Top Innovators 2010


Ideas come from all sorts of places, but it takes a special person to recognize the ramifications of those ideas. That is what innovation is all about. People had been watching apples fall from trees for thousands of years before Sir Isaac Newton watched the apple’s acceleration during its fall and realized that the same force was at work keeping the moon in orbit around the Earth. While not all innovators have that sudden flash of insight—the apocryphal apple conking Sir Isaac in the head, Archimedes’ overflowing bath, or Kekulé’s dream of the benzene carbon ring—what is true is that innovators are as predisposed toward finding solutions from existing tools as they are capable of creating new tools; they see what others have missed, building on prior work to make something entirely new.

Top Innovators is Seattle Business’ celebration of the spark of innovation. Whether an inventor creates a new device or an entrepreneur creates a new market, these are the people and innovations we will be watching.

Update: Click here to see a photo gallery from our Top Innovators awards banquet Oct. 21, 2010 at the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle.

The Top Innovators of 2010:

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The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

The 2016 Washington Manufacturing Awards: Legacy Award

Winner: Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
Legacy Award
Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group
Auburn ›
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.