Movers & Shakers 9/8/2020


Isabella Becerra has joined Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) as a paid summer intern.

Becerra, a Washington State University Vancouver senior studying human development and gerontology, hopes to become a case manager working with seniors and adults with disabilities. During her 200-hour internship through WSU Vancouver’s Future Leaders Program, she is assisting WSW with a research project to learn more about how workers age 50-plus are impacted by COVID-19 job loss and the potential unique impacts this could have on their future. This research will help inform WSW’s efforts to provide needed resources for this population and others. Becerra will also participate in development and testing of WSW’s new business engagement and case management platform, while virtually job shadowing staff and meeting community partners to help her make connections and develop a professional network in Southwest Washington.


Workforce Southwest Washington (WSW) has appointed new board officers for its volunteer board of directors.

Paige Spratt, an attorney at law with Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, is board chair. Kelley Foy, HR business partner with LifePort, is board vice chair. Renny Christopher, vice chancellor for academic affairs at Washington State University Vancouver, is board treasurer. Each will serve a two-year term through June 2022.
The workforce board is comprised of representatives of private businesses, education, organized labor, local governments, community-based and nonprofit organizations, state agencies and economic development councils.
For a complete list of WSW Board members, visit


MacKay Sposito has hired Kristen Currens, a professional wetland scientist and permit specialist with 19 years of experience, and Sierra Conder-Askwith, an environmental permitting and construction compliance specialist in the field of energy transmission. Currens specializes in public and private regulatory compliance in the fields of transportation, energy, land development and water management. Conder-Askwith specializes in environmental permitting and compliance, environmental plan development, project management, as well as estimating and budgeting.

“We are excited to welcome Kristen Currens to our new Environmental Services team,” said Derrick Smith, president and CEO of MacKay Sposito. “Kristen’s expertise, positive energy and management skills will be a tremendous asset to our clients. In the short few months she’s been with our team, she’s already had a significant impact on our business.”

As a professional wetland scientist, Currens thrives by solving complex problems while providing exceptional client service and developing regulatory agency relationships. Her experience includes projects for a range of client types including transportation, recreation, energy distribution and water management throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“After working with the dedicated staff at MacKay Sposito for the past 10 years, I am excited to join this phenomenal team and help make their clients’ projects a reality,” Currens said. “We’ll merge MacKay Sposito’s construction expertise with environmental permitting to provide clients with projects that are permitted right from the start.”

Having spent 19 years dedicated to providing unique solutions to her clients, Currens will bring  a valued perspective to MacKay Sposito’s team.

“Sierra is a huge add to our environmental and construction management teams,” said Derrick Smith, president and CEO of MacKay Sposito. “In particular, her experience in the transmission and distribution sector is unmatched. She’s helping our energy clients to manage difficult permitting and construction compliance issues. We are excited she is on our team.”

As an environmental permitting and construction compliance specialist, Conder-Askwith will perform a range of professional work in areas related to power generation, distribution, transmission systems, linear projects and typical building sites. She brings unique expertise in her understanding of environmental requirements and strong knowledge of construction. She will also be working as a member of Engineer, Procure and Construct (EPC) project teams.

“I’m excited to be part of the MacKay Sposito team,” Conder-Askwith said. “I have worked throughout the country and Canada for energy clients and have a strong knowledge of environmental regulatory requirements, along with years of construction experience. I look forward to taking on challenging projects and finding the most cost beneficial approach by weighing environmental permitting with constructability.”

Conder-Askwith’s 16 years of construction experience combined with her strong knowledge of environmental compliance makes her a unique and valued team member.

Joanna Yorke-Payne
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

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