Maria Alleman, Convention Sales Manager of Visit Tri-Cities, earned her Certified Faith-Based Meeting Professional credentials through the Religious Conference Management Association in October 2021.
The Religious Conference Management Association’s certification program is designed to equip meeting professionals in the essentials of faith-based meeting planning. The course is comprised of eight classes with an exam following each class. Upon completion and successfully passing all eight exams, a certification of completion is given along with permission to use the CFMP designation. Certification is valid for 5 years, after which time, those holding the certification will be required to re-certify by verifying their continued involvement in the faith-based event industry.
“Credentials like the CFMP show convention, meeting and other group planners that we’re operating with a high-level of expertise, customer service and professionalism,” said Michael Novakovich, President & CEO of Visit Tri-Cities. “Maria has once again demonstrated great commitment to our community, our stakeholders and our team by earning her CFMP. These types of designations set the Tri-Cities apart from other destinations, which is critical as we work to bring back group business following the impact of the pandemic.”
For more information about the Tri-Cities, check out visittri-cities.com.
Commissioner Robert Larson announced today that he will retire from his elected post of Port of Benton Commissioner where he holds the position of Vice-President of the three-member board. Commissioner Larson has served as a Port of Benton Commissioner since 1994 while championing numerous remarkable projects in his twenty-seven years in service to the community. Commissioner Larson and wife Shirley look forward to leisure time spent with their two daughters as well as plenty of golf and travel adventures.
The Port of Benton was formed in 1958 for the express purpose of creating economic development opportunity in the northern and western portions of Benton County, including the jurisdictions of Prosser, Benton City, and Richland. Commissioner Larson has been innately linked to many of the Port’s major modern investments and expansions. His tenure on the commission shared in the first transfer of federal land under the 1994 Defense Authorization Act – resulting in the transfer of the Hanford 3000 and 1100 areas into Port ownership and operation, transfer of the Port’s 16-mile short-line railroad, expansion of the Tri-Cities Research District and acquisition of the 1,641 acres by local jurisdictions for the development of an advanced clean energy manufacturing park.
Commissioner Larson’s personal efforts resulted in his most prized accomplishment of the Port, securing the USS Triton sail and conning tower from the US Department of the Navy and having it placed in the purpose-built USS Triton Sail Park in North Richland.
Reflecting on his decision, Commissioner Larson feels confident in the capability of his fellow Commissioners and Port of Benton staff, noting, “While there is rarely a good time to step down from public service, I’ve had the pleasure to see our community, staff, and fellow commissioners partner to bring forth many transformative projects to our region. With the announcement of the White Bluffs Archive and Storage Project, foundations for a community led supply chain alliance, and WSU Tri-Cities involvement in the Walter Clore Center I feel many of my personal goals for the Port’s growth are well on their way to fruition.”
Commissioner Larson extends his appreciation to the community for their trust in his contributions to the Port over the past twenty-seven years, and notes that he will continue to remain active in the community through his participation in the Richland Rotary Club.
The Port of Benton will soon announce an application process for eligible residents to apply for the newly vacated seat on its website portofbenton.com and vet the qualifications of applicants at an upcoming special commission meeting.
Walmart announced today, plans to hire thousands of supply chain associates across the United States during a two-day hiring event on November 3 - 4, 2021. The news comes following the company’s September 2021 announcement, where the retailer revealed plans to hire 20,000 permanent Supply Chain Associates to support its growing supply chain network.
“Whether customers are shopping in stores or online, they are relying on Walmart Supply Chain now more than ever for the necessary items they need every day.” said Karisa Sprague, Senior Vice President, People, Supply Chain, Walmart U.S. “Walmart’s more than two million associates are residents, neighbors, friends and family members in thousands of communities across the globe and we work to strengthen local communities through job creation, as well as our retail business and community giving.”
Across the country, the company is planning to hire new Walmart Supply Chain associates for many of its facilities in the supply chain network, including lift drivers, order-fillers, shipping loaders, power equipment operators, diesel technicians and drivers.
