Thurston Economic Council announces awards

Thurston Economic Council gives out 2012 awards

Staff writerApril 10, 2013 

A 160,000-square-foot warehouse in Hawks Prairie that employs more than 100 and delivers medical products to a three-state area was chosen best new business by the Thurston Economic Development Council. The award was one of four announced Tuesday at the Red Lion Hotel Olympia as part of the EDC’s business recognition awards for 2012.

Here are the business award winners:

New business: Providence Health & Services distribution operations center in Hawks Prairie.

Small business: Williams Group Marketing + Design.

Corporate employer: Panorama.

Nonprofit: Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Southwest Washington.

Before Providence Health & Services — the parent organization to Providence St. Peter Hospital — took a larger role with the distribution operations center, it was simply known as DOC LLC.

The business opened in 2009 and was owned by several medical organizations at the time, including Providence, MultiCare, Swedish Health Services and Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, said Keith Howells, senior director of operations for the distribution center.

But Providence acquired the business this year, he said, using it to distribute surgical supplies to Providence and Swedish hospitals and clinics in Oregon, Washington and Montana.

The Providence and Swedish affiliation — not a merger — was completed in February 2012.

Thurston EDC deputy director Renee Sunde said the distribution center was selected best new business because of its role in health care.

“It’s a unique model in how health care has become more efficient and how it goes through its own supply process,” she said.

A total of 12 businesses were nominated for awards after the EDC solicited nominations from the public earlier in the year, Sunde said.

Businesses have to meet certain criteria, such as a corporate employer must have more than 50 employees. EDC staff conducts interviews with business owners, then turns over the notes from those interviews to an awards committee made up of last year’s winners and volunteers from the EDC board, she said.

The other nominees for new business, small business, corporate employer and nonprofit were Limeberry, Vision Uniquely Experienced, Ice Chips Candy Company, Meconi’s Italian Subs, Alaffia, Twin Star Credit Union, Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County and Family Support Center of South Sound.

Last year’s winners were Fairchild Record Search, positive news website, Puget Sound Energy and Faith Harvest Helpers.

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