Young Professionals 2019

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“Have a vision and be passionate about your work.” – Marcus Aranda

2019 “Instead of looking at whether the job is the right one, I have started looking at whether the opportunity is the right one.” – Angela Pashon

“Time is one of the most valuable things you can give.”

“The Tri-Cities is a great place to organize community outreach because we truly care about the place we live in.” – Dr. Antonio Lopez-Ibarra

– Meaghan Brooks

YOUNG “Ego is not something that will contribute to working as a team.”

“Do the thing that feels scary.” – Dee Boyle

– Ellicia Elliott

PROFESSIONALS “If an incorrect decision is made, we learn and move on.” – Brandon Lange

“It is important to establish what your priorities are and who your priorities are.” – Chris Turner

A specialty publication by the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • September 2019

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8 Young Professionals honored in 12th annual contest BY TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS STAFF


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Young Professionals


ight diverse and driven leaders have been selected as the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business’ top Young Professionals. These business and community leaders—all under the age of 40—stand out in their career, company or industry. Since 2008, we’ve been reviewing applications from the community’s brightest young leaders. To date, we’ve honored 102, including this year’s group. A panel of judges reviewed the applications with the nominees’ and their businesses’ names redacted. The applicants were ranked in several categories and then the points were tallied up. Contest judges looked for business leaders who went the extra mile outside their workplace in community service, charity work, leadership or community involvement. This year’s winners feature a great combination of analytical and artistic

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minds: an electrical engineer, project coordinator, dentist, theater director, policy analyst and interim city manager, financial service specialist, brand strategist and a recreation, facility and marketing supervisor. All clearly love their community and have rolled up their sleeves in a variety of ways to make it a better place to live. Seven of our eight winners are millennials, who now make up the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. About 35 percent, or 56 million working Americans, are millennials, according the Pew Research Center. With this year’s winners’ passion and focus, it’s safe to say our community is in good hands. Some of their answers to our questions appearing in this special section have been edited for space. It’s never easy to choose which young leaders to celebrate each year because we always have many outstanding candidates. We encourage those who weren’t selected this year to apply again next spring. We'll have an

AT A GLANCE Inaugural year: 2008 Year to date winners: 102 2019 winners: 8 2019 age range: 25-39

Want to be a 2020 young professional? Applications will be available to download next May at Deadline to apply is July 31, 2020. online application form at tcjournal. biz. To those we singled out in this issue and to all those chosen in years past, we’d like to give you a tip of the hat. We look forward to watching you continue to grow professionally and personally. We hope our readers take the time to read about the winners. We suspect you’ll be as impressed as we have been.

Young Professionals

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • September 2019




Veolia Nuclear Solutions Federal Services Job title: Project coordinator Age and hometown: 32, Pasco How long have you worked at Veolia? 4 years Describe your company: Veolia Nuclear Solutions Federal Services specializes in the facility clean up and treatment of radioactive waste. Specifically at the 222-S Laboratory, VNSFS performs the analytical services production functions. The 222-S Laboratory is a 70,000-square-foot Hazard Category 3 Nuclear Facility that handles highly radioactive samples for purposes of organic, inorganic and radio-chemistry analyses. These analyses support tank waste characterization, tank waste retrievals and tank closures for the Hanford Tank Farms. Analyses also support Vadose Zone Program analyses. Education: Bio-chemistry degree from Washington State University and an associate degree from Columbia Basin College Family? Pets? My wife Christina who is a corporate accountant for HPMC, Medical provider for the Hanford site, and two children, Maxwell, 5, and Savannah, 2. How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 32 years What word describes you? Persistent Biggest flaw? Overanalyzing Biggest pet peeve? When people are not resourceful Dream vacation? Cancun Favorite book? “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck Favorite movie? “Fast and Furious” Favorite musician? Post Malone Favorite sports team? Seattle Seahawks Favorite website? Real estate websites— always dreaming of investments

Favorite Tri-City restaurant? Tacos Palomino Favorite thing to do in Tri-Cities? Take my kids to various arcades for games and pizza, bike around the Columbia River, go out to listen to my friends DJ, and take my wife on dinner dates. What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? I owned and operated a company named Dick Danger Productions LLC and have been involved in event and nightclub promotions for the last seven years. I have planned and promoted events for 2,500plus guests. (Boat Race Bash). We brought in full concert sound and lighting, laser systems, a total of 17 subcontractors for a single night. Event promotion and production is sometimes referred to as gambling. It can be very stressful, issues have to be resolved immediately and you only have one night to recoup a large investment. Describe your job and how you got into it: My current job title is project coordinator. My duties include managing and coordinating projects to ensure timeliness and quality of final analytical deliverables. Collaborating with the analytical department, laboratory management and laboratory customers to ensure that project reports are completed according to regulatory and customer requirements. Interface with laboratory customers to establish sampling plans and customer objectives. Author reports and review analytical data for completeness prior to issuing final reports to customers. I started out as chemist at Columbia Basin Analytical where I worked from 2011-14. There I took on multiple roles beyond a chemist, such as project coordinator and LIMS (Laboratory Informational Management System) administrator. I then moved out to the Hanford site/222-S Laboratory as a quality assurance scientist where after six months and a contract transition I was placed in the interim quality assurance manager role. I performed that role for two years and have been a project coordinator for one year. In addition to my everyday job, my

