Young Professionals Specialty Publication - August 2021

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TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | AUGUST 2021

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

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YOUNG PROFESSIONALS

TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | AUGUST 2021

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10 Young Professionals honored in 14th annual contest By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Ten diverse and passionate leaders have been selected as the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business’ top Young Professionals for 2021 for their work and civic accomplishments. These business and community leaders – all under the age of 40 – stand out in their career, company or industry. All clearly love our Tri-City community as they have rolled up their sleeves in a variety of ways to make it a better place. Each year we seem to say we received a record number of outstanding applications and this year was no different. Our panel of five judges, which included a former Young Professional winner, said they were impressed with the slate of candidates. Applicants were nominated or were

able to self-nominate. Reviewers ranked them in several categories and then the points were tallied. Since 2008, we’ve been evaluating applications from the community’s brightest young leaders. To date, we’ve honored 122, including this year’s group. 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 are: • Elizabeth Barnes, executive director, The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia. • David J. Billetdeaux, general counsel, Port of Benton. • Erin M. Braich, transportation planning manager, Benton-Franklin Council of Governments.

• Julie A. Campos, certification analyst, state Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises. • Kristine I. Cody, staff development consultant, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. • David R. Chavey-Reynaud, chief operations officer, Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council. • Rachel M. Fidino, CEO & women’s health nurse practitioner, New U Women’s Clinic & Aesthetics. • Robert J. Fyfe, field procurement supervisor, Bechtel. • Jet JT Richardson, executive director, Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity. • Jamie L. Ohl Turner, development officer-annual giving, Kadlec Foundation. It’s never easy to choose which young leaders to celebrate each year

To see winners from years past, go to tcjournal.biz/yp. because we always have many outstanding candidates. We encourage those who weren’t selected this year to apply again next year. To those we singled out in this issue and to all those chosen in years past, we applaud you. We look forward to watching you continue to grow professionally and personally. We hope our readers enjoy reading about this year’s winners. We believe you’ll be as impressed with them as we are. Some answers to our questions appearing in this special section have been edited for space.

Tri-City leaders share their favorite books of time reading again. … (This book) covers Winston Churchill’s first year in office. I’ve enjoyed both the historical aspects and leadership lessons.”

By Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business

Regular readers of the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business likely know that we run a monthly Q&A feature highlighting local business leaders. We always like to ask them to tell us about their favorite book. We compiled a list of some of their favorites, as many of them are leadership books, to share in this special section. We also gave each of this year’s Young Professional winners a copy of one of the books from this list and tucked in a bookmark – designed by our talented graphic designer Vanessa Guzmán – explaining its connection to local business leaders.  “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard,” by Chip and Dan Heath This leadership book is a favorite of Mark Schuster, vice president of global manufacturing for Lamb Weston. Here’s why: “It is about leading change and how to get it to stick. I had a mentor tell me about their strategy of reading the same impactful book every couple years to remind yourself of the lessons and to reflect on them in your current situation. I have found that to be impactful advice with this book, as it has been helpful to read the book again and apply it to my current situation.”

 “Soldier, Statesman, Peacemaker: Leadership Lessons from George C. Marshall,” by Jack Uldrich This book is a favorite of Rob Mercer, president of Mercer Wine Estates / Mercer Ranches. Here’s why: “He was one of the greatest heroes of American history who was completely selfless and a complete professional in every sense. His leadership courage and style ensured our country’s success in World War II.”  “Traction, Get a Grip on Your Business,” by Gino Wickman This business book is a favorite of Michelle Holt, executive director of the Benton-Franklin Council of Governments. Here’s why: “I have been using its strategies for the last two years with my teams with great success.”  “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t,” by Jim Collins This leadership book is a favorite of Taran Patel, managing principal, A-1 Hospitality Group.

 “The 4-Hour Work Week,” by Tim Ferris  “Principles: Life & Work,” by Ray Dalio These two are favorites of James C. Alford, owner/president of JC Agriculture, In Season Produce, Premier Seed, 509 Custom Application, Desert River Farms.  “The Splendid and the Vile,” by Erik Larson Brad Sawatzke, retired CEO of Energy Northwest, cited this book as a good one. Here’s why: “It’s hard to name a favorite book, but over the last 10 years as Kim and I became empty nesters, I’ve spent a lot

 “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn,” by John C. Maxwell This book is a favorite of Dave Retter, broker/owner, Retter and Company Sotheby’s International Realty; SVN Retter & Co.  “A Higher Call,” by Adam Makos This book is a favorite of Shawn P. Sant, Franklin County prosecutor. Here’s why: “A great story about honor among World War II pilots who were in very difficult situation during the war over Germany. The amazing part was how these two pilots met decades later in Seattle to share their stories.”


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Elizabeth Barnes Executive Director The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia

Age: 38

Current city of residence: Richland

How long have you worked for The Children’s Reading Foundation? 2 years

Briefly describe your organization. The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia (CRFMC) serves all children and families located in Benton and Franklin counties.

Our mission is to encourage and educate families about their important role in raising a reader, support schools in assuring that students read at grade level by the end of third grade and facilitate community involvement that ensures young readers can be successful.

Founded in Kennewick in 1996, five citizen founders and eight Washington school districts came together to start the foundation with the belief that the entire community is responsible and part of the solution to reading proficiency. CRFMC provides READY! for Kindergarten, Team Read Tutoring, First Teacher Libraries, Books for Babies, Resolution Read and READ UP Summer Reading program to families. CRFMC targets parents and children aged birth to 8, serving over 40,000 families each year with educational programming, resources, tools, books and information about the importance of reading 20 minutes every day with a child.

Education and certifications: Concordia University Portland: Master of Education, educational leadership and administration. American College of Education: Master of Business Administration.

Washington State University: Bachelor’s of elementary education and teaching.

Briefly describe your job and how you got into it: Being an executive director of a nonprofit requires the wearing of many hats. I lead an incredible team in providing educational resources, tools, programming and books to our community.

I raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding through grant writing, fundraisers and community partnerships with local school districts that are spent on providing the educational resources to the community. I am the face of our

organization to the community.

I work with local business leaders, community partners, schools, community members and others to share the importance of reading 20 minutes each day makes on a child’s life and the huge impact this makes on our community on the generations.

I got into leadership when I was teaching kindergarten in Egypt in 2011. The Arab Spring happened, the country broke into revolution and half the staff of the school I was teaching at left the country.

My husband and I decided to stay and work as long as the school stayed open to provide a safe haven for children and a refuge for the parents. At that time the early childhood principal left and I was promoted.

I was thrust into a position that I never thought I would want and loved it. Since then I received my master’s degree in educational leadership and have held two different principal positions at international nonprofit schools where I provided education to families and children in need.

When I moved back to the Tri-Cities two years ago, I was looking for a nonprofit education-related job and found the position of executive director at The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia. I interviewed for the position before even arriving in the country and accepted the job a few days upon arriving. I have loved how quickly this position allowed me to get to know this community. After being gone for 16 years, it has been wonderful to dive right in and rediscover the place I now call home. How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 8 years in total with a gap in the middle. How did you earn your first dollar? When I was 6 years old my sister and I started a cookie-making and selling business.

She and I would make the cookies together, me using a picture recipe card my mom made for me, and then I would go door to door around the neighborhood selling our homemade chocolate chip cookies. We sold two for a quarter.

