Island entrepreneurs dressed in their holiday best for the San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce annual meeting at Brickworks, Dec. 11.
“Our new location was one of our biggest projects this year,” said Becki Day, the chamber’s executive director, during her annual report, adding that in the old location, behind the General Store on Spring Street, only two staff members were needed at the front desk even in the middle of summer. In the new location, at 165 First Street, four employees were necessary for the peak season. On one record day, 258 people came through the chamber’s office.
Helen Machin-Smith and Dan Mayes, co-founders of Island Stage Left, gave a sneak peek from their upcoming performance “Omnium Gatherum.” This show, opening Dec. 15, has become an island holiday tradition, its two Christmas Eve shows usually sell out.
After applause for Stage Left, Mayor Carrie Lacher read a town proclamation, appreciating the ferry workers who, for no fault of their own handled a tough tourist season involving multiple ferry breakdowns.
The proclamation read:
“Whereas, Zach Akin and his crew exhibited great skill and patience in assisting their customers and working through challenges presented them on a day to day basis; and
Whereas, the Town of Friday Harbor wishes to thank and recognize these unsung heroes and heroines for tackling the problems as they arose while maintaining their good humor and professionalism.”
Dec. 13 is now Friday Harbor Ferry Workers Appreciation Day.
Akin, Anchor Management Services Inc. owner and operator, which contracts with the state to manage Friday Harbors ferry terminal, thanked everyone for the recognition, while his crew stood beside him, smiling.
The awards of excellence were given to business owners who were recognized for excelling in quality service, products, upholding the island friendly spirit, practicing high business ethics and exemplifying enlightened customer service and staff relations, Day said.
Awards were presented to the following businesses:
Accommodations – Lakedale Resort
Activities – Island Stage Left
Art – Belle Terre Island Ceramics
Aviation – Kenmore Air
Boating – San Juan Safaris
Community/Community Events – The Whale Museum
Education – Friday Harbor UW Labs
Health and Wellness – San Juan Fitness
Island Services – Island Air
Non-Profit – Wolf Hollow
Professional Services – Eagle Home Mortgage
Restaurant – Coho Restaurant
Retail-a tie – Robins Nest and Griffin Bay Books
Transportation – San Juan Transit
Utilities – San Juan Wireless
Sam R. Buck presented the Community Spirit Award to Lacher, who said she was proud of her accomplishments and congratulated mayor-elect Farhad Ghatan.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what he does,” Lacher said.