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wife and I are real estate investors. We have one duplex and are currently working on land development. We bought 2.5 acres and have subdivided it into four lots. We are putting in the sewer, utilities and the road system. We will be selling off three lots and keeping one for ourselves to build our dream home. After our home is built, our plan is to add a new rental property to our portfolio every two years. Who are your mentors? Sue Kon, our laboratory director, is my mentor. The most important thing that she has taught me is to have a vision and be passionate about your work. She takes great pride in grooming and promoting personnel within the company into management roles. She has a vision for the laboratory and the personnel who work here. She also has been very passionate about the work completed here, ensuring that the laboratory does all it can do to support the Hanford cleanup mission and to do it efficiently and with integrity. Toughest career decision? The toughest career choice I had to make was moving from quality assurance to project management. I was on the path to become the quality assurance manager, rather than the interim manager, when the project coordinator position was presented to me. Both are great opportunities and I initially turned down the project coordinator position. It was a tough decision because I was already familiar with the QA manager job and the other was an

unknown but something I knew I could be good at with my previous experience as an event producer and my personality in general. Sue Kon, my mentor and boss, also could see that I would excel in this position. However, the position had a high turnover rate, and I was concerned that I would be leaving a job I enjoyed for something that others clearly didn’t care for. After making the switch, a few months into it, I was performing well but felt like I had made a huge mistake career wise, that I had ruined the entire trajectory of my career and I even asked for my old job back. After some time, I became comfortable in the position and started to make process improvements and began to enjoy what I was doing. I ended up sticking it out and am now glad that I made the decision to switch. What do you like most/least about your job? I will start with what I like least about my job: sometimes I am not in charge of my own destiny. A lot of my work is dependent on others completing their work on time and sometimes the laboratory will experience a huge surge in samples or issues where it becomes difficult to complete analyses on time. Fortunately, that sets up my favorite part of the job, which is problem solving. Determining what items should take priority, speaking with the client and letting them know the lab’s current situation and setting up plans to make sure that deadlines are met. uMARCUS ARANDA, Page 6


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • September 2019

Young Professionals



BrandCraft Marketing business, or growth in company size. Then I devise a plan to accomplish those growth goals through branding and digital marketing. I then execute that plan alongside my team of designers, writers, digital marketers and project managers. I have only had roles in marketing, sales and communications my entire life, starting as a marketing intern at the TriCity Americans at 14. Since then I have been blessed to have continually found mentors and network into the next opportunity, until I got where I am now without a college degree and in a growing career. It was a lot of hard work, being bold enough to ask for a chance and access to mentorship that I think could only happen in an area like the Tri-Cities. Courtesy Rich Breshears of Breshears Professional Photography

Job title: Brand strategist Age and hometown: 25, Pasco

Favorite musician? Ben Gibbard from The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie

How long have you worked at BrandCraft Marketing? 2 years

Favorite sports team? Sports? I don’t “sports” much.

Describe your company: BrandCraft Marketing is a growth marketing firm driven by performance. We believe in well-thought strategy and execute with unrivaled marketing services through our team that contains vast and diverse expertise.

Favorite website or app? Mid-Columbia Libraries’ Libby app for audiobooks! It’s the best.

Education: Columbia Basin College

Favorite thing to do in Tri-Cities? Oh man—so many things! Some of my faves are catching art shows at galleries like Drewboy Creative or Spectra, perusing downtown Kennewick, hitting all of our farmers markets, or catching music on a winery patio somewhere.

Family? Pets? I have a sweet pup named Leia and most of my immediate family lives here locally. How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? Almost my whole life, 18ish years. What word describes you? Bold Biggest flaw? My lack of patience for sure. Biggest pet peeve? Slow walkers. Can’t handle it. Dream vacation? Right now—Spain! Favorite book? “Good to Great” by Jim Collins Favorite movie? The “Star Wars” movies

Favorite Tri-City restaurant? I could eat La Fama (Pasco) every day of my life.

What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? I’m not a hugger. I’m a college dropout, and I pitched horseshoes professionally as a kid. Describe your job and how you got into it: As a brand strategist I work side by side with business owners to build and execute on marketing plans that contribute to their growth goals. Our clients will share with me their current business goals, whether it’s growing leads in a particular service line, building their brand equity so they can later sell their

Who are your mentors? Oh man, I have had so many mentors in my life I couldn’t possibly list them all, but here are a few. Brian Sandy—former Tri-City Americans chief marketing officer and senior vice president of business operations. Brian was one of my first mentors at my first job and taught me a lot about the fundamentals of sales and marketing. He wasn’t my direct boss and never had to take the time to explain anything to me, but he was always willing to share knowledge. That alone gave me the foundation I was able to launch from. Jeff and Patti Thompson— Windermere Group One owners. They were the first to give me a chance at my first “big” job break where I was running the marketing show. They taught me so much about managing people, professional collaboration and identifying client pain points—skills that have made me immensely more valuable and I will be forever grateful for that. Torey Azure—BrandCraft Marketing owner and founder. Torey is my current boss now of almost two years and working under his mentorship has challenged me to really push the expertise I already have further. He always challenges our team to play devil’s advocate with our work to produce the best possible deliverables for our clients. Learning how to thoroughly and effectively critique work from a performance standard has taken the work I produce to a level I didn’t know I could achieve. Toughest career decision? The toughest career decision I have

ever made was actually taking the position I have now with BrandCraft. It was my dream job offer, what I had always wanted, but I was scared out of my mind for couple reasons. First, I was unsure I was ready for an agency pace, where you work on multiple projects across multiple industries every day, especially being the company’s first hire for their digital marketing department. Second, I was on top of my day job at the time as a marketing director. I was freelancing my services, and I would have to give up that side business with this new position—which would be the first time in my life I only had one job—and the idea of having all my eggs in one basket was scary. In the end, I kept up while our digital marketing contracts grew almost 400 percent in my first year, and the pace, combined with my focus without the freelance work, has allowed me to grow at a rate I never could have imagined. So long story short, do the thing that feels scary. You’ll thank yourself for it later. What do you like most/least about your job? I love so much about my job, but I think my favorite part is how I get to see behind the scenes of so many businesses and industries. I have always been fascinated by how businesses operate and make money, and I get to talk about it all day—all while leveraging my natural skills to achieve big growth goals for clients. My least favorite part of my job is probably working with Facebook or Google’s support teams, but it’s a necessary evil. And really, if that’s the worst, it’s still a pretty rad job. What was your first job? My very first job was as a marketing intern for the Tri-City Americans. I started at 14 and was there until 19, and I started as a bit of a game day grunt worker, and it grew into helping with promotions, team appearances, tickets sales and the team store. The job was unpaid, but gave me more than any job ever has. I learned so much brushing shoulders with all the team management, and I built a network that grew into more and more opportunities for me later. I learned the fundamentals of marketing, sales and how to create professional connections that I ended up calling on later. uDEE BOYLE, Page 6

