Four South Sound businesses are among this year’s finalists for the Association of Washington Business’ third annual Evening of Excellence Awards.

In total, 18 companies from a variety of industries statewide have been named finalists in the following six categories:

  • Employer of the Year Award: Recognizing an employer that has implemented innovative job retention, creation, benefits, and/or compensation plans that foster a thriving work environment;
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Given to an entrepreneur whose business is less than 5 years old and has made a significant impact in their industry;
  • Leading Environmental Practices Award: Recognizing a business that has put a priority on environmental improvement, education or outreach to their business sector and/or community.
  • Washington Achieve Award: Recognizing a business who has excelled in creating, implementing or supporting a high-caliber education and/or workforce development system aligned with closing the employment gap;
  • Washington Advance Award: Recognizing a business who has had a significant impact in their sector, contributing to the advancement of their community and/or statewide economy;
  • Washington Connect Award: 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;

This year’s South Sound finalists include:

  • Renewable Energy Group Grays Harbor in Aberdeen (Leading Environmental Practices Award);
  • RHD Enterprises in Tumwater (Washington Connect Award);
  • SiteCrafting in Tacoma (Employer of the Year Award);
  • Skills Incorporated in Auburn (Employer of the Year Award).

Past South Sound honorees include:

  • Alaffia in Tumwater (Washington Connect Award Recipient – 2017)
  • Bellmont Cabinet Company in Sumner (Employer of the Year Award Finalist – 2017)
  • Earth Friendly Products in Lacey (Leading Environmental Practices Award Recipient – 2017)
  • Rite in the Rain in Tacoma (Employer of the Year Award Finalist – 2017)
  • Schilling Cider in Auburn (Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist – 2017)
  • Western Institutional Review Board in Puyallup (Washington Advance Award Finalist – 2017)
  • WGU Washington in Kent (Washington Advance Award Finalist – 2017)
  • Earth Friendly Products in Lacey (Leading Environmental Practices Award Finalist – 2016)
  • Heritage Distilling in Gig Harbor (Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist – 2016)
  • Schilling Cider in Auburn (Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalist – 2016)
  • Wafla in Lacey (Washington Advance Award Finalist – 2016)
  • WGU Washington in Kent (Washington Achieve Award Finalist – 2016)

This year’s award recipients will be announced during the Association of Washington Business’ Evening of Excellence ceremony — a black-tie, red-carpet event that will be held on November 28 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes nearly 7,000 members representing 700,000 employees. The organization serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association.

More information about the Association of Washington Business and the Evening of Excellence Awards is available online here.


Thumbnail photo, of the 2017 awards ceremony at Benaroya Hall, courtesy AWB.