Tribal Government & News

Years of Service awards honor 77 employees

09.16.2022 Danielle Harrison Tribal employees, Years of service
Benefit & Risk Manager Tammy Gould hands a boxed lunch to Spirit Mountain Community Fund Program Coordinator Angela Schlappie during the drive-thru Employee Recognition event held outside the Community Center on Thursday, Sept. 15. The event honored 77 employees hired during the third quarter who have worked for the Grand Ronde Tribe five years or longer. (Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez/Smoke Signals)


By Danielle Harrison

Smoke Signals assistant editor/staff writer

Seventy-seven employees with a combined 1,186 years of service to the Grand Ronde Tribe were honored during the third quarter of 2022.

In a change of pace, honorees and other Tribal employees enjoyed to-go boxed lunches on Thursday, Sept. 15, instead of gathering at uyxat Powwow Grounds for a ceremony.

“For this quarter’s employee recognition we have decided to change things up a little bit to give you a full afternoon off to thank you for your continued service,” Tribal Council Chief of Staff Stacia Hernandez said in an all-employee e-mail. “We will no longer be asking employees to go to the powwow grounds for the third-quarter service awards.”

Additionally, there were raffle prizes given out with the lunches that ranged from $50 to $500, as well as additional days off.

Leading those honored in employment longevity are GED Coordinator Tracy Biery, General Manager’s Office Administrative Assistant Barbara Branson, Benefits Specialist Barbara Steere and Staff Accountant Melanie Hubbard, who all reached the 32-year mark in working for the Tribe.

Joining them in the three decades or more club were Higher Education Manager Bryan Langley and Chinuk Immersion Preschool Teacher Jeff Mercier, who each notched 31 years of service, and Finance Officer Chris Leno, who reached 30 years of service.

 In the quarter-century or more club were Assistant Tribal Attorney Kim D’Aquila and Cultural Advisor Bobby Mercier, who both reached 26 years, Tribal Attorney Rob Greene at 28 years and Social Services Administrative Assistant Tammy Garrison with 29 years of service.

Achieving 20 or more years of service were Cook Kevin Campbell and Firefighter-EMT Jennifer Colton with 20 years, Security Department Supervisor Roel Hernandez, Purchase/Referred Care Health Care Payment Specialist Erica Mercier and Chachalu Manager Travis Stewart with 21 years while Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coordinator Matthew Bucknell and Facilities Manager Tyson Mercier hit 22 years of service. Procurement Supervisor Kevin Mueller and Cultural Resources Specialist Christopher Bailey reached 23 years. Family Services Assistant Elaine Lane Raven, Dental Hygienist Sheila Blacketer and Swing Shift Supervisor Ben Bishop reached the 24-year mark.  

Third-quarter award recipients were hired between July and September.

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.

Other employees honored during the third quarter included:

19 years: Benefits Specialist Peggy Carpenter, Community Fund Program Coordinator Angela Schlappie and Nutrition Program Manager Kristy Criss-Lawson.

18 years: Health Information Technician Stephanie Simmons, Member Services Program Manager Shannon Simi, Finance Executive Assistant Ken Trevino and Employment Specialist Brandy Hembree.

17 years: Health Information Technician Leanna Norwood and Housekeeper Susan Sabey.

15 years: Central Phones Receptionist Scarlett Holtz, Information Services Program Manager Alec Palanuk-Mercier, Smoke Signals Editor Dean Rhodes and Preschool Bus Driver/Aide Jennifer Jerabek.

13 years: Mail Room/Printing Clerk Anna White, Senior Help Desk Technician Spencer Olson and Maintenance Supervisor Andrew Freeman.

12 years: Maintenance Technician Jason Bailey, TERO Administrative Assistant Lori Sterling, Budget Manager Veronica Montano, Maintenance Technician Gary LaChance Jr., Early Childhood Education Department Manager Angie Blackwell, Housing Maintenance Technician Michael Lane, Young Child Wellness Community Coordinator Keri Kimsey and Adult and Family Services Supervisor Amber Zimbrick.

11 years: Vocational Rehabilitation Trainee Amber Yates, Medical Technologist Staci Pemble, Family Support Services Specialist Joanna Brisbois, Maintenance Technician Daniel Mooney and Legal Secretary Susan June.

10 years: Child and Family Services Caseworker Tara Summers, Tribal Council Chief of Staff Stacia Hernandez, 477 Employment and Training Specialist Angey Rideout, Senior Telecommunications Administrator Mark Scheelar, Parks and Recreation Specialist Jerry Bailey and Social Services Secretary Darla Patterson.

9 years: Cultural Education Coordinator Jordan Mercier.

8 years: Health & Wellness Clinic Medical Director Lance Loberg and Food Sustainability Program Assistant Patricia LeClaire.

7 years: Housekeeper Jonathan Baker, Help Desk Administrator Braden Ebensteiner, Lead Chemical Dependency Counselor Joe Martineau, Help Desk Technician Nathan Hoff, Employment Coordinator Shylo Williams and Tribal Police Officer Tokata Tehama.

6 years: Infant/Toddler Site Coordinator Star Weatherall and Staff Attorney Brooks Wakeland.

5 years: Health Information Technician Norma Reed, Housekeeper Dorene Gillespie, Pharmacy Director Lincoln Wright, Dental Assistant Sam King, Pharmacist Timothy Wood, Security Officer Eugene Pribble, Smoke Signals Assistant Editor/Staff Writer Danielle Harrison and Forestry Technician Nicholas Larsen.