Garry Stewart is a man of few words and many actions.
As a longtime small business owner, he cares about his customers and the downtown district from which he works.
Need help cleaning up a street or improving a block? Stewart is quick to roll up his sleeves and go to work – all for the greater good of the neighborhood.
For his humble efforts and career contributions to business and community, Stewart received the Kent Downtown Partnership’s President’s Award at its inaugural Awards Ceremony at Kent Lutheran Church on Wednesday night.
Stewart, who came to Kent with family in 1960 at age 7, has made the most of his time here, establishing and building a reputable business – The Doorman Service Company, Inc. – that has been serving the area for 40 years. The company offers garage door services, including repair and installation.
“It’s been my life … it’s my town,” Stewart said after receiving the award. “What can I say? I grew up here and I love the town.”
Stewart, a past KDP president, was one of the many business owners, managers, city leaders and civic-minded individuals recognized for their work in making a difference in downtown Kent.
“This is a night for all of you who do everything you do, not for financial reward, not for praise, not for gain, but because you care about Kent,” said Mark Albertson, longtime Kent attorney, who served as the master of ceremonies. “This is our opportunity to thank you in a very small way in all the work that you do.”
Barbara Smith, KDP executive director, said the event was important in many ways. She thanked the people and sponsors who made it possible.
“KDP’s effort to vitalize the downtown has been a work of many hands and many people, not just staff and the board,” Smith said.
The KDP, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017, is an organization composed of board members and volunteers working to ensure downtown Kent is a destination for residents and visitors alike.
KDP’s recognized the following businesses and people:
Presented by Mike Hanis, KDP president:
President’s Award, Garry Stewart
Dee Moschel Volunteers of the Year Award, Doug and Elizabeth Scharnhorst
Presented by Suzanne Cameron, KDP design chair:
Best Large Remodel Project, MJR Development, Mike Raskin
Best Small Remodel Project, Burmese Church, Pastor Ezra Thang
Best Interior Remodel Project, Dogwood Cafe and Lounge, Vivian Knapp
Best Storefront Display, Moore Than Rocks, Elisa Moore
Best New Signage, DAWN, Kellie Rogers
Best Apartment Remodel, Titus Apartments, Deljuan Gibson
Presented by Barbara Smith, KDP executive director:
I Love Kent, South King Media, Scott and Theresa Schaefer
Michelle Wilmot, city of Kent
Nancy Simpson, Kent historian and land commissioner
Economic Vitalization Awards
Presented by the KDP:
Greg Haffner, for his work on the Morrill Bank building restoration project
Best Retail, Seattle Children’s Bargain Boutique, Margaret McCaffrey
Best New Business, Altha’s Louisiana Cajun Seasonings & Spices, Reginald Robinson
Best Restaurant, Wild Wheat Bakery & Cafe, Mark Handman
Best Brewery & Bistro, Airways Beer & Bistro, Dione Dittmar
Downtown Star Awards
Presented by Barb Smith:
City of Kent Parks & Recreations Department and staff, Julie Parascondola, director
Greg Bartol, Studio B Custom Design
Kent Police Chief Rafael Padilla
Julia Lewis, Studio 37 Designs
Bill Ellis, city of Kent Economic and Community Development
Kelly Peterson, city of Kent Public Works & Team
Caitlin Cooper, downtown resident
Susan Bagrationoff, Artsy Fartsy Art Lessons
Tom Burkley, downtown resident