Class Notes 1990-99
Local volunteers, including Wendi Moose ’96, have worked with the East County Citizens Alliance to collect trash along roadsides in the Camas-Washougal area. The alliance launched the “Great Route 14 Trash Cleanup” in March 2022. Since then, the group has collected and disposed of more than 2,000 pounds of trash along Highway 14 in east Clark County.
Michael Palensky ’94, owner of the Couve Cycle, a 14-passenger pedal powered party cycle that tours through downtown Vancouver, is looking for a buyer for his business. Palensky opened Couve Cycle in 2016. Once it’s sold, he’ll focus on his job at Gaiser Middle School and coaching two volleyball teams.
Cascadia Technical Academy IT instructor Ray Nelson ’92 and his students held their annual community service electronics recycling event where community members were invited to drop off old electronics to be recycled free of charge. This was the busiest event in their 10-year history where students are able to test, dismantle and build their troubleshooting skills while safely recycling obsolete electronics.
Ridgefield Washington City Council unanimously elected Jennifer Lindsay ’99 as the city’s next mayor. Lindsay was appointed to the council in 2018 to fill a board vacancy and was elected to Position 6 in 2019 and reelected again in November 2021. Lindsay succeeds Don Stose, who announced he was stepping down from the council at the end of January 2022.
Clark alumna Yumi Torimaru ’98 will perform a traditional Japanese music and dance performance during Clark’s International Day celebration on January 25, 2022. After moving to Vancouver, Wash., from Japan with her parents, Torimaru started her own drumming group and learned to play traditional instruments to educate the public on Japanese culture.
Reshell Douglas ’90, owner of Not Too Shabby Boutique in downtown Vancouver, Wash., is seeing her busiest holiday shopping season ever during her 21 years in business. Douglas attributes the growing retail businesses coming to downtown and the addition of an online store for the uptick this year, but foot traffic has been good despite the pandemic.
After working seven days a week for more than a year, James Kasper ’91 has fulfilled his dream of turning an old motel into a 60-room recovery house. Kasper and his crew welded new stairs, installed new doors, added new structural beams and pipes to bring the aging building to code. The recovery house currently has 29 residents and is run by about 30 staff members.
Jim Mains ’96 started planning his family’s Halloween decorations in the summer and the display grew so large it took over three neighboring properties. Mains wanted to add joy to families who have struggled through the pandemic and hoped kids of all ages would have lasting memories when visiting the display.
Clark County Fire Commissioner Ron Gibson ’98 is vying to keep his District 5 seat he’s held since 2010. Gibson hopes to ensure Fire District 5 continues to support the Vancouver Fire Department as it aims to expand the department with the growing city.
Ridgefield City Council incumbent Jennifer Lindsay ’99 will be fighting to retain her position 6 seat this fall against challenger Ken Spurlock. Lindsay was appointed to Council in October 2018 when a vacancy occurred due to a resignation and ran unopposed in 2019 to retain her seat on City Council.
Wendy Smith ’95 is running to keep her position 3 seat on the Vancouver School Board Directors in November’s general election. Smith, a mother of two, is the longest-serving member of the school board and has worked as a classroom teacher for 17 years. Her campaign places emphasis on a broad understanding of diversity and history in the classroom and she acknowledges a learning loss brought on by the coronavirus pandemic that will take several years to fix.
Michelle Melton ’96 had no idea the pool in her backyard could provide revenue until she signed up to rent her yard out by the hour. Melton found a way to make extra cash in the summer f 2021 by renting out her pool through an app. She has made more money than renting the entire house.
Laura Ellsworth ’97 is a fully vaccinated kidney transplant recipient but discovered she doesn’t have full protection from the COVID-19 virus. Ellsworth took part in an antibody study by Johns Hopkins University of people like her who were vaccinated but immunocompromised, learning that while she was fully vaccinated, she was not fully protected.
The Camas School District’s Book MoBus, a traveling library to encourage children to read when they’re not in school, is making a tour around Camas during the summer of 2021. Camas K-5 school teacher Jennifer Scott ’94 launched the program in 2019, transforming the school bus to a public library that does weekly stops to elementary schools across Camas. Families check out books, participate in literacy activities and learn tips for supporting summer literacy.
