Finalists for Crystal Star award announced

Business: The Alliance of Women Owned Businesses will hold its second bi-annual awards gala in May

of the GatewayMarch 6, 2014 

Attendees at the 2012 awards banquet for the Association of Women Owned Businesses pose at Canterwood Country Club. The nominees for the 2014 banquet have just been announced.

LEE GILES III — The Peninsula Gateway

The bi-annual Crystal Star awards, sponsored by the Alliance of Women Owned Businesses, have announced nominees for the honor as well as the Rising Star Award and the Shining Star Award.

A lot of work goes into selecting nominees, Beverly Cox, Crystal Star chair, said. “The fun culmination of all of that is to pick the finalists.”

The finalists were surprised with a flower and decorative certificate. It was a highlight of the awards process for Cox. She said the personalized touch went over well with nominees.

The Crystal Star Award recognizes a female business owner who raises the status of all female businesses owners through creativity, leadership and determination. Two of the three finalists are from Gig Harbor: Lianna Collinge, of Association Management and Laura Day-Moran of Harbor Audiology. Tacoma’s Mary Lynn Pannen, of Sound Options, Inc., rounds out the nominees.

Other Gig Harbor business owner are nominated for the two other categories. Janet Vitcovich, of A Blessing to Serve, is nominated for the Shining Star Award, a new category that recognizes an AWOB member who sets an example as an entrepreneur. Margrit Glenn, of Visionarch LLC in Port Orchard and Dyann Lyon of Your Whole Health in Tacoma are the other nominees.

Sarah Friesen, of Gig Harbor Home Management, is nominated for the Rising Star Award, which recognizes a woman who has owned her business for less than five years, but is already making a difference in her community. Kelle Kitchel-Cooper, of the Rockfish Group in Poulsbo, and Lynnae Schneller, of Lynnae’s Gourmet Pickles in Tacoma, are also nominated.

The AWOB started in Gig Harbor in 2010. This is the second time the organization has held the awards, the first gala was in 2012.  Cox said that Gig Harbor has a good track record for women-owned businesses.

“Our core was built from here,” Cox said, but the awards mean the AWOB is having a wider area impact. 

“More and more people have heard of the organization and seem to resonate with our program and our education,” she said.

Finalists will be chosen by a panel made up of Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, Mayor of Bremerton Patty Lent and South Sound Business Examiner publisher Jeff Rounce. The gala awards and dinner will be May 15 at the Fircrest Country Club.


Reporter Karen Miller can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at Follow her on Twitter, @Gateway_Karen.

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