Chamber Awards Highlight Exemplary Businesses in Yelm

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The Yelm Chamber of Commerce celebrated its third Chamber Business Awards, recognizing its members with a series of accolades for their work last year during an event on July 13 at the Yelm Community Center.

In all, there were six awards given out to chamber members, covering recognitions in community outreach, Yelm’s beautification, commitment to the environment, emerging success, longevity and leadership.

Yelm Prairie Christian Center, Crowe Law Office, South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity, Between Sisters Boutique, H&R Block and Tad Stillwell of Farmers Insurance were award recipients.

“In 2018, the Yelm Chamber of Commerce wanted a way to honor and celebrate our Chamber members,” said Line Roy, executive director, in a news release. “From this, our Chamber Business Awards were born. We brought together a committee, created six award categories, and opened nominations. The committee vetted the nominations, and chose the winners. We did the same in 2019, and today, are pleased to present the 2020 Chamber Business Awards.”

Wagon Wheel Commitment to Community Award

The community outreach award featured nominees like The Cattleman, Grocery Outlet of Yelm, Timberland Bank, Yelm Prairie Christian Center and Yelm Senior Center.

“The Wagon Wheel Commitment to Community Award recognizes a business or organization who goes above and beyond to give back to their community in a noticeable and impactful way through innovation, event creation (and) community outreach,” Roy said.

Yelm Prairie Christian Center took home the award.

“Yelm Prairie Christian Center has shown exemplary participation in 2020 with the help of other volunteers and small groups to help feed the community in large numbers,” Roy said. “There has been an incredible outreach to help those in need during the difficulties of 2020.”

Previous recipients of the award include Olympia Federal Savings Bank and Pizzeria la Gitana of Yelm.

Pride of the Prairie Award

The award centering on Yelm’s beautification featured Crowe Law Office, Ferguson Insurance Services, Grocery Outlet of Yelm, Images by Brant and South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity as nominees.

The Pride of the Prairie Award recognizes a business or organization that has undertaken the beautification and improvement of their storefronts, Roy said.

Crowe Law Office was selected as the honoree.

“Yelm’s downtown begins with the Crowe Law Office, a mountain of a building that stands tall and proud thanks to the labor of love and countless hours of work that Dan Crowe and Molly Carmody have spent continually updating and restoring the old Masonic Temple on the corner of Yelm Avenue and Third Street,” Roy said. “They’ve maintained historical accuracy and beautified the space both inside and out, turning this building into a work of art.”

The Shiplap Shop & Coffee House and Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity are the previous recipients of the Pride of the Prairie Award.

Nisqually Award

The chamber also chose to recognize those with a commitment to the environment with the Nisqually Award, which is given to a business or organization that demonstrates “a dedication to the environment by implementing practices and policies that are environmentally friendly,” Roy said.

This year’s nominees included Bliss Experience, Bounty for Families and South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity.

South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity won the Nisqually Award.

“With recycling and upcycling trending in the last few years, South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity has excelled at making these ‘upcyclable’ materials available to the public and out of landfills,” Roy said. “They recycle, repurpose and reduce the need for new products.”

Past recipients of the award include Bounty for Families and South Sound Solar.

Mount Rainier Award

The chamber also recognizes new and emerging businesses with the Mount Rainier Award. The award goes to a business or organization that opened in the last five years and has demonstrated sustainability and success within the community, Roy said.

Nominees included Bertoglio’s Pizza, Between Sisters Boutique, Red Lantern Asian Fusion Restaurant and Steele Barrel BBQ Company, with Between Sisters Boutique taking home the prize.

“Opening just days before the 2020 shutdown, Heidi and Nanette fought all year to stay open,” Roy said. “They did so gracefully, creating a following that love their excellent customer service, style and great prices. By partnering with local entrepreneurs, they have created a business model that is sustainable and successful.”

The boutique joins 507 Taproom and Filling Station and Uptown Lounge as winners of the Mount Rainier Award.

Legacy Award

What’s the recognition of emerging success without also giving props to those who have become staples in the community?

The Legacy Award recognizes a business or organization that has been around for 20 years or longer to acknowledge their success, vitality and longevity, Roy said. This year’s nominees  included H&R Block, Prairie Hotel, Tim’s Pharmacy, Yelm Cinemas and Yelm Dollars for Scholars.

H&R Block ended up winning the award.

“H&R Block has been in the Yelm community for 34 years, and often goes out of their way to serve the members of the community, including numerous school supply drives, food drives and supporting organizations with donations,” Roy said. “H&R Block consistently receives recognition for their tax services and happily contributes to not only Yelm, but the entire Nisqually Valley.”

Previous recipients of the award include Mr. Dougs and Stewart’s Meat Market.

Fay Fuller Award

Finally, the chamber created an award for business leadership. The Fay Fuller Award is an individual award that recocogizes an exemplary leader at a business or organization, Roy said.

Nominees were Greg Vinyard, with Grocery Outlet; JW Foster, with the city of Yelm; Roy herself, with the Yelm Chamber of Commerce; Mike Maloney, with Prairie Park; Steele Clayton, of Steele Clayton State Farm, Steele Barrel BBQ Co.; Tad Stillwell, with Farmers Insurance; and Wayne McCarten, of Uptown Lounge.

Among the recognized leaders, Stillwell rose to the top.

“With a military career that spans 15 years, running a successful insurance company for 35 years and serving on city council for five years, Tad Stillwell has lived a life of exemplary leadership and service,” Roy said. “His experience, education, passion for community and ingenuity is an asset to all who work with him.”

Stillwell joins Chrissy Dehan and Tracie Choate as Fay Fuller Award recipients.

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