmental testing before the purchase was finalized, and an appraiser estimated it would cost at least $1.5 million to develop the site, not including the construction of the building. This estimate included excavation and site prep, which would have required moving an irrigation pond and resolving “significant”

The Richland School District’s new Teaching, Learning, and Administrative Center will be built west of Leona Libby Middle School in West Richland. The district’s 12th elementary school will be south of Badger Mountain. (Courtesy Richland School District)

drainage issues. Richland School District Superintendent Rick Schulte also expressed concerns in a memo to the board “the responsible government agencies would designate part of the site as wetland, adding some unknown restrictions and costs.” Shulte also reported that “project managers and real estate professionals we have consulted view this site as a poor location for a TLAC.” The district’s purchase and sale agreement with Bethel included a 180day timeline to complete a due diligence study of the land. That purchase will no longer be completed.

Richland School District’s 12th elementary school will be located within the Badger Mountain South development, near Richland’s Country Mercantile and neighborhoods already being built. The district expects 5,000 homes and 15,000 residents in area when the development is completed. Building a school on property the district already owns will alleviate the need to bus about 60 current students from the area to White Bluffs Elementary School. A targeted groundbreaking and completion would be identified when the design process is completed.

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018


Two Kennewick stores survive national store closures BY TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS STAFF

Two Columbia Center mall retail anchor stores aren’t included on a list of store closures announced Jan. 4. The Kennewick mall’s Sears and Macy’s stores appear to be safe for now, as big box retailers nationwide struggle to strike a balance between storefront and digital marketplace sales. Three Washington Sears stores are scheduled for closure in early April: Shoreline, Federal Way and Chehalis. No Washington Macy’s stores are on the closure list. Sears Holdings said it is continuing its strategic assessment of the productivity of

its Kmart and Sears stores and “will continue to right size our store footprint in number and size,” according to a release. Sears said it looked at unprofitable stores. The company told employees at 64 Kmart stores and 39 Sears stores that their stores would be closing between early March and early April. Eligible associates affected by the store closures will receive severance and an opportunity to apply for open positions at area Kmart or Sears stores. Macy’s said it will close 11 stores in early 2018, with the closest in Twin Falls, Idaho. The company announced it would close 100 stores in August 2016. The company

The Sears and Macy’s stores at Columbia Center in Kennewick are not included in a national store closure plan announced Jan. 4.

intends to close 19 more stores as leases or operating covenants expire or sale transactions are completed as part of a multi-year effort. Including the stores announced Jan. 4,

Macy’s has closed 124 stores since 2015. The company also said it would also adjust staff across the organization and further streamline some non-store functions.


9420 SANDIFUR PARKWAY• PASCO Russ Dean RV plans to celebrate the grand opening of its new indoor showroom this spring, just in time for the summertime camping season. Its new location is under construction on 23 acres at 9420 Sandifur Parkway in Pasco. A new 27,000-square-foot building will include room for the service, parts and sales departments and an indoor showroom big enough to accommodate four 40-foot RVs. The new facility, just off Interstate 182, will feature 700 pieces of inventory, compared to 250 at its old location. Expected completion date is Feb. 15, with a grand opening tentatively scheduled for March or April. O’Brien Construction Co. of Kennewick is the general contractor. Russ Dean designed the building.



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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018



Vineyard resort expected to open this spring in Walla Walla 300-acre destination resort to feature suites, villas, high-end restaurant BY JEFF MORROW

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Justin Wylie gets excited talking about Eritage resort, a dream that’s been over 10 years in the making. “I’ve got goose bumps right now just talking about it,” said Wylie, owner and winemaker of Va Piano Vineyards in the Walla Walla area. The $3 million Eritage resort, which is under construction, is about a 10-minute drive north of Walla Walla at 1282 Bergevin Springs Road. It was originally scheduled to open in fall 2017, but minor changes in construction and production have pushed the opening back to the spring. The resort will consist of 10 suites, a four-acre man-made lake and a high-end restaurant, all amid vineyards growing in the rolling hills. All told, the property is 300 acres. Wylie is part of a team working to get the project completed. He partnered with Chad Mackey, president of Fire & Vine Hospitality; Scott Knox of Vista Ventures, who is leading the development management; and Business Growth Capital of Long Beach, Calif., which is helping finance the project. In addition, Jason Wilson, a James Beard-award winning chef, is creating a menu for the restaurant. The dream began in 2007 when Wylie saw the potential of the land and bought it for the project. “North of Walla Walla is kind of an area everyone is looking at,” he said. “The future is the north side of town. That land in north Walla Walla is less frost prone. There is cold air drainage there.” It’s better for growing different kinds of grapes, but it offers more, Wyle said. “There is a whole different view of Walla Walla from there,” he said. “The guests will come out.” With the economic crisis of 2008 delaying the project, it really didn’t pick back up until 2014. And the recent construction delays were caused by what Wylie characterized as small things. “We’ve had a couple of things we’ve had to deal with,” he said. “It’s not a simple building to design. All the drawings weren’t complete when we started.” But the project is progressing. “There is still work to be done in the mechanical pool house area,” Wylie said. “We’ve started some landscaping. They’re making progress, and it’s looking beautiful.” Mackey expects construction to be complete in mid- to late January. “Then we’ll start moving in,” said Mackey, who is also president and the chief operating officer of El Gaucho Hospitality in the Seattle area. “We’re looking at a soft opening in March or April. We’ll have friends come in and do a shakeout run.” The first phase includes the main building featuring the 10 suites and the restau-

rant, Mackey said. A second phase, consisting of 10 lakefront villas around the man-made irrigation lake, will start soon after the first phase is complete. It’s been a love-hate relationship for Wylie to see this project finished. But he’s also excited. “As we progress, it’s going to be rewarding for me as people enjoy the property,” he said. Mackey has plenty of ideas of what people can do during the stay or visit to Walla Walla’s first destination resort. “There will be a patio where people want to relax,” said Mackey, who expects locals to visit to hang out for drinks or enjoy dinner. “A swimming pool is being built. There is an irrigation lake with six million gallons of water that encompasses four acres of land. Paddle boarders can go out on the lake.” A guest may want to take a tour through the vineyards, or go on an organized Walla Walla wine tasting tour. “We have over 300 acres on the property,” Mackey said. “People will be able to bike and walk the vineyards. On summer evenings, we’ll create some rituals at night to bring people back together. Perhaps by bonfire or storytelling.” Guests can wake up in suites that include an in-room fireplace, open their door, step

Eritage resort is under construction north of Walla Walla and will include a 10-suite hotel, a four-acre man-made lake and a high-end restaurant. A grand opening is expected this spring. (Courtesy Eritage Resort)

outside on either a patio or deck to an expansive view of the Blue Mountains, the rolling hills, the man-made lake and the vineyards. Mackey said there will be “a couple of surprises we’ll share over time. For Walla Walla, we’re just adding one more component to this area.” That includes the restaurant. Wilson is a star in the restaurant world. His Miller’s Guild, The Lakehouse, and Civility & Unrest restaurants on the West Side are popular with foodies. Wilson plans on using local regional produce, meats, and game and dairy for the menu. “Justin and Jason really wanted to develop a community connection,” Mackey said. “Jason has already been buying from

local vendors for his other restaurants. So he really knows the community. It’ll be an approachable menu.” It’ll be another way to promote the Walla Walla region to visitors passionate about fine dining. Neither Wylie nor Mackey are ready to talk about project costs or prices to stay at the resort. “I don’t have a number on the total cost of the project,” Wylie said. “It’s still a work in progress because things are changing.” And Mackey won’t say what a night’s stay will cost. “You look at the general market there,” Mackey said. “Our rooms will likely be priced slightly above the top hotels in Walla Walla. We’ll look at the market.” uERITAGE, Page 26

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

NAI, From page 21 Sternfeld said he couldn’t talk about the specific plans for the properties until the sales are final. Sternfeld and Monteagudo recently joined forces this summer to form NAI Group LLC. Monteagudo, owner of Century 21 Tri-Cities, and Sternfeld, a longtime commercial real estate broker, who has been with NAI Tri-Cities for about five years, began discussing a partnership in spring 2017. They inked the deal to make it official in July to form NAI Group LLC, which bought out the former NAI Tri-Cities partnership. Monteagudo said she thought it was important to align with NAI as her firm’s expertise focused on the residential market, not commercial.


The new company also includes commercial brokers Derrick Stricker, Kevin O’Rorke and Jazmine Murillo, with a new broker expected to join the team soon. NAI Tri-Cities is part of a Northwest consortium of NAI firms which meet regularly to share clients and information since they all work with national franchises. Sternfeld said the new company’s growth has already outpaced his expectations because he didn’t expect to have a team of five until the end of this year. As the commercial-focused firm looks ahead to 2018, it anticipates continued commercial success in the next five years in the Road 100 area, Monteagudo said. And the gateway to the Road 100 area is the Sandifur Parkway, she said. A key piece of real estate that could see

new tenants in the coming year is the Broadmoor Outlet mall, which was built in 1995. With the development of Road 100 on the horizon, the mall could reach its heyday yet, Monteagudo said. But it won’t be without some challenges. Over the years, the 23-year-old retail center has seen tenants come and go. Gordon Bros. Winery closed its location there last year. But Sternfeld said he’s optimistic because he’s been talking with the building’s owners about plans to renovate the mall to attract new tenants. The 11-acre site’s assessed property value totals about $3.6 million, according to Franklin County Assessor’s Office records.

ERITAGE, From page 25 Walla Walla tourism officials are intrigued about the resort. “It adds a type of accommodation that is not being currently met around here,” said Brian Duvall, president and CEO of the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce. “It should be a totally unique experience. It’s with an experienced group of people who know the industry really well.” Mackey thinks it will help promote the region. “Eritage is really about place,” he said. For Wylie, who wants to see his dream completed, he would like it to be an inspiration to others. “I hope this can be the catalyst for other projects around here,” he said. Information:; Facebook


The Pasco School District’s new Early Learning Center opened for students Jan. 8. The 19,000-square-foot building features 10 classrooms, offices and a multi-purpose room. The building, which used to be the Pasco Senior Center, houses some of the district’s Early Childhood Educational Assistance Program, or ECEAP, classes, and special education preschool classes for students ages 3 to 5. ECEAP is an income-based, state-funded preschool program. ECEAP and the special education program used several classrooms at elementary schools throughout the district, so consolidating them into one building will free up classroom space and provide inclusion opportunities for students at the early learning center, as well as allow for better collaboration between the programs’ educators, Pasco officials said. The building is expected to accommodate about 280 children. The construction/renovation of the building at 1315 N. Seventh Ave. cost $3.9 million. The city of Pasco sold the building to the Pasco School District for $1.26 million. The senior

center moved out at the end of 2016. City officials said declining use of the center over the past 15 years prompted the sale. Senior programs now share space with other city recreation programs inside a triple-wide modular building at 505 N. First Ave.

MH Construction of Kennewick was the general contractor for the school district project. Meier Architecture Engineering of Kennewick handled the design work.


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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION uBUSINESS BRIEFS Protecting kids against pornography presentation set

A free presentation on protecting children against pornography will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Kennewick High School auditorium, at 500 S. Dayton St. Speakers include Benton-Franklin Superior Court Judge Joe Burrowes, Richland Police Department’s police chief and member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Chris Skinner; and Kristen A. Jenson, author of “Good Pictures Bad Pictures” and founder of Tools and information from multiple organizations also will be available to families.

For more information, call 509-5791176, email or go to

WSU study finds genetic link to performance when sleep deprived

When it comes to getting through the day with sleep deprivation, science may explain why some people function better than others. Researchers at Washington State University found that those with a variation of the gene DRD2 are more resilient to the effects of sleep deprivation than those with other variations of the gene when performing tasks requiring cognitive flexibility — or the ability to make decisions based on changing information. Paul Whitney, WSU professor of psy-

chology and lead author of the study, along with Hans Van Dongen, director of the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center at WSU Spokane, compared subjects on their ability to anticipate events and cognitive flexibility in response to changing circumstances. Forty-nine adults participated in the study at the WSU Spokane sleep laboratory. After a 10-hour rest period, 34 participants were randomly selected to go 38 hours without sleep while the other participants were allowed to sleep normally. The WSU team is applying what they learned from its study to develop new ways to help surgeons, police officers, soldiers and other individuals who regularly deal with the effects of sleep deprivation.


Ecology seeking public input on draft permit

The state Department of Ecology is seeking public comment on the draft permit renewal of the Hanford Site Air Operating Permit. The state’s regulations for control of air emissions limit the duration of an air operating permit to five years. The current permit expires March 31. A new permit is needed as the Hanford Site still has air emissions. The comment period ends Feb. 16. The proposed modifications are online at To comment, the preferred method is going to Input also can be mailed or delivered to Daina McFadden, 3100 Port of Benton Blvd., Richland, WA 99354.

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

TAMALES, From page 1 “With the new evolution of downtown and the public investment planned, we want to match that and invite people more regularly than they have been to come downtown but also to spend money downtown,” Hallowell said. Between 30 to 40 businesses use the kitchen with varying levels of usage, but total usage has increased about 20 percent year over year, Hallowell said. “We have three food businesses here exploring the concept of popup retail as opposed to permanent space,” he said. “It’s a pretty big step to ask them to roll out into a storefront. The walk-up windows replicate the mobile experience.” Hot Tamales starting using its window Jan. 4. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. “We’re super happy. It’s been great,” Perez said. “We don’t have to run outside and we would forget our keys and get locked out because we were doing curbside delivery from the street. People would call and we’d run out an order to their car.” Perez said when the retail shop opens later this year, Hot Tamales will have additional offerings, like salsa, espresso and atole, a hot drink made from fruit and chocolate to eat with the tamales. “It’s made with milk. It’s like hot chocolate but you can make it with chocolate and make it with pineapple or guava. It sounds weird but it’s super good,” Perez said. The downtown nonprofit hopes to attract people to downtown Pasco to eat. “Food is a great traffic generator,” Hallowell said. The nine-month-old Hot Tamales started by serving tamales last year at Pasco’s Food Truck Friday event and the Richland and Pasco farmers markets. It also could be found around the Tri-Cities at the Gesa Carousel of Dreams, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, football games and a few holidays bazaars. “We were everywhere,” Perez said. Their thriving online ordering business offers free delivery on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a minimum purchase of two dozen tamales. Hot Tamales, which has been making its signature dish since April, uses a truck to participate in community events, and two cars with its logo to make deliveries. No cooking is done inside the truck. It’s used to transport pre-cooked tamales

using commercial warmers. With the arrival of colder weather, events began disappearing and Perez said the business spent time focusing on its website with pickup offered at the kitchen. They also considered whether to build a second food truck when the opportunity came for the walk-up window and retail space. “We’re pretty excited about it,” she said. “People kept ringing and people wanted tamales and so we kept directing everyone to the website. Christmas, we were really busy. Thanksgiving, we were really busy.” Customers love her family’s tamales, Perez said. The recipe was handed down to her mom from Perez’s great-grandmother. Family, friends and co-workers were already vocal fans. Perez’s mother, known as Mama Lupe, was born in the southwest region of the state of Michoacán in Mexico, and has been making tamales since she was a girl. She worked for a packaged food company for 25 years, so when she retired, everyone kept asking, ‘When is your mom making tamales again?’ ” Perez said. And Perez didn’t know how to make them. “I only knew how to spread masa on corn husks,” she laughed. She asked her mother for the recipe but one didn’t exist except for in her head. “That was really hard. It was a pinch of this and do this,” Perez said. They wrote it down and standardized it so the tamales could be produced in bulk. The only changes made to the recipe was to eliminate the lard. The Perez family’s tamales are gluten- and lard-free. “Getting the recipe was very hard for both of us. I didn’t know how to make tamales and consistency is important. I think about the beginning of the process and want to cry,” Perez said. To prepare for the new business, Perez signed up and graduated from the Food Truck Academy, a course offered at Columbia Basin College in Pasco to accommodate the growing food truck industry. “It helped very much,” Perez said. The small business is owned by Perez, her mom Lupe Perez and Perez’s boyfriend Juan Ozuna, all of Kennewick. “To see how we’ve grown so much,

Real Estate & Construction

Paulina Perez, co-owner of Hot Tamales, said she’s been blown away by the popularity of her family’s tamale food truck business. The small business also offers home delivery and recently began selling the traditional Mexican dish in downtown Pasco. A retail shop is planned in the spring. (Courtesy Downtown Pasco Development Authority)

it’s rewarding. Now it’s like the beginning is in the past. The opportunities are endless now. It’s pretty amazing,” she said. Today, Hot Tamales is cooking up 300 pounds of meat, usually pork and chicken, but sometimes beef brisket, every other week in a process that takes three days. Perez estimates the Hot Tamales cooking crew makes about 3,600 tamales a month. They make vegetarian rajas, with jalapeños and cheese, and two kinds of vegan tamales, one with jalapeños and beans, and the other with potatoes, carrots, green beans and corn. Hot Tamales Fabian Perez, the nephew of co-owner “A lot of our custom- Paulina Perez, smiles through the new walk-up winers are not Mexican. I dow where customers can buy or pick-up prehad customers who ordered tamales at 110 S. Fourth Ave. in downtown wanted a vegan option, Pasco. (Courtesy Hot Tamales) so we started offering one,” Perez said. The cost for a dozen ing more tamales for Día de la Candelaria, tamales is $17.22, including tax. a holy day celebration on Feb. 2. It’s a “They’re not that spicy. We make popular time to eat tamales, she said. them where kids can eat them,” Perez “Sharing our culture — it’s the whole said. point,” Perez said. The green salsa served alongside proHot Tamales:; 509vides the heat. 551-1110; Facebook; Instagram; Twitter. Perez is already thinking about cook-

