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Sep 15, 2021

AIA Seattle + Seattle Design Festival

Neher

Melissa K. Neher is the new executive director at AIA Seattle and Seattle Design Festival. Neher has decades of experience in nonprofit leadership. She began her career as a social worker for adults with physical disabilities. Later as a social justice lawyer, Melissa advocated for under-served and marginalized communities, including asylum seekers and migrant workers. Most recently, she served as executive director of Architects Without Borders Seattle, an organization formed by a dedicated group of volunteers who came together under the umbrella of AIA to provide access to design to under-served communities.

Neher received her BA in Public Relations with a minor in Art History from James Madison University, and her Juris Doctorate from University of San Diego School of Law where she was a lead articles editor for San Diego Law Review and received the Outstanding Public Interest Advocate award.

Washington State Broadband Office

Eychaner

Dawn Eychaner will serve as acting director of the Washington State Broadband Office effective Sept. 30, when current director Russ Elliott leaves the position to serve as Chief Executive Officer of a California telecommunications carrier. Eychaner has served as deputy director of the office since June this year. Eychaner has a background in local infrastructure financing with the Washington State Public Works and Community Economic Revitalization Boards, as well as significant policy experience in the legislature on issues and programs related to early learning, temporary aid to needy families, food assistance and affordable housing.

Since it was established in 2019 with a minimal budget and two full time staff, the Washington State Broadband Office has built successful public-private partnerships across the state to meet the state's aggressive broadband goals and break down digital equity barriers.

Edifecs

Edifecs, a health information technology solutions company, announced that it has acquired Talix, an information technology company that provides risk and quality solutions to healthcare payers and providers. Talix provides health plans with a natural language processing-enabled risk adjustment coding, retrieval, and analytics platform to improve coding accuracy, efficiency, and overall revenue integrity of their programs. Talix also helps providers identify, document, and code risk-adjusted conditions accurately at the Point-of-Care. By integrating Talix's technology with Edifecs' signature Encounter Management solution, Edifecs will provide the opportunity for customers to operate risk adjustment processes more efficiently for Medicare Advantage, Managed Medicaid, and Affordable Care Act products. Edifecs is headquartered in Bellevue, with additional offices in Atlanta, Georgia, and Mohali, India, an engineering center in Moldova, and has more than 750 employees globally.

CU Servnet

CU Servnet, a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) dedicated to mortgage loan servicing, announced that BECU senior vice president of mortgage lending, Lorraine Stewart, has been appointed to chair of its board of directors. CU Servnet shapes the design and execution of the mortgage loan servicing experience for credit unions. The CUSO has partnered with Cenlar, a mortgage loan subservicer since 2005. Stewart has more than 35 years of experience in mortgage banking. She joined BECU in January 2014. Prior to BECU, she held leadership positions in production support, fulfillment operations and strategic analysis and business development with depository institutions and independent mortgage bankers. In addition to her mortgage lending role at BECU, Stewart is the executive sponsor of the credit union's Veterans Employee Resource Group and is actively engaged in the credit union's equity and inclusion work. She is a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association D&I Advisory Committee and serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity Seattle-King County.

Rural Alaska Internet

Nearly 12,000 rural Alaskans in 23 communities along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers will receive high-speed internet for the first time, if the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) approves requests for tribal broadband grants. The Alaska FiberOptic Project, a collaboration between Calista Corporation, Doyon, Limited, Gana-A ‘Yoo Limited and Alaska Communications, would connect one of the most underserved regions in the United States with a fiber-optic cable that would be the foundation for expanding broadband to communities in the region. It would offer Gigabit service in communities that today cannot access virtual meetings, online classes, telehealth, or online jobs. The proposed project would create a fiber optic network that starts at Fort Yukon, ends in Napakiak and connects to Alaska Communications core network in Fairbanks. The Alaska FiberOptic Project would also deploy fiber-to-the-home in each of the 23 communities served on the route. Grant applications were submitted to the NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program Sept. 1. NTIA expects to award grants by the end of 2021. If awarded, the project would be complete in 2024.

Sep 14, 2021

Summit Bank

Doug Wolford joins Summit Bank as vice president, SBA Program Advisor for Summit Bank's Small Business Administration Division. Wolford has nearly 30 years of SBA experience, previously leading SBA for a well-known regional bank with borrowers in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho. Wolford's role with Summit will focus on cultivating relationships with current and prospective SBA borrowers. He is a long time member of the National Association of Guaranteed Government Lenders and is a member of the Northwest Business Development Association Loan Committee. Summit Bank has offices in Eugene/Springfield, Central Oregon and the Portland Metropolitan area, and specializes in providing service to professionals as well as medium-sized businesses and their owners. Summit was recognized in 2020 as the Top Small Business Administration Community Bank Lender in the state of Oregon.

