Tribal Government & News

61 first-quarter employees account for 728 years of service

04.22.2021 Dean Rhodes Tribal employees
Records Administrator Kim Mueller, pictured in 2019, was honored for 26 years of employment in the first quarter of 2021. (Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez)


By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

Although large indoor gatherings are still prohibited because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that hasn’t stopped the Tribe’s Human Resources Department from honoring employees on a quarterly basis for their employment longevity with the Tribe.

First-quarter honorees hired in either January, February or March were led by Procurement Assistant Kelly Leno, who reached 31 years of service to the Tribe.

Records Administrator Kim Mueller and Gaming Commission Licensing Manager Julia Papen were honored for 26 and 25 years of employment, respectively.

Other employees notching 20 or more years of employment with the Tribe include Health & Wellness Billing Supervisor Sunni Ulestad, 23 years; Purchased and Referred Care Supervisor Melody Baker, 22 years; Human Resources Employment Manager David DeHart and Compensation/HRIS Specialist Becky Mode, 21 years each; and Spirit Mountain Community Fund Program Coordinator Angela Sears, 20 years.

Employees with five or more years of service are honored quarterly.

Other Tribal employees honored included:

19 years: Grand Ronde Tribal Police Chief Jake McKnight, Tribal Attorney’s Office Manager Kerrina Mishler and Information Systems Web Administrator Willie Mercier.

18 years: Higher Education Program Coordinator Joshua Clift.

17 years: Social Services’ Portland Area Office Tribal Services Representative Lisa Archuleta and Early Head Start Family Educator Shawn Bobb.

15 years: Full-Charge Bookkeeper Debra Nolen and Employment Specialist Toni Mercier.

14 years: Employment Specialist Jessy Powley.

13 years: Health Information Supervisor/Privacy Officer Desiree Allen, Natural Resources Construction Supervisor Bart Bryant, Dental Assistant Rachel Clark, Enrollment Officer Nick LaBonte, Day Shift Housekeeper Rosie Saldivas, Gaming Commission Compliance Analyst Tyrell Soderberg and Natural Resources Senior Administrative Assistant Michele Volz.

12 years: Purchased/Referred Care Health Care Specialist Kayla Leno, Groundskeeper Joseph Grammer and Hydrosystem Compliance Specialist Lawrence Schwabe.

11 years: Adult Foster Care Senior Administrative Assistant Candi Buswell, Shipping and Receiving Clerk Seth Mercier and Rental Housing Coordinator Leon Ramos.

10 years: Employee Relations Specialist Seth Barton, Chinuk Immersion Preschool Assistant Halona Butler, Employment Program Manager Michael Herrin, 477/Employment & Training Specialist Khani Schultz and Dental Hygienist Erin Muchmore.

9 years: Gaming Inspector Dalton Robertson, Historic Preservation Manager Briece Edwards and Behavioral Health’s Alexandria Warren-Masters.

8 years: 477/Employment & Training Specialist Tiny Gibbons,  Child Abuse Investigator Shauna Hastings, Adult Foster Care Caregiver Brianna Leno, Risk Analyst Patricia Mercier, Vocational Rehabilitation Administrative Assistant Angella Schultz and Swing Shift Housekeeper Sean Sell.

7 years: Tribal Police Officer Tyler Brown, Groundskeeper Joseph Kelley, Chinuk K-5 Immersion Assistant Jade Colton, Adult Foster Care Caregiver Pearline Metzker, Web Specialist Jordan Smith and Dental Secretary Whitney VanArsdel.

6 years: Tribal Police Officer Rod McAllister, Community Health Driver Stephanie King, Post Elementary Chinuk Wawa Teacher & Outreach Coordinator Zoey Holsclaw and Housing Administrative Assistant Lacy Leno.

5 years: Staff Accountant Shereena Bates, Emergency Management Assistant Brandi Bishop, Nurse Jeannette Cavan, Community Health Driver Victor Cureton, Senior Help Desk Technician Mark Donahoo, Spirit Mountain Community Fund Grants Coordinator James Holmes and Cultural Resources Interpretive Graphic Specialist Teal Reibach.

Employees received certificates and bonus checks in appreciation of their increasing tenure with the Tribe. In addition, those reaching the 10-year mark received a Tribal Pendleton blanket or an extra $100 in their bonus check.