I got involved at Hanford when I became employed there in 1988. I am a curious person by nature and my first job on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was at B-Plant/WESF where I got a lesson in cesium/strontium capsules. From there I went to the Plutonium Finishing Plant, then the Plutonium Uranium Extraction plant (PUREX), UO3, Tank Farms and K-Basins area. Because my former job was at a newspaper I just kept asking questions all along the way and in 1995 when Hanford celebrated its 50th anniversary I jumped to volunteer.

During the re-creation of the WWII Hanford “mess-hall meals” I was privileged to meet many original wartime workers. Shortly after that an employee seat on the Hanford Advisory Board (HAB) became available and I applied for it. I was among 5 or 10 folks chosen for interviews with Ecology (Max Power) and EPA (Dennis Faulk) and they recommended me to be an alternate. Eventually I became a regular member. Almost as soon as I was appointed I jumped in with both feet into Long Term Stewardship as my primary issue. I have always believed the cleanup decisions made every day have ripple effects over time and those daily decisions must consider long term consequences – not just short term effects and budget constraints.

I was chair of the HAB for six years and am now serving as vice chair.  My major function is to preserve the HAB processes and be as objective and inclusive as I can. I must ensure all voices on the HAB have equal opportunity to contribute and are considered with equal weight and validated by board members as we move forward. I retired from Hanford employment in 2011 but will continue my passion for Hanford cleanup for the foreseeable future.

To connect with Susan Leckband or another mentor, please click here.

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