Tacoma-Pierce Chamber presents annual Spotlight Awards

Moderator Monique Trudnowski, co-owner of Adriatic Grill Italian Cuisine and Wine Bar, opened Wednesday’s Spotlight on Business Awards with some essential wisdom.

She asked the crowd of more than a hundred guests if they happened to remember something called the Great Recession.

Yes, they remembered.

“We’re better and stronger because of it,” she said. “And we’re still here.”

The annual awards, presented by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, highlight businesses that have grown, that have made contributions to the community and have exhibited innovative business practices while being able to respond to adversity.

“We’re Tacoma, we’re gritty, and we’re still here,” Trudnowski said again.

Following the luncheon and presentations, many attendees ventured down Broadway to the nearby Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center for a visit to the Business Expo, sponsored by The News Tribune.

Spending its first year at the convention center, the Expo featured both a chance to meet with potential employers while visiting an array of vendors including business groups and service providers.

Among the winners named at the Chamber event:

Small Business Award: AlphaGraphics Tacoma - a printing, design and marketing firm.

Medium Business Award: Kel-Tech Plastics – a manufacturer of a variety of media for industrial, retail and law enforcement purposes.

Large Business Award: Pacific Continental Bank – recognized for its eagerness and commitment to help nonprofit clients while fostering a philosophy of philanthropy among employees.

Nonprofit Organization Award: FISH Food Banks of Pierce County – which gives back more than 97 percent of total donations in the form of nutritious food.

Minority-owned Business Award: Power Crews – helping to create and grow businesses with people who are gifted and who may be low-income or disabled.

Supporter of the Military Award: RallyPoint/6 – Washington’s largest one-stop resource center assisting service members and their families with the transition to civilian life with an emphasis on employment, education, benefits, housing and financial concerns.