Small Business Awards
Back row from left, MLA Dr. Richard Starke, Mayor Caroline McAuley, Chamber President Brett Flanders, Employer of the Year-Ebony Jenson, and Rookie Business of the Year-Emily Ford. Front row from left, Bailey Snelgrove on behalf of Snelgrove Construction – President’s Choice, Chloe Maxwell-Inspiring Youth, Sara Giesbrecht-Employee of the Year, and Meagan Balaneski from Advantage Insurance-Business of the Year.
Missing: Ireland Farm Equipment, and Jack Rehill-Vermilion UFA Farm Supply.
The Vermilion Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Small Business Awards Gala at the Vermilion Regional Centre on October 20. “We are thrilled to celebrate small business in Vermilion. This year we had record nominations, and attendance increased by approximately 50 people. Our nominations came directly from people in the community; this alone is a win in itself,” said President, Brett Flanders. Wayne FM’s Tim Gavin emceed the event and noted that small business has been celebrated nationally for the past 35 years. “Vermilion is fortunate to have all of these amazing people who are outstanding in their field and always giving back to the community,” said Gavin. Award recipients were each given a certificate on behalf of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA, Dr. Richard Starke; as well as a certificate on behalf of the Town of Vermilion from Mayor, Caroline McAuley. “It’s incredibly important that we acknowledge the businesses that go above and beyond to make our communities better. Businesses have to be tremendously resilient and have a positive business environment,” said MLA Dr. Richard Starke. “It’s amazing that we have had 32 businesses open this year. These awards speak to the level of customer service that has been provided in our community,” said Mayor Caroline McAuley. Guests were captivated by award winning multiple-time TEDx speaker, and best-selling author, Corey Poirier who spoke on ‘The Power Of Community.’ From a small community in Prince Edward Island, Poirier said that he was originally terrified of public speaking, but challenged himself to overcome the fear by taking a course, through which he became involved with stand-up comedy. “As a community, find a way to rally together and be creative. What is your common purpose? Write a mission statement, and personalize people’s experiences. Provide engagement, empowerment, and involvement, and deliver the unexpected. As a business owner, are you creating ‘wow’ experiences for your customers? You can do so by even just opening the door, smiling, and being passionate about other people. Successful people live with purpose and have found their passion. Be willing to share your story, and find ways to share it,” said Poirier. After conducting thousands of his interviews with highly achieving people, Poirier said that their happiness is almost never about money. According to Poirier, being wealthy is about having family and community around. As for the awards, Phyllis Maki, General Manager for Lloydminster Community Futures presented the award for Rookie Business of the Year to The Red Brick. Town of Vermilion Economic Development Coordinator, Mary Lee Prior, presented the Employee of the Year Award to Sara Giesbrecht. TD Bank presented the Employer of the Year award to Ebony Jenson from Mainstreet Hardware. Candice Anderson presented the Spirit of Vermilion award to Jack Rehill from Vermilion UFA Farm Supply. Janine Lange and Brandon Tupper presented the Inspiring Youth Award to Chloe Maxwell from Coco’s Sweet Shoppe. A new category this year was the Agricultural Spirit Award that was awarded to Ireland Farm Equipment. Brett Flanders presented the Business of the Year award to Advantage Insurance, as well as the President’s Choice award to Snelgrove Construction.
Corey Poirier who spoke on ‘The Power Of Community’ in Vermilion at the Small Business Awards Gala on October 20. Photos Angela Mouly