For over 25 years, Rob has developed an extensive background in long-term economic development and construction management. As President of Wenaha Group, a tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indians, and a nationally recognized entrepreneur, Rob’s character exemplifies teamwork, transparency, collaboration, and integrity. Rob has a genuine interest and skill set in successfully managing complex projects, navigating political and complicated organizational structures, reducing owner risk by understanding nuisances in contract negotiation, and strategically aligning Wenaha staff with clients’ needs. Rob is committed to keeping projects within scope, expected completion timelines, and on budget, while maintaining high standards of quality control. Rob’s present role within the company, in addition to direct client services, is to maintain a financially sound company and healthy team of employees. He and Dave work together to ensure efficient internal operational procedures are in place, hire expert staff, and provide on-going leadership development. Rob regularly engages with industry partners and is highly competent on current issues related to construction and owner’s representation.
Dave Fishel, Vice President and Partner of Wenaha Group, has worn many leadership hats during his career, from project manager to a partner in a general contracting business to expert witness for construction claims. His more than 30 years of industry experience cover a wide range of project types, with clients in both general contracting and subcontracting, giving him unique insight and hard-won knowledge. Dave maintains direct contact with our clients and gives support and oversight to project managers as a Project Principal.
During his career as a construction manager and executive, Jim has successfully managed over five million square feet of construction. For three decades, Jim has been a results-oriented team leader and has gained increased responsibility by solving complex challenges. Jim sees effective teamwork and open communication as critical in reducing total cost and risk while maintaining delivery schedules and quality. He brings proficiency in contract negotiation, contract and proposal creation, bid packaging, conceptual estimating, insurance, value engineering, scheduling, and construction management to the table. Jim also excels at tactical planning, implementation and budget management.
Keith is a veteran senior project manager and past general manager with over two decades of construction management experience in the Northwest. His detailed approach to team leadership and problem solving provides him with a strong foundation to address the challenges in project development, construction operations, and client relationships. His leadership and management style is grounded in solid values with appreciation of hard work, honesty, integrity, and respect. Keith’s experience includes gaming, health care, corrections, infrastructure, mission critical, research laboratory, commercial, and multi-family projects. He has delivered projects in the public and private sectors, quasi-government, and Indian Country.
Heath’s degree in construction management from Central Washington University was followed by over two decades of construction management, during which he worked on a wide variety of project types as a project engineer, project manager, estimator, partner in a general contracting business and owner’s representative. His first-hand experience in the challenges of general contracting gives him the insight to predict problems and strategically solve them or avoid them entirely. Heath uses his communication skills to build a team atmosphere and create situations where all stakeholders can succeed.
Scott has built his career with an emphasis on collaboration, consensus building, and team interaction. He specializes in public procurement and energy conservation programs. Serving as a facilities director for a public agency instructed him on the value of transparency and accountability with taxpayer funds. Scott is passionate about education and community development, and seeks to ensure both are considerations for projects he is involved with. Scott now works extensively with the Energy Trust of Oregon, integrating sustainability and energy efficiency using cost-effective methods. In 2013, he won a Better Bricks Award for Building Management from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and in 2014 became an Earth Advantage Certified Project Steward.
Dale has worked over 30 years in the construction industry and has successfully carried many project teams through the various aspects of contracting, including estimating, budget development and project management. A notable strength Dale possesses is an ability to create win-win solutions to the inevitable issues that arise on projects and in team settings. He is known for building collaborative, highly functional teams which consistently deliver above the client’s expectations. Clients and design professionals have always valued his involvement, as he strives to keep projects moving forward in an organized fashion, keeping costs and schedule under control, while working to maintain a fun and effective atmosphere.
Melanie, a Native Hawaiian from Washington State, has spent two decades striving for a more socially just public education system. Her contributions as a teacher and school principal, along with her district level executive leadership and university teaching have contributed to her expertise in education. Melanie is known for creating opportunities for building shared understanding and outcomes, providing cultural navigation within complex environments, and creating relationships grounded in shared outcomes. Significant contributions to our team include educational adequacy assessments, community organizing and strategic planning, designing multi-sensory and blended learning environments, early childhood and PreK-12 equitable systems and curriculum building, and public relations and capitol project planning.
