GVCC presents leadership awards at annual dinner

Arch Miller presented with John S. McKibbin Leadership Legacy Award

Arch Miller receiving award
Arch Miller, who founded the Air & Hospitality Academy, was presented with the 2019 John S. McKibbin Leadership Legacy Award during the GVCC’s Annual Dinner & Awards Recognition Ceremony last year on Sept. 25. Photo courtesy of Kate Singh

Several business leaders and community members were recognized during the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (GVCC) Annual Dinner & Awards Recognition Ceremony the evening of Sept. 25 as the award recipients of the 2019 Business & Leadership Awards were announced.

The annual dinner and awards ceremony, “Set Sail for Success,” was presented by the Port of Vancouver USA and supported by PeaceHealth.

The following award recipients were announced at the ceremony by the award category sponsors:

John S. McKibbin Leadership Legacy Award

This prestigious award was presented to Arch Miller, founder of the Air & Hospitality Academy, retired. The award was presented by Kim Capeloto of Riverview Community Bank.

In 1979, Miller founded what was then the International Air Academy to train workers for careers in the travel and airline industries. He was the GVCC’s board chairman in 1987 and is a longtime chamber member. Miller has dedicated countless hours of service to the Vancouver community for more than three decades and has been a leader for several local charitable groups, including Identity Clark County and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He is also a former president of the Port of Vancouver USA, Vancouver Rotary Club and Vancouver Tourism Office.

Finalists for this award included Linda Glover of Divine Consign and the Vancouver City Council, and Mike Bomar of the Port of Vancouver USA.

Community Statesman Award

Anne McEnerny-Ogle, mayor of Vancouver, was presented with the Community Statesman Award. The award was presented by Sean Gregory of PeaceHealth SW Medical Center and PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center.

McEnerny-Ogle was originally elected to the Vancouver City Council in November 2013 and took her first oath of office on Jan.1, 2014. She became the first woman to serve as mayor of Vancouver on Jan. 1, 2018, where she has helped to lead efforts in economic development, regional community relations and transportation. Mayor McEnerny-Ogle’s current assignments include serving as the vice-chair for the C-TRAN Board of Directors, chair of the Southwest Regional Transportation Council, member of Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation and member of the Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization Policy Committee.

The mayor also serves on the board for Greater Portland Inc. (GPI), is a member of the Metropolitan Mayors Ad-Hoc Consortium and the Association of Washington Cities, and has active memberships in numerous business associations.

Finalists for this award included Lynda Wilson, state senator, and Paul Harris, state representative.

Community Champion Award

The Community Champion Award was presented to Corwin Beverage Company. It was presented by Jennifer Rhoads of the Community Foundation for SW Washington.

Corwin Beverage Company is a Ridgefield-based food and beverage distribution company serving retail clients since 1941. From their humble beginnings with one truck and three employees nearly 80 years ago, to more than 100 trucks and more than 100 employees today, Corwin has established a long tradition of award-winning sales and service.

Corwin has been a positive force within the greater Vancouver region and provides tremendous community support through generous contributions and partnerships that go beyond supplying beverages. They are proud supporters of the Boys & Girls Club of SW Washington, the Clark County Food Bank, Share Vancouver, NW Association for Blind Athletes, YMCA, YWCA and more. Corwin Beverage Company actively hires U.S. veterans, which makes up almost 10% of their workforce. Corwin representative (or several) can be found at just about any event held in the community.

Finalists for this award included Casey Wyckoff of LSW Architects and Marcy Sprecher of Rocksolid Community Teen Center.

Start-Up to Watch Award

WellHaven Pet Health was given the Start-Up to Watch Award. It was presented by Alex Hinshaw of Insperity.

WellHaven was launched as a national veterinary practice in the fall of 2017. They built 12 de novo AAHA veterinary hospitals (four local), acquired 30 quality veterinary practices (four local) and are poised to have 50 facilities nationwide by the end of 2019. WellHaven’s corporate offices and its first branded location are in downtown Vancouver and they have created more than 100 jobs in the Southwest Washington/Portland market. Even before the company officially began operating, WellHaven’s founding team had built a strong and focused platform that intentionally connected their long-term strategy for growth and success with the community’s long-term growth and success.

WellHaven support includes local school career days, Farmers Market participation, Clark County Fair Veterinary booth volunteers, Ridgefield Raptors and Ryd mobility sponsor. They also sponsor and are active volunteers with Humane Society for Southwest Washington, Mostly Mutts, People United for Pets, West Columbia Gorge Humane Society and Pet Peace of Mind.

Finalists for this award included The Diner Vancouver and Wolf Industries Inc.

Small Business Award

The winner of this award was NOM NOM Restaurant & Bar. Presented by Jeremy O’Niel of HAPO Community Credit Union.

Opening in 2016, NOM NOM’s culinary blend of rich Vietnamese and Thai heritage using only the freshest ingredients combined with the energetic charisma of owner Bobby Ras quickly made it a downtown favorite for lunch and dinner. This solid fan base contributed to the 2018 expansion of NOM NOM Express in the Hudson Building. NOM NOM’s menu has landed it on many “Best of” lists, including Best Pho, Vancouver’s Top Restaurants and Share’s Annual “Soup’s ON” Chef’s Choice and People’s Choice. NOM NOM contributes to the community through school cooking program sponsorships, cooking for shelters and generous donations to local nonprofit organizations.

Finalists for this award included Reid Business Services and Pacific Perks.

Large Business Award

This award was presented to Ginn Group. It was presented by Paris Powell of Perkins & Co.

Ginn Group has developed more than $230 million worth of residential land, encompassing nearly 1,500 lots in more than 50 developments with a market value of more than $1 billion. Ginn Group has grown from 13 employees in 2016 to 63 in 2019. Today, the Ginn Group has several operating divisions, including Ginn Design, Ginn Development, Ginn Multi-Family, Ginn Homes, Ginn Property Management and Ginn Realty Group. The launch of a new operation division, Ginn Multi-Family, also happened in 2019.

Ginn Group is looking at target revenues of $75 million, 10 new development projects and 2,000 housing units in the pipeline for 2019. Ginn Group is committed to giving back to Southwest Washington through its Ginn Gives program. Also initiated in 2019, Ginn Gives includes the donation of time, resources and funds to various nonprofits that are so important to the fabric of Southwest Washington. Every Ginn employee is provided eight hours of work time to give back to an organization of their choice.

Finalists for this award included MAJ Development and Invest West Management.

With more than 300 guests in attendance, the Annual Dinner & Awards Recognition Ceremony began with a cocktail hour featuring entertainment like “Go Fish!” sponsored by ilani; a photo booth featuring a mermaid and Aquaman sponsored by NW Personal Training & WHY Racing Events; and an airbrush tattoo parlor sponsored by Port of Vancouver USA.

The Chamber introduced the 2019-2020 Board of Directors, led by incoming Chair of the Board Kevin Getch of Webfor, who replaced former Chair of the Board Amy O’Hara of When the Shoe Fits. The evening also made Chamber history with their Dessert Dash that helped raise more than $11,500 in funding for their Small Business Saturday Grant Program in November.

Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.

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