The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce recently held its 30th Annual Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Eastside Business Awards reception and ceremony recognizing local businesses OfferUp, Dragonchain, Jubilee REACH and FSorb.
The awarded businesses were featured in the 2019 Eastside Business Awards Entrepreneur Magazine and were praised for their commitment to quality, community and innovation. The various awards gave several types of businesses an opportunity for recognition including small businesses, nonprofits and groundbreaking ventures.
“Part of the mission of the Bellevue Chamber is to educate the community about the incredible innovators who call the Eastside home,” Bellevue Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Joe Fain said. “We also serve an important role creating connections for our business leaders. It’s great to see people staying long after the event, to talk, network, exchange business cards and connect with one another.”
A panel of judges selected each business for its respective award. Fain added that each nominee was deserving of the recognition, but the winners, which are all Bellevue-based companies, had a certain quality that set them apart, whether it was how they have harnessed a novel technology or the commitment they have made to diversity and their employees’ quality of life.
“Congratulations to all the nominees, and especially the well-deserving winners, for their contributions to the greater Eastside community,” Bellevue Chamber Board chair Josh Marti said. “It’s remarkable what we’ve seen and celebrated over the years at this event. We continue to recognize the pioneering spirit of companies that make a difference in our community.”
OfferUp, an 8-year-old company, and one of the largest mobile marketplaces in the United States, won the Eastside Business of the Year award, recognized for its performance as an Eastside business with more than 100 employees. Specifically, the award considers a company’s propensity to seize opportunity, its leadership in the industry, the strength of its leadership team and financial stability.
“We started on the Eastside, we’ve always been on the Eastside,” said vice president of UX and Incubation, Shiraz Cupala, in his acceptance speech. “We love it here. We’re very grateful to the city of Bellevue and everyone here that makes it such an amazing climate for entrepreneurs to grow and thrive.”
Dragonchain, a global organization involved with blockchain technology applications, won the Eastside Small Business of the Year award. It was recognized as a company with fewer than 100 employees that has established a presence in the community and committed to workforce excellence while demonstrating an entrepreneurial spirit.
“It’s truly our honor to be in Bellevue as a blockchain company,” said global public relations manager Zara Huang during an acceptance speech. “Our main goal is definitely to try to help all the businesses if they are trying to look into the new solution. We’re really excited to be in Bellevue to explore future opportunities.”
Jubilee REACH, which provides programs to empower local youth, won the Eastside Nonprofit of the Year award. According to the chamber, Jubilee REACH demonstrated exceptional efforts to improve and advance the community.
“What’s great about the city of Bellevue is they have a heart as well, and that’s what we appreciate from all of you in this room is your support of the work we do,” said director of business and finance Lindsey Hoffman in her acceptance speech. “The partnership of working with the Bellevue School District, the city council, the businesses, everybody together, I just have to say we’re so grateful to be able to serve our community, to serve you, and serve the youth.”
FSorb, a company developing acoustic panels for walls and ceilings made from recycled polyester plastics, won the Groundbreaker award for pursuing a new idea that makes an impact on business practices.
“I’m humbled, but I want to thank every one of you because every one of you is contributing to (our product),” said managing partner Doug Bixel as he accepted the award, hoisting a plastic bottle and FSorb’s acoustic material. “We’re really proud to be able to take something as simple as (a plastic bottle) and turn it into (our product).”