Meet the 2018 Kennewick Man and Woman of the Year

A Kennewick school teacher and the leader of the Tri-Cities only free clinic have been named Kennewick Man and Woman of the year for 2018

The honors are presented annually by Soroptimist International of Kennewick-Pasco and the Kennewick Past Men of the Year Club to residents to embody the civic spirit of the community.

Jenny Olson and Mark Brault are both accomplished professionals and dedicated volunteers. They were honored at an awards banquet Thursday evening at the Three Rivers Convention Center.

Woman of the Year

Jenny Olson has taught in Kennewick schools for 30 years and was honored as the district’s elementary school teacher of the year in 2005.

She belongs to the Tri-Cities Industry Kiwanis Club and serves in an educational sorority that supports scholarships as well as teaching courses at City University in Everett.

Jenny Olson, 2018 Kennewick Woman of the Year

According to the nomination, she is the “Energizer Bunny” of volunteers, giving her time to a dizzying array of organizations and causes.

High school college fairs, Junior Achievement, food banks, the Salvation Army, author events, Guardian Ad Litem, school supply drives and the Inland Empire Century bike ride are just a few of the organizations and events that have benefited from her attention.

She has opened her home to Tri-City Americans players since 1994, even helping some of the young players learn to drive.

At Christmas, when a neighbor asked for used toys and clothes so she’d have something to give her young children, Olson organized a campaign to ensure the struggling family didn’t go without.

Man of the Year

Mark Brault is a University of Washington Graduate, CPA and is CEO and president of the board of Grace Clinic, a free clinic in Kennewick that works with the three local hospitals. and was organized by community volunteers.

Mark Brault, 2018 Kennewick Man of the Year Courtesy Kennewick Man and Woman of the Year

He is a dedicated volunteer who has supported United Way, Boy Scouts, Hillspring Church, the Badger Club, the Benton-Franklin Community Health Alliance Healthcare Access Team, and the Tri-Cities Public Market Board as well as Columbia Industries and programs to bring cheer to prisoners during the holidays.

He lends his business expertise by advising start-ups about business finance.

He and his wife, Kathy, have been married 42 years and raised their four children in Kennewick — Adam, Ryan, Justin and Julie. Brault is the on-call babysitter to his grandchildren.

Wendy Culverwell writes about local government and politics, focusing on how those decisions affect your life. She also covers key business and economic development changes that shape our community. Her restaurant column and health inspection reports are reader favorites. She’s been a news reporter in Washington and Oregon for 25 years.