Finalists for Crystal Star award announced

Business: Alliance of Women Owned Businesses to hold its awards gala in May

of the GatewayMarch 12, 2014 

Attendees gather for photos during the 2012 Association of Women Owned Businesses awards banquet at Canterwood Golf & Country Club. The nominees for this year’s banquet recently were announced.


Nominees for the Crystal Star awards, as well as the Rising Star Award and Shining Star Award, have been named. The bi-annual ceremony is sponsored by the Alliance of Women Owned Businesses.

A lot of work goes into selecting nominees, chair Beverly Cox said.

“The fun culmination of all of that is to pick the finalists,” she said.

The finalists were surprised with flowers and a decorative certificate. Cox, who called it the highlight of the awards process, said the personalized touch went over well with nominees.

The Crystal Star Awards recognize a female business owner who has raised 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., also is a nominee.

Other Gig Harbor business owners have been nominated for the two other categories.

Janet Vitcovich of A Blessing to Serve has been 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 has been nominated for the Rising Star Award, which recognizes a woman who has owned her business for less than five years but already is 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 also have been nominated.

The AWOB started in Gig Harbor in 2010. The first awards gala was held in 2012.

Cox said Gig Harbor has a good track record for women-owned businesses.

“Our core was built from here,” said Cox, who added the awards mean the organization is having a wider 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 that includes Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and South Sound Business Examiner Publisher Jeff Rounce.

The gala awards and dinner will be held 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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