Dufferin Board of Trade hosts Business Excellence Awards

October 27, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

The Dufferin Board of Trade (DBT) celebrated Canada’s National Small Business Week, by hosting its annual Business Excellence Awards (BEAs) to celebrate, and recognize business excellence across the county, as well as the accomplishments and contributions of local business.

The event took place last Thursday evening (October 19) at the Mono Community Centre, and saw over 300 people attended to celebrate local businesses’ service and entrepreneurs to the community. Guests enjoyed cocktails, dinner, raffle prizes, and music provided by the Humber College Jazz Trio.

Several local dignitaries spoke at the event, including Dufferin County Warden Darren White. He shared with the guests that he was “a little bit surprised,” by the number of businesses in Dufferin County, and “underestimated” just how many are in the county – 6,500.

Mr. White spoke about the county’s creation of an economic development plan, and they are currently “moving forward with it,” which the County is “bound and determined to make [the plan] happen.”

The guest speaker was Richard Koroscil, CEO and Interim President for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

He said the “best leaders come from Ontario,” and small businesses “drive the economy forward.” He added that with over 400,000 businesses in Ontario, both large and small, they are the “backbone of the economy.”

Eight awards were given out to local businesses and individuals. Awards were sponsored by local businesses, which presented the winners with their awards.

Winners of the 2017 Dufferin Business Excellence Award:

• ustainability (Sponsored by the Town of Orangeville) – Hockley Valley Resort.

• ssociation of the Year (Sponsored by Carters Professional Corporation) – Hats on Dufferin.

• usiness of the Year, under 10 employees (Sponsored by Meridian Credit Union) – Kitchen to the Table.

• oung Professional of the Year (Sponsored by Humber College) – Kathy Yardley

• merging Business Award (Sponsored by Georgian Career and Employment Community Services) – Country 105.

• nnovator Award (Sponsored by Orangeville Hydro) – Family Transition Place.

• usiness of the Year, over 10 employees (Sponsored by RBC Royal Bank) – Canadian Bath Bomb Company.

• ufferin Business Citizen of the Year (Presented by Dufferin Board of Trade) – Bill Gillam.

Several winners spoke to the Citizen, speaking of their accomplishments and recognition.

Mr. Gillam, owner of Shelburne’s Home Hardware Building Centre, said, “Life’s never about anybody,” and in Dufferin County, though it is important to recognize the individual, it’s still about the team. “I try to lead by example.”

Sigrid Wolm, owner of Kitchen to the Table, shared how she’s been in the county for nearly 20 years, and one doesn’t need to be a young adult to start a business and be successful, just follow your dreams.

She added that current entrepreneurs will “inspire the next generation.”

Jill Young, News Director with Country 105, says that despite only being a radio station for two years, they continue to grow, and is important to recognize those growing businesses. “It’s so much work to launch a radio station, but so much fun.”

Another recipient, Kathy Yardley, is the owner of Headwaters Physiotherapy, and explained that when she moved to Orangeville in 2013, she wanted to get back in the workplace the following year after having a child. “I looked around and saw a major gap in the rehab business we have in town.”   

She said when she started her business, she just had three employees, but has grown to 30, and they have expanded to Mono, because of the need. “When you’re recognized, it inspires you even further.”

Lynette Pole-Langdon, with Family Transition Place (FTP), received the Innovator Award for the creation of FTP’s latest program, “Rural Response,” which she said is designed to make women feel more comfortable by meeting them in their homes or public places. “We wanted to break down barriers for women in families to be able to access our services.”

She said over the last year they have served 73 women with this service, and in order for businesses to adapt, they must change their programs/services by making them current to the times.

Pete Renshaw, Chair of DBT, also spoke at the event.  He described 2017 as a year “full of challenges,” but, “Whatever the challenge may be, the Dufferin Board of Trade is there to represent the interests of our members, and advocate for all businesses in Dufferin County.”

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