Recognizing companies that give back

Recognizing companies that give back

During these unstable economic times, it’s noteworthy when companies make it a point to give back to their community. That’s the point behind the Corporations for Communities program that Secretary Reed began in 2009 as a way to honor those Washington businesses that make community a priority.

Representatives from some of those exemplary employers gathered in Reed’s Olympia office for a ceremony honoring their efforts, which have greatly helped their hometowns through volunteering thousands of hours and through direct contributions by the companies and their employees.

Reed presented the small-company category award to Korsmo Construction of Tacoma. Korsmo President John Korsmo (standing on far right in photo) and other company officials later gave Reed a Korsmo hardhat. Reed drew plenty of laughter when he said the hardhat would come in handy during the Legislature’s special session in late November to try to fix the ailing state budget.

Korsmo Construction’s good deeds include organizing the 6th Annual Billy Stocking Memorial Special Olympics Swim Meet, serving more than 200 special needs athletes; building and donating dozens of wooden bunk beds for the downtown Tacoma YWCA; and coordinating and working alongside the Lakewood Police Department, Forza Coffee, Bates Vocational-Technical Apprentices, and other vendors to design, construct and donate the Fallen Officers Memorial to dedicate the site as a place of reflection and remembrance for the community. Korsmo also has assisted with award-winning construction of the University of Washington-Tacoma campus within historic buildings.

Spokane-based Sterling Savings Bank also was named the large-company category award winner. Secretary Reed will present Sterling its award when he visits Spokane later in November.

Sterling’s community contributions include committing to sponsor the Spokane Symphony for the next three years; its employees repacking more than 10,000 pounds of food for the Emergency Food Network; volunteering 40 company advisors to Washington Business Week; providing grants thought its Community Reinvestment Act program; and having dozens of employees who serve on boards, local Chambers and Rotary groups. So far in 2011, Sterling employees have donated more than 27,000 hours to local and regional causes.

Dozens of Washington companies were nominated for the award. Nominees that received honorable mention include Gary Manuel, a Seattle-based hair salon; Guidant Financial in Bellevue; McGregor Company in Hooper; Port Gardner Bay Winery in Everett; Rants Group in Olympia; Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Pullman; South Towne Auto Rebuild in Tukwila; Toray Composites in Frederickson; Town Auto Group in Wenatchee; Wal-Mart; Wenatchee Valley Medical Center in Wenatchee; and Wilcox Farms in Roy.

The Corporations for Communities program is run by the Secretary of State’s Corporations & Charities Division .

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