Chamber awards night honours local business

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
March 10th, 2010

The Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce honoured seven local business Saturday night, including naming M&M Meat Shops Business of the Year, with Businessperson of theYear being awarded to Florio Vassilakakis of the Element Night Club.
The Fireside Inn was packed with more than 100 people, including city councillors Deb McIntosh and Kevin Chernoff and mayor Lawrence Chernoff, to recognize exemplary local commerce and celebrate the city’s business community.

Keynote speaker, Skid Row CEO Joe Roberts, shared his story of intravenous-drug addiction and homelessness he experienced before turning over a new leaf as entrepreneur and corporate CEO.

“He was just amazing,” said chamber executive director Pam Mcleod, adding the depth of his address was handily balanced by the lgiht-hearted tom-foolery of emcees ‘Drex and Johnson’, of Mountain FM radio fame.

“I’m immensely pleased with how the whole event worked out, from Drex and Johnson constantly mocking my agenda through to the amazing menu offered by the Fireside Inn – my only concern now is how we’re going to top this next year,” said McLeod. “The reason the awards went so well is the remarkable and diverse pool of candidates we can draw from in Castlegar – they’re all winners, so far as I’m concerned.”

She said the event underlined the importance of shopping local.

“There’s so much these businesses do that people are not aware of,” she said. “Donations, volunteer hours … they’re always giving back to the community they serve, so it’s important to take one evening to recognize their contribution, beyond the obvious economic benefit of successful business.”

All in all, seven awards were presented, including Retail Service Excellence, won by Fashion Foundations and sponsored by BMO Bank of Montreal Castlegar Branch; Food and Beverage Excellence, won by Element Club Bar and Grill, sponsored by the Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce; New Entrepreneur of the Year; won by Lalo Co Animation and sponsored by the City of Castlegar; the Tourism and Hospitality Award, won by Windborne Bed and Breakfast and sponsored by Columbia Power Corporation; and last but not least, the Professional Business of the Year, won by Yule Anderson Chartered Accountants and sponsored by the Kootenay Savings Credit Union.

The winners are chosen via nomination by chamber of commerce members.

For more information, visit the chamber website at www.castlegar.com


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