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018



The Tri-Cities boasted a record-setting year in the residential housing market for the fourth year in a row. The region recorded a four percent yearover-year increase in the number of singlefamily residential permits filed in 2017, with 1,446 tallied in Benton and Franklin counties. The value of all those permits? More than $421 million. That’s more than five percent higher than the previous year’s value of more than $399 million. West Richland recorded the highest percentage of year-over-year growth at 29 percent with 103 home building permits filed in 2017, compared to 80 the previous year. Pasco came in next with 21 percent year-over-year growth with 469 permits, compared to 387 filed in 2016. Richland showed an eight percent uptick in the number of single-family housing permits issued last year — 295 compared to 273 the previous year. The number of single-family home permits recorded in Kennewick dropped about 34 percent over the previous year with 211 compared to 319 in 2016. The two counties issued 67 manufactured home permits in 2017, a drop of 50 percent compared to the previous year. Jeff Losey, the executive director of the Tri-Cities Home Builders Association, recently told the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business that the region has an opportunity to exceed 2017’s numbers as more lots for houses are expected to become available this year.

uBUSINESS BRIEF Washington is fourth fastestgrowing state in country

Washington is ranked the fourth fastestgrowing state during the past year. Idaho took the No. 1 spot. Washington’s population increased from 7.28 million to 7.4 million from July 1, 2016, to July 1, 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s national and state population estimates released in December. Idaho’s population increased 2.2 percent to 1.7 million. Following Idaho for the largest percentage increases in population were Nevada (2 percent), Utah (1.9 percent), Washington (1.7 percent), and Florida along with Arizona (1.6 percent). The Tri-Cities’ population mirrored the state trend with the population growing by 1.7 percent in 2017 to 283,830 people. That’s up from 279,170 in 2016, according to state Office of Financial Management’s data released last summer. The U.S. population grew by 2.3 million between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, representing a 0.72 percent increase to 325.7 million. In January 2018, the United States is expected to experience one birth every 8 seconds and one death every 10 seconds. The Census Bureau’s U.S. and World Population Clock simulates real-time growth of the United States and world populations at

Single-family home permits

Tri-City’s residential housing market boasts growth for fourth straight year Permits Issued

Housing Value



$56.9 million



$119.6 million



$89.1 million

West Richland


$34.2 million



$84.4 million



$93.9 million



$88.5 million

West Richland


$25 million




Source: Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018



The inspiration behind the design of a new twostory building in Pasco came from agriculture. Northwest Farm Credit Services’ new Pasco branch and regional agricultural center at 9915 St. Thomas Drive features panels representing fields and the site layout is indicative of irrigation circles. The 24,500-square-foot new building features insulated metal siding, masonry, metal and thermoplastic olefin, or TPO, roofing. Its cost was about $7.5 million, including the land. Northwest Farm Credit Services said the building, just off Interstate 182 in the Broadmoor area, will allow the business to enhance its services to the growing agricultural community in central and southeast Washington and northeast Oregon. “Agriculture represents a significant portion of the economy in the region; we support rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services,” the company said in a statement. Northwest Farm Credit Services offers lending, crop insurance, appraisal, state leadership, and training and development services. The building was completed Nov. 27. Yost Gallagher Construction of Spokane was the

general contractor. Architects West of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was the designer. AHBL Engineering of Pasco also was involved in the project. Northwest Farm Credit Services is a financial cooperative providing financing and related services to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses, commercial fishermen, timber producers, rural homeowners and crop insurance customers in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. It is a member of the Farm Credit System and provides equipment financing, appraisal services and crop insurance programs. Northwest Farm Credit Services is part of the more than 100-year-old Farm

Credit System – the leading provider of credit to American agriculture. It serves customers through 45 branch offices throughout the Northwest and its corporate headquarters in Spokane. For more information, call the branch at 509-5423730.


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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018



Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018



1921 W. COURT STREET• PASCO The Pasco Pizza Hut on Court Street reopened last month after a complete renovation. The old building was leveled and a new one built at 1921 W. Court St. The restaurant features a drive-through window and delivery service. The work was completed Dec. 12. Basin Investment Group applied for a $326,500 building permit for the project in September. The nationwide chain opened in 1958 when two brothers borrowed $600 from their mom to open a pizza shop in Wichita, Kansas. They named it Pizza Hut because their sign only had room for eight letters, according to the Pizza Hut website. The franchise boasts more than 16,000 restaurants and 350,000 team members in more than 100 countries. There are six Pizza Hut restaurants in the Tri-Cities. The Pasco restaurant’s hours are from 10:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and from 10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Bosch Construction of Pasco was the general contractor.


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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018


Richland’s Swift corridor project loses anchor restaurant Dupus Boomer’s closes doors amid financial challenges BY LAURA KOSTAD

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Though the Richland restaurant intended to anchor Swift Boulevard corridor development has closed, the owner said the site would be great for another eatery. Dupus Boomer’s shuttered its doors on Christmas Eve after operating for about a year and a half. “We had a good business. We just overbuilt the space,” said Greg Markel, owner of the restaurant and Markel Properties/Washington Securities and Investment Corp. “Another business in there will do very, very good though.” Located adjacent to the new $18.5 million Richland City Hall under construction at 502 Swift Blvd., the site at the corner of George Washington Way and Swift Boulevard is a desirable, highly visible spot along one of the busy Hanford commute routes. The next business to take over the space will have the opportunity to headline the Swift corridor project, an initiative to connect Richland’s downtown area to the Columbia River by building up visitor resources and amenities. The original city hall building is scheduled to be demolished and the remaining space marketed commercially. City officials report that inquiries from developers and realtors are already coming in for the site. Markel said he has four or five people interested in the restaurant space who all have a background in either the restaurant or night club industry. He said it will most likely become another restaurant. The 7,500-square-foot building fea-

tures a wraparound, all-season outdoor deck on the upper level. The original purchase and sale agreement for the site allows for the remodel or repurposing of the building. In 2013, Markel and his wife, Carla, and son, Shane, played a pivotal role in contributing to the Swift corridor project when they bought a sizeable chunk of the 500 block from the city. They committed to demolishing an existing 1966 strip mall and converted the former 21,000-square-foot parking lot into three modern buildings to house several businesses. One of those buildings, on the corner of Swift and Jadwin Avenue, is home to Taco Time/Go Green Salads and Jimmy John’s, which all continue to thrive, Markel said. “We just spent too much money trying to make (Dupus Boomer’s) a one-of-akind restaurant … our volume couldn’t support it,” Markel said. “You can only charge so much for a … buffalo burger.” Markel retains the trademark and copyright to the Dupus Boomer cartoon character created in the mid-1940s who embodies the bumbling governmentissue Hanford worker, and the cartoon illustrated the frustrations of living and working at the Hanford site. It became an icon of the early Hanford era. “I would sure like to see Dupus make it in Richland somewhere,” Markel said. “We had some very loyal … customers; some were in there almost every day. I’m just sorry … that we can’t stay open for people like that, and I wish them the best.” A sign posted on the restaurant’s door thanked customers and employees for

Dupus Boomer’s in Richland closed its doors on Christmas Eve after about a year and a half in operation. The restaurant and bar was meant to serve as the anchor tenant for the city’s Swift corridor development project. Owner Greg Markel doesn’t expect the highly visible space to remain vacant for long.

their support: “It is with regret that we will be closing Dupus Boomer’s. We want to thank all the loyal guests and the community for their support during our time open. We also want to thank the great employees for their commitment and dedication. It’s been a pleasure to serve you.” The third building on the 500 block

site, which faces Jadwin Avenue, was to house a new Markel Properties real estate office, but the 2,600-square-foot space is now on the market for lease as well, with interior finishing work soon to be completed. Johnson and Orr Law Firm is a tenant there.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018


Landowners fined for illegally pumping groundwater from Odessa aquifer BY TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS STAFF

Landowners near Moses Lake have been fined for illegally pumping more than 500 million gallons of groundwater from the declining Odessa aquifer. The state Washington Department of Ecology issued cease and desist orders requiring the landowners and their lessee to stop pumping groundwater in June. Ignoring the orders, they continued pumping water illegally for threeand-a-half more months to water 530 acres of crops, the state said in a release. Ecology fined the following people: • Landowners Michael Schmidt, et

al., and lessee Ron Fode were fined $103,000 for illegally irrigating 65 acres of alfalfa. • Landowner Ron Fode was fined $206,000 for illegally irrigating 130 acres of timothy hay. • Landowners Randy and Michele Kiesz, as well as lessee Ron Fode, were fined $309,000 for illegally irrigating 335 acres of alfalfa and potatoes. Penalties can be appealed to the Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days. Ecology said the landowners disregarded warnings and orders from Ecology, continued to illegally irrigate through the 2017 growing season and

took their high-value crops to market. The estimated value of crops grown on the illegally irrigated lands is more than $1 million. “These landowners willfully ignored the law and tapped into a vulnerable aquifer without a legal right to do so,” said Mary Verner, Ecology’s Water Resources program manager, in a release. “This isn’t fair to other irrigators who follow the law or to local communities and rural landowners who depend on this groundwater for their drinking water.” More than $200 million has been invested by local landowners and public agencies in recent years to ease the

pressure on the declining aquifer by developing sustainable surface water supplies. The Odessa aquifer has been rapidly declining since 1980. Groundwater has dropped more than 200 feet, forcing local farmers and homeowners to drill wells deeper to reach the diminishing water supply, Ecology reported. The Legislature passed a law in 2004 that prohibited using water from the dwindling Odessa aquifer for irrigation when water from the Columbia River is available through the irrigation district.


Dairy Queen fans living near Duportail Street and Keene Road were able to celebrate the opening of a new restaurant in their Richland neighborhood in December. The 3,000-square-foot restaurant, behind the Maverik gas station, is the seventh location owned by the Tierney partners — Bill, Tom and Kerry Tierney — in the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla and Yakima. They’ve been partners since 1980.

The $1 million eatery, which features a drivethrough window, opened Dec. 23. The DQ Grill & Chill is on about three-quarters of an acre formerly owned by the Kennewick Irrigation District. It features outdoor patio seating and seating for 72 inside. The new Richland restaurant looks similar to the DQ Grill & Chill restaurant on Burden Boulevard in Pasco that opened in 2012.

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018



Claim Google business listing to improve visibility in search results BY JOSH KANDLE

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Every business should create and claim a Google My Business listing. It’s a foundational step in establishing a foothold in Google’s ecosystem. Time to complete: Eight minutes, unless you opt for the postcard and then it’s seven days. Here’s how to do it: 1. Open a web browser and go to You’ll be prompted to log-in because Google wants to know who to associate the business with. 2. Click on the “Start Now” button in the upper right corner. 3. Enter your business details and

click “Continue.” 4. If the business has already been claimed, Google will let you know that information and you’ll be able to see the first two letters of the email address associated with the listing. You can request ownership using the button and Google will send an email to the current owner. 5. If the business has not been claimed, Google will want you to verify the business by entering in a code. You can either have the code mailed, texted or telephoned to you. Mailing takes the longest but sometimes is the only choice presented. Both texting and the telephone options are almost instantaneous as they give you a code and you plug it in, and

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whamo, you’re verified. 6. At this point, you’ll be taken to the Google My Business dashboard, which you can get back to at any time by visiting the same Josh Kandle website: www. business/ and choosing the “Sign-in” option. This dashboard is useful because it allows you to control a bunch of infor-

mation about your business that is visible in the search engine results pages, i.e., to prospective customers. Also, when you completely fill out your profile and optimize it by adding photos, business hours and categories, you send a trust message to Google that you are a business that is present and accounted for. The more of those messages you can send to Google, the better. Now go out and claim your Google My Business listing and start increasing your online visibility. Josh Kandle is the creative director for Cougar Digital Marketing & Design in West Richland.

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018


Hermiston continues efforts to revitalize downtown core BY TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS STAFF

Hermiston’s downtown area continues to see improvements with construction to begin soon on a project to host gatherings and events. More than 100 parking spaces also were added and the total value of the Hermiston Urban Renewal Agency or HURA, topped 20 percent since it was created four years ago to revitalize the city’s downtown. Hermiston is about 32 miles south of Kennewick in Oregon. “If the main goals of an Urban Renewal Agency are to increase the taxable value and eliminate barriers to new private investment, then I think we can safely say we’re hitting it out of the park so far,” said Mark Morgan, assistant city manager, in a statement. The current value of all properties within the district stands at $50.5 million, up from $42.2 million at the creation of the district in 2014. The bulk of the new value comes from the development of a 93-room Holiday Inn Express, which opened in the downtown core. The development received a $36,400 façade grant from HURA, and the city of Hermiston awarded $50,000 to move a city sewer line from the property. “The HURA’s revenues are up almost $100,000 in the first year that the hotel has hit the tax rolls, which would be about a one-year return on our public investments,” Morgan said. “I wish all of our investments paid back so quickly.”

The addition of a 93-room Holiday Inn Express opening in downtown Hermiston has spurred the total assessed property value of the city’s urban renewal agency, which was created four years ago to revitalize the downtown area. A landscaped event area will be built later this year to host events. (Courtesy city of Hermiston)

Another HURA project which helped attract the new hotel was the creation of a downtown Festival Street area, which can hold events and activities for hotel patrons and the community. Construction is expected to begin in early 2018. Private developments aren’t the only investments attracted to the downtown core. The Hermiston City Council’s decision to move the new Harkenrider Center, home

of the senior center, on vacant land in the downtown injected about $2.7 million of investment in the center of town. Although the facility won’t directly contribute to the area’s valuation, the community center is expected to increase visits to the area and add another element of vibrancy to the area, city officials said. “This is all about contributing to a critical mass,” Morgan said. “The more people we can get to come downtown on a daily basis, the more viable it makes the area for

investment by private businesses which depend on passing traffic.” Increased traffic often means a need for more places to park, which is why the city and HURA worked to increase parking and reduce barriers to future development on the west side of downtown. Through a deal approved by the city council and HURA in September, a private developer agreed to build a new 50-space paved parking lot and public event shade structure on Union Pacific Railroad rightof-way between Locust and Orchard avenues. The new parking lot, which has been completed and is now open to the public, will make it easier for other nearby properties to develop in the future as new developments within 500 feet will be able to count spaces in the parking lot toward their required additional parking on a first-come, first-served basis, the city said. The council also approved a resolution in November to establish a similar incentive program for two existing under-used city-owned parking lots near Orchard Avenue and Southwest Third Street. Those 60 spaces also can be counted toward a new business’ minimum off-street parking requirement. “Adding these new spaces, and re-classifying the others won’t just make it easier to develop a bare lot on the west side of downtown,” Morgan said. “These spaces will make it much easier for buildings in that commercial zone to make the conversion from residential to commercial.”

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Good-paying careers await hands-on workers BY KRIS JOHNSON

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

For today’s and the next generation’s hands-on workers, it’s an exciting time to be a job seeker in Washington state. That’s because as many as 740,000 good-paying jobs in the state’s manufacturing sector are open. In central Washington, careers in manufacturing pay an average annual wage ranging from $44,398 to more than $52,000, according to the state Employment Security Department. These are jobs that often require a trade certificate or a two-year degree. Filling all those hands-on jobs means we must rethink not only how we close the skills gap, but also the “interest gap” for the next generation of builders, welders and makers. Too often, these good-paying career pathways take a backseat to a four-year degree track. The good news is that both tracks — the trades and a bachelor’s degree — can be equally successful. I recently traveled to Switzerland with the governor and a group of business leaders and education experts from across the state to look at the country’s successful and robust apprenticeship programs, which are geared toward engaging 16- to 19-year-olds in meaningful work. In the Swiss system, young apprentices can easily shift career paths or seek higher education after earning their initial training diploma. It’s focused on options and opportunities – right after graduation and into the future. I heard from several young people who said they were “finished” with the classroom by ninth grade and eager to work with their hands. The big-picture goal is to find specific ways to improve Washington’s

career pathways. It’s no secret that we lose some of our next generation of work force – the teenagers who may not want to go down the four-year college path, but Kris Johnson aren’t aware of the alternatives. Rural areas are especially hard hit, losing a disproportionate number of young people to metropolitan areas. This problem is not unique to Washington state, but there are workable solutions that often start with a conversation. Marty Brown, former executive director for the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, said in a recent AWB magazine profile: “We need to get people talking about the importance of machining, manufacturing and advanced manufacturing and all of the jobs out there that 10 years ago people didn’t even think about.” He went on to emphasize the importance of employers engaging with their local high schools and middle schools to share the positive story of hands-on careers and explain that they look very different today – high tech and clean. We could not agree more. We’re moving in the right direction in our K-12 education system with the growing trend of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) schools. Our community and technical colleges also do a great job of partnering with employers to build the local work force they need to compete nationally and globally. But there is room for growth. We need better support for career and tech-

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nical education programs in the state budget, for example. Employers can also be more creative in meeting their work force needs by implementing apprenticeship, internship and externship programs that raise career awareness. At our annual Manufacturing Summit in October, AWB held a panel discussion focused solely on the role apprenticeships play in attracting the next generation to the workplace. This is an incredible growth area for employers and can be a great tool to build a skilled work force from the ground up. Most importantly, we must amplify the conversation between employers, parents, teachers and students, from grade school to high school graduation, about the many rewarding career pathways that await the next generation of designers, builders and dreamers. Kris Johnson is the president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s chamber of commerce and designated manufacturing association.


uBUSINESS BRIEFS Volunteers sought for student business event

The Pasco School District is seeking volunteers to assist with Enterprise Week, an annual business simulation event for high school seniors. The March 26-30 event provides seniors from Chiawana, New Horizons and Pasco high schools the opportunity to be paired with a business professional or community members. Volunteers are needed to serve as mentors, consultants and judges. Mentors are needed daily during the event from 7:20 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and duties can be shared if volunteers are unable to commit to all hours. Consultants are needed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 27-28 to help with marketing, financials and presentation skills. The public is invited to view student presentations from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. March 30 and vote for the top three firms. For more information, call 509-5436700, ext. 2670, or visit

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

TRIOS, From page 1 As a result, Trios has suspended raises across the health system since September for a savings of about $2.2 million. “We couldn’t afford it,” Teske said. Declining patient volumes that came in the wake of last year’s announcements about Trios’ financial crisis and a massive medical records data breach by a former employee over a period of more than three years only created additional setbacks. “Patient volumes have dropped because of public fears about the bankruptcy,” Cudworth said. This combined with significant reductions to reimbursements related to the Affordable Care Act continue to eat away at Trios’ financial health. A three-month gap exists between when patients receive service and when Trios gets paid for it “hit our cash pretty hard. We’re maxed out on

our payables,” Cudworth said. But the wave of financial woes isn’t affecting the CEO’s outlook. He’s convinced if the Tri-Cities continues to support Trios, the hospital district will emerge from bankruptcy onto stronger footing. Teske said Trios has been trying to be transparent about the challenges with its staff by offering a video update from the CEO each week as well as a communication tool called The Loop in which employees can ask administrators questions anonymously. Teske said 400 questions have been answered in less than a year. “As soon as we can share something, we do,” Teske said. One rumor Trios hopes to put to bed is that CFO Tony Sudduth is fleeing, Cudworth said. Sudduth, who has been with Trios since

2014, took a job with a startup corporation in Florida that buys and manages hospitals, an opportunity too good to pass up, Cudworth said. Sudduth’s last day is Feb. 2. To fill the important position quickly, the Kennewick Public Hospital District agreed to bring on an interim CFO on Jan. 22, as part of the Quorum Health Resources contract. The board hired Quorum Health Resources, a Tennessee-based management consultant firm, to address Trios’ financial problems in 2016. The board recently renewed the Quorum contract until Trios emerges from bankruptcy or is sold. Requests for contract information could not be provided by press time. The initial $395,000 Quorum contract was for one year with an option to renew.

