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(Updated 8:30 a.m., Jan. 18)

Local entrepreneurs fêted at 11th Annual Business Excellence Awards
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Orleans Autopro owners Ben Lalonde poses with his wife Jamie after being named Business Man of the Year at the Orleans Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. Fred Sherwin/Photo


The Orléans Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Excellence Awards Thursday night, honouring area businesses and business leaders in eight different categories.

The Awards were the culmination of a process that began in November with the first round of voting for Chamber members in their relevant categories. Business Person of the Year and Small and Large Business of the Year were open to non-members. The top four vote-getters in each category were named finalists and the winners were announced during the gala.

The first award of the night went to Cody Party Rentals for Retail Business of the Year, which beat out J.A. Laporte's Flowers and Nursery, Sobey's Trim and Innes and Quilty Pleasure.

The award for Restaurant of the Year went to Boston Pizza, which beat out Cedar Valley Restaurant, Cuisine & Passion, and Café Latte Cino. The East Ottawa Resource Centre picked up the award for Community Non-Profit Organization of the Year, beating out the AOE Arts Council, Contact North and the Rotary Club of Orléans. And Deborah O'Connor from the law firm Nelligan, O'Brien, Payne picked up the first individual award of the evening for Professional of the Year.

The Community Service Business of the Year went to Kelly Funeral Homes. Ace Body Shop owner Lionel Laurin received the award for Sales and Service Business of the Year. Dave Chadala from the Ottawa Senators picked up the award for Arts, Leisure and Recreation Business of the Year, and Marc Morency won the award for Financial Services Person of the Year.

Jason Bellefleur from the Family Physiotherapy Centre recieved his second award in as many years. After being named Young Business of the Year last year, Bellefleur picked up the award for Healthcare Professional of the Year.

"This one is really special because it's really about my profession and what I do," said Bellefleur.

Cuisine & Passion owner Marc Miron won his second award of the night for Small Business of the Year, and Paul Rushforth from Paul Rushforth Realty was also a double recipient for Realtor of the Year and Business of the Year.

Finally, the award for Business Person of the Year went to Ben Lalonde from Orleans Autopro who beat out Bellefleur and Sobey's owner Allan Foget for the distinction.

Lalonde started the family-run business with his wife Jamie six years ago. They have seven employees and plan to open a second location next month.

"Honestly, I was very surprised. I didn't think we'd win especially being in the automotive industry," said a surprised Lalonde who plans to give the award a place of honour in the front of his shop.

The Business Excellence Awards are a celebration of success, perseverance, a commitment to quality service and customer satisfaction. More than 250 businesses were nominated for the awards and more than 2,500 people voted for their favourite.

Many of this year's runners up left the ceremony renergized and motivated to do even better in the months ahead and return next year for one of the prizes.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

 

 

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