The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Awards on Friday, April 22nd, 2022. This celebration honored the outstanding achievements made by Valley Chamber members in 2021 in three categories: Business Innovation, Inspiring Workplace, and Community Stewardship. We honored two organizations from each category; one large organization and one small.
The Business Innovation award recipients have demonstrated unique innovation through technology, product development, business processes, or other specialized techniques. They defined how the innovative business practice or product has a significant impact on their organization, industry, market, or client base through data and testimonials.
Tru by Hilton Spokane Valley
Our small business awardee was Tru by Hilton Spokane Valley. Tru by Hilton Spokane Valley opened its doors on December 29th, 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic upended the travel industry and changed the way business was conducted as well as the consumer’s expectations. A contactless experience became paramount for both companies and travelers. Tru by Hilton Spokane Valley wasted no time integrating new technology to offer guests the option of a contactless experience. In 2021, they fully implemented Hilton’s state-of-the-art Connect Room technology package. Connected Room is Hilton’s innovative, mobile-centric hotel room, which offers choice and control to Guests, letting them personalize every aspect of their in-room experience by using the Hilton Honors app to control lighting, thermostat, and TV settings, and an enhanced check-in process. Our judges emphasized the Connected Room technology undoubtedly appealed to many who had to travel during the pandemic. By implementing and accelerating the use of Hilton’s Connected Room technology package, they reduced the risk of exposure guests had throughout their stay. Tru by Hilton Spokane Valley was the first Hilton property worldwide to fully integrate the Connected Room technology and leads the way in achieving efficient strategies across the lodging industry!
Girl Scouts of Eastern WA & Northern ID
Our large business awardee was the Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho. The Girl Scouts found new ways to be innovative and adapted to the restrictions put on by the pandemic. They developed a contactless way to distribute over 600,000 cookies to through their volunteers throughout the region. Additionally, the Girl Scouts created drive-thru style cookie booths to get those Thin Mints in the hands of happy customers. Their innovation with logistics, money collection, and safe selling practices prepared them for future challenges as well, like labor shortages and supply chain issues. The Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho modified their staff model – creating new remote positions in areas outside of their headquarters, and reconfigured their organizational chart to better utilize the talents of the staff to be more efficient in daily operations. These changes have allowed Girl Scouts to serve more members and ultimately led to significant growth in the number of scouts and volunteers. One of our judges highlighted the Girl Scouts’ use of Covid-19-driven discoveries to go beyond just the “virus response” and actually grow the overall business. Using these discoveries, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho are breaking their own records by selling over 1 million cookies this year.
Congratulations to Tru by Hilton Spokane Valley and Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho for your award in Business Innovation. We look forward to seeing the new innovations you come up with next.