Freeform (formerly Business Interiors of Idaho), a Boise-based company for more than 35 years, has acquired Brutzman’s Office Solutions, an office supply and furniture dealer in Richland, WA. Brutzman’s has been a Tri-Cities mainstay and family-owned business for over 75 years and has established a reputation for exceptional customer service. With this acquisition, Freeform expands its Inland Northwest presence to three locations: Boise, Spokane, and the Tri-Cities.
On the acquisition, Jeff Heath, CEO of Freeform, says, “We are excited to add Brutzman’s to the Freeform team. Ken, Keith, Kathy, and the entire Brutzman’s team share our same commitment to the community and pride themselves on providing quality solutions and exceptional service to customers. We believe our shared values and outlook will lead to a smooth integration across our now three locations. We are deeply appreciative of the Brutzman family to trust our team with their family legacy and to continue to foster the relationships they have built in the Tri-Cities for nearly a century. We look forward to bringing our collective passion and expertise to the community, to create and grow new lifelong relationships.”
Ken Brutzman, Vice President of Brutzman’s, shares, “We are thrilled to be joining the Freeform team and expanding the services we can provide to our clients. As family-owned companies, the Brutzman’s and Freeform teams understand the importance of the impact we can have on the communities we operate in. Our expanded team will continue to serve the Tri-Cities communities with the same level of service and expertise they’ve grown accustomed to over Brutzman’s more than 75-year history.”
Brutzman’s employees will continue to work in the company’s Tri-Cities office, and the brand will be thoughtfully adjusted to align with Freeform’s in a manner that respects Brutzman’s tenure in the market and the relationships the team has established over their long history. The merger will allow Tri-Cities customers to benefit from the organization’s expanded capabilities, shared resources, efficiencies, and purchasing power.
The Richland Police Department has pledged to participate in the “National 30x30 Initiative”. This Pledge includes a series of actions policing agencies can take to improve the representation and experiences of women in law enforcement. This national initiative aims to improve public safety, community outcomes, and trust in law enforcement.
The Pledge is the foundational effort of the 30x30 Initiative – a coalition of police leaders, researchers, and professional organizations who have joined together to advance the representation and experiences of women in all ranks of policing across the United States. The 30x30 Initiative is affiliated with the Policing Project at NYU School of Law and the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE).
The ultimate goal of the 30x30 Initiative is to reach 30 percent of women in police recruit classes by 2030 and to ensure policing agencies are truly representative of the jurisdiction the agency serves. While 30x30 is focused on advancing women in policing, these principles are applicable to all demographic diversity, not just gender.
Richland Police Chief Brigit Clary says, “I am proud to announce the Richland Police Department’s participation in the 30x30 Initiative, which is aimed at increasing the representation and advancement of women in law enforcement. We believe that a highly qualified, diverse workforce not only benefits our department but also strengthens our relationship with the community we serve. By committing to this initiative, we hope to help create a more equitable and just law enforcement system for all.”
More than 275 agencies, from major metro departments including the New York City Police Department to mid-sized, rural, university, and state policing agencies have signed the 30x30 Pledge. The Pledge is based on social science research that greater representation of women on police forces leads to better policing outcomes for communities.
Currently, women make up only 12 percent of sworn officers and 3 percent of police leadership in the U.S. This underrepresentation of women in policing has significant public safety implications. Research suggests that women officers:
Washington State University Tri-Cities, the MOSAIC Center for Student Inclusion and the WSU Tri-Cities Career Center will be hosting a Women in STEM event on Thursday, March 23 from 5:30-7 p.m. on the WSU Tri-Cities campus in the East Auditorium and via Zoom.
The event features a panel of multiple women in various STEM-related fields discussing their experiences, obstacles and accomplishments. Two of the panelists are Kimberly Harper, a physical scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest Site Office located at Pacific Northwest Laboratory and Jenny Kadinger, engineering manager at Washington River Protection Solutions.