Heidi Johnson Bixby ’93 owner of Johnson Bixby and Integrated Tax Services launched a women’s clothing boutique, The Difference, in 2019 and now has two locations serving Vancouver and Lake Oswego. When the pandemic shut the physical doors, Johnson Bixby quickly pivoted to a virtual personal styling model. This allowed the company to provide personalized service, then ship wardrobe updates to clients. Now, as things have started opening again, The Difference is seeing business pick up and Johnson Bixby is hiring more staff.
Kim Buffum ’94, founder and organizer of the Northwest’s Largest Garage and Vintage Sale is holding the event this year after pausing during to the pandemic. Along with her husband, Kim started the sale in 2008 when the economy was in a recession and the couple was looking for a business. Twelve years later, the NW’s Largest Garage and Vintage Sale moved from Portland’s Expo Center to the Vancouver Fair Grounds and draws in hundreds of vendors and thousands of attendees.
Camas artist Liz Pike ’96 is holding the second annual Fern Prairie Art Fest, a two-day event connecting local artists and the community on Saturday and Sunday, July 31 and August 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Art Fest is staged in the peaceful setting of Shangri-La Farm and includes the work of 15 local artists.
Author Mitchell S. Jackson ’94 won a Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing for “Twelve Minutes and a Life,” a long-form piece published in Runner’s World that chronicles the life and murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the racist history that has kept the sport of running to an overwhelmingly white pastime.
Wendy Smith ’95, the Vancouver school board’s most senior director and past president, has announced she’ll seek a second term as a board director. Smith teaches social studies at Heritage High School and was elected to the Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors in 2017.
With nearly 18 years of sobriety under his belt, James Kasper ’91 is helping other community members struggling with addiction. Among his efforts, Kasper has turned an old motel into a 60-room recovery house as well as turning an old Orchards restaurant into a recovery hall and meeting place. Kasper’s vision is to take buildings that are known for alcohol and drug use and turn them into sanctuaries for people seeking help.
Shannon Holliday ’96, manager of Carol’s Corner restaurant in Hockinson, received a check from a group of local women who had collected donations to help the struggling restaurant stay afloat during the pandemic.
Student nurses at La Center school district, Erin Uskoski ’01 and Danielle Rivers ’95, were awarded with the Learn Here 2020 Real Hero award for promoting a safe and healthy environment through health screening programs, CPR training, and preparation for the school’s COVID-19 emergency response shutdown and reopening.
Clark alumna, Amy Davis ’96 was appointed by the Southwest Washington Contractors Association to its board of directors. Davis has worked in construction lending and finance at Columbia Bank for 20 years. She served as president of the contractors association in 2011.
The Community Task Force on Council Representation met with Vancouver City Council to develop and recommend strategies, including council nomination by district, for improving government participation among underrepresented populations in Vancouver. Formation of the task force stemmed in part from a recommendation that came out of last year’s charter review process. Task force members include Clark Alumni, Mary Elkin, Tanisha Harris ’97, Pat Jollota, and Aemri Marks.
Furry Friends recently announced changes to its board of directors, including the addition of Julie Goldbeck ’94 and Dena Hugh ’04. Furry Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and no-kill cat rescue serving Clark and adjacent counties. Founded in 1999, the volunteer organization rescues and adopts out homeless, relinquished and abused cats.
Amy Davis ’96 was appointed by the Southwest Washington Contractors Association to its board of directors. Davis has worked in construction lending and finance at Columbia Bank for 20 years. She is the former president of the contractors association, having served in that capacity in 2011.
Clark alumni Jim Mains ’96, his wife Cecelia Mains ’06 and their son Remington are honoring Washington state victims of COVID-19 by hanging green ribbons on the fence in front of their house. As avid holiday decorators, the family started receiving requests via the Holidays on Franklin Street Facebook group to put their Christmas display up in an effort to bring joy to the area. However, after a member of their neighborhood association became one of Clark County’s first COVID-19 victims, the Mains decided to go display ribbons instead.
Liz Pike ’96, former Camas state representative, will present a one-woman art show of her paintings at the Three Creeks library in Vancouver through the end of March. Pike has found her passion in art and her hobby farm after retiring from politics in 2018.
Ophelia Noble ’98, executive director of the Noble Foundation, is working in conjunction with the SW Washington Complete Count Coalition to educate the Clark County minority population on the importance of providing accurate information on the upcoming 2020 census. The results of the census will determine how an estimated $675 billion will be divided and allocated among the nation’s communities each year for the coming decade and will also determine how to divvy up the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Sherri Bennett ’94 joins Washington State University Vancouver as its chief of staff on March 2, 2020. Bennett had served at YWCA Clark County in a variety of positions for more than 20 years, including nearly 10 years as its executive director.
