Capitol Hill Business Alliance (CHBA) honors community leaders at Spirit of the Hill Awards

by GSBA Communications | Jan 22, 2020


Date: January 21, 2020
Contact: Eric Moss, Director of Communications
Tel: 206.363.9188


Karyn Schwartz of SugarPill & Jerry Traunfeld of Lionhead and Poppy to receive awards for exemplifying the best of Capitol Hill neighborhood businesses.

SEATTLE (January 21, 2020) –The Capitol Hill Business Alliance – a program of GSBA, Washington’s LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce – is proud to honor two outstanding business leaders in the local community. Spirit of the Hill Award Recipient Karyn Schwartz (SugarPill) and Legacy of the Hill Award Recipient Jerry Traunfeld (Poppy, Lionhead) were selected by a committee of their peers for their dedicated work in championing community and business in Capitol Hill, Seattle's most vibrant and economically robust neighborhood.

Karyn Schwartz opened SugarPill nearly ten years ago as a personal expression of love for the Capitol Hill community, and as a tangible way to care for people in the particular way she knows how. Schwartz says, “Small businesses are unspeakable labors of love. Brick-and-mortar retail shops are the backbone of any neighborhood - and in some ways, are the new nonprofit organizations - providing care and services to the people who live and work in our midst.”

Others in the neighborhood working alongside Schwartz feel this approach. Christy Lillard, owner and operator of Laughing Buddha Tattoo & Body Piercing shared, “Karyn and SugarPill embody true small business spirit. Attention to detail from the beauty of the store down to who made the products and what's in them. Karyn doesn't hesitate to take a stand and be an activist for good in our community and for the world. Her vast knowledge of her field is what true customer service should be. She doesn't sell to sell, she genuinely cares about and actually helps her customers. It's what honest, day to day service to a community is all about.” Schwartz and her labor of love, SugarPill, perfectly exemplify our community’s spirit of generosity and commitment to equality.

Chef Jerry Traunfeld opened Poppy in Capitol Hill’s North Broadway neighborhood in 2008 to present his own style of Northwest cooking which highlighted seasonal ingredients and fresh herbs and spices. After its opening, Poppy was named one of “50 Best New Restaurants in the U.S.” by Travel + Leisure, and made the Condé Nast Hot List of “50 Top New Restaurants in the World.” In 2015, Traunfeld opened a sister space next to Poppy – Lionhead, an elegant tribute to the flavors of the Sichuan province.

After over a decade of both his restaurants serving as pillars of community and beacons in Seattle’s culinary scene, Traunfeld retired in 2019. The impact of Traunfeld’s work remains and his legacy will be remembered.

The community and media are invited to come together to celebrate the impact of Karyn Schwartz and Jerry Traunfeld at the Spirit of the Hill Reception on Tuesday, February 4th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Steve Jensen Art Gallery. Following the reception there will be a private tour of the Capitol Hill home and studio of Steve Jensen and Vincent Lipe. The community is welcome to attend, but space is limited and registration is required. Visit for more details.

Schwartz and Traunfeld will also be recognized at GSBA’s 39th Business & Humanitarian Awards Dinner: Thrive Together on Thursday, February 13th at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront. 



For more information, please contact Eric Moss, GSBA Director of Communications, at 206-363-9188 or

GSBA is Washington’s LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce, and the largest LGBTQ and allied chamber of commerce in North America. We represent over 1,400 small business, corporate, and nonprofit members who share the values of advancing equality and diversity in the workplace.

The Capitol Hill Business Alliance is a program of GSBA dedicated to ensuring a healthy, vibrant, and diverse neighborhood business community for all. CHBA will provide business development, engagement, and advocacy for Capitol Hill businesses and nonprofits who are committed to the economic vitality of Capitol Hill.