Nucor Steel Seattle, Meeples Games, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and the founder, James (Jim) Jackson of Jackson, Morgan & Hunt are the winners of the 2015 Westside Awards, presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
The winners will be honored at the annual Westside Awards Breakfast on Thursday, April 2, at Salty’s on Alki, 1936 Harbor Ave. SW. The awards recognize success and innovation that contribute to the thriving economy of the West Seattle peninsula.
Keynote speaker, West Seattleite Mark Tabbutt, Chairman of Saltchuk, a Seattle-based diversified transportation company whose local companies include Foss Maritime, Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Carlile Transportation and Interstate Distributor. Mr. Tabbutt will speak about the region’s commercial and historical ties to Alaska, developments and opportunities in the maritime industry, and the exciting investments his companies are making in clean technologies.
The public is invited to the breakfast, which runs from 7:30 to 9 am. Tickets are $55 for Chamber members and $65 for non-members. Tables of 10 are $450. To attend, contact Lynn Dennis, Chamber CEO, at email@example.com, or Dana Perreault, Board member, at firstname.lastname@example.org. To register online: wschamber.com/Awards
Selecting the 2015 Westside Award winners was a challenging task, says Dana Perreault, Board of Director and Awards Breakfast Committee Chair and owner, Red 27 Engraving. “We received more than 110 nominations for the 2015 Westside Awards, which sets an all-time record of participation,” he says “The decisions were difficult because we have so many truly outstanding businesses, nonprofits and individuals working in and supporting the West Seattle community.”
Here are mini-profiles of each recipient, including nominators’ comments:
Westside Business of the Year – Nucor Steel Seattle, Inc.
Nucor Steel, which has owned the Youngstown neighborhood plant since 2002, aims to take care of its customers by being the safest, highest quality, lowest cost, most productive and most profitable steel company in the world. The company is committed to doing this while also serving as cultural and environmental stewards in the community.
Challenging the rules of steelmaking, Nucor, the Northwest’s largest metal recycler, has moved away from the use of blast furnaces and has introduced arc furnaces and mini-mills. This allows 75 to 90 percent of its steel to come from recycled scrap metal. Nucor can transform 130 to 170 tons of scrap and iron into liquid steel in the time it takes to bake a cake.
Nucor contributes to many local organizations such as the West Seattle Food Bank, YMCA, Nature Consortium, South Seattle College, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, Highland Park Improvement Club and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
Prioritizing safety above all and promoting a culture that empowers its workforce to constantly improve business processes, Nucor also serves as a gatekeeper to West Seattle and community pillar, offering tours and allowing its more than 300 employees opportunities to volunteer for and otherwise support local organizations during work hours.
“I’ve worked for the mill for 25-plus years, and I’ve seen them do a lot of good in my community,” wrote nominator Gretchen Heiden. “Nucor has a vested interest in keeping West Seattle a desirable place to live and work that goes way beyond monetary rewards. I’m lucky to be able to commute round trip every day less than 10 miles and to work for such a conscientious company.”
Westside Emerging Business – Meeples Games
Open since May 2014, Meeples Games, a tabletop game store located between the Admiral and Alaska junctions, has created a space for people of all ages to hang out. With an extensive game collection that appeals to all levels and ages, Meeples also provides snacks and food for purchase at its café.
The idea is to serve families with a safe, fun place to play, compete, enjoy each other, meet with friends, drop by after school and connect with others in the community. From the youngest to the oldest, Meeples is a site for laughing, strategic thinking, competition and interaction.
“More than anything. Meeples Games is a place for families and individuals to gather and have fun,” wrote nominator Nicole McAllister. “Everything they do supports kids and adults having fun together, as a community. They are always trying to bring people together by hosting events — Pokémon for kids, Netrunner for adults and Nerd Speed Dating for singles, just to name a few. They are constantly working with the community, based on the needs of the community.”
Westside Not-For-Profit of the Year – Southwest Seattle Historical Society
The Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which began in 1984 and has operated out of its “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum on Alki since 1997, is instrumental in the preservation of important West Seattle landmarks with an eye on making them relevant and important to a new generation. Examples include the Admiral Theater, for which the historical society led a successful landmark campaign in 1989, and Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead, whose new owner Dennis Schilling partnered with the historical society to forge and recently announce a restoration plan.
With last June’s unveiling of the 1966 Admiral totem pole at the museum and the most successful Champagne Gala Brunch for the organization last November, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society has had a great year, providing a foundation to cherish and preserve all things West Seattle so that local children can inherit a strong sense of community.
“The historical society has grown in members and volunteers, enabling more programs, exhibits and events that showcase West Seattle people and places that bring our unique heritage into the foreground for people of all ages,” wrote nominator Edie Neeson. “This kind of energy and dedication is infectious and makes our community stronger. It opens opportunities for disparate people and groups.”
Westsider of the Year – James (Jim) Jackson
Jim Jackson, who founded his CPA firm on Vashon Island in 1980, found he had so many clients in West Seattle that he moved to the neighborhood in 1987 and grew to become Jackson, Morgan & Hunt, PLLC. For more than 35 years, Jackson has been highly respected in peer reviews and among Seattle business executives, and his firm has been a proud employer of CPA professionals who demonstrate excellence.
In 1982, Jackson syndicated Royal Bluff Orchards in the eastern Washington town of Royal City, and as managing member and CEO, he developed more than 225 acres of farmland. Jackson joined the West Seattle YMCA board in 1995 and for 20 years has spearheaded its fundraising efforts and provided management guidance. He also helped create First Sound Bank, another West Seattle employer and respected financial institution.
Jackson, his wife, C.R. Hendrick, and his CPA firm have long supported community organizations such as ArtsWest and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
“These unsung accomplishments and demonstrated leadership efforts have helped West Seattle grow and prosper over the past three-and-a-half decades,” wrote nominator Josh Sutton. “Jim’s impact on our business community, along with countless people who are employed here, has been very profound and is much appreciated.”
Early registration for next Thursday’s awards breakfast ends tomorrow – go here to sign up.