Congratulations to AGC-members Ram Construction honored as the Large Business of the Year and Sanitary Service Company named Green Business of the Year by the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce!
Many entrepreneurs dream of taking their idea of a start-up business and growing it into a strong vibrant company. For Ram Construction that process started with a member of the Bellingham Fire Department and a backhoe.
Mike Hammes created Ram Construction in 1992 and Wendy Hammes joined in 1995 to oversee Administrative and Accounting functions. This Commercial Heavy Civil and Site Development firm has been growing ever since and now employs 43 very happy people.
Mike and Wendy built this crew with a very simple philosophy. “Get the right people in the right seat on the right bus” says Mike. “If you do the right thing it will be paid off in the end.”
Ram Construction not only does right by their employees but they work tirelessly for the benefit of the community. In addition to providing free loads of top soil and bark for schools and non-profit organizations Ram has participated in building the new Hospice House as well as the relaxation fountain at the House various playgrounds a Kiosk for the Bellingham Bells and has donated and set up fencing cones and flaggers for Ski to Sea for 10 years.
Mike and Wendy have also donated 400 tickets to Bellingham Bells games as well as the all important hot dogs and sodas to give needy kids the full baseball game experience!
And just this past month Mike donated 500 turkeys to the Bellingham Food Bank for Thanksgiving and worked to add hundreds more turkeys to the donation from his Bellingham Bay Rotary Club.
In 1929 Sanitary Service Company opened for business in Bellingham with five employees and 500 customers. Today this outstanding local company employs more than 90 people and serves over 45000 commercial and residential customers in Bellingham Ferndale Birch Bay and the majority of unincorporated Whatcom County.
Sanitary Service Company Inc. was co-founded by Agostino Gus Razore who was born in a small mountain village just outside Genoa Italy in 1895. Gus emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 16 entering through Ellis Island before traveling cross country by train to Seattle. He eventually settled in Bellingham where is worked for several years before starting SSC.
Since 2005 SSCs garbage and recycling trucks have been running on biodiesel fuel. SSC Co-Owner Paul Razore said we tested biodiesel in a number of our trucks for 18 months with no maintenance issues or loss in performance. SSC trucks fuel up at one of two Yorkston Oil locations that offer biodiesel. The SSC fleet uses 300000 gallons of fuel per year to collect garbage and recyclables from residents and businesses in Whatcom County. Biodiesel costs a bit more than regular diesel but it is biodegradable non-toxic and virtually free of sulfur and aromatics. Plus it reduces emissions by up to 20%. We hope our actions will encourage other local fleets to consider biodiesel as their fuel choice.
In 2007 SSC achieved a 5-star rating from Whatcom County EnviroStars due to their leadership role in the reduction of both hazardous and non-hazardous waste as well as their environmentally-friendly business practices. SSC was the first recycling and garbage collection company in Washington State to receive this honor.
Time and again when it comes to innovations and programs that help drive environmental responsibility in Whatcom County SSC is at the forefront. This includes the Sustainable Connection’s Toward Zero Waste program the Puget Sound Energy Green Power Leadership Partner and being the first sponsor of this Green Business of the Year Award.
Photos: Ram Construction crew at Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce awards event; Robb Pemble accepting SSCs Green Business of the Year award (photos by Tore Ofteness).