Photo by Rich Breshears / Breshears Professional Photography

I used my hard-earned cash on candy from Circle K. We did this for the next six years until I was old enough to babysit and bring in the big bucks.

Did the pandemic affect your daily work life? If so, how? The pandemic greatly affected my work life.

My normal day before the shutdown consisted of me dropping off my son at before-school care, running to the office, then to a luncheon, back to the office for an afternoon meeting, out to a restaurant for a fundraising meeting, stop at the YMCA to pick up my son and then finally home. After the shutdown, our office was closed so I worked from my bedroom office, the couch or the backyard for a year. My son was home so I was also homeschooling and being the primary care giver to my aging parents. It was quite challenging.

What was your dream job as a child? When I was a child I met some missionary children who were visiting from Senegal.

They told me about their school and the teachers they had who were from the U.S. or the U.K. and I thought, “Now uBARNES, Page C10

Favorite sports team?

U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team

Favorite Tri-City restaurant? Foodies

Favorite music? Pure pop

What’s your dream vacation?

Warm sandy beaches


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David J. Billetdeaux General Counsel Port of Benton

Age: 36

Current city of residence: Richland How long have you worked for the port? 4 years

Briefly describe your organization. The Port of Benton drives economic growth, trade and tourism by providing quality infrastructure and multimodal transportation for businesses and the community. The port was established in 1958 and was chartered to “promote industrial development and transportation, including general aviation, in Benton County.” Education and certifications: University of Washington: Bachelor’s in English and philosophy.

Seattle University: Juris Doctor (J.D.), cum laude. Briefly describe your job and how you got into it: Prior to working at the port, I was a partner at the Cowan, Moore,

Favorite book? Movie?

“Infinite Jest,” “No Country for Old Men” (or “Die Hard,” depending on the mood).

What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? I love cooking, watching cooking shows, reading cookbooks and developing new recipes.

Favorite snack?

A toasted English muffin with cheese, mustard, and spicy nacho Doritos.

Favorite thing to do in Tri-Cities?

Outdoor recreation and enjoying beverages from our favorite local wineries and breweries.

Billetdeaux Law Firm in Richland.

My mentor, Tom Cowan, was the port’s outside counsel. I developed a relationship with the port, assisting it with developing new policies, working on public record requests and assisting with legal research into litigation issues. I was asked by the port’s previous executive director to consider working for the port as general counsel. Now that I have been at the port for four years, I can say that it was nothing like I thought it would be!

I have liaised with outside counsel and worked directly on litigation matters in front of the Benton County Superior Court, U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington (federal court), the Surface Transportation Board, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, Division III Court of Appeals and the Washington State Supreme Court, achieving victories for the port at every venue. When not slogging through litigation, I research and develop policies to modernize the port and to try to develop the Port of Benton into a regional leader in the port industry. This role involves everything from human resources to commercial negotiations. I am in the process of obtaining my Professional Port Manager certification, which is a multiyear effort to educate and develop port professionals on the intricacies of port management.

How did you earn your first dollar? Honestly, my first dollar was earned doing chores around the house.

An “allowance” was not a given, but something to work for and be earned. From a young age, my family ensured that hard work was instilled in me. Aside from that, I had a number of jobs throughout high school.

I refereed youth basketball games, I worked for the Richland School District as a computer technician, and I worked at Pacific Northwest National Laboratories as a radiological and chemical sciences intern. Did the pandemic affect your daily work life? If so, how? I worked very closely with my executive director and interim director of finance at the start of the pandemic to guarantee that the port would not have to shut down or place any employees on furlough or other involuntary leave.

Photo by Rich Breshears / Breshears Professional Photography

We quickly developed work from home policies and obtained laptops, webcams and other technologies that allowed for our work to continue uninterrupted. I also developed policies that could help mitigate the very real economic cost to the port’s tenants.

As part of its mission, the port supports commercial properties that create jobs, provide community services and support the port’s financial needs, thereby reducing port reliance on property tax assessments from the district. In addition, as a government agency, the port has equal legal mandate to be responsible stewards of public assets.

However, regional economic prosperity is linked to an area’s ability to prevent, withstand and quickly recover from major disruptions or economic shocks to its economic base.

Establishing economic resilience in the Port of Benton economy requires the ability to anticipate risk, evaluate how that risk can impact key economic assets, and build a responsive capacity. Because of that, I helped develop an Emergency Support Function for business and industry as an all-hazards framework for economic recovery and resilience.

The plan includes longer-term, preemptive, steady-state initiatives that sought to bolster the port’s ability to withstand,

mitigate and/or avoid economic shock.

Additionally, when economic shock occurs, the plan’s economic relief policies address the changing world through business recovery and retention mitigation measures which, applied through sustained and ongoing efforts, increase the speed by which the overall port community returns to a thriving economy. At the same time that we were investing in our technologies and our people, we were working hard to make sure that these unexpected expenses did not upend the port’s annual budget. Through hard work and thinking outside of the box, we were able to leverage various grants to make sure that every dollar spent was either matched or forgiven.

On top of all of that, we also moved to Zoom commission meetings to ensure that our staff, elected commission and the public could safely stay involved with local government actions. What was your dream job as a child? As a child, I wanted to either be in the NBA, or be a computer programmer.

Opposite ends of the spectrum there, I know! While I did play basketball extensively throughout my youth, the need to work during high school ended my basketball career right before lack of athletic prowess would have. uBILLETDEAUX, Page C10


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Erin M. Braich Transportation Planning Manager Benton-Franklin Council of Governments

Age: 27

Current city of residence: Richland How long have you worked for the council of governments? Since December 2018 (2.5 years)

Briefly describe your organization. The Benton-Franklin Council of Governments (BFCG) was established in 1966 as a voluntary association of the units of government in Benton and Franklin counties.

The organization is structured as a regional planning commission, a council of governments and a regional transportation planning organization under state law and as a metropolitan planning organization and an economic development district under federal laws. BFCG’s focus is on economic development, community development and transportation planning by providing a regional forum for multi-jurisdictional decision making and provision of multijurisdictional programs. Education and certifications: University of Hawaii at Manoa: Master of Arts, Urban and Regional Planning. Certificate in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance.

Eastern Washington University: Bachelor’s in urban and regional planning. Certificate in Geographic Information Systems.

Briefly describe your job and how you got into it: I was sold on becoming an urban and regional planner through free pizza at a major fair at Eastern Washington University. Originally, I wanted to be an architect. However, Eastern Washington did not have an architecture program, so through free pizza and being convinced that urban and regional planning is architecture at the city scale, I found my passion. Urban and regional planning combines collaboration, problem solving, data analysis and no two days ever being the same.

I was hired by BFCG out of graduate school in December of 2018 as a transportation planner and was promoted to senior transportation planner and then transportation planning manager by September of 2020. While working at BFCG, I consistently find myself as the youngest professional in the room when discussing planning

projects. However this does not discourage me from standing up for the highest and best use of resources. During my time at BFCG I have accomplished the following: • Project lead for the update of the Congestion Management Process (CMP) and Regional Active Transportation Plan for the Tri-Cities region while coordinating with representatives from local jurisdictions and implementing industry best practices.

• Restructured the Geographic Information System on BFCG’s website to display updated regional traffic count, Title VI, CMP, active transportation and travel demand model data. • Oversaw the 2019 Benton-Franklin Council of Governments Call for Projects (BFCG allocated over $15.1 million to local jurisdictions for transportation projects) and wrote the Call for Projects Guidebook outlining the procedures and funding sources of the call for projects process. • Updated BFCG’s Title VI Report and implemented Title VI emphasis area methodology into all planning processes and documents.