Young Professionals

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • September 2019




HAPO Community Credit Union Job title: Mobile branch financial service specialist Age and hometown: 37, Richland How long have you worked at HAPO? 1 year, 3 months Describe your company: HAPO is definitely not a bank. We are a proud credit union that puts our members first. Our primary focus is to offer products and services that continually bring value to our members, and banking solutions that are easy and convenient combined with the best value. Education: Bachelor’s in political science/international business from Carroll College Family? Pets? I have an amazing rescue dog named Walter Payton who is part mastiff and part husky (sorry Coug fans). My mom, dad, sister and 8-year-old niece all live in the Tri-Cities as well. How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? Off and on 20 years. Moved here when I was 8, left for college and careers for 15 years and moved back two years ago. I am a proud graduate of the class of 2000 of Richland High School. Go Bombers! What word describes you? Innovative Biggest flaw? Overly organized, as in I have a color-coded system. It drives people crazy. Biggest pet peeve? People without follow through or initiative Dream vacation? Greece. It’s where my parents honeymooned 50 years ago. Favorite book? “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith. I read it every year cover to cover. Favorite movie? “Rudy” Favorite musician? Anything by Prince or Beyoncé Favorite sports team? Oklahoma Sooners or Notre Dame football

Favorite website or app? Snapchat Favorite Tri-City restaurant? The Bradley Favorite thing to do in Tri-Cities? With so many new restaurants or businesses popping up around the area, it’s always fun to get out with friends and family to explore and experience all they have to offer. Wine tasting is always a perk of living here as well. Trust me, Oklahoma wineries have nothing on the PNW! What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? I have been on the production side of an ESPN College Game day three different times and have been responsible for handing Lee Corso a shotgun to fire off on live television when he picked Oklahoma to win the game. In hindsight, probably not the smartest idea, but it made for great TV. Describe your job and how you got into it: After moving back to the Tri-Cities, I was told I was over qualified for several positions in the area. I was connected with Express Personnel, and they set up an interview for a temporary position with HAPO in the Human Resources Department. I was only supposed to be a temporary hire for three to six months to fill in during employee extended leaves within the HR department, but ended up being hired on as a full-time human resources associate who oversaw our recruiting process, new hire onboarding and employee discount program. I was very lucky to have Nicole Prince, vice president of human resources, as a manager who saw my potential and what my skill set could bring to HAPO and not all the reasons I could have been overqualified for the position. She mentored and continues to mentor me through my career path at HAPO, which has resulted in my current position of mobile branch financial service specialist, our newest program. It is a hybrid position of community relations and banking, where we are expanding our reach and personal connection by being involved in our local community events and local businesses to satisfy any and all banking

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needs that you would normally go into a brick and mortar branch for. It’s been an exciting journey in the last two months of building something new from the ground up, but I am so thankful that HAPO has opened doors for me into a new career path I never thought would have existed. Who are your mentors? I’ve had a few mentors in my day. My first one has been my dad. He has a standard of business and expectations like no one I have ever seen. His philosophy always was and still is that a title is just a title, but it is how you treat people from the bottom to the top that will help you succeed in life and in your career. He made it a point to remember names, birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, etc. from top-level executives down to the support staff. I have never seen a man as well respected and thought of in his profession as he is. He is tough and has a no-nonsense style of negotiating deals, but when all is said and done, the people he works with on a daily basis respect him and his decisions because he treats them with the same respect. I’ve always tried to model my approach in my career after him and it has served me well. Toughest career decision? I built my career in the world of professional and collegiate athletics for the last 10 years. Often times it meant working long hours, living thousands of miles away from home, being on a plane every week going to one event or another, but

I always knew I had the support of my family here in the Tri-Cities. I was on my way to becoming an expert in my field and considering starting my own consulting business when my dad got sick. I had several people try to discourage me from making the decision to leave a career I had worked so hard to build and that there wasn’t anything I could do, whether I was home or 3,000 miles away, but I knew I had to move back to the Tri-Cities to help my family and be there for them. It was one of the hardest things I had to do, but now, looking back on my decision and how my life has changed, I wouldn’t have done anything differently and was so happy that I could be here to be a support system for my family while we went through a very challenging time. What do you like most/least about your job? I can’t say that I’ve encountered anything about my job that I haven’t liked so far. HAPO is a great company to work for and I am very fortunate they have a vision beyond the regular 9-5 banker’s hours that has enabled my coworker and I to start building out an innovative program. It is rare when you find brands that are so well established willing to knock down a wall, give you the keys to a kingdom and say, “This is our vision, now you execute it how you deem it to be the most successful.” It’s what keeps my job fresh every day. uMEAGHAN BROOKS, Page 6


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • September 2019

MARCUS ARANDA, From page 3 What was your first job? My first job was working for my grandfather on his farm (Swanda Farms in Pasco). The most important thing I learned from him was work ethic and to take pride in your product. My grandpa could outwork anyone and had a no-quit attitude—where there’s a will, there’s a way.

DEE BOYLE, From page 4 How do you achieve work-life balance? Work-life balance is something I am always working on, and for me it’s about prioritizing time management. I can easily self-sabotage myself with a calendar filled to the brim. I try my best to always leave cushions in the calendar for reset time and give myself grace when I need to say no. Community involvement and service: • Kennewick Arts Commission, 2018-present: The arts commission serves to enhance and enrich Kennewick’s quality of life for residents and visitors by fostering an artistic environment that promotes a sense of community, creates public venues that instill a unique identity and supports opportunities to have fun. • TEDxRichland lead organizer, 2015-present: I am on the core team of volunteers that coordinates and produces TEDxRichland. This included developing the event theme and brand, managing and coaching local speakers and managing a full day event of live TED talks and installations. • Drewboy Creative Board member, 2017-present: Drewboy Creative is a local 501(c)(3) art gallery in Richland dedicated to growing and showcasing local visual artists. As a board member, I handle organizing art shows, managing shows, art sales and participating in decisions for the organization. • Pasco School District performing arts coordinator, 2007-12: I worked directly with Pasco School District performing arts teachers to coordinate and facilitate opportunities for band and choir students through camps, festivals, performances and fundraisers.

