December 27, 2017
2017 Year in Review

From AWB President Kris Johnson...

From the annual Legislative Day and Hill Climb event in January to the fourth-annual D.C. Fly-in Dec. 4-6, 2017 marks the busiest year yet. Many thanks are owed to the nearly 7,000 AWB members of all sizes and all sectors and the hard-working AWB staff. Together, we ensure successful events and legislative victories and we not only tell the positive story of Washington state's employers, but we show them through the successful Grow Here campaign. I hope you enjoy this brief recap of the past year and look ahead to an even more dynamic 2018.

ACCE Chamber of the Year -- Passing the torch

AWB's year as the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) inaugural statewide Chamber of the Year came to an end in July as AWB President Kris Johnson passed the award on to the Georgia Chamber of Commerce at the annual ACCE conference held in Savannah, Ga.

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AWB's new brand look, language unveiled

After 31 years, 2017 marked a milestone as AWB launched its full brand update in May. The new look and brand promise builds off the updated Mission and Vision statements and the work the association has already accomplished to be a catalytic leader and unifying voice for solutions that create economic prosperity across the state.

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Grow Here campaign celebrates Washington employers

For the second year in a row, AWB's Grow Here employer image campaign ads hit the airwaves, television and internet to show and tell how Washington's employers improve lives and strengthen communities here and around the world. The employers featured this year include: Alaffia, a fair-trade skin care product manufacturer in Tumwater; The McGregor Company, a century-old Eastern Washington agriculture company; and, M3 Biotechnology, a life-sciences startup in Seattle that is making progress on reversing Alzheimer's disease.

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First-ever AWB Institute Workforce Summit covers emerging HR issues

Technology, new workplace regulations and a changing workforce and workplace are raising timely questions for business owners, leaders and human resource professionals. To answer some of the most pressing questions, the AWB Institute hosted its first-ever Workforce Summit in March. The day featured insights and tips on workplace policies, staff recruitment and retention and how technology has changed the workplace and workday.

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Sold-out Policy Summit features inaugural Federal Affairs Summit

AWB's annual Policy Summit in September was bolstered by the addition of the association's first-ever Federal Affairs Summit that included members of Washington's U.S. House delegation as well as both U.S. senators. The standing-room-only Federal Affairs Summit will be presented as its own event that will be held Aug. 14, 2018, in Tacoma.

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Economic expansion the focus of first-ever statewide Rural Jobs Summit

AWB started the conversation about how to extend the red-hot urban economy to rural parts of the state in March with a group of 70 lawmakers, agency and local government leaders and business owners on a Saturday afternoon in Olympia. The result was AWB's first-ever statewide Rural Jobs Summit Oct. 23-24 at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake that included more than 200 people, including 23 lawmakers from both parties and chambers and 50 issue experts on 13 panels that covered topics ranging from rural broadband and airport infrastructure to access to capital and water.

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First-ever Manufacturing Week bus tour puts spotlight on importance of sector

Nearly 70 stops were made and more than 2,000 miles were traveled Sept. 29-Oct. 6 during AWB's first-ever Manufacturing Week bus tour to highlight the importance of manufacturing to the state's economy. Two custom-wrapped buses stopped at manufacturers in every corner of the state, of every size and making everything from woolen blankets to high-tech parts for smartphones.

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AWB Institute's Manufacturing Excellence awards recognizes four innovative employers

Four innovative and diverse Washington manufacturers were honored with Manufacturing Excellence awards at the AWB Institute's annual Manufacturing Summit Oct. 5 in Seattle.

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Second-annual Evening of Excellence awards honors six employers for community support, overall excellence

AWB honored 18 finalists and presented six employers awards aligned with the group's Mission and Vision at the second-annual Evening of Excellence Nov. 29 at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle. The award recipients, selected from the finalists, were recognized for exemplifying the innovation, community spirit and environmental stewardship that make Washington a great place to live and work.

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The holiday season officially kicked off with lighting of the 29th annual AWB Holiday Kids' Tree

On Friday, Dec. 1, a 29-year tradition continued with the lighting of the AWB Holiday Kids' Tree in the Capitol rotunda. The Holiday Kids' Tree Project is AWB's fundraising effort that has raised more than $400,000 to distribute to rural fire districts across the state to help them support families in need in their communities.

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Fourth-annual AWB D.C. Fly-in brings Washington employers' voices to Congress

More than 20 Washington employers met with Washington's congressional delegation and other national leaders during the fourth-annual AWB D.C. Fly-in Dec. 4-6. This event is part of AWB's growing work on federal issues that impact Washington state.

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Looking to 2018...

It was a busy 2017 for sure, but 2018 is shaping up to be even more packed with content-driven events, beginning with the annual Legislative Day and Hill Climb Jan. 16 in Olympia. Check AWB's events calendar and plan to join us at one or more event and webinar.

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2017 in Videos

Grow Here: Alaffia

Grow Here: M3 Biotechnology

Grow Here: McGregor

Legislative Day and Hill Climb

Workforce Summit


Capital Gains Tax Impacts on Small Business

Spring Meeting

Leadership Washington

A Day in the Life of Small Business

Policy Summit

Manufacturing Week

Rural Jobs

Evening of Excellence