Movers & Shakers 3/24/2017

Hal Abrams


Clark College Foundation has hired Harold “Hal” Abrams as associate vice president of development operations.

Prior to joining the foundation, Abrams served as a fundraising consultant for Grenzebach Glier & Associates. Additionally, at Lewis & Clark College, he served as vice president for institutional advancement from 2012 to 2015. He was senior director of gift planning at University of Oregon before moving into the role of associate athletic director to oversee major giving from 2004 to 2012.

Abrams began his career as an estate planning attorney in San Francisco. He first moved into the nonprofit sector in 1996 as a gift-planning fundraiser at University of California, Berkeley.

Abrams has a law degree from University of San Francisco, a master’s in taxation law from Golden State University and a bachelor’s from University of California, Los Angeles. He has served on numerous planned giving boards, including the Northwest Planned Giving Roundtable.

Clark College Foundation is a nonprofit organization serving as the fundraising partner of Clark College in support of student learning.


Earlier this month, the Parks Foundation of Clark County named Dianna Kretzschmar as its new executive director.

Kretzschmar, a 2013 Clark College Foundation Iris Award Winner, has worked in Southwest Washington as a social worker and clinical case manager in long-term healthcare for nearly 30 years. She serves on the boards of the Friends of the Elder Justice Center and Mobile Medical Providers Northwest. She previously served as the first program coordinator for the Clark County Elder Justice Center in the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Kretzschmar also served as Community Outreach Coordinator for the Clark County Vulnerable Adult Task Force. She is a volunteer for numerous community organizations including Share, Battle Ground Healthcare and The Children’s Center.

“We are thrilled that Dianna will be joining the Parks Foundation,” said Renee Wilson, board president of the Parks Foundation, in a press release. “Her passion and commitment to this community is an asset to our organization.”


Open House Ministries, a local faith-based organization assisting homeless families, recently announced the appointment of Renee Stevens to executive director.

As senior case manager, Stevens brings 12 years of social service management and homeless provider network experience.

The announcement comes as a result of former Director Wayne Garlington’s decision to retire. Garlington has assumed a position as project manager for the organization’s multi-purpose building project while remaining available to assist Stevens in the transition.

“Working with Renee for the last dozen years has given me an appreciation for the unique talents she brings to Open House,” said Garlington. “She has been at the core of our programs, remaining true to our mission while always looking ahead. Renee continues to be a visionary and champion for the needs of homeless mothers, fathers and children. She is an inspiration to residents and staff alike.”

Board Chairman Dick James added, “Renee brings a depth and understanding of the social service needs for the population we serve and years of working with our strategic partners in Southwest Washington and throughout the Pacific Northwest. She has personally been responsible for forging and strengthening key alliances. Renee is a strong leader internally, in Vancouver and in the region. She is passionate about finding solutions for homeless families.”


Coldwell Banker Bain Seal, a provider of real estate brokerage services in Washington and Oregon, has hired Bonnie Peterson as a new broker in its Vancouver West office.

In her new position, Peterson will provide real estate services to home buyers and sellers.


Olson Engineering, Inc. has promoted three employees to associate principal; John Thompson, chief of parties; Greg Oehley, design engineer; and Jocelyn Cross, land use planner, project manager.

Thompson has been a part of the survey department at Vancouver-based Olson since 1988. Oehley joined the engineering team in 2002, and Cross started in 2004 with the planning department.

The firm said that the three employees have shown their dedication to clients over the years and have worked hard to provide exceptional projects across Southwest Washington and Oregon.

In becoming associate principals, Thompson, Oehley and Cross also become part-owners in the company.


Sigma Design recently announced the hiring of six new team members as the company continues to grow.

The new hires are: Britt Pinson, electrical engineering technician; James Kujala, electrical engineering technician (on-site); Mike Snyder, firmware engineer (on-site); Melissa Covel, mechanical engineer; Rachel Greenen, recruiter; and Glenn Piekstra, electrical engineering technician (on-site).

Britt PinsonPinson has background as a material coordinator, facilities manager, production machinist, mechanical engineer and more. He specializes in system integration, design verification, problem solving and advanced product development.

James KujalaKujala brings more than 25 years of experience to the firm, with a background as a senior test technician, manufacturing technician and more. Specifically, he is experienced in component level troubleshooting and repair. He has worked for a variety of electronics corporations and most recently worked for a leading aeronautical, defense and semiconductor industry supplier.

Mike SnyderWith more than 15 years of experience, Snyder has background as a hardware/firmware/software design engineer, a chief technology officer, a VP of engineering and more. He holds a bachelor of science degree in computer engineering and a master of science in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Melissa CovelCovel brings seven years of experience as a mechanical engineer to Sigma Design. She has background as a product design engineer II and a senior mechanical engineer. She has worked in precision automation, tool and aerospace industries. Specifically, Covel’s expertise is in design of consumer products from initial sketches to product release. She has a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Washington State University and is currently obtaining her master’s in engineering and technology management from WSU.

Rachel GreenenWith HR and recruiting experience, Greenen has experience in handling recruiting, benefits, payroll, onboarding, general human resources responsibilities and administrative assistance in operations. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in general studies with concentration in sociology, psychology and human development from Washington State University.

Glenn PiekstraPiekstra brings 20 years of experience as a technician in both production and R&D environments to Sigma Design. He specializes in high density layouts and has made a number of custom flex circuits for bonding to glass fabrications. Piekstra holds an associates of science in electronics from Clark College.

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