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(Posted 12:30 p.m., Jan. 30)
Third time's the charm for Orléans Business Person of the Year
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Bellefleur Physiotherapy co-owners Jason (left) and David Bellefleur were double award recipients at the Orléans Business Excellence Awards Thursday night. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Bellefleur Physiotherapy co-owner Jason Bellefleur had been nominated for the Orleans Business Excellence Awards Business Person of the Year twice before and both times he was left a bridesmaid.

On Thursday night, he finally became the bride, beating out Janet Gray from Money Coaches Canada and John Gordon from The Reno Guys, for the honour.

"I thought I was going to be a bridesmaid for another year," joked Bellefleur after receiving his prize. "It's nice for me, but I got a big thrill when my brother won earlier tonight. We work hard at wahat we do and its nice to be recognized."

Jason was referring to his brother Dave who picked up the award for Healthcare Professional of the Year.

Born and raised in southern Ontario, the two brothers went to school together at the University of Ottawa. After they graduated David stayed in Ottawa and did his own thing, while Jason managed the Family Physiotherapy Clinic on Innes Road and won the Young Business Person of the Year award in 2012.

In 2013, he took a gamble and opened his own clinic with the support of his wife. Six months later David joined him as co-owner and the brothers haven't looked back since.

"It was a bif risk because you don't know what's going to happen, but I have to say that my wife was my number one fan and she said go ahead and do it," Jason recalls in making that initial decision. "So we put both feet forward and here we are a year and a half later and we're doing well."

David had planned to move to Toronto before deciding to join forces with his older brother.

"My life plans were a little different back then, but I believe everything happens for a reason and my staying in Ottawa was meant to be," said David.

"I knew his approach to physio thearapy was the same as mine. We had the same vision. That was about a year ago and now we're winning awards and making people feel better. It's a great accomplichment.

Unlike other years when guessing the winners wasn't that difficult, this year's award ceremony had more than it's fair share of surprises and none bigger than in the category of Business of the Year (11 employees and over) where the Orléans Veterinary Hospital beat out Boston Pizza on Innes Road, and last year's Business Person of the Year, Paul Rushforth, and Paul Rushforth Real Estate. Rushforth had to settle for Realtor of the Year instead.

The Service and Sales Business of the Year award went to John Gordon from The Reno Guys, who beat out Stella Ronan from Ezcape Spa and Tim McKee from the Ottawa Citizen in another shocker.

The award for Business of the Year (10 and fewer employees) was also a bit of a surprise as Moksha Yoga Orléans took home the trophy beating out Heritage Funeral Home and the Pita Pit.

The Financial Services Person of the Year went to relative newcomer Lisa Whittleton from Freedom 55 Financial who beat out fellow Freedom 55 adviser Matt Berschi; well-known local businesswoman and financial adviser Judith Cane who is now with Money Coaches Canada; and Lucie Hallé from the Dominion Lending Centre.

Orléans lawyer and community advocate David Bertschi accepted the Professional Business of the Year award for Bertschi Orth Solicitors and Barristers.

The Trim and Innes Sobeys store was named Retail Business of the Year; St. Martha's Brasserie d'Orléans receed the award for Restaurant of the Year; the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre picked up the award for Community Service/Non-Profit Organization of the Year; and Orléans Ward Coun. Bob Monette received the award for Community Service Business of the Year.

The Business Excellence Awards are open to members of the Orléans Chamber of Commerce which separates them into 12 categories. Members of the public are then invited to vote for their favourite business or business person online. The nominees are then narrowed down to the top three or four vote-getters for a second round of voting to determine a winner.

Last night's award ceremony was held at the Hampton Inn Conference Centre on Coventry Road

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

 

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