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Businesses honored for contributions to community
"People often think of goods and services in relation to business. However, many enterprises here believe in and support the Federal Way community, donating supplies, labor and equipment to make the city a better place to live.The Federal Way Mirror and Chamber of Commerce on Saturday recognized many of these businesses as great contributors to the city. They were recognized as Large, Small and New Business of the Year.There are many who give their personal time though volunteer work, and many others who help identify Federal Way as a great place to live, learn, work and play through their leadership and financial contributions, said Federal Way Mirror Publisher Robert White.Large Business of the year, Lloyd Enterprises IncFounded in 1966 by Robert Lloyd, Lloyd Enterprise's initial set-up included a dump truck and Lloyd as its driver. Thirty-four years later, the company has grown into a multi-million business with nearly 75 employees.Lloyd's now owns numerous dump trucks, excavators, loaders and bulldozers, says manager Bob Couper. And Lloyd's, he said, has never wavered in its commitment to serving Federal Way.It's really important to be active in the community that a business is ran from, Couper said. The business people help make the community and we must be active in it.Lloyd's has volunteered in and supported several Federal Way Chamber of Commerce activities. The company also donated materials and labor to help build Celebration Park. Last year, Lloyd's donated the town Christmas tree and plans to do the same this year. Just as Lloyd's takes its community involvement seriously, so too does it take business. The company specializes in the installation of underground utility pipelines, sand and gravel mining, sale and hauling of materials, building site preparation and special mixed blends of topsoil and landscaping product sales.Company officer Randy Lloyd said while he is pleased with the volume and size of the projects his company tackles, Lloyd's is even more proud of its solid reputation, built during the past three decades. About 85 percent of Lloyd Enterprises clients - nearly 450 - are return customers, a fact that Couper is particularly proud of.Repeat business means that people have trust in us, Couper said. We all take the opinion that there is nothing too small. We can rent a dozer for two hours to a full day to a $3 million project. We'll never lose sight of our residential customers.In an illustration of his commitment to Lloyd's employees, in 1994 founder Robert Lloyd sold 50 percent of the company to its staff.Our employees are getting out to our customers that we respect them and the quality of the job that we can do, Couper said. That's how much Bob feels about his employees. They take pride in being a part of the end product.Lloyd Enterprises has been an active member of the Federal Way and Auburn chambers of commerce for more than 30 years. The Federal Way chamber awarded the company with the first-ever Business Creativity Award in 1992 for innovative management of its day-to-day operations.The other nominees in this category were Capital One and Borders Books.Capital OneWith nearly 500 employees, Capital One ranks as one of Federal Way's top employers. Capital One has been involved in several high-profile community projects, such as donating time and books to the Open Books, Open Minds literacy campaign last spring. Community involvement is something that the company takes seriously, said Mark Tiltman, West Coast operations site director.As a large business in the community we have an opportunity to positively influence issues in the community, Tiltman said. At Capital One, we believe it is our corporate responsibility to make a measurable difference in the communities in which we reside.Capital One has managed loans of $24.2 billion, and more than nine million customers as of third quarter, 2000. In addition, the company is growing by about 25,000 new customers a day, said company spokeswoman Debbie McGee.Borders booksBookseller Borders Books considers community involvement a way to maintain its involvement in people's lives.Since its grand opening in February, 1999 the company set its sights on working with area schools to increase literacy awareness and generate book drives.Borders' staff continues to entertain children and older adults alike by holding discussion forums and activities. This staff is very kid oriented, said Borders spokesman Brent Mason. We made up our mind from the very beginning that we're going to be a community store and we made a special emphasis to do that.Mason says most employees live and work in Federal Way, giving them added incentive to help.Small business of the year, Secoma Lanes Since 1959, league bowlers and folks who just like to roll a ball and knock a few pins over have called Secoma Lanes home. Federal Way resident Karen Edwards especially likes how the company provides free bowling to disabled children.It's a truly wonderful event, Edwards said. Secoma has opened their doors to these very special children and youth for more years than I know.Originally built as a bowling center and restaurant, Secoma Lanes later added a lounge in the '60s to give customers a better atmosphere when they came to bowl. Rocky Rockwell and his wife, Kay, are familiar faces to longtime Secoma customers. The couple took over ownership of the family entertainment center in 1982, but have been affiliated with it since the beginning.Rockwell began as a manager in the newly-built bowling ally, and moved on to become president of the corporation before he and his wife took over.Rockwell says he enjoys his time at Secoma and says bowling is as popular today as ever.It's a very popular pastime, he said. We're very busy here with leagues and open play during the weekends.It's easy to find a home at Secoma lanes, Rockwell said, with its convenient location on the south side of Pacific Highway. Last May, more customers began bowling at Secoma when neighboring AMF Sportsworld Lanes closed. The company was unable to renew its lease with the owner of the property.Rockwell says he is proud of his history serving the Federal Way area and its residents and helping them to relax by bowling.We've been here for a long