There are stories upon stories of my grandfather’s work ethic and the lengths he would go to get a job done. How do you achieve work-life balance? My dad showed me how to achieve a work-life balance. He has had a very successful career out at Hanford but has always made time for our sporting events, school plays, etc. I have learned that you can measure success in differ-

• Washington State Horseshoe Pitching Association, 2008-present: Manage and organize horseshoe tournaments across the state of Washington for senior citizens’ health and community connection. • Tri-City Regional Chamber speaker, 2015-present: Workshop presenter and panel moderator for the Women in Business conference and Business Development University presenter. • Washington State DECA Association, 2012-present: I am a volunteer presenter, competition judge and workshop teacher. I primarily help teach high school students soft skills required for the workforce and foundational marketing principles for today’s marketing jobs. • Tri-City Link organizer, 2015-16: Tri-City Link is a free networking group for all Tri-Cities businesses. I helped promote the group, solidify presenters and run meetings. • TriConf Event Volunteer, 2016-17: TriConf is a local knowledge sharing event. Anyone from the public can attend and on the first day all those who attend share what they could teach their community in 20 minutes, then we build the entire weekend conference schedule from that. I handled event promotions and day of management. • Tri-Cities Tech Summit event volunteer, 2018-present: I work with the core organizers to promote the event and help day of with video coverage. • Kennewick Community Education, 2016-present: I teach iPhone 101 every spring and fall session.

Young Professionals ent ways. Some only judge success by how much money you make or net worth. I judge my personal success on how good of a worker I am, how good of a husband I am, how good of a father I am being to my children, and recently I have had to take a step back from some of my extra activities and make sure that I am taking care of myself as well.

Community involvement and service: I am on the Hispanic Academic Achievers Program Scholarship board. To date I have raised $35,000 for the scholarship program. While I never received a HAAP scholarship myself, the certificates that I received throughout my lifetime motivated me to be better, and I believe that their mission is life changing.


at 2 or 3 in the morning. I had to stop and re-evaluate what I was doing and recognize that if I continued on the same schedule, I’d burn myself out and be of no use to anyone professionally or personally. It took a while, but now I have learned to schedule time for myself, whether it’s getting a manicure or a pedicure, or grabbing a drink with friends and leaving my phone in my purse. Now that I’m home, I have family dinners every Sunday, which is a great way to take a time out from everything else in my world and focus and be engaged with the people I love the most. I’ve found that by making it a point to set aside time for these things and stick to it, I’ve been more invigorated and innovative at work and have been a better daughter, sister, aunt and friend to those around me.

What was your first job? My first job was as the promotions intern with the Tri-City Dust Devils. I learned so many things that summer, from how to deal with corralling hundreds of kids as they sprinted across an outfield during Dusty’s Dash, to how to build out sponsorship proposals, write game scripts, coordinate on-field promotions, etc. Brent Miles and Derrel Ebert were some of the best bosses I’ve ever had. They led us with a combination of fun, but all the while still pushing us to do our best, not only for the MLB organization we were affiliated with, but for the fans who came to see us night after night when they could have been spending their entertainment dollars elsewhere. I learned the art of negotiating a deal without being intense and intimidating, and that even when things didn’t go your way, you regrouped and changed your game plan to ensure that they did. How do you achieve work-life balance? This has been something I’ve struggled with ever since I started my career. You don’t get a lot of time to have a life when you are working at a high level in athletics. There is always a game, an event, an athlete or coach that needs something from you, and it is your job to be the problem solver and the solution finder. The world of sports is a competitive industry, and I thought the minute I stopped to have a life, someone would slide in and steal my job. It was a very good friend that pointed out one day my work-life balance was awful, mostly because I had missed the last three friend mixers and was emailing family and friends or posting comments on their social media

Community involvement and service: Giving back to the community has always been important to me. Time is one of the most valuable things you can give. It was one of the driving forces into why I went into marketing and community relations in my career. Since moving back to the Tri-Cities, I have been involved with Tri-Cities Sunrise Rotary, Mid-Columbia Rotaract (I am their current club president for 2019-20), served on the Christ The King Sausage Fest Committee for the last three years, volunteered with the United Way, Altrusa and Second Harvest Food Bank. One of the best perks about my job at HAPO is that I am involved and engaging with the community on a weekly basis, whether it is through financial literacy classes for kids and adults, rebuilding homes, or participating in a variety of community events.

Young Professionals

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • September 2019




The Rude Mechanicals Job title: Artistic director, co-founder of The Rude Mechanicals, as well as an adjunct professor at Walla Walla University teaching theater classes and directing the fall play, “Ada and the Engine” by Lauren Gunderson. I am also a freelance professional director. Age and hometown: 39, Kennewick How long have you worked for The Rude Mechanicals? 6 years Describe your company: The Rude Mechanicals is Eastern Washington’s premier Shakespeare and Shakespeareinspired theater company. Our vision is to inspire a community where innovative, high-quality theater is celebrated. Our mission is to enhance our community through the performing arts, educate the public on the value and impact of live theater, elevate the quality of live theater locally and entertain our entire community by delivering high-quality Shakespeareinspired theater produced by our diverse ensemble of cast and crew. We firmly believe in the importance of representation of our entire community, both on stage and behind the scenes. Education: Master’s of fine arts in directing, University of Idaho, 2019; master’s in theater production, Central Washington University, 2008; bachelor’s in language arts and theater arts secondary education, CWU, 2003. Family? Pets? My husband Geoff and I have been married for 11 years and have two boys, Malcolm and Henry. We have one lovable, large dog named Atticus, and two black cats, Harvey and Mimi. How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? I moved to Kennewick from Idaho Falls, Idaho, when I was in fourth grade. I lived in Kennewick through high school graduation, then returned to the Tri-Cities after earning my bachelor’s. What word describes you? Empathetic Biggest flaw? I still worry too much about what others may think of me. Biggest pet peeve? Drivers who don’t use their blinker lights. Dream vacation? Going back to England and Scotland, this time with my husband and two boys.

