Class Notes – Class Year Unknown

April 2023

Harley Hall II took the ride of his lifetime with the Blue Angels, in honor of his late father, Harley H. Hall Sr. ’57, a Navy pilot from Vancouver who once led the flight group before disappearing in combat at the end of the Vietnam War 50 years ago. Hall Sr. received the 2004 Clark College Outstanding Alumni Award for his military contributions.

Daren Manheimer was born with one leg due to amniotic band syndrome but that hasn’t stopped his love of playing baseball. He played at Clark until COVID-19 struck and games were suspended. Now at Rockford University in Illinois, Manheimer has found his groove and is aiming at playing at the varsity level.

March 2023

Former Washington legislator and Vancouver City Councilor Jim Moeller, 67, died in March 2023, following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Moeller was elected to the Vancouver City Council in 1995 and served there until he was elected as the 49th district state representative in 2002. He served in the legislature from 2003 to 2017 and was named speaker pro tempore of the Washington House of Representatives in 2011. Moeller was one of the state’s first openly gay lawmakers and was a trailblazer for the gay community in Vancouver and the state.

Linda Reid, relationship banking officer for Heritage Bank, was one of 10 finalists for the 2023 Iris Award. Since its inception in 1985, the Iris Award has celebrated the exceptional achievements of Clark County women who embody outstanding leadership, philanthropy, and public service.

One year into Russia’s war on Ukraine, retired journalist Sonya Zalubowski sat down with The Columbian in March 2023 to share her story of living in an Eastern European nation struggling to break free of Russia’s stronghold of Poland in the 1980s.

February 2023

A group of volunteers, including Jean Avery, cleared weeds and debris from the garden outside Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center in February 2023. When not volunteering, Avery leads a hiking group for those aged 50 and older called Forever Young. In July, the group has a 5-mile trip planned along the Columbia River Renaissance Trail in Vancouver.

Camas, Wash., Police Chief Mitch Lackey has agreed to push back his retirement date to provide support to the city while they continue the process of hiring his replacement.

January 2023

Steve Kenny, longtime president and chief executive of Columbia Credit Union, has retired. The Vancouver, Wash., financial institution announced that Kenny stepped down from the leadership positions on Janurary 9, 2023, concluding more than 13 years at the helm and more than 35 years with the credit union overall.

Bob Prinz, a volunteer at Fort Vancouver, helped prepare an 1840s-inspired meal for an annual Heritage Holiday event in December 2022. Volunteers prepared a seven-course Christmas feast like what might have been served as a holiday meal for the aristocratic society. Prinz has volunteered with the fort for over a decade.

November 2022

Teen Talk, a program that supports Clark County teens through mental health, will celebrate its 20th year in 2023. Program coordinator Kris Henriksen, who leads Teen Talk, trains youth to offer anonymous, confidential and nonjudgmental peer support through a hotline service.

Chief Criminal Deputy John Horch will replace retiring Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins as a result of the November 8, 2022, general election. Horch garnered 55% of the vote, while Vancouver Police Capt. Rey Reynolds had 45%.

Incumbent Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey will remain in his position following a win over challenger Brett Simpson following the November 8, 2022, general election. Kimsey, who has been auditor for nearly 24 years, received 67% of the votes cast, to challenger Brett Simpson’s 33%.

Daddy D’s Southern Style Barbeque teamed up with Dream For Life, a service organization, to host a free Thanksgiving meal. Daddy D’s is owned by the Vercher family, with Clark alumnus Isaiah Vercher as the restaurant manager. The Vercher’s started this event a decade ago.

September 2022

“Mass Transit” magazine named Jenapher Dues, C-TRAN’s manager of human resources, to its annual 40 Under 40 list of young professionals who have made significant contributions to the public transit industry. Dues joined C-TRAN in 2014 as a staffing generalist and was soon promoted to recruitment and compensation specialist before accepting her current position.

