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March 2, 2018

Senate resolution honors SEL's 'integrity, creativity and community service'

By: Brian Mittge   Comments: 0
Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley; Gary Chandler, AWB vice president, government affairs, Kelly Fukai, regional affairs representative at SEL; and AWB President Kris Johnson at the rostrum of the state Senate on Friday, March 2, 2018 (Photo: Brian Mittge/AWB)

Just three months after it was named AWB's 2017 Employer of the Year, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories was honored with a Senate resolution this morning. Senate Resolution 8705 noted that SEL is a 100-percent employee-owned producer of products and services that protect electric power systems around the world. Headquartered in Pullman since 1984, it has more than 5,200 employees and has recently expanded its Pullman campus, which will add 850 jobs.

The resolution honors and recognizes "the numerous and admirable achievements of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, as a leading employer in the state of Washington and a worldwide leader in engineering and technology that consistently exemplifies the values of integrity, creativity, and community service."

AWB President Kris Johnson and AWB Vice President, Government Affairs, Gary Chandler joined SEL's Kelly Fukai for the reading of the resolution, standing with her after the resolution was approved.

TVW has video of the reading of the resolution and the speeches in support of the company and the Schweitzer family.

The Schweitzer family and the company they founded continually demonstrates "both the resilience of America's ingenuity and the strength of its compassion," said Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, who sponsored the resolution.

AWB President Kris Johnson congratulates SEL Regional Affairs Representative Kelly Fukai as state senators applaud the company after unanimous approval of Senate Resolution 8705.

The resolution noted that SEL was named AWB's 2017 Employer of the Year, and Sen. Padden also noted that "very prestigious award."

Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said the company and its founding family believed both in charity and private industry.

"We are leveraging WSU and business, creating more and better jobs and we see the research benefits commercialized into a great regional and international company," Schoesler said.

Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, noted that Schweitzer is one of the largest employee-owned companies in the state, thanks to the generosity of founder Edmund Schweitzer III and his family.

"That is a very important economic development issue," Chase said about employee-ownership. "I encourage all parts of the state to consider that as an option. We have an example in Schweitzer; we know it works."

Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, also spoke to the generosity of the Schweitzer family and the quality of both the company and the employee-owners. It's an example of the way that America's higher education system and its strong private enterprise system work together to innovate and create success, Baumgartner said.

"They are the epitome of how business should be run, and what you want from business leadership," Baumgartner said. "The entire company and the people who work there are amazing."

Watch the award video for SEL after it was named AWB's 2017 Employer of the Year during Evening of Excellence ceremonies in Seattle last November: