Monday, November 29, 2021
Nov. 29, 2021

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People in Business

The Columbian

Lauren Ellenbecker has been hired as a reporter for The Columbian newspaper, covering Vancouver city government and military/veteran affairs. Ellenbecker is a graduate of Washington State University and most recently worked for AmeriCorps NCCC, where she worked with nonprofits throughout the Midwest.

Shari Phiel has been hired as a reporter for The Columbian newspaper, covering stories on local state and county government. A University of Montana graduate, Phiel has been a resident of the Pacific Northwest for the past 12 years and most recently held the position of online editor for The Daily News in Longview.

Hope Martinez has been hired as a news assistant for The Columbian newspaper, compiling the daily vital statistics as well as other clerical and writing duties for the newsroom. A graduate of California State University – Channel Islands, Martinez is also a local artist operating under the alias on Instagram.

Dr. Karin Edwards, president of Clark College, has been selected as one of 25 leaders selected for the 2021-22 class of the Aspen New Presidents Fellowship. The program supports community college presidents in the early years of their tenure as they aim to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success. The 25 Aspen Fellows, who lead colleges that collectively serve more than 280,000 students, were selected through a highly competitive process. Starting later this year, the Fellows will engage over nine months in residential sessions and virtual learning to develop strategies to meet their goals for student success and equity with data to assess challenges and progress.

Edwards also has been appointed to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center’s Health Board, a 12-member board that sets quality, stewardship, community service and advocacy policies for the company. Edwards assumed her role Oct. 1, serving as president of Clark College in Vancouver. Edwards manages core functions including strengthening racial equity, building community trust, championing student achievement and employee retention, and nurturing effective relationships with the community including local businesses and legislators. Prior to Clark College, Edwards also served as president of Portland Community College’s Cascade campus, and had numerous leadership roles at colleges in Connecticut and New York.

Jeana Fink has been appointed as the newest membership relations manager for the Greater Vancouver Chamber, working to develop the membership base by bringing new and emerging industries as well as longstanding businesses into chamber membership.

Fink earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Arizona. She brings to the chamber over 20 years of experience in sales development. Fink recently moved from California, where she worked as a sales leader in the hospitality industry. Her focused, solution-oriented approach and creative style have resulted in her exceeding expectations and goals throughout her professional career.

Fink will not only assist in the onboarding and retention of chamber members; she also will work to build lasting relationships between the chamber and local organizations and business owners. Fink’s philosophy has been to “take care of the company and team, who in turn take care of the customers, and the customers keep coming back.”

“We are excited to have Jeana join our team,” said GVC President/CEO John McDonagh. “Her professionalism and experience working with diverse organizations will pay huge dividends to our members and prospective members alike.”

Mary McWilliams has been appointed to PeaceHealth’s System Board of Directors. With a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and an MS degree in health administration from the University of Colorado, McWilliams is a proven leader with more than 25 years of experience as an executive in the public and private sectors of the health care industry. Most recently, she served on the board of the Virginia Mason Health System following her retirement as executive director of the Washington Health Alliance, a multi-stakeholder collaborative of employers, providers and plans formed to bring affordability, quality and public transparency to health care. McWilliams also served as CEO at Regence BlueShield and was founder of an HMO for the Providence health system in Portland.

Vanessa Gaston has also been appointed to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center’s Health Board, having assumed her board role July 1. Gaston is the director for Clark County Community Service and is responsible for strategic direction and oversight of a $30 million annual budget and 47 staff. She has more than two decades of valuable experience in a variety of disciplines including strategic planning, management, advocacy, policy and fundraising.

Stacey Winklepleck has been promoted to director of content, IP and outreach for Vancouver’s Crafts Group. In her new role, Winklepleck oversees designer relationships and all collections, books, magazines and e-magazines of Knit Picks and WeCrochet. Handling all the steps for creating eight or more collections per year, from inception to layout, she conceptualizes the collections and manages calls for designers and submissions, samples and tech editing for designer patterns, and designer and sample maker relations. Additionally, Winklepleck is a co-host of the longstanding Knit Picks Podcast. She says one of her favorite parts of the job is working with the company’s Independent Designer Partnerships (IDP) program and discovering new designers that other companies may be missing. “Because the IDP program allows designers to have freedom and total control over their patterns, I have been fortunate to watch some really talented and impressive designers ‘grow into their own’ in the industry,” said Winklepleck.

Katelyn Moll has been promoted to the editor of WeCrochet, after serving as outreach coordinator for the brand for the past year. In her new role, Moll oversees all content creation for the website and its collection of books and eBooks. She works closely with designers and testers to bring consumers collections that tell a story and help crocheters experience the connection between great yarn and the purpose for it. Moll holds a degree in marketing and, prior to joining Crafts Group, gained years of experience in the yarn industry, working in digital marketing and business management. An avid crocheter and knitter, Moll says she thoroughly enjoys good yarn and good patterns, and her favorite part about working with WeCrochet is getting to share good yarns and good patterns with others, while telling a story.

The Columbian welcomes submissions about Clark County residents or businesses, as well as regional business events. Sales awards are not published.