December 5, 2016
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Evening of Excellence recognizes top employers during Seattle event

We have a winner! Six of them, in fact. AWB's first-ever Evening of Excellence brought together 20 finalists for a gala evening in downtown Seattle, then announced the winners to an audience that broke out in cheers at the news.

In opening the awards ceremony, emcee Paige Davis of Lane Powell PC said that every one of the finalists was a winner after being picked from 68 entrants.

"We're honoring all of the finalists and highlighting the 'grand winners' among this 'best of class,'" Davis said.

And the winners were:

Achieve Award -- Recognizing a business that has excelled in creating, implementing or supporting a high-caliber education and/or workforce development system aligned with closing the employment gap.

Connect Award -- Recognizing a business whose products and/or services have positively impacted the way in which Washington employers and communities are connected to each other and the world.

Leading Environmental Practices -- Recognizing a business that has put a priority on environmental improvement, education or outreach to its business sector and/or community.

Advance Award -- Recognizing a business that has had a significant cause-oriented impact in its sector and/or community and contributed to the advancement of the economy.

  • International Air and Hospitality Academy, Vancouver

Entrepreneur of the Year -- Given to an entrepreneur whose business is less than five years-old and has made a significant impact in their industry.

Employer of the Year -- Recognizing an employer that has implemented innovative job retention, creation, benefits, and/or compensation plans that foster a thriving work environment. (The Tri-City Herald highlights the nominees here.)

AWB also honored longtime AWB executive board and Tax & Fiscal Policy Council chair Ron Bueing with the Heavy Lifter Award. In his acceptance speech, Bueing said he has gotten far more out of his involvement with AWB than he has given.

Retiring Sen. Linda Evans Parlette earned the Legislator of the Year Award. Parlette, a Wenatchee Republican, noted that when she was first elected to the Legislature 20 years ago, her mentor in the House was then-Rep. Gary Chandler -- who now serves as AWB's vice president for government affairs.

The Columbian, The Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business, The Daily Insider and Pet Age covered the awards. D.A. Davidson and Banfield Pet Hospital released their own write-ups.

Read more about the winners in AWB's press release.

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