Average wages for full-time hourly associates are $20.37 an hour based on position, shift and schedule. All positions are considered full-time qualifying for benefits, including medical, vision and dental insurance, 401(k) matching, paid time off, a quarterly incentive program and access to a college degree through Walmart’s Live Better U (LBU) – which, in October 2021, added three leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in partnership with Guild Education.
To prioritize the health and wellness of Walmart associates and their families, Walmart’s medical coverage plans starts at $30.50 per pay period – approximately one-third less than the average premium employees pay at other companies. In addition, the retailer offers maternity and paternal benefits, emotional well-being benefits, healthcare tailored to the LBGTQ+ community and veteran and military spouse support.
Grandview’s hiring event will be taking place at the Walmart Distribution Center at 546 Woodall Road Nov. 3-4, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., local time. Applicants can also TEXT 240240 to apply by phone.
To see additional hiring sites or to apply, visit walmartcareers.com/hiringevent!
Prosser Memorial Health Holding a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Clinic November 6 in Prosser
On Saturday, November 6th from 8am to 4pm, at Housel Middle School, Prosser Memorial Health will have a Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Clinic for those individuals meeting the criteria per the current CDC guidelines. The Moderna vaccine is currently only approved for those 18 years and older.
Those individuals 18 years and older, and meeting the criteria, are encouraged to visit prosserhealth.org to determine their eligibility and schedule their vaccination appointment. Individuals receiving the booster are asked to bring their COVID-19 vaccine card to their appointment. Those needing a replacement vaccine card can email: email@example.com with their full name and date of birth. PMH staff will be available onsite for registration, administering vaccine, and post-vaccination observation. Housel Middle School is located at 2001 Highland Drive in Prosser. Those receiving the vaccine will be asked to wait onsite 15 minutes for observation.
For more information, please call Prosser Memorial Health Chief Communications Officer Shannon Hitchcock at 509.786.6601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional COVID-19 resources can be found on our website at prosserhealth.org.
Empowered Health Institute is pleased to announce it will be partnering with Gravis Law to host a blood drive with the American Red Cross. Both businesses are located at 503 Knight Street in Richland.
The blood drive will be held Monday, November 22nd from 8am-1pm, and will be held at FUSE SPC, 723 The Parkway in Richland.
To register to donate blood, visit www.RedCrossBlood.org and enter “EmpoweredHealth” to find our drive.
Downtown Kennewick Becomes One of The Newest Certified Creative District in Washington
Downtown Kennewick is the home of one of Washington’s newest certified Creative Districts. The South Columbia Creative District (SOCO) was unanimously ratified in a vote by a board of commissioners organized under ArtsWA on October 6, 2021.
The vision for the South Columbia Creative District (SOCO) was started by a grassroots group of individuals back when the Washington State Creative District Program was first launched in 2018. This certification is an opportunity to recognize Downtown Kennewick as the creative and artistic heart of Kennewick while promoting current established creative
industries. The creative district designation will help promote, connect, and unify the many downtown Kennewick anchors as a rich, creative community that reflects Kennewick’s history and embraces its diverse population.
Creative Districts are an award-winning program that works to grow the creative sector of a community. It helps communities turn cultural activities into economic growth. In Downtown Kennewick, this is an opportunity to recognize downtown as the creative and artistic heart of Kennewick while promoting the area as a hub for creativity and creative enterprises. In the coming months, district organizers will collaborate with the City of Kennewick and Washington Department of Transportation to install a series of highway signs that promote the location of SOCO to travelers making their way through or to the
The geographical location for the South Columbia Creative District is in the historical heart of Kennewick. Its northern border is roughly the southern bank of the Columbia River and its southernmost border travels along 6th Avenue. From east to west this district spans from Gum Street to Fruitland Street. The southeast border of the district travels up Washington Street until it meets with First Street and then turns east to meet up with Gum Street.
“It was important to us that this creative district span the breadth of all of downtown’s major assets. That they encompass the essential creative, artistic, culinary, and historic features of our community,” said Stephanie Button, Executive Director of the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership (HDKP). “The idea to name the district South Columbia Creative District (SOCO) developed from our early recognition that there is a possibility that the district could grow and evolve beyond Kennewick’s downtown area. But no matter where in Kennewick our creative district could expand to, it would still be south of the Columbia River.” HDKP will serve as the administrative organization behind SOCO for the foreseeable future.
