The Wenatchee Downtown Association honored one of the valley's great civic leaders last night when Sam Mills of Mills Brothers received the Spirit of Downtown Award at the annual appreciation dinner at the Wenatchee Convention Center. He was greeted with a standing ovation.
Mills is the third-generation owner of the business that has operated in the same location on Wenatchee Avenue since 1906 — a truly remarkable achievement. I posted a picture of Mills on The World's Facebook page last night and within 10 minutes there were 70 likes and a slew of comments attesting to the customer experience at the store and to Mills' sartorial splendor. He's undoubtedly the the best dressed man in the valley.
WDA Executive Director Linda Haglund said Mills represents the "spirit of Wenatchee's past, the spirit of Wenatchee's present and the spirit of Wenatchee's future."
People admire Mills for his calm demeanor and dignity, even when emotions are running hot. There was a lot of conflict downtown this past year over proposals to refresh the city's aging Streetscape project and Mills was a calm, stabilizing force in the middle of that maelstrom. He's deeply appreciated in the community.
Other WDA award winners included Best Customer Service — Pickle Papers; Best of Downtown — Tumbleweed Bead Co.; Best Bite — McGlinn's Public House; and Best New Business — Cycle Central.
The vibrant downtown in Wenatchee remains one of the valley's great assets.