Welcome to one of our favorite issues of the year – one where we honor and celebrate the up-and-coming leaders in our community.
This year marks our 15th annual Young Professionals competition and we are pleased to introduce you to the 10 winners who are excelling in their careers and efforts to better our hometowns.
Since 2008, we have been reviewing applications from the Tri-Cities’ brightest young leaders. To date, we have honored 132, including this year’s group.
They are all 40 or younger and their resumes are impressive. Everyone clearly loves our community, as they have rolled up their sleeves in various ways to make it a better place.
One holds a patent. One is an artist. One was inspired to study accounting (and discovered she excelled at it) after accompanying her parents on a “Take Your Kids to Work” day.
The candidates in our competition were nominated or were able to self-nominate. Some included letters of recommendation, although they were not required.
Those who wrote praised it:
“This young professional has truly limitless potential and is dedicated to service.”
“In short, the work she conducts has a significant impact on the quality of life enjoyed by all Tri-Citizens.”
“(He) has a heart to serve and help others whenever the need arises.”
“Her energy level is contagious, and she makes everyone around her succeed…”
“(She) is a big thinker who is always working hard to implement new projects, build relationships and expand her knowledge.”
“In everything she does, she strives to uplift others, build love and community, and shine a light on social and racial injustice, mental health and a range of other social problems.”
Our panel of judges scored all entries in multiple categories and then the points were tallied.
It is always a pleasure to read these nominations as they show the diversity of our community and the hard work of these young leaders, especially outside of their jobs.
The competition judges looked for leaders who went the extra mile outside of their workplace in community service, charity work, leadership and community engagement.
Please meet this year’s winners:
- Joel BoucheyRegional Director and Public Policy Coordinator, Inland Northwest Associated General Contractors.
- Jenna Coddingtonbroker-manager, The Paragon Group.
- Madison M. EvangelistaSenior Communications Specialist, Mid-Columbia Libraries.
- Tara Jaraysi KenningAsset Management Requirements Specialist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory/Battelle.
- Jennifer J. LeeSenior Executive, Adaptive Biotechnology.
- Kevin MoranCommunity Development Officer, STCU.
- Ashley T. Morrisdeputy deputy director for business and financial operations and deputy chief financial officer, U.S. Department of Energy.
- Anneke M. RachinskiDirector of Resource Development and Planned Giving, Columbia Basin College Foundation.
- Karisa M. SaywersMarketing Director, Visit Tri-Cities.
- Cynethia E. Simswaste treatment plant controller, Bechtel National Inc.
Choosing the young leaders to celebrate each year is never easy because we always have so many outstanding candidates. This year saw a record number of applications.
To those we singled out in this issue, to those who threw their hats in the ring to be considered, and to those who were chosen over the years, congratulations.
We look forward to seeing you continue to grow professionally and personally.
We hope our readers enjoy reading about this year’s winners. We think you’ll be as impressed with it as we are.