Tribal Government & News

Tresa Mercier reaches 38-year mark in Tribal employment

12.16.2022 Danielle Harrison Tribal employees, Events
The Tribe’s longest-serving employee, Health Services Operations Director Tresa Mercier, received loud applause and hugs from Tribal Council members for her 38 years of service during the fourth-quarter Years of Service Award portion of the Employee Appreciation Holiday Party held on Thursday, Dec. 15, in the Spirit Mountain Casino Event Center. (Photo by Kamiah Koch/Smoke Signals)


By Danielle Harrison

Smoke Signals assistant editor/staff writer

Tribal employees gathered at the annual holiday party on Thursday, Dec. 15, at Spirit Mountain Casino to share a meal and celebrate 64 Tribal employees honored for a combined 897 years of service to the Grand Ronde Tribe during the fourth quarter of 2022.  

Health Services Operations Manager Tresa Mercier continues to set the longevity record with 38 years of service.

One other Mercier – Public Works Coordinator John – was honored for reaching his 32nd year of service to the Tribe.

“It’s been awhile since we’ve all been in the same room together,” Tribal General Manager David Fullerton said. “It feels good to get together and recognize our employees. It’s been a hard couple of years and everyone has stuck with us. We appreciate you.”

Tribal Council Chair Cheryle A. Kennedy led the invocation before employees dined on prime rib, cedar plank salmon, turkey, sage stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh vegetables, pasta salads, fruit, rolls and a variety of desserts.

Grand Ronde Firefighter/EMT Caleb Fredrickson and other emergency services employees serve themselves lunch during the Employee Appreciation Holiday Party held on Thursday, Dec. 15, in the Spirit Mountain Casino Event Center. Employees dined on entrees of salmon, turkey and prime rib with all the side dishes as well. (Photo by Kamiah Koch/Smoke Signals)

Other Tribal Council members in attendance included Vice Chair Chris Mercier, Secretary Michael Langley, Brenda Tuomi, Kathleen George and Lisa Leno.

Celebrating 27 years of service were Social Services Department Manager Dana Ainam, Facilities Senior Administrative Assistant Daphney Colton, Benefits and Risk Manager Tammy Gould, Records Clerk Hollie Mercier, Compensation/HRIS Administrator Candy Scranton, Tribal Court Records Clerk Linda Evans and Lands Department Manager Jan Reibach.

Timber Manager Michael Karnosh marked 26 years of service and rounding out the quarter century or longer club were Dental Assistant Donnette Spaulding, Cultural Education Specialist Crystal Szczepanski, Tribal Court Administrator Julie Boekhoff and Records Clerk Egypt Leno with 25 years of service.

Those who reached or exceeded two decades of service included Employment Specialist Tauni Tollas with 24 years; Procurement Department Manager Nathan Rolston with 23 years; and Home Improvement Coordinator Donald Coon with 21 years.

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

19 years: Tribal Librarian Kathy Cole.

17 years: Home Improvement Coordinator Loyal Hamilton, Gaming Commission Compliance Manager Rose Smith and Post-Treatment Counselor Christopher Holliday.

16 years: Utility Maintenance Supervisor Joe Loomis and Human Resources Health Care Generalist Tauni McCammon.

15 years: Housing Administrative Program Manager Joan Dugger. 

14 years: Cultural Education Specialist Flicka Lucero and Enrichment Coordinator Isaiah Sherwood.

12 years: Employment Caseworker Rhonda Leno and Early Head Start Teacher Melissa Phillips.

11 years: Firefighter Daniel Hyatt, Pharmacy Technician Supervisor Stephanie Wolfe, Senior Applications Administrator Jose Luna and Maintenance Technician Brent Buckner.

10 years: Home Improvement Administrative Assistant Nicholas Kimsey, Pharmacy Technician Cindy Brickell, Secretary/Medical Assistant Jamie Adams, Education Services Coordinator Devin Boekhoff and Utility Maintenance Technician Richard Smith.

9 years: Senior Maintenance Technician Daron Pond Jr., Payroll Administrator Michelle Peterson and Groundskeeper Anthony Henry.

8 years: Day Shift Housekeeper Shelly Fox, Medical Assistant Amanda Walker, Child/Family Services Caseworker Santi Atanacio, Community Fund Administrative Assistant Marissa Leno and Chinuk Immersion Preschool Classroom Aide/Bus Monitor Shantell Ulestad-Salinas.

7 years: Dentist Ryan Davis, Classroom Aide Wendy Mercier, Housing Maintenance Technician Winston Mercier, Lead Housekeeper Coley Parazoo, Health Services Executive Director Kelly Rowe, Gaming Licensing Specialist Jeffrey Smith and Staff Accountant Gloria Schwalger.

6 years: Certified Application Assister/PRC Assistant Leah Bailey, YEP Grant Coordinator Vincent Chargualaf, Lead Pharmacy Technician Sommer Coleman, Tribal Security Officer Derek Ellenwood and Ceded Lands Program Manager Torey Wakeland.

5 years: Library aide Crystal Bigelow, CMA Fermin Deras Diaz, Publications Secretary Katherine Warren-Steffensmier, Employee Relations Specialist Linda Warren, Family Partner Coach Lyndsey Stuckey, Laboratory Assistant Kateri Marrufo and Housing Safety Specialist Bradley Leno.  

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

Raffles were conducted during the event and included Portland Trail Blazers’ tickets, cash prizes, gift cards and administrative leave. After it concluded, employees were dismissed with pay for the remainder of the day.