Skip to content

2021 Business and Leadership Awards’ Finalists

Business and Leadership Awards banner with Johnny Quinn in a suit

Greater Vancouver Chamber Announces the Finalists for the 2021 Business & Leadership Awards 

The awards ceremony will be live streamed on September 21, 2021. During the event, the Chamber’s 2021-2022 Board will be installed.


Vancouver, WA- The Greater Vancouver Chamber (GVC) is pleased to announce three finalists in six categories of recognition for the 2021 Business & Leadership Awards, presented by the Port of Vancouver USA. The awards recipients will be revealed during a livestream, available on Facebook Live and YouTube, on Tuesday, September 21, at 5:00 p.m.

Since 2012, the Business & Leadership Awards have been recognizing outstanding business owners and leaders for their efforts in the community. This year, the awards welcomed qualified submissions from community members across the region, for six categories that include: John S. McKibbin Leadership, Community Champion, Small Business, Statesperson, Start-Up to Watch, and Large Business.

The finalists for the 2021 Business & Leadership Awards are: 

John S. McKibbin Leadership Legacy

  • Kara Fox-LaRose- President and General Manager, ilani
  • Jennifer Rhoads- President, Community Foundation for Southwest Washington
  • Steve Moore- CEO, Executive Director, M J Murdock Charitable Trust

Community Champion

  • Visit Vancouver USA
  • Horenstein Law Group
  • Sherrie McMillan- Owner, NW Personal Training

Small Business  (up to 25 employees)

  • Relevant Coffee
  • DELTA Direct Care
  • NW Furniture Bank


  • Dr. Alan Melnick- Director/Health Officer Clark County Public Health
  • Representative Paul Harris- 17th Legislative District
  • Jack Burkman- Commissioner, Port of Vancouver USA

Start – Up to Watch (in the last 5 years)

  • Sprout Partners
  • NW Escape Experience
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes

Large Business (more than 25 employees) 

  • Harry’s Locksmith
  • Apollo Drain
  • LSW Architects

“It is time to shake off the effects of the pandemic and celebrate the innovators, heroes and those who refused to fail. Now is the time to bring recognition to the business owners and businesses who not only survived the 16 months of restrictions but thrived,” said Chamber President & CEO John McDonagh.

This year the GVC is going for the gold! In honor of the Tokyo Olympics, the awards’ livestream will feature, as Emcee and Keynote speaker, former U.S. Olympian, Johnny Quinn.  Johnny is a small business owner himself as well as a former Olympic Bobsled team member.  His keynote, “Think like and Olympian,” will cover an Olympian’s perspective on perseverance and how to overcome adversity.

As was offered last year, this year attendees will, once again, have the opportunity to support the Chamber’s Small Business Grant Program when purchasing a "VIP Experience". Those purchasing the VIP Experience will receive curated appetizers and beverages for their team to enjoy during the event , as well as an exclusive invitation and login link to a Virtual Pre-Show Social where they can meet the finalists in each category, a U.S. Olympian, and top area professionals. The VIP Experience can be purchased at: 2021 Business & Leadership VIP Experience.

“The Chamber’s Small Business Grant Program is one of the best ways we can support our small businesses, especially during times like this,” stated Janet Kenefsky, Chamber Vice President. “In addition to distributing over $5.3 million dollars in Cares Act Recovery Funds to companies hardest hit during the pandemic, the Chamber’s Small Business Grant Program helped an additional 39 companies. These VIP Kits are both a fun way to celebrate business in southwest WA but is also a great way to give back,” Kenefsky added.

The live-streamed event will be at no cost, a courtesy made possible by our event sponsors, including: Presenting Sponsor, Port of Vancouver USA; Supporting Sponsors, PeaceHealth and Cal Portland; Virtual Platform Sponsor, ilani; Media Sponsor, The Columbian; and Award Sponsors, Riverview Community Bank, NW Natural, HAPO Community Credit Union, PacificSource Health Plans, The PEAK Fleet, and Perkins & Co.

For more information about the awards and sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Chamber at or go to

About the Business & Leadership Awards 

Wanting to recognize those businesses who exemplified the motto of the Greater Vancouver Chamber, Moving Business Forward, was the inspiration for the Business & Leadership Awards in 2012. For nine years, the southwest Washington business community has nominated outstanding companies and individuals for recognition. 

About the Greater Vancouver Chamber 

SW Washington's largest business organization, the Greater Vancouver Chamber (GVC) has been Moving Business Forward in southwest Washington for over 130 years through business advocacy, community building education, and creating visibility for our members. The Chamber is a supportive alliance of diverse member businesses, individuals, and organizations, working together toward long-term business prosperity. The GVC is the heart of Clark County’s business community, advocating for sound, sensible and dynamic policies that ensure a vital economic climate and prosperity for all. For more information, please go to


Event Contact: 
Janet Kenefsky, Greater Vancouver Chamber



Media Assets:

Official Event Link:

2021 Business & Leadership Awards

Press Release Contact

Portrait of Lourdes Salmonte-Garcia

Lourdes Salmonte-Garcia
Marketing & Communications Specialist

Phone: 360.567.1058
Email Lourdes

Get Weekly Updates