Alliant Insurance Services hired Shawna Larson as vice president of their employee benefits group in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining Alliant, Larson was vice president, business development and employee benefits strategic adviser with an international insurance brokerage and consulting firm. Larson was also the co-organizer for Oregon’s DisruptHRPDX, an innovative platform designed to energize, inform and empower human resource professionals with TED Talk-like content.

August 2022

The city of Washougal awarded its first Civilian Award for Heroism to local resident Brad Goostree. The Washougal City Council praised his heroic actions that may have saved the life of a young man who fell into the Washougal River near the Sandy Swimming Hole in Camas, Wash., earlier this year.

Liz Westby, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey helped organize a free geology and technology summer camp at Mount St. Helens for middle- and high-school girls. GeoGirls is a collaborative effort between the Mount St. Helens Institute and the U.S. Geological Survey – Cascades Volcano Observatory with partners from various scientific universities, agencies and private companies. Working side by side with women scientists, the participants learned of the hazards and affects that volcanic eruptions pose to humans.

Another story written by The Columbian on GeoGirls with comments by Westby can be read online.

July 2022

John Horch, chief criminal deputy at the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, is on the primary ballot as a candidate for Clark County Sheriff. Horch said he has worked almost every assignment within the law enforcement agency during his 33-year career at the sheriff’s office.

Riverside Payments Chief Executive Officer Brandon Skinner has been named as one of Comparably’s Best CEOs for Women and Best CEOs for Diversity for 2022. Comparably is a platform that provides compensation data for public and private companies. Riverside Payments also was named as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in 2022 by the Portland Business Journal and Vancouver Business Journal.

Tom Lineham, a longtime personal journal keeper, was inspired by the Clark County Historical Museum’s walking tours to write down the stories of others. Lineham walked the 11-mile journey of Mill Plain Boulevard, talked with residents and researched the history of the iconic Vancouver, Wash., street. The second edition of his wayfaring travelogue, “Mill Plain Boulevard, Vancouver, USA: A Walking History,” is now for sale at the Clark County Historical Museum.

June 2022

The nonprofit, FISH Vancouver, headed by executive director and Clark alumnus James Fitzgerald, has a new mobile food pantry serving neighborhoods across Clark County. The mobile pantry is equipped with refrigerators, freezers and storage spaces. It’s intended to make food more accessible to communities that have transportation challenges making it difficult to get food.

Vancouver resident and Clark alumna Geri Hiller received the 2022 Community Champion Award presented by The Community Foundation for Southwest Washington at the foundation’s annual luncheon in May 2022. Hiller was recognized for her nearly 20 years of volunteer work with the Winter Hospitality Overflow shelter program at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Vancouver.

George Martin III, vice president, and senior commercial relationship manager with Banner Bank, received the Banner’s Best award. The accolade represents the highest level of recognition within the company with the recipients credited as “Banner’s Best.”

Clark Neighbors Food Project was started in 2017 to make it easy for the community to donate nonperishable food and help alleviate food insecurity in Clark County. Clark alumnus Greg Nelson and his wife Debbie co-founded the nonprofit with four volunteers. Now, the program has more than 100 neighborhood coordinators who oversee more than 2,000 food donors and net 20,000 pounds of food every two months.

April 2022

Garret Hergert, owner of GRO Outdoor Living, a landscape design company, is the title sponsor for the 2022 GRO Parade of Homes for September 2022. The event will take place in Ridgefield and will feature six homes built by five builders, including Clark alumnus Niall Glavin of Glavin Homes.

The longtime Vancouver councilwoman and ongoing local historian Pat Jollota will be honored in April 2022 at The Kiggins Theater. The educational History On Tap program returns with “Pat Jollota: A Retrospective.” Jollota, a Clark Mature Learning alumna, moved to Vancouver in 1982 and has been instrumental in archiving local history, including writing eight books on Clark County’s past.

Camas Police Chief Mitch Lackey announced his intention to retire from the police force, marking the end of a 32-year career at the agency, which includes 14 years as its chief. Although he doesn’t feel his time as chief has been all that long, he said it’s been a period with a lot of change, from equipment upgrades to social justice movements. He called it a privilege to lead the department.

