Movers & Shakers 12/21/2017


The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) has expanded their red coat Ambassador team to include Joey Yourchek, general manager of Elfin Services. Yourchek will help the GVCC by representing the business community at groundbreakings, ribbon cuttings and workshops/training events. This high-profile responsibility is shared with 22 other member business owners and representatives across a variety of industries that make up the GVCC’s 1,100 business membership base.

Yourchek’s background is in guardianship and trust administration, as he worked as a Fiduciary for almost 12 years, specializing in complex financial situations, administering estate plans and utilization of resources to benefit client’s needs. He followed his passion to work directly with individuals and creating care plans that ensure the best quality of life. He continues to manage guardianship cases while overseeing the overall processes and operations of the in-home care and care management agency.

Yourchek is an active member of the GVCC, recently becoming an Ambassador (red coat), he also serves on the Southwest Washington Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition Board (SWEAP) as the fundraising chair, is a member of the Washington Home Care Association (WAHCA), and is a regular volunteer for the Arthritis Foundation and Alzheimer’s Association. He has a passion for what he does and actively pursues opportunities to expand not only his own knowledge, but also assist with and encourage others toward this same goal. He lives in Portland with his partner of 15 years and his beloved pets – Toby, Miss and Lyon.


The Port of Vancouver USA has hired Alex Strogen as its chief commercial officer. Strogen will join the port Jan. 16, 2018.

Strogen has extensive global maritime experience, including the sourcing of ocean transport and port operations; business development across the U.S., Middle East, Pacific, Atlantic and Latin American regions; and managing various aspects of marine terminal activities, including vessel planning and stevedoring.

“Alex brings a wealth of experience to the Port of Vancouver,” said Port CEO Julianna Marler. “He’s been on both sides of the table as a customer and a sales manager, so he really understands the needs of both and how to navigate those relationships.”

“He also shares our dedication to industry leadership, stewardship and exceptional partnership,” Marler continued. “He’s a great addition to the team, and we look forward to welcoming him to our port and community in January.”

Strogen’s responsibilities will include planning and implementing short- and long-range maritime marketing strategies, objectives and programs to promote domestic and international trade; planning and directing the marine cargo development program; guiding industrial recruitment and customer service; and developing and maintaining relationships to promote utilization of the port.

Prior to joining the port, Strogen served for six years as a senior global category leader for General Electric Global Operations. He has also held positions with major ocean carriers, including American Roll On Roll Off Carrier, APL and Maersk Line.

Strogen is a graduate of Texas A&M University at Galveston and holds a Bachelor of Science in Maritime Business. He has also completed executive education programs at Kings Point Federal Maritime Academy.

Strogen replaces Alastair Smith, who has led teams in sales and marketing and operations since he joined the port in 2003. Smith will retire in March 2018 after 45 years in the maritime industry.


Brian Pelky, the 2017 president of the Clark County Association of Realtors, was awarded the 2017 Realtor of The Year on Dec. 5 at the association’s membership meeting this month.

Pelky was instrumental in bringing back the association’s Realtor Foundation this year, which recently awarded $35,000 in grants to 13 local nonprofit organizations that deal with at-risk children, families or seniors in the community.

Pelky has been a residential and commercial broker for Windermere Stellar in Vancouver since 1996. He has been actively involved with Meals On Wheels in Clark County, sits on CCAR’s Government Affairs Committee and sits on the Finance Committee for Washington Realtors.


Landerholm, P.S. recently welcomed Adam P. Murray as an associate attorney with the firm.

Murray’s corporate law practice focuses on helping clients with business formations, transactions and long-term strategic planning. Before joining Landerholm, Murray owned and operated several hospitality and tourism businesses and served as a law clerk in a federal district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.


The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) announced Leroy Santiago of Global Security as the 2017 “Ambassador of the Year” award recipient at the December Holiday Heroes Luncheon event. Each year the Chamber designates one Wally Hornberger Award recipient, which is the chamber’s Ambassador of the Year award winner. Santiago received the award from his attendance log at reoccurring and signature events, the level of difficulty of duties while volunteering, taking the initiative to mentor new members, a vote from ambassador peers and points given by Ambassador Coordinator Barb Holbrook.

Harold Faires received the second Ambassador Award given out at the event, the GVCC’s 2017 Rookie of the Year.

Leroy SantiagoSantiago was born in Hawaii in 1945 (Hakalau, Hawaii Big Island) and was raised on Oahu. He is the eldest of three siblings and graduated from Kailua High School in 1963. Next, he attended Bethany Bible College in Southern California. He served in the Navy from 1966-1970 and married his bride, Sandy, in 1967. They will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this month. Together they have raised three children, have six grandchildren and now have three great-grand children.

Santiago worked for the UPS for 14 years as a package car driver in Northwest Portland and another 14 years as a manager for Kelly Services. He has worked for Global Security for the past nine years.

Harold FairesFaires from Wendel Family Dental Centre was awarded the GVCC’s 2017 Rookie of the Year honor at the Holiday Heroes Luncheon – only two ambassador awards are presented per year. Faires has just completed his first year of service as a GVCC Ambassador and has represented the business community at many ribbon cutting/grand openings and networking events throughout 2017. He’s also contributed his time to welcome attendees to the spring and fall workshop series, and signature events.

Faires is from Aloha, Ore., and moved to Vancouver in 1982. Currently, he is Wendel Family Dental Centre’s marketing/IT manager. Faires is also part of the Camas-Washougal Chamber, East Vancouver and the Salmon Creek/Hazel Dell Business associations. He volunteers for Fort Vancouver National Trust, the Hazel Dell parade and at other community events.



Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start