Tanisha Harris ’97, a Democratic candidate for the 17th Legislative District, announced her campaign for the seat currently held by Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver. Harris, a child advocate for YWCA Clark County, previously challenged Kraft in 2018, losing by a margin of fewer than 1,000 votes. Harris also ran for the Clark County Council District 3 seat in 2016, losing to Republican John Blom in a close race.
Honorable Jennifer Lindsay ’99 was sworn in to the Ridgefield City Council. Lindsay, who was appointed to the council in October 2018, won her November 2019 election for position No. 6 with 97% of the vote. Lindsay will rely on her experience with Ridgefield schools, service organizations, and the planning commission to help retain Ridgefield’s small-town charm as its population grows.
Kandi Lukowski ’99 was featured in The Columbian’s weekly “Working in Clark County” column. Lukowski is a Braille program specialist and coordinator at the Ogden Resource Center, a fee-for-service business arm of the Washington State School for the Blind. She has worked there since 1998 and now oversees the center’s 145 projects with businesses and governmental departments spanning the country. Lukowski has also served on Clark College’s Business Technology Advisory Committee since 2016.
The Columbian featured the Firstenburg Homeschool Community Program, a new initiative by Vancouver Parks and Recreation to offer supplemental programs for families who home-school their children. The program is the brainchild of Stacey Allington ’96 together with two home-school parents. Allington identified home-schooled kids as a population that needed such programming. In their first home-school session, Firstenburg offered 29 classes with 120 students enrolled.
Kandi Lukowski ’99 was featured in The Columbian’s weekly Working in Clark County column. Lukowski is the Braille program specialist and coordinator at the Ogden Resource Center, a fee-for-service business arm of the Washington State School for the Blind. She has worked there since 1998 and now oversees the center’s 145 projects with businesses and governmental departments all over the country. Lukowski earned her AAS at Clark in Special Education and Teaching, graduating with honors, and has served on Clark College’s Business Technology Advisory Committee since December 2016.
Local civic leadership development program Leadership Clark County recently announced its 2019 Outstanding Alumnus Award recipient as Clark College alumna Tracey Malone ’97. Malone graduated from LCC’s 2014 class and serves on numerous local boards including Southwest Washington Contractors Association, Camas School District and Cascadia Tech Academy. Tracey has been the Vice President of Halbert Construction Services since 2011.
Janie Lee Corbett ’93 was inducted in to the Seaside (Ore.) High School Hall of Fame on September 21. Corbett was a 1983 member of the softball Little League team that finished as a national runner-up. She was also inducted into the Clark College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2019 for her participation on the women’s basketball team from 1991-93.
Nelson Holmberg ’90 was hired to serve as executive director of the Southwest Washington Contractors Association. He previously served as vice president of innovation at the Port of Ridgefield.
Author and 2017 Clark Outstanding Alumnus, Mitchell Jackson ’94, was interviewed on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s radio show, “Think Out Loud.” In the interview, Jackson discussed his book “Survival Math” and his life growing up in the disenfranchised black community of northeast Portland in the 70s and 80s.
Patricia Kellog ’94 announced her resignation from the Educational Services District 112 Board of Directors.
Karen Hagen’95, a Clark College Foundation employee, was awarded the Clark College Presidential Coin by President Robert Knight for her dedication to and great work for the college.
Merry Saari ’97 joined the Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department as a board member for its marketing committee.
Rosemary Gardner ’96 retired from Clark College after 23 years as an administrative assistant on September 25, 2018.
Dennis Heikkinen ’95 retired after 11 years of service to Clark College as a custodian.
Mark Kroll ’92 commercial Insurance agent for Biggs Insurance, was appointed vice president associate to the board of directors for the Building Industry Association of Clark County for 2019. Kroll has been a member of the professional organization since 2011.
Maxtrix Roofing, owned by Wendy Marvin ’95, was named the Small Business of the Year by the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce at their annual Business and Leadership Awards dinner.
Ryan Polly ’96 , Ph.D., was honored with a Rising Star Award by the Vermont Business Journal for his work leading the talent development, equity, diversity and inclusion program for the University of Vermont Medical Center.
