A business community which helps provide the financial opportunity to make Tillsonburg the progressive community it is, gathered to celebrate both excellence and ongoing optimism Thursday evening inside the Lion’s Auditorium.
“The Town of Tillsonburg is strong and growing stronger every year,” said Eichenberg Chrysler President Dave Moore Friday. “A lot of it is due to the business and community leaders who were in the room last night.”
Eichenberg Chrysler was recognized with the Tillsonburg District Chamber of Commerce (TDCC) Economic New Development Award – Commercial. Sponsored by The Town of Tillsonburg, it in part recognized significant investment in a new and greatly expanded Simcoe Street automobile dealership, which says Moore, reflects an ongoing belief in the community.
“It’s nice to be recognized for all the hard work we’ve put into it,” he said, adding thanks to both event organizers and his own ‘people.’
“Thanks to all the staff at Eichenberg Chrysler that make the dealership what it is today.”
International Beams picked up the Economic Development New Investment Award – Industrial (sponsored by The Town of Tillsonburg), for its plant which has taken advantage of innovative ‘green’ technology to expand its business opportunities, and as a result, manufacturing base into Tillsonburg.
“The owner (Bruno Lebel) is really, really happy (for the recognition),” said Plant Manager David April. “It was great and we had a good time.”
April was also impressed with the organization level of the evening, from excellent food on through the professional production quality of their video.
“Very, very good job – Aaron (Wilcox) was awesome.”
It was an award April was happy to share with International Beam team members, who also enjoyed the experience.
“It was very nice to have them all together, recognizing them for all their effort.”
Peter Burns of Burns, Demeyere & Associates was appreciative not only of his company’s Business Improvement Award, but also of the fact it was sponsored by Marwood Metal Fabrication Limited.
“Chris Wood has done an awful lot for this community.”
Burns said the award reflected in part upgrades in electronics, as well as a different sales culture within the business. But more than any technological improvements, Burns credits and shares the recognition with a largely-local staff.
“We’ve got a really, really good team and that’s what it’s all about.
“It was an honour to be nominated at all,” he added in conclusion, “and to be chosen was totally unexpected but appreciated.”
Scotiabank was recognized with the Community Service Award (sponsored by E&E McLaughlin Ltd.), much-appreciated recognition said Manager of Customer Service Megan Walters.
“It’s awesome – good, good.”
Scotiabank does provide financial support for a variety of community organizations including Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Annandale National Historic Site and sports teams, but Walters credited the bank’s staff for being active with those and other community organizations.
“It’s not just giving donations, we have a lot of people actively volunteering time on a weekly basis.”
Awards are not given out on the basis of winner preference, but if Mike Bossy could have chosen, the Employer of the Year Award for BNG Bossy Nagy Group, Chartered Professional Accountants (sponsored by Millards Chartered Professional Accountants) would have been at the top of his list.
“That’s by far the best award to get,” he said, noting it is picked by employees.
“It’s such a big one and belongs to so many people,” he added, noting the ‘pretty crazy hours’ experienced by the company from January through April. “It belongs to our spouses and families too.”
Bossy tries to offset tax season ‘craziness’ with initiatives including flex hours and four-day summer workweeks, which have proven popular. He also credited the chamber for hosting a well-organized evening, that was also well attended – and clearly enjoyed.
“People were still here at 11:30.”
Frank Voth expressed gratitude on behalf of himself and wife Margaret as Voth Truck Bodies received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by BNG Bossy Nagy Group.
“We’re honoured and thankful,” said Voth.
Voth Truck Bodies has roughly tripled its business in the past two years, with a significant expansion in manufacturing space and corresponding tripling of employees to roughly 37.
“Those could have been things taken into consideration,” said Voth.
He thanked the chamber of commerce for hard work and effort in putting the awards ceremony together.
“Again, much appreciated,” he concluded. “Looking forward to expanding our business in this community and working with solid business people.”
And finally, while YU Ranch has received a lengthy list of national and international awards, the 2014 Environmental Award (sponsored by TD Bank Financial Group) was special for Bryan, Cathy, Joe and Paula Gilvesy.
“Perhaps even more meaningful to be recognized at home,” said Bryan.
YU Ranch’s operation features initiatives including pollinator hedgerows, working with ALUS, farming polycultures, a free-range approach, utilizing the sun as a primary energy source and embracing a local food plus philosophy.
It also is very much a shared operation, and as a result, Joe was featured first on the accompanying award video and Paula accepted it at the podium, a shared opportunity particularly appreciated.
“We are a real family operation,” Bryan concluded.