Cudworth is a Quorum employee. Quorum took a hard look at Trios’ financial health, issuing a 400-page report last year recommending the elimination of 115 full-time equivalent positions, among other measures. Teske said the health district got creative by asking people to reduce their schedules and shifting hours around. “We did the best we could for everybody. When you pile that on with the rest of the year, it wasn’t enough. Deeper cuts were necessary and now we have to do it,” Teske said. “Unfortunately, our attempt to do this more gently, given all other things, didn’t work. So here we are.” With the recent layoffs come a renewed focus on better managing staff with new productivity software. The new program measures the balance between patient volume and staff based on national standards for similar-sized hospitals. Trios said its goal with closely monitoring these standards is to hit 100 percent productivity to make sure there’s appropriate employee staffing — not understaffed or overstaffed. The new system generates clearer reports that go to department heads who will be held responsible for meeting the parameters. Teske noted that patient safety and quality won’t be sacrificed. Cudworth pointed to Trios Health’s recent three-year accreditation from the Joint Commission for how seriously the health organization takes patient quality and safety. Trios Southridge Hospital, Trios Women’s & Children’s Hospital and its Home Health Care service line received re-accreditation, effective July 14, 2017. The independent organization certifies health care organizations and programs in U.S. for meeting performance standards. As the hospital district winds its way through bankruptcy court, Cudworth reports reaching an agreement with two of its three largest creditors, but that it has been sued in bankruptcy court by an equipment lessor owed $24 million. Until that case is resolved, finalizing a sale of the health district remains on the back burner. “In order for Trios to emerge from bankruptcy, we have to pay our debts. The only way to pay our debts is a sale. We’re negotiating the terms of our sale,” Cudworth said. Trios Health is exploring a relationship with RCCH HealthCare Partners, a Tennessee-based health care system, and UW Medicine that could reorganize the troubled Kennewick Public Hospital District’s existing rent and debt obligations. Negotiations are progressing well and some news is expected to be announced at the Jan. 25 board meeting, Teske said. The meeting is at 5 p.m. on the third floor of the Trios Care Center at Southridge, 3730 Plaza Way, Kennewick. But until the legal and financial issues are resolved, Trios stands ready to do its job: provide good health care to the community, Teske said. “This doesn’t work without patients. As much as hearts are breaking, we need feet through the doors, people. We’re very hopeful about the path forward and the future here,” she said.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018


New WSU Tri-Cities chancellor to start March 1 BY TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS STAFF

A senior administrator at Metropolitan State University of Denver has been named the new chancellor of Washington State University Tri-Cities. Sandra Haynes begins March 1. She currently is deputy provost and vice president of academic affairs and a professor in the Department of Human Services at the Denver university. She oversees all academic affairs units. She served as dean of the university’s College of Professional Studies for 13 years. “I am honored and humbled to be selected as chancellor of WSU TriCities,” Haynes said in a statement. “I look forward to playing a role in the important contributions the campus makes in the Columbia Basin area through quality instruction and the advancement of life-changing research. I am also excited to join the vibrant and engaged TriCities community.” As chancellor, Haynes will serve as the chief executive officer, representing the campus in the community, guiding campus growth and advocating for WSU TriCities within the WSU statewide system of campuses. “Sandra’s leadership skills and collaborative approach to building innovative partnerships promises an exciting future for WSU Tri-Cities as we continue to grow enrollment, academic programs and facilities,” said WSU President Kirk

Schulz in a statement. “Her expertise also will shape the pivotal role WSU Tri-Cities will play in achieving our system-wide goal of becoming a top 25 public research univerSandra Haynes sity by 2030.” Expanding WSU’s partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as well as continuing to ensure access to higher education for residents of eastern Washington, are among the priorities

uBUSINESS BRIEFS Number of student loan borrowers continues to rise

The number of student loan borrowers in Washington state likely exceeds 800,000, an increase of more than 35 percent compared to a decade ago, according to a recent report released by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Washingtonians collectively owed $24.4 billion in student loan debt at the end of 2016. Attorney General Ferguson’s office has received hundreds of complaints from student loan borrowers. Ferguson’s

identified for the new chancellor. Haynes’ achievements at Metropolitan State University Denver include identifying alternative sources of funding for the university by creating public-private partnerships and interdisciplinary programs to meet community and work force needs. She also established best practices for the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, according to WSU. Haynes is a licensed psychologist and has authored several articles and book chapters. Her research interests range from topics in neuropsychology to philosophical issues regarding punishment to applied topics in human services and psychology and in higher education. She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees report highlights several of these complaints. “There are too many student loan borrowers in Washington who are struggling to make payments,” Ferguson said in a statement. “Pursuing an education should not force students to take on insurmountable debt. We must do more to protect Washingtonians who feel like higher education equals a debt sentence.” The report identifies racial, gender and age disparities among student loan borrowers, the loans’ impacts on borrowers and the reasons these borrowers face so many obstacles to repayment. Student loan debt has the highest

in experimental neuropsychology at Colorado State University, where she also competed a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She was one of four finalists for the chancellorship following a nationwide search. The finalists recently visited the WSU Tri-Cities and Pullman campuses, where they met students, faculty, staff and members of the community. Haynes replaces H. Keith Moo-Young, who is leaving before his five-year contract is up. He joined the Richland campus four years ago, earning a $300,000 annual salary. WSU Tri-Cities enrolls 1,937 students and offers 20 undergraduate and 33 graduate degrees. delinquency rate of any form of consumer debt and has strict limitations in discharging it through bankruptcy.

INB to give bonuses, raise company’s minimum wage

After federal tax reform legislation was passed, INB, a regional independent bank, announced it would pass on some of its tax savings to employees. The parent company, Northwest Bancorp, expects a tax reduction of 14 percent. As a result, INB will give its 200 non-executive team employees a $500 bonus and establish a $15 minimum wage in the company.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Railroads plan to meet deadline to implement positive track control technology BY DON C. BRUNELL

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

While the investigation continues into the deadly Amtrak derailment near Dupont, the clock continues to tick on the implementation of positive track control, or PTC. The deadline is Dec. 31, 2018. PTC integrates new satellite tracking (GPS) and trackside technology for passenger, freight and commuter rail service. It is designed to instantly feed mountains of detailed and complex information to control centers and moving locomotives to automatically stop speeding trains from going off the track and colliding. Neither the track on new Point Defiance bypass between Tacoma and Olympia nor the engines propelling Amtrak Train 501 on its inaugural highspeed run were equipped with new anticrash system. “The lightly used freight line, first laid out in 1891, would be converted into a bypass route to allow passenger trains to avoid a congested section of tracks and tunnels that run along Puget Sound in Tacoma,” the Wall Street Journal reported. It was track upgraded by Washington state to allow trains to reach speeds up to 80 mph. High-speed commuter rail was planned to relieve vehicle traffic congestion on Interstate 5 between Portland and Seattle. The plan met with opposition from city leaders in congested communities, such as Lakewood where the speeding trains would run. One controversial glitch was the sharp curve adjacent to the Joint Base Lewis McCord golf course where the derailment occurred. To avoid derailing, trains were supposed to slow down to 30 mph. Speed and the tight turn are the focal

points of the investigations into the Dec. 18 accident, which killed three on the train and sent dozens to hospitals. Miraculously, the incident did not kill a single drivDon C. Brunell er heading south on I-5 during the morning commute. PTC was mandated by Congress and President George W. Bush in 2008. The law required that passenger and Class 1 (larger railroads such as Union Pacific and BNSF) freight railroads complete installation of the technologies designed to automatically stop trains before accidents caused by human error. According to the Association of American Railroads, or AAR, the system is specifically designed to avoid train-totrain collisions, derailments caused by excessive speed, unauthorized incursions by trains onto sections of track where maintenance is taking place, and the movement of a train through a track where the switch is left in the wrong position. Even without PTC, rail-safety experts told the Wall Street Journal that Amtrak 501 should have been able to pass through the curve safely. According to AAR, trains and trackcarrying passengers on main lines or “toxic-by-inhalations materials” were to install PTC by the end of 2015. However, the deadline was subsequently extended for three years. Such a system requires highly complex technologies able to analyze and incorporate the huge number of variables that

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affect train operation. The estimated price tag for freight railroad alone is about $10.6 billion, with hundreds of millions spent each year to maintain the system and train thousands of railroad workers. In Western Washington, BNSF and Union Pacific trains running north-south carrying oil, coal, lumber, wheat, containers, autos, chemicals and other cargo share common track with Amtrak and Sounder commuter trains. BNSF and Amtrak share the same rails for east-west routes on the northside of the Columbia River between Vancouver and the Tri-Cities, and over Stevens Pass between Everett and Spokane. They are equipped with PTC. BNSF stated in a special report issued Dec. 22 that overall, BNSF is equipping 5,000 locomotives and 11,300 miles of track across its system. It has already logged 800,000 successful PTC trips. At the end of October, Union Pacific has nearly 6,000 miles with PTC operations and 3,200 engines are now equipped. It anticipates spending $2.9 billion. Both railroads plan to meet next year’s deadline. Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver, Washington. He can be contacted at


uHONORS • Dr. Saul Valencia of TriCities Community Health Care has been selected by Coordinated Care as part of its Physician Summit Award Program. The program recognized those who have demonstrated exemplary performance in routine preventative and well-care services, and establishing a medical home for new enrollees. Valencia received a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University, a medical degree from University of Washington and completed his residency in Yakima. • The Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Program announced Leadership Class 40 members. The program helps emerging leaders in agriculture, forestry and natural resources develop the skills needed to positively impact and enrich lives and communities. Those selected from Benton and Franklin counties include Kevin Corliss, vice president of vineyards with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in Prosser; Ben Cox, relationship manager/ vice president with Washington Trust Bank in Kennewick; Rey Rojas, general manager of Empey Orchards Inc. in Mesa; and Deborah Wieseler, office manager of Flying W Farms Inc. in Mesa.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

uHONORS • The Horse Heaven Round Up in Kennewick received the Remuda Award, recognizing it as having the best rodeo stock in the nation among the more than 620 rodeos managed by the Professional Cowboys Association. • Mission Support Alliance received two awards for outstanding performance by the Supply Chain Management Center to recognize its strategic savings performance and leveraging of purchase agreements to keep costs down for the Department of Energy. MSA had the highest total savings percent and savings growth at the group’s biannual meeting with leaders from procurement teams from DOE sites. MSA also was recognized by Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman with an honorable mention as part of the 2016 Corporations for Communities Award. • Tri-Tech Skills Center students won top awards in a regional competition of the Congressional App Challenge, which aims to increase student interest in the STEM fields. The students are enrolled in the school’s video game design program. Seth Florman, Damon Fuller and Kyler Zimmerman won first place for “Powerhouse,” which has a user play the role of the owner of an energy company to show the challenges of the energy company. Their app will be on display at the U.S. Capitol building, on and Evan Fetterolf and Carlos Magana earned second place for “Alone in the Forest” to teach basic survival skills. William Burton and Talia Avery earned third place for “Hive Mind,” where users take on the role as a beekeeper.

• Benton Public Utility District received the Certificate of Achievement in Excellence in Financial Reporting award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its 2016 comprehensive annual financial report. • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland received seven top 100 awards for innovative scientific projects from R&D Magazine: Active gunshot detector, a battery-powered device that can connect wirelessly to security systems to alert to gunshots in an indoor environment such as schools and public buildings; MARCool, a new class of solid-state cooling technology that operates on waste heat from power sources that could lead to significant energy and cost savings; Friction stir scribe, a tool that allows manufacturers to join materials with drastically different melting points without needing additional adhesives, bolts or rivets without sacrificing strength or durability; IRcell, compact technology that provides greater sensitivity and speed to detecting toxic industrial chemicals, identifying disease indicators or monitoring for possible proliferation of nuclear or chemical weapons; SerialTap, a palm-sized device that can monitor and verify activity to protect critical data from cyberattacks in older industrial control systems; SLIM, Structures for Lossless Ion Manipulations technology that can distinguish and measure different molecules in biological samples; NRAP Toolset, the first complete suite of computer software that models possible environment risks, such as fluid leakage and earthquakes, from potential carbon dioxide storage sites that is generated from burning coal, oil and natural gas.

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Foundations for business success must meet three benchmarks BY CHRISTY LAWRENCE

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Sitting in a room with more than 40 business owners, I asked a simple question: “Who in this room wants to increase their profits in 2018?” Every hand raised. Not surprising as when you’re in business, you want to turn a profit. Yet in the quest for profit, few business owners ask themselves the question — what does success really look like? Profit is one of the most important measurements in determining the health of a business but it’s not the only one. For a micro or Christy Lawrence small business to be truly successful, it needs to achieve three criteria: 1. It needs to be financially viable. This seems pretty clear cut, and yet often small businesses fail because the numbers simply do not work. If there’s not enough revenue coming in to cover overhead, let alone future growth, a business can’t be profitable. It is essential that micro and small businesses ensure that their overhead calculations include both a livable wage for the types of employees it wants to attract and retain and a salary for the owner that not only helps them pay their bills, but also paves the way for financial security. Fundamentally, your business has to support itself financially. It needs to consistently cover the costs of your overhead and still have money left to support the long-term vision you have for the business. If you’re a single operator looking to create a lifestyle business, this can include having adequate funding to create a new website as technology changes, spend money on an advertising campaign or consistently have enough funds to cover your quarterly taxes. If you’re looking to scale the business beyond its current structure, this can include having the revenue to move into a larger office space, invest in customer relationship management software to track your progress or hire the support you need to create a strong company culture. 2. It needs to be sustainable, personally and professionally. This is

where most micro and small businesses struggle the most. They run in to capacity issues because the business wasn’t built with sustainability in mind. When they started their business, they believed that if they provided great service and quality products that they would be a success, but there’s more to the equation. It’s common that as a business grows, it begins to demand more time than the owner and team have to give, creating a situation where the owner is faced with spending too many nights trying to decide if they miss another dinner with the family or a deadline for a client. Both of these are losing options. Occasionally, it happens to all business owners. When it starts to happen regularly, it’s a signal that capacity issues haven’t been addressed and that the businesses isn’t sustainable without some serious changes. If left unaddressed, capacity issues lead to sloppy work, dissatisfied customers and burned out owners and employees. For example, a wedding planner I worked with who had an eye for style and class grew her business quickly but before she knew it she had no weekends to spend with her family and friends, let alone time to travel, which was a passion of hers. She hadn’t factored in her true capacity and the time investment needed to succeed into her original business plan. She began to resent her business and the quality of her service began to suffer. It took hiring a team of planners and changing the fundamental structure of her business to overcome this challenge. 3. It needs to be meaningful. For a business to be truly profitable it needs to add value beyond the bottom line. The business needs to create meaning and value for the owner, the employees, the customers and the world at large. The primary ways to create value and meaning in your business is by what you do, how you do it and why you do it. Sometimes that meaning comes in simply seeing customers smile, or watching them create security, or seeing them feel beautiful for the first time in years. Ensuring that the business is aligned with your personal values and the values of your customers is a good place to start. Christy Lawrence is the owner of Time to Profit, a consulting business. She is a master certified small business and executive coach with more than 15 years of sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies.


