Ascend Fitness named Chilliwack Chamber Business of the Year

The 20th Annual Business Excellence Awards honoured the best in Chilliwack business and community involvement.

Tanja Shaw

Tanja Shaw approaches business with the same mindset she puts into her fitness regimes.

As owner of Ascend Fitness Inc., winner of the Business of the Year at the Chilliwack Chamber’s Business Excellence Awards Saturday night, she said you need to go into business the same way you would tackle a marathon.

“It’s always one step at a time. That’s what I love about business. It parallels fitness,” she said. “It’s all about being focused on that next level.”

Shaw was thrilled to be nominated for the award, just for the recognition of what she and her staff are achieving with their clients. But to win was the “really awesome.” She began as an independent trainer in Chilliwack in 2007. After a few years away while having her child in 2009, she got back into it and took some business coaching. That extra training helped launched her current business model.

“Currently we’re really an all-inclusive answer to people’s struggles when it comes to health and fitness and overall fitness,” she said. They offer coaching, support and accountability to help keep their clients on track in making real lifestyle changes.

And not all training happens within the confines of a gym.

“We invite our clients to go out on hikes, to seminars, and even to train for events together,” Shaw said, and that openness to new ways of getting active is an important part of changing one’s lifestyle. “It’s so easy to get into the drudgery of a workout.”

When it comes right down it, she said the real success of her business is owed to the staff.

“I think our business is amazing, but it’s not me. I’m part of it but I have the most incredible team I’m working with right now,” she said. “They’re rock stars. They make my life so much easier.”

The 20th Annual Business Excellence Awards were handed out on Jan. 31 at Tzeachten Hall. The event had a Roaring Twenties theme, and featured a special dedication to the late Stan Rogers. To commemorate his leadership in business and to honour his legacy as a developer and entrepreneur, the legacy award was renamed the Stan Rogers Legacy Award. This year’s recipient was John Jansen, past president of CEPCO.

Award winners:

Professional Service Award: Henderson’s Funeral Homes and Crematorium

Employee of the Year: Amy Watson, Tourism Chilliwack

Agriculture Excellence Award: Honeyview Farm

Development Excellence: Gore Brothers Homes

Retail Excellence Award: Hofstede’s Country Barn

Sustainability Award: Unika Lifestyle Company

Manufacturing Award: Tycrop Manufacturing

Not for Profit/ Service Award: Ann Davis Transition Society

Stan Rogers Legacy Award: John Jansen, CEPCO

Dining Excellence: Earls Restaurant

Young Entrepreneur Award: Dawson Friesen

New Business of the Year: Hampton Inn by Hilton Chilliwack

Business of the Year: Ascend Fitness Inc.