And the winners are ...

Queen Anne Chamber hosts annual awards luncheon

Before bestowing the final honor of the Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards luncheon at the World Trade Center last Friday, co-president Hossein Soleymani said that, “some of us want to do something. Others, they do it.”

He was referring to Carol Jackson, recipient of the President’s Award for dedicated service to both the chamber and the Queen Anne community.

Among her duties is co-managing the Chamber’s Holiday Tree Lighting Program, running the children’s area at the Queen Anne Farmers Market, and spends her Wednesday evenings at the Bethany Presbyterian Church helping with the weekly community dinner.

“It just seems like there’s always something to do,” she said. “There’s always an organization that needs someone to be a face,”

And, she said, the people she works with makes it simple.

“It’s just something easy I can do, and I was raised that way, to always give back, and so I’ve found these organizations that are kind of close to my home, and easy to volunteer for because the people I work for are so nice,” she said.

Jackson was one of five honorees at the 11th annual ceremony, which included a keynote address by Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman. Bowman, who is seeking a second term on the Commission, had praise for small businesses and neighborhood chambers and their role in the local economy.

“You guys are the ones that do the real work, by keeping our neighborhoods vibrant,” she said. “I don’t think you get enough recognition, we focus a lot in the community on the big businesses, on the Boeings and Microsofts and Amazons, but the truth of the matter is it’s the small businesses that keep this city humming.” she said.

Aegis of Queen Anne on Galer (223 W. Galer St.) was given the Large Business Award, recognized for not only hosting Chamber board meetings and other events, but their support of the annual tree lighting and Queen Anne Days, along with the donations to area nonprofits through the Queen Bee Café.

Joe Geivett of Emerald Bay Equity, which won the award last year, said that, “it’s really special when somebody understands Queen Anne and understands what’s going on and can develop something, and not just build a building but actually join the community,” in presenting the honor.

“On behalf of our entire team and our residents that live with us, we want to thank you,” said Sonia Chahal Singh, general manager of the senior living community. “This is a real honor.”

William Isenberger, CEO of Axis Studios, accepted the Small Business Award, saying its been it great both professionally and personally to become involved with the Chamber.

Debbie Girard received the Community Service Award, in honor of her revamp of the Chamber’s website.

Chamber co-president Christopher Togawa remembered the first time he met Girard, approximately a year ago, at a time when the Chamber as a whole was in flux.

“We met at a luncheon, and she came up to me and in so many words — not many — she said, ‘I’m here to make a change. I’m here to help, and make a difference,’ And she lives up to her words,” he said.

She said despite not having a background in web design, she’s proud of the work she’s done.

“I’m typically the person that feels more comfortable backstage, and pushing people out on stage,” she said.

Also recognized was Cate Williamson, who was recently given the Service Above Self Award from McClure Middle School for her work in the drama program and SAGA student group as well as her help in the classroom.

Charley Shore, executive director of the Chamber, presented a series of sayings on the importance of volunteerism, reciting quotes from the likes of Emma Bombeck and Winston Churchill. But one unknown idiom received the biggest response.

“Don’t ever question the value of volunteers,” she said. “Noah’s Ark was built by volunteers. The Titanic was built by professionals.”

To learn more about the Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce, visit The Chamber’s next luncheon is Oct. 19 at the Best Western Executive Inn (200 Taylor Ave. N.) from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. To comment on this story, write to