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2012 Coveted Way to Go Award Winners

December 2012

Over 200 representatives from local businesses, agencies, and organizations gathered at The Davenport Hotel on February 7, 2013 to honor outstanding Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) performances at the 17th annual Way to Go Awards Luncheon. Master of Ceremonies, Ted Horobiowski, CTR Board Member and retired Avista’s Strategic Transportation Initiatives Manager, welcomed everyone attending.

Keynote Speaker, Kevin Wallace, Executive Director for the Spokane Regional Transportation Council shared how the ongoing efforts and progress of sustainability that our region works so hard for and how the actions of everyone here today and the entire community, have a vital impact on the efficiency and sustainability of the entire region.

Highlighting the event was the presentation of the three coveted Pinnacle Awards to Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC), Goodwill Industries and Sterling Bank. These employers have gone far beyond the minimum requirements to demonstrate a firm understanding of the true benefits of trip reduction activities -- cleaner air, healthier employees, reduced traffic and an overall enhancement of the quality of life in Spokane County. For a complete story on each award winner, please scroll down to Pinnacle Award Winners.

Another highlight was the presentation of the All Star Team Award to EWU/WSU – Riverpoint Campus. The All Star Team Award is designed to honor an outstanding worksite CTR Committee. Many employers have formed committees to assist the worksite ETC in promoting commute alternatives and communicating with employees. Active CTR committees are invaluable at worksites and often come up with fun and creative ideas. For a complete story on the All Star Team, scroll below to All Star Team Award Winner.

The awards event included special recognition of the four 2012 All Star Coaches (ETCs) and twelve Most Valuable Commuters (MVCs). The All Star Coaches get personally involved with employees to help them find the best commute alternative, they "walk their talk" by using a commute alternative and they are continually working to enhance their CTR program to better meet employee needs. Most Valuable Commuters show a demonstrated commitment to commute alternatives and serve as an advocate by encouraging fellow employees to discover the alternatives to driving alone. For story highlights on each All Star Coach and MVC, please click here.

The ninth annual Clean Air Award was presented to Ed’s Premier Body Shop and was recognized for their comprehensive approach to auto body repair, resulting in increased efficiency and reduced air emissions,” stated Bill Dameworth, Spokane Clean Air Director. Emission reductions include toxic air pollutants and volatile organic compounds.

The fifth annual Spokane Transit Award was presented to the City of Spokane. Since the inception of the employer sponsored bus pass in 2008, ridership has grown from 11,822 to almost 70,000 trips in 2012. At one time or another - over the last year - approximately ¼ of the employees in this organization have used public transportation. (The number of employees who have taken part in the program has grown from 381 riders in 2008 to 532 in 2012).

The Governor’s Commute Smart Award winners from October 2012 were also recognized. Lori Barschig, ETC for both Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Providence Holy Family Hospital was recognized as an ETC Champion, Jubilant HollisterStier was recognized with a Champion Award for Affected Employers and their ETC, Lesley Schmidt for her outstanding work and Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC) and ETC, Staci Lehman was recognized with a Champion Award for Voluntary Employers.

Congratulations to all the 2012 winners! Their commitment to clean air, mobility and preserving the quality of life, which makes Spokane a special place to live, is tremendous. Way to Go!

Pinnacle Award Winners
The Way to Go Awards for outstanding commitment to commute alternatives by an organization is called the Pinnacle Award. As the name implies, the employers who receive this award each year have gone far beyond the minimum requirements to demonstrate a firm understanding of the true benefits of trip reduction activities -- cleaner air, healthier employees, reduced traffic and an overall enhancement of the quality of life in Spokane County. In addition to a well-rounded CTR program, the selection of a Pinnacle Award winner is made after consideration of management support, ETC commitment and participation, continued enhancement of the worksite's CTR program and demonstrating an innovative approach to trip reduction strategies. They are Spokane County's true CTR champions.

Our first Pinnacle Awards recipient, Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC), a voluntary worksite, has been participating for over six years. Walking her talk by riding the bus almost every day, Staci Lehman, ETC, talks to all new employees about the CTR program, continually visits with employees throughout the year to encourage participation in the program and sends out monthly reminders to participants to complete their commute calendars on Providing treats throughout the year and hosting CTR events for the entire staff, encourages participation in their program. With strong management support, the Executive Director, Kevin Wallace, a dedicated bus rider, sets an outstanding example for employees to follow and has been instrumental to the success of this worksites CTR program. In addition, he voices his support of the CTR program when talking with other community leaders and discusses ways to be more involved which makes a huge impact in our community.

Of the 11 employees at this voluntary worksite, 9 regularly use a commute alternative which is 80 percent that don’t drive alone to work! In the last 12 months, this worksite has eliminated 320 lbs of Carbon Dioxide, 9,298 lbs of Carbon Monoxide, 9,782 lbs of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, saved 848 trips and reduced 9,685 drive alone miles. Outstanding results considering the size of the workforce.

ETC, Staci Lehman also works closely with the CTR Office to cross-promote CTR and Spokane Regional Transportation Council events using their website and social media.