Kauser Gwaduri, WSU Tri-Cities student services coordinator with the MOSAIC Center for Student Inclusion and one of the organizers of the event said, “It is vital that we have events such as ‘Women in STEM’ because STEM fields still have a long way to go for gender equality. Women and other genders bring important skills, perspectives, and innovative ideas to their companies, and organizations will only grow from hiring more diverse populations. Before we can get to hiring, we need our students to know that STEM careers ARE a possibility for them and that professionals are there to help guide the way."
The event is open to WSU Tri-Cities and CBC students, staff, and faculty and the public. Registration is required to attend in-person and via Zoom. The WSU Tri-Cities campus is located at 2710 Crimson Way, Richland, WA 99354. For additional information please contact TriCities.Mosaic@wsu.edu.
The newest round of artwork has been installed at the Tri-Cities Airport (PSC). Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will be displaying “Science is Beautiful” in all three of the airport art display areas for 2023. This well-received community project provides an artistic view of scientific studies.
Each year, PSC offers local artists an opportunity to display their work in the terminal. While PNNL was established in the Tri-Cities in 1965, it is better known as one of the nation’s leading centers for scientific discovery in chemistry and Earth science. The vivid PNNL images used in the art exhibits highlight everything from microscopic plants to water molecules.
“Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Communications Division has been working on discovering platforms for enterprise storytelling around the Lab’s research and mission,” shared Timothy Holland, Creative Director for PNNL. “The concept for creating a true art installation, with minimal verbiage and maximum visual impact, seemed like a perfect fit for our Tri-Cities Airport.”
“The airport’s ‘local artist’ is a little untraditional this year, but no less captivating,” said Buck Taft, Director of Tri-Cities Airport. “The colors are vibrant and the images are so intriguing you can’t help but want to learn more. We hope our passengers will find time in their travel through our airport to discover that science is indeed beautiful.”
Each wall installation includes a brief explanation of PNNL’s research areas and an invitation to visit PNNL.gov to learn more, with a scannable QR code for easy access from a smart phone. “Science is Beautiful” will be up in the airport terminal through the year.
The Wildhorse Foundation, a community fund established by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), announced their grant awards for the fourth quarter of 2022.
The quarter marked a record for the total amount awarded in a single quarter by the Wildhorse Foundation. The total awarded was $390,992. 29 organizations received grants ranging from $2500 to $20,000 for projects in the areas of Public Health, Public Safety, Arts, Education, and Cultural Activities.
In addition, two Rapid Response Grants were approved for $1000 each, adding to the total. These are smaller grants that cannot exceed $1000 but can be submitted and reviewed at any time for a quicker turnaround.
“We were happy to see an increase in the number of applications for the quarter,” said Foundation Administrator Mary Liberty-Traughber. “Applicant numbers really dropped in 2021 but we’ve been working hard at outreach and it appears to be helping.”
Established in 2001, the Wildhorse Foundation has, in total, awarded over $18 million in grant funding to eligible government, Tribal and charitable organizations.
Besides Wildhorse Foundation, there are five other Tribal community funds and foundations in Oregon. Collectively, these organizations gave out $10,831,944 in grant funding in 2022. The other philanthropic organizations are Spirit Mountain Community Fund, Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, 3 Rivers Community Foundation, Coquille Tribal Community Fund, and Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation.
Second Harvest: Ag Service Companies Team Up to Spotlight the Producers who Nourish Our Lives
In recognition of the hard work and innovation of those who cultivate nourishing food, AgWest Farm Credit (AgWest) and Northwest Agricultural Consultants (NWAG) are partnering with Second Harvest to help celebrate the impact our region’s ag community makes for people facing hunger in the Inland Northwest, while simultaneously extending an invitation for all to help by matching the first $15,000 donated during Ag Month this March.
“We are so fortunate to live in a region that provides a cornucopia of healthy food,” said Jason Clark, president and CEO of Second Harvest. “Our friends at AgWest and NWAG are leaders in understanding what it takes to provide food from field to plate.”