Favorite book? “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee Favorite movie? “The Sound of Music” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” Favorite musician? Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Sondheim, the Beatles Favorite sports team? Seahawks Favorite website or app? Oregon Shakespeare Festival (; Stitcher podcast app. Favorite Tri-City restaurant? Porter’s Real Barbecue, Barracuda Coffee Favorite thing to do in Tri-Cities? I love visiting our local farmers markets, Adventures Underground, directing plays at The Uptown Theatre and visiting historic downtown Kennewick. What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? Even though I run a Shakespeare theater company now, in high school I didn’t understand why he was such a big deal, and I thought reading his plays were boring. (That’s because the plays are supposed to be watched, and not read!) Thankfully, a college professor opened my eyes to how awesome and powerful Shakespeare can be and how his work should be fun and accessible for everyone. Describe your job and how you got into it: Theater has always been a part of my life; I didn’t feel like I fit in anywhere else. So, in a way, I got into my current job by getting involved in theater in high school, then studying it in college. I started out as an actor but realized once I started teaching I absolutely loved directing. This eventually led to my current job, as artistic director and co-founder of The Rude Mechanicals. I am responsible for the artistic elements for our company, including choosing the plays, choosing the directors and advising casting of our acting company. I also direct at least one production per season and advocate for theater arts education and using theater for social change. Who are your mentors? Wes Van Tassel is who taught me to love Shakespeare. Bill Rauch, outgoing artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare

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Festival, has shown me how to direct in creative ways and the importance of caring about those you work with, what you do and how that affects your community. I’m also thankful for some amazing female theater artists who have broken down barriers and inspire me, including Dawn Monique Williams, Larissa FastHorse, Lauren Gunderson, Shana Cooper, Emily Richman and Martine Green-Rogers. Toughest career decision? The toughest career decision I’ve had to make was leaving my teaching career to pursue creating a theater company, which at the time I had no clue if it would work out or not. It was the scariest leap of faith I have ever taken, and the most rewarding. I miss my students, but also was inspired and encouraged by them to pursue a dream I had for a very long time. Now, I get to work with many of my former students in our theater company. What do you like most/least about your job? I love working as part of an ensemble to bring theater to our community and to hopefully make it accessible to everyone, especially those who may not consider themselves “theater people.” I love seeing students of all ages find a personal connection to what we do. My least favorite part of my job is feeling a sense of pressure to constantly succeed, worried that if there is a weak moment or an attempt at something that doesn’t end up like I hoped, that I’ll be judged and blamed for it.

What was your first job? My first job was as a teacher’s assistant at an early childhood education center. I learned classroom management, how to communicate with many different kinds of people and how ego is not something that will contribute to working as a team. How do you achieve work-life balance? Oh! That’s a good question. I am still working on it! I am getting better at sharing the work load with others, so I can spend more time at home with my family. I’m more assertive when I’m asked to do something outside of my “normal” job description, (usually) only agreeing to do something extra if it doesn’t interfere with my family’s schedule. I also often bring my children to rehearsals or performances so they can see what mommy has been working on. Community involvement and service: I have volunteered for each of our local community theaters, off and on since I moved back to the Tri-Cities in 2003. I also have volunteered at the Benton Franklin County Juvenile Justice Center, Shakespeare Walla Walla and as a guest speaker in our local schools. We try to “pay it forward” in our theater company, so we have had food drives for Second Harvest and offered free tickets to government employees when the government was shut down. I also volunteer for the Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and through the artEquity organization, to promote EDI work (equity, diversity and inclusion) in the performing arts.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • September 2019

Young Professionals



City of Kennewick Tri-Cities Fever and my wife was looking for a new job and came across the sponsorship and sports marketing coordinator position and told me to apply. I applied and got the job. I have been with the city for nine years and some days it feels like I have been here for 30 years and others it feels like one month. I work with incredibly professional and intelligent people, which makes my job easier.

Courtesy Rich Breshears of Breshears Professional Photography

Job title: Recreation, facility and marketing supervisor

Dream vacation? VIP accommodations, Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.

Age and hometown: 34, Moses Lake

Favorite book? “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki

How long have you worked for the City of Kennewick? 9 years

Favorite movie? “Man on Fire”

Describe your company: The largest of the Tri-Cities is Kennewick. It stretches 29 square miles and features a variety of sporting and recreational activities, entertainment, the region’s retail shopping hub and a casual, easy-living vibe. Nestled in the heart of Washington wine country, residents and visitors enjoy 28 parks, the nationally-recognized Southridge Sports and Events Complex, four fantastic golf courses and more than 160 wineries within a 50-mile radius.

Favorite musician? Avicii

Education: Bachelor’s in recreation management with a business minor

What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? I would rather stay home any night of the week than go out and do something. Home meal and movie in bed is the best.

Family? Pets? Wife, Tawnie; kids, Piper, Brayden and Harper; dog, RayRay How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 10 years What word describes you? Resilient Biggest flaw? I want everything to be done now. I hate to wait on other people. Biggest pet peeve? People who don’t strive for greatness.

Favorite sports team? Baltimore Ravens Favorite website? Favorite Tri-City restaurant? El Fat Cat Favorite thing to do in Tri-Cities? Taking my kids to a park

Describe your job and how you got into it: I am currently the recreation, facility and marketing supervisor for the city of Kennewick. My office is located at the Southridge Sports and Events Complex, which is a great place to come to work every day. My main responsibilities are staff and facility management, marketing and customer service. I also oversee our events, tournaments and sponsorships. In 2011, I was working for the

