The operator of a large filming studios in North Langley has been crowned businessperson of the year in Langley.
Gemma Martini, of Martini Studios, was among eight recognized during the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce’s annual business excellence gala Thursday night at Cascades Casino.
“I feel a deep sense of gratitude for having been acknowledged in a community that I love and have lived in my whole life,” she said, sharing the credit with her family and “super star team,” some of whom were at the event with her.
“I am super proud of my team… they have help build the brand that brought this opportunity to us,” elaborated Martini, a Langley Secondary School grad who grew up in Langley and has spent her fair share of time in front of the camera before launching the movie and TV studio in North Langley.
Martini is CEO of Martini Film Studios, a full-service production facility with 10 sound stages and a suite of support services. Her studio has been home to many successful television and film productions since opening in 2017.
When presented the award, the chamber described her business leadership and passion for the creative industry as the power behind Martini Film Studios’ impressive growth during its five years.
“The industry is growing exponentially, in terms of purpose built studios worldwide,” Martini said, grateful for the award and glad to be able to accept the accolades in person.
“I am very excited for what the future of film is in Langley as we continue to build film location and stage rental opportunities, advocate and support training to grow the film crew base in Langley, and collaborate with others in the industry to keep B.C. top of mind for international productions.”
Martini currently has a 250,000-square-feet facility on the Langley-Port Kells border, but is in the process of building an additional 600,000-square-foot production space near the new 216th Street freeway interchange. That project started two years ago, and once completed, Martini said the local film studio will rival some of the bigger facilities across the country.
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She concluded by thanking the chamber “for bringing us all together” and celebrating each one of the finalists and winners, who she described as inspiring and highly motivated.
At the event, attended by nearly 300 business and community leaders, the chamber recognized excellence and outstanding achievement in a number of Langley businesses, said chamber CEO Cory Redekop.
In addition to the businessperson of the year, the 26th annual awards celebration spotlighted Langley businesses of all sectors and sizes across seven other categories including community involvement, environmental sustainability, leadership, and business success.
“The Langleys are now the region’s fastest-growing communities, and the Langley business excellence awards represent an opportunity to lift up and celebrate our stellar business community,” Redekop said.
“This year’s finalists and award recipients showcase the breadth and diversity of our local economy, from thriving neighbourhood businesses to world-class creative industries, to major employers that produce and sell nationally and internationally. The chamber is so pleased to have this opportunity to highlight some of the standout companies who call Langley home.”
The Langley Business Excellence Awards is the culmination of a months-long process that started with a call for nominations in late spring. The call out generated 100 nominations from across the community.
Those nominees were then invited to submit supporting information, which was vetted and reviewed, before a shortlist of finalists being announced in early September.
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The eight award recipients were revealed at the gala.
The recipients of the other 2022 Langley business excellence awards are:
• Langley community spirit award – McDonald’s Sarocemas
McDonald’s Sarocemas is the name under which five locations of McDonald’s Restaurants are operated across Langley and Maple Ridge, employing hundreds of people and directly supporting various important causes through donations from the business, volunteer time from the staff, and the business owner’s own personal service with local non-profits.
• Employer of the year award – Vivid Hair Boutique and Blow Dry Bar
Vivid Hair Boutique is a luxury hair salon and blow dry bar in north Langley which understands the success of the business depends on their team, and therefore invests in their employees for long term growth and success. Through education, mentorship, and collaboration, stylists are encouraged to continually share, learn and grow their skills, for their own personal development as well as to support the business.
• Environmental leadership award – CKF Inc
At its five Canadian manufacturing plants – including its Langley facility — CKF produces disposable tableware and packaging for the food and food service industry. Since 2013, the business has executed a sustainable development plan which sets outs goals of reducing energy consumption by 20 per cent, ensuring 100 per cent of its products are recyclable or compostable, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent.
• Entrepreneurial excellence award – Five Roads Brewing Co.
At the intersection of good beer and great company you’ll find Five Roads Brewing, which has been operating their brewery and tasting room for over three years in Langley. Less than a year old when the pandemic hit, they overcame having to close their doors to the public and have successfully grown and developed their business and brand, winning accolades for their delicious beer and welcoming tasting room.
• Charitable or non-profit organization of the year award – Langley Hospice Society
Since 1983, the Langley Hospice Society has been providing important palliative and bereavement care and support to meet the needs of Langley’s growing community. This year, saw the Society complete construction and begin operation of the new ‘Doug and Fran MacDonald Langley Hospice Residence’ which accepted its first patients this May.
• Business of the year award (Up to 24 employees) award – White Canvas Design Studio
White Canvas is a female-founded and female-led agency that specializes in website design, graphic design, branding, and social content. Since the start of the pandemic, White Canvas has experienced significant growth in both revenue and employees, and has helped countless businesses be better supported and engaged in the digital climate.
• Business of the year award (more than 25 employees) award – Freybe Gourmet Foods
From their award-winning facility here in Langley, Freybe produces premium meat products rooted in a European tradition of quality and heritage that dates back to their founding in 1844. With nearly 500 employees, many of whom live locally in Langley, Freybe has grown into one of Langley’s largest employers. Following a triple bottom line approach to their business, Freybe aims to grow a meaningful business with a purpose and positive broader impact.
LAST YEAR’S WINNERS: Chamber lauds outstanding Langley businesses
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