We are pleased to honor Spokane Regional Transportation Council with a 2012 Pinnacle Award. On hand to receive their Pinnacle Award was Staci Lehman , Public Education and Information Coordinator as well as ETC and Kevin Wallace, Executive Director for SRTC. Congratulations and Way to Go!!

The second Pinnacle Award was presented to Goodwill Industries, an employer who has consistently maintained a well-rounded CTR program. With 140 employees, this worksite offers their program to all employees at multiple locations. The many benefits the employees enjoy are preferential parking for carpoolers, bus subsidies, bicycle subsidies, new hire orientation, guaranteed ride home program, a company car is available for CTR participants who have offsite meetings, monthly prize drawings and an internal CTR website.

In addition, ETC Diana Smith sends out emails, hangs flyers, participates in all countywide campaigns and personally reaches out and talks to employees about commute options and the benefits of using them. With strong management support, this ETCs CTR budget has increased each year since 2008. Every month, participants are rewarded with candy, cookies or something small that says thank you for participating. In 2013, this worksite will begin promoting their CTR program to some of their other locations.

Being innovative and bold, this enthusiastic and dedicated ETC promotes CTR each month by performing a skit or singing a song to all employees at the general assembly. Her performances are well received with applause, hearty laughs and many times her employees and management even sing along! And, if she misses a month, her employees let her know they are disappointed and that they look forward to her presentation each month.

Carpooling nearly every day with her two kids that go to college, being recognized as an All Star Coach and successfully performing in front of all employees at Goodwill, Diana Smith sets a shining example for all to follow.

We are pleased to honor Goodwill Industries with a 2012 Pinnacle Award. Diana Smith, Human Resource Office Administrator as well as ETC, Angela Mariani, Human Resources Manager and Wade Rooks, Senior Director of Human Resources accepted the award on behalf of Goodwill Industries. Way to Go!

The third Pinnacle Award went to Sterling Bank, an employer who has a solid CTR program and has been a Commute Trip Reduction leader since 1992. Sterling Bank’s robust CTR elements are key to this worksites success and include fully subsidized transit passes, a $33.75 monthly vanpool subsidy, $20 subsidy for bicyclist that participate at least 50% or more each month, covered bike parking, showers and lockers for bicyclists and walkers, flex time, guaranteed ride home, internal ride match services, on-site ATM machine and banking services, cafeteria, post office services, telecommuting options, random monthly drawings and an on-site bicycle to use for downtown errands and meetings.

Requiring participants to fill out their commute calendar to receive their subsidies, this worksite has grown their participation on from 76 to 229 in the last two years.
With strong management support and a policy that supports volunteering in the community, Sterling Bank has three dedicated employees that have enthusiastically volunteered on the Spokane Bike Swap team for the past two years. As a Platinum sponsor of the Spokane Bike Swap, this worksite’s support and commitment to this community event helped raise $10,000 for the Friends of the Centennial Trail in the first year of the event.

An active participant in all countywide campaigns and an avid bus ride, Brook Ruchert, ETC, continually keeps her employees educated and informed about CTR events.

We are pleased to honor Sterling Bank with a 2012 Pinnacle Award. On hand to receive this prestigious award was Brooke Ruchert, Administrative Assistant as well as ETC, and Karla Gehlen, Human Resources Executive. Congratulations and Way to Go!

All Star Team Award Winner
The Way to Go Award for "All Star Team" is designed to honor an outstanding worksite CTR Committee. Many employers have formed committees to assist the worksite ETC in promoting commute alternatives and communicating with employees. Active CTR committees are invaluable at large worksites and often come up with fun and creative ideas. Committee members act as building or department representatives by answering questions, keeping employees informed and encouraging participation.

Such is the case with our 2012 All Star Team, EWU/WSU – Riverpoint Campus. Nominated by a CTR committee member and selected by the CTR Recognition Committee, this committee is made up of six volunteers who work hard to promote commute alternatives at their diverse and challenging worksite. All of the members “walk their talk,” which is a tremendous advantage in planning and promoting trip reduction activities. With a limited budget this innovative and hardworking voluntary team creatively comes up with ways to supplement their CTR budget. Recycling ink cartridges, earns them about $300 a year. Charging space in the holiday fair they coordinate for employees also earns them money for their CTR program and new this year, they coordinated a yard sale and charged space for participants selling items.

In addition to coordinating and participating in all countywide promotions and events, this team rewards and thanks participants throughout the year. Using the money earned, this team coordinates fun events for participants including an ice cream social, summer barbeque, Irish potato bar and morning coffee breaks.

Launching a Go Green newsletter has helped to inform employees about the CTR program and the benefits they receive by using a commute alternative. Meeting once a month during their lunch hour, the commitment and dedication of this All Star Team has helped spread the word about Commute Trip Reduction and it has directly impacted the success of their CTR program.

We were pleased to award EWU/WSU Riverpoint Campus with the 2012 All Star Team Award. The members are:
Teresa Kruger, Employee Transportation Coordinator and bus rider
Norene Phillipson, carpooler
Susan Lyons, vanpooler
Cy Parker, carpooler
Katerine Roberge, teleworker
Susan Lopez, carpooler

Way to Go EWU/WSU – Riverpoint Campus All Star Team!

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