Who are your mentors? I have two mentors that taught me different things. Sean McGrath was my first manager and he taught me sales and marketing and the difference between the two. He also has shown me that nothing is as big of a deal as you or anyone thinks it is. Maxine Whattam was my first parks and recreation director and she taught me how to navigate through city government, red tape and how to be more detailed in my planning and thought process. People who know me know I hate the small details but they do matter, especially when working at a 52-acre facility. Toughest career decision? I lost my daughter to a rare genetic disorder after she fought for 43 days, which forever shaped my outlook on life, so a career is just that. Nothing in my career will be as hard as what I went through, so I wouldn’t consider anything my toughest career decision. What do you like most/least about your job? I love coming to work every day and working through business challenges and providing a higher quality of life for our community. We have programs that provide a positive environment for kids to grow and help fight obesity. The events we host or put on bring our community together. I don’t enjoy all of the bureaucratic red tape employees and our customers have to jump through. A lot of the red tape is in place for a reason but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating. It has made me more of a strategic planner knowing that the planning process can take several years until a project or item for purchase is approved. What was your first job? I worked at the Moses Lake Country Club in the pro shop. I did everything

from washing clubs, cleaning carts, picking the range to booking tee times and selling merchandise. I learned how to provide excellent customer service and how to speak to people older than you. Some people tipped and some didn’t, but you still provide the same level of service to everyone no matter their race, gender, financial status or even how they treated others. How do you achieve work-life balance? I think the U.S. should be more like the European nations in their outlook on the work-life balance. I think people in our country are so tied to their jobs it consumes most Americans. As an employee you should come to work every day and strive for greatness but when the day is over, it’s OVER unless there is an emergency. I make sure I get my time back with my family if I work a weekend and also empower other staff members who are working when I am not to take ownership of their role and make decisions. If an incorrect decision is made, we learn and move on. Community involvement and service: Most of my job is in some way tied to enriching the lives of our citizens, whether it’s training our high school youth basketball officials on Saturdays and seeing their confidence increase or planning our Sunset at Southridge food truck event. Outside of my job I am a committee member for the Tri-Cities Public Service Workers BBQ, which is a night we recognize and thank all of the public service workers in the area. My family, friends and I serve meals at the Ronald McDonald House in Spokane. My wife and I stayed at the Seattle Ronald McDonald House, which is a magical place for families dealing with some terrible situations. When the families don’t have to cook dinner, it takes away a lot of the nightly stress they are dealing with. My family also sponsors a child through Compassion International. It feels great to know we have changed his life for only $39 a month and makes you appreciate how much you have. It’s really fun to send and receive letters from our child and how his life is much different than ours, especially when you hear what he spent his $25 birthday money on.

Young Professionals

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • September 2019


Dr. Antonio

Lopez-ibarra Tri-City Dental Care Job title: President and founder

Favorite musician? Alesso

Age and hometown: 34, Yakima

Favorite sports team? Seattle Mariners

How long have you worked at Tri-City Dental Care? 2 years

Favorite website or app? Instagram

Describe your company: Our mission includes two parts: ultimate dental comfort and edifying our community. We are a dental spa that prides itself in offering the most comfortable dental experience in the Tri-Cities. We understand that the dental chair isn’t most people’s favorite place, so we provide amenities that help relax our patients. Those amenities include aromatherapy, paraffin hand wax, massage chairs, plush knee pillows, noise cancelling headphones, Pandora Radio, your favorite Netflix show and blankets. You just relax, and we take care of the rest. The second part of our mission is to edify the community in which we live. Our service to the community is both dental and non-dental. We provide pro bono care to patients in need, educational dental workshops to the underserved and financial support to nonprofits that share our vision in edifying our community. Education: Doctor of dental surgery from University of Washington, Seattle Family? Pets? My wife, inspiration, office manager, etc., etc, is Sandra Lopez. I have three crazy kiddos: Antonio Jr., Alexia and Aria. How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 5 years What word describes you? Ideasman Biggest flaw? I have to fight my brain from being so business-minded all the time. Biggest pet peeve? When people judge others based on their circumstances and not their potential. Dream vacation? Eat paella on the coast of Valencia, Spain, then walk around on the rolling hills of Chianti. Favorite book? “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight Favorite movie? “Gladiator”

Favorite Tri-City restaurant? Aki Sushi Favorite thing to do in Tri-Cities? As a family we like to go to the TriCity Court Club and swim in their pool, especially in summer! What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? I prefer connecting with people in a one-on-one conversation to being in a large group social environment. Describe your job and how you got into it: When thinking about my career while growing up, I knew I wanted two things: have my own business and contribute to the improvement of people’s health. My brother became a dentist before I did, and I thought his job was boring—cleaning out cavities and pulling teeth…I would rather be doing anything else! Then I received some advice from a dentist friend who told me, “you don’t realize how fun and challenging the career is, until you are the one in the doctor chair doing the work.” I took a risk and went for it. From the first day I started seeing patients in the dental clinic of my dental school, I knew I was in the right place. Top two best decisions I’ve ever made in my life! Who are your mentors? The decision to become a business owner is the sum of all the advice my mentors gave me along the way. The greatest mentor in my life has been my dad. He left a great career in the Mexican government and businesses in Mexico behind to give his kids an opportunity to go to school in the USA. He knew the resources in schools here are second to none and he wanted us to learn from the best. His greatest piece of advice was, “We came to this country to be good citizens, and if I see any of my children not contributing to making the USA a better place, we’re moving back to Mexico.” That lesson is the reason I work for my family and community.

Courtesy Rich Breshears of Breshears Professional Photography

Toughest career decision? Leaving a job that was paying me well to set up Tri-City Dental Care. I knew I would be happier being my own boss. Establishing a dental practice that is totally patient-centered also meant me taking a 50 percent to 75 percent pay cut. It was a sacrifice that has paid off, but took a lot of faith. I haven’t looked back since and hopefully I can stay my own boss for the rest of my life. What do you like most/least about your job? I love cosmetic dentistry…working with my team to help people get that smile they’ve always wanted. There’s no better feeling in dentistry than when you see a person look in the mirror, see their new smile and show you their gratitude. Makes it all worth it! My least favorite part of my job is dealing with insurances to pay for patients’ treatment. They will go to great lengths to avoid paying for their clients’ dental treatments. Luckily, I have a stellar team that convinces them to do the right thing. What was your first job? I worked at Yakima Theatre as a cashier during week nights and on the weekends I would clean that same theater. My favorite of the two was cleaning the theater. Being alone in a theater with no one there to interrupt your train of thought allowed me to meditate about pretty much everything. It also taught me the importance of taking

pride in your work. I loved when my brother, my boss, would have to say, “Good job.” How do you achieve work-life balance? I know what I’m doing every 10 minutes of my day. My schedule on my iPhone is the way I run my entire life. My to-do list consists of seven to 10 things (including family time), which then turn into scheduled events. Once those events are completed, I have free time. When I’m on vacation, you won’t catch me answering my phone for business. It’s literally all family time; it’s where I recharge with family and Sandra. Community involvement and service: We look for every opportunity to serve the disadvantaged demographic in the Tri-City area. Our biggest role in the community as an organization is to educate about the importance of oral health. We partner with local businesses that employ underserved communities to set up workshops and teach their employees the risk factors of not coming to the dentist regularly. We also work with leaders in the community to bring in troubled youth and provide them with dental services and back to school supplies. The TriCities is a great place to organize community outreach because we truly care about the place we live in.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • September 2019

