The Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce held the 2013 Awards of Excellence at the Tillsonburg Community Centre last Thursday evening on May 9, 2013.
The annual event has been a tradition for the past 15 years and highlights Tillsonburg businesses and their success throughout the year.
“I think the event was fantastic. We celebrated some deserving businesses in our community,” said chamber president, Marcel Rosehart. “The Awards of Excellence and the presentation of the awards to these companies is a fantastic thing – we are recognizing companies that have done an amazing job.
“We honoured those five companies, but we’re there to celebrate the entire business community,” he added.
A total of 229 people came out for the event, including the recipients, nominees and guests. This year, there were five categories local businesses were eligible to receive an award. They were: Community Service Award, Economic Development New Investment Award, Employer of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year and Environmental Award.
CEO of the Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce, Suzanne Renken said she was pleased with the turnout and overall success with this year’s Award of Excellence.
“That event is our way of acknowledging excellence in our community,” said Renken. “There’s so many out there that really deserve these awards.”
Renken noted how important the nomination process is in recognizing the successes and hard work of companies in several categories. This year the Business Productivity award was not given out simply because there were no nominations put forth in that category.
“If they’re not nominated into the process then we’re not aware of them out there. So we’d like to encourage as many nominations as possible in future years,” she said.
First time nominee and award recipient Kelly Spencer, is owner of Indigo Lounge in Tillsonburg and was thrilled to take home Entrepreneur of the Year.
“It feels amazing. I’m just so grateful that my business that helps people feel better and healthier is being recognized and celebrated with an award,” said Spencer. “We have healing classes and healing sessions – we have 12 different holistic practitioners here, we have over 10 different teachers and we offer 27 classes a week.”
Spencer said the event helped a new business like hers obtain more community exposure, which resulted in several people expressing interest in her products and services and had residents signing up for classes as well.
“It’s a huge honour.”
Brett Lavier, owner of Canadian Tire in Tillsonburg said his company was also first time recipients for their category, and were proud to be chosen for the Environmental Award.
“We’re honoured to win the award – we were nominated last year, which we thought was great - we were thrilled to be nominated,” said Lavier.
“It’s because of the environmental initiatives that we offer to the town – we have oil recycling, battery recycling, we have a drop off depot for CFL bulbs,” he said noting the environmentally friendly products and services the store offers. “We were one of the first large facilities in the Town of Tillsonburg to switch over our lighting to energy efficient bulbs – in conjunction with the Town of Tillsonburg (Tillsonburg Hydro),” said Lavier.
“We were totally surprised to win it.”
McDonald’s restaurant in Tillsonburg won Employer of the Year.
“My staff nominated us for the award. I’m humbled that they feel it’s a great place to work,” said owner/operator Jason Lessif. “I try to look after everybody that works for me like family - therefore they look after the customers just like we look after them.”
Dave Klosler, a partner with Good Redden, Klosler chartered accountants and wealth management in Tillsonburg, said his company received the Customer Service Award for the second time in the event’s history and were more than pleased to be chosen for this award again.
“We won it a while back, it’d be about 10 or 12 years ago,” said Klosler. “It’s nice to be recognized – we’ve always put a lot back into the community. It’s good to know that what you do doesn’t go unnoticed,” he added. “Community involvement’s part of our mission statement and part of our performance appraisal so it’s a part of what we do.”
Siemens was presented with the Economic Development New Investment Award – messages were left however, representatives from the company could not be reached for comment for this article.
In addition to businesses in Tillsonburg, this year’s Awards of Excellence honoured the hard work and dedication of a few young and aspiring entrepreneurs here in town.
“The Chamber was responsible for launching the Junior Achievement program in our community here three years ago,” said Renken. “Because this company - Bath Treats was so successful, we invited those students to the Awards of Excellence on Thursday and we sponsored their ticket so they could attend. We honoured them too,” she explained. “We just wanted the business community to know these are potentially our up and coming entrepreneurs.”
“It’s all about excellence in the community,” Renken concluded.