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Chamber Celebrates 2019 Chamber Business Award Winners

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The  annual Chamber Business Awards program focuses on celebrating members of the Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce who go above and beyond in their businesses. The Chamber Business Awards recognize professionals who have committed themselves and their businesses to be community focused. The Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce received nominations in six categories, including Wagon Wheel Commitment to Community, Pride of the Prairie, Nisqually, Mount Rainier, and Fay Fuller Awards, the nominees and recipients of these awards are outstanding businesses in their respective fields.

Winners of the Chamber Business Awards 2019 were nominated by their peers and community members, determined by an independent committee of business leaders, and accepted by the Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Winners of the 2019 Chamber Business Awards are listed below:

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/or community outreach.

Nominees: Pizzeria la Gitana, Olympia Federal Savings, Shiplap Shop, Bounty for Families

Selected: Olympia Federal Savings

At OlyFed you’re more than the balance of your bank account. Guided by their “Better Fedder” training and a compassionate and caring attitude, the team at OlyFed nurtures relationships to help you define and achieve your financial goals. Accountable to their depositors and borrowers, not corporate shareholders, they put people above the bottom line and it’s evidenced by the business and trust they’ve gained in the almost five years they’ve been a part of the Yelm community. That trust and business has come because of their investments in the Yelm community. Yelm Branch Manager Jane Walker has been a resident of Yelm for more than two decades; raising her family in the community, she now does business. Jane is a member of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is currently Treasurer of the Board. She is also active in the Yelm Real Estate Network and with the Yelm Rotary Student of the Month program, where OlyFed contributes a $100 CD to each month’s award recipient.

In fact, Jane and her entire branch team have been instrumental in supporting dozens of community events, projects and initiatives. Just recently, the bank made a $20,000+ commitment to the new Yelm Boys & Girls Club. In addition, they’ve helped many great local events get off the ground like Yelm Jazz in the Park, Prairie Stampede 5K and the Nisqually Valley Barbecue Rally. They regularly support and take part in the Yelm Farmers Market, Prairie Days Parade, Nisqually Valley Home Show and Yelm Chamber Forum and After Hours events. The team also provides financial assistance to Yelm FFA, Dollars for Scholars and the Yelm Schools Business Partner program. OlyFed has also supported students in our community by taking part in the district’s Financial Literacy Advisory Committee, conflict resolution training through the Peacemakers Club at Ridgeline Middle School, support through Graduate Yelm and Citizens for Yelm Schools. Education opportunities also extend beyond our local schools as Jane and her team have provided training to the greater community as they’ve done at Rosemont Senior Living with classes focused on fraud prevention.

Jane and her team also look for other creative ways to support the community like offering space in their new building at no charge for board meetings, classes, seminars and community events with organizations like Nisqually Land Trust, Yelm Chamber of Commerce, Thurston County Economic Development Council, Toastmasters, Yelm Writers Club, Bounty for Families and the Triad Theater. While OlyFed has been a part of the Yelm community just a few years, the organization has played a critical role in the greater Thurston County economy/region for more than 113 years, dedicating anywhere from 10 to 15% of its annual profits to charitable gifts and community sponsorships. Last year that equated to more than $400,000 in support of more than 200 local organizations. Not to mention the thousands of hours its employees dedicate in community volunteerism.

Overall, the impact of OlyFed in the Yelm community over the past five years has been tremendous. It’s been a positive influence for not only our business community, but also for the greater good of our schools, neighborhoods and local infrastructure.

Pride of the Prairie Award recognizes a business or organization who has made major strides towards the beautification and improvement of their storefront.

Nominees: Shiplap Shop, Crowe Law Office

Selected: Shiplap Shop & Coffee House

The Shiplap Shop and Coffee House completely transformed an eyesore of a building into something beautiful and trend-setting. They are quickly becoming a destination spot for travelers and tourists hitting our city. To keep their shop relevant and charming, they make updates to the interior and exterior seasonally, welcoming over 100 artisans to share their creativity and talents.

Nisqually Award recognizes a business or organization who demonstrates a dedication to the environment by implementing practices and policies that are environmentally friendly.

Nominees: Yelm Food Co-op, Bounty for Families, City of Yelm

Selected: Bounty For Families

Bounty for Families works to connect residents to education and access to local growers and healthy food. Their programs, like the Yelm Farmers Market and Power of Produce are hubs that encourage access and connection.

Mount Rainier Award recognizes a new or emerging business or organization who has opened in the last five years and is demonstrating sustainability and success within our community.

Nominees: Shiplap Shop, 507 Taproom, Ferguson Insurance Services, Kneaded Bliss Massage

Selected: 507 Taproom & Filling Station

Opening in 2019, 507 Taproom & Filling Station has already paved its way into being an integral part of the Yelm culture. Owners Bill & Sara are welcoming and inclusive to its patrons, and encourage camaraderie for all. 507 provides a venue for community members to gather in a casual setting and enjoy the ambiance of their patio and indoor space. Partnering with local nonprofits like Rotary Club, Gift of Gobble, and local schools, they are committed to giving back to the community they serve. They also partner with local food trucks and restaurants to increase the economic impact on our area.

Legacy Award recognizes a business or organization that has been in existence for longer than 20 years, for its success, vitality, and longevity.

Nominees: Mr. Dougs, Gee-Gee’s Quilting

Selected: Mr. Dougs

Mr. Dougs has been a staple of the Yelm community for decades. With Tracey Wood & Dennise Butler at lead, it is an organization always willing to step up and be involved. They are staples at Yelm & Rainier scholarship auctions, are sponsors at Christmas in the Park and National Night Out, and open their space to numerous groups in the community. Ask their regulars what they like best about Mr. Dougs, and they rave about how welcome they feel there.

Fay Fuller Award recognizes an exemplary leader in a business or organization. This is an individual award.

Nominees: Dan Crowe, Terry Kaminski, Steele Clayton, Brian Wharton, Teri Pablo, JW Foster, Tracie Choate

Selected: Tracie Choate

If there is an event in Yelm, chances are, you’ll see Tracie Choate in attendance. Look behind the scenes at a number of these events, and you’ll see that Tracie has had some part in the planning or execution of it. Tracie gives her time freely to Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools, where she is the board chairperson, sits on the Yelm Chamber Board of Directors, sits on the City of Yelm’s Salary Commission, was an active member of the PTO, In addition, she is a leader in her career, managing a team of real estate agents.

Angie Evans, president of the Chamber board said, “I thought it was outstanding and the selection team did an outstanding job choosing the winners. All of the award winners were definitely well-deserved.”

“It’s just really special for us because we love celebrating the successes of our member businesses. Every opportunity we get to celebrate them is exactly what we want,” said Yelm Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Line Critchfield.

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