- Category: Top Stories
- Published on Friday, 09 November 2012 14:06
- Written by Nicholas Shannon Kulmac
Each member of the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2012 has their own inspirational story. Some are innovators and creators, while others are builders and motivators. Some donate and fundraise, while others volunteer and mentor. Despite working in different industries and organizations, each one lifts up their community, striving to improve the place we all call home.
A message from our sponsor
Riverview Community Bank,
executive vice president retail banking
Congratulations to all of the Accomplished and Under 40 honorees. This class of individuals represents the best of our future business leaders, innovators and community activists. In many cases, it is the members of this exemplary group who will chart our course and make the decisions that will impact the success of our region for many years to come.
A special congratulations to Mark Matthias – a true example of tireless dedication to the local community. Mark never stops giving back, inspiring every life he touches to do the same. He is truly deserving of the 2012 Kyle W. Corwin Lifetime Achievement Award.
Also, thank you to the Vancouver Business Journal for hosting this event. Our young leaders and entrepreneurs are deserving of this recognition and we applaud the VBJ for honoring them.
Riverview has served Southwest Washington and Portland since 1923 and has earned a reputation for community involvement. We sponsor hundreds of local events each year and support many nonprofit organizations. We are honored to be a sponsor of this event and part of this program celebrating the success of our upcoming generation of future leaders.
Class of 2012
Rebecca Barnett, 39
Manager of Clinical Services, Rebound Orthopedics and Neurosurgery
Rebecca supervises approximately 60 employees and oversees the daily operations of the medical staff, orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery scheduling at five clinic locations. She is also involved with fundraising for King’s Way School and volunteers with the Clark County Skills Center, a program that prepares high school students for life after graduation by giving them the opportunity to train in a technical field. Rebecca donates personal time to evaluate students’ interviewing skills and provide advice on how to improve confidence and advance skills.
“I've known Becky since she worked at Legacy,” said her nominator, Michelle Braunsten. “Within two years at Rebound she's been promoted from site supervisor to clinic manager, a big accomplishment. She brings a lot of great ideas to Rebound and I wanted to acknowledge her publicly for that.”
David Cole, 33
YouthFirst Program Coordinator, Partners in Careers
David Cole was part of a team that developed the YouthFirst Program’s partnership with the Vancouver School District. The program addresses teens in danger of dropping out of school. By creating individualized plans, kids are inspired to finish school and make better career choices.
“Dave took the lead in working with the school district, staff, students and parents to provide mentoring and coaching to the first 20 students coming through the program. As a result, eight students not slated for graduation successfully did so and half of the students are now attending college,” said Pam Brokaw, David’s nominator.
The rest of the first class is preparing for graduation and, due to David’s efforts, 20 young adults’ lives have changed dramatically. David will continue the program and has plans to expand it through the Evergreen School District later this year.
Adrian Cortes, 36
Manager, Setroc RE Servicing and Holdings LLC
As well as managing a private, family-owned real estate holding company, Adrian Cortes is taking positive steps to ensure individuals of Latino descent are well represented in region. Currently, this devoted husband, father, brother and community member is serving on the Battle Ground City Council and is running for state representative in the 18th district. Cortes also serves on the Washington State University Vancouver Diversity Advisory Board and is a former board member for ARC of Clark County, helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities lead fulfilling lives.
“I have known Adrian for several years while he was on the Battle Ground planning commission… I found that he was very passionate about Battle Ground as well as Southwest Washington,” said his nominator, Troy Van Dinter. “He has been very involved with a number of nonprofits in the area and I believe he has a passion for his community as well as his family.”
Scott Cozza, 30
Executive Director, At Your Place Senior Care
Scott Cozza is the executive director of At Your Place Senior Care, and has been serving the needs of senior citizens in some capacity since 2002. In addition to his current job and his BSW studies at Concordia University, Scott is on HYPE’s (Helping Young Professionals Excel) scholarship fundraising committee.
“Going above and beyond his required responsibilities with his employers, he enhances the lives of the residents he oversees while making them feel important and valued,” said Scott’s nominator, Marci White-Stumpf. “He finds ways to take on school projects so that they are meaningful in real world situations; the work he has done through his classes at Concordia University has been very inspiring and the betterments he has made will continue long after his graduation.”
Mike Dalesandro, 32
Operations Manager, West Linn Paper Company, dba Columbia River Logistics
Mike Dalesandro helped start up the Columbia River Logistics division for paper manufacturer, West Linn Paper Company. He assisted in staffing, training, managing and layout of the new 150,000-square-foot distribution center, which is now 250,000 square feet.
