Up Front With Two Previous SQA Excellence Award Winners

Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013, 9:15:00 AM

Brenton Garen

LAcarGuy’s Alisha Auringer (right) accepts the 2011 SQA Excellence Award from  Susan Emmer.
Courtesy Photo
LAcarGuy’s Alisha Auringer (right) accepts the 2011 SQA Excellence Award from Susan Emmer.

Time is running out to apply for Santa Monica's 19th Annual Sustainable Quality Awards, which will be held April 30 next year. The deadline is Dec. 16 (click here to read more).

The SQAs honor sustainable and green business leaders in the Santa Monica community. Past winners include ZJ Boarding House, Bru's Wiffle Joint, and Yoga Works, to name but a few.   

The Mirror spoke with two previous winners about their experience with the SQA Awards.

Alisha Auringer, LAcarGUY, Manager for the Environment

What year was your business recognized?

2011.

What was the process like of nominating for the SQA Awards?  

We are always continuing our “greening” process and education at LAcarGUY.  However, in actually being required to document our achievements and procedures was like writing a thesis! I believe there is a common feeling in our socially responsible community of Santa Monica that we are never doing enough yet in going through the SQA Grand Prize award process and winning, we really got to revisit our accomplishments and feel good about what we have been able to do. With that, it was also a very humbling experience to accept an award of this stature in a room of highly regarded sustainable leaders that keep showing us how we need to do so much more.

Why do you think these awards are important?

The SQA Awards is very important in both the process and the day of recognition. In completing the application process, your business is truly a green business – saving money and saving resources – that’s a win win! I think this message is conveyed during the awards day and if you are not a green business you sure want to be! The awards day is inspiring. It’s awesome to be around 200 like-minded people!

What are some of the long lasting positive effects of the SQAs on your business?

Yes, absolutely there are long lasting effects on the success of LAcarGUY business. We have established a reputation in the automotive business, which is typically a very “dirty” business as a company that is striving to make their business and community a cleaner, greener place to live, play and work. Often times, a customer chooses to business with LAcarGUY because they know they are stewards of the environment and that’s a respectable place to be.

Anything else you would like to mention?  

I truly appreciate the support of Chamber president Laurel Rosen and LAcarGUY Owner and President Mike Sullivan. They are the great forces that make this all possible.

Lynne Thomas, The Lobster, Director of Sales and Marketing

What year was your business recognized and what for specifically?  

2008.

What was the process like of nominating for the SQA Awards?

The process was not difficult, we were guided through it by Suzy from Sustainable Works. We have tried from the opening of The Lobster to make a secure, prosperous, and sustainable working environment for our crew members and everyone involved. It was also very important to us to reduce our carbon footprint. For example we installed a nine-kilowatt solar panel system on our roof to reduce our electric usage.

Why do you think these awards are important?

It was great for the owners and all of us who work at The Lobster to be recognized for our efforts. We believe that to meet the requirements to win an award like this is something that every business should strive for. We hope eventually we will not need this award anymore because businesses will do them as a matter of course. In the meantime this award raises awareness for the necessity of these practices.

What are some of the long lasting positive effects of the SQAs on your business?

To have a blueprint presented to us by the awards process gave us new ideas on how we could improve. It also validated the things we were already doing which gave our entire staff a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Anything else you would like to mention?

The city of Santa Monica has proven to be at the forefront of practicing sustainability, environmental protection and economic growth for everyone. It is also has the foresight to recognize this in the people doing business here. We are honored be a small part of that success.   

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