The Puyallup Sumner Chamber hosted its annual Economic Forecast and Rising Star Awards Breakfast last week at the Pioneer Park Pavilion.
Various speakers from Pierce County and the cities of Puyallup and Sumner detailed the economic climate in the region and what the future holds for cities and businesses in the South Sound.
Democratic Rep. Denny Heck was on hand to present plaques to the chamber’s annual Rising Star Award winners.
Heck continues to be a passionate supporter of improving transportation issues — mainly the extension of state Route 167 — that plague Sumner’s warehouse district and the communities surrounding it. He has several transportation and infrastructure proposals and projects underway to bring the changes to the 10th Congressional District to help the regional economy thrive.
Heck convened the SR 167 Completion Coalition and has worked closely with the members to get the important roadway between Puyallup’s SR 167 and Tacoma’s SR 509 completed.
“Look at the square footage in Sumner of warehouse space,” Heck said. “It’s the second-largest warehouse space region on the west coast. This is low-hanging fruit.”
In July, Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law the $16 billion transportation package. The package included the completion of SR 167, and as a whole is expected to create around 200,000 jobs.
“For me, that what is in the context of what matters most to me, that we have stronger economic growth, and frankly fairer growth,” Heck said. “And that will help. The truth is, as an elected official you’re lucky and fortunate enough if you grab hold of one of these things and be a part of what is happening. It’s why we do this.”
Rising Star Award winners included:
▪ Entrepreneur of the Year: Josh Buffington, Man Cave Metalworks
▪ John Porter Memorial: Karissa Thompson
▪ Ambassador of the Year: Rob Lewis, Columbia Bank
▪ Small Business of the Year (1 to 10 employees): D’Lectable Desserts
▪ Medium Business of the Year (11-50): Armstrong Fitness
▪ Large Business of the Year (51+): Sunset Chevrolet
▪ Restaurant of the Year: Trackside Pizza
▪ Business Innovations: Anthem Coffee & Tea
▪ Volunteer of the Year: Leslie LaCraze, Association of the U.S. Army
▪ Young Professionals, Individual: Ciera Lopez, Bill Korum Nissan
▪ Young Professionals, Organizational: Columbia Bank
▪ Nonprofit of the Year: Mt. View Community Center
▪ Best Company to Work For: Sumner Veterinarian Hospital
▪ Best Company Representative: Kristi Brady, Wild Waves