February 2022

Clark alumnus David Hurt started an outdoor gear company, PNW Pack Co. It specializes in a variety of hand-crafted bushcraft packs, canvas bags and accessories. Hurt earned a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Washington State University in 2014 and uses his engineering background and craftsmanship skills to create “equipment optimized for purpose, lifetime durability and budget,” according to the company’s website.

Dollar’s Corner Sawmill operator and Clark alumnus Pat Lydon announced his retirement and closure of the sawmill at the end of February 2022. Lydon started the operation in 2004 after he was invited to the site by the late Linn “Penny” Dollar.

Clark alumnus and real estate broker Terry Wollam is concerned the record-low housing inventory in Southwest Washington is outpacing the national trend. Since October 2020, the time a house sits on the market in the region has been less than one month. Wollam also worries that Southwest Washington is running low on buildable land for new homes, coupled with rising inflation and a shortage of skilled labor.

January 2022

Battle Ground Washington City Council elected its new mayor in January 2022. The standing mayor and Clark alumnus Adrian Cortes nominated councilor Philip Johnson, who served as deputy mayor for the past year, as his successor. Johnson was unanimously elected by the council and Cortes will return to a regular council seat.

Clark College alumnus Jerry Franklin, Ph.D., was featured in OPB’s podcast series “Timber Wars,” examining the battle between logging communities and environmentalists in the late 1980s. Franklin was one of the earliest forestry scientists to study old growth forests as ecosystems instead of from a viewpoint of how best to replace trees in order to continue to log as quickly as possible. Franklin spent much of his career researching old growth the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest northeast of Eugene, Ore.

Former Washougal Washington City Council member and Clark alumnus Paul Greenlee was elected president of the Washougal Business Association (WBA) after the resignation of four board members last fall. Greenlee has been connected to WBA after serving as an ex officio board member during a longtime stint on the Washougal City Council.

Clark alumnus Mark Tishenko, founder of the cybersecurity company Edge Networks, founded a startup to assist companies that contract with the Department of Defense. The business, called itOS, tracks and manages system platform users.

December 2021altamimi hussain with Jamie Bulter

Clark alumnus Hussain Altamimi, originally from Baghdad, Iraq, was a valued member of the Clark College Model United Nations (MUN) team while a student. After MUN and Clark, Altamimi graduated from the University of Washington and was an aide to U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Altamimi moved to Washington D.C.. and is now an aide to U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY., where he is working on the Green New Deal policy team.

Clark Alumnus James Ruiz was Ridgefield School District’s November 2021 employee of the month. Ruiz is a Connection Center mentor at South Ridge Elementary School. He started as a volunteer parent during recess period, then became the lead recess paraeducator. He has spent the last several years teaching students how to be respectful, responsible and resilient in the recess yard.

November 2021

Ryan Moor, chief executive officer of Allmade Apparel, was included on the Advertising Specialty Institute’s 2021 Power 50 list. The list ranks the most influential people in the promotional product industry.

October 2021

Erik Paulsen may be running unchallenged in November’s general election. Challenger for Vancouver City Council’s Position 2 seat, Kara Tess, has not been present at candidate forums and stated she may be dropping out of the race entirely. Paulsen has held Position 2 on the city council since 2019 and prides himself on his ability to help the other six members of the city council find common ground.

Northwest Association for Blind Athletes recently announced that Robert Stewart has been appointed to the organization’s Board of Directors. Stewart is currently the Investment Advisor Representative with CUSO Financial Services & Columbia Credit Union.

Chrisetta Mosely is partnering with various nonprofits to start a popup produce market with a mission to increase access to affordable, high-quality, fresh food for the black community. Mosley took a nutrition class at Clark College that set her on her journey to help inspire others to lose weight while honing her passion for cooking and helping others in need, including starting a blog called Farwell Fatso and writing a cookbook that was used as college curriculum.

