Accomplished and Under 40 Class of 2021

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During a virtual awards presentation held on Nov. 18, the Vancouver Business Journal recognized our Accomplished and Under 40 Class of 2021. Here is some more information/bios on each of the 22 honorees from this year’s class. Congratulations again to all of you!

Alan Hwang

Alan Hwang

In September of 2012, Alan Hwang founded ACH Marketing, which was acquired by Gravitate in 2019. As vice president of growth and director of growth with Gravitate, Hwang is responsible for leading and growing the digital marketing department in all aspects, including innovation of service offerings, creating and refining process, collaborating and problem solving for clients to drive improved results, and more. He also works to help clients drive traffic to their website and convert that traffic into qualified leads/paying customers.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Hwang also shows a passion for community involvement and support. He is involved with several nonprofit boards, including the Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC) Board of Directors, the Evergreen School District Foundation and the TwinStar Credit Union Board of Directors.

According to a letter of recommendation from LSW Architects Chief Strategy Officer Max Ault, who has worked closely with Hwang on a range of both business and community-focused endeavors: “In almost everything he takes on, Hwang displays an authentic level of ownership and accountability that sets a strong example for those around him to show up and do more for their clients, partners and community.”

“I’m extremely flattered to be recognized alongside such a talented and impactful group of community advocates,” Hwang said. “On a personal note, I truly attribute a lot of my success to the support and inclusivity that the Clark County business community has given me through my career and hope to continue to expand this trend to future leaders.”

Andrew Watts

Andrew Watts

Having worked in the healthcare field since 2005, Andrew Watts has been the practice management consultant with Audigy since June of 2021. Prior to that, Watts held a number of positions with PeaceHealth, including clinic manager of the cancer program at Southwest Washington Medical Center, manager of volunteer services with Columbia Network, clinic manager of the Ear, Nose and Throat clinic and more. He also spent several years before that with Legacy Health.

Aside from his professional life, Watts is on the Career & Technical Education Board for local school districts, helps at Clark College with interview and resume fairs, and helps Leadership Clark County teach the K and P leadership model.

According to a letter of recommendation from Chris Selk, director of communications and customer service at C-TRAN: “With more than 16 years’ experience in health care, ranging from the operating room to women’s health clinics, Andrew spends every day living his truth: ‘remove the ego and greatness follow.’ It was rare to talk with Andrew and not hear him mention the importance of nurturing greatness in others. During our year in LCC, Andrew was (not surprisingly) promoted and, shortly after graduation, took a position as practice management consultant with Audigy. They are incredibly fortunate to have him on board.”

“When I think about this recognition, what comes to mind is my ability to effectively work in and lead teams,” Watts said. “I wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything without the right people behind and around me. The most important part of being in a team is being able to listen and respect each person’s contributions and point of view. Each person has a valuable insight, I just need to listen and be open to new ideas and train of thought. As a world and society, we need to listen to each other more. We need to realize that our differences make us stronger together. I’m hoping to be a role model for future and current leaders.”

Audri Bomar

Audri Bomar
PointNorth Consulting Inc.

With nearly 15 years of community relations and public involvement experience in Clark County, Audri Bomar’s career has covered the areas of transportation, environmental projects, local media, nonprofits and education. Currently, Bomar holds the title of community engagement manager with PointNorth Consulting Inc.

In addition to her professional work, Bomar also serves the community by being a member of Women in Transportation and a Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation board member as current Marketing and Communications Committee chair.

In a letter of recommendation from Rachelle Simmons, Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation president, she said: “Audri has been instrumental in grantmaking decisions to help ensure grant dollars were used for the highest impact. She has been a special advocate for the foundation to include a focus on social and emotional learning through our grant giving. She has also helped recruit new board members with fresh and innovative ideas to the board. Audri is service orientated, innovative and utilizes her skills in marketing and communications to positively impact our community.”

“It is an incredible honor to be included in this year’s Accomplished and Under 40 Class,” Bomar said. “I would not be receiving this recognition without Lisa Keohokalole Schauer, who nominated me and who truly embodies the word ‘empowerment’ when it comes to those she knows and leads. I am very humbled to be included in the 2021 cohort, a class of significant and impactful leaders in our community. I am most proud of my role as a mother to my three young children, and grateful for the opportunity and ability to continue do impactful work in our community. I could not have done this without the love and support of my husband, Mike Bomar. Thank you VBJ for this honor and congratulations to the rest of the class of 2021.”

