The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce honored Aljoya with its 2018 Business of the Year award at its Jan. 9 luncheon.
The award was established by the chamber to recognize a business in the Mercer Island community that, in the opinion of a panel of judges, has made a significant impact on Mercer Island’s economic vitality or brought value and benefit to the community over the past year.
“Our committee of five representatives from the chamber and community met in December,” said Laurie Givan, the chamber’s executive director. “We had the honor and privilege of receiving six nominations this year.”
The nominees were Aljoya, Au Courant, Caruccio’s, French American School of the Puget Sound, King Insurance and S.R. Schill & Associates.
“All of these businesses are an integral part of our business community and economic vitality on Mercer Island,” Givan said. “They are all very special and appreciated in their own ways.”
Givan said that the staff and residents at the senior living community in downtown Mercer Island have built a community within the walls of their facility, contributing in many ways, especially in the past year.
“Their mission is to respect and honor older adults by enhancing the quality of their lives,” Givan said. “The involvement Aljoya has with so many organizations on the Island engages their residents with Mercer Island and allows them to not only be a part of the community, but to add value to it.”
Aljoya brings people, organizations and businesses together through personal connection. Aljoya is involved with and are supporters of Mercer Island Youth and Family Services, MI Sister City Association, MI Opera Guild, the Lion’s Club, St. Monica Catholic Church, Sole Mates, Mercer Island Preschool Association, Hopelink, Girl Scouts, MI Arts Council, Mercer Island blood drives and many other organizations, businesses and events. They open their doors to organizations as hosts for fundraisers, educational, cultural and community events.
Aljoya opened in 2008, the same year as the Mercer Island Farmers Market. During the first full market season in 2009, Aljoya became the presenting sponsor, and has remained the market’s sponsor ever since.
“We designed Aljoya with our residents and their neighbors in mind,” said Marla Becker, the executive director of Aljoya Mercer Island. “Active engagement with many Mercer Island organizations is a win-win. Our residents and staff really enjoy being of service to others, and Mercer Islanders receive the benefit of their great wisdom.”
Many Aljoya residents are longtime citizens of Mercer Island and have shaped the culture of the area, Becker said.
“The people who live at Aljoya are accomplished in many ways and have much to share,” said community relations director Larry Almo. “It’s because our residents are passionate about learning and have generous spirits. Being part of the wider community is simply who they are and we support that.”
Aljoya Mercer Island has 114 residences, as well as amenities that include an on-site wellness center, an upscale restaurant called Lilly’s, a fitness center, a garden courtyard and in-house movie theater.
It is the second time that Aljoya has been recognized as Business of the Year, having also won the award in 2011.
Other past winners of the Business of the Year award include Island Books, Mercer Island Florist, Albertsons, Tatters, North Mercer QFC, The Auto Spa, Studio 904, Au Courant, JayMarc Homes, the Roanoke Inn and MI Athletic Club.