Thank you to our Annual Meeting Sponsor

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Meeting Space Sponsor

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Digital Media Kit

Below is an overview of what you will find in the Digital Media Kit accessible through the QR code

Annual Meeting

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Kevin Lewis

President & CEO

Corey Pearson

Board Chair

Guest Speakers

Victor Palencia

Palencia Wine Company

Victor grew up in Prosser, WA, and was exposed to the vineyard life by following his father’s footsteps. He enrolled in Walla Walla Enology & Viticulture Program in 2003, and graduated in 2005. In 2012 Victor successfully founded Palencia Wine Company in Walla Walla with Palencia Winery and Monarcha Winery brands. Victor further added to his prestigious resume by winning one of the coveted “Fantastic Four Washington Winemakers of the Year” awards in 2023 from Seattle Wine Awards for his contributions to the state industry. He continues to share his passion for wine while keeping an open mind to new ideas with our ever-changing landscape.

Faith Akopov

Tri Cities Tackle

In 2004 Faith Akopov moved from Colorado to Pasco, following her mom’s job at Hanford. Sports and outdoors were always a part of their family, from tying flies, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing, snowboarding, 4-wheeling and anything outdoors. For the past 14 years she has worked with her dad in his business by building and growing it from the ground up. Being a student of the business and an entrepreneur under his wing, she spread her own wings in 2020 and opened Tri Cities Tackle. What started as a very small operation in her garage turned into a brick-and-mortar store in Richland. Not only is she the owner and operator, but she also has two patented products that are currently offered in the fishing industry.

Pictured Michael Landry, Head of LIGO Hanford Observatory/Caltech
Michael Landry

Head of LIGO Hanford Observatory

Michael Landry is the Head of LIGO Hanford Observatory (LHO) in Richland, WA, and a physicist with the California Institute of Technology. He received his PhD from the University of Manitoba in 2000, with experimental studies in strange hadronic matter at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s AGS and University of British Columbia’s TRIUMF accelerators. Michael came to Richland in 2000, beginning with Caltech as a postdoc, working his way through a series of science roles on the interferometers in Initial and Advanced LIGO phases. He was Detection Lead Scientist at the time of the first direct detection of gravitational-waves in 2015 and was named LIGO Hanford Observatory Head in 2016. He holds Adjunct Professorships with the Departments of Physics and Astronomy at Washington State University and the University of Manitoba and is the Director of Operations for Cosmic Explorer. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Erik Mertens

Fan Experience & Community Relations Manager

Erik Mertens, known as “Erik the Peanut Guy” around Gesa Stadium, is the biggest fan of the Tri-City Dust Devils. Starting with the team’s inaugural Opening Day in 2001, he has served as a peanut vendor and the on-field host for the past 23 years. You’ll find him greeting fans at the front gates of the ballpark, juggling, leading cheers, and emceeing all the between-inning promotions. In 2012, the team honored him with a bobblehead giveaway and in 2020, they surprised him with a life-sized bobblehead statue at the front gates. Erik is happy to live in the Tri-Cities and serve as the Dust Devils’ Fan Experience & Community Relations Manager.

Award Winners

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Board Members

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Angie Brotherton

Bechtel National

Jennifer Cunnington

Q Home Loans

Mike Hall

Ice Harbor Brewing Company

David McClain

TC Black

Gus Sako

The Octopus’ Garden

Special Guests