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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018



Steel 3 Yoga to open third studio after taking over 11Exhale Yoga Eight instructors work between Richland, Kennewick studios BY LAURA KOSTAD

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

The owner of Steel 3 Yoga plans to open a third studio to eager Tri-City yoga enthusiasts for “workshops, training and some classes to come” this month. Brenda Steel, an ex-corporate worker turned yogi, took over 11Exhale Yoga’s two existing studios in Richland and Kennewick in August. Eight instructors work between the Richland and Kennewick studios, collectively teaching 40 classes per week. “I’m really happy to be right where we are,” said Steel, though she admitted the path to owning the studios has not been without its strife. She took over the business from Julianne Arce, the yoga instructor from whom Steel received her formal training two years prior. “It’s mainstream, but still soulful yoga,” Steel said. “We’ve got your yoga — that’s our tagline.” Originally, Steel had planned to open

her own studio but decided to partner with Arce to cooperatively cultivate the budding Tri-City yoga community. Pre-existing financial trouble left Steel holding the bill when Arce abruptly moved to California. Steel said she felt fortunate to have a business background as she navigated management of the two studios solo. “I have paid and paid in the name of yoga, because I believed in it. … But I came through it and came to know this is where I’m meant to be. … When things are less than perfect — which is life — you really have to look at everything,” she said. Steel said she built upon the foundation and environment established by 11Exhale. “They’re amazing studios now and built on a culture that’s all about love and true foundation,” she said. The Richland studio is at 140 Gage Blvd. in suite 104 and the Kennewick studio is at 4528 W. 26th Ave. in suite 140. The third studio is just down from the Richland one in suite 100. It’s used for special classes and trainings not on the

Brenda Steel took over ownership of the former 11Exhale Yoga studios in Kennewick and Richland in August and renamed it Steel 3 Yoga. She plans to host workshops, trainings and other course offerings in a new studio, just a few doors down from the existing Richland location. (Courtesy DonnaG Photography)

regular class schedule. As Steel 3 continue to grow, regular classes may end up being scheduled in there. Steel 3’s studios feature a warm, welcoming, modern vibe that’s tastefully

eclectic. Multiple sources of lighting and soft, meditative music provide a relaxing ambience as the pleasant smell of woody incense and sage permeate the air. uYOGA, Page 51


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

DSHS introduces new caregiver support programs

Health Care

More than 450 people have enrolled statewide, with 117 signed up in southeast Washington BY LAURA KOSTAD

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Washington state’s Department of Social and Health Services recently added two new support programs intended to make more services available to more than 850,000 unpaid family caregivers statewide and the loved ones they care for. The two new programs, Medicaid Alternative Care, or MAC, and Tailored Supports for Older Adults, or TSOA, aim to broaden eligibility for state- and federally-supplied services to help enable the elderly to remain at home and their caregivers to continue to care for them. “We’re not only providing the support, but the tools so they can keep going every day,” said LeAnne Turnbull, lead at the Southeast Washington Aging and Longterm Care office in Kennewick, the local DSHS affiliate. MAC’s target group are caregivers 18 and older caring for someone 55 years and older who is eligible for full Medicaid (Apple Health) benefits. TSOA’s recipients are age 55 years and older who don’t qualify for Medicaid. TSOA can be pursued regardless of whether the individual has a caregiver. Both programs require the care receiver needing help with some activities of daily life, such as reminders to take medication, bathing, walking, dressing and surface-tosurface transfers. The difference between the two new programs and existing ones provided through general fund dollars is MAC and TSOA take into consideration the $10.6 billion’s worth of services provided every year statewide by unpaid family caregivers and the needs of those caregivers. “Caregiving is something that touches every family in some way,” said Bea Rector, director of home and community services within the aging and long-term support administration of DSHS. “The service provided by family caregivers is of incredible value to the state, the family and community.” As the general population ages, the number of family caregivers in the state of Washington is skyrocketing. Long-term care isn’t getting any cheaper either.

Rector reported that in the next 20 years, the 65-and-older population is projected to double, which will increase demand for these services. Rector said that on average it costs $2,000 per month for in-home care through a private provider and $6,000 to $10,000 for care in a nursing or assisted living facility. Meanwhile, the value of care provided by a family member amounts to an average of $550 per month — about a quarter of the cost of hiring out in-home care. MAC and TSOA introduce valuable services and supports for these otherwise uncompensated family caregivers and qualified applicants. “We want to be able to bring those supports and services to caregivers to help them be a success,” Rector said. “It’s reminding them they need to care for themselves—it’s a care plan for the caregiver too. If the caregiver isn’t healthy, it really impacts the person who needs care,” Turnbull explained. “It’s why area agencies on aging and resource centers are so important, because they can identify the resources for the caregivers. The end goal is to provide them care, so they don’t feel like their only option is other care options.” Under the new programs, DSHS can serve three unpaid family caregivers for the same cost of one person receiving inhome care from outside providers or living in a long-term care facility. Due to increasing pressure on their budget, Rector reported some states have had to cut services or maintain waiting lists. Through MAC and TSOA, “we’re trying to avoid this,” she said. The goal of MAC and TSOA is to preserve access to all care service options by delaying commitment to more expensive, long-term intensive care. “It’s a way of serving more people with limited funds,” Rector said. “We want to reach these people before they’re calling and requesting a list of local caregivers and facilities,” Turnbull said. Rector said “it’s figuring out how to serve a person in the setting they prefer and the most cost-effectively” when state

Monica Kinsley is an information specialist who assists with the state’s new caregiver support programs through the Aging and Long-term Care/Aging and Disability Resource Center in Kennewick.

and federal budgets are already stretched thin. Half the battle, it turns out, is helping family members realize they are caregivers who qualify for these services. “Most people see it as just something you do; they don’t see themselves as caregivers that need help,” said Colleen Keltz, a communications and media representative for DSHS Aging and Long-term Care. “We help them to understand it’s OK to reach out and seek help,” Rector said. The eligibility process starts with a simple phone call, so interested persons need not travel to an agency, as is the case with existing programs. TSOA and MAC program eligibility can be determined over the phone and services and support can be initiated right away. The customary full financial review through Medicaid still can take up to 45 days, but MAC and TSOA don’t have to wait for a determination to begin offering support. Each regional office DSHS partners with is staffed with trained representatives who conduct the phone screenings, which are comprised of basic questions about the types of care the caregiver is provides and how they feel. The screenings determine the most effective strategies for the caregiver, such as respite services in the form of massage therapy, or coverage so they can attend their own doctor and self-care appoint-

ments, additional trainings, or receive housekeeping and assistance with errands. Representatives also can recommend self-care and point caregivers to relevant support groups, counseling and training in specific areas, such as how to cope with dementia in the person they’re caring for or how to safely transport them. For seniors qualifying for the TSOA program, information could be provided regarding area resources for home-delivered meals, medical emergency response systems, and personal care aids that assist with grocery shopping, bathing, medication reminders and other services. In-home assessments also are available. Though MAC and TSOA do not directly pay out stipends to caregivers, representatives are able to offer an individualized support for caregivers equal to a set value, based on their assessment. Essentially, three tiers of service are available through MAC or TSOA for eligible applicants: a one-time service valued at up to $250, $500 per year or $550 per month. Since the programs’ launch in September 2017, more than 450 people have enrolled in either MAC or TSOA statewide, 28 of those being in Tri-Cities. Turnbull said Southeast Washington Aging and Long-term Care covers the area stretching from Ellensburg to Clarkston and 117 people are enrolled. DSHS officials said they hope to serve 8,000 people by the end of the program’s five-year demonstration waiver. At that time, an evaluation of the programs’ impact will determine if intended goals were met and how the Legislature can work with the state agency to establish a sustainability plan for MAC and TSOA moving forward. DSHS said it hopes to obtain dollarmatching from federal funds, so for every dollar the state pays into the programs, the federal government will match. “We are excited to provide these services to the local communities and their people … so they can have the service they need, when they need it,” Rector said.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Health Care


Community support critical to preserving local health care choices BY CRAIG CUDWORTH

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Last year, the Kennewick Public Hospital District Board of Commissioners hired Quorum Health Resources to work with Trios Health to improve operations and finances. Among the strategies they recommended were work force productivity implementation, exploration of a Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing, consideration of an acquisition or affiliation, facilities refinancing through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and strengthening the organization’s primary care base. Since that time, we have implemented programs in each of these areas, some with more public visibility than others for legal reasons. That said, it is my hope that you’ve noticed an intentional shift toward greater transparency in our communications as we’ve continued working through what has been one of our most challenging seasons to date. You deserve to know what’s happening at Trios Health, including how it may affect those who come to us for services or who rely on us for employment. In 2017, we made three major public announcements regarding financial and operational improvement initiatives. The first, in April, was a work force adjustment resulting in the layoff of 23 staff members; reduced work schedules for many others; and, a freeze on back-

filling vacated positions to achieve a targeted reduction of 115 full-time equivalents, or FTEs. It was painful for us to lose those individuals, but through a process centered on compassion and creativity in problem-solving, we minimized the overall impact to the furthest extent possible. Despite being difficult, the FTE reduction was necessary to align our work force productivity metrics with national standards for similar-sized hospital systems. These are established calculations for making sure a health system, particularly regarding unpredictable fluctuations in hospital volumes, is adequately staffed to meet patient care quality requirements. It’s important that none of our departments are significantly over- or understaffed for actual volumes across direct and supporting service lines over a given time period. As you might imagine, this practice centers on a constantly moving target, but one that we must consistently hit to maintain efficient operations without sacrificing quality. Our reaccreditation by the Joint Commission last summer confirmed we successfully upheld our quality standards despite the staffing cuts; our productivity practices were working. On the heels of these work force adjustments, we announced that the district filed for Chapter 9 debt restructuring on June 30. This form of bankrupt-

cy protection allows struggling municipalities to renegotiate contracts with creditors in the interest of a sustainable financial catch-up plan, while not hindering continued Craig Cudworth operations. It Trios Health isn’t used often, but was the right business tool at the right time for the district. We are still in the throes of negotiating with our largest creditors and painstakingly reviewing hundreds of vendor contracts to identify opportunities for greater business efficiency. This process will culminate in the submission of a comprehensive debt restructuring plan to the bankruptcy court for approval, followed by the methodical process of stepping through the plan until we emerge a healthier organization. It’s not fun or easy work, but we are getting through it and remain grateful this important tool was available to us. More big news came in September, when we announced ongoing discussions with RCCH HealthCare Partners and UW Medicine about a potential working relationship. Those talks continue, and are progressing toward a more formal agreement that would help

us emerge from bankruptcy quickly with an even brighter future ahead. We will continue to keep you well informed of any new developments, as our legal team gives us the green light to do so. The community reacted strongly to all of these announcements, both positively and negatively, which we fully understood and expected. We believe the gravity of our public struggles over the past year helps explain why our volumes decreased and continued trending below normal through the historically busier summer months and into this new year. It is clear that some of you have lost faith in our short- and longterm ability to continue serving you. Unfortunately, this sustained decrease in volumes—combined with automatic wage increases that kicked in for some of our staff per their union contracts and deep reductions to reimbursements upon recent activation of certain Affordable Care Act provisions—forced us to make further staffing cuts in January. I want to be clear that we remain hopeful about our path forward through and beyond bankruptcy, including exciting opportunities with RCCH and UW Medicine, but we have to sustain our operations while we go through some complicated and time-consuming legal processes. We simply can’t do that if our community doesn’t come to us for services. uTRIOS, Page 48


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Health Care

BBB offers tips for joining a gym in the new year BY TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS STAFF

It’s a new year filled with hope and promises to be healthier — and the reason why January through March is the busiest time for new gym memberships.  But not everyone who joined a gym in 2017 had a good experience. The Better Business Bureau Northwest & the Pacific received more than 90 customer complaints about fitness centers last year. The majority were directed at billing and contract issues. Fitness centers were one of the most complained about businesses in 2017, according to the BBB.  Here are some tips on what to look out for before signing up for a gym membership:  • Know your needs. Determine exercise goals in advance to select appropriate gym. • Free trials. Gyms often give a oneweek free pass for potential members to see if it’s a good fit. • Find out the true costs. Gyms often use special introductory offers to entice new members, but the price could go up more than a customer has budgeted once the initial period is over. Find out what the regular monthly fees are and what they include.  • Check reviews. Read what previous customers have to say, and see how the businesses respond to complaints. • Ask about cancellation policies. Read contracts carefully before signing. What happens if members move or the gym goes out of business? Will membership renew automatically at the end of the term? Can members get out of a contract altogether and under what circumstances?  Use the BBB app to research gyms in the Tri-City area or visit to learn more. TRIOS, From page 47 So consider this your call to action, if you will. Trios Health provides health care services that are greatly needed in this community. Not one health system in town can serve you all, but the only way to prevent a dangerous bottleneck for local health care is to use the services that are currently available. Simply put, we need each other. We urge you to continue coming to us for care. We ask you to have faith in us. Faith in the proven processes we’re using to return to sustainable operations. Faith in the validation of our recent reaccreditation about the quality of care you will receive from us. Faith that our ability and resolve to continue caring for you at the level of excellence you deserve has not suffered alongside our finances. We are doing everything we’re doing solely to ensure that you can count on us. We, in turn, are counting on you too. Craig Cudworth is the chief executive officer of Kennewick’s Trios Health.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018



Providence St. Joseph CEO offers health care prediction for coming year BY DR. ROD HOCHMAN

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Leaders at Providence St. Joseph Health, the nation’s third largest nonprofit health system that operates Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, predict no let-up in the massive changes in American health care, which will be defined in 2018 by continued debate in Washington, D.C., intensified efforts to address mental health and broad leaps in genomics, population health management and consumer-focused innovation. There will be continued critical policy discussions at the federal and local levels that will dramatically impact health care in this country. This means that health care providers will become much more proactive, taking the future into our own hands on behalf of the communities we serve. Together we’ll drive toward better, more affordable services for everyone. This will require a continued focus on innovation, personalized medicine, collaboration among diverse partners, and stability and support for not-for-profit health care, which serves as a vital resource for communities across America. What are the major health care predictions for 2018? We foresee these developments ahead: • Policy and politics: Health providers will lead a push to preserve Medicare and Medicaid. As lawmakers consider shrinking Medicare and Medicaid spending to help manage the national deficit, the country’s health care providers will take the lead in speaking out about the critical role these programs play for millions of Americans. This year will see increased national dialogue to ensure awareness about these safety net programs, the wide range of beneficiaries, the serious implications of program reduction and

new and ongoing solutions to make care more cost-effective for taxpayers while also improving quality and access to care. • New revenue streams: Digital health Dr. Rod Hochman will create reveProvidence St. Joseph Health nue diversification opportunities and speed value-added health care technology to consumers. Expect more hospitals and health systems to make innovative digital offerings a new source of revenue to offset declining reimbursements from traditional payers. Look for health systems to get directly involved in developing new technologies and ultimately be quicker in bringing new capabilities to the primary care setting. Also, there are many new opportunities to offer value-added products and services directly to the consumer to keep them healthy and enhance their care. And, as health systems innovate, they will offer new platforms to other health care organizations so that they, too, can achieve solutions to health care delivery issues. • Technology: Empowering patients to become more involved in their care. Tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon will leverage their investments in cloud computing, AI/ machine learning, supply chain, and consumer engagement platforms in health care. Technology startups will leverage these scaled cloud computing and AI/ machine learning platforms into health care specific innovations as well. With cloud computing and regulatory changes making it easier for patients to access and share medical information, we can expect to see more apps and technolo-

gies that help patients track everyday health habits and share them with their care teams. All of this is good news for patients, especially millennials, who continue to be frustrated by old-school processes for accessing care and their health information. Finally, creating an ongoing dialogue between physicians and patients using real-time data will lead to better managed and preventive care and more effective, customized health regimens. • Personalized medicine: Leveraging DNA and other personal data will improve wellness and prevent disease. Integrating genomic data with clinical labs and other personal health information will take center stage as the key to solving many global – and personal – health care mysteries. Discovering the secrets of the genome, proteome and microbiome will help providers realize the promise of precision medicine. And advances in technology such as directto-consumer tests are enabling people to delve into their genetic makeup and even wearable data-collection devices have now made more data retrieval possible – all of which is helping secure a much better reading of a patient’s health and wellness. Integrating this data into clinical care in innovative ways is also enabling a more personalized approach to medicine and moving us to the verge of preventing, delaying or curing diseases that confounded medical experts just a decade ago.

• Population health: Providers will step up efforts to address the social determinants of health. Health systems help entire communities stay healthy and population health management will soar in importance this year. Ongoing improvements in analytics and care management are making it easier to prevent illness and care for those with chronic conditions, but declining revenues will challenge providers to be more effective than ever. Taking on an even broader platform, the social determinants of health – including access to care and services, reliable transportation, housing, education, and nutrition – will become the focus of many more health care systems and social service providers. For those providers truly committed to improving population health, we’ll see more partnerships that involve care management, housing (especially for the homeless), community services and increased access – particularly in ambulatory care, home, and virtual settings. More emphasis will also be placed on the measurable outcomes achieved through these important alliances. • Innovation: New partners will team up to address the growing mental health and substance abuse crisis. With mental illness and substance abuse now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, it will be harder to ignore the problem hitting almost every community country-wide. uPROVIDENCE, Page 51

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Health Care

Love of softball keeps Kennewick business owner fit and focused BY KRISTINA LORD

Connie Wormington, 69, of Kennewick, wears the bronze medal her team earned during the Huntsman World Senior Games last fall. The owner of Just Roses Flowers and More shops in Kennewick and Pasco is an avid softball player.

