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2023 President's Award of Distinction Recipients 

On March 15, 2023, two very deserving Clerks were awarded the President’s Award of Distinction, Terri Wright, MMC from the City of Kennewick and Paula Swisher, MMC from the City of Brier! The nominations for both people were top notch and exemplify what it takes to be a Clerk.

Terri Wright, MMC

 City of Kennewick City Clerk

Terri was nominated by her City Manager and the Management Services Director at the City of Kennewick. Her nomination spoke about her dedication to the City of Kennewick and WMCA. A few of the wonderful things written in the nomination are how Terri worked with steadfast purpose to grow in her role to improve the overall functionality and efficiency of the Clerk's Office. She is a model for personal and professional growth made possible through active participation in the Washington Municipal Clerk's Association.

Terri’s guidance and example of responsible records management has resulted in increased efficiency. More importantly, her efforts have drastically improved access to records and information for elected officials, city staff, and citizens. By eliminating so many dreaded steps caused by "because that's the way we've always done it", the City Clerk's Office is available to serve as a leader in efficiency for other departments and agencies. A major feather in Terri’s hat is the creation of a public records unit—a centralized unit which links all departments of the city together rather than segregating this vital responsibility. A particular point of pride is that each member of the entire Public Records Unit is a Certified Public Records Officer and our Deputy City Clerk has earned her CMC designation under Terri’s supervision.

Terri has actively served on and chaired numerous committees including the: Historical Committee, Education Committee, Fundraising Committee, Conference Planning Committee, Membership Committee, and has served as Webmaster from 2019 to present.

Congratulation’s Terri you truly are a role model for so many of us! Thank you for your continued dedication to WMCA and the Clerk World.

Paula Swisher, MMC

         City of Brier City Clerk/Treasurer

The second award presented on Wednesday evening was to Paula Swisher! (And we surprised her!) Paula was nominated by her Mayor. Paula’s Mayor shared about Paula’s roles at the City of Brier including Human Resources Director, IT Supervisor, Risk Management, and Event Coordinator as well as her roles as City Clerk/Treasurer! He stated Paula leads by example, she has high expectations for her staff and provides them the structure and direction to meet those expectations. Paula deals with problems in a head on manner and does not let issues fester. She acts as a calming influence and has built strong working relationships with the other departments in City Hall.

Paula is always willing to offer assistance and guidance to other Clerk’s around the State and has even traveled to other jurisdictions to offer her expertise. Paula has been spearheading the project of taking a ballot measure to the citizens regarding annexing the City of Brier into the South County Regional Fire Authority. She has met with stakeholders to ensure she has a clear understanding of the issues and can communicate to Council the needed action to assure the City is sustainable long-term.

Paula’s dedication to WMCA is widely known. She has been a member of WMCA since 2004 and served on the Executive Committee from 2011—2021. Paula served as Conference Planning Chair/Co-Chair for 12 years, planning the amazing conferences we have had since 2011. She now serves in the role of Venue Liaison to ensure WMCA has to best location to fit our needs each year for our Spring Conference.

Congratulations Paula! You are truly an amazing person. Thank you for all you have done for WMCA and Clerk’s all over the State.


Nominations are due by February 2, 2024

Nomination Form

Municipal Clerks are the hub of local government and play a critical role in their communities yet often times, we look "outside" ourselves for acknowledgement and recognition.  Mayors, City Managers/Administrators and Agency Executives may not fully understand the work that municipal clerks do or the challenges we face each day.  They also do not know the contributions we make to our professional association as well as we do.

Therefore, WMCA asks you to look within our peer group and our membership and nominate a municipal clerk who you know deserves recognition.

The President’s Award of Distinction is awarded to a WMCA member who has performed exceptionally in the workplace, made significant contributions as a WMCA committee member or performed exceptional work for WMCA. Nominations for this award are accepted only from WMCA active members.


  1. Any WMCA member or board member may submit a confidential nomination to the President.
  2. The President shall select a recipient for the “Award of Distinction” from the membership of WMCA. There may be years in which there are no outstanding nominees. The decision of the President is final.
  3. Recognition will be at the annual conference and will include presentation of a plaque and complimentary registration to a WMCA Academy or Athenian Dialogue in the following year. The registration is not transferable, and can only be used by the award winner.


  1. Any WMCA member in good standing is eligible, with the exception of the President, President Elect, Vice President, and Immediate Past President. Member in good standing means an active, paid member.
  2. The nominee must have made an outstanding contribution to their organization or performed outstanding service to WMCA during the past year unless submitting for the Lifetime Achievement category.
  3. Areas of nomination may include but are not limited to the following categories:
                    • Leadership                                                         
                    • WMCA Committee Work
                    • Lifetime Achievement
                    • WMCA Programs or Education Development
                    • Other (Please describe)

Past Recipients

Year  Recipient Jurisdiction
2023 Terri Wright  City of Kennewick
Paula Swisher City of Brier
2022 Debbie Burke City of Moses Lake 
2021 Jodee Schwinn  City of Seattle
2020 Gina Anderson City of Woodland
2019 Lisa Neissl College Place
2019 Tamara Gunter Battle Ground
2018 Jodi Wycoff Duvall
2017 Darla Reese Granite Falls
2016 Mary Bower Clallam Transit
2015 Debbie Jermann C-Tran
2014 Molly Towslee Gig Harbor
2013 None Awarded
2012 Anita Palacios Grandview
2011 Bobbie Usselman Sequim
2010 Alice Attwood Tonasket
2009 Becky Upton Port Angeles
Paula Swisher Brier
2008 Kammy Hill Walla Walla
Kathryn Bratcher Snohomish County
Sheryle Wyatt Tumwater
2007 Irvalene Moni Maple Valley
2006 Karen Roberts Yakima
Rick Rosenbladt Fircrest
2005 Danielle Stafford Algona
Jan Roegner Burien
Kammy Hill Walla Walla
2004 Diane Houston-Foss Ocean Shores
Kammy Hill Walla Walla
Peggy Hagen Tekoa
2003 Norma Wilds Brier
2002 Christine Eggers Mercer Island
JoAnne Trudel Bothell
2001 Bob Baker Tukwila
2000 Sandy Chase Edmonds
1999 Karen Smith Benton City
Linda Mead Wapato
Marilyn Peterson Renton
1990 Bev Garvey Prosser
1989 Karen Pfau Benton City 

© Washington Municipal Clerks Association

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