2013 Executive Excellence Awards: Overview

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Executive excellence is about good leadership and great execution. It’s about inspiring employees to put their best efforts into their work, whether they’re creating something completely new or serving customers in the best possible way day after day. Colleen Brown recalls that when she took over as CEO of Fisher Communications, the company had “great people and they just needed to be allowed to excel.”

Every great executive has his or her own particular way of eliciting excellence in others. For Inrix CEO Bryan Mistele, it’s about being transparency regarding finances, so employees feel like owners. For Dara Khosrowshahi at Expedia, it’s about uniting employees behind the mission of revolutionizing travel through technology. For Expeditors International CEO Peter Rose, it’s about hiring and training the right kind of people. For Columbia Bank’s Melanie Dressel, it’s about good communication.

Of course, building a great organization isn’t just about having a great CEO. Strong management means having great leadership at every level. When Sterling Bank lost its way and came close to bankruptcy, the bank was lucky to have Ezra Eckhardt step in as COO to help raise capital, cut costs and shrink bad assets so it could focus on what it does best: customer service. Marcia Mason, the vice president of human resources at Esterline Technologes for 19 years and now its general counsel, made sure culture and values remained intact even as the company acquired dozens of other firms. And as chief legal officer of F5 Networks, Jeff Christianson has played a key role in identifying and protecting the firms’s key technologies.

There are as many roads to great leadership as there are people. As evidence, we present the winners of our inaugural Executive Excellence Awards:

Jerry Lee, Chairman, MulvannyG2 Architecture – Lifetime Achievement Award recipient
Peter Rose, Chairman & CEO, Expeditors International
Megan Karch, CEO, FareStart
Colleen Brown, President & CEO, Fisher Communications
Steven Singh, Chairman & CEO, Concur Technologies
Dara Khosrowshahi, President & CEO, Expedia
Melanie Dressel, President & CEO, Columbia Bank
Bryan Mistele, President & CEO, Inrix
Mary Ellen Stone, Executive Director, King County Sexual Assault Resource
Ezra Eckhardt, President & COO, Sterling Bank
Kathryn Flores, Chief Administrative Officer, Child Care Resources of King County
Jeff Christianson, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, F5 Networks
Kathleen Philips, General Counsel, Zillow
Marcia Mason, Vice President & General Counsel, Esterline Corporation

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

Winner: Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
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Legacy Award
Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
Auburn › belshaw-adamatic.com
When it’s time to make doughnuts — or loaves of bread, or sheets of rolls — it could well be a Belshaw Adamatic piece of equipment that’s turning out the baked goods. From a 120,000-square-foot plant in Auburn, Belshaw Adamatic produces the ovens, fryers, conveyors and specialty equipment like jelly injectors used by wholesale and retail bakeries.
 
The firm’s two legacy companies — Belshaw started in 1923, Adamatic in 1962 — combined forces in 2007. Italy’s Ali Group North America is the parent.
 
It it takes work to maintain a legacy. A months-long strike in 2013 damaged morale and forced a leadership change. Frank Chandler was named president and CEO of Belshaw Adamatic in September 2013. The company has since strived to mend workplace relationships while also introducing a stream of new products, such as a convection oven, the BX Eco-touch, with energy saving features and steam injection that can be programmed for precise times in baking. The company energetically describes it as “an oven that saves time, reduces errors, makes an awesome product, and is fun to use and depend on every day!”
 
So far, more than 3,000 have been installed in quick-service restaurants, bakeries, cafés and supermarkets in the United States. They are the legacy of Thomas and Walter Belshaw, former builders of marine engines, who began producing patented manual and automated doughnut-making machines in Seattle 90 years ago. They sold thousands worldwide and, today, Belshaw Adamatic is the nation’s largest maker and distributor of doughnut-making equipment.