• Developed the Unified Planning Work Program for the transportation department of BFCG for the previous two fiscal years and a total budget over $2.5 million. • Created and administered a request for proposals for travel demand model improvements and technical assistance for the land use update in the long range transportation plan.

• Coordinated with local jurisdictions to conduct Growth Management Act reviews of the transportation element within their comprehensive plans. • Worked with colleagues to create professional development plans and identify their individual strengths, goals and needed skills to obtain their professional objectives

Today, as the transportation planning manager, managing a team of four, we work to solve regional planning issues through collaboration and multimodal solutions. The Tri-Cities region is growing very quickly and being a part of shaping the future of the place I grew up is an amazing opportunity and privilege daily. How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 22 years (moved away for undergrad and graduate school, then moved back.)

Photo by Rich Breshears / Breshears Professional Photography

How did you earn your first dollar? Umpiring Little League games at Richland National Little League. Did the pandemic affect your daily work life? If so, how? Yes, the pandemic moved my workstation from the office to my spare bedroom and cut my commute time drastically (12 minutes by bike to 10 steps).

Favorite music? Common Kings

I enjoyed my daily commute of biking to and from work as my warmup and decompression of the workday. Now, I have made it a part of my daily routine (and Edgar’s, my border collie,) to walk in the morning and run after work to maintain my warmup and decompression of the workday.

Ride bikes along the river with my fiancée (Kayla), dog (Edgar), and cat (Kona – in his cat backpack).

Also, I have made it a point of emphasis to do weekly check-ins with each member of my team to see how they are doing with their work and working from home.

Favorite Tri-City restaurant?

Working from home has its benefits, but it does not allow for coworkers to see one another every day, so making sure to highlight mental health and asking, “How can I help you be a better transportation planner?” every day to ensure the team members that there is someone there for them. What was your dream job as a child? Starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners

uBRAICH, Page C10

Favorite thing to do in Tri-Cities?

Dovetail Joint (best chicken sandwich in town) and Family Garden (best garlic chicken)

First thing you check on your phone in morning?

Text messages (I am in a lot of group chats)


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Julie A. Campos Certification Analyst Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises

Age: 25

Current city of residence: Pasco How long have you worked for the state? 11 months going on 1 year

Briefly describe your organization. The Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) is a Washington State government agency that certifies small, minority and women owned businesses, providing them with the opportunity to participate in public contracts and procurement. OMWBE is committed to promoting equity in public contracting and procurement so small businesses led by minorities and women can flourish and we then strengthen our communities and improve the quality of life for all Washingtonians. At OMWBE, I work as a certification analyst federally certifying women and minority-owned small businesses for

What’s your dream vacation?

Bali and Nice, France

Favorite Tri-City restaurant?

Dovetail Joint in Richland & El Pollo Sabroso in Pasco

Favorite snack?

Life Saver Gummies and all the spicy chips I can find.

First thing you check on your phone in morning?

The time – to make sure I am not late for work and then my email!

the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification.

Since I am passionate about racial equity and social justice, OMWBE’s mission and values drew me to the agency. Education and certifications: University of Washington: Master of Education Policy.

University of Washington: Bachelor’s in early childhood and family studies.

How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? Almost 26 years! 6 years have been on and off while I was attending the University of Washington. How did you earn your first dollar? My first dollar was earned working as a basketball referee for the city of Pasco. I was 14 at the time and would referee every Saturday during the winter for the youth basketball games at Pasco’s City Hall and Pasco High. I grew up playing for city of Pasco’s recreational youth basketball program as well, so it was fun to get to referee the games. Did the pandemic affect your daily work life? If so, how? Due to the pandemic, I am working fulltime remote from my home. It has been over a year now since I started working from home full time and even though I miss being in an office socializing with colleagues, I now have grown to love working from home.

I get to do household chores during my lunch break or make myself a home cooked meal. I also started my position with OMWBE remote which was challenging at first, but now that I am fully trained and understand my work, I love meeting with businesses from home. What was your dream job as a child? As a child, my dream job was to be on Disney Channel.

Tell us about your community involvement/community service. When I moved back to Pasco in August of 2019, after living in Seattle for six years, I knew I wanted to make a difference in the community that raised me. Shortly after, I got involved in a few different organizations. Currently, I am an elected precinct committee officer and I am a member of LULAC, The League of United Latin American Citizens. I am also on the Park and Recreation Advisory Board for the

Photo by Rich Breshears / Breshears Professional Photography

city of Pasco.

I am excited to participate on the board because civic engagement and the health and wellness of Pasco is very important to me.

Additionally, I am passionate about advocating for our immigrant community in Washington state as both of my parents are immigrants.

I volunteer on the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) hotline which provides the Washington immigrant community with resources and support pertaining to immigration and Covid-19. I also volunteer for the Washington Immigrant Network managing their social media accounts for this Business Resource Group for state employees. They provide a great network for immigrants and allies to come together and connect and share the value of a diverse workforce.

How do you achieve work-life balance? I actually aspire to practice work-life integration. Rather than balancing both, I integrate both into my life because I know 50-50 between work and life is not always realistic.

Some useful strategies that help me prioritize my life outside of work is always having a vacation or something fun scheduled because I then have something

to look forward to. I also schedule time to spend outside in the sun and integrate movement into my workday. I go on walks during my lunch break or I will do an at home workout. It also helps that I turn off my work computer on the weekends. Do you have family? Pets? I love my family and I am so happy I chose to move back to Pasco to spend more time with them.

I have been blessed to have been raised by my two parents who are both immigrants from Mexico. I have two older sisters as well. I am the youngest of three, so I was able to learn a lot from both of them. I also have two beautiful nieces and a soon-to-be born nephew. I also have a lot of extended family throughout the Tri-Cities. As for pets, I hope to have a pug one day! What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here? I grew up in Pasco. I was born at Kennewick General Hospital and my parents have lived in Pasco since their migration from Mexico.

I lived here for 18 years, then moved to Seattle in 2013 to attend the University of Washington and moved back in August 2019. I love Pasco and I am so grateful for all the opportunities Pasco has given my family and I and continues to give to the Latinx community. I am so proud of Pasco!


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David R. Chavey-Reynaud Chief Operations Officer Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council

Age: 29

Current city of residence: Kennewick How long have you worked for the Workforce Development Council? 10 months

Briefly describe your organization. The Benton-Franklin Workforce Development Council (BFWDC) is the convener of regional workforce development efforts, powered by $5.28 million in grants. We are responsible for funding, coordinating and overseeing the activities and programs of the local One-Stop Center, WorkSource Columbia Basin, as well as services to youth and young adults at TC Futures.

Education and certifications: Central Washington University: Bachelor’s of music education. Seattle University: Master of Business Administration.

Briefly describe your job and how you got into it: My scope of work is quite broad, and includes: finding ways to diversify BFWDC funding, program administration and outreach, engaging with local, regional and state organizations on behalf of Benton-Franklin and advocating for local programs and support systems, system optimization and facility oversight. Before joining the BFWDC I worked in economic development for four years, first as a business recruitment specialist and then as the director of business retention. My favorite activities in business retention were related to workforce development and creating a pipeline from job seekers to local businesses. How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 5 years

How did you earn your first dollar? I started working during my summers when I was 13, splitting my time between babysitting for a few different families and doing some landscaping/yardwork. I still remember the feeling of elation of having a source of income and the freedom of being able to buy whatever snacks I wanted at the grocery store. Did the pandemic affect your daily work life? If so, how? It did, but I’ve been incredibly lucky. I was still with the Tri-City Development Council (TRIDEC) when the pandemic started, and we pivoted to working completely remotely.

