San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Announces Winners of the 22nd Annual Excellence in Business Awards

Walgreens, The Presidio Trust, Splunk, San Francisco International Airport, Edible Excursions, Nextdoor, Webcor Builders and Beth Sutkus Thompson presented with Top Awards Honoring Business Excellence

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of its prestigious Excellence in Business (Ebbies) Awards presented by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, at the 22nd Annual Ebbies Award Gala held the evening of Thursday, October 3rd at the at the Westin St. Francis.

“The Chamber is proud to recognize these accomplished businesses for their contributions to San Francisco and the greater Bay Area community,” said Bob Linscheid, President & CEO, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber salutes all of this year’s winners, who embody the innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship for which San Francisco is known.”

The competition’s most prestigious award – the United Airlines Excellence in Business – was presented to Walgreens, one of the world’s leading health and daily living drug stores. Founded in 1901 by Charles Walgreen, the company grew to over 8,100 stores through innovation, inventing the Chocolate-Malted-Milk-Shake, pioneering self-service stores, connecting its pharmacies via satellite computer network, developing drive-thru pharmacies, and offering a range of omni-channel shopping services.

The Kaiser Permanente Economic Development Award was presented to San Francisco International Airport (SFO). With an economic footprint of over $55 billion in sales and payroll, SFO has created more than 288,000 jobs in the San Francisco region. From their humble beginnings as a dirt airstrip in a cow pasture to be counted in the top 25 airports worldwide, SFO continues to advance the airport industry through a focus on customer service, innovative solutions, technology and safety.

The Recology & Wells Fargo Emerging Growth Award was presented to Nextdoor, a community-based social media platform that allows users to connect with people in their neighborhood. Launched in 2010, Nextdoor has used the power of technology to build stronger and safer neighborhoods in over 20,000 neighborhoods.

The Comcast Innovation through Technology Award was presented to Splunk, the San Francisco-based software firm with a disruptive mission: to make machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone. Founded in 2003, Splunk’s innovative software allows organizations to collect, index, analyze, visualize and act on massive streams of real-time and historical machine data, from web servers to pacemakers.

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company Small Business Award was presented to Edible Excursions, the food-based tour company. Showcasing tasty picks throughout the San Francisco region, a dozen guides lead 25-40 intimate food forays into San Francisco’s Ferry Building, Mission District, Japantown, as well as Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto and Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood. Edible Excurisions was founded in 2004 by Lisa Rogovin, who has been introducing guests to restaurants, cafes and artisan food producers in San Francisco, the East Bay and Marin for the past nine years

The Degenkolb Engineers and Hathaway Dinwiddie Building San Francisco Award was presented to The Presidio Trust. Founded in 1998, the Presidio Trust has worked to catalyze ideas, partners, and resources from all sectors to save the Presidio. Over the past 15 years, the Presidio Trust, working closely with the National Park Service, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and many partners, has revitalized historic structures, restored open spaces, and created extraordinary experiences for visitors. This year, the Trust reached a key milestone established by Congress and now cares for the Presidio without annual taxpayer support.

The Chamber Community Champion Award was presented to Webcor Builders, the largest San Francisco Bay Area-based builder. They were recognized for their innovative and efficient approach to construction, wide range of experience and cutting edge use of advanced technology and building landmark projects.

The Bain & Company Change Leader Award was presented to Beth Sutkus Thompson, Executive Director, KIPP Bay Area Schools. KIPP Bay Area Schools operates public charter schools in educationally underserved communities, developing in students the knowledge, skills and character essential to thrive in college, shape their futures, and positively impact the world.  Ranking in the top 10 percent of all public school districts in California, KIPP Bay Area Schools serve a student population that is 98 percent students of color and 75% low-income.  KIPP Bay Area Schools was founded in 2006 by Beth Sutkus Thompson, who is currently leading an expansion effort to double the number of students served.

“Beth has the drive, determination and creative vision that is essential in changing how students, parents and the broader community view education and achievement,” said Nils Behnke, a partner in Bain’s San Francisco office and a board member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.  “Her leadership has made a significant difference for hundreds of children in the Bay Area.”

The Ebbies were created in 1991 by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce to honor San Francisco businesses for their vision and innovation and to celebrate their many contributions. The 22nd Annual Ebbies Awards Gala is made possible with the generous support of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, United Airlines, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Kaiser Permanente, Degenkolb Engineers, Hathaway Dinwiddie, Recology, Wells Fargo, Bain & Company, Comcast, and others. More information on the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the Ebbies is available at

Founded in 1850, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is recognized as the preeminent business organization for advocacy, networking and economic growth. The Chamber  delivers on its mission to attract, develop and retain business in San Francisco by representing companies and organizations that make San Francisco a preferred destination for businesses and visitors.