Submitted by Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.
Tod Wolf, master of ceremonies and Chair Elect for 2022-2023, talked about the importance of local Chambers of Commerce now, more than ever, during the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce’s 50th Annual Installation and Awards Luncheon on Thursday afternoon at the Tacoma Country & Golf Club.
“We strongly believe in the adage that a rising tide lifts all boats. And our efforts to support our members, as well as the entire business community by increasing their chances of thriving during challenging times ~ is our primary mission.”
“The Lakewood Chamber ‘gets’ our small and independently owned business members. Our programs and activities are designed for your needs. Over two-thirds of your Board represents small business. In other word’s … we advocate for you. The credit for our region’s reputation goes to you.” Wolf continued, “I encourage those of you who want to get involved, to make the decision to do it today. Whether it’s a few hours a month or more … this Chamber ~ and this community is only as good as our volunteers.”
Linda Smith, President and CEO of the Chamber reflected on the similarities of businesses and family. Smith said, “We build them with all our heart, putting our blood, sweat, and yes, plenty of tears into it. And it’s with one purpose. To make it flourish. In these past years, we’ve seen it all: successes and failures, highs and lows, celebrations and crisis. Everything. But one thing we never did was give up. This “go getter” attitude, our faith in each other and our commitment towards the business community have brought us where we are. We would never have been able to continue this journey without you. Our Members ARE the Chamber. You determine with your investment and participation whether the Chamber ~ and all we represent ~ thrives.”
Mayor Jason Whalen installed the 2022-23 Board of Directors and noted the strong working partnership between the city and the Chamber and the importance of the small business community. He noted that not only does he serve the residents and businesses of Lakewood as an elected official, but he is also the proud owner of a small business.
Of note were video presentations created and sponsored by Creative24.net. The first were a series of interviews with three Charter Members. Charlie Maxwell, retired from LeMay Refuse (now owned by Pierce County Refuse, Waste Management Services), talked extensively about the Chamber’s role in the incorporation of the city. Michael Stevenson, Brink & Sadler, CPA’s recalled his experience in hiring current president Smith and how the Chamber has elevated over the years. Mike Larson, Harold Allen Team at Compass talked about the Chamber’s advocacy and role with our military community. He said the Chamber is a connector with the community, government and military. For those who want to know what’s going on only need to be a part of the Chamber.
The Chamber awarded their top sponsors:
- Patron: America’s Credit Union, Columbia Bank, Puget Sound Energy and Zips Cannabis
- President’s Club: Lakewood Hardware and Pain and Veteran Roofers
- Momentum: Virginia Mason Franciscan Health and Tin Hut! BBQ
Special Recognition went to:
- Charter Members: Brink & Sadler, CPA’s and Harold Allen Team at Compass
- Ambassador of the Year: Becky Newton, City of Lakewood
- Business of the Year: AA Meats