Luisa Ardila, Coordinator of Educational Planning, has spent nearly 10 years in public education. Luisa has a heart and passion for working with families, students and a variety of stakeholders, all within culturally, linguistically diverse communities. As a native Colombian, she brings a cultural and language to our organization that makes Wenaha stronger. Luisa has served in several school capacities as an education assistant, office manager, coordinator of operations for student and family services, and coordinator for district-wide transitional/homelessness services. Additionally, Luisa has been a self-employed contractor for over a decade overseeing the business operations and procurement so she understands the world of construction. Luisa’s greatest achievement are her two children who are now entering their second year of college.
Julie is a Corvallis, Oregon native with over 23 years experience in the construction industry. After graduating from the University of Denver with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, she spent time in central California before returning to Corvallis in 1995 and beginning her construction career, primarily focusing on accounting. Her years of experience in job cost accounting, budgets, contracts and loss control make her a valued member of the Wenaha Group by supporting the project managers and other members of the team. Julie is dedicated to client satisfaction and believes that treating everyone fairly and honestly results in successful projects.
Raised in Eastern Oregon, Aaron graduated Linfield College with degrees in both accounting and philosophy, then brought his skill set back to Pendleton to work in public accounting. At Wenaha Group, Aaron focuses on accounting, payroll, accounts payable, and accounts receivable. He works closely with the leadership team to develop financial processes and controls, also assisting with general administrative issues and technological solutions.
Originally from Southern California, Kristen moved to Washington in 2001. She joined Wenaha after 16 years in public education. Her experience in customer service, accounting, payroll and benefit administration and is an asset to the Wenaha team.
As an Ojibwe/Cree/Metis, Tessa has dedicated her professional career to serving indigenous communities. She began as a certified counselor at NAYA Early College Academy, a tribal high school in Portland, Oregon. In 2010 she joined Nike World Headquarters within Nike N7, a brand that inspires and enables physical activity for native youth. At Nike N7, Tessa held leadership roles in strategic planning, operations, marketing, sales, and project management. As Wenaha’s Director of Business Development, Tessa manages operational and strategic business planning, marketing, branding, client relationship engagement, and growth of organizational opportunities. In her free time she enjoys doing Native beadwork and designing.
Evan has logged over one decade in the construction field after earning a degree in Construction Engineering Management from OSU. His education, job site experience, and field training provide the tools for successful projects from office buildings and civil transportation to industrial processing. Prior to joining Wenaha Group, Evan was a C-TRAN construction manager with a major consulting engineering firm and an inspector for the Port of Portland. Evan launched his career assisting with project management, which led into project quality control efforts. He views each project at Wenaha Group as a building block toward a lasting relationship with our clients.
Kieron has a bachelor of science in building surveying and has managed a large number of complex and challenging projects. He has spent the last twenty years as an estimator, project engineer and project manager, working on a variety of building sectors, from K-12 education, retail, assisted living, medical, and hi-tech. He loves the challenges construction brings, the fulfillment of completed projects, and the joy it brings to occupants.
With a Masters of Architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and undergraduate studies in journalism at the University of Oregon, Cassie has worked in the design and construction industry for the past 8 years, transitioning from design to project management. Cassie's experience includes owner's representative/project management work in both the private and public sectors, primarily for commercial, non-profit, and retail clients. Cassie recently returned to her Eastern Oregon hometown after many years in various big cities, and is committed to using her skills to help communities on the east side of the state grow and thrive.
Eric received his degree in construction engineering management with a minor in Psychology that has served him well. After working for 16 years at a mid-size construction firm in the Portland area, he gained expertise in contracts, drawings and specifications, estimating and budgets, and project management. In late 2010, he moved to the other side of the fence working for an owner’s representative role working in the Portland, Vancouver, and Salem serving multiple clients throughout these areas. Client management, problem solving, and quality of work rings strong for Eric resulting in projects that are done on time, on budget, and a drive to exceed our client’s expectations.
