Fairchild Record Search, Thurston Talk.com, Puget Sound Energy and Faith Harvest Helpers, won top honors at this year’s Thurston County Economic Development Council’s business recognition awards.
The awards, which were announced this week at the Red Lion Hotel Olympia, were presented in four business categories: small business, new business, corporate business and nonprofit.
Fairchild Record Search of Tumwater won the small business of the year award, a business that got its start in Portland in 1980, then moved to Olympia in 1983, said Renee Ries, the company’s president, chief executive and founder.
Fairchild Record Search at 3400 Capitol Blvd. specializes in business-related record searches, such as helping attorneys with background information on the sale or acquisition of a business. Clients include law firms, large corporations and banks, she said.
“We’re not a title company and we don’t search for The Beatles’ ‘White Album,’” said Ries, recalling an unusual search request she once received.
Over the years the business has faced increased competition from the rise of the Internet and online searches, but Fairchild still has an important role, she said.
“Searching databases can be very complicated,” Ries said. “If you don’t know the idiosyncrasies of that system, you can miss something.”
EDC Executive Director Michael Cade said the business recognition awards committee was struck by how innovative Puget Sound Energy and Fairchild have become.
The utility can monitor energy use by consumers and businesses, while Fairchild has continually adjusted to the times and changing technology, from courier to fax machine to email to the Internet, he said.
“She (Ries) continues to look for new ways to serve customers,” Cade said.
Faith Harvest Helpers operates a food bank in Lacey, and Thurston Talk.com is a news and information website.
Past business recognition award winners include the engineering firm Shea, Carr, Jewell of Olympia; Diamond Technologies of Olympia; the Western Institutional Review Board of Olympia; and Community Youth Services of Olympia. The EDC received 38 nominations for this year’s awards, then narrowed the list to 12 – three in each category.
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 firstname.lastname@example.org www.theolympian.com/bizblog @rolf_boone