LANGLEY’S WHAT’S IN STORE: Entrepreneurs make the shortlist

Know of a new business in town, one expanding, moving, or hosting a community event, let us know…

Congratulations are in order for at least two businessmen with strong ties to Langley.

Jack Nicholson of Otter Co-op and Ryan Moreno from the Joseph Richard Group have made the finalists list for the EY (Ernst & Young) entrepreneurs of the years awards, in the Pacific region.

Last week, the EY named 42 finalists across nine categories, and our local entrepreneurs were among them, explained EY director Lui Petrollini.

“Unstoppable entrepreneurs are resilient and courageous, and show strong leadership by creating a business culture where risk taking is rewarded,” he said.

“This year’s finalists certainly meet those criteria. They’re innovative thinkers who capitalize on market trends and disrupt traditional industries. And they’re doing it all while maintaining strong business integrity and extended community engagement.”

Moreno, many of you know, in his capacity at the helm of the JRG hospitality business that owns a number of local restaurants and pubs, including Townhall Pub, S+L Kitchen & Bar, Oak & Thorne, and The Italian – Osteria & Cheesebar.

He’s up for consideration in the food and beverage category of the awards.

Meanwhile, Nicholson – not to be confused with the famous actor – has been CEO of the Co-op since 2011. He’s up for an award in the consumer products and services category.

He’s been in the limelight a lot with the $6.4-million reno and expansion to the Langley retail centre last year. Plus, last year he won the Deloitte/Business in Vancouver’s B.C. CEO award in the large company category.

He is also president of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce and the Aldergrove Rotary Club.

READ MORE: Otter Co-op’s CEO top of the class

The Pacific finalists will come together on Oct. 3 in Vancouver, at the annual awards gala, where EY will name one winner in each of nine categories selected by the independent panel of judges.

One of those category winners will be named the overall Pacific EY entrepreneur of the year and will later compete with regional winners from Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic for the title of Canada’s EY entrepreneur of the year.

The Canadian winner will go on to compete with national winners from across the globe for the title of EY’s world entrepreneur of the year in June 2020. We’ll keep you apprised, if either of these local men move on to those levels.

Consistent with the findings from the EY Global Capital Confidence Barometer, economic uncertainty does not appear to be slowing these entrepreneurs down. Pacific finalists are a true representation of how dynamic the market is — with some players emerging in new industries, others evolving mature industries and some even diversifying current business models to withstand tough market pressures. Together, this year’s 42 Pacific regional finalists currently employ approximately 7,500 people and generate annual revenues of nearly $1.5 billion.

“It’s great to see the diversity of our finalists continue to grow year over year along with the makeup of our community,” says Petrollini. “Beyond different industries, we have entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, age and genders coming into the program from across the region beyond the greater Vancouver area. This diversity is reflective of what makes a strong and inclusive economy, and we’re proud to honour that through the program.”

Kudos gentlemen, and good luck!

And, speaking of the chamber, Nicholson, and business awards, he put out a reminder to folks this week that the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for their Business Excellence Awards, which will be given out just ahead of Halloween this year.

“Help us recognize businesses, business people, and non-profit organizations who demonstrate outstanding innovation, growth, ethics, customer service, and contributions to the community,” Nicholson said. The local awards will be handed out at Cascades Casino during a gala event on Thursday, Oct. 24. Cost is 4100 for chamber members and $120 for non-members.

Click here for more information.

• If your opening a new business in Langley, expanding an existing operation, moving locations, hosting a special community event, or doing something significant for a local charity, let me know. I want to hear from you.

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RECENT COLUMN: Chamber seeks to learn what’s hurting Langley businesses

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