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McMinnville Economic Development Partnership Announces 2020 Annual Award Winners

Oct 9, 2020

(MCMINNVILLE, OR) - Since 2007, MEDP has been recognizing the outstanding companies and individuals that contribute to the growth of our local economy through best business practices, workforce development, and a positive company outlook. Traditionally these awards have been presented at an Annual Event that was established as McMinnville| MADE Day in conjunction with National Manufacturing Day; however, with physical distancing requirements and gathering restrictions, the 2020 awards are being presented in small individual ceremonies at each place of business the week of October 4th. The categories include: Startup of the Year, Workforce Partner of the Year, The Tech Terroir Award, the McMinnville Maker Award, and the Board of Directors Partner of the Year Award. 

The Startup of the Year Award was established in 2019 to recognize McMinnville’s future looking focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. The award was created to recognize a new company or organization that demonstrates entrepreneurial spirit, fortitude, and has demonstrated the potential for a beneficial impact on our local community. Haley Queen, attended the Launch Mid-Valley Startup Bootcamp in February 2020, and her business idea, Sustainable Rituals, was recognized as one of the finalists and winners during the pitch fest that concluded the 3 day intensive workshop. From there the business blossomed into more than an idea, and Haley opened her brick-and- mortar bulk refill shop in June of this year inside Mac Market with a curated selection of plants and sustainable products.

The Workforce Partner of the Year Award was created to recognize an individual or business in the community that has worked to create strategic efforts around workforce solutions in our community.  This year’s award goes to the Swedemom organization, which encompasses Swedemom Center of Giving and MacHub. When many businesses were faced with hiring freezes and putting a pause on summer internship opportunities, Cami Nyquist was able to find jobs for six of the McMinnville WORKS and Career Bound interns throughout her companies. She also hosted a community engagement and networking opportunity for the 2020 intern cohort, and has been a champion for the MEDP’s workforce development programs.

The Tech Terroir Award refers to MEDP’s initiative to grow tech in Oregon’s wine country and was given to a company that exemplifies both the type of company that helps make McMinnville prosperous and that has given back to the community.  The winner of the 2020 award is Buildable, a  custom software company that has actively played a role in the innovation development of our community since its founding in 2008.  This year Buildable was involved with the Launch Mid-Valley Startup Bootcamp, offering mentorship and guidance to the attending entrepreneurs.  At the start of the pandemic Buildable offered to help local companies adapt and increase their online presence during the stay at home order, and they recently expanded their offerings to include open-source ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), which will be a valuable tool for the manufacturing community. 

The McMinnville Maker Award, (formerly known as the Manufacturer of the Year Award) recognizes a company or individual within our city’s Traded Sector that has created a beneficial impact in the community and has demonstrated creativity, and ingenuity. The 2020 recipient of the McMinnville Maker Award is RP Advanced Mobile Systems.  RPAMS was founded in 2009 and quickly developed a name for itself in the Special Operations community by designing and developing innovative mobility accessories for tactical ATV/UTV platforms. In 2020 they truly made a pandemic pivot to their product line with the addition of PPE as well as developing UVC emitting sterilizing products to safeguard against infected touch surfaces. These UVC lights are being used across the country to help keep schools and public spaces safe.

The Board of Directors Partnership Award recognizes an outstanding partner who has contributed to the growth of our local economy:  This year the board selected two partners who have worked side by side to ensure that downtown McMinnville remains a cultural, social and economic hub of the community. McMinnville Downtown Association and The City of McMinnville helped to streamline the process for the Dine Out(Side) on 3rd Street program. Their collaboration with permitting, communication with businesses, street closures, recruiting volunteers, and promoting the event helped sustain and support local businesses through a very difficult economic season.

John Dietz, the General Manager of McMinnville Water and Light, and the President of the MEDP Board of Directors “In what has been a unique year, it is a sincere pleasure to celebrate local business, industry, and the people that make this community thrive. The MEDP Board, and staff, are honored to work with these exceptional organizations who add so much to our entire community. We look forward to their continued efforts and growth in the city of McMinnville.”

Local fabricator Cody Kime Designs conceptualized and built the stainless steel awards handed out by MEDP.  “We wanted to design an award with subtle elements that represent the community, we felt a blend of modern, and industrial elements were the way to go. We used an overlapping design to create a subtle modern “Double M” which represents McMinnville” said Cody Jones the owner of Cody Kime Designs.


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MEDP's monthly newsletter, The MEDP Spark, received a Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council in 2017.

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