February 15, 2024
This Issues Topics:
2023 Business of the Year • 2024 • 2024 Ambassadors • Ambassador of the Year • Business Connections • Christine Brower • Evergreen Award • February • Mayor Toney Ketchum

Each year the Chamber honors the Business of the Year. New this year is naming the Evergreen Award recipient on an annual basis and Ambassador of the Year.

Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet Honors Three Individuals

Each year the Chamber honors the Business of the Year. New this year is naming the Evergreen Award recipient on anannual basis and Ambassador of the Year.

2023 Business of the Year:

Lewis County Coffee Company

• Article excerpted from speech Coffee operates with love given by Chamber President, and compassion, embodying Coralee Taylorthe spirit of giving back to our community that has

In just seven remarkable wholeheartedly supported years, Samantha and them. From their family-Spike Magnuson, based beginnings to along with their their commitmentdaughter Angie, to Lewis County, have transformed a their story is a humble coffee stand testament to the on State Avenue into power of dedication and an inspiring success story. community pride.From a single location, they’ve Their dedication to expanded to an astonishing excellence, community, and 10 coffee stations, including the transformation of coffee a unique coffee lounge called culture makes them a true The Station.gem. Lewis County Coffee

But their journey is not Company is a shining example just about numbers; it’s about of success and community heart and community. LC support.

Chamber President Coralee Taylor (far left) is joined by Chamber Executive Director Cynthia Mudge to present Lewis County Coffee Company with Business of the Year at the Annual Banquet.

• Excerpted from speech given by Chamber Board Member, Chris Thomas.

The Evergreen Award honors a person or organization for outstanding public service. This award used to be given every other year, but the Chamber board decided that there are so many worthy people in the Chamber community that someone should be honored each year. This year’s awardee is very deserving. They have lived in the community for more than 50 years, graduated from a local high school, have served on numerous boards, and been elected to office.

The Evergreen honoree believes in unifying the community. In their own words from an article: “My goal is to get all the communities in Lewis County working together as one. None of us can be an island – we need all of us to succeed.” That is why it was easy to choose Mayor Tony Ketchum this year’s Evergreen Award recipient.

A Lewis County resident of 50 years, Tony is dedicated to helping our community thrive. He’s lived in Chehalis since 1971 and is a WF West graduate. Tony has served on the Chehalis City Council for nearly 30 years, currently serving as Mayor. He joined the Twin Transit Board in 2021 and has been on numerous other boards demonstrating his commitment to the community, including: Visiting Nurses, Experience Chehalis, Hope Alliance, Sister Cities, Chehalis Clean Team, Special Olympics, Lewis County Historical Museum, and, of course, our Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

In addition, he has been volunteering for the Seattle-to-Portland ride each year managing the luggage station, bravely agreeing to be dunked at 3-on-3 basketball on a cold wet August day, and is one of the biggest cheerleaders of new businesses at our ribbon cuttings, business after hours, and other Chamber events.

He has also spent a great deal of time volunteering as a coach for youth soccer, baseball, and basketball, and giving back through his local church.

Tony believes in unifying and helping. He demonstrates this often as the first to raise his hand to help set up for an event, can be seen cleaning up (he’s known as the one-man graffiti removal crew), whatever it takes … and he believes strongly in working together for the benefit of all.

Mayor Tony Ketchum (left) with Chamber Board member Chris Thomas and Chamber President Coralee Taylor after presenting the Evergreen award at the Annual Chamber Banquet.
Chamber Board member Chris Thomas (right) announces Mayor Tony Ketchum (left) as the 2023 Evergreen Award recipient.

Ambassador of the Year: Christine Brower

At the Annual Banquet, Board member Trent Henning honored the Chamber Ambassadors who support the mission and efforts of the Chamber in an official capacity by connecting with members, new businesses, and assisting with key Chamber events and activities. They volunteer their time, skills, and resources to assist the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce in its endeavors.

Christine Brower is a recognized smiling face and welcoming presence at many of our Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies, Business After Hours, and other Chamber events. She has been an active Ambassador for more than fourteen years during which time the Chamber can always count on her to help and be a champion of other Chamber businesses.

Becoming an Ambassador

In addition to serving our community, Chamber Ambassadors have the unique opportunity to promote themselves, their businesses, and make valuable contacts with leaders throughout the Lewis County Area. Being an Ambassador provides opportunities to network with representatives from a wide variety of businesses and organizations while being recognized among peers as a community leader, both individually and for the business or organization an ambassador represents.

We would love nothing more than for our Ambassador team to grow in 2024! If you think joining our Ambassador program sounds like a worthwhile venture; being part of helping our business community grow and prosper, or if you as a business owner or operator believe one or more of your team members could benefit professionally and personally from serving as an ambassador, please reach out to myself, any board member, or any member of the Chamber office for more information and next steps.

Christine is often seen supporting our many Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies. Here is is (far right) at the Historic Barber Shop along with fellow Chamber Ambassador (far left) Alicia Blum.
Christine spreading holiday cheer at the Ugly Sweater Contest in December. She was a snow globe.

2024 Ambassadors:

Christine Brower – Community Member
Amanda Curry – Sticklin Funeral Home
LeeAnn Craig – Great Northwest Federal Credit Union
Jessica Quezada – Holiday Inn Express & Best Western
Cara Legg – Live 95 & KITI
Heidi MacDonald – Lady MacDonald’s Gourmet Foods
Shari McFarland – The Paula Burrows Team
Cory Moses – Zen Events & Entertainment & ACG
Diane Dorey – Retired, Community Member
Elijah White – The Chronicle
Michelle Davis – City of Napavine
Thank you, Ambassadors!

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