Just over two hundred of the Renton Chamber of Commerce’s business community came out Tuesday night to celebrate the best in the city at the chamber’s annual Business Excellence Awards at the Tea Palace. The Business Excellence Awards was established in 1995 as a way to recognize and celebrate businesses and organizations in Renton doing exemplary things.
This year, over 140 businesses were nominated for the prestigious awards. The community voted online for the nominees, and the winners unveiled Tuesday night by sponsors and members of the Chamber of Commerce Board.
The first award of the night was presented for Best Customer Service. Nominees were: Grocery Outlet, McLendon Hardware, and A Terrible Beauty Irish Pub and Restaurant.
The winner was McLendon Hardware. McLendon’s, a long-time favorite Renton business has been in operation since 1926. The chock-a-block full hardware store extraordinaire is known for having everything you need, and more. McLendon's now has third and fourth-generation employees working at the store.
There were three nominees in the area of Community Leadership: Bob Bridge Toyota/Scion, Brotherton Cadillac, and Valley Medical Center. The winner of the award was Valley Medical Center. CEO Rich Roodman, and commissioners Don Jacobson, Carolyn Parnell, and Sue Bowman were on hand to accept the award. Roodman said he was flattered to be in the same category as Bob Bridge Toyota/Scion and Brotherton Cadillac.
The award for the best non-profit is given to an organization that distinguishes itself through meeting a defined need, providing outstanding service to its constituents, involving the community, and operating with a clear vision and mission.
Nominated in the category of Best Non-Profit were: The Return to Renton Car Show Committee, The Renton Kiwanis Clothes Bank, and Friends of Renton Schools.
Winner of the award was Friends of Renton Schools. Accepting the award was Bob Bridge, who has been integral in getting this organization off the ground. Earlier this year, they raised over $100,000 for the Renton School District. Joining Bridge on stage to accept the award was Superintendent Mary Alice Heuschel, School Board member Pam Teal, and Geri Carlson.
Jim Medzegian, chair of the Return to Renton Car Show said it was a privilege to be nominated with the other two non-profits in this category.
In the category of Business Excellence 1-10 employees the three nominees were Oil Can Henry’s, Vino at The Landing, and Pilwallis Properties. Vino at The Landing brought home the award.
In operation for just over two years, Vino at The Landing recently expanded to better serve its clientele with small parties and catering. Vino at The Landing prides itself on its vast wine offerings. Rick McMaster, owner, said that he considered an honor just to be nominated for the award, and winning was truly humbling. He congratulated the other two businesses and praised the experience he has had at The Landing and thanked all the customers who have supported him. He gave special recognition to manager, Tara Andrews, who joined him to accept the award.
The Chamber award for Business Excellence for more than 10 employees is given to a business or organization that has achieved excellence in customer focus and innovation, employee treatment, training, respect, and community involvement. The top three businesses were: First Savings Bank Northwest, the Seattle Seahawks, and The Tea Palace.
The Seattle Seahawks met the criteria and was given the award. Since moving their practice facility into Renton, the Seahawks have been recognized for their presence at many community and educational events, including the 12K race at The Landing, their support for academic and educational programs for youth, and sponsorship of the Chamber’s Ahead of the Class awards. The Seahawks host 25 training camps each year in Renton.
Mike Flood, Vice President/Community Relations, for the Seahawks said, “it is invigorating to be in Renton. We having an amazing school system here, and it has been a whirlwind for 2 ½ years. We love it here!”
Chairman of the Board, John Galluzzo, ended the program by presenting the volunteer of the year award to Pam Teal, from the Renton School Board, who was emotional in her acceptance of the recognition. “I am proud to serve this community,” Teal said.