Heidi Whitman, Director, Marketing and PR, at AgWest agreed. "AgWest Farm Credit understands how essential a robust and productive agricultural industry is to nourish communities,” she said. “It's especially important that we partner in efforts to grow fresh and nutritious food to share with our neighbors experiencing food insecurity. Good food builds great communities and we're proud to walk alongside local farmers, producers, and Second Harvest in making a difference throughout the Inland Northwest."
“Jason and his team at Second Harvest frequently remind us all that it’s the first harvest that makes the second harvest possible,” said Wade Carter, NWAG’s president and lab director. “We’re fortunate to work year-round with the people who raise crops in this region, from beans to wheat, and corn to tree fruits.”
Hunger is unnecessary, unacceptable, and starves human potential. Ag industry partners come together with a common goal of nourishing our neighbors through contributions of good food and practical solutions because no one deserves to be hungry. Healthy food does more than sustain people today, it fuels opportunity and provides hope for tomorrow. Longtime partnerships, including Dairy for Life and Beef Counts, along with small and large farms and production operations, share millions of pounds of regionally grown fruits, vegetables, legumes, and other proteins that feed the Inland Northwest.
All this month – including National Ag Day on March 21 – Second Harvest is honoring the ag community, highlighting agriculture’s contributions on social media and at both our Hunger Solutions Centers, in Pasco and Spokane.
AgWest Farm Credit is contributing $10,000 and Northwest Agricultural Consultants is contributing $5,000 to help Second Harvest obtain food for people in the region facing food insecurity. During the month of March, AgWest and NWAG will match the first $15,000 donated. Take action at www.2-harvest.org/agmonth.
Second Harvest would be happy to arrange onsite visits at our distribution centers to capture footage of bulk fresh food donations arriving, volunteers repacking fresh fruits and vegetables, and to help connect media partners with ag partners for interviews.
There’s no better time to enjoy a night of pure rolling-on-the-floor humor than April Fool’s Day and Hamley’s Slickfork Saloon is exactly the place to get it.
Hamley’s welcomes Brooks Wheelan to the Slickfork Saloon at Hamley’s on April 1 to present an evening of laughs. Wheelan has a remarkable résumé for both acting and comedy and has achieved more fame than any other comic to hit the stage in Pendleton.
Wheelan was a cast member as well as a writer for Saturday Night Live and has been a guest on CONAN, Late Night with Seth Meyers and numerous Comedy Central shows. He has released his own comedy album and a Comedy Central Half Hour special. Rolling Stone named Wheelan as one the Top 45 Acts of Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in 2014.
Wheelan’s acting career includes Disney’s Big Hero series, Netflix’s I Think You Should Leave, HBO’s Girls and the CBS series Hawaii Five-0. He hosted his own series of comedic travel vlogs called Travels and Such that aired on All Things Comedy.
Besides doing stand-up, Wheelan is hosting a popular podcast called Entry Level with Brooks Wheelan where he interviews other celebrities – mostly comics – about the horrendous jobs they held before they became successful and their dismal, dangerous, yet hilarious, experiences. The podcast was recently recognized by POPSUGAR as one of the 25 Best Comedy Podcasts of 2023.
Tickets are on sale now at wildhorseresort.com. A ticket includes admission, a full dinner before the show and $10 in free slot play at Wildhorse Resort & Casino. Doors open and dinner begins at 6:30pm, show begins at 8pm. The Slickfork Saloon is located above Hamley Western Store at SE 1st and Court Streets in Pendleton.
City of Kennewick: Shop Thousands of Vintage and Antique Items at Vintage at the Ridge
Vintage at the Ridge is your chance to shop vintage and antique items all in one location inside the Numerica Pavilion at the Southridge Sports and Events Complex. Dealers from the Northwest bring you antiques, home décor, food and vintage items perfect for your home, office, garage, she shed, or man cave. From jewelry to signs to furniture, we have what you are looking for. $5 admission at the door. Kids 12 and under are free.
Friday, March 10: 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 11: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Walmart is doing its part to eliminate waste in Washington by removing plastic carryout bags from all stores in the state for checkout and pickup. Beginning Tuesday, April 18, 2023, Walmart stores in Washington will no longer provide plastic bags at checkout or pickup, encouraging customers to use reusable bags or containers.