I had the opportunity to turn a spare room

into an office and have had a fun time making it a bit of a recording studio as well. The transition to BFWDC from TRIDEC was seamless, as they were also remote. I’ve really enjoyed working from home.

As we’ve begun to move back to the office, it is pretty terrific to see everyone in person again. What was your dream job as a child? I wanted to be a scientist of all trades, like Bill Nye. My grandfather led my preschool in all kinds of experiments and inspired me in more ways than I can count.

He passed away when I was 7, but was immortalized in my mind as a tinkerer and leader of objective questioning. As we’d watch Bill Nye in elementary school, as cool as he was, I always thought that my grandfather could have done it better. Tell us about your community involvement/community service. My community involvement has slowed considerably over the last year, but I have been an active member of Rotary for several years, participating in various fundraisers and events we’ve held including the Duck Races, and acting as emcee for the 2019 and 2020 Entrepreneurial Awards.

I also belonged to the board of Young Professionals Tri-Cities and Emerging TriCities, helping plan and coordinate young professional events, job fairs, networking mixers and relevant speakers. I have volunteered for several years for Junior Achievement, teaching an Economics for Success class to seventhgraders. My community passions, similar to my occupation, revolve around helping people get to where they want to go professionally and providing the means/ vehicles/support to be successful.

How do you achieve work-life balance? I’ve been fortunate enough to have only had bosses for the past several years that support a healthy work-life balance.

I’ve never been put in a position where I felt like I needed to sacrifice my time with my family, or my mental health, for the sake of my work. Occasionally we’ve been incredibly busy, or have had to work longer hours, but there’s always been an awareness that comes with that situation and some grace on the front or back end to make up some of that time.

Photo by Rich Breshears / Breshears Professional Photography

As a result, I have always been happy to respond to an email or two that come in on the weekends or in the evening or volunteer time when something needs resolving after hours.

Do you have family? Pets? I have a wonderful fiancé, Victoria (Tori) Nunez, who does incredible work as a children’s therapist. Together we have two dogs, Murphy and Mary, and a cat, Xander. My parents live in Twisp, Washington, where I grew up. What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here? My first degree and job was in music education.

After teaching high school band for two years, I realized I wanted a career in something slightly different, and got my MBA at Seattle University. While there I interned with SouthEast Effective Development and fell in love with economic/workforce development. After graduating, my first job offer was from TRIDEC, which drove my move to the Tri-Cities. I’ve come to love this area and the people and look forward to contributing to the region’s growth for years to come. I still love music and teaching though, and direct a jazz band at Richland High School in the mornings before I head to BFWDC.

What’s your dream vacation?

Somewhere tropical, on a beach. We’re going to my brother’s wedding in the Bahamas as our honeymoon, which will be perfect!

Favorite pandemic purchase? New iMac (I’m a sucker for Apple)

What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? I’m a hang glider pilot

Favorite Tri-City restaurant?

Fujiyama Steak House & Bar


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BARNES, From page C5 that’s the job for me.”

I loved playing teacher and I always wanted to explore the world. I knew I wasn’t good enough to be a missionary but I could be the teacher of missionary kids so that became my dream job for a long time. Tell us about your community involvement/community service. I joined the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and became an ambassador for the chamber, which has been mostly on pause for the past year. I joined the local Young Professionals Kiwanis group just two months before the world shut down.

Through the YP Kiwanis group, I helped fund raise for school supplies for a local school. I am a member of the local Society for Human Resource Management chapter, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,

BILLETDEAUX, From page C6 I took one extra step toward my other dream job, which entailed going to the University of Washington (Go Huskies!) on a full-ride scholarship as a National Merit Scholar within the computer science program. No offense to the computer programmers out there, but my own inability to work alone in a basement while surviving on a steady diet of energy drinks and pizza led me to an early collegiate pivot toward English and philosophy. Tell us about your community involvement/community service. I have served on the CBC Foundation as a board member for the past six years. BRAICH, From page C7 Tell us about your community involvement/community service • Freshman boys basketball coach at Hanford High School. Before, during, and after the season, I worked with students in player and skills development through physical and mental training, while supporting the head coach. • Board member on the Bike Tri-Cities Board of Directors. Bike Tri-Cities is the cycling advocate for the Tri-Cities leading the community in promoting cycling as a safe, healthy, sustainable and fun form of transportation and recreation. I assist in providing technical assistance and professional knowledge of upcoming and ongoing multimodal transportation projects in the Tri-Cities area. • Speaking at Hanford High School about urban planning. Over the past three years, I have spoken in the Freshman Advanced Placement Human Geography class discussing urban and regional planning in

and the Early Learning Alliance.

I am a fosterer for Little Lives Small Animal Rescue.

I am currently fostering a rabbit that was abandoned in Columbia Park a month after Easter. Since the world shut down, I have spent much of my community involvement focused on ensuring the community is getting books through community organizations that are providing basic needs like food and shelter. I am looking forward to being able to get out and support the community in other ways at opportunities present themselves.

How do you achieve work-life balance? Prior to the pandemic, I worked very hard at only working in the office. I kept work at work and home at home with little cross over, and this was how I kept my balance. This past year having a true work-life balance has been really difficult. Last year, I was appointed as the planned giving chair for the board. Additionally, I am an ex officio member of the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Benton Franklin County Bar Young Lawyers Division.

I am a past member of the Richland Rotary, and previously provided pro bono legal assistance via the Benton Franklin Legal Aid Society.

My wife and I have dressed up to hand out Milk-Bone treats and candy at the local animal rescue Trunk-or-Treat events, we pick up trash and waste that we come across whilst recreating, support and encourage proper use of public lands, support local and small businesses first, and really, anywhere there is a need to fill, or role I am asked to assist with, I try to make myself available to do so. the Tri-Cities, Washington state and about current developments/projects.

During my time in the Richland school system, I never learned about urban and regional planning, so being able to discuss this subject with the next generation of professionals in the community is an amazing and fulfilling opportunity.

• President for University Students of Urban and Regional Planning. I was elected student leader of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and communicated regularly between the department faculty and the student body to arrange and organize guest speakers and department events. • Graduate trainee for the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College: West Kauai.

I conducted and transcribed interviews of government officials and community members relating to the impacts of flooding in West Kauai. Also, I organized and facilitated community workshops on flooding inundation and best practices. Having deep and meaningful conversations about how one’s community

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS Working from home for the past year has created this strange limbo where I was always kind of working and at the same time always kind of being a parent, wife, daughter, sibling and friend. This created a lot of stress and anxiety so I finally created my own office hours where I work specific hours from my home office and then spend time with family in the afternoon and another set office hours time in the late afternoon. This allows me to reduce my anxiety, meet my deadlines and still meet my family obligations while working from home. It has taken me a while to figure out what works for me. Do you have family? Pets? I have been married to my husband Gordon for 13 years. He and I met and fell in love in Cairo, Egypt.

Guatemala before we moved to the TriCities.

I am the middle of five children. My parents and youngest brother live in Kennewick and my other siblings live in California, Virginia and Idaho. We currently have one rabbit named Ryker that we are fostering but no other pets at this time. What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here? I moved here with my family when I was 13 and left for college after doing two years of Columbia Basin College.

