Three “Boss of the Year” winners for 2016 were celebrated Wednesday during a Thurston County Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
The winners were Rozanne Garman, who owns Lacey-based general contractor RHD Enterprises; Kevin Johnston, general manager of Capital Mall; and Ed Galligan, Port of Olympia executive director. Honorable mentions went to Tumwater City Administrator John Doan, Joint Animal Services of Thurston County Executive Director Ric Torgerson and Choice Regional Health Executive Director Winfried Danke.
Wednesday’s gathering was the seventh Boss of the Year awards, which are sponsored by the chamber and Express Employment Professionals, a local staffing agency. Business students at Saint Martin’s University interview the nominees.
More than 40 bosses were nominated for the award, according to the chamber.
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The master of ceremonies was Reid Bates, owner of Express Employment. Bates announced the winners and spoke about leadership, focusing on how workplace leaders will have to navigate the disruption created by rapid advancements in technology.
The winners also shared some thoughts about leadership:
▪ Garman: “Integrity is most important for a leader. Employees have to be able to trust you, and you have to do what you say you’re going to do and follow through. Integrity means leading by example.”
▪ Johnston: “There are two different kinds of leaders: The kind that have to pull people along and those that people follow willingly. I want to be the kind of leader that people follow willingly. Surrounding yourself with people and a team environment is really important to me.”
▪ Galligan: “One leadership characteristic is to constantly seek advice from peers, subordinates and others, and I’ve tried to pattern that same approach. Early on in my working career, I thought it was a sign of weakness. But since then, I have learned that it is a wonderful thing to get advice from other people.”
RHD Enterprises specializes in federal government contracting, Garman said. Capital Mall GM Johnston has been at the mall three years, while Port Executive Director Galligan has been at the helm for 11 years.