Movers & Shakers: 03/01/2013

Melinda Berg


“We are excited to bring Melinda on board to help us execute our mission of alleviating hunger and its root causes,” said Alan Hamilton, executive director for the food bank. “She will help us to build the resources necessary to best serve the 29 local agencies that distribute food in our community”

Berg has served in the local community for the last 10 years through the following agencies: Share Vancouver, Learning Avenues, Meals On Wheels Battle Ground Center and North County Community Food Bank.


Columbia Credit Union has hired Brendan Thorson as a registered representative in its wealth management department.

As an investment advisor representative for Cetera Advisor Networks, Thorson will assist members with personalized investment strategies and insurance services.

Thorson brings more than 10 years of experience to the credit union.

“Brendan’s education, experience and dedication to service make him the ideal choice,” said Jill Kusmirek, Columbia Credit Union vice president of wealth management. “Members will truly benefit from his experience.”

Thorson, a certified financial planner, has a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in business administration. He is a native Washingtonian and currently resides in Camas with his family.


MacKay Sposito, a Vancouver-based consultant in energy, public works and land development, recently announced the addition of Jon Fulton as an engineer-in-training in their design group.

In his new role, Fulton will prepare road, culvert and other project design plans. He has experience with surveying, construction inspection and transportation design in Washington and Oregon.

Fulton received his bachelor of science in civil engineering at the Oregon Institute of Technology.


Brooke Burgner has joined NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson’s Vancouver office to specialize in retail leasing and sales in Southwest Washington.

Burgner’s background is in university admissions. Most recently, she was a senior Colorado regional recruiter for the University of Arizona, based out of Boulder, where she coordinated and executed state-wide recruitment and marketing plans.

Burgner earned a degree in communication from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a licensed real estate broker in Washington and Oregon.


Kelsey CastreyIngrid DankmeyerJimmy Hillig

Westby Associates Inc. has added three new staff members to its growing Vancouver-based workforce: Kelsey Castrey, Ingrid Dankmeyer and James Hillig.

Castrey joined Westby Associates in January as special project coordinator. Prior to joining the firm, the 2010 Western Oregon University graduate had served as a community health educator and project facilitator specializing in child and maternal health at the Marion County Health Department in Salem, Oregon.

Dankmeyer joins the firm as an associate and assumes the firm’s existing focus on foundation relations, research and grant development. She has more than a decade of experience in nonprofit management and fundraising. Most recently she served as assistant director of Food Alliance, a nonprofit certifier of sustainable agriculture.

Hillig will focus on major gift and business development in his new role. He is in his 16th year in the nonprofit sector, which includes a variety of roles with the United Way in Kansas City, Missouri and Anchorage, Alaska. In 2010, Hilllig was recognized as one of Alaska’s Top 40 Under 40 by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

TAUHIR JONES & BOB VARNER (not pictured)

Tauhir Jones

Tauhir Jones (pictured) and Bob Varner have joined the staff at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Varner will fill in on a temporary basis as Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument manager, and Jones will serve as the organization’s new public affairs officer.

Jones has more than 13 years of private sector strategy, business development and marketing experience. He also brings knowledge in media production and community engagement activities gained through his Army experience.

Varner previously served as a district ranger on the Umatilla National Forest is eastern Oregon and Washington. He has studied and worked in the Pacific Northwest since 1974.

“I am excited to bring an experienced manager to the Monument,” said Forest Supervisor Janine Clayton. “And I am also pleased about Tauhir, our new Public Affairs Officer who brings a unique and valuable skill-set.”

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