To make the transition easier for its customers, Walmart will continue to offer a wide array of reusable bags and containers throughout stores and at checkout areas for purchase. Stores have added signing, social posts on store Facebook pages, and messaging on the Walmart App to remind customers of the upcoming changes. Additionally, Walmart makes it easy for customers to recycle their end-of-life plastic and reusable bags by providing recycling containers located in the store’s vestibule area.
As of October 2021, Washington state law banned single-use plastic bags, and now Walmart is taking it a step further by eliminating all single-use plastic and paper bags at checkouts across the state. Walmart aims to offer solutions that serve a similar function, deliver convenience and reduce environmental impact.
"Eliminating single-use bags is part of our effort to reduce waste at our stores and help keep Washington communities and ecosystems clean," said Jane Ewing, senior vice president of Walmart Sustainability. "Our Washington customers want to be engaged on this journey, and Walmart is committed to making the sustainable choice convenient and accessible every day.”
To do its part in reducing plastic bag waste, Walmart has been working to ensure a seamless and convenient shift to reusable bags for its customers and associates, taking learnings from other initiatives.
For more information on Walmart’s reusable bag efforts, click here.
SEL Senior Director of Vertical Integration Honored by National Association of Manufacturers
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) Senior Director of Vertical Integration Jessi Hall was named a 2023 Women MAKE Awards Honoree. This recognition is presented by The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers.
The Women MAKE Awards are presented annually to women making significant contributions in manufacturing. Honorees are recognized for their leadership, innovation and commitment to supporting the next generation of manufacturers and promoting inclusion. These awards are part of the Institute’s Women MAKE America Initiative which focuses on closing the gender gap within the manufacturing industry.
“The biggest challenge facing manufacturers continues to be the growing workforce crisis, and women are the industry’s largest talent opportunity; increasing the percentage of women in the industry by just six points would fill all open jobs in the sector today,” The Manufacturing Institute President and Executive Director Carolyn Lee said in a press release.
Hall joined SEL in 2011 as a mechanical engineer. Today, she spearheads vertical integration strategy development and leads a 150-person team. Her work helped identify the need for SEL’s new printed circuit board facility in Moscow, Idaho. During the factory’s two-year development period, Hall oversaw the establishment of quality equipment and suppliers, thorough manufacturing processes, methods for reducing environmental impact and presentations to educate the community on printed circuit board manufacturing. She will continue to be a key member of the SEL Moscow team moving forward.
In addition to the important work Hall does in the Manufacturing division, she’s passionate about supporting the next generation of engineers, scientists and manufacturers. She’s a founding member of the SEL Women in STEM group, which offers employees networking, mentoring and career growth opportunities. Hall serves on advisory boards for Washington State University’s Mechanical & Materials Engineering program and Gonzaga University’s Operation Management program. In addition, she’s a school board member for Steptoe School District and plays an active role in SEL’s K-12 Education Outreach program.
“Jessi’s dedication to excellence, innovation and inclusivity has been instrumental in driving SEL’s success,” said CEO Dave Whitehead. “We’re thrilled to see her receive this well-deserved recognition.”
Hall is one of 100 honorees and 30 emerging leaders that will be recognized by The Manufacturing Institute in Washington, D.C., in April. The two-day event will include training sessions, panel discussions and networking opportunities and will conclude with a gala celebrating the winners.
“I’ve always loved solving tough problems and learning how things work,” said Hall. “The manufacturing industry provides endless opportunities for doing just that. I can’t imagine more rewarding work, and to be recognized by the National Association of Manufacturers in an industry I’m so excited about is a true honor!”
To learn more, visit: https://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/press-releases/women-make-awards-to-honor-130-women-for-excellence-in-manufacturing/
Email your press release and a photo to Austin Regimbal, Marketing & Communications Director. Press releases are posted in their entirety. This is a free benefit for members of the Tri-City Regional Chamber.