Dr. Renee Ferguson of Mountain View Veterinary Hospital was selected as the recipient of the chamber’s employer of the year award for 2020. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Dr. Renee Ferguson of Mountain View Veterinary Hospital was selected as the recipient of the chamber’s employer of the year award for 2020. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Resilient Langley businesses lauded for their COVID twists

Langley chamber of commerce held its annual business award, but morphed it into a ‘community edition’

A chamber awards night in Langley Thursday didn’t focus so much on business as much as on local heroes of 2020, and some of the positive and heartfelt moments involving local community leaders who have gone above and beyond amid the pandemic.

Before a virtual crowd of some 100 people, the chamber presented its 24th annual business excellence awards, but this year’s ceremonies and even the categories were different – because of COVID.

The 2020 Business Excellence Awards given out Thursday night reflect the year of changes Langley has faced, explained president Brad Kiendl.

“In a chaotic time, there have been moments of calmness and clarity,” Kiendl said.

“The pandemic allowed some great things to happen like reconnecting with old friends, spending quality time with family, taking up a new hobby, getting creative with your business, taking a step back from every day busy life, and wearing pajamas to a Zoom meeting be acceptable,” he elaborated.

The awards night, Kiendl added, “is about the amazing people, businesses, and organizations in Langley. Together, let us celebrate all the positivity that has happened this year.”

There were six categories this year, each reflecting the challenges that have arisen due to the pandemic.

One winner has been in the chamber spotlight in past, as recent as last year. That’s Kim Snow of Kimz Angels.

In 2015 and again in 2019, Snow received the chamber’s award for community impact by a non-profit. This award lauded Snow and her team of angels who have been working in the community for 25 years to help people who are homeless and in need of assistance.

This year, she garnered the chamber’s frontline hero award.

“Kim is hands on and gets the job done,” said the emcees. “Kimz Angels are people helping people, simple as that. We are all working together to make this world a better place, one small act of kindness at a time,” Snow said, overwhelmed by the recognition.

Reiterating her team’s slogan: “Team work makes a dream work,” Snow said, honoured to be among a group of frontline heroes endeavouring to make that difference.

RELATED: Panic buying depletes supplies of disinfectant wipes distributed by Langley homeless assistance agency

One award, that hails back in part to the more traditional awards given out by Langley’s chamber, was the 2020 employer of the year award.

This year, that award went to Dr. Renee Ferguson at Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, but specifically spotlighted her efforts during the pandemic.

Those who tuned in for the virtual awards ceremony heard how Ferguson put her staff and client’s health and well-being as a top priority during the height of COVID-19, implementing procedures to keep the business functioning and able to service her clients needs while maintaining the safety of staff.

The nominators in particular lauded how Ferguson kept her team together and alleviated any anxiety about potential wage loss.

In addition to the pivot with her business, the doctor still went above and beyond to provide veterinary support to many of the local animal rescues, making sure even those furry friends were safe during this pandemic.

The new 2020 collaboration award went to Joseph Richards Group. It was presented to CEO Ryan Moreno, lauding him and his team for stepping up to support fellow small businesses.

JRG offered the use of its parking lots at all 25 locations for pop-up plant sales for Langley’s Darvonda Nurseries when they learned much of their bedding plants and vegetable starters were not going to be purchased by the normal national box store and shipped across the country.

RELATED: Cancellations of plant orders prompt advent of pop-up garden shops

Likewise, JRG also partnered with Krause Berry Farms to promote and sell their products, and locally sourced gift basket collaboration with other local businesses.

RELATED: U-pick returns to Langley – with physical distancing

Also new this year, the chamber presented an outstanding support award, which was given to Adult Cognitive Wellness Centre.

When the adult day program was unable to open in April, the staff designed an evidence-based virtual socialization and cognitive stimulation program for persons living with dementia.

Despite significant revenue loss, owner Massi Bakhshian continued to pay her staff so they can provide free, and what she called “desperately needed” support and respite during the pandemic.

Another new category in this year’s list was for an inspirational leader, that award went to Roslyn Henderson, the executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley.

She’s been at the helm of the non-profit for almost three years,. And while recognized for her leadership throughout that time, it was Henderson’s efforts amid the pandemic to keep the mentorship programs going and her team supported that earned her the chamber award.

Well Seasoned owner and operator Angie Quaale was honoured with the most innovative award for 2020.

When COVID-19 struck, Quaale pivoted.

Like so many other entrepreneurs, she immediately worked on new ideas for how to keep her business going and trying to keep her staff employed, with some impressive results.

As well, working with her team, she developed a program to feed frontline workers at Langley Memorial Hospital, and recreated her classroom experience to online and Facebook Live events.

Even now, the awards audience was told, the team at Well Seasoned: A Gourmet Food Store is working on different ways to keep the business growing and continuing to support the community at the same time.

“Congratulations to all of the nominees and recipients of the 2020 Business Excellence Awards: Community Edition,” Kiendl said.

“So many businesses and organizations have been through such varying circumstances this year and have shown resilience and strength. I am thrilled that we were able to showcase a few of them. I would also like to acknowledge the work of our GLCC team in bringing these awards to our community, this was not business as usual and they have again provided us with a fantastic event.”

Chamber CEO Colleen Clark said that in planning these awards, the intent of this year’s modified event was to tell stories of those who are fighting to survive and to spotlight those who have also helped others along the way.

“Langley is a special community, giving, charitable, and supportive, we are so pleased to be able to acknowledge just some of these situations,” she said.

“As everyone has said, this is not a normal year, not business as usual, and we are so proud of our Langley business community for their adaptability and determination to succeed,” Clark concluded.

.

FULL LIST OF NOMINEES: Shortlist of Langley chamber award winners revealed

.

LINK TO WINNERS AND SPONSORS

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

AwardsBusinessLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Angie Quaale and her team at Well Seasoned won the most innovative award. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Angie Quaale and her team at Well Seasoned won the most innovative award. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Kim Snow of Kimz Angels took home the chamber’s frontline hero award. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Kim Snow of Kimz Angels took home the chamber’s frontline hero award. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Roslyn Henderson is executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Langley. She was given the inspirational leader award. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Roslyn Henderson is executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Langley. She was given the inspirational leader award. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

The team at Adult Cognitive Wellness Centre earned the outstanding support award for 2020. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

The team at Adult Cognitive Wellness Centre earned the outstanding support award for 2020. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

Cheryl Roberts said she's having to consider putting down her cat, Burley, because she can't afford his dental surgery. (Cheryl Roberts photo)
COVID impact on Langley woman’s finances puts her kitty’s future in jeopardy

A Langley woman said money was tight before COVID and now she struggles to afford vet care

Maple Ridge and Langley Township have made the Smart21 list.
Virtual conference co-hosts Maple Ridge and Langley Township make list of Smart21

21 communities shortlisted for Intelligent Community of the Year after online event

Clean Up Aldergrove will be picking litter on 200 Street this Sunday, Feb. 28. (Special to The Star)
Organizer of litter clean-up event in Langley looking for volunteers

Earth Ninja group will be tackling 200th Street on Sunday, Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Island teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

Teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressures from outside and within

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Shaelene Keeler Bell. (Facebook)
Candlelight vigil planned for Chilliwack mother missing for four weeks

Virtual event to ‘spread some light’ for 23-year-old Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read