When Connie Wormington isn’t running one of her three businesses, she can usually be found on the softball field. A love for the game has helped keep the 69-year-old Kennewick woman fit, healthy and focused over the years. “It’s the thrill of hitting the ball and making a base hit. It’s tough to get a base hit for a woman. It’s hard to catch a grounder to the gut and throw it. It’s the thrill of doing it and being excited about doing it,” she said. Her love of the sport — and, she admits, her age — caught the attention of a Washington team bound for the

Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah, last fall. Wormington said the event is the world senior Olympics. Fifty countries were represented and 11,000 athletes competed. She joined two teams and played 16 games in two divisions. She played second base in the 65-andover division with the Wet Socks, with the team earning a bronze medal. “At the practices we had in Seattle, when they saw me play, they said, ‘We could use you in the 60-and-over team,’ ” so she also competed with the Women Who Run team at the Utah games. She’ll be headed to Palm Springs, California, at the end of January to play in a senior tournament with a Las Vegas team who recruited her. It’s part of her plan to qualify for this year’s Huntsman games. “I’m in the 70-and-over division now,” said Wormington, who turns 70 in September. “I want to see how competitive I can be in that division.” Wormington and her husband Sandy own Just Roses Flowers and More flower shops in Kennewick and Pasco, as well as Columbia Wholesale, which supplies flowers to other shops, and Just Storage, a self-storage facility in Kennewick. The Wormingtons launched Just Roses in 1989, offering a “do it in style” tuxedo delivery of a dozen affordable red roses. Wormington said the shop owns 35 tuxedo suits for its team of drivers. The Kennewick shop also offers a drive-up window. In 1996, the Wormingtons bought out their former partners. Customers liked their floral delivery service so much that the company expanded and offered franchise opportunities, and at its heyday, operated 18 shops in the Northwest until the Great Recession took its toll on the business. Wormington said her shops are already anticipating the Valentine’s Day rush with plans to order 40,000 roses. Then 30,000 more will need to be ordered for Mother’s Day. Twelve people work between their two stores. Wormington lives a busy life, but said when she’s playing softball, the rest of the world drops away. “You’re focused. You don’t think about anything else,” she said. “Softball — it’s a world you’re thrown into it. Coaching, batting or hitting, you just go and it’s total immersion and you don’t think of anything else. It’s how I made it through all these years.” Wormington’s been playing softball since she was a girl. “It’s been in my blood since I was 11 years old,” she said. “My mom played softball when she was young and that’s how I got hooked on it.” She played in high school and then during college in Nebraska. She serves as vice president of the MidColumbia Senior Softball League, a 110-member strong group. She’s served on the 14-year-old old league’s board for about five years. The co-ed league welcomes men ages 50 and up, and women 45 and up. uSOFTBALL, Page 52

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018 YOGA, From page 45 The studios’ shelves also are well stocked. Clothing and yoga accessories from leading brands are available for purchase. “They have the right lighting, are always clean — I do all the cleaning, including all the props. ... You feel the love when you walk in. That is success, and that is healing — that peace of mind. … At the end of the day it’s all about yoga, and I’ve got the yoga,” Steel said. Yesenia Lopez of Kennewick, a secondgrade teacher for the Kennewick School District, has been attending class at Steel 3’s studios for almost nine months. “I feel the difference,” she said. “In my mind and body … if I go a few days without doing yoga, I notice. It makes you feel good, lighter and looser. And they’re skills you take with you; you can do yoga anywhere — at your desk, at the airport …” Lopez said in the past it was difficult to stay committed to traditional gym routines. “With yoga, you’re always moving and it actually feels good. Plus, you always get to choose your experience, like, if want your practice to be more restorative, or if you want to push your limits,” she said. Lopez’s favorite instructor, Martina Butler, found yoga 10 years ago after suffering injuries related to a career in preprofessional ballet. “So much pain was eased,” she said. “The benefits (of yoga) are endless … some are in it just for the physical benefits, but there are spiritual and mental benefits as well. It 90 percent cured my anxiety disorder, and others have told me how it PROVIDENCE, From page 49 We’ll see more community collaboration with health providers to help people get access to care and resources, and there will be more effort to get help earlier. Collaboration will take place across many sectors – including health care, schools, the criminal justice system, churches, businesses, social service agencies and veterans’ groups. This is the year the stigma of mental health all but vanishes as efforts gain to find a realistic and effective solution. • Work force: Providers will invest in work force pipelines, and leadership diversity will increase . Finding a wide base of health care talent – especially nurses – who are prepared to meet the challenge of providing cost-effective and high-quality care is a challenge. With high demand for wellprepared new employees, providers will look to developing their own work force pipelines through partnerships with universities, medical schools and forming their own education programs, like the unique partnership PSJH just formed in Great Falls, Montana. This strategy allows for greater influence on training and expediting the hiring process, which creates a steady stream of employees ready to tackle next-generation challenges.  • Ambulatory and home health: Care goes everywhere. Bringing care where people live and work isn’t new; however, CVS’s proposed purchase of Aetna will amplify this model on a national scale. Providers will

A variety of yoga accessories are on sale at the Steel 3 Yoga studios in Richland and Kennewick. (Courtesy Steel 3 Yoga)

helped them recover from (post-traumatic stress disorder). “There is a yoga practice for everyone. People from all walks of life, professions, body types, age and so on,” Butler said. Butler said that since the studios’ transition to Brenda Steel’s ownership, “It’s only gotten better,” explaining there is more freedom for the instructors’ creative expression. “(Steel 3) offers a lot of different options, a little bit of everything,” Butler said. In addition to more physically intensive classes such as vinyasa and hatha, Steel 3 also offers restorative sessions, such as yin yoga, and hybridized classes that combine the two called yinyasa, as well as contact yoga, also known as partner, or acro yoga. Butler will be offering a beginner’s class in January intended for those beginning their practice and those seeking a refresher. follow suit by expanding their reach to places where people make choices that affect their health such as retail pharmacies, neighborhood wellness centers, grocery stores, and brick and mortar retailers. And convenient at-home services like telehealth via video, email, chat or text will finally go mainstream, especially as reimbursement policies push these capabilities into every day uses.  Accessible services like these positively encourage patients to pay consistent attention to their health and wellness – and that’s good news for everyone. • Partnership: Health care will explore non-traditional partnerships to help establish greater stability. Look for traditional but also non-traditional pairings which can bring care to more people and improve the efficiency of delivery. With the threat of reimbursement deteriorating and more people losing coverage, health care organizations will need to shore up their ability to care for communities, especially those patients who are more financially vulnerable. Benefits for organizations that find the right partners will include lower costs for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals to help stabilize what has been a skyrocketing expense. Dr. Rod Hochman is president and CEO of Providence St. Joseph Health, a health system of 50 hospitals, including Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, and 829 health clinics and a comprehensive range of services in Washington, Alaska, California, Montana and Oregon.

Specialized workshops and classes also are held throughout the year. Joseph Castro, another of Steel 3’s instructors, taught a restorative winter solstice class Dec. 21 to usher in the official start of winter. “My purpose as a yoga instructor and inquiry life coach is to be a catalyst and guide for others to be able to reveal the many benefits of yoga available to them in their own unique way,” Castro said. Like Butler, Castro considers yoga a holistic practice benefiting not only the physical body, but mental, emotional and spiritual health. “I have experienced incredible personal healing and transformation, profound connectedness to others in yoga communities, and a way of life rich with hope and love toward creating value on and off the mat,” he said.


Steel looks forward to adding more special trainings and workshops. In February, Steel 3 will be hosting San Francisco-based teacher Sean Haleen. Yoga Journal has called Haleen one of the next generation’s top yoga teachers. “There are lots of opportunity and growth that’s going to come and it’s going to be real positive and forward moving,” she said. “(The Tri-Cities has) needed this; when I was looking for yoga, this is what I was looking for.” The unlimited monthly option, which allows members to attend as many regular class offerings at either studio as they’d like in a given month, is currently $80, or an annual pass, which offers unlimited access, is currently $820. Drop-ins are welcome for $15. New members can take advantage of Steel 3’s “two weeks for $25” deal throughout the year. “I go to yoga every single day … it makes a huge impact,” Steel said. “Yoga is so needed and so personally impactful for your health. People need to wake up and take better care of themselves. “(Yoga is) the best bang for your buck for busy people … we’ve got to breathe. People have got to breathe and relax. … You get a full breath, and it calms … Mind, body, spirit. You get healthier, plain and simple. Yoga saved my life. I got better almost instantly … it’s been quite the little journey.” Information:; 509-2957652; Facebook.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Business Profile

Tri-City Title and Escrow moving into new expanded office BY LAURA KOSTAD

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Ground has been broken on a new TriCity Title and Escrow office in the Grandridge Business Park in Kennewick. After learning their current office at 8131 W. Grandridge Blvd. had sold, owners Linda Denchel and Chris Willson decided to build their own office to better suit their workflow and customers’ needs. “We’re really excited and anticipating the completion,” Willson said. They hope to be in the new building by Aug. 1. Title and Escrow’s current space totals about 4,000 to 4,500 square feet, but is spread out and shares a common lobby with other businesses. The new office will provide 5,500 square feet of space, as well as an additional 2,000-square-foot suite, which will be available for lease. It’s just down the street from their current location. “We look forward to having a comfortable, warm environment to welcome (customers),” Willson said. The $1.3 million project is being built by Booth & Sons Construction of Richland. Archibald and Co. of Richland designed the building. Community First Bank bought the building that Title and Escrow presently occupies. The locally-owned bank plans to move its administration team as well as its sister company, HFG Trust, there. Community First Bank paid $2.8 million for the building, previously owned by

The concept drawing of the new Tri-City Title and Escrow office by architect Archibald and Co. of Richland features 5,500 square feet for the business, plus 2,000 square feet available for lease. It’s scheduled to open in August. (Courtesy Tri-City Title and Escrow)

a group of individual investors, and expects to make up to $500,000 in renovations. Denchel and Willson said their business’ focus on customer service sets them apart from their competition and enabled them to thrive since the company began in 2001. “Our goal is to offer them exceptional customer service where everyone has a good experience with no surprises. And we can offer that because of our staff,” Willson said. “We have a lot of knowledgeable, experienced employees—the best of the best,” Denchel said. Denchel has been in the business since 1991 and retains her limited practice officer, or LPO, license, while Willson was a real estate agent for 21 years before joining

Tri-City Title and Escrow with her husband in 2014. The company’s title and escrow department managers are both LPOs and boast 25 and 28 years of experience in the industry, respectively. Four out of five of their closers are also LPOs, which, as the owners explained, are held to a high standard. LPO licensure enables them to practice law within the scope of escrow. Willson said about 40 percent of applicants pass the qualifying exam to earn LPO status. Both owners said it is a testament to the joint expertise of their team that so many of their officers have accomplished this feat. Tri-City Title and Escrow provides regular training for area realtors, loan officers and other related professionals to explain what title and escrow is all about. “We are a neutral third party to transactions and follow the direction of purchasing and sale agreements,” Willson said. “Real estate agents write up the purchase and sale agreements, bring them to us and we order a title. We clear all liens and handle fund distribution. Lenders send us all their documents and any questions to make sure the house closes on time,” Denchel said. “We’ve also been told we’re more flexible in accommodating realtors’ clients,” Willson said. After-hours signing isn’t uncommon at Title and Escrow, because the staff strives to make the process convenient for buyers, real estate agents and loan officers. “Our business is dictated by lenders and agents,who like to work with a select group they know they can trust,” Denchel said. Jamie Nettles, a loan officer at Desert Canyon Mortgage, said she received her first introduction to Tri-City Title and

Escrow when she took one of Chris Willson’s orientation classes about title and escrow. She said she identified value in how Title and Escrow communicates with the realtors they work with. “Every time I’ve had closings there, they’ve gone really well,” she said. “I really enjoy working with them, especially because they’re a local company,” she continued. “It’s more of a relationship with them; it doesn’t feel like just another place to do business. I really like the way they communicate — it’s more like a friendship, it’s not just going through another step in the process.” Willson also explained how Tri-City Title and Escrow has in place an electronic filing system, so that a customer’s file can be accessed by any of their escrow officers and LPOs. Not only is it environmentallyfriendly by being paperless, but it also ensures continuity for customers. “If one of our closers is gone for any reason, their file is given to another closer so it can continue,” Willson said. The system helps make sure closing deadlines are met and customers aren’t left hanging. Though construction of the new office currently occupies their horizon, Willson said the new building has been designed to accommodate further growth and expansion down the road. Denchel said it’s always good to anticipate growth. “We won’t take on more business than we can handle; we would rather stay small in order to take care of our clients well,” Willson said. Tri-City Title and Escrow’s new address will be at 8109 W. Grandridge Blvd. in Kennewick. Information:; 509-7349231; Facebook.

SOFTBALL, From page 50 The league starts up in mid-April and plays 26 games through the end of July, culminating in a playoff “to see who is king of the hill,” Wormington said. Wormington has five children, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandson. She’s been married to Sandy for 36 years and they share a love of softball. It’s also how they met. “That’s kind of our glue,” she said. The couple also play volleyball Monday nights in Pasco. Connie said she tries to get

to a yoga class three times a week as “stretching your body is an important thing to do.” She also hangs upside down daily on an inversion table and recently eliminated sugar and dairy from her diet in addition to choosing mostly organic produce. It’s all a part of her plan to keep her body healthy so she can get out on the softball field in the warmer weather. “I plan to play until I drop,” she said.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018



West Richland whiskey, bourbon winning gold in wine country Black Heron Spirits owner left established family business to run distillery BY JEFF MORROW

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Mark Williams is a one-man band with an award-winning distillery. He spends seven days a week at his business, making spirits at Black Heron Spirits in West Richland. Because his distillery is small and he is the only employee, Williams can use any help he can get to promote his product. So he decided to enter a couple of his products in the Sip Northwest Magazine’s Best of the Northwest Spirits Awards competition for 2017. The result? Black Heron Spirits won two medals. The Black Heron Bourbon Whiskey earned a double gold – the top award – in the bourbon category. Williams’ small batch Single Malt Peated Whiskey — a Scottish-style whiskey — earned a gold medal in the whiskey category. According to Sip Northwest, Black Heron’s bourbon whiskey “is a classic bottling that stays true to the bourbon style while showcasing plenty of local characteristics. The backbone of corn in this coppery spirit is braided together with grain, spice and plenty of oak in a perfect marriage that ends with a super smooth finish.” The Single Malt Peated Whiskey sold out during the holidays. But Williams will be coming up with something new. “The peated whiskey requires months to years to create as it develops in the barrel,” Williams said. “Between now and March – because we don’t want to rush the bottling process – I’ll be bottling an American-style single malt whiskey, and I anticipate bottling other varieties later this year.” “I’m always creating something,” Williams said. “I was thrilled to find that a longtime favorite earned a medal and was encouraged when our new smallbatch product was honored as well.” This isn’t the first time Williams’ work has been honored. His Black Heron Vodka was Best of the Northwest in 2015, also honored by Sip Northwest magazine. And his Black Heron Moonshine won a bronze medal in the 2015 American Distilling Institute Craft Spirit judging contest. Not bad for a guy who started distilling four years ago. Black Heron was originally started by Joel Tefft. Williams bought the business from Tefft in June 2013. Williams had Tefft stay on for three years to help mentor him. Now, Williams is the company’s sole employee. “I have help when it’s time to bottle,” said Williams, who admitted he has his entire life savings invested in the company. Williams worked for the family busi-

ness, the WHECO Corp. in Richland, for 24 years. It’s a worldwide provider of heavy equipment repair and restoration services using cranes. “I was in my mid-40s, working for the family business for 24 years,” Williams said. “At that point in my life, I started thinking I could finish my career in the family business. Or I could do something different. I drove by this (distillery) every day on my way to work and then home.” He decided to take a leap of faith. “Technically, it’s just pure manufacturing,” he said. “The process is what I like. If this business was about making fence posts, I’d probably like that too. I’m a manufacturer.” He admitted he’s not getting rich in the spirits business but he’s enjoying the work. “This area is a great place to manufacture this product because we’re so close to the raw ingredients,” he said. “But we don’t have enough people around here for great sales. The west side of the state has plenty of people a distiller can sell to. But the ingredients are far away from the distiller. So there are no free lunches either way.” While more sales would be nice, Williams is happy with the work. “I like the process of figuring out the

Owner Mark Williams stands among the spirits for sale in the tasting room at the Black Heron Spirits Distillery in West Richland. His single malt whiskey and bourbon recently earned honors in Sip Northwest Magazine’s Best of the Northwest Spirits Awards competition.

equipment,” he said. “I’m just really now — after four years — getting the products down and what to do with them. Joel had certain things he liked to make. I have certain things I like to make.” There are no regrets about leaving the family business though. “I’m very content doing this,” he said. “My goal was to have fun and pay the bills. I’ve got the fun part down. But these medals have helped my sales. In the past decade, there has been a bourbon

surge. Brown liquid is popular. People are driving in from out of town to taste it. There definitely is an uptick on bourbon sales.” Williams thinks he may have made a mistake by entering the Peat Whiskey. “The Peat Whiskey was entered to see how it would stack up against the competition,” he said. It did well. But there wasn’t enough of the small batch to make a huge amount of revenue. uWHISKEY, Page 54

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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Buy and eat locally to support Tri-City economy BY MARILOU SHEA

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

We hear it all the time—buy local, stays local. But what does it really mean and why does it matter? In the Tri-Cities, there’s a lot of good reasons, right here, to buy local flavor. The New Economics Foundation, an independent economic think tank based in London, compared what happens when people buy produce at a supermarket versus at a local farmers market or community-supported agriculture program and found that twice the money stayed in the community when folks bought locally. “That means those purchases are twice as efficient in terms of keeping the local economy alive,” said author and NEF researcher David Boyle. Boyle compared money circulation at a local level to blood flow and that resonated with me more than theoretical jargon about micro-economics. I get the “money is like blood” metaphor. The more circulation, the greater the benefits to the economy. Boyle argued that local economies may suffer not because too little cash flows in but because of what too much flows out— like a wound that can’t be staunched. Purchases made at big box stores, online or at company-owned restaurants don’t help our local economy much. I believe the correlation can be applied to the restaurant scene in the Tri-Cities. It’s the darndest thing though, no one

