The Chilliwack business community celebrated its best and brightest at the 19th annual Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards on the weekend.
Omega and Associates Engineering walked away with the top prize, Business of the Year.
But there was plenty of hardware to go around.
In all, 15 trophies were handed out before a packed house at a black-tie gala at Tzeachten Hall Saturday night.
The award for agricultural excellence went to Sparkes Corn Barn – “a business that has distinguished itself and shown leadership by promoting the betterment of agriculture in Chilliwack,” judges said.
The Squiala First Nation was presented the Development Excellence Award for its project at Eagle Landing. The award goes to a development project that not only displays superior design and engineering, but also provides longterm value and economic growth to the community.
The Dining Excellence Award was earned by Bravo Restaurant and Lounge. The recipient of this award, the judges said, “pays special attention to making their customers feel special and comfortable while, at the same time enjoying exceptional food, atmosphere and service.”
Valley Veterinary Services won the Professional Service Award. The winner exemplified innovation, professionalism, honesty and integrity, the judges concluded.
The Manufacturing Award went to Sandel Food, a company that specializes in products for Canada’s bakery industry. The award is presented to a company that demonstrates technological advancement, quality control, innovation and value to the community.
Little Mountain Greenhouses Garden Centre and Florist was honoured for retail excellence. “This category recognizes a retail establishment which has demonstrated outstanding business success and innovation,” judges said. Little Mountain has consistently demonstrated community commitment and support, they added, and is widely respected throughout Chilliwack for achievements and community involvement.
The award for sustainability went to Yarrow Eco Village and Groundsell Co-Housing. The award recognizes the project’s outstanding contributions to community sustainability “through economic, social and environmental excellence.”
The Chamber Award, which goes to a Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce member that has gone above and beyond other members, went to Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation, CEPCO.
Jordan Forsyth, meanwhile, earned the Chamber’s Director Award.
Mt. Waddington’s Outdoors was named New Business of the year. “This business has demonstrated excellence in the areas of innovation, management, marketing, customer service, and integrity,” judges concluded.
Employee of the Year went to Debra Archer, an employe, judges said, who demonstrates excellence in customer service, is a team player and leader, and is involved in the community.
Amanda Quinton was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year for her dance school, Project Dance. “This award symbolizes the achievements for innovative entrepreneurs who provide inspiration, exemplify excellence, and carry out their unique vision,” judges said.
The service award for a local not for profit went to the Chilliwack Learning Community Society, an organization that has been promoting literacy skills in Chilliwack and the eastern Fraser Valley since 1990. The award means the society will receive donations from select chamber events throughout the year.
Well known Chilliwack businessman Harry Geddes was presented the Legacy Award. The award is presented to a Chilliwack business person who has taken an active role in making our community a better place. “This individual stands out amongst peers and is a good corporate citizen.”
Omega and Associates Engineering, meanwhile, earned its Business of the Year honours for consistence in performance, customer service, leadership, innovation, management, marketing and community involvement. “This organization offers exceptional value to customers and the community,” judges concluded.
Strathcona elementary student Kai Manning was singled out for his efforts to raise money for BC Children’s Hospital. Manning, whose father was claimed by cancer, created a sensation last summer when he opened a lemonade stand, with all profits – more than $4,000 – going to the hospital.