“Mike has successfully guided the warehouse and logistical operations through significant growth (nearly doubling the size of the warehouse) and efficiencies and trucking operations,” said nominator Phil Haberthur. “Mike is always looking for opportunities to get further involved in the community and has shown the type of skills necessary to be a strong leader in our community. “
Mike was a charter member of the Battle Ground Rotary and currently serves on the board of directors and executive committee of the Arc of SW Washington. He also volunteers on the City of Battle Ground’s Planning Commission.
Dr. Allen Gabriel, 39
Chief of Plastic Surgery, PeaceHealth Medical Group-Plastic Surgery
In the last four years, Dr. Allen Gabriel has developed a successful plastic surgery practice in Washington as part of the PeaceHealth Medical Group. He is the section chair of Plastic Surgery and has done extensive research in pain reduction following reconstructive breast surgery. His research on reconstructive plastic surgery and speaking engagements are known throughout the world.
As a plastic surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction, Allen founded and self-funded the nonprofit, Pink Lemonade, providing support and therapeutic retreats for women and their families following breast cancer reconstructive surgery. Allen also founded BRAVE (Breast Reconstruction Advocacy Victory Event ) Day, which is held annually in Vancouver on March 21st.
Dr. Gabriel also founded “The Gift of Lift” campaign, providing bras to women in Haiti. Thousands of clean, sized, packaged bras are now donated to the cause.
Patrick Ginn, 31
Owner Broker, Patrick Ginn Real Estate
Despite a challenging real estate market, Patrick Ginn has thrived and helped others to do the same. Recently, Ginn was named one of the Wall Street Journals’ Top 1,000 Real Estate Professionals working today.
In addition to being a top realtor, with more than $50 million in sales volume for 2011, and receiving a 2011 Top Projects award from the Vancouver Business Journal for developments Mt. Vista Estates and Bella Ridge, Patrick also invests his time and dollars to some of the most worthy community causes. He assists Felida Elementary with the Reading Olympics, as well as Salmon Creek and Chinook Elementary PTSA’s Take Home Folders Program. He has made financial contributions to help with uniform and equipment for youth baseball teams, has paid the full tuition of one Timbers Youth Soccer player, and has made donations to the Pink Lemonade Project and Habitat for Humanity.
Amit Gosalia, 37
Owner, Audiology Clinic Inc.
Since moving to the area in 2008, Amit Gosalia has helped to build a successful private hearing care business by investing in his employees and in forming deep relationships with each patient he treats. He also assists in providing hearing healthcare to lower income individuals through his involvement with the Lions Club.
In addition to his hearing practice, Amit is also a founding member of The Pink Lemonade Project, a breast cancer survivor organization. He currently serves on the board of directors and is the chair for their golf tournament fundraiser.
“[Amit] does all of these things with unequaled energy and passion, and always with an infectious smile upon his face,” said his nominator, Mason Walker. “His ability in simultaneously being a local entrepreneur, visionary professional leader, caring practitioner, community activist, and outstanding husband and father appear effortless.”
Ginny Gronwoldt, 34
AVP Assistant Relationship Manager, Umpqua Bank
In her current role at Umpqua Bank, Ginny Gronwoldt develops new customer lending and financial relationships, underwrites new and existing loan requests, works with title companies to set up title and escrow, as well as negotiating loan signing and closing. She also provides guidance and training to others in her department.
A dedicated employee, mother and volunteer, Ginny works hard to make Vancouver a better community. She currently serves as a board member for Educational Opportunities for Family and Children (EOCF), Evergreen School District Foundation and is a council member for the Vancouver Advisory Board for Junior Achievement. Ginny is also a graduate of Leadership Clark County’s Class of 2012.
Major Gifts Officer, PeaceHealth Southwest Foundation
Helping out the community comes naturally to Dawn Johnston, a fundraising phenom with a giving heart. She has a vested interest in making a difference in the community and to inspire the younger generation to give back.
Dawn has made a significant difference in the lives of hundreds of vulnerable citizens in Southwest Washington through her outstanding fundraising efforts over the last nine years. Dawn is currently at PeaceHealth Southwest Foundation and was formerly with Innovative Services NW. She has also raised funds as an active member of the Pink Power committee, which benefits the Kearney Breast Center.
Dawn volunteers for the Vancouver School District as a lunch buddy at Walnut Grove Elementary School and is on the Willamette Valley Development Officers Marketing Committee.
