The new Ruth Wylie Head House at WSU’s Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center is named for Ruth Wylie (’50 Busi.), who broke ground in public service as Skagit County’s first woman commissioner and treasurer. The building, which supports research into soil health and improved practices for agriculture in northwest Washington, was partly funded through a $150,000 donation from her daughter, Nancy Kercheval (’79 Ag. Econ.). Wylie, former business manager for United General Hospital (now PeaceHealth United General) in Sedro-Woolley, was elected Skagit County treasurer in 1979 and served 13 years in that role before becoming Skagit County’s first female commissioner.
Phyllis J. Campbell (’73 Busi.), senior executive for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, has joined the board of directors of Air Transport Services Group. Campbell was previously president and chief executive officer of The Seattle Foundation and U.S. Bank of Washington. She serves on Toyota’s North American Diversity Advisory Board, chairs the US-Japan Council, and is a member of the board of directors of the Allen Institute. She previously served on the board of directors for Alaska Air Group and Nordstrom.
At the request of the US Justice Department, William Hyslop (’73 Poli. Sci.) stepped down from his role as the US attorney for Eastern Washington effective midnight February 28. Earlier in the month, the acting attorney general conveyed President Joseph Biden’s request for the resignations of all US attorneys appointed by the previous administration.
Greg Schrag (’78 Busi.) has retired after 29 years as the city attorney for Mountlake Terrace.
After 37 years in public education, Snoqualmie Valley School District superintendent Robert Manahan (’83 Elem. Ed.) is retiring at the end of the academic year. Manahan was named superintendent in 2018. Previously, he served as superintendent of Gig Harbor’s Peninsula School District and Lake Chelan School District. He’s married with four children and four grandchildren.
Ken Collins (’84 Hist.) is set to become the next superintendent for the Lake Stevens School District in July. Collins has worked for the district for 31 years, starting as a high school teacher. He later became principal of Lake Stevens High School, then assistant superintendent of human resource services for the district. He was hired about two years ago as assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, and has also worked as a high school athletics coach.
John Palmer (’84 Env. Sci.) joined the Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners, representing Puyallup and Edgewood. Palmer has served on the Puyallup City Council since 2011. He was mayor in 2018 and 2019, and deputy mayor in 2020 and 2021. Palmer served on Puyallup’s Planning Commission from 2008 to 2011 and chaired the group for three years. He lives in Puyallup and works in Seattle as a senior policy advisor for the Environmental Protection Agency, regularly commuting on the Sounder train.
Christopher Waller (’84 MA, ’85 PhD Econ.) has been sworn in as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Waller has taught at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, and the University of Kentucky. Most recently, he was senior vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
TIAA Bank has promoted Ellen Comeaux (’90 Busi.) to senior vice president of commercial division sales. She joined TIAA in 2015.
Russell A. Miller (’91 English), the J.B. Strombock Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University, won a 2020 Humboldt Research Award. An expert in constitutional law, he is now carrying out research projects in cooperation with specialist colleagues in Münster, Germany.
Fa’amomoi Masaniai (’92 Crim. Jus.) is the first judge of Samoan heritage to serve on the bench anywhere in the state, according to King County. He was recently appointed to fill a vacancy in its district court. Before that, he worked as a pro tem judge at numerous courts, including at the Regional Justice Center in Kent.
Troy Boutte (’93 PhD Food Sci.) is vice president of innovation and bakery ingredients at AB Mauri North America. He started as director of innovation in 2019. Now, he oversees the development and implementation of new products as well as leads the baking ingredient innovation team. Boutte previously spent eight years at Dupont Danisco as principal scientist and group manager for the bakery, sales, and application group. He also spent 12 years as director of bakery and emulsifier ingredients and senior scientist at Caravan Ingredients.
Vincent June (’93 MBA, ’96 PhD Ed.) is the new chancellor of South Louisiana Community College.
David Arrington (’94 Lib. Arts) recently joined Freeline Therapeutics Holdings as vice president of investor relations and corporate communications. Arrington previously served as vice president of investor relations and corporate affairs at Coherus BioSciences, where he supported commercialization of the company’s first product. He has more than 20 years of experience in life sciences, including leadership roles at small- to mid-cap biotechnology companies, Stanford Medicine and UC California San Francisco, and 10 years at Genentech and Bristol Myers Squibb.
Jim Horner (’96 Crim. Jus.) has joined the Pittsburgh Pirates as bench coach. From 2006 to 2015, he served as a manager for three different affiliates in the Seattle Mariners organization, with a brief stint at Texas Tech University in 2011 and 2012. From 2016 to 2019, he was assistant coach at WSU. Horner spent nine seasons as a catcher in the Mariners organization, reaching as high as Triple-A. He played varsity baseball for four years at WSU.
Joseph C. Guerrero (’97 Busi.), is the new president of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce. Guerrero, co-owner of Naked Fish Bar & Grill and Hafa Adai Realty, is one of four nominees for the chamber’s 2020 Business Person of the Year Award. His restaurant, established in 2004, won the chamber’s 2020 Small Business of the Year Award. Guerrero has been a member of the chamber for nearly 20 years.
Grays Harbor County’s first female prosecutor, Katie Svoboda (’97 English) recently became the county’s first female superior court judge.
Brian G. Morgen (’99 Civ. Eng.) has joined Thornton Tomasetti as vice president and director of the Seattle office. He’s also a member of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and the Structural Engineers Association of Washington.
