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2008 Eastside Business Awards Finalists

Published In: Eastside Business News on May 9th 2008
Author: Eastside Business

Eastside Business newspaper works to promote Eastside businesses and business groups of all types and sizes through a print newspaper, online news site, and e-newsletter. The newspaper, launched in 2005, employs a business strategy that includes a commitment to community leadership, and recognition of the social responsibility it has to diversity and the environment, as well as a history of identifying and responding to emerging challenges on the Eastside.

Spirit of the Eastside

Organized Spaces

Organized Spaces helps people combat the clutter, working with homeowners and businesses to better utilize space and customize their storage areas with innovative and creative solutions. They do it all with a focus on great customer service, while being conscious of community needs. Keeping open lines of communication with team members has helped the company increase sales from $100,000 in 2002 to over $1 million in 2007 – growing from a business run out of a storage space to a showroom and warehouse location in Kirkland.

Ruby Slipper Guide to the Eastside

The Ruby Slipper Guide to the Eastside, was created in 2005 by two stay-at-home moms looking for ways to entertain their kids close to home. A labor of love quickly grew into a small business, accepting advertising, sharing news, and communicating with thousands of parents. In the year since Ruby Slipper Guide officially went online, the number of unique visitors to the site has grown to about 2,500 each month, and the newsletter subscription has grown to 700 parents across the Eastside.

Non-Profit/Community Impact

Habitat for Humanity of East King County

Candy Hammer is a third generation Issaquah resident, with roots that go back over 100 years. In 1980, Candy was 30 years old, happily married with two daughters and a son on the way. Then, Candy Hammer’s life changed forever when her husband said he wanted a divorce. In 1993, Candy had to find a new place to live and Habitat for Humanity worked with Candy to build a new home. Habitat for Humanity of East King County is celebrating 20 years of helping families like Candy’s build better lives.

Kids Without Borders

In 2001, Son Michael Pham accepted a $300,000 clothing donation, and Kids Without Borders was born. Wanting to teach kids the value of giving back, he organized a group of area residents and students to sort and process the donation. As the volunteers worked together on a common cause, the cultural and economic borders between them were torn down. The organization has donated over 10,000 pounds in household items to support local groups. Internationally, Kids Without Borders manages and funds several important programs, helping to break the cycle of poverty.

Kindering Center 

A recent study found that an estimated 1 in 12 U.S. workers has a child with a disability or special need. Founded in 1962 by five mothers of young children with disabilities, Kindering Center meets the needs of these families in our community. The organization provides highly individualized, family-centered, interdisciplinary early intervention programs for families with children ages birth to three years with developmental risks, delays, or disabilities. In 1962, Kindering Center served 5 children. In 2007, the organization provided services to 2,874 children and their families.

Eastside Emerging Business

Avidex

Avidex is an audiovisual firm that provides design, integration, project management, equipment procurement and support services for commercial and residential audiovisual projects of any size. It was late in 2003 when Avidex came to life with a vision to be a single source capable of meeting any customer’s need for A/V products and support services. Since its inception, Avidex has successfully completed over 1200 projects in 12 countries and 27 states and established offices from Southern California to their headquarters in Bellevue.

CFO Selections

To successfully grow and manage a small to medium sized company today requires the same professional finance expertise available at larger companies.  In 2002, CFO Selections seized the market and now provides a new service to small businesses by delivering a flexible, seasoned finance executive that won’t break the bank. They continue to help bridge the gap by providing outsourced, experienced finance and accounting professionals on a part-time, interim full-time, and project basis, or permanently through executive search services.

Sandlot Games Corporation

Headquartered in Bothell, Sandlot Games Corporation is one of the pioneers of the casual games industry. The company is dedicated to delivering fun, entertaining games that people all over the world can easily pick up and play. Sandlot Games offers a wide variety of game genres including arcade, adventure, puzzle, racing, strategy, and word-style games available online, or on handheld, video game console, and mobile phone platforms. Give Cake Mania a try, or check out Super Granny, Monster Mash, Pirate Island and Super Slyder.

Eastside Small Business

Elite Fitness Training

Elite Fitness Training has the solution to help people lose weight, tone up, and get healthier all while having fun doing it. Elite Fitness differentiates itself from its competitors in the fitness industry by increasing the likelihood of success through a team training approach. Since its inception in 2006, and starting with a team of four, Elite Fitness has tripled their business in Bellevue. Now a team of 13, the company has generated well over one million dollars in revenue and served over 200 people residing on the Eastside.

HipCricket, Inc.

In 2004, HipCricket’s founder, Ivan Braiker, realized the challenges facing traditional media required a forward-thinking solution. He knew that the mobile phone, used by millions of Americans, every day, was the key to unlocking traditional media’s full potential. Mobile marketing could bring advertisers closer to prospects and broadcasters closer to their audiences. As a pioneer in mobile marketing, HipCricket, named after a U.K. slang word for cell phones, has implemented more than 17,000 successful, turnkey campaigns with radio and TV stations and brands.

SaltWorks, Inc.

Five years ago, SaltWorks was a garage-based business without any employees. Located in Woodinville, it is now a full-fledged, multi-million dollar business with a database of over 30,000 customers worldwide. SaltWorks has found a niche – offering quality, reliable gourmet sea salt and therapeutic bath salt in wholesale and bulk quantities. In 2005, Entrepreneur magazine recognized SaltWorks as a unique entrepreneurial business. In 2007 the company arrived on the national scene, when its best selection of sea salts was included on Oprah’s Holiday ‘O’ List.

Eastside Business of the Year

Concur

The problem: Stacks of receipts, plane tickets and mileage logs.  The solution: automated business travel and expense reporting offered by Redmond-based Concur that takes the challenge out of time consuming, manual, and frustrating expense reports and countless employee hours spent processing requests.

Since its inception in 1993, Concur has been an industry leader with its innovation, technologies, and new opportunities. The company is shattering the notion of the traditional expense report with Concur Travel & Expense – the world’s only on-demand, end-to-end travel and expense solution.

Greenpoint Technologies

Greenpoint Technologies works to provide custom VIP interior designs for Boeing aircraft. Founded in 1988, Greenpoint has completed aircraft interiors for some of the world’s most discerning clients including private individuals, corporate leaders and heads-of-state. During the 20 years the company has been in business, Greenpoint has been compelled to align with new market opportunities, moving away from government projects toward the V-I-P market. In the past three years, company revenue has nearly doubled, and the organization is poised to exceed $100 million in revenue in the next five years.

ShareBuilder Corporation

ShareBuilder, launched in 1999 in Bellevue, provides easy to use, low cost investing solutions to the average American. The company, recently acquired by ING Direct, USA, utilizes an online investing platform to make long-term investing easy, accessible and affordable. ShareBuilder investors can purchase more than 4,000 stocks and funds of their choice and allow them to benefit from some of the lowest transaction fees in the industry. In addition, research and educational tools are available in language everyone can understand, from first-time traders to experienced investors.

Topics: News Awards