Jennifer Kampsula, 39
Director Of Gift Planning, Fort Vancouver National Trust
Jennifer Kampsula, currently working as the director of gift planning for Fort Vancouver National Trust, has an impressive professional background, which includes working as a law clerk for the Attorney General’s office, the Federal Trade Commission , as well as associate attorney for Stritmatter, Kessler, Whelan and Withey as well as Kell, Alterman & Runstein LLP.
Jennifer has also been heavily involved in community service. After personally experiencing the devastating impact of tobacco use, she became a staunch advocate for Tobacco Free Washington and the American Cancer Society/Cancer Action Network where she presently is the Cancer Action Network legislative ambassador, overseeing regional and national policy issues such as funds for cancer research, tobacco campaign contributions and underage access to tobacco. Due to these and other volunteer efforts, Kampsula was selected as the 2004 Marshall Public Leadership Award recipient.
Bonnie Moore, 33
Director of Business Growth and Innovation, CREDC and SWWDC
Fluent in Chinese and boasting a bi-coastal resume, Bonnie has been a valuable asset to the Vancouver business community through her work with the Columbia River Economic Development Council and the SW Washington Development Council.
A 2011 graduate of Leadership Clark County, she has made a significant local impact in just over two years of living here.
Bonnie’s work with both councils has been pivotal for several of the Port of Vancouver’s economic development projects. She leads the popular CREDC PubTalk events for the entrepreneurial community, and has visited more than 100 local companies each year, connecting them with resources to help them grow.
CREDC President Lisa Nissenfeld said, “These days if someone wants to know anything about business services in our area, the response is always, ‘Ask Bonnie.’”
Derek Nesland, 34
President and Founder, Courts For Kids
This All-State hoopster from Evergreen High School took his talents to Portland State, where he was not only an Academic All-American, but also inducted into their Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. Serving as SW Washington Area director for Fellowship of Christian Athletes from 2000 to 2006 led naturally to the foundation of his own charitable nonprofit in 2007, Courts for Kids.
Since then, Derek and his organization have constructed 34 multi-purpose sports courts in 14 countries throughout the developing world. They have taken 581 participants on life-changing immersion trips, and raised $1.82 million for operational and project costs.
A 2012 graduate of Leadership Clark County, Derek also volunteers as a Youth Mentor in his spiritual community.
Kami Olszewski, 36
Client Services Manager, Infinity Internet Inc
Starting at the bottom, Kami soon showed she had the drive and desire to do much more than answer phones. She was promoted to billing supervisor, then quickly advanced to running a 24/7 call center with approximately 75 employees, in a rapidly changing environment.
Her diverse volunteer efforts include coordinating American Red Cross blood drives in her office park – most recently
in January and September of this year – and work with Junior Achievement at Hudson’s Bay High School since 2004. She has taken this focus on economics, community and business to local middle and elementary schools as well.
She succeeded in having her company registered as an American Heart Association Fit Friendly Company, and arranged fundraising for Heart Walk.
Colleen Peterson, 31
Key Accounts Manager, Clark Public Utilities
Volunteering with Junior Achievement at Mt. View High School for the last four years, Colleen has helped Clark County’s next generation of workers learn critical resume, cover letter and interview skills.
She inspires local youth, serving as a role model, showing them firsthand how hard work and perseverance pay off.
A 2012 graduate of Leadership Clark County, Colleen is active in the Rotary Club of Greater Clark County, is a board member of the Evergreen School District Foundation and serves as a lunch buddy. As a member of a Leadership Clark County team she helped to create an aviation training program with Pearson Airfield and the Clark County Skills Center.
Denise Smith, Leadership Clark County Executive Director, said, “She is thoughtful and empathetic to those struggling in our community – in short, Colleen truly wants to make life better for all of us.”
Brandon Posey, 38
Commercial Banking Officer, Pacific Continental Bank
In his role as a high profile commercial banking officer, Brandon Posey directly impacts the vitality of the economic health of our community. His nominator, Pacific Continental’s Kristy Weaver, said he is more than a lender to his clients, but also “a valuable consultant to many of our communities’ small businesses, helping them grow and thrive.”
His volunteer service reflects his outdoor and fitness passions, from the Boys and Girls Club, to the Clark County Parks Foundation Finance Committee, and several other groups as well. He joined the Board of Directors at the American Red Cross of SW Washington in 2011.