Brad Wager

Brad Wager
Versa Events

As president and co-founder of Versa Events (formerly Wager Audio), Brad Wager is a community-focused entrepreneur who specializes in providing peace of mind and creating outstanding experiences through nuanced technical production services.

A graduate of the Leadership Clark County Class of 2018, Wager has also served as an instructor of Audio Recording in Clackamas Community College’s Music Technology certificate program, guest lecturer for the Careers in Music course and Partners in Careers program, supervised audio internships and informally mentored early career audio engineers. He is also a member of the Vancouver Public Schools Advisory Board and the Pacific Northwest Fundraising Advisory Board.

According to a letter of recommendation from Linda Reid, vice president of Columbia Bank: “Brad is a committed business owner and community member who is an absolute pleasure to work with. Brad is honest, dependable and incredibly hardworking. Brad is a fellow Leadership Clark County alumni that continually demonstrates ‘community,’ he always finds time to give back.”

“I am deeply appreciative to be included in this year’s cohort of Accomplished and Under 40,” Wager said. “In fact, simply having been nominated is itself a huge honor. I consider myself to be a product of this outstanding community in which I was raised, mentored, supported, and provided with opportunity to develop and thrive – and with a thankful heart, I look forward to continuing to contribute all I can in the years to come.”

Bradley Richardson

Bradley Richardson
Clark County Historical Museum

As executive director of the Clark County Historical Museum, Bradley Richardson serves as the head administrator for the organization and is responsible for all museum operations. He manages hiring, termination and supervision of museum personnel, works with the Board of Trustees to raise funds to support museum operations and initiatives, and serves as primary organizational fundraiser.

In addition to this job at the museum, Richardson is a member of the Rotary Club of Vancouver and also serves on the boards for Humanities Washington and the Washington Museum Association. He was recognized as a 2015 Visit Vancouver USA Tourism Ambassador and was nominated for the 2017 George C. Marshall Public Leadership Award. Richardson was also recently the recipient of the David Douglas Award from the Washington State Historical Society.

According to a letter of recommendation from Marcy Sprecher, executive director of Rocksolid Community Teen Center: “In the short time I have known Brad, he has proven himself as an exceptional leader, strong advocate and resilient team player for his community … His creativity during the pandemic brought the Clark County Historical Museum to a new level.”

“It’s incredible and humbling to be included in a class with so many talented and community-centered individuals,” Richardson said. “I work with a number of them on projects across the community. There’s a real sense that we’re all in this together and part of a larger team that serves Vancouver and Clark County. With that in mind, awards like this show me how everything I do is a direct reflection and result of those who believe in and support me. So many people in our community support the work I do to save our county’s story and, as a result, deserve credit for anything I accomplish. The person I have to give the most credit to is my amazing wife Katie. Without her I wouldn’t be in this position to service my community in this way.”

Brendan Sanchez

Brendan Sanchez
Access Architecture
Brendan Sanchez serves as principal of Access Architecture and founded the firm with the purpose of enriching people’s lives through thoughtful architecture and community engagement. Sanchez is known for his professionalism and proactive nature, and his key responsibilities include business development, programming, concept design, design documentation, contract administration, project management and office management.
In addition to this professional life, Sanchez is a board member with the American Institute of Architects Southwest Washington, a board member with Second Step Housing, a member of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber and a member of the Portland Building Enclosure Council.

According to a letter of recommendation from Tim Foley, executive director of Second Step Housing: “As an officer of the board during a time of organizational change and growth Brendan has been instrumental in supporting and guiding key management decisions. In addition, his knowledge as an architect has provided pivotal insight for construction and acquisition projects, resulting in improved projects and cost savings. Simply put, Brendan is a vital asset to our endeavor and helps Second Step maximize its impact for the betterment of our community.”

“To be recognized by the community I grew up in and call home is truly humbling,” Sanchez said. “I’m deeply appreciative of all my colleagues and coworkers; it takes teamwork and collaboration to create impact. There are so many wonderful organizations doing much needed work, and I look forward to future collaborations that help preserve what makes Vancouver special while ensuring it remains livable, equitable and accessible.”

Chelsie Elliott

Chelsie Elliott
Navigate Law Group

As an attorney and co-owner of Navigate Law Group, Chelsie Elliott interviews, updates and counsels clients; researches issues and drafts family law pleadings; attends and conducts hearings for family law; and is a Moderate Means Program participant.

Aside from her work with Navigate, Elliott is also a co-founder and volunteer with Lawyer Talk Legal Clinic/Clark County Free Virtual Legal Clinic; is a volunteer with the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program; is a co-founder and volunteer with the Family Law Legal Clinic; and is a Southwest Washington representative for the WBSA Young Lawyers Committee.

In a letter of recommendation from Elizabeth Fitzgearld, executive director of the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program, said: “… I have had the privilege of witnessing the way in which Chelsie communicates with people, both peers and clients, and am continually impressed by the way she treats everyone with kindness, respect and grace. Chelsie is an asset to any organization with which she shares her time …”

“I am honored to be included in this 2021 class of such outstanding honorees,” Elliott said. “There are not only amazing people that I personally know as part of my class, but equally amazing people in classes prior to mine. I am so proud of our professional community and how we’ve been able to maintain such a high standard of services while assisting the Vancouver community through such a tough time.” 

Christina Frye

Christina Frye
Trillium Employment Services

Christina Frye is program manager with Trillium Employment Services and has held this position since 2013. As program manager, Frye is responsible for supervising a team; managing day-to-day operations and ensuring financial stability of the program in Clark County; supporting clients with disabilities with finding and maintaining paid employment positions in the community; advocating for services for clients with developmental disabilities at the state level; and much more.

A 2016 graduate of Leadership Clark County, Frye joined the curriculum committee in 2017 and has been the lead coordinator for the “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” session since 2018. She was also a volunteer with the YWCA Clark County CASA program from 2011-2013.

According to a letter of recommendation from Kristin Wade, coordinator with the Clark County Community Services Developmental Disabilities Program: “Christina is a strong advocate for inclusive workplaces and strategically partners with community agencies and businesses across Clark County. We are fortunate to have her advocacy and leadership driving more equitable possibilities in our community and businesses.”

“I feel amazed and humbled by this recognition,” Frye said. “I’m grateful to have the resources and incredible network of professionals around me to learn from and work alongside. Thanks to all that considered me for this and that provided a referral, it means so much to me.”

Colin McHugh

Colin McHugh
Navigate Law Group

An attorney and founding member at Navigate Law Group, Colin McHugh is the lead attorney on all employment matters and is the head of the civil litigation team. He has represented individuals in state employment cases, advises small- and medium-sized businesses, advances consumer protection claims, facilitates settlements through alternative dispute resolution and more.

In addition to this work as an attorney, McHugh volunteers his time with the Cascadia Technical Institute and was the Mock Trial Couch from 2017-2019. He is currently a Criminal Justice Advisory Board member and also volunteers with the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Program.

In a letter of recommendation, Anthony Shaver, criminal justice instructor at Cascadia Tech Academy, said: “Colin quickly became a key member of our coaching team (for the District Mock Trial Tournament) and a member of our advisory board that helps guide our program. Colin has become an inspiration to our students, including encouraging several to pursue future careers in the courtroom … I have personally found Colin to be an excellent resource not only to our students but to myself and other members of our community.”

Christhian Canseco

Cristhian Canseco Juarez

As a financial analyst for Revenue Cycle Operations at PeaceHealth, Cristhian Canseco Juarez is responsible for leading denial prevention workgroup meetings with network leaders, physicians and Revenue Cycle leadership; investigating downgraded denials and payor tendencies for the Care Management team; and providing technical support and process improvement opportunities to the Revenue Cycle team.

Aside from his professional life, Canseco Juarez is also a board member for the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington, a member of the Clark College Board of Trustees, treasurer for the Southwest Washington LULAC Council 47013 and parish council member with St. John’s Catholic Church.

