Movers & Shakers 12/19/2014

Eric Yakovich


The Port of Kalama recently appointed Eric Yakovich (pictured) to the role of economic development manager.

In his new role, Yakovich will manage new and ongoing construction and community projects, assist port clients during development projects, participate in regional economic development initiatives and administer grants for port projects. Additionally, he will oversee port records, reception, security and safety, as well as infrastructure.

Previously, Yakovich served as CEO for Cowlitz County Guidance Association, a comprehensive community mental health center. The association served more than 6,500 residents a year in Longview, Woodland, Kelso, Kalama and Castle Rock. He also worked at Columbia River Mental Health Services.

Yakovich’s initial projects include infrastructure development for the proposed methanol plant, extending walking paths, building demolition, warehouse construction and laying new railroad tracks.

In addition to the appointment of Yakovich, the Port of Kalama announced the hirings of Russell Watts as field and maintenance operations/facilities technician, and Jackie Heupel as receptionist.

Watts brings 40 years of experience working for municipal treatment plants in Vancouver, Gresham and North Bonneville. In his new role, he will assist the wastewater treatment operator with general operations, and assist the port maintenance crew with general upkeep, maintenance and repair of all port properties and facilities.

Heupel has worked in customer service for Underwriter Laboratories, a public safety company that tests products to ensure safety standards are met. In her new role, she will serve as the first point of contact for the public visiting the port administration building. She is also knowledgeable about port facilities, events and marina operations.


PeaceHealth Laboratories, a provider of medical lab testing in Oregon, Washington and Alaska under the PeaceHealth system of care, recently named Dr. Berle Stratton as medical director of its Vancouver lab.

Stratton has been a pathologist with Northwest Pathology in Bellingham since 2006 where he served as Chief of Staff for PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center. He also served as laboratory medical director for Ketchikan Medical Center, Petersburg Medical Center and Wrangell Medical Center in Alaska.

Stratton can be reached at 360.514.2237 or