LACEY - One person, one business and one organization were chosen as distinguished leaders for 2011 at an awards event that is part of Leadership Thurston County, a Thurston County Chamber Foundation program.
The winners were announced Wednesday night at Saint Martin’s University Worthington Center. They are David Burnett, chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis; Grays Harbor Paper of Hoquiam; and New Market Skills Center, a vocational school based in Tumwater.
Accepting the award for Grays Harbor Paper was Chairman Bill Quigg, and for the skills center, it was Joe Kinerk, executive director.
About 220 people attended the program, and each winner was introduced with a short video about the organization they represent. The Chehalis Tribe is best known for Lucky Eagle Casino, the Eagles Landing Hotel and Great Wolf Lodge, the resort and water park based in Grand Mound.
Burnett told the audience that at one time the tribe was a net consumer of resources, but that is no longer the case.
Grays Harbor Paper of Hoquiam was touted for transforming itself into a manufacturer of sustainable paper products, and the New Market Skills Center was praised for becoming a destination for students wanting to learn real-life skills outside of the traditional high school experience.
Although Leadership Thurston County offers a 10-month leadership training program, the distinguished-leader winners aren’t necessarily part of the program. Rather, they’re chosen as good examples of local leadership, program coordinator Patti Grant said.
This is the 10th year of the distinguished leader awards.
Past winners include The Rants Group, a commercial real estate company based in Olympia; Ken F. Parsons Sr., formerly of Venture Bank; the nonprofit Community Youth Services; South Sound developer Tri Vo; former Olympia city councilman Jeff Kingsbury; Capitol City Press; and Mud Bay, the Olympia-based retailer of healthful pet food for dogs and cats.
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