2019 Washington Manufacturing Awards, Company of the Year (Large)

Gold: Safe Boats International LLC, Bremerton; Silver: Cedar Grove Composting Inc., Seattle
WATERCRAFT. Frank Heinrich is the integration manager at Safe Boats International, which has developed a global market for its agile aluminum vessels.

This article appears in the May 2019 issue. See more about the winners of the 2019 Washington Manufacturing Awards hereClick here for a free subscription.

Safe Boats International LLC, Bremerton

Small boats like the speedy, highly maneuverable aluminum watercraft made by Safe Boats International are a big part of the marine industry. For military, law enforcement, fire and rescue operations, the Safe Boats design — typically with a foam-collar system for stability, flotation and as fenders — has not only contributed to the company’s growth but enabled the Bremerton-based business to sell its products globally. Lots of companies are after the same market. Safe Boats looks to outrace them with attention to quality and detail through measures such as building critical components like fuel tanks in-house and incorporating customer feedback into next-generation models for the design of windshields, seating, generators, stowage and entryway widths.

The 265-employee company has a multi-pronged approach for continued growth, including repowering, repairing and renovating existing boats and setting up international affiliations to extend sales. Safe Boats recently signed one deal for representation in the United Kingdom and another with a Saudi company that could lead to production of its products there. 

Cedar Grove Composting Inc., Seattle

Cedar Grove Composting takes 400,000 tons of residential and commercial food and yard waste a year that are processed at Washington facilities in Maple Valley and Everett and turns it into a material sold through national retailers. Recycling and composting aren’t new concepts, but Cedar Grove believes there’s room for continuing innovation. It has developed a system for removing plastics that contaminate the inbound waste stream. To demonstrate the capabilities and benefits of food- and yard-waste recycling, Cedar Grove also has started Sound Sustainable Farms, a 65-acre farm in Redmond that uses its own certified organic compost to grow vegetables for Seattle restaurants.

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