A 2011 graduate of Leadership Clark County, Brandon may be literally leading the pack at the Vancouver USA Marathon, or leading by example at the Clark County Food Bank.
Deanna Rusch, 31
Managing Attorney, Stahancyk, Kent, and Hook PC
Deanna is a creative, enthusiastic professional with natural ability to connect with people. Her resourcefulness and strong work ethic gain her the trust of her firm and her clients.
Helping people is her passion. Deanna finds time to volunteer with North Clackamas Education Foundation, Pi Bet Phi Alumni in Oregon and Washington, and the Volunteer Lawyer Project. She teaches the ropes to new attorneys in the firm.
Oregon State Representative Patrick Sheehan said Deanna has been “professionally proactive and intellectually generous” in her work with him evaluating proposed family law legislation. In addition, he praised her work in helping him navigate “the delicate situations of state custody of children” and “the complicated network of social service.”
Ara Serjoie, 39
Senior VP of Development, Clark College Foundation
In the six years Ara has worked with Clark College Foundation, fundraising has increased 400 percent. Recognized nationally as a community college fundraising powerhouse, he is sought as a featured speaker for conferences and writer for national publications.
He volunteers with local Girl Scout activities and is a local board member. His love of music is put into action as a member of Friends of the Symphony. Colleagues call him a “warm and engaging” person, who also happens to be a gourmet cook of his native Iranian cuisine.
Lisa Gibert, president and CEO of the foundation, said Ara is “a stallwart champion of education.”
Jeanne Firstenberg, market president of Sterling Bank and member of the Clark College Foundation Board, called Ara “one of the special miracles that blessed this community.”
Scott Sneer, 39
CEO and Vice President, Alpha Ecological Pest Control
Entrepreneur, patriot, outdoorsman and business leader are four titles that many associate with Scott Sneer, CEO of Alpha Ecological.
Scott is a strong leader, who can set company goals and successfully bring various departments together to accomplish those goals. He is a motivational leader, even during times of rapid growth and declining sales. He excels at taking something broken or average, and turning it into a source of excellence.
He has overseen eight successful acquisitions, creating significant revenue growth at Alpha Ecological, exemplifying “business with a purpose.”
Brinda Thimmapa, 36
Plastic Surgeon, PeaceHealth Medical Group
Dr. Brinda Thimmappa is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, working with Vancouver’s PeaceHealth Medical Group since 2009. She specializes in skin cancers, complex wound care, facial aesthetics and trauma, as well as aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery.
She received her M.D with Honors from Brown University in 2002, followed by post-graduate work at Loma Linda University and a craniofacial fellowship at Stanford University.
During her time at Loma Linda, Brinda served with a surgical team of residents who provided international outreach to India and Malawi through Operation Good Samaritan. She worked with local physicians to treat cleft lip and palate, and burn care.
Brinda also shares her skills with Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland, and the Wound Healing Center at PeaceHealth Medical Center.
Megan Vaughn, 30
Deputy Director, Second Step Housing
This former newspaper reporter and managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal was recently promoted to deputy director at Second Step Housing.
Megan has served on the YWCA Clark County board of directors since October 2007. She is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Clark County and the youngest Clark County YWCA board president.
A quiet and thoughtful leader who also manages to bring fun and spunk to everything she does, Megan has shown the entire YWCA organization what it means to empower women.
Second Step Executive Director Debby Dover said that Megan is a devoted wife, friend and community member who has never flinched at the difficult topics sometimes associated with her work, nor shied away from discussing and assessing potential strategies and solutions.
Casey Wyckoff, 39
President, LSW Architects
Vancouver Mayor Timothy Leavitt calls Casey Wyckoff, “a visionary leader” who has “led the charge on important efforts such as the development of the Clark College campus, conceptual planning of public and mass transit in our downtown, and advancement of leadership in energy and environmental design in our region.”
This 2007 Leadership Clark County alum volunteers with multiple organizations, as well as serving now and in the past on numerous local charitable boards, including the Clark County Skills Center Foundation and the Vancouver’s Downtown Association.
Elson Strahan, President and CEO of the Fort Vancouver National Turst, said, “Casey led the Trust’s community symposium process for the Post Hospital in the West Barracks” and “was simply a master in leading the process. It was exciting, energizing and highly successful on all counts.”
Scott’s service to his community speaks a great deal about him as well. He is passionate about children’s education, veterans’ welfare (through Hunting with Americas Heroes, Clark County Veterans Assistance Center and Wounded Warriors) and ecological conservation.