Keep it Local Snoqualmie Valley held its weekly Wednesday meeting on Jan. 3 at the North Fork Farm, during which they dedicated part of the session to acknowledging three winners for the Employee of the Quarter award for the fourth quarter of 2023.
Every quarter, Keep it Local provides an opportunity for business owners, managers, supervisors and co-workers to nominate their colleagues who demonstrate exceptional contributions that positively impact the workplace and the community.
Winners are chosen by the Keep it Local board, which reviews the information submitted by those who nominate an employee. Each winner receives a $250 award and certificate of recognition.
The winners of the last quarter of 2023 included Tess Linder, the North Bend Trading Company and Snoqualmie Trading Company merchandise manager — nominated by Cheri Buell, one of the shop’s owners.
“She’s super dedicated to our community, to our customers and our team,” Buell said.
Linder said she was surprised and honored to learn she had won the award.
“I just love working at the Trading Company. It gives me a creative outlet, and I get to work with the nicest people,” she said. “Cheri, Heather and Julie have created such a welcoming environment, and we do have all the best local goods. I’m proud to be a part of the team.”
The second winner, Svea Lien, is the operations manager at Impact Accounting — nominated by owner Sarai Childs.
Lien said while the award is a gratifying affirmation of the impact she has made within the company, it also highlights the essential role that she and her team collectively play in driving the team and company forward.
“The nomination, in itself, is a humbling acknowledgment from my superiors,” she said. “It demonstrates that my efforts have left a positive imprint, contributing to a collaborative and thriving work environment.”
Matt Childs, representing nominator Sarai Childs, emphasized Lien’s active engagement in parent organizations and her significant involvement in charitable activities, particularly in allocating food resources to students experiencing food insecurity.
“Your ability to see the future and identify the gaps and needs of our community and businesses is amazing and outstanding,” he said.
The third winner, Manuel Rodriguez, is the chef and head of drink recipe development at Aroma Coffee Company — nominated by Emily Ridout, one of the shop’s owners.
“I am so surprised to be thought of for this,” Rodriguez said. “This means a lot to me. I don’t think I recognize how much my work means to people. It makes me feel valued and seen to receive this award.”
Rideout recalled her excitement upon learning that Rodriguez had been recognized for his hard work and unique talents.
“Creatives are rarely seen for what they contribute, and Aroma Coffee Co. would not be Aroma without Chef Manny,” Rideout said.
Submissions for Employee of the Quarter close in the middle of March, June, September and December and can include any businesses in Carnation, Duvall, Fall City, North Bend, Snoqualmie and Snoqualmie Pass.