Dr. Gerry Dunne taught anger and conflict management at Clark College until the program ended in 2020 and the pandemic hit, causing her to find new avenues for helping people handle their anger issues. Processing and understanding anger was a challenge for Dunne during her childhood and she started studying the psychology of anger, partly out of necessity for herself, but also to help others. During the pandemic, she wrote a new book and will be opening a psychology practice in her Battle Ground home to continue her path in helping others handle their anger.

September 2021

Karissa Halstrom is organizing the Vancouver Free Fridge program which offers free food and supplies from outdoor refrigerators in sheds for people experiencing food insecurity. The sheds are located in individual community member’s driveways and offer free, fresh food at all hours of the day to whomever needs it. Halstrom received pushback from the city for zoning regulations and has started a petition to rally support for her program.

The business leaders’ organization Identity Clark County has honored longtime regional banking executive Tami Nesburg as Director Emeritus. Nesburg has 39 years of banking experience and has served many regional commercial and construction clients. The community-minded executive joined Identity Clark County’s board of directors in 2000 and has served continuously for 22 years, including roles on the group’s executive committee.

August 2021

Sarah Summerhill and a business partner recently opened a new bookstore called Birdhouse Bookstore in downtown Vancouver. Summerhill majored in English at Washington State University and her love for reading has remained constant throughout her life. After graduating, Summerhill sought an opportunity to continue in the reading industry and her passion for books.

July 2021

Daniel Nehnevaj qualified for the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, June 26. The Vancouver native and Columbia River High School grad finished second in the 20k racewalk. Daniel competed on the Penguin track team for two years before transferring to West Virginia University Tech. He is currently an assistant cross country and track and field coach at WVU Tech.

When people were stuck at home, many adopted an animal companion to keep them company and vet clinics around the country have seen an increase in business during the pandemic. Owner of Hazel Dell Animal Hospital, Dr. David Slocum, has been working for the same clinic since he was 14 and spoke to The Columbian about how the pandemic has changed his industry and his plans for retirement.

June 2021

Clark County artist Claudia Carter is having her sculpture donated for permanent display at the downtown Vancouver library. Carter, who was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, is known for her artwork and the efforts to educate people about local Black history.

Chief criminal deputy, John Horch, will make his bid for Clark County sheriff in 2022. Horch worked his way through the ranks over his 32-year career with the sheriff’s office, after joining as a deputy sheriff in 1989, and currently oversees all enforcement operations for the sheriff’s office, including patrol deputies, SWAT and the Major Crimes Team.

Gallery owner/artist Anne John has curated the community art show “Ancestral Echoes” at her gallery that explores and tells stories of family histories. The art collection was created by both novice and established local artists and subject matter is emotionally arresting and covers a wide range of styles and mediums.

Hockinson author Dan Strawn published a new memoir centered on his brother’s experience as a solider in Korea. Strawn, a mature learning alumni and former faculty member of Clark, began writing short stories, essays and novels that explore the cultures and contradictions of the American West during his retirement years.

May 2021

Current Vancouver city council member Erik Paulsen filed for reelection for his #2 position. Paulsen was appointed to the post in January 2019. He’s a 20-year employee of US Bancorp, currently serving as senior vice president and field administration strategy manager for US Bank Wealth Management.

February 2021

The Oregon-based code and fire consulting firm Code Unlimited has hired Deyan Aydarski as a code analyst and smoke modeler in its Beaverton office. Aydarski previously worked at MKE & Associates as a mechanical engineering intern.

After a cancer diagnosis in February 2020, artist and Claudia Carter had a goal to hold another local Black history event. Carter’s last major wish was something for the community, not just something for herself. She has realized her hope, curating for a fourth year a Black History Month exhibit at the Vancouver Community Library in downtown Vancouver.

Battle Ground Mayor Adrian Cortes announced that he’s seeking re-election to his city council seat later this year. Cortes was first elected to the Position 4 council seat in November 2017, and in January 2020 was appointed as mayor for a two-year term. He will appear in the Aug. 4 primary election and, if a challenger files for the seat, Nov. 2 general election ballots.

