Small Business Awards finalists include Issaquah entrepreneurs

September 27, 2011

Issaquah companies specializing in iconic root beer floats and pan-Pacific shipping earned spots as finalists in the inaugural King County Executive’s Small Business Awards.

Trans-NET Inc., a shipping company focused on Far East ports in Russia, is nominated in the Exporting Small Business of the Year category. Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in is up for Minority Small Business of the Year.

“Those are two very diverse businesses,” Issaquah Chamber of Commerce CEO Matthew Bott said. “One does niche shipping to Russia and one does burgers and fries and nostalgia. It shows that we have some really unique stories behind our local businesses.”

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County Small Business Award finalists include Issaquah entrepreneurs

August 30, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 30, 2011

The finalists for the inaugural King County Executive’s Small Business Awards include Issaquah enterprises, TransNET Inc. and Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in.

King County Executive Dow Constantine — along sponsors Microsoft, KeyBank, enterpriseSeattle, Small Business Partners for Prosperity and the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County — named 21 finalists in seven categories Monday.

TransNET Inc., a logistics provider, is nominated in the Exporting Small Business of the Year category. The award recognizes a small business for achieving “significant increased international sales” in the global marketplace.

The iconic Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in is up for Minority Small Business of the Year. The honor highlights a minority-owned business for attaining “outstanding business achievement” and exemplifying the contributions made by minority-owned businesses in King County.

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José Enciso, drive-in proprietor, receives top honor

May 24, 2011

José Enciso Sr., longtime Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in proprietor, received dual awards May 17, including the community’s highest honor.

José Enciso, owner of the Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, smiles while audience members applaud as he is inducted into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the annual Issaquah Community Awards banquet. By Greg Farrar

The city inducted Enciso into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the 32nd annual Community Awards Luncheon. The man serving behemoth burgers and enormous root beer floats along Northeast Gilman Boulevard also received the Business Person of the Year honor.

Enciso said he was told about being nominated for Business Person of the Year, and that was why he had to attend the luncheon. But the Hall of Fame honor surprised him.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “It was great.”

Enciso joins a diverse and rarified group in the Issaquah Hall of Fame. Past inductees include environmentalist Ruth Kees, Salmon Days Festival organizer Robin Kelley and, last year, retired City Administrator Leon Kos.

Enciso bought the iconic drive-in more than a decade ago. Nowadays, the restaurant is a mecca for spring and summer car shows.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders also named Tom Sessions as Citizen of the Year, another leading honor. Councilman Fred Butler received the Volunteer of the Year honor.

The lunchtime ceremony at the Holiday Inn attracted a who’s who of Issaquah — City Council members, Issaquah School District administrators, business leaders and community activists.

José Enciso, drive-in proprietor, receives top community honor

May 19, 2011

José Enciso, owner of the Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, smiles as audience members applaud as he is inducted into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the annual Issaquah Community Awards. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 12:30 p.m. May 19, 2011

José Enciso Sr., longtime Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in proprietor, received dual awards Tuesday, including the community’s highest honor.

The city inducted Enciso into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the 32nd annual Community Awards Luncheon. The man serving behemoth burgers and enormous root beer floats along Northeast Gilman Boulevard also received the Business Person of the Year honor.

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City leaders ignore protests, honor retired administrator

June 28, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. June 28, 2010

Former City Administrator Leon Kos shunned the spotlight during the week before he retired April 30. The longest-serving city administrator in the state repeatedly insisted against a farewell party.

Mayor Ava Frisinger and the City Council ignored the protests.

The city inducted Kos into the Issaquah Hall of Fame last month, but he had departed for a trip to the Midwest after he retired, and missed the ceremony.

City leaders managed to lure Kos back to City Hall last week to recognize his contributions to Issaquah and the region.

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2010 Community Awards

May 25, 2010

City inducts Leon Kos into Hall of Fame; chamber names Bob Ittes as Citizen of the Year

Leon Kos, Hall of Fame

Community leaders honored the man at the helm of city administration through more than three decades and four mayors with the top city award last week.

The city inducted retired City Administrator Leon Kos into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the 31st annual Community Awards Luncheon.

Besides Kos, the city and civic organizations honored people in 15 categories for community and volunteer efforts at the May 18 ceremony.

Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders named longtime community banker Bob Ittes as Citizen of the Year. Chamber CEO Matt Bott praised Ittes as “one of the pillars of our community” before the announcement.

“In his quiet way, the recipient has provided strong, steady leadership to a number of local organizations,” Bott said.

Ittes launched Issaquah Community Bank in July 2007 — “known by many as Bob’s bank” — Rowley Properties executive Kristi Tripple, the ceremony emcee, said in the announcement.

The bank merged with three other Puget Sound-area institutions in February to become Bank of the Northwest.

“Pulling together a bank merger during one of the worst economic periods in history is no small feat,” Tripple said. Read more

Retired City Administrator Leon Kos inducted into Issaquah Hall of Fame

May 18, 2010

NEW — 1:55 p.m. May 18, 2010

Community leaders honored the man at helm of the city administration through more than three decades and four mayors with the top city award Tuesday.

The city inducted retired City Administrator Leon Kos into the Issaquah Hall of Fame during the 31st Annual Community Awards Luncheon.

Besides Kos, the city and civic organizations honored more than a dozen people in 15 categories for community and volunteer efforts.

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Press Editorial

May 11, 2010

Issaquah marked by achievers, volunteers

A Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award nominations, environmental awards, Tree City USA, scholars, top athletes, best Retirement City…. are there still awards Issaquah and its citizens have yet to receive? The recognitions come from near and far, locally and nationally — and they just keep coming. Read more

City seeks Issaquah Hall of Fame nominees

April 16, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. April 16, 2010

Nominate outstanding citizens for the Issaquah Hall of Fame, the annual honor bestowed by city leaders on someone who has made a lasting contribution to the community.

Every spring, the mayor and City Council president select the honoree. Mayor Ava Frisinger and Council President John Traeger will evaluate nominees on several criteria, such as civic-mindedness, leadership and service.

Frisinger and Traeger will also evaluate the role a person plays in drawing positive attention to Issaquah and fundraising for the public good. Length of service will be a factor in the decision as well.

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Community Awards 2009

May 16, 2009

Barbara Justice draws applause as she heads to the podium after being announced as the Hall of Fame recipient. By Greg Farrar

Barbara Justice draws applause as she heads to the podium after being announced as the Hall of Fame recipient. By Greg Farrar

The business leader instrumental in spearheading the Issaquah Highlands and the project leader of the Issaquah Valley Trolley Project were both inducted into the Issaquah Hall of Fame May 19. In addition, Mayor Ava Frisinger was named Citizen of the Year.

The honors were bestowed during the Greater Issaquah Chamber of Commerce 30th annual Community Awards Banquet held at the Holiday Inn.

Judd Kirk, Port Blakely Communities executive, and Barb Justice, of the trolley project, were named to the 2009 Hall of Fame. Nominees were evaluated on several criteria, including the type of service, leadership and length of service to the community.

Kirk was lauded for creating his vision of an urban village — the Issaquah Highlands. The housing development stressed the importance of building green, said Bob Ittes, chairman of the chamber board.

“The Issaquah Highlands has the highest number of homes built green by a developer in Washington,” Ittes said.

Kirk was in New Zealand on a business trip; his daughter Lisa Hysom accepted the award. She said her father considered it an honor to receive the award. Read more

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