April 24

Greater Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce Awards announced

Local News, Queen Anne Business

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Sponsored by Vulcan, The Greater Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce Sixth Annual Awards Luncheon took place April 19 at the Space Needle. The attendees were delighted by the sneak peak view of Chihuly Studio from above at the sold out event. The GQACC Keynote speaker was Billy O’ Neill, Vice President of Operations with Chihuly Studios

The esteemed Past Presidents Award went to Pat Sobeck, of the Queen Anne Helpline “For 30 Years of Outstanding Service to Our Community.” Ms. Sobeck, the very first volunteer at the Helpline’s dawn in May of 1982, went on to become Executive Director. She is retiring after giving 30 years of service to the Queen Anne Helpline.

Current GQACC president Lauren Formicola, of charley + may co, offered the presentation of the Small Business Award to Queen Anne Dispatch, the Large Business Award to the Marqueen Hotel, and the Non-Profit Community Award to the Queen Anne Food Bank.

The winners:

MarQueen Hotel: Large Business Award
Margaret James, Manager

The Marqueen Hotel graciously hosts the Greater Queen Anne Chamber “After Hours,” hosts the Board Meetings, and donates lodging as door prizes. To the American Cancer Society they donate lodging for cancer patients traveling into town to undergo medical treatment. Along with Make-A-Wish Foundation, they offer lodging to some of these families to help make their wishes come true.

Queen Anne Dispatch: Small Business Award
Sabrina Rinderde, Tara Espinosa, in memory of Jan Paolini

In 1987, Jan Paolini opened her doors to fill a need – a neighborhood mailbox and shipping center. Jan passed away in November of 2011. The business is now owned by her daughters, Sabrina Rinderle and Tara Espinoza, who have expanded into a destination-worthy boutique with an original mixture of locally-made products.

Queen Anne Dispatch  has been involved with Greater Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce, in alliance with the Upper Queen Anne Merchant Association and the Queen Anne Community Center. They also support several fundraising events throughout the year. Ms. Espinosa has three children currently enrolled in Queen Anne Schools, and Ms. Rinderde has two children soon to attend.

Queen Anne Food Bank: Community Service Award
Elise Hale, Case Program Director; John Comerford, Board of Directors, President

Sacred Heart of Jesus, a Catholic Church in Uptown, has hosted a food bank for many years. With the support and assistance of Food Lifeline, nearby grocery stores, and the people of the parish, the food bank provided not only groceries, but breakfasts and lunches for the hungry. It operated with lots of great volunteer energy from its community, and a single full-time employee. The monthly budget was only $2500.

Last November, the program ran out of funds, and was forced to close.

Generosity kicked in. Articles about the closure appeared in the Queen Anne/Magnolia News. A television station ran a report. Emails, phone calls, letters, and personal donations poured in. The web posting attracted people to donate from all around the country, but most of the donations came from right here at home. The goal was to raise enough money to fund the organization for two years and they are just about there.

Lauren Formicola presenting award to Margaret James of the Marqueen Hotel.


L-R: Billy O’ Neill, Lauren Formicola, John Comerford, Elise Hale-Case

Pat Sobeck

Elise Hale-Case, Pat Sobeck, Christa Mcmanamon, Margaret James, Sabrina Rinderle


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Greater Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce


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