Sheila Clarke Craven took a freelance writing assignment to the Bay Area in 1977 to cover a new startup called Apple Computer. She recalls being picked up by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in a little red pickup and going to the infamous garage to see Wozniak’s first prototype.

January 2021

Tiffaney Forney, a program job coach with the Washougal Adult Transition Program, had to reimagine her holiday Cookies and Cocoa holiday event due to pandemic restrictions. This year the Clark alumna and her students made a mobile cart so they could offer contact-free deliveries of holiday treats to the doors of Washougal High School teachers.


The board of directors Riverview Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Riverview Community Bank, elected Clark alumni Gerald L. Nies as chair of the company and bank. Nies has been a member of the Riverview board since 2009.

Clark Alumnus Mike Westby, CEO of Westby Associates, was interviewed by the The Vancouver Business Journal about the philanthropic life lessons he’s learned from Vancouver community icons, Ed Lynch and Ray Hickey.

Clark alumna and Washington state Sen. Lynda Wilson, received the 2020 Statesperson of the Year Award during the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce’s livestream awards ceremony in September.

Clark alumnus Drew Dordan started his business, Mission Painting, last summer after doing maintenance work and painting projects while in school. He attended Clark College with a plan to transfer to WSU but decided on opening a business rather than finishing out his education plans.

Clark alumnus Ron Dinius resigned from the Washougal School District Board of Directors. Dinius, who joined the board in 2006, spent years volunteering at his children’s Washougal schools and served as president of the parent advisory committee at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary School.

Educational Service District 112 named Clark alumna Traicy Brent, of Vancouver Public Schools, its Classified School Employee of the Year. Brent worked as the building secretary at Ogden Elementary School for five years. She joins a list of eight other finalists for the Washington State Classified School Employee of the Year Award, which is determined by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Clark alumnus Kevin Macho was hired as the police chief of the Powers Oregon Police Department. Macho is the third-consecutive generation in his family to become a police officer. He grew up in Reedsport on the Oregon coast. He enrolled at Clark shortly after entering the cadet program in the Clark County Sheriff’s Department.

Clark alumna and state Sen. Lynda Wilson has nearly 100 novel coronavirus antibody test kits in her home from a company with which she has a personal connection. Wilson asked if the state Department of Health would take the tests, but because the test kits have not been approved by federal regulators, the state can’t use them for clinical purposes. She was offered a spot for them in the county’s COVID-19 supply warehouse but turned the offer down thinking the tests would go unused.

Nom Nom restaurant operations manager and Clark College phlebotomy student, Sol Contreras, talked to The Columbian on how Washington state’s stay-at-home order impacted business at the popular downtown Vancouver eatery. Contreras aspires to be a radiologist and discusses her plans for the future and how the community can support the restaurant.

Tami Nesburg, senior vice president and director of commercial banking for Pacific Premier Bank, was interviewed by the Portland Business Journal about her 38 years of banking experience in Clark County.

A new art installation by husband-wife duo Dave Frei and Clark alumna Jennifer Corio was unveiled in February as part of Vancouver’s monthly First Friday Art Walk event at Vancouver Waterfront Park. The piece was commissioned by the Kenneth and Eunice Teter Charitable Trust and donated to the city. Corio and Frei are the artists behind Cobalt Designworks, a Vancouver studio.

The Battle Ground City Council elected Adrian Cortes as mayor during its first meeting of the year on January 6, 2020. Cortes, a special education teacher in the Camas School District, was selected by the seven-member city council during the group’s biennial appointment process. He’ll serve as mayor until 2022. He is the first mayor of color in Battle Ground’s history and the only Latino mayor in Clark County history.

Marissa Madrigal was nominated by the Portland Metro Council’s president to be their next chief operating officer. Madrigal went to high school in Ridgefield and attended Clark College before entering at the University of Washington as a junior at age 18. Madrigal is currently the chief operating officer at Multnomah County. She has served in county government for nearly 14 years.


