Twenty-nine businesses, individuals, and organizations were nominated for Chamber of Commerce business awards, which will be presented at an evening gala, Thursday, May 18.
There were several first time nominees this year, and Chamber manager Ange Sponchia said the Chamber was pleased to see the level of public participation in the nominations.
The Business Excellence Award is presented to a business which has demonstrated innovation, vision, business growth, and community involvement. The nominee may have founded a business, purchased an existing one and turned it around, or diversified a business. Nominated are: Rexall Drugs, Northstream Rehabilitation Centre, Brette’s Foot Care. (Last year’s winner was Revive Resale Store).
The AEDC Customer Service Award is presented to an individual or business committed to high standards of customer service and exceptional service to customers. Businesses which educate and encourage their staff to improve and excel in matters of customer relations, problem-solving and innovation will be looked upon favourably by judges. The nominees are: Jackie King (Family Health Team), Crystal Lafond (CIBC) Tom Knowles (Atikokan Foodland), Susan Roy (Atikokan Foodland), Kitrina Jacobson (Volunteer Firefighter) Janice Splawski (RBC), Annette Tanner (Northstream), Cyle Peacosh (Beer Store), Diane Kirjewski (Renee’s Cuts ‘n Curls), Shawna Johnson (Robin’s Donuts), Corrine Gamble (Robin’s Donuts), Donna Leckner (Atikokan Foodland), Lisa Machura (Service Ontario) and Dr. David Renner. (Last year, the Chamber presented two Customer Service awards for individual (Amber Barnard) and agency (Atikokan Employment Centre).
The Atikokan Employment Centre Non-profit Excellence Award is intended to acknowledge an organization which exemplifies excellence and innovation in its programs, projects, and partnerships. Commitment to growth and expanding programming, a dedicated focus on its vision and mandate, as well as service to, and involvement in, the community, are some of the standards considered. This year’s nominees are: Atikokan Economic Development Office, Sarah Young (Girl Guides), and Atikokan Food Bank. (Last year, the Chamber also split this category to hand out two awards for an agency (Atikokan Native Friendship Centre) and volunteer organization (Beaten Path Nordic Trails).
The Tramin Ambassador Award recognizes an individual, business, or association whose outstanding involvement and participation inspire and lead to increased quality of life in the community. This award recognizes leadership, innovation and creativity, and nominated in this category are: Jim Marohnic, Northstream Rehabilitation Centre, Lois Fenton (the Atikokan Museum), Mike Ranta, and Spencer Meany. (Last year the honour went to Souris River Canoes; Mike Ranta won in 2015.)
The Ontario Power Generation Health and Safety Award goes to an individual or business making a demonstrable difference in safety performance, either in the workplace or in the community. The one nominee in this category this year was the Atikokan Fire Rescue. (Last year’s winner was public health educator Anita Lyons).
The Community Living Atikokan WOW (Widening Our World) award recognizes exceptional contributions to creating or enhancing employment opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. This year’s nominees are: the Town of Atikokan, Canoe Canada Outfitters, and the Royal Canadian Legion. (Last year’s winner was Renee’s Cuts ‘n Curls).
The Chamber will also recognize 60+ year Chamber member and community-builder Vic Prokopchuk with a lifetime achievement award.
Tickets for the May 18 annual gala (to be held at the Legion hall) go on sale today, at the Progress office and the AEDC ($30 per person). The evening’s theme will be red, white and silver attire in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, and a red and white themed banana split bar will be part of the festivities. In hopes of repeating last year’s success (where the event attracted a record turnout of 150 people), the Chamber will again host the popular home grown Family Feud trivia game.