The Peninsula business community had plenty to celebrate Thursday at the South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards.
In addition to honouring local business owners, the festivities – held at Hazelmere Golf and Country Club – paid recognition to the chamber’s 75th anniversary.
“Businesses are the backbone of our community,” White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin said before presenting a certificate honouring the organization’s anniversary to chamber president Terry Ross.
“Thank you for the work that you do to build your business, to contribute to our economy and to build our community.”
Baldwin also made special mention of former MLA Bill Reid – currently the executive director of the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce – touting him as “the man who probably single-handedly changed the direction of the chamber.”
Liberal MLAs Gordon Hogg and Stephanie Cadieux also made a presentation on behalf of the province, proclaiming the milestone anniversary of the chamber.
Speaking on behalf of the City of Surrey as acting mayor, Coun. Bruce Hayne took the opportunity to applaud the increase in business development that has taken place in recent years.
The first award of the night, in the category of Business of the Year, one to seven employees, went to Minuteman Press South Surrey and owner Rod Thomson.
Other nominees included Tekbusters Computers, Lifelong Health Integrated Pain Clinic and Shamrock Renovation and Construction.
The award for Business of the Year, eight to 14 employees, went to C&K Courtesy Cleaners, and was accepted by co-owner Charlotte Morton. White Rock Glass, Cleveland Doan LLP and Confetti Creation Celebrations were also finalists in that category.
The winner of Business of the Year, 15-plus employees was Murray White Rock Hyundai, with Peoples Pharmacy and Canadian Western Bank as runners-up.
The award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year – which recognizes business owners under the age of 40 – went to Susan Bains, owner of Holistic HR, which specializes in providing human-resources consulting for small to medium businesses.
Also nominated in this category were Taryn Deane, co-owner of Agency Health, and Chelsea Badr, owner of Hidden Gem Hair Studio.
New Business of the Year was awarded to Live Well Exercise Clinic, a fitness-based chronic disease management and prevention program owned by Sara Hodson. Other nominees included Morgan Crossing White Spot, represented by general manager Guy Dorchester, and Heritage Beds & Mattresses.
The final two awards of the night were for Business Person of the Year, self-owned and corporate.
In the self-owned category, Joan Walker of The Curtain Call Drapery & Decorating Co. took home top honours. Scott Christie of Garry Robertson DJ Entertainment, Chris Temple of TNT Lawyers and Ginny Harrison of White Rock Travel were also nominated.
In the corporate category, Amy Hennessy, community and First Nations relations manager for FortisBC, was named Business Person of the Year, with Betty Icharia of Epcor White Rock and Len Doray of HomeLife Benchmark Realty rounding out the nominees.
The ceremony, MCed by meteorologist Mark Madryga, also included a live auction.