I whipped the dust off my shoes as I left as I was sure I would not be coming back to live in this town.

We had a whirlwind romance and traveled the world for the next 11 years. We have a son named George who is finishing first grade. He was born in Thailand and raised in Cambodia and

I spent the next decade traveling and working but when my father’s cancer returned my mother asked if we could move back to help support her in taking care of him. We moved back in summer 2019 and lived with my parents for the first year and a half. We just purchased our first home in Richland in April.

How do you achieve work-life balance? I think it’s impossible to truly maintain a work-life balance within our current society, as technology becomes ever more helpful but also ever more invasive.

the pandemic. We got up extremely early, hiked Mt. Rainer in the dark with nothing but headlamps and the light of the moon to guide us, and had our ceremony at sunrise in front of a gorgeous backdrop.

I try to combat this by engaging in a number of activities that force me to unplug for periods of time. These include long distance road cycling (I’ll be participating in my fifth Seattle to Portland bike ride this year), hiking with my wife and traveling. Sure, after these activities, I almost religiously check my work phone or email to make sure that there are no fires to put out (figuratively or literally), but I am able to check out and enjoy the activities as they are occurring!

Our animal children are Dottie, an always ready to hike mix of shepherd/ spaniel/terrier/poodle/boxing herding mix (according to Wisdom Panel), and Simon, our lovable rescue cat. We unfortunately lost our cuddly English bulldog, Lolo, to cancer in February of this year.

Do you have family? Pets? I married my love, Cara Hernandez, during

What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here? I grew up in the Tri-Cities, attending Sacajawea Elementary and Hanford middle and high schools. I left for undergrad and law school in Seattle and moved home to help out during the economic downturn in 2011.

should rebuild after a disaster or flooding taught me many lessons that I call upon in my work today to be the best empathic planner possible.

my older brother lives in Bandon, Oregon. My fiancée (Kayla) and I have one cat (Kona, tuxedo cat) and one dog (Edgar, border collie).

How do you achieve work-life balance? I make it a point of emphasis for myself and everyone in my team to take time for yourself and detach from work. Daily, I bring my dog (Edgar) into the office to offer relaxation and a break from their work for other employees.

Also, I organize organization-wide bicycle rides that take place around the TriCities to help improve our on the ground knowledge and build a connection to the region’s active transportation system. Building team camaraderie is important to maintain a work-life balance, especially during times when most of our interactions are via Zoom and Teams. I try to cultivate a fun work environment where people want to show up and work hard and are happy with their individual and team outputs.

Do you have family? Pets? My mom and dad live in the Tri-Cities and

What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here? I grew up in the Tri-Cities and then moved away to Walla Walla to play baseball for my freshman year of college. After breaking my foot during the baseball season, I transferred to Eastern Washington University to finish my bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning.

Seeking further knowledge in planning and regional decision-making and sick of the Eastern Washington winters, I moved nearly 3,000 miles away to Honolulu, Hawaii, to attend graduate school at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Once completing graduate school, I looked to move back to the Tri-Cities to apply my knowledge gained during my education to assist one of the fastest growing areas in the state in sustainable land use and transportation planning.


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Kristine I. Cody Staff development consultant Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Age: 34

Current city of residence: Richland

How long have you been at PNNL? My new job starts Aug. 23.

Briefly describe your company. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory draws on its distinguishing strengths in chemistry, earth sciences, biology and data science to advance scientific knowledge and address challenges in sustainable energy and national security. Founded in 1965, PNNL is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Education and certifications: George Fox University: Bachelor’s in organizational communication. Azusa Pacific University: Master of Science in College Counseling and Student Development.

Briefly describe your job and how you got into it: In my new position at PNNL’s Learning and Development group as a staff development consultant, I will provide internal consulting, facilitate trainings and staff development activities, and align resources and staff members to foster a culture of continuous learning. Prior to PNNL, I began my career journey in higher education while pursuing my master’s degree in Southern California. As a first generation to college graduate, I’ve held a long-standing desire to build bridges and provide advocacy for underrepresented student populations.

When I moved back to the Tri-Cities in 2018, I found opportunities to do this work both at Columbia Basin College and most recently at Washington State University Tri-Cities as assistant director of career services. I worked to stay attune to opportunity gaps and incorporate and provide access to key resources that will lessen and close them for marginalized populations. During my eight years in higher education, I found there were many ways to do this. However, a key area that I’m passionate about is providing inclusive professional development opportunities to students.

At WSU Tri-Cities, I provided coaching for students on professional competencies and hosted events that provided participants the chance to practice and strengthen their skillsets. This included one-on-one meetings with students to review their resumes, conduct mock interviews and to provide support for their internship and job search efforts. At WSU, I also facilitated the annual career fair, networking night and educational workshops. In addition to providing support for students, I also worked with local employers to promote employment opportunities and to offer strategic oversight for how the campus engages students with career connected learning. How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? About 15 years

How did you earn your first dollar? My first dollar was earned through babysitting and cleaning house for family friends. The first job I was hired for in a professional setting was to file for a local insurance agency during high school. I then went on to acquire work study jobs in college, including book repair for the university library and as a marketing and communications assistant aiding with drafting press releases and editing the university website. Once I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, my first full-time role was as the administrative assistant for the United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties.

Did the pandemic affect your daily work life? If so, how? The pandemic affected much of my daily work as WSU Tri-Cities was fully remote for the past year and a half. We pivoted to online learning and service delivery to ensure the safety of staff and students. This meant that I shifted all of my appointments, meetings, workshops and events to virtual delivery. I primarily utilized Teams and Zoom to engage with students and my student employees. Through the process I learned how to effectively coordinate and moderate webinars, to utilize project management software to guide and engage with my staff remotely and to promote events and services through a social media marketing plan.

Photo by Rich Breshears / Breshears Professional Photography

The silver lining of the pandemic was that it also created the need and access for collaboration across WSU campuses. This strengthened my relationship with my career services colleagues on campus and allowed us to be more innovative and strategic in how we reached students and met their needs given the impact of the pandemic. What was your dream job as a child? As a child I had various dream jobs including to be a veterinarian, ballerina and a fashion designer.

The most enduring dream job was to be a fashion designer. In elementary school I completed a career poster presentation on being a fashion designer. I continued to foster this dream by sketching clothing designs throughout high school. This dream dictated my college choice and my initial degree declaration in fashion design. As I learned more about myself in my college, I realized that my purpose was to be in a helping career which led me to my career pathway in nonprofits and education. Tell us about your community involvement/community service. During my first career season in the Tri-Cities, I took part in the Make A Difference Day Committee through my role at United Way.

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What’s your dream vacation? Greece

What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you?

I was born in Germany and lived there until I was 5 years old.

Favorite pandemic purchase? More books!

Favorite Tri-City restaurant?

Masala Indian Cuisine


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Rachel M. Fidino CEO & Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner New U Women’s Clinic & Aesthetics

Age: 38

Current city of residence: Kennewick How long have you worked for New U? 1½ years

Describe your company: New U Women’s Clinic & Aesthetics offers a unique experience for women. We’re a one-stop solution to handle virtually every aspect of a female’s life. Our clinic focuses on treating the whole patient and her needs not just her diagnosis. We dedicate our practice to center on patient wellness and prevention as the foundation of their care. Education and certifications: Missouri State University: Doctorate of Nursing Practice, Department of Nursing. University of Cincinnati: Master of Science in Nursing, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. City of Hope, Duarte, California:

Favorite book? Movie?

