Congratulations to our Accomplished & Under 40 honorees

They are an impressive – and diverse – bunch. Among the 17 members of VBJ’s Accomplished and Under 40 Class of 2009, there is a former Eagle Scout-turned-electrician, an assistant varsity baseball coach and a nonprofit communications and development director described as a “fearless” agent of change.

They are an impressive – and diverse – bunch. Among the 17 members of VBJ’s Accomplished and Under 40 Class of 2009, there is a former Eagle Scout-turned-electrician, an assistant varsity baseball coach and a nonprofit communications and development director described as a “fearless” agent of change.

Despite the differences in career choices, areas of influence and affiliations, one common thread binds this year’s honorees together – an enduring commitment to improving their communities.

Examples of this dedication abound. Even with their often grueling work schedules, many, if not all of these next-generation Southwest Washingtonians have found time to help a number of worthy causes, including the YWCA Domestic Violence Center, the Clark County Skills Center Foundation and the United Way.

Whether it’s 2005 Marshall Leadership Award winner Greg McGreevey’s efforts on behalf of the Fruit Valley neighborhood where he grew up, Otto Guardado’s scholarship fund for needy Eastern Washington University students looking to pursue careers in finance, or Meeka Kullberg’s volunteer work on behalf of Clark County’s Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, all are helping make our community a better place to live and work.

All 17 members of the Class of 2009 and their guests were invited to an event Thursday at the Red Lion at the Quay in downtown Vancouver, with past Accomplished and Under 40 honorees Tony Johnson of Davidson Insurance and Tamara Fuller of NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson presenting.

The winners of this year’s Accomplished and Under 40, now in its eighth year, were determined by a selection committee, which reviewed candidates based on demonstrated leadership abilities, efforts on behalf of local nonprofits and positive feedback from clients, fellow employees and supervisors.

Southwest Washington-based professionals from age 19 to 39 on Nov. 12 were eligible for nomination for this recognition.

AU40 Honorees

Nicole Fox Bisconer, 31

Owner

Driving 101

Nominated by: Janet Harte – WSU-SBDC

Did you know that the frontal lobe of your brain, responsible for decision making, doesn’t fully develop until age 25? Nicole Fox Bisconer does, and she strives to give every teenager looking to get behind the wheel the tools they need to stay safe during this pivotal part of their driving career. As the owner of Driving 101, Nicole instructs in a way that balances this inherent lack of fear by ensuring her students gain knowledge and experience in a fun environment. Nicole founded Driving 101 in Vancouver in 2006 and admits to being a “driving junkie” who loves helping teenagers be safe on the road. A resident of Clark County, most of Nicole’s extracurricular time is taken up by her 18-month-old daughter.

Mike Bomar, 30

Public Affairs Director

BIA of Clark County

Nominated by: Avaly Mobbs – BIA Clark County

When Mike Bomar walks into a room, chances are you won’t miss him – and not only because he towers over many of his peers at 6’6″. Mike is known by his friends and colleagues for his warm demeanor and passion for his community. Since 2004, Mike has worked at the Building Industry Association, managing a $100,000-plus annual budget, working with online content and organizing various fundraising events. A Prairie High School assistant varsity baseball coach, Mike helped lead the team to a 2009 League Title. His supporters note his devotion to his family, and continue to look up to him – for a number of reasons.

Tim Foley, 32

Executive Director Northwest
Service Academy

ESD 112

Nominated by: Jada Rupley – ESD 112

After receiving a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal while stationed in the Persian Gulf, Tim Foley returned to serve the homefront. In 2004, he took a job with Educational Service District 112, working with young kids at Harney Elementary school. Working his way up through the ranks he eventually became executive director of the Northwest Service Academy, an environmental and educational Americorps program. Putting into practice the value of education he tries to instill in his students, Tim began work in 2005 on his master’s in Public Affairs. His colleagues describe him as enthusiastic and impressive, traits he says he carries over to his family life in Vancouver.

Courtney Givens, 35

Owner

Simple Pleasure Events

Nominated by: Linda Thomas – TMG Inc.

