Chamber names New Tacoma winners

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce and Absher Construction recognized four achievers for their ongoing role in improving Tacoma’s downtown during the third annual New Tacoma Awards May 3.

The Ghilarducci Award, which recognizes successful development, renovation or beautification, was presented to the Avanti Spa for its new full-service facility that recently opened at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel along Pacific Avenue. The spa is the creation of the Hollander family, who pooled their personal resources to fill the available retail space another company backed out of.

The Popham Award, named after a late columnist from The News Tribune, Art Popham, who was known for his commitment to covering Tacoma with zeal, recognizes an individual that has done the most to build community spirit. The 2006 recipient of this award went to Patricia Lecy-Davis, owner of Embellish Salon and originator of the Theater District Association, for her spirited promotion of the Downtown Merchants Group.

The Grand Cinema was honored with the Union Station Award, which recognizes a leading organization, company or individual that has built or sustained momentum for downtown revitalization. The Grand Cinema, an art-house film theater located at Sixth and Fawcett, has raised its membership 35 percent in the last year with more than 100,000 ticket sales.

Schoenfeld Award was presented to Julie Bennett, owner of Urban X Change, for exemplary performance and pizzazz as a retailer. Urban X Change is located along Pacific Avenue near the University of Washington Tacoma, and is known for her encouragement and support of youth and the arts.