In a letter of recommendation from Conan Cope, system director for Revenue Cycle at PeaceHealth, he said: “Adaptability and strategic thinking are two skills Cristhian has mastered. His ability to absorb information quickly while asking clarifying questions floored me. Cristhian brings a level of calm intensity to the team that is infectious. His demeanor is always warm, welcoming and genuine. His time management is impeccable, he knows how to manage competing priorities with overlapping deadlines.”

“It is truly an incredible honor to be recognized as a recipient of the Accomplished and Under 40 Class of 2021 by the Vancouver Business Journal,” Canseco Juarez said. “For so many years my friends, family and colleagues have asked, ‘why do you do the things you do for your community’ and my answer to them has been ‘I want to make a difference in my community so the next immigrant child and their family do not have to struggle through the same things my family lived through.’ I feel blessed to know the work I have done in our community is supported and recognized by my peers, mentors and other community leaders.”

Drew Barrett

Drew Barrett
Barrett & Company PLLC, CPAs

With more than 10 years of experience in public accounting, Drew Barrett is a managing partner with Barrett & Company PLLC, CPAs. In this role, Barrett is responsible for providing and setting the direction, passion, forward thinking, vision, objectives, strategy, culture and values for all company team members. He is also responsible for formulating and executing major policies, programs and objectives to promote and ensure the company’s continuing success and growth.

In addition to this professional life, Barrett also holds several community involvement roles, including current treasurer of the Southwest Washington Contractors Association Board as well as head of the Finance Committee and an Executive Committee member; involvement with the Columbia River Economic Development Council, as well as the Seton Catholic High School Development and Stewardship Committee.

According to a letter of recommendation from Jake Bigby, leasing manager with PacTrust: “Drew has always been an incredibly hardworking, loyal and honest person and he constantly displays these great attributes, among many others, both in his personal and professional lives. His participation in countless professional groups as well as his ability to connect with people have made him a true pillar in the local business community.”

“Being selected for the Accomplished Under 40 by nomination of my peers is a tremendous honor,” Barrett said. “I am truly humbled by the nomination and am grateful to be living and working amongst so many great individuals. Receiving this award would not be possible without the amazing support of our team, our clients and my wonderful wife Jamie.”

Farleigh Winters

Farleigh Winters
LSW Architects

An associate principal with LSW Architects, Farleigh Winters currently heads up the company’s Green Team, which focuses on integrating sustainable practices around the office and connecting LSW’s internal efforts with opportunities to engage the local community. Winters brings a high attention to detail, blending complex design with effective communication, keeping owners and clients well informed through construction.

Outside of her work with LSW, Winters is a member of the Vancouver’s Downtown Association Design Committee and was a member of the City of Vancouver Westside Bike Mobility Community Advisory Committee, as well as a A4LE Schools Next Mentor.

In a letter of recommendation from Whitney Henion, capitol projects lead with Vancouver Public Schools, she said: “(Farleigh) has the skills to bring to life a building that supports the needs of our students while delivering a beautiful facility that will be enjoyed for years to come. As always with construction, having the ability to produce a quality building on a tight budget is a challenge and Farleigh walks that tightrope with grace and humor, two very important life skills.”

“I am honored to be included in this year’s Accomplished and Under 40 Class,” Winters said. “Downtown Vancouver is a great place to live and work and there are boundless opportunities to participate in the growth of our city. Working at LSW has challenged me to rise to the occasion and opened new networks of possibility. I deeply appreciate the firm’s passion for service and creating opportunities within the community.”

Heather Cochrun

Heather Cochrun
Evergreen Habitat for Humanity
As the community outreach manager for Evergreen Habitat for Humanity, Heather Cochrun is responsible for convening and facilitating a coalition of 30 community partners, including nonprofits, businesses, community groups, schools, churches and neighborhood residents. She also manages all communications for the organization, including the website, newsletter, social media, outreach and public speaking, and also oversees the volunteer program by managing program staff, volunteer recruitment, training, supervision, retention, reporting and more.