I’ve talked to can describe the customer base in the Tri-Cities in one crisp paragraph. It’s baffling. People say they want to support local businesses and yet the local Olive Marilou Shea Garden can boast it’s one of the highest grossing locations nationally. We want the cache of brand names, consistent quality, template menu offerings at a bargain price to take root here. Do we give local restaurants and their creative kitchen talent the same chance to win our loyalty? Fat Olives in Richland wishes you would. It’s a gourmet, locally-owned and operated restaurant vying for your lunch and dinner dollars. If you’re like me and always associated them with their incredible pizza, you’re in for a delicious surprise. Haven’t tried their grilled flank steak? The Instagram photo alone is enough to make me a believer because it is so masterfully presented. Owner JD Nolan described the menu as Northwest fare with an Italian flair. Their revenue pie looks like this: 40 percent catering/60 percent restaurant. Of the 60 percent, about 30 percent accounts

for customers who come to get their pizza fix. Nolan said he believes that patronizing local restaurants is vital for our community because it creates jobs and the money stays local (there’s that phrase again), prompting a healthy recipe for him to give back to the community that in turn supports him, his family, his employees and their families. Fat Olives supports local charities’ requests for in-kind or product donations. Nolan is also a board member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties. His restaurant business employs 18 full-time and 10 part-time employees. A majority of the talent — front-of-house WHISKEY, From page 53 Williams sells eight products. In addition, he makes a red wine blend under the Sugar Horse Cellars label in a building next door. State law does not allow wine and distilled products to be served in the same tasting room. Everything distilled produced by him has a minimum of two years of aging. He makes bourbon batches for four barrels. “After two years, I might bottle one barrel and let the others age,” he said. “I can get 350 bottles, or 29 cases, to a barrel.” The small Black Heron Spirits tast-

and back-of-house — are homegrown locals who grew up in the Mid-Columbia. Eating local is not about punishing chains or franchises. It is about supporting and sustaining local economies at a human scale across communities—our community. We are helping local entrepreneurs in the Tri-Cities make a decent living at something they are passionate about, and I believe that model applies everywhere— from our growers to our farmers’ markets, to food trucks and coffee outlets. I’m in favor of giving local restaurants a fair shake. Are you? Food Love columnist Marilou Shea is the creator of Food Truck Fridays and adjunct faculty at Columbia Basin College’s Food Truck Academy. ing room is near the intersection of Keene Road and Van Giesen Street. It’s open from noon to 5 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. The tasting room is also available by appointment for group tastings of six or more people. “I don’t have a demand to be open more than Friday and Saturday,” he said. But he also said if he gets a customer into his tasting room, he’s confident they’ll leave with a product. Especially now, with major award-winning products waiting to be sipped. Black Heron Spirits: 509-967-0781;

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Demand grows with strategies for effective digital advertising BY BETHANY LEE

for Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

The world of digital marketing is steadily expanding, and so are the strategies to run a successful online advertising campaign. The United States was expected to spend $198 billion in 2017, with $69 billion belonging to internet ad spending, according to a study by data and analytics company Zenith. Businesses are allocating more of their Bethany Lee budgets toward digital marketing campaigns because that’s where their audiences are. This is attributed to more people using their mobile devices to gain equal footing, as it provides instant access to information. There’s even a name for the fear of being without a mobile device, power source or service area: nomophobia. According to the marketing operations platform tapClicks, people browse seven to eight sites a day and open five to six applications on their mobile devices. Consumers can now pricecheck at will and compare products or services with the swipe of a finger. To combat market oversaturation, the tech giant Google is taking an initiative to notify websites if they are serving annoying pop-up ads. This is where it becomes vital for marketing companies to create compelling ads to stand out from the digital noise. With more users joining social media, shopping online and watching videos on their tablets or phones, it’s never been easier to engage an audience. Through digital marketing, businesses are able to cast a wider, yet more specific net to reach their desired demographic. This raises the need for business owners to learn the digital language. Demand-side platforms (which sell and bid inventory for online ad space) or Google AdWords and Bing Ads services, allow for companies and marketers to create tailored digital ad campaigns. It takes time and training to be able to navigate and understand these digital marketing platforms. As with

any specialty service, it is crucial for businesses to find qualified professionals to monitor a campaign’s performance. A company’s return on investment directly correlates to the person driving the campaign. Digital marketing should never be a set-it-and-forgetit type of platform. One of the fundamentals of running a digital ad campaign is understanding the difference and importance between display and search campaigns. When it comes to deciding which to choose, a business must determine whether it would like to build awareness or drive a specific action. While there are other types of digital campaigns, these two offer a starting place for most companies. Imagine display advertising as a digital sports arena, where specific sponsorships line the walls of a stadium. While the spectators are not actively shopping or buying something at that moment, they are being exposed to brands or products to build top-of-mind brand awareness for a topic they are interested in. People view display ads on a website in their browser, as a banner in an app, and even as a video clip. Search advertising is text-based and tailored for immediate services, such as finding the nearest dentist after chipping a tooth, or searching for someone to repair a broken air conditioning unit. They generally are not services that people would instantly pursue if they happen to view it in a display ad. When deciding to start a digital marketing campaign, transparency is key. Look for a marketer who offers forecasts, status reports and goes beyond the amount of clicks and views a campaign accrues. For instance, tracking conversions are a great key performance indicator, which measure the overall success of specific goals for a campaign. The digital world is constantly evolving, making it imperative for marketers to keep on top of what consumers are doing and what devices they are doing it with. This trend of larger digital budgets means more strategic and competitive digital advertisements. If marketers are able to expand their skillsets and improve their digital strategies, it will lead them to more successful campaigns and satisfied clients. Bethany Lee is a digital marketing strategist for Focal Point Marketing in Kennewick.

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uBOARDS • The Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership Program have named the following elected to serve on its board of trustees: officers are Chris Lunde, Michael Broeckel, Hannah Poush, Marcus Miller, Emily Bautista-Herdt and Craig Crider. Re-elected trustees are Bruce Grim, Charles Laird, Dan Miller, Hannah Poush, Jason Schlagel and Kevin Paulson. Bill Eller is a newly elected trustee. The program is for emerging leaders in agriculture, forestry and natural resources.

uGRANTS • The Benton Franklin Community Action Committee was awarded $10,000 from Agrium to pay for temporary family housing for homeless families and families at risk of homelessness. • Washington State University TriCities received $140,000 from the state’s Professional Educator Standards Board. The money will go toward a project implemented two years ago to give paraprofessionals an alternative route to become certified teachers. The program has proved especially beneficial where teacher shortages have been prevalent, such as bilingual education and special education. The board oversees the state’s teacher preparation, teacher certification and continuing. • Three Rivers Community Foundation distributed $154,455 to 40 local nonprofits at its annual grants ceremony Dec. 14 in Kennewick. The total amount requested was $352,214 from 50 grant applicants. Recipients were: Academy of Children’s Theatre, Blue Mountain Wildlife, Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties, Camerata Musica, Catholic Family & Child Service, Cavalcade of Authors, Center for Sharing, Children’s Developmental Center, Columbia Elementary School PTO, Columbia Industries, Community Action Connections, Community Unitarian Universalist Church, Domestic Violence Services, Downtown Pasco Development, Edith Bishel Center,


Elijah Family Homes, Family Learning Center, Grace Clinic, Hands In for Hands On, Junior Achievement, KC Help, Lourdes, Master Gardener Foundation, McBones, Mid-Columbia Ballet, Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, Munden’s Rising Son Adventures, Perfect Image Leadership Foundation, Rascal Rodeo, Rebuilding MidColumbia, Safe Harbor/My Friends’ Place, Senior Life Resources NW, Skyline Adventures, Tender Care Village, The ARC of Tri-Cities, The Chaplaincy, Therapeutic Riding of TriCities (TROT), Tri-Cities Dream Center, Tri-Cities Sleep in Heavenly Peace and YMCA. • Kennewick High School’s International Baccalaureate Program received a $150,000 state grant. A portion of the money will be used to buy computers for classrooms, provide teacher training and strengthen course offerings in sciences and visual performing arts. The remaining money will pay for student outreach, tutoring and other academic support at Chinook, Highlands, Horse Heaven Hills and Park middle schools to help prepare the younger students for the program when they reach high school. Kennewick High is one of 35 high schools in the state to offer the program, which is an academically rigorous college prep program that awards certificates and diplomas. About 500 students, or 30 percent of the student body, are enrolled in the two-year program that focuses on classical liberal arts and sciences. • Columbia Basin College bought 125 new laptop computers thanks to recent grants. The State Board for Community and Technical College and the Gates Foundation awarded CBC $100,000 and Mission Support Alliance donated an additional $33,000.  The computers will be used in the Columbia Basin Access Center for the Integrated Digital English Acceleration learning modules to teach English in tandem with college and career skills. The aim is to move students through language classes more quickly to better prepare them for careers in STEMrelated fields. The laptops and modules are currently being used by 241 students.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 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 Richland D. Shumate, Jr., PO Box 4262, West Richland. Gregory J. and Kendra J. Reineccius, 4915 Antigua Drive, Pasco. Thomas J. and Corinna N. Dabling, 803 Catskill St., Richland. Christopher A. Thomas and Dana Storms, 2555 Duportail St., Richland. James E. and Jean M. Clemence, 2524 W. Entiat Ave., Kennewick. Sergio O. Gildo and Saturnina V. Ceja, 1904 N. 13th Ave., Pasco. Nicolas Soto, 40001 N. Aller Road, Prosser. Graciela Gonzalez, 803 S. Olympia, Kennewick. Tevis A. Stephens and Johanna P. Caicedo, 5811 Boise Drive, Pasco.

Elena Hernandez, 51 N. Edison, Kennewick. Dana Pyle, 100 N. Irving Place, Kennewick. Cristal U. Alatorre, 1622 S. Everett Place, Kennewick. Nathan A. and Samantha J. Elder, 205 N. Third Ave., Kennewick. Erin K. Hamilton, 2720 N. Road 60, Pasco. Margaret Hoyman, 1118 Perkins Ave., Richland. Troy R. Jamieson, 531 S. 38th Ave., West Richland. James D. and Carolyn J. Talley, Po Box 5017, Benton City. J. Jesus L. Diaz, PO Box 5643, Pasco. Diego R. and Dora A. Perez, 15406 W.O.I.E. Highway, Benton City. Sonia E. Allendre, 2520 E. Adelia St., Pasco. Paul W. Anderson, 17903 S. Myrtle St., Kennewick. Gary L. Judd, 1000 Alexander Court, Prosser. Theresa L. McCann, 924-B S. Huntington St., Kennewick. Andrew R. Springer, 8703 Lancaster Drive, Pasco. Kathleen J. Leeman, 59 Ridgecliff Drive, Richland. Israel and Lesley J. Mendoza, 1216 N. Beech Ave., Pasco. Luz A. Rodriguez, 502 N. Eighth Ave.,

Pasco. Mark A. and Karen L. Selthofer, 2151 N. Main St., Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. Edward D. B. Ricks, 3112 W. John Day Ave., Kennewick. Crystal R. Ling, 3324 W. 19th Ave., Kennewick. Tereza Y. Kori, 3324 W. 19th Ave., Kennewick. Alvaro A. Gonzalez, Jr., 6405 Chapel Hill Blvd., Pasco. Visoth Vong and Rong Pich, 305 N. Quebec St., Kennewick. Jose J. Z. Sanchez and Gracila Zepeda, 2606 E. Broadway St., Pasco. Ismael and Maricela Zurita, PO Box 576, Connell. Scott A. Smith, Po Box 1168, Benton City. Camela L. Lumbert, 1624 W. Fourth Place, Kennewick. CHAPTER 13 Kenneth L. Sharrar, 3217 S. Conway Drive, Kennewick. Nedim and Emina Mesan, 2102 S. Quillian St., Kennewick. James M. Swanson, 103 N. Lincoln St., Kennewick. Julie L. Prince, 9315 Chapel Hill Blvd., Pasco. Rudy Ontiveros, Jr., 8011 Savary Drive, Pasco.



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

BENTON COUNTY 6981 W. 23rd Court, Kennewick, 3,221-square-foot, single-family home. Price: 562,000. Buyer: Patricia Sak. Seller: Cartus Financial Corp. 6321 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, 35,267-square-foot and 5,476-squarefoot, commercial buildings on 12 acres. Price: $10,000,000. Buyer: Marquart Investments. Seller: Kellogg Street 2005. 95904 E. Holly Road, Kennewick, 2,119-square-foot, single-family home. Price: $578,700. Buyer: Michelle and Scott Johnson. Seller: Prodigy Homes. 1404 Blue Mountain Loop, Richland, 2,319-square-foot, singlefamily home on 0.5 acres. Price: $604,900. Buyer: Jeffrey Stearns and Xiaojing Guo. Seller: James and Peggy Duvall. 1480 Tapteal Drive, Richland, 24,256-square-foot, commercial building on 1.92 acres. Price: $2,500,000. Buyer: STPF-Kennewick. Seller: Hull Resources.



Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

PUBLIC RECORD, From page 57 52207 N. Missimer Road, Prosser, 4,380-square-foot, single-family home on 13 acres of agricultural land. Price: $640,500. Buyer: Jason and Jennifer Don. Seller: Wyckoff Farms. 197104 E. 36th Ave., Kennewick, 3,296-square-foot, single-family home on 4.46 acres. Price: $525,000. Buyer: Jason and Kristi Kevan. Seller: James and Susan Stapleton Trustees. 6910 Sully Lane, West Richland, 3 lots of undeveloped land. Price: $1,138,800. Buyer: Greg and Natalie Farnworth. Seller: CB Group. 48807 Whan Road, Benton City, 37.7 acres of agricultural land. Price: $565,000. Buyer: Ruben Canales. Seller: Michael and Mary Lee Pickett. 2981 Riverbend Drive, Richland, 3,832-square-foot, single-family home on 0.5 acres. Price: $550,000. Buyer: Rheu and Karen Schwartz Trustees. Seller: Thomas and Patty Ruehle. 703 Williams Blvd., Richland, 1.98 acres of commercial land. Price: $604,000. Buyer: Kadlec Regional Medical Center. Seller: Richland School District. 3807 E. Lattin Road, West Richland, 5.1 acres of commercial land. Price: $1,267,400. Buyer: Richland School District. Seller: Kadlec Regional Medical Center. 170 Meadow Hills Drive, Richland, 2,192-square-foot, single-family home. Price: $609,900. Buyer: Kevin and Elizabeth Asselin. Seller: Dori Zelikovsky and Christian Rhynalds. 306 N. Delaware St., Kennewick, 4,161-square-foot, commercial building. Price: $563,400. Buyer: Grendreabrown LLC. Seller: Joshua

and Kiersten Week. 2620 Falcon Lane, Richland, 3,861-square-foot, single-family home. Price: $819,000. Buyer: Douglas and Stephanie Chrisman. Seller: Vicki and John Bergren. 7139 W. Hood Place, Kennewick, 5,640-square-foot, commercial building. Price: $800,000. Buyer: Celski Commercial. Seller: David Brown. 1644 Naples Lane, Richland, 2,767-square-foot, single-family home. Price: $520,000. Buyer: Tuhin Banerjee and Soma Ghosh. Seller: Roberto Gioiosa and Gokcen Kestor. 1820 Neka Court, Richland, 1 lot of undeveloped land. Price: $535,000. Buyer: Jaime Mejia and Michelle Spahr. Seller: Dream Builders. FRANKLIN COUNTY Undisclosed location, 20.32 acres of undeveloped land. Price: $921,300. Buyer: City of Pasco. Seller: Pasco School District. 11561 Road 170, Basin City, 75.2 acres of agricultural land. Price: $915,000. Buyer: Theodore and Merideth Tschirky. Seller: Lahn Clark. 6717 Sandy Ridge Road, Pasco, 1 lot of undeveloped land. Price: $849,000. Buyer: Alderbrook Investments. Seller: Big Sky Developers. 2901 N. 20th Ave., Pasco, 26,554 apartment building. Price: $11,000. Buyer: Columbia Basin College. Seller: CBC Student Housing LLC. 1817 Road 80, Pasco, 2,316 squarefoot, single-family home on 4.76 acres. Price: $525,500. Buyer: David and Jean Conklin. Seller: Jefrey and Julie Woodbury. 2020 N. Commercial Ave., Pasco,

8,700 square-foot, commercial building. Price: $700,000. Buyer: Logan-Zenner Seeds. Seller: Gerald Logan et al.


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

BENTON COUNTY Canoe Ridge Estate, 239653 Canoe Ridge Road, $32,100 for commercial remodel. Contractor: Campbell & Company. JR Simplot, 227120 E. Hedges Road, $50,000 for new commercial construction. Contractor: owner. FRANKLIN COUNTY US Cellular, 10801 Burns Road, $15,000 for an antenna/tower. Contractor: General Dynamics Information Telecommunications. KENNEWICK Kennewick Irrigation District, 6340 W. Rio Grande Ave., $2,200,000 for new commercial construction, $90,000 for a heat pump/HVAC and $100,000 for plumbing. Contractors: W McKay Construction, Chinook Heating & Air and Progressive Design Plumbing. Timothy Goodman, 2312 S. Ely St., $15,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: General Dynamics Info Telecommunications. Base Properties IC, 7035 W. Clearwater Ave., $234,700 for tenant improvements, $20,000 for plumbing and $41,500. Contractors: Apollo Inc., Josh Bray Plumbing and Bruce Heating & Air. Gary Long LFIC, 924 N. Columbia Center Blvd., $80,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: LCR Construction. Cong Pham, 4311 W. Clearwater Ave., $50,000 for commercial remodel, $6,900 for a heat pump/HVAC and $17,900 for plumbing. Contractors: owner, Total Quality Air and Riggle Plumbing. Jaime De La Rosa, 700 E. Bruneau Ave., $5,000 for commercial remodel. Contractor: owner. Sage Bay Co, 6512 W. Hood Place, $20,000 for tenant improvements and $6,000 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractors: Hammerstrom Construction and Air-Tech Services. Joshi Trustees, 5608 W. Clearwater Ave., $10,000 for tenant improvements and $10,000 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractors: JSI Construction and AirTech Services. Rotary Club of Columbia Center, 62222 W. John Day Ave., $13,500 for a sign. Contractor: YESCO. Kunpeng, 3617 Plaza Way, $8,000 for a sign. Contractor: Quality Signs. PRPS, 3911 W. 27th Ave., $7,000 for a sign. Contractor: Mustang Sign Group. Southridge Investments, 3703 Plaza Way, $507,600 for plumbing. Contractor: McGree Plumbing Co. Masue LLC, 1325 W. Fourth Ave., $154,300 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractor: Source Refrigeration/ HVAC. Gayle Stack, 2500 W. Kennewick Ave., $80,000 for tenant improvements and $8,100 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractors: U Need Us and Brothers Heating & Air.

