December 22, 2016
AWB
   
2016 Year in Review B

From AWB President Kris Johnson: From Legislative Day and Hill Climb to the D.C. Fly-in, 2016 was both busy and rewarding

What a year! We kicked off 2016 with our annual Legislative Day in Olympia and never looked back. From six statewide candidate debates and a 15-stop small business listening tour to going all-out on Manufacturing Day to a new red-carpet awards event, none of this would be possible without your support. So, from the entire AWB team, thank you for all you do on behalf of our state and your local communities. We hope you enjoy this look back at 2016 and join us for all that is ahead in 2017.

Strategic Plan approved: New Mission, Vision and rebranding moving forward

Achieve. Connect. Employ. Compete. And do it all while enhancing a sense of place second to none. AWB's board of directors unanimously approved new Mission and Vision statements at the January 2016 board meeting. Since then, AWB has been working to bring these pillars to life through its action and advocacy efforts, and through a rebranding that is now underway.

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AWB earns ACCE Chamber of the Year, Ex-Im Bank Chairman's awards

AWB was honored this year with the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives' first-ever statewide Chamber of the Year award, presented at its annual conference in Savannah. This award is presented to a statewide chamber that stands out in its efforts and innovations to serve its members and the state. AWB was also the recipient of the U.S. Export-Import Bank Chairman's award for our multi-media educational effort that helped move Congress to reauthorize the bank's charter in 2015.

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Grow Here: AWB's largest employer image campaign a success

What is it like to have your company's sustainability leadership highlighted in a statewide series of television commercials, billboards, even online radio station ads? During an upbeat and thoughtful discussion at AWB's annual Policy Summit, leaders from three AWB member companies answered that and many other questions about their participation in the first, and successful, Grow Here campaign.

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15-city small business tour sheds light on plight of state's small operators

 AWB's 1,000-mile,15-city small business listening tour took place throughout May and June as hundreds of small-business owners joined AWB's Government Affairs team to talk about their top challenges to expanding and keeping their doors open.

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2016 legislative session ends after special session, no major issues tackled

In a year that only required small adjustments to the two-year budget, the expectation was lawmakers would find agreement within the allotted 60 days and leave town. That didn't happen, but they did agree to a supplemental budget that does not raise any taxes after a couple of extra weeks in Olympia.

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AWB hosts first gubernatorial debate, five other statewide candidate debates

AWB was privileged to host six political candidate debates this year, including the first gubernatorial debate of 2016. The first in the series of debates was held at AWB's annual Spring Meeting in Spokane and featured eight of the 11 candidates running for lieutenant governor. In August, AWB hosted the first 2016 debate between incumbent Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and his Republican Challenger Bill Bryant.

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November elections leave Legislature, state Supreme Court and executive branch mostly unchanged

After a hard-fought election season, the major players and power dynamics in Olympia remain largely unchanged. Gov. Jay Inslee won reelection. The Republican-led Majority Coalition Caucus will keep control of the state Senate, albeit with one fewer seat. The House remained in Democratic control with the same split of 50-48. The results continue to balance of power in Olympia ahead of a 2017 legislative session that will include some significant challenges..

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AWB-led statewide campaign to defeat carbon tax initiative a success

A coalition of farmers, labor and environmental groups and chambers of commerce across the state joined with AWB to spearhead the campaign to defeat Initiative 732, which would have created a costly carbon tax raising the cost of fuel, energy and natural gas on Washington's employers and families. On election night, I-732 was soundly rejected by voters.

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Manufacturing highlighted in October with two events

Manufacturing is a key sector of Washington's economy. That's why AWB took the month of October -- in two day-long events -- to share the great things Washington manufacturers are building and highlight the need for a skilled workforce to fill the high-tech jobs they are creating. Both Manufacturing Day Oct. 7 and the AWB Institute's Manufacturing Summit Oct. 26 were great opportunities to show and tell the story of manufacturing in Washington state.

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Six employers, two champions of business honored at inaugural Evening of Excellence

An elegant event in Seattle's Benaroya Hall brought together some of the state's most innovative and forward-looking employers for the first-ever AWB Evening of Excellence on Nov. 30. The event also allowed AWB to publicly thank two longtime business advocates with special awards for service to the employer community.

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28th annual AWB Holiday Kids' Tree Project, tree lighting a success

Gov. Jay Inslee, firefighters from across the state, a military family from Gig Harbor and countless families joined AWB for the Dec. 2 lighting of the state's holiday tree. The event was not only festive and fun, it also helped raise $22,000 for families in need and hospitalized children.

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Third annual AWB D.C. Fly-in focuses on trade, economy

Nearly two dozen AWB members visited with members of Congress, industry leaders, and other national political figures during the third-annual AWB D.C. Fly-in in early December. The discussions covered trade and infrastructure as well as insights into the new administration.

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Looking to 2017: AWB Legislative Day & Hill Climb, Spring Meeting and Policy Summit joined by some new events

From Olympia to Washington, D.C., from Seattle to Walla Walla, AWB will be there for employers to push for a thriving economy and strong business climate. That means effective and relevant government affairs, engaged member relations, and events that help our members succeed. Here's what AWB has coming in 2017.

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2016 in Videos


Grow Here: Rite in the Rain



Grow Here: Nucor Steel Seattle



Grow Here: Schilling Cider



Legislative Day and Hill Climb



Spring Meeting



Leadership Washington Class of 2016 Graduation



Gubernatorial Debate



Small Business Outreach Tour



Chamber of the Year Award



Policy Summit



Manufacturing Day



Manufacturing Summit



D.C. Fly-in