My favorite books are “How’s Your Soul” and “The Universe Has Your Back.” My favorite movie is “Pretty Woman.”

Favorite thing to do in Tri-Cities?

I love going to the farmers market, wine tasting, paddleboarding on the Columbia River, or shopping at local boutique stores.

Favorite snack? Miniature Oreos

First thing you check on your phone in morning? Emails

Intensive Course in Community Cancer Genetics and Research Training. Washington State University Spokane: Bachelor of Science in nursing, Registered Nurse.

Eastern Washington University Spokane: Bachelor of Science in nursing, Registered Nurse. Certification: National Certification Corporation, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Certification: American Nurses Credentialing Center, Advanced Genetics Nursing.

Briefly describe your job and how you got into it: I have been caring for women since 2012. I have devoted my entire life and career to being an advocate for women’s health issues and being a leader in my field. After enduring a diagnosis of cervical cancer and gestational trophoblastic disease, I knew that I needed to impact women on a larger platform. I founded The Healing Hands Project in 2018, which provides menstrual hygiene kits across the world to women in need and teaches basic gynecological care.

In 2018, I was also selected on to the National Association of Nurse Practitioner’s in Women’s Health Board of Directors position. I became heavily involved in cancer genetics when my own family was diagnosed with BRCA1, which is a genetic mutation that predisposes patients to breast, ovarian, pancreatic, melanoma and prostate cancer. I have achieved a board certification in Advanced Cancer Genetics and am a key opinion leader on cancer genetics. I knew I wanted to open my own practice one day and care for the entire patient, not just her diagnosis. I had an opportunity to start my own women’s health and aesthetics practice in 2020 and have continued to see patients full time and dive into various leadership roles.

My heart is drawn to helping our state provide the best care for women and actively lobby for women’s right issues. I currently have written a bill to improve payer coverage for breast cancer screening modalities for women who are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. I am honored to care for our community.

Photo by Rich Breshears / Breshears Professional Photography

How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 10 years

How did you earn your first dollar? I earned by first dollar by babysitting and mowing lawns when I was 16 years old. Did the pandemic affect your daily work life? If so, how? The pandemic started one month after my clinic opened.

It definitely threw me for a loop. I had a business model and goals set up to achieve; however, I needed to remind myself that everything happens for a reason and it would be OK. I ended up closing down part of the practice and continued to see patients who were in need of care.

Many practices closed their doors, but we decided that if women needed to be seen, we would care for them. The pandemic set the clinic back by six to eight months, but we have survived and will continue to persevere.

Being the CEO of the clinic, you have to be bold and make brave decisions every day. I have a strong belief that everything happens for a reason and if I continue to have faith and work as hard as I can, everything will be OK. I have an amazing team who is behind me every day helping us reach our goals.

What was your dream job as a child? When I was a little girl I wanted to be a veterinarian. Tell us about your community involvement/community service: I am actively involved in community service through my nonprofit called the Healing Hands Project. We serve women throughout our office who are in need of menstrual hygiene kits and gyn education. I volunteer at Mirror Ministries and teach women basic self-care and menstrual hygiene.

I recently received a donation of 10,000 menstrual pads from LOLA and those feminine hygiene products were distributed throughout our community to organizations who serve women in need. We utilized our friends at Women Helping Women to gain access to the organizations in need of our services.

I have written a bill that is sponsored by Washington Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick. This bill will mandate insurance coverage for breast imaging services for women who have dense breast tissue, increased risk based on genetic mutations, and/or increased risk due to family history of breast cancer. The bill will be presented at the next legislative session.

I lobbied for removal of the tampon tax

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Robert J. Fyfe Field Procurement Supervisor Bechtel

Age: 36

Current city of residence: Pasco How long have you worked at Bechtel? 7 years

Describe your company: Bechtel is a global engineering, construction, and project management firm with divisions that span most industry & government sectors.

Education and certifications: University of Michigan (Ann Arbor): Bachelor of Science in Engineering, nuclear engineering; Master of Science in Engineering, nuclear engineering.

University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA): Master of Science: Mechanical engineering. Professional Engineer: Washington State #54410: Mechanical engineering. Bechtel: Black belt, Lean Six Sigma program.

Washington State University Extension: Certificate in enology, certificate in viticulture (expected September 2021). Briefly describe your job and how you got into it: I oversee a team of six to eight people and nearly $20 million in purchases for the Waste Treatment Plant site out at Hanford. It was a long circuitous route to get here, but I was educated as a nuclear engineer and worked as a professional mechanical engineer.

Most recently I spent two years in Bechtel’s Lean Six Sigma program and earned my black belt on procurement improvement efforts. I re-integrated into procurement, instead of back to engineering, because of an opportunity there that I was suddenly knowledgeable in. How long have you lived in the Tri-Cities? 8 years

How did you earn your first dollar? Pushing carts at Walmart in Monroe, Michigan.

Did the pandemic affect your daily work life? If so, how? I was sent home to figure out how to telework, and I have not returned to the site. So, my life changed dramatically.

Instead of breakroom conversations over doughnuts, chats with my coworkers are all virtual through webcams. Instead of filling up my car every three to four days, I think I’ve filled up my tank only five to six times in the past year.

Plus, I work weekends at Kiona Vineyards & Winery, in their tasting room, so I got to experience the pandemic’s impact on the service sector, too. We went to seated tastings, then closed. Though we’ve reopened, we still haven’t returned to the tastings like we’d done for decades before Covid-19. What was your dream job as a child? The moment I learned (and could pronounce) what an aeronautical engineer was, I was convinced it was the job for me!

Tell us about your community involvement/community service. I’m obsessed with the mission of Second Harvest food bank. I volunteer and donate money there whenever I can.

Pre-Covid I was very active in FIRST (robotics), mentoring a team a Kamiakin High School and I refereed at local competitions. Pre-Covid I was a high school instructor for Junior Achievement, where I’ve taught a personal finance module at Pasco High for several years. Luckily, during Covid, I was able to continue judging the local and state science fairs for middle and high schools, albeit virtually.

Pre-Covid, I’ve been an Engineering Week High School Friendly Competition judge and planner, but we were unable to pull anything together with all the schools this year. Cannot wait for that to resume.

How do you achieve work-life balance? It’s been tougher since teleworking, but making commitments in the weekday evenings is the only way to save me from myself. I’m not one to get up really early and work, but I’ll stay connected all night if I don’t have something pulling me away. Mondays is virtual trivia with family

Photo by Rich Breshears / Breshears Professional Photography

in California and Texas. Tuesdays I set aside for “wine school,” since I’m enrolled in the viticulture certificate program at WSU. Wednesdays and Fridays are for CrossFit. Thursdays are for pickleball.

Favorite music?

Dance pop. Currently Dua Lipa.

They all force me to power down from work and go do something active.

Do you have family? Pets? It’s just my wife and I locally, with our two dogs, Reya & Benny. Benny was a Covid puppy since I was spending so much time at home.

We both have very small families in Michigan and California that we try to see at least once a year when we are allowed to travel. What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here? Neither of us are from here, or even from the Pacific Northwest.

What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? I was a competitive ballroom dancer at the University of Michigan.

Favorite pandemic purchase? Grill (outdoor kitchen)

My wife has worked for Bechtel for 13 years, and they brought us here. We had options, but the local wine scene broke all ties.

