Movers & Shakers 3/3/2021


Stacey Graham has accepted an interim appointment as president/CEO of The Historic Trust, following the recent resignation of David Pearson, announced John Deeder, chair of the Trust Board of Trustees.

“Stacey has served on the Board for more than 10 years, and most recently she has been leading us through development of a new five-year strategic plan,” Deeder said. “Recently retired, we are fortunate she was willing to lend her experience as a nonprofit leader through this transition.”

Graham was president of the Humane Society for Southwest Washington from 2013 until October 2020. Under her leadership, the organization nearly doubled in size, added new programs and services, and led the successful legislative effort to allow humane societies throughout the state to provide veterinary care for the animals of low-income families. Prior to that, she served as an EVP/chief strategy officer for First Independent Bank, and for four years was the vice-president of marketing and then interim president of United Way of the Columbia Willamette.

Graham was recently elected to the board of directors of Riverview Bank, and also serves on the Lighthouse Foundation board. She will resign her position on The Historic Trust Board.

She began her appointment March 1.


Since its founding in Clark County in 1979, International Air and Hospitality Academy (IAHA) has trained and prepared students for careers in diverse industries, including airline and travel, culinary, railroad operations and wind turbine technology. Colleen Piller, IAHA’s current president and CEO, has announced she will retire in March, after almost 30 years at IAHA. Taking the reins as IAHA’s President and CEO will be DJ Schmidt.

Nancy Miller, IAHA’sowner and widow of IAHA’s founder, Arch Miller, praised Piller saying: “Arch always knew he could count on Colleen to work hard and to do the right thing, no matter which position she held in the company. He was so proud of her and how she had grown over the years into such a professional business leader. He valued her patience and insight; he would often tell me that her ‘carrot’ approach to dealing with employees and students was a lot more effective than his ‘stick’ approach.”

“I will miss Colleen both professionally and personally. She has been invaluable to me the last few years when Arch’s health prevented him from actively participating in the business. No one could have better met the pandemic challenges of 2020 than Colleen did: the overnight switch to remote learning, the uncertainty in the airline industry, and the health and safety precautions that had to be enforced for the safety of students and staff. There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to her.”

DJ Schmidt

Schmidt started at IAHA in October 2019 as a part-time contract CFO and joined full-time in
October 2020 as both CFO and Director of Career Services. Schmidt is an operational-minded
executive finance professional and a Certified Public Accountant, who brings over 10 years of
executive leadership, in both finance and operational roles within a large multi-national company, as well as a rapidly growing family owned business.

When asked about Schmidt as the new president and CEO, Nancy Miller said: “I am very excited that DJ is going to assume the president and CEO position at IAHA. Despite his short tenure at the company, he has made countless contributions. He brings us fresh ideas and an outsider’s perspective. After I had worked with him for several months, I told him ‘you think like Arch does. You think like an entrepreneur.’”

Lisa Shelton


Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) recently announced that Lisa Shelton, a Financial Advisor in the Firm’s Vancouver Wealth Management office, has been named to Forbes Magazine’s 2021 list of Best-in-State Wealth Advisors.

Forbes’ Best-in-State Wealth Advisors list comprises a select group of individuals who have a minimum of seven years of industry experience. The ranking, developed by Forbes’ partner SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative data, rating thousands of wealth advisors and weighing factors like revenue trends, AUM, compliance records, industry experience and best practices learned through telephone and in-person interviews.

“I am pleased that Lisa Shelton is representing Morgan Stanley,” said George Kane, complex manager of Morgan Stanley’s Vancouver office. “To be named to this list recognizes Lisa Shelton’s professionalism and dedication to the needs of her valued clients.”

Heather Sparks


Columbia Springs recently welcomed Heather Sparks as the new development director. With more than 20 years of nonprofit development experience, Sparks brings a talent for creating community connections through inspired storytelling to her work. Her background in events management, communications and major giving campaigns, combined with a deep appreciation for the natural environment, makes her a great fit for the role.

Sparks has a master’s degree in community and regional planning, with an emphasis in environmental planning, and a certificate in nonprofit management, all from the University of Oregon. She has served as the development director for a social service nonprofit and as the coordinator for the Umatilla County Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Committee, a position that included extensive work planning for the exploration of natural sites. Her background ensures that she has a deep understanding of the work and mission of Columbia Springs.

As a child, Sparks lived on a farm in Eastern Oregon where she first developed her love of being in nature. That love grew as she traveled throughout the Pacific Northwest, hiking and swimming every chance she got. Sparks is inspired by the many programs offered at Columbia Springs saying, “Columbia Springs provides the community with the opportunity to experience nature without having to drive into the mountains. Everything you’d want from lakes, to trails, to educational opportunities is right here waiting to soothe your spirit and give you a sense of connection to the natural world.”

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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