Tanisha Harris ’97 is running for the Washington House of Representatives 17th Legislative District, position 1 seat. Presently Harris served as court appointed special advocate program specialist with YWCA Clark County.
Todd Zalk ’95 joined the team of Selco Community Credit Union’s Commercial & Business Banking division as vice president of commercial lending and business banking. Zalk most recently served as a relationship manager for Wells Fargo in Portland. He has worked in the banking industry for 11 years.
As council member for 15 years and two-term mayor, Tim Leavitt ’92 collected many suits, sport coats and slacks. Two years ago, he donated about a dozen suits to Clark’s Dress for Success program, which provides professional clothing to Clark students at no cost. Now, no longer an elected official, he has two dozen additional suits and sport coats he no longer uses and has made a second donation to Dress for Success.
Matrix Roofing, a local small business owned by Wendy Marvin ’95 was featured in the Vancouver Business Journal. The business has seen rapid growth in recent years and is now partnering with a national organization, No Roof Left Behind, to give away a free roof replacement to a Clark County family in need.
Jennifer May York ’99 wed Lori Mae Swanger on May 10, 2018.
Nancy Baker ’90 joined the board of the Vancouver Energy Community Fund.
Riverview Community Bank named Kevin Lycklama ’98 the executive vice president and chief operating officer, to succeed G. Patrick Sheaffer as president and chief executive officer upon Sheaffer’s retirement on April 2, 2018. Lycklama joined the bank in 2006 and served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of the company from February 2008 to July 2017. He then took on the role of chief operating officer in July 2017. Prior to joining Riverview, he was an audit manager for an Oregon CPA firm. Lycklama was part of the bank’s investor relations team, led the recent transaction with MBank and assisted in the company’s secondary public offering.
Emily Enquist ’97 was elected to serve district 1 on the Ridgefield School District Board of Directors.
Tracey Malone ’97 was elected as district 5 representative to the Camas School District Board of Directors.
Dr. Paul Reed ’91 owner of Vancouver’s popular Bridge Chiropractic, was named by the Washington State Chiropractic Association as the 2017 Chiropractor of the Year.
Wendy Smith ’95 history and social studies teacher at Heritage High School, was elected to serve district 3 on the Vancouver School District Board of Directors.
Saundra Solis ’97 a former Running Start program coordinator at Clark College, accepted a position as a student resource specialist at Portland Community College.
Vancouver Mayor Timothy Leavitt ’92 accepted a professional position with Otak, an architectural and engineering consulting firm. Most recently, Leavitt was a senior civil engineer with PBS Engineering and Environmental. Leavitt, who has served two, four-year terms as mayor, is not running for re-election.
Steven VanderPloeg ’96 and Angela VanderPloeg welcomed a girl, Harlow Madrone, who was born August 31, 2017.
Kevin Lycklama ’98 was promoted to EVP/chief operating officer for Riverview Bank. He is responsible for the bank’s daily operations and management. Lycklama has been executive vice president and chief financial officer of the company since 2008.
State Rep. Elizabeth Pike ’96 announced she’s running for Clark County Council chair to a crowd of supporters at her Fern Prairie farm on August 18. Pike is a Republican.
Mitchell Jackson ’93 is one of five recipients of the 2017 Clark College Outstanding Alumni Award.
Dr. Debra Jenkins ’93 is one of five recipients of the 2017 Clark College Outstanding Alumni Award, and the first African American woman to be selected for the prestigious alumni accolade. Jenkins is a tenured professor at Clark (also the first African American woman to receive tenure at Clark) who has an associate degree in Early Childhood Education from the college, a bachelor’s and master’s in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, and a master’s in Psychology and doctorate in Higher Education Administration from University of Phoenix. She is the chair of Clark’s Behavioral Sciences division and head of the Early Childhood department. In 2016, she presented research to the Women of Color’s Experiences and Strategies in Constructing Non-executive Community College Leadership group at the Oxford University Round Table Symposium in Oxford, England. She was a co-researcher in Teaching Umoja, a 15-year participatory research project conducted in Port Royal, Golden Grove and Moore Town, Jamaica, that explored tri-literacy and bi-cultural indigenous adult-child development. Umoja (Swahili for unity), is a primary principle of Kwanzaa, a cultural holiday celebrating African heritage and identity. Jenkins is also the recipient of the 2009 Women of Achievement for Clark County.
