Mike Hanis, Kent Downtown Partnership president, left, presents the KDP President’s Award to Garry Stewart, operator of The Doorman Service Company, Inc., during Wednesday’s program. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Mike Hanis, Kent Downtown Partnership president, left, presents the KDP President’s Award to Garry Stewart, operator of The Doorman Service Company, Inc., during Wednesday’s program. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

KDP honors the best in downtown business, community efforts

The Doorman Service Company’s Stewart receives President’s Award | PHOTOS

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:

Organizational Awards

Presented by Mike Hanis, KDP president:

President’s Award, Garry Stewart

Dee Moschel Volunteers of the Year Award, Doug and Elizabeth Scharnhorst

Design Awards

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

Promotions/Marketing Awards

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

The KDP’s Barbara Smith and Suzanne Cameron organize plaques at the Awards Assembly. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

The KDP’s Barbara Smith and Suzanne Cameron organize plaques at the Awards Assembly. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Mark Albertson, the master of ceremonies, shares a laugh with the audience. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Mark Albertson, the master of ceremonies, shares a laugh with the audience. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Barbara Smith, KDP executive director, praises the work of businesses and people in the downtown district. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Barbara Smith, KDP executive director, praises the work of businesses and people in the downtown district. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Reginald Robinson, owner of Altha’s Louisiana Cajun Seasonings Spices, earned the Best New Business Award. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Reginald Robinson, owner of Altha’s Louisiana Cajun Seasonings Spices, earned the Best New Business Award. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Deljuan Gibson, right, who manages Titus Apartments, receives the Best Apartment Remodel Award, with the KDP’s Greg Haffner and Suzanne Cameron. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Deljuan Gibson, right, who manages Titus Apartments, receives the Best Apartment Remodel Award, with the KDP’s Greg Haffner and Suzanne Cameron. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

More in Business

Report: State adds more jobs in March; monthly unemployment rate up slightly to 4.6 percent

Washington’s economy gained 27,900 jobs in March and the state’s seasonally adjusted… Continue reading

Allstate agents giving away disaster preparedness kits to residents

Starting Monday, participating Allstate agents are giving away disaster preparedness kits to… Continue reading

RAM Restaurant & Brewery raises money for American Cancer Society

The RAM Restaurant & Brewery recently partnered with Making Strides and the… Continue reading

Altha’s Louisiana Cajun Seasoning & Spices adds a deli

Cajun food is ragin’ in Kent. So says Reginald Robinson, whose store,… Continue reading

Bartell’s Teddy Bear Patrol donation drive begins

In moments of distress, it’s not easy to help console those affected.… Continue reading

John L. Scott Real Estate’s Sol Avzaradel speaks at the March 21 event. COURTESY PHOTO
John L. Scott-KMS Kent north office transitions from franchise to company-owned

Market-leading franchise office to build on storied 42-year legacy

Harris ready to lead Kent Chamber of Commerce

Business community welcomes new CEO

KDP’s Smith earns Leadership on Main Award

Retiring director of downtown organization ‘absolutely shocked’ to receive Washington State Main Street Program honor

Report: Washington experienced continued economic growth in 2018

Economic growth in Washington expanded in the first half of 2018, building… Continue reading

State’s economy loses jobs in February; unemployment rate stays at 4.5 percent

Washington’s economy lost 8,700 jobs in February and the state’s seasonally adjusted… Continue reading

Journey for women entrepreneurs full of risk, determination and support

Women-owned small businesses rise in Washington state

La Quinta Inn gets $5.5 million renovation | Photos

Federal Way Chamber, elected officials celebrate with ribbon cutting.