Aside from her work with Evergreen Habitat for Humanity, Cochrun also volunteers her time with the Medical Reserve Corps and Office Moms and Dads. In the past, she has volunteered as a resilience coach for Homeless Unaccompanied Youth, a Youth Engagement Leadership Academy mentor and a Planned Parenthood Votes NW volunteer.

In a letter of recommendation from Josh Townsley, executive director of Evergreen Habitat for Humanity, he had this say about Cochrun: “From day one she has worked tirelessly to serve this community starting as our receptionist, and quickly moving her way through multiple roles in the organization, including leading our volunteer coordination and marketing efforts and managing our Neighborhood Revitalization projects in Fruit Valley and the Fourth Plain Corridor. Her compassion, integrity, dedication and resolve are inspiring and challenge all of us on the team to do more in the community.”

“I am incredibly honored and grateful,” Cochrun said. “It is inspiring to be a part of an amazing group of young professionals in Clark County. I am passionate about affordable housing and the work that Habitat for Humanity does in our community, and I feel blessed to be a part of it. I am especially grateful for my boss Josh Townsley for nominating me for this opportunity. Josh has always supported my professional development and has allowed me to grow in my leadership through pursuing my master’s and in my volunteer work.”

Henry Schuck

Henry Schuck

Henry Schuck is the founder and CEO of ZoomInfo, a go-to-market intelligence solution for more than 20,000 companies worldwide. ZoomInfo is a platform that empowers business-to-business sales, marketing and recruiting professionals to hit their number by pairing best-in-class technology with unrivaled data coverage, accuracy, and depth of company and contact information. Schuck first founded DiscoverOrg in May 2007, which became ZoomInfo in February 2019.

Schuck has also spent time giving back to the Southwest Washington community and has been involved with numerous nonprofit organizations, including the Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA), Family & Community Resource Centers, Share and others.

According to a letter of recommendation from Billy Henry, president/CEO of NWABA: “Henry has donated ZoomInfo’s product to help us scale and is always available to be a resource to support our mission and growth initiatives since being introduced to NWABA. He has been by our side as NWABA has had three record years of program growth, and continues to provide support as we establish our vision for continued growth in the years ahead.”

“It’s an honor to be recognized with this award from the Vancouver Business Journal,” Schuck said. “We’ve made our home here in Vancouver for more than a decade, and it’s incredible to see this region’s tech industry continuing to flourish. We’ve formed such strong relationships with the entire business community here, and I’m excited for what the future holds.”

Jason Wright

Jason Wright

As COO and Director of Creative for Webfor, a digital marketing agency, Jason Wright is responsible for providing all creative fulfillment; designing and developing new brand strategies, overseeing UXO operations, crafting new website designs for universities, hospitals, enterprise businesses and small businesses; designing new logos and brand guidelines; and more. Wright is also the founder of New Loyalty Entertainment, creating short films, commercials and more.

Wright has also spent his time working on web design projects for Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington. Webfor also sponsors an annual “Toast for Teens” event that benefits the organization and helps Club teens attend conferences and do service projects locally and internationally.

According to a letter of recommendation from Francisco Bueno, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington: “As a business partner Jason brings an incredible amount of knowledge and experience to the table. He is able to break things down into smaller, digestible segments for newer or less experienced users and approaches projects with a goal to both provide a great product and provide a great experience. I value his expertise and approach.”

“I’m really grateful and humbled by this honor,” Wright said. “It means a lot to me that a kid who faced so much adversity would be at this point in my life. I look forward to continuing to share my knowledge and experience with others. I hope to elevate underserved communities over this next decade and my long-term charitable goal is to start an anti-bullying foundation.”

Latasha Turner

Latasha Turner
Allen Gabriel MD

With 16-plus years of experience in the medical field, Latasha Turner is currently office coordinator for Allen Gabriel MD. In this position, Turner is responsible for outgoing/incoming referrals; answering telephones and directing calls to appropriate staff; scheduling and confirming patient diagnostic appointments, surgeries or medical consultations; completing insurance or other claim forms; and more.

In addition to her professional life, Turner has also spent numerous hours volunteering her time with the Pink Lemonade Project.