Mark Tishenko opened the doors of his company, Edge Networks, in November, to a group of tech-minded visitors in downtown Vancouver. Edge Networks was one of 14 businesses that participated an annual Vancouver Tech Tour. The tour, run by the Technology Association of Oregon and supported by Workforce Southwest Washington, Vantechy, WorkSource and the Columbia River Economic Development Council, welcomed about 110 visitors to see the growing tech scene in Vancouver.

Nick Richey, Los Angeles-based independent filmmaker, was interviewed by The Columbian in the lead up to the release of Richey’s film “Low Low.” The film, which is Richey’s writing-directing debut, is set in his hometown of Vancouver.

Renee Amies was profiled in The Columbian after retiring from her job at Weight Watchers after 43 years.

Heather Blackthorn recently revived Vancouver’s Pacific Stageworks theater company by preparing to stage “I Hate Hamlet,” a play about a young actor venturing into Shakespeare.

Michael Charpentier, head chef for the recently renovated Vancouver Hilton’s Grays Restaurant and Bar, was featured in The Columbian about his design of a new mouth-watering menu based on locally sourced ingredients and fresh herbs.

Adrian Cortes, Battle Ground city council member, announced that he’s running for Clark County Council in a special election slated for fall 2019.

Olivia Eagle, program director for the Jack, Will and Rob Center, was quoted in a story in The Columbian about an after-school program operated by the Boys & Girls Club.

Patricia Eby, a former Clark College Foundation board member, was appointed to the Board of Directors for Riverview Bancorp, Inc.

Tom Fitzgerald, of Vigor Industrial, discusses the market and the future of his profession in a story in The Columbian.

Becky Leventis shares her love of watercolors with local seniors through her classes at two retirement communities–The Quarry Senior Living and Glenwood Place.

Catherine Martinez shared her inspiring story of learning to walk again after developing transverse myelitis in a February article in The Columbian.

Erik Paulsen , field administration strategy manager for U.S. Bank and a Vancouver City Council member, announces he will seek to retain his seat for 2019.

Royce Pollard retired from Clark College Board of Trustees May 30.

William Olsen is Clark’s new men’s basketball coach. Olsen graduated from Wahkiakum High School and attended Lower Columbia College and Clark College.

Pianist Mac Potts, classical pianist, vocalist, and husband of alumna, Hailey Potts, is preparing to appear on the 17th season of American Idol. Hailey and Mac performed together at Savoring Excellence in 2016.

Hal Stokes, of Ridgefield, interviewed by The Columbian about the trend of multigenerational living, and the decision to turn his basement into a home for his grandmother, Vivian Church.

Jane Elder Wulff, writer of “First Families of Vancouver’s African American Community” in 2012, will moderate a panel discussion NAACP Generations: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. The event occurs at the Clark County Historical Museum on February 7.

Former Phoenix editor and Clark alumna Lily Hart is published in the winter 2018 edition of Oregon Historical Quarterly. Her essay is titled “Voices of the River: The Confluence Story Gathering Interview Collection,” describes the Confluence Project, which conducts interviews with Indigenous people of the Columbia River.


Allison Magyar owner of Event technology firm Hubb, won the Vancouver Business Journal’s 2017 Fastest Growing Company 1-5 Years and Innovator of the Year awards.

Heather Blackthorn, a former actress in Clark ‘s theater productions, has taken the artistic and management reigns of Pacific Stageworks. The theatre group is planning two upcoming productions for the 2018-19 season.

Local real estate developer Terry Wollam was appointed to fill the 2018 Ed Lynch board seat with Identity Clark County.

Michael Gaechter, a former professional football player for the Dallas Cowboys, will be inducted into the Clark College Athletics Hall of Fame on February 17, 2018, for his participation on the 1959 men’s track and cross country teams. He ran the 100 meter and 200 meter races and won the championship under head coach Skeet O’Connell. Gaechter still holds the 200 meter Clark record at 21.34 seconds, and is 6th in record books for the 100 meter.

