The Way to Go Awards for outstanding commitment to commute alternatives by an organization is called the Pinnacle Award. As the name implies, the employers who receive this award each year have gone far beyond the minimum requirements to demonstrate a firm understanding of the true benefits of trip reduction activities -- cleaner air, healthier employees, reduced traffic and an overall enhancement of the quality of life in Spokane County. In addition to a well-rounded CTR program, the selection of a Pinnacle Award winner is made after consideration of management support, ETC commitment and participation, continued enhancement of the worksite's CTR program and demonstrating an innovative approach to trip reduction strategies. They are Spokane County's true CTR champions.

This Pinnacle Award recipient came into the program as a voluntary worksite in 2004, but as their staff grew, they became affected by the law in 2013. Currently with nearly 190 employees this employer focuses primarily on carpooling. However, in addition, they offer transit subsidies, preferred parking, a guaranteed ride home program, safe bicycle storage, lockers and showers. As well as offering teleworking and compressed work schedules. As a benefit, employees can earn paid time off for their CTR participation as well as everyone who completes their commute calendar receives a $5 gift card each month.

Working towards their 2019 CTR goals, they made both their drive alone and VMT goals in their 2015 interim survey, making them one of the only 8 worksites to achieve both goals. In addition, they achieved 100% response rate.

In this last year, their ETC was instrumental in adding preferred parking for their carpoolers. She also makes an effort to keep management informed on the benefits of CTR and how they can help support their program. Encouraging management to set the example, be flexible, promote the program and to know the benefits they offer their employees are just a few examples.

Because of the nature of this business, employees experience schedule changes quite frequently, which can make using commute alternatives quite challenging. However consistent marketing and education about the benefits of commute alternatives keeps participation levels high. This worksite has endured several changes in the last few years. There have been many ETC transitions, but their program has remained strong. That is an example of having a strong program along with dedicated employees and management support.

We are pleased to honor Inland Northwest Blood Center with a 2016 Pinnacle Award.