In a letter of recommendation from Susan Stearns, CEO of the Pink Lemonade Project, she said: “In addition to referring her patients to our specific programs, Latasha is involved in the numerous fundraisers that her employer holds throughout the year to raise additional support for Pink Lemonade Project, and specifically for the exact programs that she helps make happen for her patients … (Latasha) volunteers her time to make these events successful, raises essential dollars that allows us to help nearly 800 patients a year, and encourages others to participate and learn about our mission.”

“This recognition means a lot to me because I feel visible,” Turner said. “I also feel valued and this proves to me that my employer feels the same for me as I do for the practice.”

Megan Hays

Megan Hays
Opsahl Dawson

Megan Hays is the client manager for more than 230 business and individual clients with Opsahl Dawson CPAs. In this role, Hays is responsible for signing corporate and individual tax returns, training and mentoring staff, and she is a member of CPA Forward, tax consulting department.

Outside of work, Hays has dedicated her time to volunteering in the community and is currently the treasurer of the La Salle Catholic College Preparatory Board and assists with their fundraising efforts.

According to a litter of recommendation from Sierra Eckman, CPA with Opsahl Dawson: “Megan is one of the most determined people I have ever met. She has a passion for taxes and client service and is an outstanding team member. In four short years, Megan has grown into a leader of our firm, and she has managed to help in every department in the firm. Megan’s technical knowledge has advanced over the years, giving her the ability to help train the new generation of staff CPAs.”

“I am extremely honored to be selected as a recipient of the VBJ Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2021,” Hays said. “I look forward to continuing to develop my career and giving back to the community. I would like to thank my colleagues, friends and family for their continued support and guidance. Congratulations to this amazing class of professionals.”

Michael Walker

Michael Walker
Vancouver’s Downtown Association

As the executive director of Vancouver’s Downtown Association, Michael Walker’s responsibilities are widespread. This role includes daily management of the organization (budget, work plans, communications, constituent relations, volunteer management, employee management, strategic planning and decision making).

During his short time with the nonprofit organization, Walker has increased annual revenues by 40% by securing contracts, increasing membership and program specific fundraisers; increased the active volunteer base by 25% to facilitate work plans and expand operations; developed and implemented an e-commerce assistance program to mitigate impacts from COVID-19, directly assisting 40 business entities; and much more.

According to a letter of recommendation from Julie Arnez, Associate Vice President of Business Services with iQ Credit Union: “Michael’s can-do spirit, out-of-box thinking and complete zest for all things Vancouver make him a pleasure to work with. Michael is committed to ensuring that Vancouver’s downtown is seen as a top-notch destination for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes, as well as for those seeking to live in a thriving urban area. Michael attracts and creates solutions and deliverables for business owners and their employees, local artists, downtown residents, city stakeholders and people like me – a true downtown fan.”

“I feel honored and privileged to be a part of this year’s class for Accomplished and Under 40,” Walker said. “Working to serve our downtown is a complete joy, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. My work wouldn’t be possible without the support of our committed volunteers and community stakeholders.”

Paul van der Salm

Paul van der Salm
Columbia Bank

As a relationship banking officer with Columbia Bank, Paul van der Salm is tasked with managing and growing a portfolio of clients and serving as a brand ambassador in the community. His responsibilities include managing a portfolio of $90 million with 100 clients. His brand ambassador role allows him to go out into the community and work with businesses and nonprofits directly, collaborating with them to find partnerships and efficiencies, while representing Columbia Bank in the places they serve.

Aside from work, van der Salm is also very involved in his community – he is a board member with A Caring Closet, a board member with Cappella Romana, a financial classes instructor with Financial Beginnings and a coach at Silverstar Elementary with the Clark County Police Activities League.

In a letter of recommendation from Jodie Zelazny, president and co-founder at A Caring Closet, she said: “In addition to Paul’s outstanding professional career, his volunteering time shows the amazing man he is. Paul started on the A Caring Closet board helping us grow through being our volunteer coordinator. We started with just a handful of volunteers and now, because of Paul’s dedication to our growth, we are helping over 1,000 people a month receive free durable medical equipment.”

“This recognition is something I truly appreciate,” van der Salm said. “I cannot thank this community enough for the opportunities it has afforded me, for without them, I could not be here today. And I hope that we can pay it forward to those who are coming up next.”

