Washington state’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs (CHA) recently honored Stemilt Growers with a Community Collaboration Award. Stemilt president West Mathison and his wife, Courtney, who also chairs the company’s corporate social responsibility committee, accepted the award during CHA’s 40th Anniversary Gala on November 9th in Seattle.
CHA selected Stemilt for this award based on the company’s strong investment and involvement in the Hispanic community. “It means a lot to Stemilt to be recognized by the Commission on Hispanic Affairs, an organization that shares many similar values as ours, with this Community Collaboration Award,” said West. “Stemilt also congratulates the Commission on 40 years of service to the people of Washington state. We are blessed to have the Commission to take people’s hope and put it into action through their advocacy efforts.”
Stemilt has several programs or sponsorships in place to benefit the Hispanic community. The company has a free health clinic available to all employees to make quality health care easily accessible and affordable. Stemilt partners with the Wenatchee Valley Literacy Council to offer employees free, on-site English and Spanish classes. The company is the primary sponsor of the Wenatchee Youth Soccer League each year and recently donated soccer goals to the City of Rock Island for their community park. Stemilt sponsors Fiestas Mexicanas, an annual event in Wenatchee that celebrates the traditional, educational, and artistic facets of the Mexican culture.
Stemilt supports the greater Wenatchee community through its college scholarship program with the Washington Apple Education Foundation, financial support of the Hospitality House to build four new shelters for families in need, and contributions to the Wenatchee YMCA and Chelan County CASA.
Stemilt also participates in the Wenatchee Learns campaign, a community initiative working to shape the future of Wenatchee schools. The Community Collaboration award was one of six that CHA handed out during the event. Other award recipients included:
- SeaMar Community Health Centers, Healthcare Advocacy Award
- Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos, Legislative Advocacy Award
- Dr. Frances Contreras & The Martinez Foundation, Education Advocacy Awards
- Representative Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, Lifetime Achievement Award
According to their website, CHA “strives to improve public policy development and the delivery of government services to the Hispanic community.” They work to fulfill their mission by acting as a voice for the Hispanic community on legislative issues like education, health care, farmworker protection, housing, and economic development. They also conduct education training programs for Latino parents throughout the state so that they can dialogue with policymakers and other influential leaders on broad policy issues.