We came thinking it would only be one to two years, but the Tri-Cities just can’t get rid of us.

Favorite book? Movie?

Book: “Words of Radiance” by Brandon Sanderson. Movie: “Sister Act.”


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Jet Richardson Executive Director Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity

Age: 38

Current city of residence: Richland

How long have you worked for Habitat? 1.5+ years (19 months) Briefly describe your company: We at Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity believe that all residents of Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla counties should have the opportunity for a decent, affordable place to live. And I personally believe that homeownership is the most effective way to combat generational cycles of poverty. Therefore we build affordable housing for area residents between 30%-80% of the average median income.

We partner with local businesses and banks to provide access to resources and financing; and we rely on our incredible network of community volunteers to help keep labor cost low and carry out our mission – to put God’s love into action, by bringing people together to build homes. What’s your dream vacation?

To traverse the Trans-Siberian Railroad, from Saint Petersburg, Russia to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Favorite music?

The Beatles, Billy Joel and Elton John but I also listen to a lot of showtunes.

Favorite pandemic purchase? My home

First thing you check on your phone in morning? The snooze button, but I also recently discovered the Instagram page, Bad Taxidermy!

Education and certifications: Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation: Master of Science, Urban Planning; School of International Public Affairs: Master of International Affairs, Development and Conflict Resolution. Seattle Pacific University: Bachelor’s in business administration, emphasis in international business and marketing, minor in international studies. Exeter College, Oxford: International Studies Negotiations Short Course.

Briefly describe your job and how you got into it: As the executive director for our local Habitat for Humanity affiliate my general role is to set the strategic vision, fundraise and oversee the daily operations which includes our homeownership program, the construction site and our retail store. I also have the opportunity to engage in advocacy at the city, state and federal level aimed at promoting better affordable housing policy specifically targeting homeownership opportunities for our very hardworking local low-income residents. I first became interested in urban planning issues as a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Senegal, West Africa. I was fascinated by the way in which Dakar, the region’s largest city, was able to move over a million people around without a reliable source of electricity, meaning no stoplights (although since then there have been a couple few newly installed).

From that experience my interest in international affairs and development would always be linked to urban planning. Housing is a universal priority and in my opinion the embodiment of Maslow’s foundational need (food, water, warmth, rest), where you sleep at night is important and housing – especially homeownership – even more so.

How did you earn your first dollar? My dad would bribe us to do yard work by burying coins in the dirt, but my brother usually found them first forcing me to look for work at Red Lobster as a busser/ host. I’ll always appreciate my time in the restaurant/hospitality field and I’m drawn to resumes of people who don’t shy away from listing that experience – it’s a bonding opportunity.

Photo by Rich Breshears / Breshears Professional Photography

Did the pandemic affect your daily work life? If so, how? Only in that Netflix seems to be greenlighting every single idea, regardless of quality or subject matter, which means there are a lot more opportunities to watch meaningless programming. Habitat for Humanity, specifically TriCounty Partners, has been blessed with community support through which we have been able to successfully navigate this chapter in world history.

I am very grateful to our committed staff and volunteers who take this work very seriously and will continue to see it to completion.

And even though this has been a difficult 15+ months, we have a lot of fun doing it! If my life is in any way different because of the pandemic, it is richer due to the relationships that we have continued to cultivate between staff, our family partners, engaged community partners and our dedicated volunteers. What was your dream job as a child? In high school I was drawn to architecture and design. However (cringe) in junior high I do remember briefly telling my dad I wanted to be a stand-up comedian (I think it was after seeing my first episode of “Seinfeld”), and I once tried out for the elementary school talent show, my talent being somersaults.

Let’s just say the journey to my “dream job” was a winding road and it really didn’t come to me until much later.

Tell us about your community involvement/community service. Currently I am a volunteer member of the Richland Arts Commission; I serve on Habitat for Humanity Washington State’s board of directors, focusing primarily on state level affordable housing policy/ advocacy and sustainability; and Habitat for Humanity International’s Rural Advisory Council raising awareness of our local housing issues with the greater national Habitat for Humanity network.

How do you achieve work-life balance? I trust my staff and volunteers to do their jobs and to do them well (which they have yet to disappoint). I’ve always worked better from an office rather than my home, so when I’m home I make it a priority to disconnect. Do you have family? Pets? We have a family dog, Wrigley, a cockapoo.

What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here? I grew up in the Tri-Cities, graduated from Richland High School class of 2001. I moved back to be closer to family and to shift gears professionally from foreign policy to urban planning – that was when the opportunity with Habitat for Humanity became available and I applied for it.


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Jamie L. Ohl Turner Development Officer - Annual Giving Kadlec Foundation

Age: 30

Current city of residence: Richland How long have you worked for the Kadlec Foundation? 1.5 years

Briefly describe your organization: Kadlec Foundation, on behalf of its donors, supports the work of Kadlec Regional Medical Center. It is work that’s more important than ever with the increasing financial challenges facing health care.

Gifts from individuals like you allow the foundation to provide lifesaving breast cancer screenings for women in financial need, keep kids healthy, ensure our region’s babies receive the finest care possible and make sure that no one faces the challenges of a neurological disorder alone. Education and certifications: Washington State University: Bachelor’s of business administration. Briefly describe your job and how you got into it: Growing up, I’ve always had a love for fun and for helping people. From Girls Scouts as a child to student government and Junior Guild while in high school to serving as philanthropy chair for my sorority in college – it’s safe to say I’ve always had a heart for service. However, it wasn’t until after I had graduated that I discovered my love of volunteering, organizing and event planning could be made into a career.

I will be forever grateful to our local United Way office for taking a chance on me and introducing me to the world of professional fundraising. Being able to connect those in need to the services they need as well as helping connect donors to the causes they care about was absolutely amazing.

But even though I loved working for United Way, when a similar position opened at Kadlec Foundation, I knew I had found my true home. Having a somewhat extensive medical history myself and quite literally owing my life to the Providence Health hospital system, the ability to work for Kadlec Foundation feels like everything has come full circle. I was lucky enough to be given a second shot at life thanks to an amazing medical team but unfortunately not everyone is so fortunate with access to such resources. Through Kadlec Foundation, I am able to help bridge those gaps in care, to further connect those in need with resources they

need, and to further steward the generosity of our donors toward the greatest needs facing our community.

How did you earn your first dollar? Like most kids growing up in the 1990s, my first dollar came from a lemonade stand set up outside my childhood home. However, my mother likes to say she knew I had a mind for marketing and business at a very young age for this was no simple lemonade operation. Throughout the spring and fall of fourth and fifth grade I would run Kid’s Café out of our front yard across from Sunset View Elementary every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon selling sodas, smoothies, candy bars, pony bead bracelets, Otter Pops and more. I made sure to constantly update the sidewalk chalk around the neighborhood directing people to our house as well as passing out flyers around school encouraging kids to stop by on their walk home.

Did the pandemic affect your daily work life? If so, how? To say joining a health care organization during a pandemic was akin to “trial by fire” is no understatement. While I went through interviews and the hiring process for my new position pre-pandemic, my first day was actually right at the end of March 2020 and right when our country began to shut down with the budding pandemic beginning to fully take hold. As a health care organization, we took the impending pandemic very seriously from the beginning and all non-patient facing staff able to work from home were encouraged to do so.

This meant that beyond just the general first day tasks of setting up email and reviewing company policies, I also had to quickly figure out how to best work from home and how to remain collaborative despite never meeting many my fellow coworkers in person.

