Photos courtesy Andrew Crain Photography On Friday afternoon, Feb. 10, the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce held its annual Awards and Recognition Luncheon at the Four Points by Sheraton Seattle Airport South in Des Moines. The luncheon celebrated local businesses and individuals who have “gone above and beyond for our community and who exemplify our promise to be a voice for business and a leader in our Community.” Here’s a video of the awards portion of the event courtesy South King Media:

Awards were give out to (with comments from chamber CEO Andrea Reay):

Special Recognition: Natalie Elert of Dollar Rent-A-Car.

Over the past few years, our organization has seen our fair share of transition; both in Executive leadership and in our organizational focus. Our rebranding effort is part of how we are actively sharing our new story and our renewed commitment to work in collaboration with our members, and partners to grow our region. None of this would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our staff and all on our board. However, the board did want to specifically acknowledge one individual who went above and beyond in their service to our Chamber. Natalie Elert is with Dollar Rent a Car and has been on our board since 2006. She has served on our board for just under 10 years. Natalie’s last term ended in 2016. Thank You Natalie.

Ambassador of the Year: Michelle Clark with Courtyard by Marriott Seattle SeaTac

Ambassadors serve an integral role in our Chamber – serving as our representatives, they meet with members and assist staff – thereby increasing our capacity and helping us leverage our resources to better serve our members. Nominees were Jackie Bea, with Basil’s Kitchen, Michelle Clark with The Courtyard by Marriott Seattle SeaTac, and Steve Emery, with Primerica.

Business Advocate of the Year: Judy Coovert with Printcom

The nominees in this category are being recognized for their tireless efforts to be a voice for business in our region. They exemplify our commitment to lead by example and through service to help leverage and increase opportunities for entrepreneurship and economic vitality in our region. This year the nominees for “Business Advocate of the Year” were The Boeing Company – Boeing is proud to work with over 1,700 businesses in Washington to create jobs and economic opportunity as they work together to provide the world’s most advanced aerospace products and services., Judy Coovert with Printcom-Printcom provides quality printing, promotional products, graphic design services, and more……they go above and beyond, partnering with their customers to offer cutting edge account management tools and services and Rich Shockley with the Small Business Development Center at Highline College where they specialize in providing business and training services to entrepreneurs and existing businesses in order for them to be successful in today’s economy.

Outstanding Community Service: Destination Des Moines

Nominees in this category are being recognized for making significant contributions to our community through their time, actions, talents and dedication. All of our nominees serve as an examples of compassion, and service-striving to make our little corner of the world a better place. Nominees include Destination Des Moines-serving the city of Des Moines, the businesses and community members through active engagement and promotion of the community, Radisson Hotel Seattle Airport-specifically being recognized for their work supporting Genesis Project and Earth Day in the City of SeaTac, and Soroptimist International Seattle South, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting better lives for women and girls. Destination Des Moines is a nonprofit service organization dedicated to promoting the city of Des Moines as a premier community, rich in natural beauty and opportunity. Tony Hettler, from John L Scott, is the president of the board and according to the nomination form we received “is the glue that carried the organization through times of trouble and is setting the standard of excellence for the future.” Destination Des Moines does fundraising for the City of Des Moines Arts Commission as well as organizes logistics for many popular community events such as the Waterland Festival and the 4th of July Fireworks. Everyday Destination Des Moines is working for Des Moines businesses and promotion of our Des Moines community.

Small Business of the Year: Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC)

The nominees in this category all have 20 employees or less and have achieved excellence through innovative business practices, products, and/or employee programs and community commitment. My father was a small business owner. He certainly taught me that a small business can have a very big impact in their community. Nominees include Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee (AJAC)- a statewide, nonprofit 501(c)(3) aerospace and advanced manufacturing registered apprenticeship program, Freedom Snacks-Gourmet Pop Corn “making snacking fun”, and Rainier Cancer Center – passionate about offering the latest in technological breakthroughs to fight cancer precisely and also providing trust, compassion and care for the whole patient. Washington State has some of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country, and for those between 16 and 19, over 30% are not currently working. In an effort to address those statistics as well as the low high school graduation rate, AJAC saw an opportunity to develop one of the first registered youth apprenticeship programs in Washington State. Since 2010, AJAC has partnered with community and technical colleges to offer aerospace and advanced manufacturing apprenticeships to more than 200 employers. Nationally, apprentices earn an average of $300,000 more in their lifetime compared to non-completers; in Washington State the average manufacturing worker earns $87,756 a year with no college debt. That’s good for our community and good for business-ensuring we have the workforce we need to be competitive today and tomorrow. The Chamber is proud to recognize AJAC as our Small Business of the year!

Large Business of the Year: BECU

Nominees in this category all have over 20 employees and have achieved excellence through innovative business practices, products, and/or employee programs and community commitment. Business, no matter the size-and contrary to popular belief, is personal. We make our choices-where to shop, what to buy-based on an alignment with our personal values and commitment. Relationships matter. All of our nominees have achieved excellence, not only in what they have accomplished, but how they achieved their success. With a personal commitment to do more for their customers, give back to their employees and our community – they have set the standard for excellence. Nominees include Alaska Airlines, our hometown airline committed to caring for their customers, their communities, our environment, and each other; BECU, a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative with more than 925,000 members. BECU is guided by the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.” and Recology CleanScapes, an employee-owned company, sees a world without waste, where resources are used and re-used in a sustainable ecosystem that strives for their best and highest use. BECU offers services designed to improve the economic and social well-being of all members, and return financial value to them as part of their participation in the member-owned financial cooperative. Their objective is to ensure that all BECU members always experience the best value and service with complete trust. They are committed to strengthening consumer financial education and literacy, endeavor to preserve credit union democratic principles and recognize the value to demographic diversity. And their “world headquarters” are located in beautiful Tukwila, just down the street from our Chamber offices. The Chamber is proud to recognize BECU as our Large Business of the year! Also in attendance:
  • City of Burien: Council Member Bob Edgar
  • City of SeaTac: Council Member Kathryn Campbell
  • City of Tukwila: Mayor Allan Ekberg, Council Member Joe Duffie, Council Member Kathy Hougardy

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