Young Professionals



City of Pasco

Courtesy Rich Breshears of Breshears Professional Photography

Job title: Policy analyst and interim city clerk Age and hometown: 29, Puyallup How long have you worked for the City of Pasco? 3 years Describe your company: The city of Pasco is a municipality providing services to nearly 74,000 residents. As a councilmanager form of government, residents elect seven council governing body (city council) who serve as the legislative body and the community’s policy makers. The council appoints a professional manager (city manager) to implement city council policies and establishment of operating policies and processes. The city has 380 full-time staff providing services from utilities, road maintenance and parks to public safety (ambulance, fire and police). Pasco’s population grew to nearly 74,000 in 2018 and is expected to grow by 50,000 more in the next 20 years. As one of the fastest growing communities in the state, the city is challenged to provide superior service levels and maintain and implement essential infrastructure, while meeting the demands of its growing public while valuing its community history. Education: Master’s in public administration, Eastern Washington University and bachelor’s in business administration, Washington State University Family? Pets? Boyfriend (Jake) and a black lab (Roscoe) and German

Shepherd (Nash) that keep us very busy. How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 3 years What word describes you? Determined Biggest flaw? Wanting to do everything Biggest pet peeve? Not following through Dream vacation? European adventure Favorite book? “The Power of Noticing” by Max H. Bazerman Favorite movie? “Elf” or “The Holiday” Favorite musician? Miranda Lambert Favorite sports team? Football Favorite website or app? Instagram Favorite Tri-City restaurant? Frost Me Sweet Favorite thing to do in Tri-Cities? Walk along the river with the dogs. What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? I didn’t enjoy reading until about a year ago. Describe your job and how you got into it: When I graduated from Washington State University, I was determined to

work in human resources. I applied for several positions, interviewed and came in as the runner-up for the jobs. At the time, of course, it was discouraging, but I seemed to be someone people saw something in and while I did not land my “dream job,” I was offered positions in other areas of the organizations. Working in other areas helped me see there were other fields I had not explored. My first experience in municipal government was as the staff assistant in the mayor’s office at the city of Spokane. The experience opened my eyes to what a local government can provide and what the public expects from it. The climate in Spokane was different from what I grew up knowing local government to be, but the experience solidified my desire to establish a career in local government. When I applied at the city of Pasco, I went for a position in human resources, but again, I ended up somewhere else in the organization. Being a smaller municipality, I engaged in areas that I was not able to in Spokane – budgeting, policy and planning. I pushed the scope of my position, stumbling and learning along the way. As I became more involved, a new position as a policy analyst opened and I was selected. Since beginning in the position in November 2017, I have helped the police department become nationally accredited, assisted finance in developing the city’s first biennial budget and conducted research for projects, programs and policies. One of the projects I am working on is implementing policy management software throughout the city. The system will provide greater access to city policies for the community and improve internal efficiencies to respond to public record requests, maintain training records and be an online repository for current and previous city standards. Another project is implementing a citizen engagement platform for the community. This project will allow the community to report items such as potholes and traffic concerns, or request information on city services, while also providing updates to the requester as the item is processed and resolved. Having a system to track these requests will help the city improve its processes and communicate more effectively with the community. In the beginning of 2019, the city clerk position was vacated, and I was selected to serve as the interim city

clerk to evaluate current practices and assist in the reshaping the position. I had never considered this role, but it has taught me a great deal. As an aspiring city manager, each experience is a learning opportunity, and as I continue to advance, I cannot see myself working in another field. Who are your mentors? I consider my first mentor my director at University of Washington Medicine, Lauren Gums. Being outside my industry, her perspective and experience challenge me to see things differently than those in the industry might. Being able to turn to someone not involved in the industry provides objective advice that can be used to continue my development. Richa Sigdel, finance director at city of Pasco, is someone I highly respect. Having a mentor who pushes you to look at opportunities that challenge you or even make you question if they are the right choice for you is something I think everyone should have. Being uncomfortable is where you learn the most about your abilities and you will accomplish things you didn’t know were possible. Toughest career decision? The decision to step into a role that I was not sure I wanted and was unsure if it would be the right career move. This has occurred several times, and what I have learned is that each position has lessons that come with it. Instead of looking at whether the job is the right one, I have started looking at whether the opportunity is the right one. While a job can be great to help advance a career, the intangibles such as whether the position will challenge my abilities, if it will allow work-life balance, and if I can continue with activities outside of the position (such as development opportunities and community involvement) are vital to my decision-making now. What do you like most/least about your job? I love that there is always something to learn. From the countless plans to the emerging issues that come from a changing community, I am able to continue being a lifelong learner and it keeps me grounded and eager to come back every day. uANGELA PASHON, Page 12

Young Professionals

Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • September 2019




ARES Corp. Job title: Electrical engineer Age and hometown: 30, Duvall How long have you worked at ARES? Since November 2016 Describe your company: ARES is an engineering support services company providing advanced technology solutions across the energy, space, defense and environmental markets in both the public and private sectors. Education: Bachelor’s in electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics from Washington State University (Go Cougs!) Family? Pets? I live with my lovely wife, Jamie, and our two shar-pei mix pups, Sunny and Luna. How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 5.5 years. We bought a house 3.5 years ago and are happy to call Tri-Cities home. What word describes you? Committed Biggest flaw? Not knowing when to quit Biggest pet peeve? Not knowing when to quit Dream vacation? Anywhere there is family or friends Favorite book? I’m not much of a reader Favorite movie? “Office Space” Favorite musician? Bring Me the Horizon Favorite sports team? WSU Cougars Favorite website or app? ShowBox Favorite Tri-City restaurant? Porter’s Real Barbecue Favorite thing to do in Tri-Cities? Float the Yakima River What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? There’s a reason our house is near the hospital: I am fairly accident prone.

