Chamber names Business Award winners

Three area businesses took home 2005 Spotlight on Business Awards during the Chamber’s annual luncheon June 21, 2005, sponsored by Heritage Bank. The Spotlight on Business Awards honor small, medium and large-size businesses that make significant contributions to the prosperity and vitality of Tacoma-Pierce County’s communities. Winning companies were chosen for their ability to expand in size and location, grow employment base and sales and services, making them valuable community resources.

Andreas Udbye, executive directory, World Trade Center Tacoma (WTCT), accepted the Spotlight Award in the Small Business category on behalf of the WTCT, a trade association for exporters, importers and others involved in global trade. The WTCT was established by the Port of Tacoma in 1979 with one employee and has grown to employ a full-time staff of four. The WTCT offers a variety of popular programs relevant to international trade including an eight-week Chinese language and etiquette class; a new Chinese visa processing service for members; an initiative for an India trade office and full-day seminar as well as a Certificate Program in international trade.

Taking home the award presented to the Business Examiner Newspaper Group (BE) for the Medium Business category were Publisher Jeff Rounce and his wife Jill. Established in 1985 with three employees, the BE has grown significantly. The company currently employs a staff of 18 and maintains two offices, one in Tacoma and one in Olympia. Currently observing its 20th anniversary, BE produces four business recognition programs during the year to highlight the accomplishments of individuals and companies in the South Sound-Women of Influence; Top Places to Work; 40 Under 40; and Fastest Growing Companies. The BE is a founding partner in the Business Leadership Awards program co-produced with the University of Washington Tacoma’s Business School.

Terry A. Hayes accepted the Spotlight Award for Goodwill Industries Tacoma, which swept the Large Business category as a non-profit industry leader since 1921. Serving citizens of 15 counties in Washington state, Goodwill Industries employs 850 workers with approximately 450 actively employed in Pierce County. Slightly less than 90 percent of every dollar Goodwill Industries earns supports mission-related services. In 2004, Goodwill Industries received and fulfilled requests for thousands of donations including nearly 8,000 stuffed toys for a variety of organizations supporting children, hundreds of blankets and clothing items for the homeless, backpacks for school children in need, utensils for the Hospitality Kitchen, bicycles for the Kiwanis Club’s program and hundreds more items to meet numerous other community needs.