EPIC has promoted Paul Valdez to associate director of early childhood education. Valdez has worked for EPIC for nearly 16 years in a number of positions, most recently as center manager for its Parker Heights early childhood education center. Valdez has an associate degree in early childhood education and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Heritage University.

Real Estate

The Real Estate Negotiation Institute has awarded several agents from Prudential Almon Realty the Certified Negotiation Expert designation, which is given to the top 1 percent of agents nationally. The designation is given to agents who complete formal training. They are Jeana Abrams, Janet Apken, Meg Balles, Paul Berndt, Stephanie Blehm, Jonathan Ehlers, Robin Eichler, Lesleigh Jacobs, Diana Juarez, Dan Kouba, Karen Lervold, Moriet Miketa, JoAnn Miller-Rose, Mary Anne Murray, Chris Pauling, Meg Pehlke, Jerry Ramos, Agustina Rankin, Russ Redfield, Angie Sainsbury, Dana Shinpaugh, Kate Soldano, Julianna Stucki, Bob Traner and Andrea Taylor.


Kamiakin Kiwanis of Yakima has selected new officers for the 2012-2013 year. They are Jan Drenguis, president; Karen Boucher, president-elect; Peggy Grissom, vice president; Mike McCay, secretary; Brigett Fuller, treasurer; and DeAnna Dozier Quine, past president.

Wells Fargo & Co. has given Ann Bowen its Volunteer Service Award. Bowen, operations manager for Wells Fargo Insurance Services in Yakima, has been an active volunteer with Wellness House for eight years, including serving as chairwoman of the Lunch Among Friends annual fundraising event for the past two years. Wells Fargo will contribute $1,000 to Wellness House as part of the award.


Therapists Jennifer Kassing and Tahni Kalina have joined the staff of Lanthorn Counseling & Forensic Evaluation Inc. Both see children, families, couples and individuals.


Travel Leaders has honored Sondra Wilson, Julie Harrington and Teresa Arendt with its Agency of Excellence award. They were recognized for their work in operating several area Travel Leaders agencies, including one in Yakima. Only 25 Travel Leaders agencies were selected.