OLYMPIA - The Olympia Downtown Association's Person of the Year for 2011 is Phil Rollins, the longtime owner of Archibald Sisters, which marked 35 years in business in 2010.
The business, which sells eclectic gifts, opened in October 1975 on Fifth Avenue, not far from the restaurant Saigon Rendezvous. It moved to its current location on Capitol Way, across from Ken Schoenfeld Furniture, in the early 1990s.
Janis Dean, the longtime owner of downtown’s The Popinjay store and a past winner of the Person of the Year award, said Rollins has been a quiet but major supporter of downtown. His employees have always volunteered for downtown activities, and he encourages his staff members to help. Dean won the award in 2010.
“It’s part of the culture of that company,” Dean said. His talents as a graphic artist also have contributed to downtown marketing campaigns and other ODA promotions, she said.
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Rollins also is a past president of the ODA and is active in the Parking and Business Improvement Area, said Daniel Furrer, manager of Archibald Sisters and a past winner of the ODA’s Volunteer of the Year award.
“I’ve worked for him for about five years, and he’s far and above the best employer I’ve ever had,” he said. “He (Rollins) really recognizes the skills of his employees and lets them do what they’re good at.”
Furrer also described Rollins as humble, someone likely flattered by the award but who feels like someone else deserves it.
Other winners announced by the ODA: Olympia Federal Savings is the Business of the Year, and Carrie Hartman of Olympia Credit Union is the Volunteer of the Year. Former longtime KGY broadcaster Dick Pust also received a special tribute. The awards were announced Monday night at downtown’s Capital Playhouse.