The 15th annual Business Excellence Awards, presented by Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, attracted a full house to the Summit Theatre at the Cascades Casino on Saturday.
A total of 10 awards were handed out, and there were more than 50 nominations. Two new awards were added this year, recognizing the community impact that non-profit organizations have. One award went to those with budgets over $500,000, and the other to those with budgets under $500,000.
Craig Davies of Design One Graphics received the 2011 George Preston Business Person of the Year award. He also serves as chair of the Downtown Langley Business Association. Davies has run his business since 1978 and has been involved in a number of community organizations over the years. His business works with clients to market businesses through branding, identity promotion and advertising.
“Craig has been successful in business for over 30 years because of a focus on developing long-term relationships with clients and approaching each project with the same enthusiasm and professionalism as the first one,” emcee Jim McGregor told the crowd. “Craig and his team have managed to survive the horrific downturn of the economy and adapt to new challenges presented by the world of technology.
“Craig has helped countless Langley businesses and organizations grow their profile and improve their image. His passion for people and service to community has earned him the recognition of the 2011 George Preston Memorial Business Person of the Year.”
Other nominees for the George Preston Business Person of the Year award were Doedy Reisler of Cascades Casino, Coast Hotel and Convention Centre; Sharon Newbery of Coffee News; Tony Malyk of ShowKing Product Sales and Ron Martini of Starline Windows.
The first Community Impact Award for a non-profit organization with a budget under $500,000 went to Langley Meals On Wheels Services Society. Executive director Dave Stark accepted the award.
The society was cited for its innovative “Food and Friends” program, which encourages individuals to come to a central location and enjoy a meal together instead of eating alone. The society has worked for more than 30 years to support residents who are incapable of preparing their own nutritional meals, and its services are delivered by a strong corps of volunteers.
The Community Impact Award for a Non-Profit Organization with a budget over $500,000 went to Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, with executive director Tania Vrionis accepting.
The foundation is a non-profit organization committed to and actively involved in raising funds for the Langley Memorial Hospital and Langley’s health care needs. Over the years, the foundation has been able to raise over $20 million toward up-to-date technology and programs for the hospital.
Other nominees for the Community Impact Award for a Non-Profit Organization were Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life; Downtown Langley Business Association; Fibromyalgia Well Spring Foundation; Gateway of Hope; Penny Pincher Thrift Store; Soroptimists International of the Langleys; St. Joseph’s Church; Stepping Stone Community Services Society and Wagner Hills Farm Society.
The Community Impact Award to a for-profit business went to Cascades Casino, Coast Hotel and Convention Centre, with executive general manager Doedy Reisler accepting.
“Commitment to community is embedded in their mission statement – to enhance market leadership by contributing time, commitment and caring to the community. In 2011, the casino and hotel has donated over $100,000 towards community events through monetary donation, auction items and personal time,” McGregor said. “Some beneficiaries include Bar-B-Q on the Bypass, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, Bras For A Cause, Langley Lodge, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, The Langley Good Times Cruise-In, Arts Alive, the Food Bank and the Langley Christmas Bureau.”
Other nominees for the Community Impact Award, For-Profit Business award were Choo Choo’s Restaurant; Cielito Lindo Mexican Restaurant; Lisa’s School of Dance; and Toots n’ Tots.
The New Entrepreneur of the Year award went to Donna Nicks of Fresh Gourmet Take Away. Her business is a successful ‘healthy meals in a hurry’ business — providing food solutions for busy parents, working professionals and seniors.
“She has identified new revenue streams, approached new companies to partner with, embraced technology and rebranded to create a unique identity,” McGregor said. “Donna is an inspiration to small business owners and is proof that hard work and belief in a product can make a business successful.”
Other nominees for the New Entrepreneur of the Year were DLC Valley Financial Specialists; Frosting Cupcakery; Horty Girl Living Decor and the Eco Floor Store.
The award for Service Excellence went to PDQ Post Group Inc., with Lorraine Duclos accepting.
“Since 1991, PDQ Post Group has been involved in the mailing business, expanding its North American client base by listening to clients one at a time. In fact, the creation of PDQ Print Solutions was driven by many clients who asked for this support.
“The PDQ team has delivered campaigns that reach audiences worldwide. While projects may appear similar, they are sensitive to the details that make each one unique,” said McGregor.
Other nominees for the Service Excellence Award were Broadside Media; By-Pass Auto Sales; Cielito Lindo Mexican Restaurant; Eagle Wind RV Park; Langley Bottle Depot; Leskun and Son Accounting; NAI Goddard and Smith; One Way Gourmet; Schnee’s Delicatessen; Toots n’Tots and T & D Tailors.
The Environmental Leadership Award went to Genesis Recycling Ltd. and owner Mike Kubala. Genesis was founded in 1994, as a domestic solution to the growing stockpile of end-of-use electronics. Since then, recycling has evolved rapidly, with consumers, governments, business and industry all shaping the future of the manufacturing and disposal streams.
“Genesis is on the leading edge of this growing sector. Its commitment to zero waste of all materials recycled is achieved through inventive practices, strong relationships with end users and vendor partners, and a commitment to environmentally responsible end-use and disposal,” said McGregor.
Genesis has the ability to recycle high volumes of unique equipment.
Other nominees for the Environmental Leadership Award were Custom Cooling Solutions; Erikson’s Daylily Gardens; It’s Your Move; Recyc-Mattresses and The Eco-Floor Store.
The Small Business of the Year award went to Tracycakes Bakery Café and owner Tracy Dueck.
McGregor said “Tracycakes is the vision of owner Tracy Dueck, an avid cook, baker, entertainer, mother, grandmother and friend to many. Tracy’s dream was to create a simple yet beautiful place where people could connect and share meaningful moments over delicious home made food and irresistible treats. In 2006 the first café opened and today there are three locations — Fort Langley, Abbotsford and White Rock.
“Leadership in this business starts in the kitchen and with input from all employees, extends all the way out to the balance sheet.”
The Medium Business of the Year went to A Bread Affair, and owners Pat McCarthy and Tanya Belanger. It is a family-owned business that has been specializing in baking handmade artisan breads since 2005.
A Bread Affair is part of the fabric of the rich agricultural community and is able to know producers and growers on a first name basis. The company produces a world-class product, handcrafted by skilled artisan bakers using only time-honoured methods, natural ingredients, and traditional stone hearth ovens.
The Large Business of the Year went to EV Logistics, with Marshall Austin accepting the award. EV Logistics, based at Gloucester, has almost 750 employees. It operates two distinct distribution centers, providing grocery distribution.
The ambient facility opened in 2001, and now operates a 485,000 square foot dry goods warehouse. The perishable facility operates in a brand-new 380,000 square foot refrigerated warehouse which opened in March, 2010.
Other nominees for Business of the Year were Advanced Integration Technology Canada; Diamonds West Wholesale; Forever Yours Lingerie; Fresh Gourmet Take Away; Minuteman Press; Nikko Sushi; Starline Windows; The Eco Floor Store; The Passionate Home and Vicki’s Paw Spa.