Within this area are key community anchors including Keewaydin Park--home of the East Benton County History Museum, the Historic Downtown Kennewick business core--an accredited Main Street community, Columbia Gardens, Columbia Drive, and Clover Island. Key anchors within the downtown community are accessible from public transportation and between these anchors, they are walkable and bikeable with ample parking for all kinds of activities and programming.
The downtown area is dedicated to both the arts and creative industry. Within SOCO’s boundaries, there are already 24 public art pieces ranging from murals and sculptures to art-wrapped utility boxes. Just within the roughly 140+ businesses located within the Historic Downtown Kennewick business core, 76 (52%) are considered Creative Industries by NAICS (North American Industry Classification System). The new and growing Columbia Gardens currently features 4 wineries and a food truck plaza that hosts up to 8 businesses at a time.
“We chose a lantern as the emblem of SOCO for a lot of reasons,” Said Ms. Button. “SOCO will illuminate the creative industries, artists, and makers of Downtown Kennewick.” The lantern in SOCO’s logo is inspired by an object in the collection of the East Benton County Historical Society and the Lighthouse located on Clover Island. Around 1906 there was a music teacher, Edna Pallister Hansen, in Kennewick who taught her piano students in Kennewick and across the river in Pasco. She would walk across the old train bridge. Her finance, George gifted her a lantern to both light her way and so he could see her make it across the bridge safely. Like Edna’s lantern or the Lighthouse on Clover Island, SOCO will illuminate the creativity of Downtown Kennewick and support the art and culture of the community by working with arts and humanities organizations and creative entrepreneurs to have a positive educational and social impact on our community. Arts and culture enhance communities through an increase in quality of life, the ability to brand Downtown Kennewick as a creative and cultural destination, attract new residents and become a destination for creative businesses.
As a certified Creative District, Downtown Kennewick is now officially recognized as a hub for creativity and creative enterprises.
For more information about the South Columbia Creative District email email@example.com or call 509-582-7221. Visit the website at https://www.historickennewick.org/soco.
Friends of Mid-Columbia Libraries Hosts Extended Fall Book Sale October 23 Through November 6
The Friends of Mid-Columbia Libraries (FOL) hosts its fall used book sale at Mid-Columbia Libraries’ Kennewick Branch, located at 1620 S. Union St. in Kennewick, from Oct. 23 through Nov. 6 with new books added daily. All book sale proceeds benefit Mid-Columbia Libraries.
Sale hours are weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm, and Sundays from 1 to 4 pm.
The sale includes the following collections: education, hardcover fiction, history, non-fiction, science and nature. All other collections will be available in smaller quantities. All funds raised provide valuable support for local libraries.
FOL accept debit and credit card payments. Masks are required. Customers are encouraged to bring their own box or bag, as none will be provided.
Community members can also support the FOL by becoming a member or making a donation. Funds support library performers, programs, and more. Volunteers can contact Fernie Coe at 509-322-6949 for opportunities and information. FOL is unable to accept any physical donations at this time. More info is at midcolumbialibraries.org/FOL.
Join the Visit Tri-Cities team for the 2021 Visit Tri-Cities Annual Meeting: Champions of Tourism Recovery taking place virtually on Thursday, November 4 at 9 a.m. via Facebook and YouTube.
The Annual Meeting will demonstrate the importance of tourism in the Tri-Cities region with a dynamic presentation. The Visit Tri-Cities Board of Directors made the decision to move the Annual Meeting to a virtual format in September out of an interest in public health and wellness as our community’s COVID case count was at its peak.
“While we were looking forward to meeting in-person for this year’s Annual Meeting, the Visit Tri-Cities team has put together a knockout program that will keep viewers engaged,” said Michael Novakovich, President & CEO of Visit Tri-Cities. “The Annual Meeting is our opportunity to share the accomplishments achieved in collaboration and coordination between our team and our partners in 2021. Viewers will also learn about our plans and programs to continue championing the recovery of our tourism economy. These include new platforms and programs to support an outstanding visitor experience and upcoming endeavors to drive future visitation.”