Rachel Sears

Rachel Sears
Rachel the Barber, YWCA

For her day job, Rachel Sears spends her time working as a barber, growing her list of clients since she first started back in July of 2014. However, Sears works just as hard in another role – her job as a Safechoice Shelter Advocate for the YWCA. In this role, Sears is responsible for taking calls on the hotline, providing important resources, safety planning with victims, crisis intervention, maintaining a clean shelter, helping shelter participants with goals and needs, and inputting information in the system.

According to a letter of recommendation from Alex Tappan, a past barbershop co-worker of Sears: “It was no surprise when (Rachel) started to volunteer at the domestic violence shelter. During this time Rachel was working a full-time job, going home to sleep for a few hours and then waking up to volunteer during the night. It was clear to those who worked at the shelter the heart that Rachel has and ended up hiring her on. Rachel continues that same routine of working as a barber during the day and a domestic violence advocate during the night. It is this drive that makes Rachel someone for the community to look up to.”

“This award means so much to me,” Sears said. “I often don’t recognize that I am doing anything ‘special,’ I just get to do what I love daily, and that’s helping people. I was born wanting to help people, whether that’s help them feel confident with a new hairdo or help people who are victims of domestic violence. To have someone recognize the work that I do and think it’s something special, that they wanted to nominate me for this award means the world to me. I am proud of my accomplishments, and it’s incredible to know that there are others out there too, who spend their time helping in the community as well as run a business. I am honored to be nominated alongside them. Thank you so much.” 

Sean Donaldson

Sean Donaldson
City of Vancouver

Officer Sean Donaldson was selected for and began his current position in the Traffic Unit as a Traffic Enforcement Officer for the Vancouver Police Department in June of 2017. His assigned duties in the Traffic Unit include traffic enforcement and education, collision, investigation, the investigation of impaired drivers, assisting other officers with DUI investigations and teaching classes such as driver’s education and SFST classes.

In addition to this work, Donaldson has also been involved with the Police Activities League of Southwest Washington over the past couple of years. He has attended literacy events, supported one-time special events and has done several videos where he has shared his passion for fitness with PAL youth.

According to a letter of recommendation from Jenny Thompson, PAL of Southwest Washington executive director: “Yet, even beyond his volunteerism with PAL, Mr. Donaldson has also been a PAL ambassador as a member of the PAL Squad. The PAL Squad is a group of officers and community members who run in the PeaceHealth Apple Tree Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K to raise money for PAL. The last two years, Officer Donaldson has run the 5K in full uniform to show his support, which is especially inspirational.”

“I am truly honored to be chosen for this award,” Donaldson said. “I love serving my community and I am very thankful that I have been to help change so many lives. I started this career at a young age and I have learned so much but I have so much more to learn. I am excited for what the future has in store. I am proud that my friends, coworkers and colleagues would nominate and support this award for me.” 

Tyler Monk

Tyler Monk
The Underdog Mentality

Founder, speaker and inspirational storyteller, Tyler Monk is the leader of The Underdog Mentality – using inspirational storytelling and practical strategies to accomplish the goal of breaking people’s mindset bondage, releasing them to tap into the power of their potential so they can accomplish their goals. The Underdog Mentality delivers high-energy and engaging workshops on a host of topics, including but not limited to, how to persist in challenging times, the power of purpose, leadership development and cutting-edge growth mindset strategies.

According to a letter of recommendation from Janet Kenefsky, vice president of membership & operations at the Greater Vancouver Chamber: “Tyler works with a number of partners, including Evergreen and Vancouver school districts and Partners in Careers, to find solutions for the challenges that stand in the way of the results they want. Through workshops and storytelling, Tyler helps his listeners break through the barriers that stand between them and their full potential. As Tyler puts it: ‘We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control how prepared we are and how we respond to the challenges that come in our path.’”

“I’m an inner-city kid from Portland, Ore., raised in the 90s-early 2000s,” Monk said. “However, after graduating from Central Washington University in 2008 my career has been serving and working with the Vancouver community. I’m always called back to Southwest Washington. I have a tremendous amount of gratitude to the leaders that have come before me and my peers that voted for me for this prestigious award and recognition.”

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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