I often joke that I never realized just how un-ergonomic my couch was until it became my office for the year. For the first six months of my new job, I had yet to actually set foot into the office or even visit the Kadlec campus. Outside of just our daily office procedures, the entire nonprofit industry was also turned on its head. Since we were no longer able to hold events or large gatherings with which to

Courtesy Rich Breshears Professional Photography

share our message and solicit donations, we quickly had to pivot into alternate ways to reach donors and keep them connected. Through it all, I am incredibly proud of how our community stepped up to support our efforts – from the countless local restaurants that donated meals to caregivers at both our hospital and clinic locations to our various corporate partners who converted their original event sponsor dollars to supporting our Area of Greatest Need Fund, allowing us the flexibility to further provided comfort and well-being to patients and their families as each new challenge arose. What was your dream job as a child? As a child, I was fully committed to becoming a real-life Disney princess, especially Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.”

With our shared love of books and adventure plus the fact she’s also a brunette, I thought I would be the perfect person to play her at various Disney functions.

Even though it’s not entirely the same, I have still been able to somewhat fulfill my princess dreams through my work with the Academy of Children’s Theatre, often volunteering as part of their Princess Breakfast fundraisers or as a strolling character at their various Family Expo

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Favorite book? Movie? “Watership Down,” by Richard Adams.

Favorite thing to do in Tri-Cities? Brunch!

What thing would people be most surprised to learn about you? I actually get quite nervous when public speaking or meeting new people.

Favorite snack?

Anything with cheese


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TRI-CITIES AREA JOURNAL OF BUSINESS | AUGUST 2021

CODY, From page C11 I also volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club Job Ready/Career Launch program during which I mentored two local high school girls to assess their skills and interests, explore career options and develop professional skills. While studying and working in California I also volunteered for a Racial Reconciliation Center as a facilitator for anti-racism workshops for the community. FIDINO, From page C12 in Washington state and this was passed in the last two years. I recently testified to the Washington State Department of Health to update its carrier screening insurance coverage for patients. The rule was passed and will now improve coverage for patients who would like this service in our state. I also donate my specialty pro bono to patients if they are in need of care and do not have insurance. Over the last year I TURNER, From page C15 events.

I also run a fashion-based Instagram, @browneyedlovely, which serves as a wonderful creative outlet, plus the perfect excuse to put on a fluffy dress or two.

Tell us about your community involvement/community service. I have served as secretary for MidColumbia Rotaract for the past several years, providing the opportunity for young men and women to enhance the knowledge and skills that will assist them in personal development, to address the physical and social needs of their communities, and to promote better relations between all people worldwide through a framework of friendship and service. As a board member for the Academy of Children’s Theatre, I have been able to help provide educational opportunities in the theater arts for young people of all abilities and levels of interest.

In the summer of 2019, I was selected to partake in the MyTri 2030 project as a “life

How do you achieve work-life balance? I strive to achieve work-life balance by placing boundaries that ensure I can prioritize my relationships, health and other passions.

Part of my strategy to accomplish this is not connecting my work email to my phone, setting dedicated time for friends and family on a weekly basis, and turning my out-of-office Outlook alerts on when I’m on vacation.

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS firmly believe that when we get sufficient rest and time to unplug from work, we bring our best and most creative self to our job. Awards and honors: Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award 2021 Outstanding Supervisor Award

I also flex my time if I have a longer day due to an event, so that I can rest and keep up with other responsibilities. I

Do you have family? Pets? My mother, father and younger sister are Tri-City residents. My older sister lives and works in Germany. I adopted a rescue west highland terrier dog named Benny in

have cared for over 10 newly diagnosed patients who did not have insurance.

make every effort to always have dinner together as a family.

I was able to coordinate their care and arrange proper treatment to other providers and colleagues who would also care for these women.

How do you achieve work-life balance? It takes a village to be the CEO of two companies and find time for life balance. My husband is very supportive and has flexibility with his work schedule to help with day-to-day operations for the businesses and at home. We do not have cable in our home and expert,” weighing in on the day-to-day activities and amenities that improve our quality of life throughout the Tri-Cities. I was selected for Leadership Tri-Cities Class XXVI.

How do you achieve work-life balance? I am certainly someone who is lucky enough to not only love what I do at my job, but to also have a job which allows me the flexibility to do what I love. Nevertheless, I am extremely extroverted and “FOMO” – the Fear Of Missing Out – is definitely real. It can be difficult to juggle professional responsibilities with fun events, concerts, or travel opportunities – never mind the need to sleep!

What I’ve found helps me the most is to keep a detailed calendar of events so that I am able to track when I need to be where and what is going on, but to also make sure I have dedicated, scheduled down time and be intentional about what I take on. Do you have family? Pets? I live with my husband, Chris, and while we don’t have kids at the moment, we do

My daughter is turning 13 years old and the three of us are a great working team. We are active in our church at C3 Tri-Cities in Richland and try to take in the small moments during the day. It’s hard leaving a new business, so we take longer weekend away trips as a family to reset and reconnect as a family. Do you have family? Pets? I am married to my husband, Andrew Fidino, who is a critical care flight paramedic and my daughter, Makenzie, is 12½ years old and attends Chinook

have two fur-babies in the form of our two rescue pups, Sunny and Luna. My parents and younger sister live here in town as well. What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here? I was born in the Tri-Cities so this has always been home, but like most kids growing up in a small town all I wanted was to “get out” and someday move to a big city.

After graduating high school, I immediately moved to the biggest city I could find, Los Angeles, and it was indeed quite the culture shock.

Yet while I loved the constant good weather and go-go-go lifestyle, I soon found that it was with the people of the Pacific Northwest that I felt most myself. It wasn’t long before I decided to transfer to Washington State University in Pullman, making several of my best lifelong friends in the process as well as meeting the man who would eventually become my husband. But despite moving back to Washington, I still had no intention of returning to

2017. He is a fun-loving and mellow pup that loves food, walks and snuggling. What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here? I first moved to the Tri-Cities as a child when my dad was transferred here for work and spent the majority of my childhood living and learning here.

After I graduated from high school I moved away for college, but returned in 2010 to get started in my career. I moved away again in 2012 for graduate school, and then returned in 2018 to be closer to family. Middle School. I have 2 dogs, Bella (English bulldog) and Beau (golden retriever). What brought you to the Tri-Cities? Did you grow up here? I grew up in Waitsburg and moved to Walla Walla when I was 21 years old. I moved to Tri Cities when I was working as a labor and delivery registered nurse at Kennewick General Hospital. I left the area and moved to Seattle to achieve a specialty in breast care and gyn oncology before moving back to Tri Cities in 2018. the Tri-Cities at the time. Life had other plans however, and I moved back home to be with my family after a serious multirollover accident along Highway 26 left me with several severe injuries that needed around-the-clock care. The two years I spent back in town during my recovery served as a reintroduction to the Tri-Cities and all of the wonderful things about our region I had overlooked as a child. Now, eight years after the accident that brought me home, I am happily “back to normal” with minor lasting damage and beyond happy to call the Tri-Cities home. Much as I myself have changed over the years, it has been exciting to see the Tri Cities grow and become so much more than just the “Oasis in the Middle of Nowhere” I remember. While my wreck was indeed a difficult time in my life, I am forever grateful that I was able to re-discover all that makes the Tri-Cities a great place to live, work and play!

Congratulations to all the 2021 Young Professional nominees & winners!