Tribal Government & News

Years of Service awards honor 72 employees

03.29.2024 Danielle Harrison Tribal employees
Tribal Council member Jon A. George hugs Tribal Records Administrator Kim Mueller as she is recognized during the first-quarter Years of Service event held in the Tribal gym on Thursday, March 21. Mueller has worked for the Tribe for 29 years. (Photo by Michelle Alaimo)



By Danielle Harrison

Smoke Signals editor

First-quarter employees hired in either January, February or March, with at least five years of service to the Tribe, were honored during a Years of Service breakfast event at the Tribal gym on Thursday, March 21.

The employees represented a combined total of 959 years of service.

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

“I’m pleased to be here and to celebrate all of you,” she said. “You are the builders of our nation and our people. You do excellent work to make sure our services to the membership are carried out. I really appreciate every one of you.”

Other Tribal Council members in attendance included Secretary Michael Cherry and Denise Harvey.

New General Manager Angie Blackwell introduced herself to the employees in attendance and served as event emcee.

“I am launching into a phase of learning who you are and what you all do,” she said. “My only goal is to advance the mission that the visionaries set out when the Tribe was restored. Every single one of you is a part of that mission.”

Blackwell handed out service awards to employees after they were served a breakfast of scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, biscuits, fruit and a selection of juice, soda and sparkling water. Kennedy, Cherry, George and Harvey gave handshakes and occasional hugs to the honored employees.

Honorees were led by Procurement Assistant Kelly Leno, who reached 34 years of service to the Tribe.

Records Administrator Kim Mueller and Gaming Commission Licensing Manager Julia Papen were honored for 29 and 28 years of employment, respectively. Rounding out the quarter century or longer mark were Billing Supervisor Sunni Ulestad with 26 years and Clinic Business Office Manager Melody Baker, 25 years.

Other employees notching 20 or more years of employment with the Tribe included Employee Relations Manager David DeHart and Compensation/HRIS Specialist Becky Mode, 24 years each; Spirit Mountain Community Fund Executive Director Angela Sears, 23 years; Tribal Police Chief Jake McKnight, Information Systems Web Administrator William Mercier and Tribal Attorney’s Office Manager/Paralegal Kerrina Mishler, 22 years each; Post-Secondary Education Coordinator Joshua Clift, 21 years; and Early Head Start Family Educator Shawn Bobb and Portland Area Office Tribal Services Representative Lisa Archuleta, 20 years.

Other Tribal employees honored included:

18 years: Staff Accountant Debra Nolen and Employment Specialist Toni Mercier.

17 years: Employment Specialist Jessy Powley.

16 years: Health Information Supervisor Desiree Allen, Natural Resources Construction Supervisor Bart Bryant, Senior 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.

15 years: Health Care Payment Specialist Kayla Leno, Groundskeeper Joseph Grammer and Hydrosystem Compliance Specialist Lawrence Schwabe.

14 years: Lead Shipping and Receiving Clerk Seth Mercier and Rental Housing Program Manager Leon Ramos.

13 years: Employee Relations Specialist Sean Barton, Chinuk Wawa Preschool Teacher Halona Butler, Employment Program Manager Michael Herrin and Dental Hygienist Erin Muchmore.

12 years: Gaming Inspector Dalton Robertson, Historic Preservation Manager Briece Edwards and Family Support Services Specialist Alexandria Warren-Masters.

11 years: Employment Caseworker Tiny Gibbons, Child Family Services Investigator Shauna Hastings, Adult Foster Care Caregiver Brianna Leno, Risk Analyst Patricia Mercier, Employment Caseworker Angella Schultz and Groundkeeper Sean Sell.

10 years: Tribal Police Corporal Tyler Brown, Groundskeeper Joseph Kelley, Chinuk Wawa K-5 Teacher Jade Colton, AV Technician/Web Specialist Jordan Smith and Dental Assistant Whitney VanArsdel.

9 years: Tribal Police Sgt. Rod McAllister, Health Promotion Specialist Stephanie King, Post Elementary Chinuk Wawa Outreach Teacher Zoey Holsclaw and Housing Services Coordinator Lacy Leno.

8 years: Staff Accountant Shereena Bates, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Brandy Bishop, Lead Licensed Practical Nurse Jeannette Cavan, Senior Help Desk Technician Mark Donahoo and Chinuk Wawa Assistant Teacher Washie Squetimkin-Anquoe.

7 years: Early Head Start Teacher Joshua Biery, Training Coordinator Jeri St. Onge, Health & Wellness Clinic Doctor Randy Blome, Tribal Police Officer Kalim Mercier, Infant/Toddler Teacher Shawna Freeman, Human Resources Administrative Assistant Jessie Storm and Firefighter Anthony Simmons.

6 years: Senior Mental Health Counselor Denise Fellows, Police Officer James Flynn, EHS Family Educator Tracy Haas, Compensation/HRIS Analyst Jonathan George, Member Benefits Administrator Kalene Contreras, Laboratory Manager Teresa Larson and Tribal Realty Specialist Amanda Wilson.

5 years: Employment Coordinator Holly Snodgrass and Staff Accountant Benito Rodriguez.

After breakfast concluded, there was a raffle, which included cash prizes of $50 and $100 and additional administrative leave.