Kristin O’Sullivan (’00 Crim. Jus.) is a new municipal judge in Spokane. She had served for two years as an appointed commissioner in municipal court, which handles civil infractions and criminal misdemeanors. Before that, she worked as a prosecutor both in municipal court as well as Spokane County District Court. While a member of the county prosecuting team, she handled cases involving involuntary commitments and cases put forth by the Washington Gambling Commission.
Rachel Ruggeri (’00 MBA) is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Starbucks Corporation, where she previously served as senior vice president of finance for the Americas. Ruggeri joined Starbucks in 2001 as a member of the accounting team and helped launch the first Starbucks card, the foundation for the company’s digital engagement platform. During her tenure, she has held various finance positions of increasing responsibility, including vice president of corporate financial planning and analysis, vice president of finance in support of the US business, and senior vice president of finance for global retail.
Christine (Peters-Naughton) Kaineg (’03 Comm.) was recently appointed to the board of directors of Koniag Inc. She’s worked for VSE Corp. in various positions since 2008, including as communications specialist and assistant corporate secretary.
Eric Petracca (’04 Hum.), former chief operations officer at iQ Credit Union, is the credit union’s new president and chief executive officer. He also serves on the board of the Parks Foundation of Clark County.
Jeremiah Nelson (’05 DVM), a veterinarian in the US Army, has assumed command of the 43rd Medical Detachment (Veterinary Services Support) in Fort Hood, Texas.
Kelly Cornwall (’06 Music), a married mother of four in Yelm, donated a portion of her liver to the daughter of one of her former WSU professors. Amy Lynn Weiss, a single mom with two kids in Pittsburgh, was suffering from numerous life-threatening cysts. Cornwall had studied organ performance for four years under her father, then-WSU choir professor John Weiss, and also knew his wife, Cheryl, but had never met their daughter. When she learned of her condition, Cornwall decided to become a donor. The surgeries were performed last fall at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Cornwall works part-time accompanying the choirs at Yelm High School and South Puget Sound Community College on piano. She’s married to Adam Cornwall (’05, ’06 MA Music, ’07 Teach. Cert.).
Brianna (Brue) Shales (’07 Comm.) is the new marketing director at Stemilt Growers. Shales joined Stemilt as a communications specialist in 2008. She became communications manager in 2010 and was promoted to senior marketing manager in 2019.
2020 was a busy year for Ben Mahnkey (’08 Psych.), who was elected vice chair of the Snohomish County Ethics Commission in October, elected vice chair of Bothell City Council’s Salary Commission in November, promoted to senior human resources investigator at Amazon, and appointed to Bothell’s Law Enforcement Officer and Firefighter Disability Board in December.
Elizabeth “Beth” Adan (’13 Anthro. and Comm.) is the marketing director at Moxxy Marketing.
Jake Blaylock (’16 Food Sci.) has joined BumbleBar to lead its new co-manufacturing division, Clean Copack, as quality food safety manager. He previously led quality assurance and food safety operations at Archer Daniels Midland’s milling facility in Spokane.
Toccara Jule (’16 Nursing) has joined Delta Care Rx as its new national nursing education director. She previously served as senior quality facilitator at PeaceHealth Whatcom Hospice and, at Hospice of the Northwest, she was an admissions nurse, nurse case manager, referral center manager, and clinical services manager. She has also worked as a site visitor for Community Health Accreditation Partners in Washington, D.C. and at Skagit Regional Health’s Wound Center as a wound nurse.
Kenny McMahon (’16 PhD Food Sci.) has joined the behavioral research firm InsightsNow as senior research director.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed quarterback Luke Falk (’17 Soc. Sci.). Falk spent two seasons in the NFL, starting in two games for the New York Jets in 2019 and completing 47 passes for 416 yards. He was selected in the sixth round, 199th overall, by the Tennessee Titans in the 2018 NFL draft. At WSU, he played five seasons as a walk-on. He played 43 games for the Cougs, earning 14,486 passing yards, averaging 327.6 yards per game and 7.1 yards per pass, and throwing 119 touchdowns. Falk set numerous Pac-12 and WSU records and is a three-time All-Pac-12 selection. In 2017, he won the Burlsworth Trophy, awarded to America’s top former walk-on.
AmpliTech Group has appointed Andrew Lee (’17 MBA) to its board of directors. Lee is the chief financial officer of RealWear, which makes a hands-free, head-worn computer designed for industrial settings.
Former student body president and student regent Jordan Frost (’18 Hist., ’19 MIT) received the inaugural First‑Generation Alumni Excellence Award, presented by WSU’s Office of Academic Engagement. Frost teaches social studies and serves as the activities director at Issaquah High School.
The Building Industry Association of Clark County has promoted Justin Wood (’18 Public Affairs) to membership program coordinator.
Code Unlimited has hired Deyan Aydarski (’19 Mech Eng.) as a code analyst and smoke modeler in its Beaverton office.
Ken Bolick (’20 MBA) is general manager at 2Hawk Vineyard & Winery in Medford, Oregon.
Nam H. Nguyen (’20 Busi.) received a 2020 President’s Volunteer Service Award. He tutors K–12 students through the King County Library System, delivers groceries and meals to seniors and other vulnerable people through Chicken Soup Brigade, and serves as an online crisis counselor with Crisis Text Line. “Since I immigrated to the US in 2013, I’ve received tremendous amount support from different organizations and people. Now, I want to ensure to make service to others my top priority and continue to work for the betterment of others and our country,” says Nguyen, who also received the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2015.