Paul Wheeler

Paul Wheeler

Peninsula businesses celebrated

The South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce celebrated local businesses at the 13th annual Business Excellence Awards on Feb. 23.

The Oscars came early to the Peninsula last week, with a Hollywood-themed soiree honouring local businesspeople at Hazelmere Country Club.

Dozens of the area’s entrepreneurial movers and shakers mingled over drinks and appetizers while iconic songs from famous movies played on the speakers at the 13th annual Business Excellence Awards – dubbed the premiere awards gala of the season.

Hosted by the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce, the evening included speeches from White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin, Surrey Coun. Marvin Hunt (in lieu of Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts) and chamber president Gary Hollick, with noted CKNW film buff Rick Forchuk as master of ceremonies.

The first set of honours handed out were the Business Excellence Awards – sponsored by Peace Arch News and selected by a panel of judges.

Winners in the Business of the Year category included Jaqueline Pearson of Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut (one to seven employees), Tracy Dueck of Tracycakes Bakery Cafe (eight to 14 employees) and Everything Wine’s Rick Meinhardt (15-plus employees).

Ryan Oliver, owner of Splashes Wash Lodge Inc., an auto-care centre located in the Surrey Auto Mall, took home the title of Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Runners-up included De Dutch in Grandview Corners and Lifelong Health (one to seven employees); Jimmy Flynn’s Celtic Snug and First Service Technology Management (eight to 14 employees); Scotia Bank in Grandview Corners and Seniors Come Share Society (15-plus employees); and Chelsea Badr, owner of Hidden Gem Hair Studio, and CNONtv Corp. CEO Patt Léger (Young Entrepreneur of the Year).

The honour of being crowned the New Business of the Year went to Kelly Breaks, owner of Blue Frog Studios & Performance Centre – a new-media company located in White Rock.

The category’s runners-up were Vanilla Clothing and Peninsula Productions Society.

The Self-Employed Business Person the Year award – sponsored by Barnes Wheaton GM – went to Roy Cammack, owner of Cammack and Company, Notaries Public.

Runners-up included RE/MAX Colonial Pacific Realty’s Stewart Peddemors, a former White Rock councillor, and Millenium Marketing Consulting Group’s Betina Albornoz, executive director of Tourism White Rock.

Paul Wheeler, executive director of Semiahmoo House Society, was awarded the title of Corporate Business Person of the Year. Nominees for the award – sponsored by Wesminster Savings Credit Union – included Mark Breier of Thrifty Foods and Shane King of KN&V Chartered Accountants LLP.

The evening also included a live auction and a raffle, with part proceeds going to the Linda Klitch Legacy Fund.