Community Giving, Your OlyFed

Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce Presents Business Awards

Six local businesses and professionals were recognized Tuesday, Dec. 10, for their achievements during the second annual Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

Those who received accolades include Olympia Federal Savings, The Shiplap Shop and Coffee House, Bounty for Families, 507 Taproom and Filling Station, Mr. Doug’s and Realtor Tracie Choate.

“I thought it was outstanding and the selection team did an outstanding job choosing the winner,” said Angie Evans, president of the Chamber’s board of directors and general manager at the Prairie Hotel. “All of the award winners were definitely well-deserved.”

Each business received a specific distinction in recognition of the integral roles they play in the community.

The following are the awards given, according to a post published on the Chamber’s Facebook page:

• Olympia Federal Savings received the Wagon Wheel Commitment to Community Award for the staff’s effort in going “above and beyond to give back to their community in a noticeable and impactful way through innovation, event creation and/or community outreach.”

• The Shiplap Shop and Coffee House received the Pride of the Prairie Award for making major strides in beautification and storefront improvement.

• Bounty for Families received the Nisqually Award for its efforts to implement environmentally-friendly practices and policies.

• 507 Taproom and Filling Station received the Mount Rainier Award for being an emerging business in the last five years that is demonstrating sustainability and success in the community.

• Mr. Doug’s received the Legacy Award for its long term success, vitality and longevity. This award is only given out to candidates that are 20 years or older.

• Realtor Tracie Choate took home the Fay Fuller Award for being an exemplary leader in the business community.

Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Line Critchfield said it has been exciting to come back for a second year and recognize another group of professionals who have committed themselves and their businesses to be community focused.

“It’s just really special for us because we love celebrating the successes of our member businesses. Every opportunity we get to celebrate them is exactly what we want,” Critchfield said.

(Olympia Federal Savings Entry:) At OlyFed you’re more than the balance of your bank account. Guided by their “Better Fedder” training and a compassionate and caring attitude, the team at OlyFed nurtures relationships to help you define and achieve your financial goals. Accountable to their depositors and borrowers, not corporate shareholders, they put people above the bottom line and it’s evidenced by the business and trust they’ve gained in the almost five years they’ve been a part of the Yelm community. In that short period, they’ve been able to gain close to a $11 million in deposits and 10% of the overall market share. That trust and business has come because of their investments in the Yelm community. Yelm Branch Manager Jane Walker has been a resident of Yelm for more than two decades; raising her family in the community, she now does business. Jane is a member of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is currently Treasurer of the Board. She is also active in the Yelm Real Estate Network and with the Yelm Rotary Student of the Month program, where OlyFed contributes a $100 CD to each month’s award recipient.

In fact, Jane and her entire branch team have been instrumental in supporting dozens of community events, projects and initiatives. Just recently, the bank made a $20,000+ commitment to the new Yelm Boys & Girls Club. In addition, they’ve helped many great local events get off the ground like Yelm Jazz in the Park, Prairie Stampede 5K and the Nisqually Valley Barbecue Rally. They regularly support and take part in the Yelm Farmers Market, Prairie Days Parade, Nisqually Valley Home Show and Yelm Chamber Forum and After Hours events. The team also provides financial assistance to Yelm FFA, Dollars for Scholars and the Yelm Schools Business Partner program. OlyFed has also supported students in our community by taking part in the district’s Financial Literacy Advisory Committee, conflict resolution training through the Peacemakers Club at Ridgeline Middle School, support through Graduate Yelm and Citizens for Yelm Schools. Education opportunities also extend beyond our local schools as Jane and her team have provided training to the greater community as they’ve done at Rosemont Senior Living with classes focused on fraud prevention.

Jane and her team also look for other creative ways to support the community like offering space in their new building at no charge for board meetings, classes, seminars and community events with organizations like Nisqually Land Trust, Yelm Chamber of Commerce, Thurston County Economic Development Council, Toastmasters, Yelm Writers Club, Bounty for Families and the Triad Theater. While OlyFed has been a part of the Yelm community just a few years, the organization has played a critical role in the greater Thurston County economy/region for more than 113 years, dedicating anywhere from 10 to 15% of its annual profits to charitable gifts and community sponsorships. Last year that equated to more than $400,000 in support of more than 200 local organizations. Not to mention the thousands of hours its employees dedicate in community volunteerism.

Overall, the impact of OlyFed in the Yelm community over the past five years has been tremendous. It’s been a positive influence for not only our business community, but also for the greater good of our schools, neighborhoods and local infrastructure.