Several Yakima Valley residents completed the 18-month AgForestry Leadership Program: William “Willy” Schuster, forest manager for the Yakama Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Toppenish; Kerry Shiels, owner and winemaker for Cote Bonneville in Sunnyside and Thomas Hale, food safety manager for Gilbert Orchards Inc. in Yakima.

The participants attended 14 seminars on topics such as communication, public speaking, transportation and various agriculture issues. They also studied local, state, national and international public affairs issues that influence the state’s natural resource industries and rural communities.


Heritage University has hired and promoted several administrators.

Mea Moore was promoted to the newly created position of associate provost. Moore, who served as the interim dean of the College of Education and Psychology, arrived at Heritage University last year after six years as director of educator pathways for the state Professional Educator Standards Board.

The university has also promoted Merrilou Harrison to dean of the College of Education and Psychology. Harrison previously served as chair and director of the college’s educational administration program. Harrison, who has more than 30 years experience working in public education, also worked with the Washington State Leadership Academy and was a fellow at Paul Allen’s Success at the Core.

The university has appointed Siri Strom as vice president for support services and chief financial officer, a position she has held on an interim basis since October.

It has also named Kazu Sonoda, the current dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, as associate provost, with specific oversight of regional sites and faculty research.

And the university has named Jaime Cortes as the director of the Office of Advising.

Perry Technical Institute has hired Michael Powell as an instructor in the automotivetechnology program and Justin McRitchie as an instructor for in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technology program.

Powell, a Selah native, graduated from Perry’s automotive technology program in 1991. After completing the program, he worked as a service technician at Valley Ford for 22 years.

McRitchie, an East Valley native and a graduate of Perry’s HVAC/R program, worked for nine years as the utilities manager at ConAgra Foods/Lamb Weston.


Levi Wyatt recently completed certification as a Washington State Lead Risk Assessor and Washington State Lead Inspector. Wyatt works at Fulcrum Environmental Consulting Inc. as a risk assessor, looking at the presence and risk of exposure to lead contamination.


Leonard Rickey Investment Advisors has hired Rachel James as a client services associate. James has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Arizona State University and previously worked at a tax accounting firm and an insurance office.


Central Washington University selected state Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, for its first College of the Sciences Alumni of the Year Award. Honeyford was recognized for his work to get funding for construction of the Science Phase II building that will house the geological sciences and physics departments as well as the Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education programs.

The National Federation of Independent Business also selected Honeyford for its Guardian of Small Business Award. The organization stated Honeyford had a perfect voting record during the 2013-14 biennium on small business issues.

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