The Biz Buzz

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July
12th

Chamber names winners of annual civic spirit awards

At a Friday luncheon, the Tacoma-Pierce Chamber presented its annual awards saluting local businesses and leaders.

This year’s winners were:

The Ghilarducci Award recognizing successful new development, renovation or beautification:
• Murray Morgan Bridge Rehabilitation

The Popham Award (named for the late Art Popham, a business columnist at The News Tribune) recognizing the individual that has done the most to build community spirit:
• Sue Schaeffer, Tacoma Waterfront Association

The Public Places Award recognizing the best activation of a public park, open space or right-of-way:
• Frost Park Chalk Off

The Schoenfeld Award recognizing exemplary

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July
12th

Gov. Inslee seeking volunteer members for state committee on disabilities

Gov. Jay Inslee is looking for at least 11, and perhaps 15, new members of the Committee on Disability Issues and Employment.

Members of the public have been urged to apply.

According to a release this week from the Employment Security Department, which oversees the committee, the group advises the governor, Legislature, state agencies, public and private organizations and the general public “on disability issues. Members recommend ways to address those issues, emphasizing opportunities to increase independence and jobs for those with disabilities.”

Potential members of the committee must have a disability or have experience working with people who have

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July
11th

Tacoma’s first new major hotel in eight years opens near UWT

When Caroline Curtis and Vickie Molzer unlocked the front doors of the Holiday Inn Express Downtown Tacoma  Thursday afternoon, that simple, unceremonious event marked the informal end of seven years of planning, negotiation and construction that brought Tacoma its newest major hotel.

First conceived in 2006, the hotel developed by Seattle-based Hotel Concepts, slogged its way through numerous city design reviews, architectural modifications and the sluggish economy to finally become reality at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Curtis, operations manager for hotel operator BMI Hospitality and Molzer, the hotel’s first general manager, did the honors, and the hotel received its first guests.

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July
11th

Pierce County hosting free, two-hour seminar Aug. 5 on Affordable Care Act Exchange

Rather than being bewildered and befuddled about the Affordable Care Act – which will soon be implemented – here’s a chance to get some perspective.

The state has chosen to establish a Health Benefit Exchange, which is a marketplace where individuals and businesses with fewer than 50 employees can shop for insurance plans.

So what does this mean for you? Pierce County is hosting a meeting early next month where guests can “learn about significant changes to health care delivery and what they mean for your business and your employees. Even if you have more than 50 employees, this seminar

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July
11th

Tacoma and teeth go hand in hand (or mouth); destiny and dentistry meet here

Agritourist golfing tooth practitioners, take note.

I’m not sure what an outfit called “valuepenguin” is or does, but it has named Tacoma as the best city in the country to be a dentist.

Valuepenguin said in a release this week: “With a median salary of $186,370, Tacoma ranks as the best place to be a dentist on our list. Dentists in Tacoma command the highest reported median salary across the U.S. There are 370 dentists serving the city, which is twice the national average of dentists employed in the typical U.S. city. With its natural and cultural attractions, Tacoma

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July
11th

Alaska Air Group board answers Wall Street’s incessant request with a dividend

SeaTac-based Alaska Air Group Thursday announced it will begin issuing a quarterly cash dividend next month.

The airline holding company will pay shareholder of record on Aug. 6 a 20-cent-per-share dividend on Aug. 22.

The holding company owns Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier, Horizon Air.  The dividend will be in addition the multi-year stock repurchase program the airline company has initiated.

Wall Street analysts, noting the airlines’ growing pile of cash in recent quarters have repeatedly quizzed the airline when it will begin distributing that money to shareholders in the form of a dividend.  Until Thursday, Alaska’s answer has

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July
11th

Boeing wins rare 747-8 Freighter order

With orders for the latest version of Boeing’s iconic 747 continuing to struggle, the company Thursday announced an order for two of the freighter version of the jumbo jet from Silk Way Airlines, a cargo carrier in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Boeing put the value of  the two freighters at $704 million at list prices.

The 747-8 is the fifth generation of the 4-engine jumbo jet that debuted in the last ’60s.  The 747-8 features new, fuel-efficient engines, an improved wing, an updated interior and electronics.  Boeing has net orders for 105 of the planes.  The company has sold just five of

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July
10th

Monique Trudnowski appointed to Tacoma Public Utilities board

Monique Trudnowski, Tacoma restaurant owner and chairwoman of the Tacoma Regional Convention + Vistor Bureau, has been appointed to serve a five-year term as a member of the Tacoma Public Utility board. She will attend her first board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

In her role as co-owner and operator of Adriatic Grill Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar, and as a community activist, Trudnowski recently received congressional recognition for her service to the greater Tacoma area and the state.

“I am interested in adding another layer of knowledge and advocacy by serving the customers of Tacoma Public Utilities,” Trudnowski

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