8:30 p.m., Jan. 29)
Local businesses fêted at Chamber awards gala
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business
Excellence Awards gala on Thursday night, bringing together
small and medium-sized business owners from across the
of the coveted trophies were handed out in a variety of
categories including Restaurant of the Year, Financial
Professional of the Year and Business Person of the Year.
biggest difference between this years awards and
those in years past was the introduction of a judging
committee to select the winners in all but four of the
to this year, the awards were voted on by the general
public and whichever business did the best job of encouraging
their supporters to vote for them usually emerged the
year, the public was only able to vote in four categories,
but only after the judging panel narrowed the field down
to three finalists in each category.
categories decided on by the public were Business Person
of the Year, New Business of the Year, and Small and Large
Business of the Year,
mix of public voting and a juried selection process made
for some interesting results.
instance, Cuisine and Passion on St. Joseph Blvd. was
voted Small Business of the Year, but failed to get the
judges vote for either Restaurant of the Year, or
Retail Business of the Year. The latter was won by J.T.
Bradleys Country Convenience Store in Navan.
stranger was the omission of OCCO Kitchen in the Restaurant
of the Year category. Despite getting passed over by the
judges, the critically acclaimed eatery was still voted
New Business of the Year by the general public.
Print and Graphics was voted Large Business of the Year,
but owner Monica Alongi had to settle for runner-up status
in the voting for Business Person of the Year, which was
won by Natalie Beauchamp, chief financial officer of RJR
Service Business of the Year award went to the Pilon Group
realty team. The judges choice for Healthcare and
Wellness Professional of the Year was Orléans optometrist
Dr. Linda Kwasnick.
House Studios beat out the AOE Arts Council and Arteast
for the Arts, Recreation and Leisure Business of the Year;
and Host Indian Restaurant on Montreal Road, bested OCCO
Kitchen and Boston Pizza for Restaurant of the Year.
award recipients include Robert Rheaume from BDO Canada
in the Financial Professional of the Year category; Cecilia
Perdigao from the La Pierre Law Office in Blackburn Hamlet
in the Non-Financial Professional of the Year category;
and the Cardinal Creek Community Association as the Community
or Non-Profit Organization of the Year.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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