August 19, 2019
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Dru Garson and Greater Grays Harbor receive AWB's 2019 Chamber Advocacy Award

Dru Garson, CEO of Greater Grays Harbor, has been an active spokesman for the businesses and people of Grays Harbor at a statewide level through advocacy in Olympia and beyond. In recognition of his work, AWB has presented Garson and Greater Grays Harbor with the 2019 Advocate of the Year Award.

AWB President Kris Johnson surprised Garson with the award during a presentation at the monthly meeting of the Greater Grays Harbor board on Thursday.

"When I think about a good grassroots partner, I think about a partner who's resilient, I think about a partner who lives the statewide engagement regularly along the way," Johnson said. "He's the perfect reflection of a statewide partner for us at AWB. You should be proud of that work that he does with us to advocate on behalf of your community and on behalf of your employer community."

Garson and Greater Grays Harbor, Inc. were charter members of AWB's Grassroots Alliance, a collaboration between AWB and 84 local Chambers.

As AWB has focused on rural development through three Rural Jobs Summits, Garson has been actively involved. He has also been a key business representative on the state's Washington Child Care Collaborative Task Force, where he is a voting member representing chambers of commerce in western Washington.

Garson was actively involved in an AWB-led economic business indicator research project, collecting information directly from local employers.

"Dru's been one of our stellar people about being engaged early and on the ground on these issues that we think are important across the state of Washington," Johnson said in explaining why AWB chose Garson and Greater Grays Harbor to receive the award.

He noted that Garson also serves on the board of the AWB Institute, the statewide 501(c)(3) "solutions arm" of AWB.

Garson accepted the award on behalf of the Greater Grays Harbor board.

"Of the different boards that I'm associated with, one of the ones I enjoy the most is AWB, because of the work that they do, the commitment of their employees," Garson said. "If there's anything that we need, especially in the legislative area, having people on your staff that walk us through how this whole process works and help us to testify and to be able to speak out on the different issues has been a blessing, really, because a lot of it can be really difficult sometimes to navigate."

"I am definitely just honored to receive this," Garson said. "Thank you."

Previous recipients of the award were the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and the Greater Vancouver Chamber.

For more on AWB's Grassroots Alliance, contact AWB's Andrew Lenderman.

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