Tribal Government & News

44 employees honored for 625 years of service to Tribe

12.28.2018 Danielle Frost, Staff Writer Events, Tribal employees
Health & Wellness Center Business Office Manager Tresa Mercier embraces Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy while being recognized for 34 years of service during the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Employee Christmas Party held at Spirit Mountain Casino on Thursday, Dec. 20. Mercier was one of the first three employees hired by the Tribe when she was 19. She was hired as the first health clerk for the Health Department. (Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez/Smoke Signals)

Forty-four Tribal employees, all hired in the last quarter of their respective hire date years, were honored for a combined 625 years of service to the Grand Ronde Tribe at an awards ceremony held Thursday, Dec. 20, during the Employee Christmas Party at Spirit Mountain Casino.

Health & Wellness Center Business Office Manager Tresa Mercier continues to set the longevity record of working for the Tribe with 34 years of service. Mercier was one of the first employees hired by the Tribe when she was 19 years old.

“Thank you for your commitment and service to the Tribe,” General Manager David Fullerton said.

Two more Merciers – Tribal Librarian Marion and Public Works Coordinator John – were honored for reaching their 28th year of service to the Tribe.

All Tribal Council members were present. Secretary Jon A. George gave the invocation and Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy thanked employees who attended the lunch.

“It is such a good feeling to see our staff come together,” Kennedy said. “It is not often we are able to do this. It really gives me a good glimpse of just how many employees we have. … I know a lot of folks here have been burning the midnight oil, and I appreciate all of that work.”

Achieving the 23-year mark in service were Social Services Department Manager Dana Ainam, Acting Human Resources Department Manager Daphney Colton, Asset Inventory Specialist Jerry George, Employee Benefits Administrator Tammy Gould, Records Clerk Hollie Mercier and Compensation/HRIS Administrator Candy Scranton.

Ceded Lands Manager Michael Karnosh reached 22 years of service. Rounding out employees reaching or exceeding two decades of employment by reaching the 21-year mark was Dental Assistant Donnette Spaulding.

Other employees recognized for their service of five years or more during the ceremony included:

19 years: Chinuk Language Specialist Crystal Szcepanski.

18 years: Planning & Grants Development Manager Kim Rogers and Acting Procurement Department Manager Nathan Rolston.

17 years: Home Improvement Coordinator Donald Coon.

16 years: Grand RondeTribal Police Chief Jake McKnight and Help Desk Administrator Willie Mercier.

15 years: High School Adult Education Chinuk Wawa Teacher Kathy Cole.

14 years Early Head Start Home-Based Visitor Shawn Bobb and Early Childhood Education Cook Rebecca Goeserich.

13 years: Early Head Start Teacher Jessica Cruickshank, Home Improvement Coordinator Loyal Hamilton and Gaming Commission Compliance Manager Rose Smith.

12 years: Technology Technician Joe Loomis and Purchased/Referred Care Specialist Tauni McCammon.

11 years: Senior Staff Attorney Jennifer Biesack, Cultural Education Specialist Brian Krehbiel, Housing Administrative Program Manager Joan Dugger and Wellness Driver Arnoldo Moralez.

10 years: Billings/Auditing Specialist Desiree Allen, Cultural Education Specialist Flicka Lucero and Youth Education Administrative Assistant Isaiah Sherwood.

9 years: X-ray Technician Niki Mosley.

8 years: Tribal Employees Rights Office Secretary Keri Kimsey and Chinuk Wawa Teacher Jeff Mercier.

7 years: Security Officer Daniel Hyatt, Engineering and Public Works Manager Jesse White and Pharmacy Technician Stephanie Wolfe.

6 years: Secretary/Medical Assistant Jamie Adams, Pharmacy Technician Cindy Brickell, Fire Prevention/Silviculture Technician Logan Kneeland, Maintenance Technician Brent Buckner and Maintenance Technician Nicholas Kimsey.

5 years: Swing Shift Housekeeper Sean Sell, HVAC Technician Daron Pond Jr. and Payroll Administrator Michelle Peterson.

Tribal Council Chief of Staff Stacia Hernandez handed out certificates of appreciation while Tribal Council members shook employees’ hands.

Tribal employees were treated to a catered lunch, which included prime rib, salmon, turkey, sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables, green salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, rolls and several dessert options. Raffles were conducted throughout the event that included gift cards from Costco, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Target, Dutch Bros, Amazon, Lowe’s and Best Buy, along with framed and signed Portland Trail Blazers’ jerseys, Beats headphones, a Microsoft Surface Pro and Nike gear.

The event also included an ugly sweater contest, face painting and caricaturists.

Winners in the ugly sweater contest were Nutrition Program Manager Kristy Criss-Lawson, first place with a $100 gift card; Employee Relations Specialist Steve O’Harra, second place with a $75 gift card; and Employment and Training Specialist Khani Schultz, third place with a $50 gift card.

All employees received a holiday bonus check of $200 on Dec. 13.

Employees recognized during the service awards received an additional bonus check and those reaching the 10-year mark also received their choice of a Tribal Pendleton blanket or additional $100.