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Southwest King County chamber honors businesses, individuals
The Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce recognized outstanding businesses and individuals from Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila, and Des Moines at the Annual Recognition and Awards Luncheon at the Doubletree Guest Suites in Tukwila on Jan. 11.
The chamber’s Board of Directors recognized the efforts, commitments and achievements of businesses and organizations that help make the Burien, Des Moines, SeaTac and Tukwila communities viable places to work and live. There were awards for Large Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Ambassador of the Year, Business Advocate, Outstanding Community Service and Outstanding Leadership.
The following business and individuals were awarded in the categories for 2012:
LARGE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
A business with more than 10 employees and has achieved excellence through innovative business practices, products, and/or employee programs and community commitment.
Orion Industries was launched 55 years ago by Boeing employees who had children with disabilities. The caring parents wanted to support their children’s transition into the workforce. This original vision is still at the core of Orion’s mission and vision. Today, Orion has three divisions: Aerospace Manufacturing; Training & Employment and Contact Center Services.
Orion’s training programs provide assessment and training of technical skills, soft skills training, education and case management, ultimately resulting in job placement in the community.
SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
A business with 10 or fewer employees that demonstrates the same qualities as the large business.
Since Tom Hope joined the team at Basil’s Kitchen they have seen tremendous growth in the business. Tom and staff have brought many new and exciting ideas to Basil’s Kitchen that has led to a great fourth quarter. Basil’s Kitchen is definitely making a great impact in the restaurant industry for the South sound.
AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR
Award presented to the outstanding Ambassador of the Year. Must have served on the Ambassador Committee for at least one year.
Barb Panush has been a member of the Ambassadors Committee for the last several years, completing a two-year term of chair in 2011. Barb attends more chamber events than any volunteer. Not many more members are as present and involved as she is. Barb is friendly, kind and gracious, setting an excellent example for the chamber in words and deeds.
OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY SERVICE
An individual or organization that has enhanced the community through an outstanding demonstration of community service and volunteerism.
Highline Schools Foundation in partnership with Global Connections High School has helped the Global Connections Jazz and Wind Ensemble travel to the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Music Festival in Washington, D.C. Most school music groups are required to audition for this opportunity – Global Connections was one of four groups across the country that were actually invited to perform without auditioning. It would cost nearly $60,000 to send the entire ensemble to this once-in-a-lifetime event. The Highline Foundation did not hesitate to join this partnership and help support the effort to raise the funds needed to send the full ensemble to Washington, D.C.
An individual or organization that has demonstrated outstanding commitment to advocacy on behalf of business rights.
Michael Schabbing, general manager at the Courtyard Marriott/Southcenter, has invested many hours to promote the needs of the business community. Mike is a leader in Tukwila for the advocacy of the creation of a Tourism Promotion Area to increase the tourism promotion and awareness in the South King County area.
An individual or organization that has demonstrated leadership through turning an idea into a reality. The accomplishment benefits the community at large.
Kris Van Gasken, executive director of the Des Moines Food Bank, has initiated many new programs over her 11-year tenure, including switching over to a system of self-select, creation of a cooking class with nutrition education, creation of a backpack program and development of a summer meal program.
The summer meal program, in particular, represents a new and enormous effort engaging multiple partners in our community and impacting the lives of hundreds of children.