Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) 19??-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 1, 2018)
S moke S ignals
JANUARY 1, 2018
44 employees honored for 607 years of service
Tresa Mercier marks 33 years
of employment with the Tribe
By Danielle Frost
Smoke Signals staff writer
Forty-four employees, all hired in
the last quarter of the year, were
honored for a combined 607 years
of service to the Grand Ronde Tribe
during an awards ceremony held
Thursday, Dec. 14, during the all-
staff Christmas party held at Spirit
Health & Wellness Center Busi-
ness Office Manager Tresa Mercier
continues to set the employment
longevity record with the Tribe,
hitting 33 years of service.
Two more Merciers – Tribal Li-
brarian Marion and interim Tribal
Employment Rights Office Manag-
er John – were honored for reaching
27 years of service to the Tribe.
All Tribal Council members were
present, except Michael Langley,
who was out on medical leave. Sec-
retary Jon A. George gave the invo-
cation and Chairwoman Cheryle A.
Kennedy thanked employees.
“It is truly a wonderful time. … It
is amazing to me to see how many
employees the Tribes has. We are
blessed because of all of you, who
have come to bring your area of
service to the Tribe,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy recalled that during
the first year when the Tribe was
restored, 1983-84, there were three
employees, including herself.
“Tresa Mercier was one of those,”
she said. “I want to acknowledge
her today and that she remains
here. … For all of you who have
selected careers and put forward
your energy, intellect and talent,
thank you for doing that. Without
you, there would be a huge gap in
the way we move forward into the
Photo by Michelle Alaimo
Tribal Council member Kathleen George, left, hugs Tribal Health & Wellness
Center Business Office/Skookum Manager Tresa Mercier during the Years of
Service Awards that occurred during the Tribal employee holiday party at Spirit
Mountain Casino’s Events Center on Thursday, Dec. 14. With 33 years of working
for the Tribe, Mercier continues to set the employment longevity record.
Achieving the 22-year mark in
service were Social Services De-
partment Manager Dana Ainam,
Facilities Senior Administrative
Assistant Daphney Colton, Asset
Inventory Specialist Jerry George,
Employee Benefits Administrator
Tammy Gould, Member Services
Administrative Assistant Hollie
Mercier and Compensation/HRIS
Administrator Candy Scranton.
Ceded Lands Manager Michael
Karnosh reached 21 years of ser-
vice. Rounding out employees
reaching or exceeding two decades
of employment was Dental Assis-
tant Donnette Spaulding.
Other employees recognized for
their service of five years or more
during the ceremony were:
19 years: Health Information
Supervisor Lillian Engel.
18 years: Chinuk Language Spe-
cialist Crystal Szcepanski.
17 years: Planning & Grants
Development Manager Kim Rogers
and Lead Shipping & Receiving
Clerk Nathan Rolston.
16 years: Home Improvement
Coordinator Donald Coon.
15 years: Police Chief Jake McK-
night and Web Designer Willie
14 years: High School Adult
Education Chinuk Wawa Teacher
13 years: Early Head Start
Home-Based Visitor Shawn Bobb
and Early Childhood Education
Cook Rebecca Goeserich.
12 years: Early Head Start
Teacher Jessica Cruickshank,
Home Improvement Coordinator
Loyal Hamilton and Gaming Com-
mission Compliance Manager Rose
11 years: Technology Techni-
cian Joe Loomis and Purchased/
Referred Care Specialist Tauni
10 years: Senior Staff Attorney
Jennifer Biesack, Cultural Edu-
cation Specialist Brian Krehbiel,
Housing Administrative Program
Manager Joan Dugger and Well-
ness Driver Arnoldo Moralez.
9 years: Billings/Auditing Spe-
cialist Desiree Allen, Cultural Edu-
cation Specialist Flicka Lucero and
Pharmacy Clerk Isaiah Sherwood.
8 years: X-ray Technician Niki
7 years: Tribal Employment
Rights Office Secretary Keri Kim-
sey and Chinuk Wawa Teacher Jeff
6 years: Security Officer Daniel
Hyatt, Engineering and Public
Works Manager Jesse White and
Pharmacy Technician Stephanie
5 years: Secretary/Medical As-
sistant Jamie Adams, Pharmacy
Technician Cindy Brickell, Fire
cian Logan Kneeland, Mainte-
nance Technician Brent Buckner
and Maintenance Technician/
Groundskeeping Nicholas Kimsey.
General Manager Dave Fullerton
thanked staff members who assist-
ed with organizing the event and
Tribal Council for “helping inspire
us to do this for you guys this year.”
Tribal employees were treated to a
catered buffet lunch, which included
ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, pas-
ta, rolls, green beans, salad, fruit
and several dessert options.
After the service awards, a raf-
fle was conducted that included
Costco, Amazon, Regal Cinema,
Panera Bread, Buffalo Wild Wings
and Visa gift cards, Portland Trail
Blazers’ suite tickets, a Samsung
40-inch TV, Kitchen Aid mixer,
TLC Smart TV, trail camera, and
trips to Seattle and Sunriver. All
employees received a $150 holiday
Employees recognized during the
service awards received an addi-
tional bonus check and those reach-
ing the 10-year mark also received
a Tribal Pendleton blanket. n
UofO teaching program
seeks Native applicants
EUGENE – The Sapsik’wala Teacher Education and the UOTeach
programs at the University of Oregon are looking for Native American/
Alaska Native students who want to become elementary or middle/high
Application deadline for the 2018-19 academic year is Monday, Jan. 15.
The Sapsik’wala program offers full financial assistance to eligible Amer-
ican Indian/Alaska Native students. Eligible applicants must be enrolled
in a federally recognized Tribe or have an enrolled parent or grandparent.
The program lasts 15 months with a support package of approximate-
ly $50,000 per student. Prospective students must have completed an
undergraduate education and apply through the admissions process of
UOTeach. Students will earn a master’s degree in education, as well as
a teacher’s license.
To apply and review the admission requirements, visit education.uore-
teacher-/admissions by Jan. 15.
To learn more about the Sapsik’wala program, visit education.uoregon.
edu/program/sapsikwala-project. The program is entering its 17th year and
has a 100 percent graduation rate. The 81 alumni represent 41 Tribes. n