ODA Honors Downtown Champions, Person of the Year

The Olympia Downtown Alliance (ODA) recently held its 23rd Annual Meeting virtually. The meeting allowed the ODA to reflect on 2020, plan for 2021, and honor community members with annual awards.

“Over the past year, we were inspired by the creativity and grit our businesses employed to survive and, in some cases, thrive,” ODA executive director Todd Cutts said in a press release.

Cutts looked back on the ODA’a efforts to assist Downtown in 2020, including launching the WhyIGoDowntown.com business directory in partnership with the City of Olympia to keep the community informed about shifts in retail and restaurant operations. The ODA also collaborated with the City and community partners to light up and decorate Downtown during the holiday season. The Recovery and Reopening Grant program, administered by the ODA, provided grants to 27 stakeholders for physical improvements to such as façade repairs, paint, and additional lighting, according to the release.

During the meeting, the ODA honored community members with annual awards.

The ODA awarded the 2020 Design award to Joe Seymour for his work designing the salmon artwork installation on the exterior of Views on 5th. Seymour has been a professional artist since 2006 and comes from a blended tribal background.  Seymour has been the recipient of several competitive grant programs, including a Smithsonian grant.

The ODA awarded the 2020 Business of the Year award to Encore Chocolates & Teas and owners Dean and Carla Jones. During the pandemic, the Joneses were champions for the downtown business community and innovative in starting curbside delivery, transitioning to online shopping, and supporting other businesses during this challenging time.

The final award, Person of the Year, was given to Mark Moore, Clean Team supervisor of the City of Olympia. Matt DeBord received the 2019 Person of the Year Award and presented the 2020 award to Moore.

“Mark has been a bright light for downtown Olympia during a challenging year. Mark’s leadership is defined by his positive attitude, responsiveness, and friendly service. Mark has helped build a strong partnership for the City of Olympia with downtown business owners,” DeBord said in the release.

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