time, he said. We've seen Federal Way grow from just about nothing. We like to be involved.The other nominees in this category were Evergreen Eye Center, the Great Harvest Bread Co. and Taylor Rentals.Evergreen Eye CenterWith nearly 15,000 patients trusting their eyes and sight to its five doctors, Evergreen Eye Center has established itself as a powerhouse in nearly all things eye-related.In addition, Evergreen has participated in many humanitarian efforts both locally and internationally. Their efforts include donating eye glasses to the PTA clothing bank, providing free eye exams to children without insurance and sending medical supplies worth hundreds of thousands of dollars overseas.Started in 1989 by Dr. John Jarstad in Federal Way, the Evergreen Eye Center staff routinely help patients with simple eye exams to the latest techniques in vision correction like LASIK surgery.Evergreen is the only LASIK eye surgery office in Federal Way where patients can have the procedure done in the office. Currently, LASIK is the most common elective use in opthamology.With the company's growing and expanding patient list, Jarstad opened a second office in Auburn in 1995 for convenience to his customers and staff. Great Harvest Bread Co.Making tasty bread and treats is just part of what Bryan Tacke, manager at Great Harvest bread likes to do each day. But more than the long hours he puts in making sure the store puts out a quality product, Tacke believes in customer service and community involvement. We live and die off of what our customers think of our bread and service, he said. You can get bread anywhere, but we make it differently and go above and beyond for our customers. Great Harvest frequently opens its doors to teachers and pupils who are curious about the store and want to take field trips. The store also helps area boosters raise money for projects. Tacke likes being involved in the community. Not only does it give him a break from the day-to-day operations of baking bread, it creates a nice diversion for him.It's really nice, doing something like giving tours, he said. Bread baking is one of the oldest skills out there, they should learn what they're eating.In addition to school tours, Great Harvest staff like to be involved in other events such as a recent Heart Walk and lending a hand for Cystic Fibrosis.Since Great Harvest Bread opened nearly two years ago, honey whole wheat, multi-grain and white breads continue to be customer favorites.Taylor RentalsTaylor Rentals remains a popular site for do-it-yourselfers interested in home repair or party preparation.Taylor maintains its community involvement by donating its services and supplies to several local events. The business often loans out public address systems, podiums and heaters to help events run smoothly.Since 1976 the business has rented sanders, pressure washers, paint sprayers, drills, lawnmowers and tillers mostly to homeowners looking to perform general maintenance projects or major home building or repair.Owner Don McIntyre, who bought the business in 1996, says he is happy to work with customers, helping them to find the right equipment no matter how large or small the project might be. And if Taylor Rentals doesn't have the right tools or machine, McIntyre says he's ready to help.We work closely with other yards, he said. Rather than having a customer run around and trying to secure it, we try to have the equipment and supplies you need when you need them.Taylor Rentals also specializes in party rental equipment and supplies such as tables, chairs and sterling silver sets. Customers have turned to Taylor Rentals, says McIntyre, for weddings, graduations and many other parties. New business of the year, Holiday Inn Hotel & SuitesWith its active community spirit and eagerness to build Federal Way into a thriving business and tourist center, Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites is reaching out to travelers and business leaders alike.Since its grand opening in October, 1999, Holiday Inn General Manager Christine Cochrane says she has been blown away by the great business the hotel has done - it averages a 72 percent occupancy rate.Cochrane says community involvement is vital to the hotel's success as well as important to the greater Federal Way community itself. Hotel staff are involved in Rotary Club events and youth development such as last spring's community literacy drive. About 90 of its employees donated nearly 800 books to the effort. The hotel also donated meeting space for Students of Distinction, the Mirror's yearly youth awards.Cochrane says she is all too happy to be involved in community events and development of the city. The hotel is merely reciprocating the welcome and support it's received from the community.We have been welcomed warmly and graciously, she said. And that is a rarity in markets where a new hotel comes in. We have been blessed.Cochrane says it's important that the hotel give back to a city that has given so much.If we do business here we must be a good corporate member, she said. That if you take you must give back. We are our brother's keeper.The Holiday Inn features 160 guest rooms and suites. It has 5,500 square feet of meeting space, an in-house restaurant, swimming pool and 24-hour airport shuttle service.The other nominee in this category was Courtyard by Marriott.Courtyard by MarriottWith its opening early last summer, Courtyard by Marriott has welcomed guests and weary travelers by giving them a clean, comfortable place to rest their heads.We want the business (clients) because there is a market for them, said rooms care manager Ryan Penhallegon. We have a lot of specials services, too.Those services include 160 guest rooms, 2,000 square feet of meeting space and many guest room amenities like two-line phones with data ports.The hotel's grand opening was celebrated in August, and earned three diamonds out of four from the American Automobile Association.As a new business, General Manager Shawn Cummins is looking to expand the hotel's community involvement. Many members of the staff are already separately involved as volunteers in youth organizations such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Recently, the hotel donated meeting space for a governor's reception. Marriott is also involved in Habitat for Humanity. "