Tina Krause ’98 was named to the board of directors as curriculum committee chair for Leadership Clark County.
Jim Mains ’97 was named secretary and development committee chair for Leadership Clark County’s executive committee.
Tracey Malone ’97 was named recruitment committee co-chair for Leadership Clark County.
Bob Sable ’96 was named marketing committee co-chair for Leadership Clark County.
Jennifer Johnston ’92 recipient of 100 Most Influential Real Estate Agents in Portland award, joined Living Room Realty’s Portland northeast office.
The Mainstream Republicans of Washington selected Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey ’97 as their local government official of the year.
Tim Leavitt ’92 and PBS Engineering & Environmental started an Unmanned Aerial Systems program that uses drones to collect aerial information in a safe and efficient way.
Matt Loop ’91 was named Camas High School Teacher of the Year at the school’s graduation ceremony June 16, 2017.
Welding professor Brian McVay ’99 was one of five Clark College faculty honored at Clark’s commencement with a 2017 Exceptional Faculty Award.
Heather Huyette ’98 was recognized for her work helping a local business. She and her student colleagues from Washington State University Vancouver’s Carson College of Business worked as a consultant for Déjà Vu Consignment, a resale clothing boutique. Huyette helped the small business with marketing metrics and optimizing inventory.
Sarah Theberge ’92 was one of 11 early learning champions to be honored by Educational Opportunies for Child and Families at a luncheon on May 10.
A Buddy Bench at Gause Elementary was installed and dedicated to honor the memory of beloved teacher Alisa Vail ’95.
Michael Ludwig ’97 was awarded tenure by Clark College’s Board of Trustees on March 14. He teaches dental hygiene.
Children’s author Gretchen McLellan ’96 read from her debut picture book, “Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3” on April 1, at the Camas Public Library.
Brian McVay ’99 was awarded tenure by Clark College’s Board of Trustees on March 14. He teaches welding.
Sunny Parsons ’94 was named to the board of the Building Industry Association of Clark County.
Sherri Bennett ’94, executive director of YWCA Clark County, is the keynote speaker at WSUV’s Women of Distinction Event on March 30.
Anna Boneski ’15, Julie Mercado ’15, Katie Archer Jolma ’03, Hope Baker Bump ’93, Susan Edwards ’89, Teresa Haye ’95, Kris Henriksen ’98 and Sujatha Synne ’06 were among the 2017 WSUV Women of Distinction honorees who were celebrated at a reception March 30 at Firstenburg Student Commons.
The newest members of the Athletics Hall of Fame were inducted on February 4, 2017. The recipients are basketball stand-out Beth Hamrick Graves ’95, four-time All American Kalani Rodrigues ’03 (awarded posthumously) and the 1968 baseball team that won the state community baseball championship and held the western champion record that year. View photos of the event and watch the inductee videos online.
Katherine Garrett ’91 director of Share Housing First has retired after 15 years of dedicated service to the homeless community in Vancouver.
Mitchell Jackson ’93 author of “The Residue Years,” read and discussed his work at Clark College’s Columbia Writers Series on January 17, 2017.
Sheryl Bateman ’95 joined the board of directors of the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. Bateman is owner and president of Allied Fastening Supply Inc., a Vancouver-based distributor of construction and industrial supplies.
Michael Harvey ’93 was promoted to Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps on July 10, 2016. He received an associate degree in Nursing and licensed practical nurse (LPN) at Clark.
Mary Sauer ’95 The Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Riverview Community Bank, named Mary and Jerry Sauer as 2016 Businesspersons of the Year. The Sauers own Excavator Rental Services. The company has more than 30 employees in Camas.
Jim Mains ’97 was named to the newly formed Ed Lynch board for Identity Clark County. He is also a director of the Ed Lynch estate. Mains is a partner at High Five Media, a marketing firm in Vancouver, Wash. He co-hosts the variety show Hello Vancouver and the video blog The Vancouver Side.
Nelson Holmberg ’90 was named vice president of innovation for the Port of Ridgefield. In his new role, Holmberg will be tasked with identifying and securing new opportunities and revenue streams for the port.
Todd Zalk ’95 joined the Salvation Army Clark County Advisory Board. Zalk works in business banking and commercial lending at Wells Fargo Bank. He has been in banking for more than seven years and was previously at Bank of Clark County in Vancouver.