Tribal Government & News

Employees honored for 1,360 years of service

06.20.2023 Danielle Harrison Years of service
Senior Children & Family Services Intake Specialist II Donna Johnson hugs Tribal Council member Jon A. George as she is recognized for 19 years of working for the Tribe during the second quarter service awards held in the Tribal gym on Thursday, June 15. (Photo by Michelle Alaimo)


By Danielle Harrison

Smoke Signals assistant editor/staff writer

Second-quarter employees hired in either April, May or June with at least five years of service to the Tribe were honored with a Years of Service barbecue lunch event at the Tribal gym on Thursday, June 15.

There were 102 Tribal employees honored for a combined 1,360 years of service to the Grand Ronde Tribe at the event.

Tribal Council member Jon A. George gave the invocation and Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy welcomed employees.

“I want to express my gratitude to all of the employees here,” Kennedy said. “I’m so proud of all of those who make sure our resources are safeguarded.”

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

Employees were served pulled pork sandwiches, chicken, garden salad, coleslaw, chips, pasta primavera with vegetables, soda and water. Ice cream floats also were served by the Tribe’s Human Resources Department.

The Lenos led the way in terms of longest tenure with the Tribe with Lead Groundskeeper Greg Leno reaching 35 years, Housing Department Maintenance Coordinator Lonnie Leno hit 33 years and Housing Department Manager Shonn Leno was recognized for 29 years.

Also in the more than 20-year club were Human Resources Specialist Cindy Mitchell and Fish and Wildlife Program Manager Kelly Dirksen, 27 years; Education Department Manager Angela Fasana and Tribal Council Senior Administrative Assistant Lauri Smith, 26 years; Children & Family Services Supervisor Kristi Petite, Gaming Commission Executive Assistant Kathy Doane and Senior Staff Attorney Deneen Aubertin Keller, 25 years; Publications Production Specialist Justin Phillips and Senior Network Administrator Jack Dobiash, 24 years; Community Transitions Program Manager David Fullerton, Lands Project Administrator Brandy Humphreys and Housing Safety Specialist Tara Leno, 22 years; Great Circle Recovery Clinic employee Christopher Martin and Early Childhood Education Instructional Assistant Roxanne Moniz, 21 years; and Natural Resources Department Manager Colby Drake, Gaming Inspector Kary Turner and Cultural Education Specialist Cristina Lara, 20 years.

Other employees honored included:

19 years: Cultural Resources Department Manager David Harrelson, Senior Children & Family Services Intake Specialist Donna Johnson, Family Partnerships Coordinator Audra Sherwood and Senior Peer Support Specialist Sydney Clark. 

18 years: Medical Receptionist Tina Leno, Early Head Start Teacher Jessica Cruickshank and Training Specialist Tisha Pellett.

17 years: Housing Maintenance Technician Randy Bean, Native Plant Nursery Supervisor Jeremy Ojua, Adult Foster Care Caregiver Anna Huston and Health Coordinator Shelley Clift.

16 years: Adult Foster Care Administrative Assistant Carmen Parren, Fire Management & Protection Program Manager Andrew Puerini and Biologist Matthew Zimbrick.

15 years: Chinuk Wawa K-5 Teacher Ali Holsclaw, Gaming Commission Background Investigator Nicholas Bailey, Academic Coach George Neujahr and Internal Auditor Kailey Compton.  

14 years: Fire Supervisor Jim Pinder.

13 years: Restoration Ecologist/Policy Analyst Lindsay McClary, Realty Coordinator Teresa Brocksen, Dentist Erin Lange, Health Promotion Specialist Tammy Leno, TERO Compliance Officer Duke Kimsey and Youth Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Shannon Stanton.  

12 years: Homeownership Coordinator Michele Plummer, Parks & Recreation Specialist Daniel Schramm and Maintenance Technician Robert Wiggs.

11 years: Youth Enrichment Program Manager Tim Barry, Tribal Council Coordinator Chelsea Baranski, Lead Groundskeeper Brady Bruckner, Youth Education Program Manager Justine Flynn, TERO Secretary Kristina Summers, Early Childhood Education Family Partnership Specialist Denaee Towner, Treasury Manager DeAnne Norton and Silviculture and Fire Protection Technician Gabriel Synegal.

10 years: Recreation Coordinator Leo Ayala-Guillen, Tribal Security Lead Officer Ronald Wellborn, Maintenance Technician James Byars Jr. and Historic Preservation Technician Nicolas Atanacio.

9 years: Grand Ronde Tribal Police Department Lt. Tim Hernandez, Program Accountant Michael Hubbard, Senior Staff Attorney Holly Partridge, Senior Records Clerk Emma Leno, Pharmacy Technician Randi Keyser-Crocker, Young Child Wellness Community Coordinator Tawna Norwest and Early Head Start Teacher Hannah Sabey.  

8 years: ERSEA Coordinator Dawn Doar, Cultural Protection Specialist Dustin Hawks, Clinical Nurse Manager Christa Hosley, Housekeeper Sabrina Labonte, Aftercare Educator Holly Marler, Groundskeeper Youvani Ring, Aquatic Biologist Brandon Weems, Forestry Technician Lukas Soderberg, Gaming Commission Licensing Application Specialist Joel Greer and Bus Driver Heidi Whittington.

7 years: GIS Coordinator Alex Drake, Tribal Council Administrative Assistant Shannon Ham-Texeira, EHA Family Educator Tammy Fisher, Early Childhood Education Teacher Griselda Perez-Bravo, Emergency Operations Chief Steve Warden, Audit Manager Mihir Parikh and Tribal Employment Rights Office Director Harris Reibach.

6 years: Human Resources Director Sarah Harvey, Chinuk K-5 Assistant Teacher Kayla Grijalva, Grant Assistant Dana Morfin, Cultural Protection Coordinator Cheryl Pouley, Swing Shift Housekeeper Aaron Alvarado-Anderson, Great Circle Recovery Senior Administrative Assistant Tajia Ulestad, Cook Joshua Baker, Field Biologist Kyle McLaughlin, Silviculture/Fire Prevention Technician Waylon Rich and Equipment Operator Timothy Lane.  

5 years: Mental Health Clinical Supervisor Nicole Hewitt, Billing and Auditing Specialist Aisha Alvarado-Anderson, Chinuk Wawa Assistant Teacher Mary Lopez, Communications Director Sara Thompson, Elder Activities Assistant Virginia Kimsey-Roof, Lead Pharmacy Technician Lindsey Petersen and Training & Development Coordinator Jacob Boekhoff.

Raffles were conducted during the event and included additional administrative leave and cash drawings for $50 to $1,000.

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

After the Years of Service event concluded, employees were dismissed with pay for the remainder of the day.