Kenneth Boydstun will be inducted into the Clark College Athletics Hall of Fame on February 17, 2018, for his participation on the 1954 and 1955 baseball and men’s basketball teams. Boydstun was point guard for the 1955 championship basketball team when Skeet O’Connell was head coach. In baseball, he had a .457 hitting percentage, and as a result was one of the most feared players at the plate. Additionally, he was named Defensive Player of the Year and Athlete of the Year as a sophomore.

Council member Adrian Cortes was named to the board of directors for C-Tran.


Glenn Piekstra recently joined the Sigma Design team. He brings 20 years of experience as a technician in both production and research and development.

Judge James Swanger retired after serving in the U.S. District Court since 2005.

Tracy Malone was appointed to Camas School Board’s District 5 position on February 2, 2017.

Joél Nehm and Joseph Nutting, owners of Foodē and LUXE, are expanding their business to a new location in Riverview Tower.

Clark College announced that Carmen Roman received the Classified Staff Excellence Award for her work in fall 2016.

Sierra Eckman was promoted to senior manager at Opsahl Dawson, a Vancouver-based CPA firm.

Julia Houle and Niko Niko, of Vancouver, welcomed a baby girl, Bunnie Wynne Siatua Houle-Niko, on January 24, 2017. She weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces.

Clark College alumni gathered in the Frost Art Center’s lobby gallery in February for a reception for their collective show, “The Next Step.” The alumni were Elizabeth AlexanderTrisha BottemillerJordan JonesSam Mackenzie and Kelly KeigwinHector MaciasYelena RoslayaLauren RuheAleka TomlinsonAlyssa WillardThe show highlighted the achievements of former students in the college’s ceramics. The show ran through March 25 and was part of Clark’s programming during the National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts conference in Portland in March.

Merry Saari, focus manager at LSW Architects, is a new board member of Vancouver’s Downtown Association.

Leslie Mohlman, community, student, family outreach and resource coordinator for Woodland Public Schools, created the district’s new Our Kids, Our Business task force to address the needs of under-resourced families in the Woodland community.

Michele Rudi joined the board of trustees of the Salmon Creek Hospital Foundation.

Mark Hagen is a new computer aided design and drafting (CADD) instructor at Clark College.

Washington State Rep. Brandon Vick, March 3, 2016.

Washington State Rep. Brandon Vick (18th District, Pos. 1) received the Statesman of the Year award from the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. He received the accolade at the chamber’s 2017 Business and Leadership Awards event on September 20.

The Columbian won the Business of the Year for large business from the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce at its 2017 Business and Leadership Awards event on September 20. Jody Campbell, an alumna of Clark College, and Scott Campbell are the publishers.

Fay Kahn joined the Board of Southwest Washington Watercolor Society as its newest secretary.

Ronald Dinius was reelected to represent district 5 on the Washougal School District Board of Directors.

Kimberly Abegglen,  7th and 8th grade math and science teacher at Hockinson Middle School, was honored with a 2017 Learn Here Real Hero Award. The awards are presented to business, education and community leaders in Southwest Washington by Identity Clark County as part of their Land Here, Live Here, Learn Here project.


John Svilarich was hired by Clark College Foundation as an administrative assistant.

Aron Nels Steinke won the Graphic Literature Award at the annual Oregon Book Awards for his children’s book, “The Zoo Box.” He co-authored the book with Ariel Cohn.

Alicia Cooper was crowned Miss Washington. Cooper is the fourth Clark County resident in 67 years to earn the title of Miss Washington. She is also the 2013 and 2016 Miss Clark County, as well as Miss Clark County’s Outstanding Teen in 2011.  She earned an associate degree at Clark College and is a senior at Washington State University Vancouver, where she is working toward a bachelor’s degree in social science, specializing in personnel psychology and human resources. A licensed real estate broker, Cooper also is a member of the WSUV HR society and mentor to teens.

Rod Cook  was appointed to the Northwest Association for Blind Athletes’ Board of Directors.

State Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, is a candidate for the U.S. House for Washington’s 3rd district. Moeller is a chemical dependency counselor at Kaiser Permanente. He served eight years on the Vancouver City Council before being elected to a 49th Legislative District House seat in 2002. He also served as speaker pro tempore of the state House. Moeller faces incumbent U.S. Rep. Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, in the general election.

