Seven area organizations on Wednesday were given Agora Awards during an annual ceremony hosted by Greater Spokane Incorporated. Winners were:
- Small Nonprofit: Spokane Humane Society
- Large Nonprofit: YMCA of the Inland Northwest
- Large Business: Advantage IQ
- Small Business: Catered for You
- Medium Business: Nystrom Olson Collins, Inc.
- Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: Stewart and Associates.
- C. Michael Archer Community Service Award: Moss Adams accounting firm.
The awards recognize business and community excellence. Independent judges consider company growth, employee environment and other factors. FOR JUDGES' comments on the winners, go to the next page below:
The award judges listed these comments about their selections:
Spokane Humane Society
The Spokane Humane Society has been in existence since 1897, working to stop animal cruelty and provide shelter for Spokane's unwanted animals. They have achieved a 98% pet adoption rate and provide care for more than 3,100 animals annually. Each year, the Spokane Humane Society places up to 3500 animals in adoptive homes. More than 850 volunteers help with foster care, events and projects. Volunteers provided 12,000 hours of service in 2009.
YMCA of the Inland Northwest
YMCA of the Inland Northwest serves members of all ages through programs including health and wellness activities, youth sports, camps, aquatics, childcare, and teen programs. The local YMCA has 52,000 members and in the last year alone added 25,000 new individual members and 200 new employees. More than 49,000 Spokane County residents are members, a 78% increase over the same time last year. The YMCA serves 31,000 youth under age 18, about a quarter of which are from households below poverty level.
Nystrom Olson Collins
Nystrom Olson Collins, Inc. (NOC), founded in 2005, is a boutique design studio focusing on socially and environmentally sustainable architecture. Their primary concern is expressing a modern ideology in the Pacific Northwest vernacular. Examples of their work can be seen at their office, Dishman Dodge, D'Arienzo Cabin, Inland Imaging, and The Flying Goat.
Catered for You
Catered for You business owners Romeo and Linette Herrera started their business without financial assistance. Their business plan has guided their growth and expansion. The quality of their catering is measured and evaluated at every event through employee and customer feedback.
Advantage IQ has developed its own personality after spinning off from Avista. Advantage has pioneered a new service in energy management for local, national and international markets. The company's year over year growth rate is 31 percent. In addition, Advantage IQ maintains an entrepreneurial culture that values its people. More than 500 employees work from Advantage IQ's Spokane headquarters.
Stewart and Associates
Greg Stewart and his team at Stewart and Associates understand the value of spreading their mission and their message to the community. They share a staff team approach and a marketing plan with tasks, deadlines, and a lead focus from team members. Greg leads his team with strategies for growth. Stewart and Associates share "wins" daily with each other such as the acquisition of new clients and client compliments.
Moss Adams' commitment to service and employee development quickly enables new employees to become valued experts in the accounting arena. For employees of Moss Adams, community service is about following your passion. Giving back to the community where they live is important. Moss Adams exemplifies balance. Employees are enabled to pursue a work-life balance. The business balances success with community service.