The virtual Annual Meeting is sponsored by Washington Protection River Solutions (WRPS) and will feature the state of the tourism industry report as well as the presentation of the 2021 Kris Watkins Tourism Champion and Excellence in Service Award winners.
For more information about Visit Tri-Cities, check out VisitTri-Cities.com.
Washington Credit Unions Partner to Fundraise on Behalf of Pasco Goodwill in Celebration of 73rd Annual International Credit Union Day
In celebration of the 73rd annual International Credit Union (ICU) Day, local credit unions Gesa, HAPO, Numerica, STCU, and Tri-CU, are partnering to coordinate an internal clothing drive and fundraiser benefitting the Pasco, Washington Goodwill. Together, these Washington credit unions will donate $10,000 and an abundance of clothing to Goodwill on October 21, 2021.
To commemorate their partnership, participating credit unions will unveil a wrapped wall at the Pasco Goodwill titled “The Credit Union Closet – brought to you by your local credit unions.” The unveiling will occur directly following the donation presentation on October 21.
In conjunction with their forthcoming monetary donation, local credit unions are conducting an internal clothing drive to provide professional attire for job interviews to those in need.
Additionally, participating credit unions have generated free financial tips and educational worksheets, available via Goodwill’s website. To incentivize the public to take advantage of these assets, all clothing donation recipients who complete a worksheet will receive an additional outfit for future interviews.
“At the heart of a credit union, is our member’s commitment to making a positive impact on our community,” said Don Miller, President and CEO of Gesa Credit Union. “We are thrilled to come together with our fellow credit unions and Goodwill to give back to our community. We cannot think of a better way to celebrate International Credit Union Day than by helping foster professional and financial development to those in need.”
This International Credit Union Day, our goal was to create internal charitable initiatives that help garner financial education awareness, in support of ICU’s 2021 theme: “building financial health for a brighter tomorrow.”
International Credit Union (ICU) Day celebrates the spirit of the global credit union movement. The day is recognized to reflect upon the credit union movement’s history, promote its achievements, recognize hard work and share member experiences. International Credit Union Day has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948.
The ultimate goal is to raise awareness about the tremendous work that credit unions and other financial cooperatives are doing around the world and give members the opportunity to get more engaged. The day of festivities for credit unions and financial cooperatives globally includes fundraisers, open houses, contents, picnics, volunteering and parades.
Lourdes and Trios Health are pleased to announce a $6,500 donation to the Grace Clinic to support their breast cancer programs.
The donation is generated from Lourdes’ and Trios’ joint sponsorship of the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night at the 2021 Benton-Franklin County Fair and Rodeo. This donation is one of the largest single awards ever generated to a single recipient from the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night.
“As an organization that shares many of the same values as the Grace Clinic, we are proud to support them and be a community partner in the fight against breast cancer,” said Joanie White-Wagoner, Lourdes Health Chief Executive Officer. “We are grateful for all that Grace Clinic does to meet the needs of our community and provide much needed healthcare to underserved populations.”
Tough Enough to Wear Pink is a nationally-recognized campaign and framework for rodeos and western events to promote breast cancer awareness and fundraising to benefit their local communities. Proceeds raised from the program are donated to nonprofit organizations to provide support for breast cancer screenings, support groups, or programs.
“We are incredibly supportive of Grace Clinic’s mission and the work they do to provide free healthcare to uninsured people in our community, including breast cancer screenings,” said John Solheim, Chief Executive Officer at Trios Health. “We hope that this donation will go a long way in supporting their programs and providing women much needed access to breast cancer screenings and care.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among American women and 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
“We strongly encourage women to get their mammograms. Women should begin annual mammogram screenings at age 40, or sooner if their doctor recommends it or they have a family history of breast cancer,” White-Wagoner said.
“Early detection is key to successful breast cancer treatment. We encourage women to not delay in getting their mammograms,” Solheim added.
The Lourdes Health and Trios Health donation to Grace Clinic will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at the Grace Clinic, located at 800 W. Canal Drive in Kennewick. Representatives from Grace Clinic, Lourdes Health, Trios Health, and the Benton-Franklin County Fair and Rodeo will be present at the check presentation. Members of the media are invited to attend. COVID-19 safety protocols, including mask wearing, will be observed.
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.