Several South Sound companies are up for honors at the Association of Washington Business’ second annual Evening of Excellence awards.

Eighteen companies of all sizes and from diverse industries across the state were selected by business leaders for top awards in six categories that correspond to AWB’s Mission and Vision statements. Among the nominees:

Tumwater’s Alaffia was nominated in the “Connect” category, recognizing a business whose products and/or services have positively impacted the way in which Washington employers and communities are connected to each other and the world.

Lacey’s Earth Friendly Products was nominated in the “Leading Environmental Practices” category, recognizing a business that has put a priority on environmental improvement, education or outreach to its business sector and/or community.

Puyallup’s Western Institutional Review Board and Kent’s WGU Washington are nominated in the “Advance” category, recognizing a business that has had a significant cause-oriented impact in its sector and/or community and contributed to the advancement of the economy.

Auburn’s Schilling Cider is among those up for “Entrepreneur of the Year,” given to a startup less than five years old that has made a significant impact in their industry.

And Sumner’s Bellmont Cabinet Company and Tacoma’s Rite in the Rain are up for “Employer of the Year,” recognizing an employer that has implemented innovative job retention, creation, benefits, and/or compensation plans that foster a thriving work environment.

The winners will be announced Nov. 29 in Seattle.