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Friday, February 24, 2012

Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce Business Awards

By Duane Hicks/Fort Frances Times Ltd.

Gillons’ Insurance was named Business of the Year (16+ employees) during the 16th-annual Bell Business Awards banquet last night at the Adventure Inn.  Also nominated for that award were Ainsworth, Fort Frances Times, and Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc.

Betty’s of Fort Frances, meanwhile, captured the Business of the Year award (1-15 employees).  Other nominees for that honour included:  Chown and Botsford Dentistry, Emo Feed Service, Lakeland Personnel, Simplicity Professional Hair and Body Care, and The UPS Store.

Jeff Savage of BDO Canada LP was named Employee of the Year.  The others nominees were Brenda Allan (CIBC), Anne-Marie Armstrong (MĂ©tis Nation of Ontario), Heather DeGagne (Shoppers Drug Mart), Duane Hicks (Fort Frances Times), Judy Kielczewski (Betty’s), Tana Mann (CIBC), and Linda Meadwell (93.1 The Border).  This year’s Business Woman of the Year Award went to Erin Wood of Simplicity Professional Hair and Body Care.

Also in the running were Shanda DeGagne-Begin (Leon DeGagne Ltd.), Lillian Gerley (The UPS Store), Lisa Jodoin (Scentsy), Kathy Judson (Re/Max Realty), and Cecile Lavigne (Squeek E Kleen).

Nick Beyak of Sunset Country Ford Sales Ltd. was named Entrepreneur of the Year.  The other nominees included Dean Bethune and Todd Bruyere (Saulteaux Consulting & Engineering), Travis Glowasky (Studio Gibbous), Dawn Gustafson (LifeTime Smiles Preventive Oral Health Care), Naicatchewenin Development Corp., and Erin Wood (Simplicity Professional Hair and Body Care).

Gaby Hanzuk (Special Olympics) was honoured with the Tony Beyak Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award.  Chad Canfield, Rochelle Mosbeck, and Joelle Paull were the other nominees.

The Customer Service Award (Individual) was presented to Laurie Webb-Brown of Tim Hortons.  Also nominated were: Andrea Avis (Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre), Nisa Blase (Dairy Queen), Krista Kellar (Citi Financial), Steve Lenart (Bell Alliant), Sandra McNay (Masquerade Rentals), and John Pierce (Fort Frances Times).

The Fort Frances Dental Centre, meanwhile, was honoured with the Customer Service Award (Business) over Boston Pizza, Sunset Country Ford Sales Ltd., and Webb’s Wholesale.

The Safety Award (Business or Individual) went to the Town of Fort Frances over Leon DeGagne Ltd. and Lakewood Tire.

The Town of Fort Frances Accessibility Award was granted to Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. over the Rainy River District School Board.

The Small Business Trainer of the Year Award went to M.L. Caron Electric.  Other nominees in that category were ACO Electric, Ryan Mason Contracting, Rusty Myers Flying Service, and World of Water.

 SKS Unlimited (Steve Sinclair) took home the Home-Based Business Award, which was given out for the first time this year.  Also nominated for that award were: It’s All in the Details (Stephanie Logan), Inga Design (Inga Friesen), Kirtsy’s Intergalactic Daycare Service (Kirsty Sinclair), Scentsy (Connie Hendrickson), and Scentsy (Lisa Jodoin).

In addition, Tannis Drysdale was honoured with the James Paul Award was this year.  This is a rare award, which is given to individuals or businesses for their outstanding contribution and years of dedication to the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce.

More than 150 people attended the gala, which was emceed by Dr. Bruce Lidkea of Lidkea Optometry, the 2011 Business of the Year (1-15 employees).

Dave Ashworth, of Musik by Dave, provided musical entertainment, including a song about event sponsors sung to the tune of Dr. Hook’s “The Cover of the Rolling Stone.”

Simeon Nussbaumer, manager of field services for Bell Alliant, also shared a few words of support for the annual event.