The Bremerton Chamber of Commerce recently announced that it will present the Hyas Tyee award to three local community leaders at its Annual Awards Gala Thursday, Oct. 17 at the Kitsap Golf & Country Club.
This year’s honorees are David Frederick of Coffee Oasis, John Hanson of Bremerton Historic Ships Association, and Kurt Wiest of the Bremerton Housing Authority.
“These three recipients are the epitome of what the Hyas Tyee Award stands for,” Joe Rozsak said, former chairman of the Board of the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce. “Each has demonstrated a level of leadership that brings a community together behind an important cause and makes something great happen.”
Wiest is being recognized for his work at the Bremerton Housing Authority, but also for his involvement in a number of local, regional, state, and national organizations. Some of those include the Rotary Club of Bremerton, Kitsap Community Resources, Kitsap Building Association, and the Bremerton Salvation Army.
“None of this would be possible without an incredibly supportive spouse, Karen Wiest, and dedicated staff at Bremerton Housing Authority, and creative and inspiring leaders at the organizations that I’m involved with as a volunteer,” Wiest said. “I’m driven by an inspiring quote I heard many years ago: ‘seek your joy in what you give, not in what you get.’”
“I intend to continue to lead and serve in quiet, consistent, and focused ways,” Wiest went on to say. “There is still much to do and much joy to be found in doing good.”
Hanson helped the Bremerton Historic Ships Association raise over $1 million for a major overhaul and fresh painting to the USS Turner Joy in Seattle. The maintenance is expected to provide another 15 years of the museum ship along the Bremerton waterfront, according to Hanson.
BHSA also recently developed a STEM curriculum in conjunction with the U.S. Naval Academy for grade school students throughout the West Sound. The program provides hands-on STEM projects for over 3,000 students per year and is entirely funded through grants and sponsors, Hanson said.
“I was proud to join former and current community leaders in this prestigious honor,” he said. “My contributions to our community are entirely altruistic and I have never expected any recognition.”
Kitsap News Group reached out to Frederick for comment but he was not available before press time for the Central Kitsap Reporter.
The Hyas Tyee Award was first presented in 1950 to Admiral E. W. Sylvester. The name “Hyas Tyee” comes from the Chinook term for “Great Leader,” which was used by Native Americans in the 1800s in reference to trusted trade partners.
Previous award recipients over the years include Edward Bremer in 1980, Congressman Norm Dicks in 1987, Hannah Langer in 1999, Commissioner Ed Wolfe in 2003, and more recently former Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent in 2016.
Other awards that will be presented at the Annual Awards Gala are in the categories of Large Business, Small Business, Family-Owned Business, Nonprofit Business, Emerging Business, and Chamber Member.
Tickets to the event may be purchased at bremerton chamber.org or by calling 360-479-3579.