Tri-City Court Club, 1350 N. Grant St., $60,000 for tenant improvements and $6,000 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractors: Haugen Consult/ Construction and Apollo Sheet Metal. Kennewick Association, 7407 W. Canal Drive, $6,000 for a sign. Contractor: Eagle Signs. Hampton Ranches, 7525 W. Deschutes Place, $25,000 for tenant improvements and $16,400 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractors: D&S Installers and Chinook Heating & Air. Ted S. Wong, 830 N. Columbia Center Blvd., $221,700 for tenant improvements, $17,000 for plumbing and $36,000 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractors: Siefken & Sons Construction, Riggle Plumbing and Total Energy Management. PASCO Casa LLC, 3209 E. A St., $10,000 for fire alarm/system and $256,000 for plumbing. Contractors: Moon Security and Total Site Services. Columbia Basin College, 2600 N. 20th Ave., $160,000 for new commercial construction. Contractor: to be determined. Tumbleweed Properties, 1016 N. Oregon Ave., $7,800 for a fence/brick/ retaining wall. Contractor: Hernandez Masonry. Amrik Sihota, 1211 E. Lewis St., $60,000 for new commercial construction. Contractor: Pacific Environmental Structures. McCurley Subaru, 1230 Autoplex Way, $21,500 for a fire alarm/system. Contractor: Advanced Protection Solutions. Columbia Cove, 5909 Road 90, $9,000 for a fence/brick/retaining wall. Contractor: JRC Masonry. Jack Grigsby, 2305 N. Commercial Ave., $19,800 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Drywall Interiors. City of Pasco, 525 N. Third Ave., $5,700 for a fire alarm/system. Contractor: Simplex Grinnel. Grigg Family, 703 W. Columbia St., $9,900 for tenant improvements. Contractor: owner. Kyle Hagen, 910 N. 20th Ave., $90,000 for a sign. Contractor: YESCO. Northwest Frozen, 825 N. Commercial Ave., $204,000 for a fire alarm/system. Contractor: Fire Control Sprinkler System. Franklin County PUD, 1411 W. Clark St., $79,600 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Apollo. McCurley, 9620 Sandifur Parkway, $7,200 for a fire alarm/system. Contractor: Cascade Fire Protection. Chapel Hill Blvd., 6615 Chapel Hill Blvd., $83,000 for a fire alarm/system. Contractor: Cascade Fire Protection. Western States Equipment, 2100 Frontier Loop, $126,900 for commercial reroof. Contractor: Gillespie Roofing. PROSSER PMH Medical Center, 822 Memorial St., $413,000 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Booth & Sons Construction. Port of Benton, Nunn Road, $1,277,000 for new commercial construction. Contractor: to be determined.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018 PUBLIC RECORD, From page 58 G&R NW, 1230 Meade Ave., $13,300 for commercial remodel. Contractor: owner. Milne Fruit Production, 2200 SR 221, $100,000 for plumbing. Contractor: Pinnacle Plumbing. RICHLAND City of Richland, 625 Swift Blvd., $7,500,000 for new commercial construction. Contractor: Leone & Keeble. Barnard Griffin, 878 Tulip Lane, $200,000 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Chervenell Construction. Keene Road Investments, 424 Keene Road, $681,000 for new commercial construction. Contractor: FDM Construction. Oakwood Inns, 486 Bradley Blvd., $750,000 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Vandervert Construction. Port of Benton, 2701 Salk Ave., $75,000 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Columbia Energy. Evergreen/Segal, 1981 Snyder St., $50,000 for tenant improvements. Contractor: Bouten Construction. Richland Investments, 1515 George Washington Way, $62,500 for tenant improvements. Contractor: owner. Tagaris Winery, 844 Tulip Lane, $5,400 for a heat pump/HVAC. Contractor: Campbell & Company. WEST RICHLAND Grace & Truth Church, 1301 Bombing Range Road, $227,100 for commercial addition. Contractor: New Creation Homes.


Pasco business licenses were not available at press time.

KENNEWICK Sbarro, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 433. Weaver Exterminating Service, 926 E. Terrace Heights Way, Yakima. Criterion Brock, 22259 68th Ave. S., Kent. Muzak, 3318 Lakemont Blvd., Fort Mill, South Carolina. Gilbert Electric II, 2413 Road 80, Pasco. Master Landscaping, 1109 E. 23rd Ave. Design & Construction, 691 Blue Goose Road, Zillah. Glen Bierman Painting, 221 Preston Ave., Lewiston, Idaho. Rehema In Step, 8486 W. Gage Blvd., Suite D. Lifestyle Homes, 2207 W. 47th Ave. Crosscountry Mortgage, 4012 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite B. Creative Signs, 1280 Tutuilla Road, Pendleton, Oregon. Bales Custom Homes, 8007 Hudson Drive, Pasco. Np Publishing, 408 W. Canyon Lakes Drive. Montebon Cleaning Services, 2906 W. Seventh Ave. Bartholomew Winery, 421 E. Columbia Drive, Building B. J+N Villegas General Contracting, 7 Wa St., Pasco. Baer Testing, 1106 Ledwich Ave., Yakima.

Real Estate Market Leaders, 1030 N. Center Parkway, Suite N138. Spectroglyph, 101904 Wiser, Suite 104. Swampy’s BBQ Sauce, 110 S. McKinley Place. Bcs Construction Services, 3905 Corral Creek Pr., Benton City. Palencia Wine, 421 E. Columbia Drive, Suite A140. Schar Soft, 610 W. Kennewick Ave. Choose the Right Optics, 639 Cullum Ave., Richland. Cut ‘N Dried, 19 S. Cascade St. Peak Power, 671 Eltopia W. Road, Eltopia. Three Rivers Baggers, 4601 W. 10th Ave. Massey Group, 1019 W. 27th Ave. All Mobile Transporting & Repair, 2917 W. 19th Ave. Hdt Pools, 11402 W. Amity Road, Boise, Idaho. Lavish Hair Designs, 8458 W. Gage Blvd., Suite C. Concept, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 624. Woodiron Handyman Service, 158102 W. McCreadie Road, Grandview. Felix Plastering, 6702 Ahtanum Road, Yakima. Diamond Spa, 3902 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite 111. Got Water?, 100 N. Morain St., Suite 104. Mid-Columbia Healthy Vending, 2912 Rockcreek Court, Richland. Republic Health Resource, 3810 Plaza Way. Ornamental Tree Care, 3002 W. 46th Ave. Thrive Creative Dance, 7203 W. 15th Ave. Southridge Village, 2462 Woods Drive. Boxdrop Kennewick, 5020 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite D. Auto-Champs, 4123 W. Clearwater Ave. Rt Construction, 706 Rouse Road, Sunnyside. Rmk Painting, 1505 S. Road 40 E., Pasco. Ruben the Tile Man, 818 S. Ninth Ave., Pasco. Kennewick Inn, 4001 W. 27th Ave. Evglobal, 2727 SE Raymond St., Portland, Oregon. Maxey’s Mobile Home Park, 3708 W. Clearwater Ave. Mc Roofing, 1026 W. 10th Ave. Patriot Painting, 3713 W. Jay St., Pasco. Joel’s, 1505 W. Kennewick Ave. Engaged Consulting, 8378 W. Grandridge Blvd., Building 110. Yawh Development & Construction, 3440 S. Buntin Court. Gracia’s Lock Out, 2021 Mahan Ave. Yazmin & Daughter’s Cleaning, 2021 Mahan Ave. Vagabundos Masonry, 4410 Tamworth Lane, Pasco. Designed Life Chiropractic, 785 Canyon St., Richland. Idk Restaurant, 335 W. Columbia Drive. Sunshine Special Funds, 505 S. Highland Drive. Forever Clean, 815 W. Klamath Ave. Celski Commercial, 2605 W. 41st Ave. Total Restaurant Solutions, 248-A Williams Blvd., Richland.

Affordable Gun Transfers, 1613 W. Ninth Ave. Regis Salon, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 374. Mastercuts, 1321 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 205. Elite Concrete for Less, 814 Stanton Ave., Richland. Local Builders, 5200 W. 14th Ave. D&S Drywall & Paint, 128 N. Wehe Ave., Pasco. Community Thrift, 395 Wright Ave., Richland. Dependable Appliance NW, 1208 S. 10th Ave., Building 1, Pasco. Peniel Construction, 4302 W. Hood Ave. Authority Resources, 5360 Grant St., West Richland. Pacific Agri-Services, 1712 Pioneer Ave., Suite 223, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Miller Commercial Properties, 1502 W. 33rd Place. Martin Interprets, 808 W. Fifth St., Warden. R&H Microgreens, 87003 W. Oie Highway, Prosser. Homes Sold by Michelle, 100402 E. Ridgeway Drive. It Haven, 470 Smoketree Place, Richland. The Plug Barbershop, 524 N. Jean St. Concerned Citizens for Recovery Village, 1709 W. 14th Ave. L.I.F.E. Consulting & Coaching, 8800 W. Rio Grande Ave. Toyota of Tri-Cities, 6321 W. Canal Drive. Eby Express, 2403 S. Vancouver St. Goartsplash, 725 N. Columbia Center Parkway. Paisley & Plaid Boutique, 711 W. 27th Place. Highline Appliances, 507 N. Everett St. Bionic Enterprises, 5501 w. 26th Ave. Columbia Basin Speech, Language & Hearing Center, 4015 W. Clearwater Ave. Kennewick Cdc, 16 N. Huntington. Tri-CU Credit Union, 3213 W. 19th Ave. Verathon, 20001 N. Creek Parkway, Bothell. On the Marq, 711 W. Vineyard Drive. Eponyexpress, 257 SW 41st St., Renton. Bogert Rentals, 2912 W. Hood Ave. D.A. Bentley Construction, 1700 Washington St., Vancouver. Alldredge Construction Services, 9403 S. 192nd St., Renton. Ashley Marie Photography, 460 N. Arthur St.


NMC Franchising, 1801 130th Ave. NE, Bellevue. Siena Italia Stone Fabricators, 141 Diamond Drive, Pasco. Material Movers, 2522 Van Giesen St., Richland. The New Direction Project, 1213 N. Morain Loop. Bassett Salon Solutions, 418 N. Kellogg St., Suite C. Hbj, 320 N. 20th St., Pasco. Kosty’s Flooring, 28 E. 41st Place. Telecell Seattle, 2410 W. Kennewick Ave., Suite A. Perfect Massage & Spa, 4827 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite 101. Sullivan Sullutions, 44404 E. Shannon Lane, West Richland. Honey Badger Wellness, 3902 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite 106. Aspire Detail Services, 407 Abbot St., Richland. Mundo de Aventuras, 317 N. Louisiana Place. Art on the Columbia, 830 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite B2. Platinum Heating & Air, 4418 NW Commons Drive, Pasco. DI Properties, 246 Corrigan Road, Cashmere. Trinity Homes, 31 W. 19th Ave. The Rose Cottage, 3404 W. Margaret St., Pasco. Kennewick Propco, 4001 W. 27th Ave. Genesis Masonry, 1515 W. 21st Ave. Tenorio’s Roofing, 6508 Comiskey Drive, Pasco. Foundation Building Materials, 501 N. Quay St., Suite B106. Proof Kitchen and Bar, 924 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 310. Diva Nails Spa, 4311 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite 150. Balance Properties, 2513 Duportail St., Richland. Viveros Brothers Construction, 7320 N. Road 48, Pasco. Forever Life Landscaping, 29 Log Lane, Richland. Stallion Construction Corp, 2302 W. 50th Ave. Family Resource Home Care, 23403 E. Mission Ave., Suite 215, Liberty Lake. Once Upon A Brew, 342 W. Columbia Drive. Sunny Spa, 100 N. Morain St., Suite 102. The Lotus Pad, 5608 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite A. Cigar Savvy, 8390 W. Gage Blvd., Suite 110.


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Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

PUBLIC RECORD, From page 59 Noodle Thyme, 8530 W. Gage Blvd., Suite C. Bauer’s Bakes, 9009 W. Grand Rhonde Ave. Beneath The Bar, 309 N. Van Buren St. Unimak Transport, 507 N. Arthur St. Fancy Nancy, 500 W. First Ave., Suite A. Transform and Elevate, 4501 S. Rainer Court. Pitbull Services, 202 S. Washington St. Jpl Investments, 309 S. McKinley Place. Busy Bee Delivery, 1026 W. 10th Ave. Chewsyou, 4617 W. 14th Ave. Allen Film Productions, 3017 Brian Lane.

Corona Construction, 4921 W. Octave St., Pasco. Sage Wellness, 8797 W. Gage Blvd., Suite A. Chelsea Isley Photography, 8515 W. First Ave. Luminous Life, 970 N. Oklahoma Place. River City Services, 19 W. 10th Ave. Hometown Properties NW, 1606 S. Roosevelt Place. Amarti Marketing Solutions, 1030 N. Center Parkway. Layered Cake Artistry, 8631 W. Okanogan Court. 3 Rivers Heating & Air, 3804 Riverhill Drive, Pasco. Bullseye Fencing, 4815 W. Clearwater Ave. Candy Gallery, 5 S. Dayton St. The Hunny-Do Crew, 1918 Butler Loop, Richland.

Rose’s Boarding Inn, 718 S. Sharron St. Gamboa Manufacturing, 3110 S. 23rd Ave. Dan’s Carpet Cleaning, 918 S. Huntington Place. Sims Medical & Safety, 1029 N. Kellogg St. Hubby’s Pizza, 346 W. Columbia Drive. Rab Fitness, 9202 W. Gage Blvd. Piton Wealth, 11257 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite 110. Hot Truck Technologies, 8200 W. Deschutes Ave. Baron Law Firm, 8203 W. Quinualt Ave., Suite 900. Nochipzautoglass, 4701 Finnhorse Lane, Pasco. Good Vibes Cleaning Services, 3400 W. First Place. Doyle’s Groundskeeping, 421 W. Paid Advertising

How Can You Improve Your Financial Fitness?

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get healthier, you may already be taking the necessary steps, such as improving your diet and increasing your exercise. Of course, physical fitness is important to your well-being – but, at the same time, don’t forget about your financial fitness. Specifically, what can you do to ensure your investment situation is in good shape? Here are a few “healthy living” suggestions that may also apply to your investment portfolio: • Build endurance – Just as exercise can help build your endurance for the demands of a long life, a vigorous investment strategy can help you work toward your long-term goals, such as a comfortable retirement. In practical terms, this means you will need to own some investments with the potential to provide long-term growth. These are the investments that, ideally, you can TJ Willingham hold on to for decades and eventually reap the benefits of capital appreciation. Of course, Financial Advisor (509) 735-1497 growth-oriented investments, such as most types of stocks, will rise and fall in value over the short term, and there’s no guarantee of profits, or even preserving principal. But if you choose wisely, and you’ve got the patience and discipline to hold on to your investments through the market’s ups and downs, you may well be rewarded. • Maintain an ideal “weight” – You can help yourself stay healthy by maintaining your ideal weight. This can be challenging – as you know from the recently finished holiday season, it’s easy to put on a few extra pounds. And, just as inadvertently, your portfolio can tack on some unneeded weight, too, in the form of redundant investments. Over time, you may have picked up too many similar investment vehicles, resulting in an overconcentration, or “flabbiness,” that can work against you, especially when a market downturn affects the asset class in which you’re overloaded. So, you might be better off liquidating some of your duplicate, or near-duplicate, investments, and using the proceeds to help broaden your investment mix. • Get proper rest – Many studies have shown that we need adequate rest to stay alert and healthy. In your life, you’ve probably already found that if you over-tax your body, you pay a price in your overall well-being. If you look at your investment portfolio as a living entity – which, in a way, it is, as it certainly provides life to your goals and aspirations – then you can see that it, too, can be weakened by stress. And one of the main stress factors is excessive trading. If you’re constantly buying and selling investments in an attempt to boost your returns, you may rack up hefty fees, commissions and taxes – and still not really get the results you wanted. Plus, if you’re frequently moving in and out of different investments, you’ll find it hard to follow a unified, long-term strategy. So, confine your trading to those moves that are really essential – and give your portfolio a rest. To enjoy your life fully, you’ll want to take care of your physical and financial health – and, as it turns out, you can make similar types of moves to help yourself in both areas. Member SIPC

