Washington Small Business Owners Honored as 2020 Retail Champions

Oct 29, 2020
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Written by Washington Retail
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President and CEO Renée Sunde was honored to name Lowell Gordon and Andy Ryder as 2020 Washington Retail Champions during a Congressional Town Hall co-hosted by the National Retail Federation. Both are members of the Washington Retail board of directors.

Winners of the annual award have demonstrated exemplary work as advocates for the needs of the retail industry.

Gordon, owner of The Creative Office stores in Olympia and Spokane, has served the association in several roles including as Board Chairman and Small Business Committee Chairman. Ryder owns the Shur-Kleen chain of car washes and serves as Mayor of the City of Lacey.

“This is quite an honor for me,” Gordon said. “Retail is the backbone of America. I’m just proud to be a part of it.”

Ryder said that doubling as an elected official as well as a business owner has taught him more about retail’s importance to the economy through job creation and generation of sales tax revenue.

“(As mayor) I see how important having a strong retail base is for your city,” he said.

Gordon has been a strong advocate for reducing costly government regulations that threaten the livelihoods of businesses and has personally met with state Legislative leadership and key agency directors at the Capitol and around the state. He’s met with the Department of Revenue and lobbied for simplifying the tax collection system, the number of required business licenses and the frequency of making financial reports to the state. He co-chairs WR’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.

As a WR board member, Ryder serves on the Small Business Committee, Political Action Committee and the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force. As Lacey Mayor, Ryder serves on the National League of Cities Military Communities Council and the Transportation Infrastructure and Services Steering Committee. He was awarded both the bronze and silver NLC Leadership Executive Certificates.

Under Ryder’s leadership, Lacey developed the Veteran Services Hub to provide needed programs for nearby soldiers stationed at Joint-Base Lewis McChord and a small business grant program to help small businesses struggling to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Washington Retail is proud to congratulate Gordon and Ryder as two well deserving recipients of this distinguished statewide honor.