GSBA Business and Humanitarian Awards Banquet
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GSBA Business and Humanitarian Awards Banquet
GSBA Business and Humanitarian Awards Banquet with Gov. Gregoire
February 19, 5:30 PM
Seattle Marriott Waterfront

The spotlight will shine on the best and brightest Puget Sound area business and community leaders at the Greater Seattle Business Association's 28th Annual Business and Humanitarian Awards Banquet at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 19.

Gov. Chris Gregoire will attend the gala, which will be held at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront, 2100 Alaskan Way. "The Business and Humanitarian Awards celebrate the intersection of business, philanthropy and community," says GSBA Executive Director Louise Chernin. "Our honorees are all outstanding business and professional leaders who proudly and successfully incorporate philanthropy into their business models."

"The GSBA partners with others to promote successful and innovative businesses. This benefits both our economy and our families," Gregoire said. "The association is also a strong voice on behalf of civil rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Washingtonians."

This year's honorees include Barbara Grant and Maureen MacCarthy, owners of MGS Consulting, Business of the Year; Neil McDevitt, vice president and financial consultant of RBC Wealth Management, Business Leader of the Year; and Jonathan "Mac" Macaranas, vice president, Community and External Affairs for Washington Mutual, Corporate Citizen of the Year.

Others honorees are Peter Moore and Bart Reynolds, owners of Poco Wine Room, New Business of the Year; Pride Foundation Executive Director Audrey Haberman, Community Leader of the Year; Families Like Ours Executive Director David Wing-Kovarik, Non-profit of the Year; and GSBA Scholarship Committee Co-chair Gary Collins, President's Award.

Special recognition will be bestowed on Vic Opperman, owner of Opperman Green Home Design, who will be honored as the Green Trailblazer, and the late Rev. Gwen Hall, Sojourner Truth Ministries, who will receive a posthumous Visionary Award.

In addition to Gov. Gregoire, state Sens. Ed Murray (D-Seattle) and Joe McDermott (D-West Seattle), King County Executive Ron Sims, and Seattle City Councilmembers Sally Clark and Tom Rasmussen will attend the gala.

Charlie Rounds, chief executive officer of RSVP Vacations, will deliver the keynote address, and Gary Tucker of the Northwest Ballet will serve as master of ceremonies. Entertainment will be provided by Sensible Shoes, an ensemble of the Seattle Women's Chorus.

The GSBA, the Puget Sound region's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) and allied business and professional chamber of commerce, is known for distributing its annual Guide & Directory to 30,000 businesses, nonprofits and individuals. In addition to expanding economic opportunities for its member businesses, GSBA is a strong advocate of promoting equality and diversity in business. With approximately 1,000 members, the GSBA is the largest business chamber of its kind in the United States, and the second largest business chamber in Washington State .

"I believe GSBA member businesses are unique in their unwavering commitment to supporting each other's success and giving back to their community through outstanding volunteerism and philanthropy," Chernin said.

Tickets to the gala are $120 for GSBA members, $135 for non-members and $50 for students. Tables of 10 are available for $1,200. Tickets are available at or by calling (206) 363-9188. Tickets sold at the door will be $10 more.
pictures; top: Audrey Haberman
middle: Families Like Ours
bottom: Gary Collins