State of Washington

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has hired Tao Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH, as the agency's chief science officer. In his new role, Kwan-Gett will serve as DOH's primary science expert and a key spokesperson on public health issues. Currently, Kwan-Gett is a primary care pediatrician at Virginia Mason Sand Point Pediatrics at University Village in Seattle and serves as the faculty lead for the Northwest Public Health Primary Care Leadership Institute. He attended Harvard University for college and medical school and moved to Seattle in 1990 to complete his pediatric residency. After earning his MPH at the University of Washington, Kwan-Gett practiced pediatrics at Virginia Mason while also serving Seattle refugee and immigrant communities at Harborview Medical Center's Community House Calls Program. He spent several years as a medical epidemiologist at Public Health – Seattle & King County and, in 2013, joined UW's Department of Health Systems and Population Health as the director of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice. In 2017, he returned to primary care pediatrics. Kwan-Gett's first day with the department is October 1.

Alaska Internet Service

Nearly 1,250 Alaskans in Hoonah and Gustavus, two isolated communities in Southeast Alaska, will receive fiber optic cable-based high-speed internet for the first time, if the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) approves a request for a tribal broadband grant. Alaska Communications would offer Gigabit service in communities that today cannot stream classes, work remotely or access quality telehealth care. Hoonah Indian Association and Alaska Communications would also provide a community technology center in Hoonah and Gustavus to facilitate broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment and provide support for community members. The technology center would offer basic skills training, access to social and medical services, and support community cultural activities. Once constructed, the Hoonah and Gustavus fiber optic network would connect to the Alaska Communications core fiber network. Grant applications were submitted to the NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program Sept. 1. NTIA expects to award grants by the end of 2021. If awarded, the project would be complete in December 2023.

Washington Patriot Construction

Thornton

Floberg

Valdes

Schicker

Bennett

Lusk

Robu

Gig Harbor-based Washington Patriot Construction hired Dumitru Robu as project engineer, Lauren Lusk as project administrator/administrative assistant, Keegan Bennett as quality control manager, Dayna Schicker as assistant controller, Ernesto Valdes as payroll administrator, Rob Floberg as assistant project manager, and Phil Thornton as project manager. Robu is working on the new headquarters for Gig Harbor Peninsula Fish Food Bank. He holds a bachelor's degree in construction management from the University of Washington. Lusk supports the company's estimating, marketing and project teams, performing a variety of project-related tasks in addition to general office administrative tasks. She holds a bachelor's degree in interior design with a minor in construction management. Bennett is working on NAVFAC Northwest projects at multiple Naval Base Kitsap locations. He holds a bachelor's degree in construction management with a minor in business administration from Washington State University. Schicker has a finance degree from Portland State University, an MBA from the University of Portland, and is a CPA. Valdes holds a bachelor's degree in accounting with a minor in finance from Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. Floberg supports private clients with preconstruction and construction management assistance. Thornton has over 10 years of industry experience, and is focusing on Boeing projects in Auburn, Frederickson, Kent and Tukwila.

Mortenson

Abla

In Kirkland, Mortenson hired Stephanie Abla as community affairs manager. In her role, she leads Mortenson's diversity, equity and inclusion mission, and philanthropic activity. Abla previously worked in Dubai as a community and government affairs specialist for Boeing's Middle East and North Africa operations. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the American University of Beirut (Lebanon) and a master's degree in international relations from the University of Chicago.

Velocity Building Technical Service

Aljasir

Jamil Aljasir joined Velocity Building Technical Service as director of energy services. Aljasir has over 20 years of experience in mechanical design, commissioning, LEED administration and energy assessments. Velocity offers building commissioning, auditing, tune-ups, clean buildings act compliance, indoor air quality, and energy conservation.

Carney Badley Spellman

Prevost

In Seattle, Carney Badley Spellman hired Isaac Prevost as an associate attorney practicing construction and commercial litigation. Prevost handles breach-of-contract and construction disputes for project owners, developers, general contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers. He also helps clients assess pre-litigation risks and resolves issues in mediation. Prior to joining Carney, he worked at a boutique construction law firm.

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