As a teenager, Courtney Givens devised a clever scheme of shuttling her fellow classmates to her house for parties so as to not alert the neighbors when her parents were out of town. According to Courtney, the only indication her mother had that something was amiss: “The house was always cleaner.” Given this talent for throwing parties, it’s no surprise Courtney ended up owning her own event planning company, hosting charities and corporations at everything from Halloween shindigs to casual get-togethers. Currently, Courtney serves on the Board of Directors for the Ft. Vancouver Regional Library Foundation. Courtney lives in Battle Ground with her husband, Adam, and three furry family members.

Leah Greenwood, 37

Executive Director

Affordable Community Enviroments

Nominated by:  Val Ogden – Private Consultant Former State Representative

When is a good job not the best? And how does one determine that? These questions are the perfect fodder for Leah Greenwood, a business major with a minor in philosophy. After receiving a master’s in urban planning from Portland State University, Leah landed a job at the Portland Development Commission. But her heart – and family – was still in Clark County. So Leah made the move to Vancouver’s Affordable Community Environments, first as a housing development manager, then as executive director. In this role, Leah uses her unique skill set to “see a problem from all sides while staying grounded.” She lives in Vancouver with her husband, Kyle, and her 2-year-old daughter.

Otto Guardado, 37

Financial Advisor

Ameriprise Financial

Nominated by: Kim Bailey – MarketSource Inc. / Hewlett-Packard

It’s not often you find a person as committed to their alma mater as Otto Guardado, founder of the Otto Guardado Scholarship at Eastern Washington University for incoming students looking to pursue finance degrees. A financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial, Otto also spends time with an alumni group he founded, meeting monthly to support local restaurants. He serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and is active with the East Vancouver Business Association. Otto has two young children.

Meeka Kullberg, 27

Public Information Coordinator

Evergreen Public Schools

Nominated by: Jennifer Werdel – YWCA

When asked about her professional development, Meeka Kullberg credits strong mentors and the opportunity to work with the YWCA Clark County. After graduating from Seattle Pacific University, Kullberg began volunteering with the YWCA CASA program on the recommendation of Rhona Sen-Hoss, a family friend who also pointed her towards her current position as public information coordinator for Evergreen Public Schools. After a couple years spent volunteering, Kullberg was asked to join the board of the YWCA. Kullberg lives in Portland with her husband, Ryan, and son, Tate. She is expecting their second child.

Trent Martin, 39

Partner

Moss Adams LLP

Nominated by: Joe Kavas – Moss Adams LLP

While at the University of Portland, Trent Martin interviewed for a position as staff member at Moss Adams, the 11th largest accounting and business consulting firm in the U.S., and was enthusiastically accepted. Moving up through the ranks, Trent made his abilities known while gaining notoriety as an expert in the field. After 12 years, he became a partner. As a student, Trent says he always knew he would do something business-related after a friend’s father introduced him to the “world of the CPA.” Outside of work, Trent is a committed hiker, soccer player and coach of his 8-year-old daughter’s soccer team through three undefeated seasons. Trent lives in Vancouver with his wife and daughter.

Mary Mattix, 36

Environmental Specialist

Port of Vancouver

Nominated by: Jim Jacks – MacKay and Sposito Inc.

A graduate of Concordia University with a degree in Environmental Management, Mary Mattix has worked both in the private sector at Vancouver-based Boise Cascade LLC and for the city of Portland. Mary says she liked aspects of both positions, but it wasn’t until getting hired at the “quasi-governmental” Port of Vancouver that she found her perfect balance. Although Mary loves nature, she doesn’t consider herself an environmentalist. Instead, she loves finding ways to “help business to tread lightly” on nature with “realistic” solutions. She currently resides on a ten-acre plot with her husband, teaching her boys, Seth and Mitchell, where food comes from.

Greg McGreevey, 35

Executive Vice President

Third Party Inc.

Nominated by:  VaNessa Duplessie

A co-founder of conflict resolution specialists Third Party, Inc., Greg McGreevery also runs his own nonprofit foundation and manages every account from here to the Mississippi for a division of Hexion Specialty Chemicals. Born and raised in Vancouver, Greg’s bachelor’s degree in forestry led him to a Cincinnati position with Borden Chemical, Inc. After changing its name to Hexion, the company sent Greg home to Vancouver, where he lives today with his wife and children. Greg also started the Fruit Valley Foundation, addressing the needs of neighborhood residents. In 2005, Greg won The General George C. Marshall Public Leadership Award.

