Defense Secretary Mattis coming home to speak in Tri-Cities

Defense Secretary James Mattis
Defense Secretary James Mattis Tri-City Herald

This year’s Tri-Citian of the Year will have to share the spotlight with a high-ranking keynote speaker — Richland’s favorite son, Defense Secretary James Mattis.

The 2018 Tri-Citian of the Year program, which honors exceptional service to the community, is still seeking nominations for your favorite Mid-Columbia leader.

The honor will be awarded at a May 3 banquet in Kennewick.

Mattis pursued a successful career in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating first from what is now Richland High School and then Central Washington University. He spent four decades in uniform, commanding marines at all levels.

After retiring in 2013, the general joined the Hoover Institution at Stanford University while calling Richland his home. President Donald Trump nominated him to serve as the 26th Secretary of Defense.

Mattis took office on Jan. 20, 2017 but is a frequent Tri-City visitor — sometimes even taking time for a spudnut stop. He will be in town next week to present the Department of Defense’s Medal for Distinguished Public Service to Dr. Lewis Zirkle.

Nominations for Tri-Citian of the Year are due by April 1. The honor is sponsored by the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.

Criteria include volunteer service, leadership and positive contributions to community development. A list of past winners and the nomination form is available at tricitianoftheyear.org.

Wendy Culverwell: 509-582-1514, @WendyCulverwell