Martha Huyler won the annual Jeannie Ovenell Community Spirit Award during the 2017 Business People of the Year awards luncheon, held May 17 in Camano Center and presented by the Camano Island and Stanwood chambers of commerce.
The Jeannie Ovenell Community Spirit Award was named for a dedicated volunteer who distributed food out of a car in the early 1980s and founded the Stanwood Camano Food Bank. Ovenell died in June 2012 but her legacy of community service and volunteerism lives on in the actions of many business and community members.
Gray said Karla Jacks with Camano Center presented a “very touching” history of the award, which honors one volunteer each year, someone who works tirelessly and goes above and beyond for their community.
This year the Camano Chamber chose Huyler to be honored. She is Camano Animal Shelter Association board president and oversees numerous committees and events each year, while working to connect animals in need with caring people.
Four other awards were presented to outstanding business community leaders.
Business Woman of the Year went to Yvonne Devora-Corbett, and Business Man of the Year was Kris Kristoferson.
Shayne and Mary Stoddard jointly won Entrepreneur of the Year honors. Their Grocery Outlet Bargain Market won the Business of the Year award.
Asia Gray, Camano Chamber executive director, said more than 100 community members came to honor their friends and associates. Kerri Jones, Stanwood Chamber executive director, said event sponsors made it possible with generous door prizes and giveaways.
“We truly have an amazing business community that supports one another!” Jones said.
Chef Adin Collver prepared “a delicious salad bar that attendees raved about,” Gray said. Sponsor Seaside Landscape provided centerpieces created by Island Floral, which one person at each table won.
“This was the best awards luncheon yet,” said Jenny Baehm, with the Stanwood Camano News. “It was so beautifully decorated and professionally presented.”
Event co-organizers Camano Island and Stanwood chambers of commerce set the annual recognition event on a slightly different path this year, honoring outstanding business people from within the chambers’ memberships instead of throughout the community.
Nominations were collected in April, followed with online voting by chamber members to select the winning nominees.
Business Woman of the Year
Devora-Corbett opened Ladders Clothing Co. boutique three years ago in downtown Stanwood with the belief it was the perfect community location for stylish fashions to be sold in a relaxed, fun environment, according to her nomination. “Her passion for exceptional fashion, and desire that everyone should feel beautiful, has built her a loyal customer following in the town she loves.”
Other nominees were PinchKnitter Yarns owner Sirkku Bingham, Stanwood Camano Food Bank Executive Director Lynne Ayers and Re/Max Associate Broker owner Renae Kettler.
Business Man of the Year
Kristoferson is the owner of Kristoferson Farm and Canopy Tours Northwest on Camano Island. His nomination noted, “Kris is a true asset to our community. He always volunteers himself and his company to help support the nonprofits that serve us. He has fabulous ideas and incorporates them into making wonderful events that bring tourism to our community.”
Other nominees were Jose Amador, Amigos Mexican restaurant owner; Jeff Ericson, Camano Island Coffee Roasters owner; and Mark Phibbs, Mark’s Camano Pharmacy owner and operator.
Entrepreneur of the Year
The Stoddards own and operate the Grocery Outlet Bargain Market in Stanwood. Shayne Stoddard has 31 years of grocery retail experience and Mary Stoddard has 15 years of retail experience.
“They are both very involved in our community,” the nomination noted. “They attend and support numerous events in and around town such as donating hot dogs, buns, chips, water and pop to the National Night Out for the past two years … and the yearly 'trunk or treat' on Halloween.”
Other nominees were Adam Kopp, with Madak Creative; Bryan Miller, co-owner of Naked City; Lindsey Spoor, owner of Stilly River Yarns; and John Russell, owner of UPS Store.
Business of the Year
Grocery Outlet Bargain Market is “an amazing discount grocery store with an awesome selection of products. They measure their success by how much you save and they’re fanatical about it,” according to the nomination.
Nine area businesses were nominated, including Stilly River Yarns, Stanwood Cupcakes, One A-Chord Academy, Ladders Clothing Co., Kristoferson Farm/Canopy Tours, Fisher Family & Associates, Elger Bay Grocery and Camano Island Coffee Roasters.