With a BS in project management and construction management certification from the University of Washington, Pam has over 13 years’ experience in commercial construction management. Pam’s competencies in construction management extend from pre-construction, budget development, value engineering, bid management, contract and change management, through close-out and turn-over. Pam believes a project's success is built on integrity and respect when it comes to working with both the planning and development team, and the onsite team. With experience in both private and public sectors, Pam’s recent project is the Northwest Nazarene University’s Learning Commons which was the first LEED Gold, complete Net-zero, energy efficient commercial building in Idaho for the City of Boise.
Rich studied construction management at Parkland College in Illinois and also completed Clemson University’s intense superintendent training course. With over 23 years of field experience, Rich is a proven expert at planning and coordinating complex projects. He’s been responsible for oversight of safety, quality control, scheduling, purchasing, field staffing, and job forecasting. He also brings a broad understanding of safety and building codes, regulations and inspection compliance. Rich is dedicated to his clients through his commitment to the planning and operation of all field activities. Recent projects include the Tri-Cities Cancer Center addition and renovation, and Tri-City Orthopedics’ new surgery center.
Kaliska is a native Oregonian and a member of Alaska’s Tlingit/Haida Tribe. She has a degree in Construction Management from Arizona State University, graduating Cum Laude, and has worked in the construction field for over 15 years. She has managed an array of high-value, high-visibility projects including federal facility renovations, health care facility construction, public education institutions, and government contracting projects. Kaliska’s work with various public entity systems has taught her the ins and outs of public procedures, stakeholder interests, and governing agencies. She brings an extensive base of knowledge and work experience both from the contracting and owner’s representative sides of the business and she is excited to share this with our clients.
Jose is a proud graduate of the construction engineering management program at Oregon State University. He is originally from Eastern Oregon but spent the last decade in the Bay Area building his construction career directing multi-million dollar commercial projects for various clients. As a bilingual manager he has the ability to put others at ease while quickly building relationships with key stakeholders. He employs a team-centric management style and enjoys solving complex project issues with out-of-the-box thinking. Jose is excited to be back in the Pacific Northwest and is looking forward to helping clients achieve their goals.
Nelson is a graduate of the Architecture and Environmental Design College at Arizona State University. Nelson has a diverse background in the building industry, starting as a scheduling engineer for a large general contractor in Phoenix, Arizona. Nelson continued working in the commercial contracting field as a project manager on a wide variety of project types including hospitality, governmental, custom homes and industrial facilities. Nelson also worked in the architectural profession as a construction administrator. Nelson’s latest endeavor, prior to Wenaha Group, had been working as the owner’s representative for the Ho-Chunk Nation on three project sites across Wisconsin.
Cassey is an Arizona native who studied construction management at Arizona State University. She has worked in the construction industry for over two decades. Cassey is experienced in on-site management, scheduling, estimating, and coordination. Cassey has worked on various project types, including several Native American projects. Cassey is dedicated to helping our clients complete successful projects.
Over the last 18 years, Chris has completed over 50 projects in 11 states throughout the US and 5 provinces of Canada. These projects range from the medical, hospitality, retail, restaurant, institution, education and infrastructure market sectors. By tapping into a wealth of diverse project types and delivery methods in both private and public works, Chris has learned to apply proven industry methods tailored to specific project and client needs. Using a background in scheduling, estimating and project management, Chris strives to assist in streamlining projects and to bring the best investment return value to our clients using a focus on proactive, solutions oriented goals and approaches.
Quentin has been with Weneha Group since the fall of 2014. He began as a laborer, working on projects at Bonneville Dam while still attending college. After graduation, he began working in Tacoma on the Puyallup I-5 Casino project as a Project Engineer. He is currently enrolled in San Diego State University in the Construction Project management program and plans to continue into Construction Estimating. He believes in communication, collaboration and the importance of staying true to the Guiding Principles.