Akio Suyematsu left this world last year, but not the memory of the islanders who love him.
Suyematsu was named as the 2012 Chairman's Choice Award winner from the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce at the chamber's annual meeting and gala dinner.
The award is selected by the chairman of the board, Jeff Waite.
But Suyematsu wasn't the only islander honored by the chamber. The chamber also honored other community standouts for 2012 at its annual awards ceremony, held Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Island School. The gathering presented a veritable who's who of Bainbridge businesses.
Four islanders were up for Citizen of the Year. They awaited the announcement along with 23 businesses and seven nonprofits that were also up for honors in their respective fields.
Small business of the year was awarded to Shirvan Rug Gallery on Winslow Way.
Their neighbor, Paper Products, came out on top for the medium business of the year honor, while Town & Country Market nabbed the prize for best large business.
Asani/Grow Community was honored as the sustainable business of the year.
The Bainbridge Island Rotary Club was honored as nonprofit of the year.
The Rotary got more than one nod at the ceremony. Rotarian Jim Chapel was honored as Citizen of the Year.
As part of his duty under the title, Chapel will be the grand marshal of the 2013 Grand Old Fourth Parade.
He earned the title for his participation on various island boards, but largely for his hard work on the Waypoint park project.
The nominees for the awards were:
Small Business of the Year
Shirvan Rug Gallery
Medium Business of the Year
Large Business of the Year
Town & Country Market
Sustainable Business of the Year
Nonprofit Organization of the Year
Bainbridge Island Rotary
Citizen of the Year