October 14, 2019
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AWB recognizes Manufacturing Excellence by awarding four employers with awards during bus tour



A family bank with a commitment to improving the state’s business climate has earned the 2019 AWB Manufacturing Excellence award for Innovation.

Kitsap Bank’s innovative edg3 FUND program helps create a dynamic way of funding small startup businesses. The companies, chosen in part by a public vote, present a pitch before a live audience and independent panel of judges in a competition for $25,000 in funding. The sixth annual edg3 FUND Live competition will be held on Nov. 21 in Bremerton.

Kitsap Bank was the fourth and final employer recognized for manufacturing excellence during AWB’s Manufacturing Week bus tour.

Kitsap Bank began in 1908 with a small town origin story. Today, it has 20 locations and more than $1 billion in assets. Along the way, Hannah Langer served as the first female bank president in the western U.S. Later, her daughter and granddaughter would assume leadership roles in a Washington institution that has supported the manufacturing sector and other employers over the years.

“There’s an all-star support team behind every successful Washington manufacturing story, and Kitsap Bank is a great example,” AWB President Kris Johnson says. “Kitsap Bank has provided financing and other critical services to countless entrepreneurs and family companies over the years. Their dedication to Washington’s success has undoubtedly improved our economy and quality of life.”

Kitsap Bank’s Innovation Award is the fourth Manufacturing Excellence award announced over the last two weeks.

Feed Commodities of Tacoma earned AWB’s Manufacturer of the Year award. The company was recognized for its commitment to manufacturing excellence, creative solutions to challenges, and involvement in public policy that impacts manufacturers.

Feed Commodities recycles bakery and food byproducts into livestock feeds. The company buys high-quality ingredients from local suppliers, transports and processes the byproducts, and ensures that the final product meets high safety and quality standards. It was established in 1996 and employs 35 people.

AWB visited Cascade Designs in Seattle to present company leaders with the 2019 Operational Excellence Award. The company, founded in 1972, employs 500 people worldwide and is responsible for some of the most innovative outdoor equipment advancements in recent years.

The company’s inventions have allowed campers, climbers, soldiers and international aid workers to travel farther, safer and more comfortably, In recent years, the company has invested significantly in new technology that helps bring clean water to off-grid communities or natural disaster victims around the world as part of its Global Health Initiative.

The Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery earned the Green Manufacturing Award. The refinery was recognized for its work to maximize energy efficiency, reduce its carbon footprint, exceed regulatory requirements and minimize waste from the production process.

The refinery processes about 105,000 barrels of crude oil each day, producing gasoline, diesel and fuel oil. The refinery also received an Elite Gold Safety Award from the Association of Petroleum Manufacturing last year, and EPA Energy Star certifications five out of the last six years. It was built in 1954 and employs 275 people.



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From a snowstorm to the Snake River
Manufacturing is alive and well

It's time to celebrate the amazing things Washington makes

By AWB President Kris Johnson

Washington makes some really cool things.

We're famous for many of them -- airplanes, apples, software, wheat and more. The state's iconic manufacturers established the foundation that our recent economic expansion is built upon.

But there are many medium and small manufacturers that fewer people know about. The fishing rod manufacturer in Woodland. The music stand manufacturer in Yakima. The boat builder in Colville. And the manufacturing company in Richland that makes surgical tools to help heal patients around the world.

Read the full op ed in the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.
Engineering Success

An Interview with Debbie Sterling, GoldieBlox CEO

By Christine Varela, partner, DH

Last week, I attended the Association of Washington Business's (AWB) annual Policy Summit. AWB, Washington's largest and oldest statewide business association, brings together members from businesses across Washington every year to help them gain insights on trade policy, small business leadership, entrepreneurship and engage in high-level, statewide policy discussion.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to host an interview with Debbie Sterling, successful businesswoman, entrepreneur and founder and CEO of GoldieBlox.

Read the full blog post here.