Describe your job and how you got into it: My job consists mostly of customers in the nuclear or federal industry requesting solutions to electrical problems. This past year, I’ve assisted in installing an emergency backup generator, installing cameras and alarms in high-radiation areas, and building existing electrical systems to identify issues. I work to select the equipment needed, ensure the power system meets all state and federal code requirements and create the drawings using AutoCAD. Once delivered to the client, I work with various construction crews to make my drawings a reality. I entered the engineering field straight out of college, but it was only by working through school as an electrician’s apprentice and heating ventilation and air conditioning technician that I knew this is what I wanted to do. I enjoyed being able to work closely with the public, but quickly realized I like working inside of air-conditioned buildings instead of fixing them. So, I decided to get a desk job in the same field and was lucky to find a company that encourages community service. Who are your mentors? When I was young, my dad taught me various skills in home and auto repair. This showed me that when a hard job is done well, the value of the reward is always worth the time. Those skills and that mentality have been the cornerstone of my life, proving that nothing is impossible and every setback is just another learning opportunity. In my professional life, Lori Weidner has been someone I’ve always been able to rely on when facing difficult issues regarding code compliance or customer relations. She has always been eager to provide lessons that expand my knowledge of the electrical industry and has been a great resource when navigating through Hanford, Tri-Cities and the electrical world. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her guidance. Toughest career decision? I once was offered a promotion from another company that would have been a great job to take into retirement. Declining this opportunity was a difficult decision, but ultimately I felt that there were more learning opportunities and community engagement with my current position.

Courtesy Rich Breshears of Breshears Professional Photography

What do you like most/least about your job? At times it can be difficult navigating the bureaucratic red tape that surrounds a federal nuclear site while ensuring code compliance, but despite these difficulties, I greatly enjoy problem solving and working together to find creative solutions that will meet everyone’s needs. I love that every day is a new day with new problems to solve and that my efforts are able to move the Tri-Cities toward a better and brighter future. What was your first job? During high school, I worked as a shop cleaner at a small mechanic garage in Duvall. This was a great way to make some gas money, as well as a great way to see some of the automotive skills my dad taught me in action. The knowledge I gained from watching the mechanics at work not only helped me in rebuilding my own car, but also showed me the value of a hard day’s work. How do you achieve work-life balance? When there are a thousand things that need to be done, it can be hard to know when to say no. However, I’ve found it is important to establish what your priorities are – and who your priorities are—in order to take time for what you love. I am very fortunate that my job has great flexibility and therefore allows me to meet the commitments I have made to family, friends

and the community, while still ensuring my project deadlines are met. Community involvement and service: This past year, I served as the president of Mid-Columbia Rotaract Club, a subsidiary of Rotary International. Our club is committed to fun, friendship and philanthropy, with our members striving to invent entertaining and sometimes unconventional ways to support our local community. Each summer, we host the Red10Bash charity event, which is both a life-size beer pong tournament as well as summer block party. I am proud to say that in my past three years of involvement, we have raised $12,500 toward veteran services and $5,000 toward early-childhood learning. In addition to my time with Rotaract, I also was fortunate enough to spend the past school year mentoring a struggling fifth-grade student as part of the Lunch Buddies program. Through weekly lunch meetings, I was able to watch him grow both socially and academically. I am proud of the young man that he has become and look forward to continuing with the program in the future. Finally, I regularly volunteer at Senior Life Resources as a driver for their Meals on Wheels program. I have found that this is a great way to get to know others in my neighborhood that I might not otherwise have had a chance to meet. Even though the interactions may be short, I know there is great value in not only delivering food but providing friendship as well.


Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business • September 2019

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Young Professionals ANGELA PASHON, From page 10 What I like least is that there is always more to learn. No matter how much we know, there are always factors we cannot anticipate. In this field, we are making the best choices with the information we have at a specific moment. We can never make everyone happy, and, even with extensive research and due diligence, decisions will affect the lives in our community in different ways. What was your first job? I worked at McDonald’s in high school. I learned a lot that I still bring with me every day. • Routine in work tasks is hard for me, even though I need routine in everyday life. It took me a long time to realize that knowing a little about a lot was a blessing. I could be put anywhere and still make a positive impact on the team’s success. • Respect everyone. Being on the other end of the counter teaches you humility and to treat everyone the way you want to be treated even if you do not get your way. • Emulate managers’ qualities you admire; remember those you do not. If you are looking at the qualities of those around you, you are dedicating yourself to learning. When you apply those admirable qualities, you are committed to growing. • Working hard is fun. If you enjoy what you are doing, life is a lot more fun. How do you achieve work-life balance? By setting priorities and remembering that work will always be there. I am fortunate to have understanding family and friends who provide space for my work to expand. This support allows me to participate in development opportunities and further advance my career. I continue to work on being present in whatever

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I am doing, which requires dedicated time away from work. I am also routineoriented as I find structure is the best way for me to stay productive and efficient. I am the person who schedules time with friends and family, usually in advance, so I can get everything I need to do done, which enables me to show up for them. Community involvement and service: I have been involved in the community since I was a kid. Both my parents work in the public sector and growing up I enjoyed working in the community with them. At the age of 13, I filled out an application to volunteer at our animal shelter. I spent nearly every Saturday volunteering until I was 16, when I started working. Throughout college, I volunteered at different events and when I moved home from college, I realized a big part of my life was missing—giving back to my community. I began volunteering for the Make-A-Wish Foundation when I lived in Tacoma and continued when I relocated to Spokane for graduate school. At the city of Spokane, I managed the Spokane Gives initiative and was able to work with community entities, nonprofits and volunteers to help implement a month of volunteering. When I moved to the Tri-Cities to work at the city of Pasco, I had two goals my first year: 1. Get involved in the United Way Young Leaders Society. 2. Get into Leadership Tri-Cities. I achieved both. More recently, my involvement with United Way has opened my eyes to the needs in our community and why it is important to have advocates in our community. Leadership Tri-Cities was an incredible learning opportunity for a newcomer to the region. Going through the program made me cognizant of the needs and opportunities here.