Laura Beckel Thoreson made her debut as a mezzo-soprano in August with the Portland Opera and its production of “The Italian Girl in Algiers.” The madcap comedy, written by Gioachino Rossini, follows Isabella, the titular Italian girl, who shipwrecks off the Algerian coast. Beckel Thoreson credits former Clark College choir director April Duvic with encouraging to be a professional singer.

Gena Bailey joined the board of directors of the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington. Bailey is a senior director for dental care delivery at Kaiser Permanente. She has been with Kaiser since 1988.

Colin Kemppainen and Ashley Kemppainen, of Battle Ground, Wash., welcomed a boy, Thomas Mikael, July 21. He was eight pounds.

Jim Lucey is the new board treasurer for Workforce Southwest Washington. Lucey is the controller at Linear Technology.

Krista Luera is the new budget secretary for HeLa High School, an Evergreen district school.

High Five Media co-founder Jim Mains will serve as vice president of Identity Clark County (ICC). Mains currently holds ICC’s honorary Ed Lynch Board Seat, a one-year courtesy position reserved for an emerging leader. Mains has 10 years of political and community leadership experience, including leading campaigns and serving as an elected Clark County Freeholder. He also has a decade of ministry service and serves as assistant to the Ed Lynch estate.

Alicia Cooper placed fourth in the Miss America competition for 2017. The current Miss Washington received the award during the final competition in Atlantic City, N.J. on September 11, 2016. She performed a tap dance and her platform, from which she based her presentation, was titled Live on Purpose: Defining Your Legacy. Her platform is influenced by her grandmother Rosemary. She received a $17,000 college scholarship.

Ridgefield City Council member Darren Wertz recently received an Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities.

LeAnne Bremer was elected to serve on the WSBA Environmental and Land Use Executive Committee at Miller Nash Graham & Dunn. She also is a member of the board of directors of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce for 2016-17, and recently joined the Clark County Council for the Homeless Board of Directors.

The Southwest Washington Contractors Association named Andrea Smith as its marketing and communications manager.

Kristine Syverson and Darin Kyle, announce the birth of their son, Kody E.M. Kyle, born on November 17. He was eight pounds, 13 ounces.

Rhett Hendrickson was promoted to manager and vice president of Cascade Title Company. He has been employed with the business since 2008 and has 25 years of experience in title insurance.

Runyan’s Jewelers, of Camas, celebrated their 70th anniversary during a November open house. Paul and Barbara Runyan, the former business owners, were present at the celebration with their daughter and current owner, Debbie Runyan-Parker. Paul Runyan is a Clark alumnus.


Sean Janson, assistant coach of Clark College Men’s soccer team, was hired as executive director of the Washington Timbers Football Club.

Cheri Martin, a Clark alumna and former Clark College Foundation staff member, was named the executive director at the School of Piano Technology for the Blind.

Roy Heikkala was appointed as a commissioner for the Vancouver Housing Authority by Vancouver Mayor Timothy Leavitt.

Don Jacobs of NW Injury Law Center in Vancouver received the Trial Lawyer of the Year award by the Clark County Bar Association. Jacobs is a former Clark adjunct faculty member.

Kristen and Corey Stackhouse, a Clark alumnus, welcomed Preston, at 8 pounds, 7 ounces, on June 25, 2014. Editor’s note: As reported in The Columbian on April 2, 2015.

The Hon. Barbara Johnson was selected to serve on the board of directors for H-RoC, a nonpartisan political action committee promoting women in leadership positions in Clark County. Johnson served the Clark County Superior Court for 28 years until her retirement in March 2015. She served on the Clark County Bar Association, and was the 1983 president of the State Board of Directors of Washington Women Lawyers.

David Clark joined Davidson & Associates Insurance of Vancouver as a personal insurance associate. A native of Clark County, he has an associate in arts with honors from Clark College.

Elson Strahan joined Vesta Hospitality as the company’s vice president of investor relations.