Ryan Brault, CFP® 3616 W. Court St. Ste. I, Pasco


Dustin Clontz

Jay Freeman

1060 Jadwin Ave., Ste. 325 Richland

16 W Kennewick Ave., Ste. 101 Kennewick



Shelley Kennedy, CFP® 767 Williams Blvd. Richland


Terry Sliger 1329 Aaron Dr. Richland


T.J. Willingham

1020 N. Center Pkwy, Ste. D Kennewick


19th Ave. Discount Lawn Care, 1731 W. 21st Ave. Silvamax Transportation, 3002 W. 46th Ave. Knotsewimpossible, 9107 Angus Drive. Tri City Rock Products, 2312 S. Ely St. Kennewick Kidney Disease and Hypertension Clinic, 901 S. Auburn St. Facelift, 3822 W. Kennewick Ave. Professional Food Services, 2020 W. 21st Court. Union Industrial, 1600 S. Roosevelt Place. Express Delivery, 3706 S. Quincy St. RICHLAND Build By Design Construction, 25107 S. 1005 PRSE, Kennewick. Weaver Exterminating Service, 926 E. Terrace Heights Way, Yakima. Advanced Endodontic Care, 1363 Columbia Park Trail, Suite 201. Master Tech Automotive, 1315 Lee Blvd. Sunset Construction, 6918 W. 15th Ave., Kennewick. Columbia Basin Fertility Care Services, 1818 Valmore Place. Temo’s Trim, 504 S. Union St., Kennewick. River City Painting, 6409 N. Perry St., Spokane. North American Terrazzo, 501 S. Lucile St., Suit 100, Seattle. Montebon Cleaning Services, 2906 W. Seventh Ave., Kennewick. Dvorak Funeral Home, 4307 Cochins Lane, Pasco. Whalen Marine, 1407 Agnes St. Schneider Vending, 6304 Wrigley Drive, Pasco. Compass DMS, 710 George Washington Way, Suite A. Tri-Cities Phone Repair, 710 George Washington Way, Suite A. Pritchard Construction Company, 3921 W. Second Ave., Kennewick. Cardpool, 101 Wellsian Way. Gourmet Grub Bus, 9 N. Newport St., Kennewick. Mongolian Sheep Hot Pot Restaurant, 140 Gage Blvd., Suite 204. VTRB Ranch Rescue, 1415 Jones Road. Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, 3100 George Washington Way, Suite 134. Ayla Partners, 407 Torbett St. V M General Construction, 1743 S. Cascade St., Kennewick. Boo Mountain, 36910 S. Haney Road, Kennewick. Humming Hemp, 710 George Washington Way, Suite A. Riverwalk Wellness Center, 404 Bradley Blvd., Suite 301. Burrup Professional Services, 1219 Oxford Ave. Xtramile Construction, 22203 E. Sandstone Drive, Benton City. RT Construction, 706 Rouse Road, Sunnyside. Liberty Concrete, 708 E. 31st ST., Spokane. Ruben the Tile Man, 818 S. Ninth Ave., Pasco. Zorich Automotive Performance, 1167 Carson St.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018 PUBLIC RECORD, From page 60 AKB Real Estate, 2283 Firerock Ave. Fancy Nails, 1817 George Washington Way. MC Roofing, 1026 W. 10th Ave., Kennewick. Definition Software, 2575 Magnolia Court. Yazmin & Daughter’s Cleaning, 2021 Mahan Ave. Vagabundos Masonry, 4410 Tamworth Lane, Pasco. Merrick Properties, 290 Torbett St. Designed Life Chiropractic, 785 Canyon St. Michalowski PLLC, 545 Jasmine Place NW, Issaquah. Osile, 3003 Queensgate Drive. MW School Services, 130 Piper Court. Woodworth Lawn Mower and Small Engine Repair, 86 Wellsian Way. Tri-City Clinical Services, 2630 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite D. Palmyra Properties, 710 George Washington Way, Suite A. Falcon Cougar Management Consultants, 1330 White Bluffs St. Total Restaurant Solutions, 248-A Williams Blvd. Westridge Properties, 16801 NE Sixth St., Vancouver. Elite Concrete for Less, 814 Stanton Ave. Michael R. Whitehead, PHD, 1950 Keene Road, Building O. Massage Therapy, 1331 Mansfield St., Building 101. 3D Data Solutions, 710 George Wasyingtn Way, Suite A. D&S Drywall & Paint, 128 N. Wehe Ave., Pasco. Community Thrift, 395 Wright Ave. Richland Park Place, 2161 Henderson Loop. WS Rising, 710 George Washington Way, Suite A. Dependable Applicance NW, 1208 S. 10th Ave., Building 1, Pasco. Walton Consulting, 1120 Bridle Drive. Peggy Lemak, Consultant, 1102 N. Quebec St., Kennewick. Bountiful Living, 3003 Queensgate Drive. Authority Resources, 5360 Grant St., West Richland. Kittees, 59 Canyon St. NDT Solutions, 111 Caliente Sands Ct. Pablo’s Printer, 719 Jadwin Ave. R&H Microgreens, 87003 W. Oie Highway, Prosser. Atomic Yoga, 1431 Azalea Ave. IT Haven, 470 Smoketree Place. Clean Coilz, 417 Adams St. Pint Size Pediatric Therapy, 2177 Morency Drive. WEST RICHLAND Selecthealth, 4711 N. Dallas Road. JMB Contractor, 445 N. Volland St., Kennewick. Discount Lawn Care, 1731 W. 21st Ave., Kennewick. Lobos Stucco, 416 S. Seventh Ave., Walla Walla. Platinum Heating & Air, 4418 NW Commons Drive, Pasco. HGS, 1800 E. Seventh Ave., Suite B, Kennewick. Stallion Construction Corp, 2302 W. 50th Ave., Kennewick. Corona Construction, 4921 W. Octave St., Pasco. Columbia Asphalt & Ready Mix, 377

Parker Bridge Road, Wapato. Plumb Signs, 909 S. 28th St., Tacoma. Walker Family homes, 424 S. Roosevelt St., Kennewick. Family Resource Home Care, 23403 E. Mission Ave, Liberty Lake. Kosty’s Flooring, 28 E. 41st Place, Kennewick. MJP Detailing, 4193 W. Van Giesen St. Bullseye Fencing, 4815 W. Clearwater Ave., Kennewick. Energy Source/Chimney Doctor, 3503 W. Clearwater Ave., Kennewick. Tenorio’s Roofing, 6508 Comiskey Drive, Pasco. Siena Italia Stone Fabricators, 141 Diamond Drive, Pasco. 3 Rivers Heating & Air, 3804 Riverhill Drive, Pasco. Horizon Plumbing, 504 Wisteria St., Richland. Coast to Coast Carports, 22525 I 40, Knoxville, Arizona. Brothers Pipeline Corp, 954 Jason Highway S., Toledo. The Hunny-Do Crew, 1918 Butler Loop, Richland. Viveros Brothers Construction, 7320 N. Road 84, Pasco. Hamilton Homes, 575 Columbia Point Drive, Richland.

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.

Ramiro Castilleja, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Dec. 4. Columbia Memorial Park, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Dec. 4. Juan Meraz et al, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Dec. 4. Esteban Cantu, unpaid Department of Licening taxes, filed Dec. 4. Gabriel Lopez Robledo, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Dec. 7. Fidel C. Valencia, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Dec. 11. Vincio Marin Gomez, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Dec. 14. Matilla Homes, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Dec. 14. 3 Elements Restoration, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Dec. 18. JJ Carpeting Installers, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Dec. 18. Casados & Correa-Rojas, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Dec. 18. Jorge A. Villasenor, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Dec. 18. Triple S. Excavating, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Dec. 18. Ofelia Crystal Ochoa, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Dec. 18. Advantage Evolution, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Dec. 18. Maria del r Morales, unpaid Employment Security Department

taxes, filed Dec. 18. Ivans Construction, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Dec. 18. Michael B. Diorio, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Dec. 21. La Pinata Payaso, unpaid Department of Labor and Industries taxes, filed Dec. 21. Miguel A. Rodriguez, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 22. Rogelio G. Pruneda, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 22. Michael R. Funderburk, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 22. Christopher R. Greene, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 22. Elva Flores, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 22. Gina M. Rief, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 22. Robert L. Bailey-Whitten, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 22. Raul Solis Jr., unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 22. Ruben R. Sifuentez, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 22. Joe C. Danley, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 22. Matilla Homes, unpaid Department of Revenue taxes, filed Dec. 28. Fruta Rayada el Rey, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 26. Carefree Meats, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 28 Genero Mendiola Linarez, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 28. Hartley Restaurant Concept, unpaid Employment Security Department taxes, filed Dec. 28.

uLiquor Licenses BENTON COUNTY NEW APPLICATIONS Porter’s Real Barbecue, 1022 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Kennewick. License type: direct shipment receiver in Washington only; beer/wine restaurant. Application type: new. Indian Cuisine Express, 8524 W. Gage Blvd., Suite A4, Kennewick. License type: beer/wine restaurant. Application type: new. Thai Vintage, 614 Sixth St., Prosser. License type: beer/wine restaurant. Application type: new. Cottage Market, 1825 Wine Country Road, Prosser. License type: grocery store beer/wine; direct shipment receiver in Washington only; spirits sampling; CLS spirits retailer. Application type: added/change of class. APPROVED Carniceria Tres Pueblos, 2500 W. Kennewick Ave. License type: grocery store beer/wine. Application type: change of location. Hedges Family Estate, 53511 N. Sunset Road PRNE, Benton City. License type: domestic winery >249,999 liters. Application type: permit.


Europa Italian & Spanish Cuisine, 2459 S. Union Place, Suite 110, Kennewick. License type: direct shipment receiver in Washington only. Application type: new. Proof Kitchen and Bar, 924 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 310, Kennewick. License type: direct shipment receiver in Washington only. Application type: new. The Crazy Crab Place, 131 Vista Way, Suite A, Kennewick. License type: spirits/beer/wine restaurant service bar. Application type: added/ change of tradename. Bartholomew Winery, 421 E. Columbia Drive, Building A, Kennewick. License type: domestic winery < 250,000 liters. Application type: change of location. DISCONTINUED Holy Mac Steaks and Spirits, 3801 S. Zintel Way, Suite 110, Kennewick. License type: spirits/wine/beer restaurant lounge. FRANKLIN COUNTY NEW APPLICATIONS Restaurante Botanas Plaza Chapulin, 528 W. Clark St., Suite B, Pasco. License type: spirits/beer/wine restaurant lounge. Application type: new. Pasco Inn, 2811 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. License type: beer/wine restaurant; off premises. Application type: assumption. APPROVED El Mirador, 1315 N. 20th Ave., Pasco. License type: spirits/beer/wine restaurant lounge. Application type: new. Evergreen Mexican Grill, 1515 W. Lewis St., Pasco. License type: beer/ wine restaurant. Application type: new. Andy’s Coffee Break Restaurant, 3330-A W. Court St., Pasco. License type: beer/wine restaurant. Application type: new. Pizza Hut, 1921 W. Court St., Pasco. License type: beer/wine restaurant. Application type: seasonal closure. DISCONTINUED El Senor, 1901 N. Fourth Ave., Pasco. License type: tavern beer/wine.

uMARIJUANA Licenses BENTON COUNTY APPROVED Full Throttle Farms, 511 Wautoma Road, Sunnyside. License type: marijuana producer tier 3. Application type: assumption. Trichometechnologies, 33907 S. Gerards Road, Suite A, Kennewick. License type: marijuana producer tier 2. Application type: change of corporate officer. T in T Elements, 43001 N. Griffin Road, Unit D, Grandview. License type: marijuana producer tier 2. Application type: added fees. RMNP, 57406 N. Thomas Road, Suite B, Benton City. License type: marijuana producer tier 2. Application type: change of corporate officer.



Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018

uACCREDITATION • Bailey Rivas, an associate wealth advisor at Kennewick’s Petersen Hastings, earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary, or AIF, designation from Fi360 Inc., an organization that Bailey Rivas offers training, tools and resources to promote a culture of fiduciary responsibility and improve the decision-making process of fiduciaries. The designation signifies knowledge of fiduciary responsibility and the ability to implement policies and procedures that meet a defined standard of care.

uDONATIONS • Community Action Connections received a $10,000 donation from Corwin Ford. The nonprofit plans to use the money to support low-income individuals and families with the following programs: Emergency Needs Assistance; Weatherization Assistance; Housing Rent Assistance; Home Energy Assistance; and Second Chance Center. The money also will be used for CAC’s new temporary homeless shelter in Franklin County.

uELECTIONS • Raman Venkata was elected as Kennewick Irrigation District Director Position 2. Venkata will serve a oneyear term. David McKenzie was elected to KID Director Position 3 for a three-year term after running unopposed by statutory filing deadline. • Barry Bush was elected as president of Benton Public Utility District Commission for 2018. Jeff Hall was elected vice president and Lori Sanders was elected secretary.

uHONORS • The American Nuclear Society honored the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Radiochemical Processing Laboratory with the ANS Nuclear Historic Landmark Award. The

award is given to recognize the notable research and work in the areas of reactor safety, isotope isolation to cure cancer, environmental cleanup and the advancement of nuclear nonproliferation. It was established more than 30 years ago to commemorate nuclear facilities demonstrating outstanding accomplishments. •Benton Fire District 4 received a clean audit from the Washington State Auditor’s office. It is its sixth year with no findings. • U.S. News & World Report ranked online master’s of business administration and executive MBA programs from Washington State University Carson College of Business as No. 12 out of a field of 267 online MBA programs in the nation. U.S. News & World Report also ranked the Carson College No. 8 for the best online MBA programs for veterans. The news magazine’s rankings for online graduate MBA programs were determined by student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training and student services and technology.

uNEW HIRES • Boy Scouts of America’s Blue Mountain Council’s new chief executive officer is Brett T. Bybee. He will lead a staff of 12 employees and nearly 5,000 youth and 2,500 registered adult members of the local Boy Scout council throughBrett T. Bybee out Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla and Columbia counties, as well as the Oregon counties of Umatilla, Gilliam, Morrow, Wheeler, Baker, Wallowa and Union. He began his professional Scouting career more than 14 years ago as a district executive for the Grand Canyon Council in Safford, Arizona. He moved on to become district director in Yuma, Arizona, then field director with the Grand Canyon Council, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. He was promoted to the council’s director of field service. Bybee is an Eagle Scout and he and

his wife Stephanie have four children. • Joe Peterson Insurance has selected Sandey Frank as personal lines account manager for its Kennewick office and Dwayne Brown as an outside sales manager for the Eastern Washington office. • Joel McFarland joined Numerica Credit Union as a senior home loan officer. He has more than 15 years of experiJoel McFarland ence as a home loan officer.

uPROMOTIONS • Terry Reagan has been named Bechtel’s new chief of staff for the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, commonly known as the Hanford vit plant. He joined Bechtel and the project in 2010 and has served in Terry Reagan multiple positions. He has a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Purdue University. • Baker Boyer has announced the following promotions: John Cunnison is vice president and chief investment officer. He has been serving as senior portfolio manager since 2013 and with the bank since 2006. Russ Colombo to senior vice president. He has been with the bank since 1978. J.T. Lieuallen is now vice president and has been serving the company for 10 years. Mark Lutcher is now vice president and has worked with the company since 2008. Levi Waggoner was named assistant vice president and joined the company last year. Lora Zink is now assistant vice president and has been with Baker Boyer for 14 years. Jessica Long was named assistant vice president and has worked there since 2001. Teresa Larson was named executive vice president and started working for the company in 1982. Josh Allington is now a senior vice president and has been serving the company since 1998.

uCERTIFICATIONS • Rosa Mitchell of the Franklin Public Utility District passed the Washington State Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam. Mitchell is an electrical engineer and has been with the PUD since 2012.

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ubusiness UPDATES NEW BUSINESSES Bartholomew Winery has opened at 421 E. Columbia Drive in Kennewick. The winery sells wine and offers tastings. Hours: noon – 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Contact:, Facebook. Fill’er Up Antiques and Collectibles has opened at 1215 Meade Ave. in Prosser. The store sells vintage items, collectibles and ‘man cave’ décor. Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Contact: Facebook. HoneyBaked Ham has opened at 731 N. Columbia Center Blvd., Suite 122 in Kennewick. The store sells ham, turkey breasts, sauces and jams as well as offering catering services. Lunch served daily. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Contact: 509-579-5855, Thai Vintage has opened at 614 Sixth Street in Prosser. The restaurant serves traditional Thai dishes. Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Contact: 509-781-6511, Facebook. The Lotus Pad has opened at 5608 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite A120 in Kennewick. The studio offers yoga classes and workshops for all skill levels. Hours vary by class time. Contact: 509-539-3212,, Facebook. NAME CHANGE/ NEW OWNERSHIP Dentistry for Kids at 39 Columbia Point Drive in Richland has changed its name to Smile Surfers Kids Dentistry. The Dentistry for Kids clinic at 3911 W. 27th Ave., Suite 105 in Kennewick will keep its name and is under new ownership. The Crazy Crab Pot at 131 Vista Way, Suite A in Kennewick has changed its name to The Crazy Crab Place. MOVED Lourdes Occupational Health – East has moved to 1200 N. 14th Ave., Suite 295 in Pasco. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact: 409-546-2214, CLOSED Crest Hallmark Card Shop at 3001 W. Kennewick Ave. in Kennewick is closing at the end of January. The Richland location will remain open. Dupus Boomer’s at 502 Swift Blvd. in Richland has closed. P.F. Chang’s at 8108 W. Gage Blvd. in Kennewick closes Jan. 21. The Landing Bistro and Lounge at 430 George Washington Way, Suite 201 in Richland has closed. The Wild Boar Grill at 623 Ninth St. in Benton City has closed.

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • January 2018


About 30 people gathered Dec. 13 at the Richland Public Library to learn about a proposed cleanup project at the Hanford site for the cesium and strontium capsules. Department of Energy Physical Scientist Julie Reddick described the building plans, benefits and permitting steps to achieve approval. The meetings were part of two 60-day public comment periods, which will run through Jan. 31. Visit the Hanford events calendar at Hanford. gov for more information, including details about how to submit comments. (Courtesy Mission Support Alliance)


Pasco police took children shopping Dec. 16 during the annual Cops and Kids Christmas shopping program at the Pasco Walmart. The event involved local law enforcement and corrections officers, Walmart staff, Pasco School District staff, Fraternal Order of Police, McCurley Integrity Dealerships, Ranch and Home and other volunteers. (Courtesy Pasco Police Department)

Hanford High School drama teacher Matt Leggett lip synchs to “What Comes Next,” a song sung by King George in the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical, “Hamilton,” during the Jan. 6 Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre fundraiser singa-long Hamiltunes Tri-Cities. The event raised nearly $3,000 for the nonprofit World Relief, with a government grant providing $3,000 more in matching funds. Chief Joseph Middle School eighth-grade leadership students brought some Christmas cheer to senior citizens living at Brookdale Richland last month. The Richland students delivered 300 homemade Christmas cards and sang carols for the residents. (Courtesy Richland School District) Mission Support Alliance’s Hanford Patrol adopted Mikey’s Chance Canine Rescue for the holiday season. The patrol delivered on Dec. 23 a van full of dog food, treats, toys, blankets and more to support dogs currently in Mikey’s care. (Courtesy MSA)

A Pasco new mom didn’t wait long into the new year to welcome Kadlec Regional Medical Center’s first baby of 2018. Yael Renteria-Ponce was born at 12:22 a.m. Jan. 1. He weighed in at 6 pounds, 15 1/2 ounces. His parents are Arely Renteria-Ponce and Alexander Lopez. The baby was delivered by Dr. Tomas Hernandez. The family will receive a $50 gift card to the Kadlec gift shop along with a special New Year’s bear. Additionally, all babies born at Kadlec on New Year’s Day receive a specially-made blanket from the Kadlec Auxiliary sewing group. (Courtesy Kadlec)

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