David Parker, 35

General Forman

Electrical Construction Company

Nominated by: Diane Christie – Share

This “solid, down-to-earth” Eagle Scout has worked his way up from apprentice electrician to journeyman and general foreman in charge of multi-million dollar projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. David is a graduate of Leadership Clark County and the Institute for a Democratic Future, as well as a five-year board member of Share, helping lead fellow electricians toward assisting the homeless and hungry into self-sufficiency. To assist in his charitable work, David often brings along his parents, wife and children, teaching the next generation to give back in the best way possible – by  example.

Paris Powell, 30

Business Valuation Manager

Perkins and Co.

Nominated by: Lisa Geocke

Paris’ career started just three months out of high school in 1997, when she took a receptionist position with accountancy firm Schiller & Co. and worked her way up the ranks for six years while completing her education at Washington State University Vancouver. A combination of what Paris termed “theoretical business ideas” and “real life experience” landed her a job as a tax senior at Perkins & Company, where she was later promoted to business valuation manager. Paris juggles work with a variety of volunteer positions, including the Oregon Society of CPAs, New Heights Church and the United Way. Paris loves to dance and regularly hosts a Bible study from her home in Mount Vista.

Tim Probst, 39

CEO

Washington Workforce Association

Nominated by:  VaNessa Duplessie

Tim Probst has built government accountability systems, expanded occupational training, helped people escape poverty through skills and work and fought for reforms to reduce the influence of money in politics. Tim is CEO of the Washington Workforce Association and a member of the Clark County Skills Center Foundation. Most recently, Tim was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives, where he serves the people of the 17th District. In the Legislature, Tim is vice-chair of the House Education Committee and co-chair of the Speaker of the House’s informal team of advisors on economic recovery. Tim and his wife, Tahira, a 2005 AU40 honoree, have been married 16 years and have four children.

Erica Rainford, 27

Executive Director

Port of Woodland

Nominated by: Damon Webster – MacKay & Sposito, Inc.

 “I am rooted in Woodland, and I want good things to come to it.” A lifelong Woodland resident, this is Erica Rainford’s goal. After owning and operating her own business, Erica became executive director of the Port of Woodland, beating out 28 other candidates. At the port, she oversees both its inner-workings and its support role for the wider community. Outside of work, Erica teaches gym classes as a certified Spin instructor and plays soccer. With four siblings, along with plenty of other family and friends nearby, she says her social network keeps her pretty busy.

Jill Sasser, 29

Attorney

Landerhom, Memovich, Lansverk &
Whitesides, P.S.

Nominated by: Tiffany Couch – Acuity Group PLLC

Jill Sasser is an associate attorney at Landerholm, Memovich, Lansverk & Whitesides P.S. in Vancouver, with a practice emphasizing on estate planning, probate, trust administration and guardianships. She is a graduate of Mountain View High School, Pepperdine University and the University of Oregon School of Law. Jill volunteers for the YWCA Domestic Violence Legal Clinic. She is on the Clark County Skills Center Foundation Board of Directors and is a Trinity Lutheran Church council member. She also recently served on a Washington Women Lawyers Judicial Evaluation Committee. Jill and her husband, Alex, enjoy attending University of Idaho and Oregon football games.

Ed Turk, 36

Senior Vice President

IQ Credit Union

Nominated by: Troy Dinter – Vandor Communications Group

As a child, Ed Turk says he knew exactly the path his life would take: TV weatherman. After an extensive education including Portland Community College, Columbia Christian College and Warner Pacific College, his aspirations changed with his arrival at Vancouver’s iQ Credit Union. Working his way through a variety of positions, today Ed splits his time between the deposit and lending side of the business, as well as overseeing the credit union’s branches. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his two children in Camas, who find plenty of ways to keep him busy, he says.

Jennifer Werdel, 39

Director of Development &
Communications

YWCA Clark County

Nominated by: Kelly Walsh – Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt PC

A Portland transplant, Jennifer Werdel has been volunteering since she first arrived in Clark County in 1996. Upon receiving her degree in journalism and communication from the University of Oregon in 1993, Jennifer was nominated as Outstanding Advertising Graduate – skills she continued to apply for various nonprofits. Soon YWCA Clark County took notice of her abilities and hired her on as director of development and communications. Her peers call her “fearless” and credit her in large part for the organization’s fundraising success in the past year. Jennifer is a wife, mother and a force for change in Vancouver.

 

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