A Celebration of Resilience - Business Excellence Awards
The Chamber is proud to present A Celebration of Resilience ~ Business Excellence Awards. Now more than ever, it's important that we take the time to shine a light on the people behind the businesses and organizations who have really put in the hard work and grit through the pandemic. This year's special annual awards was an adapted online version hosted on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Please join us in congratulating the award winners below for their resilience and excellence.
If you participated in the event as a sponsor, judge, volunteer, nominee finalist, award recipient or guest, please take a moment to take a quick survey, click here.
Business of the Year, Small (1-10 Employees):
Award Sponsored by: Cleveland Doan LLP
Tap Restaurant has been involved in the community since it opened in 2006. Their classically trained chefs marry French cooking techniques with the essence of the west coast and they use top quality ingredients and foster relationships with local farmers and artisans to create their ever-changing menu. The proud twice-winners of a Vancouver International Wine Festival GOLD Award twice, Tap Restaurant also have a vibrant wine program. Their core purpose is showing great hospitality to their guests, usually by way of delicious food and amazing wine. Nowadays, they foster that hospitality in many forms, whether it be through online tasting classes, home-cooked meals or delivered office catering!
All finalists for Business of the Year, Small: Five Corners Café, Golden Glory Martial Arts Academy, Holly's Poultry in Motion, Kin Thai Kitchen and Bar, Laura's Coffee Corner Inc., LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic, Tap Restaurant, Thrive Movement Studio
Business of the Year, Medium (11-25 Employees):
FlinnWest Solutions Inc.
Award Sponsored by: Peace Arch News
Flinnwest Solutions handcrafts beautiful, custom-made websites and complementary digital marketing assets that are modern and user-friendly. Their founder, Grady Flinn, is an award-winning programmer known for his innovative style and mastery of automation integrations. Grady has hand-picked a team of marketing specialists, each chosen for their expertise, and their commitment to the highest quality work standards. Uniquely positioned in the industry, Flinnwest offers 24-hour assistance to their clientele through the Client Centre, a document-sharing and approval platform that facilitates fast communication. What truly sets them apart, however, is the attitude of their owners, who believe that what defines success is not only the financial prosperity of the company but also the opportunity to give back to the community.
All finalists for Business of the Year, Medium: Eternity Medical Equipment Manufactural Inc. Flinnwest Solutions Inc. Strong Foundations Learning Inc. White Rock U-Lock Mini Storage
Business of the Year, Large (26+ Employees):
Amica White Rock
Award Sponsored by: Simon Fraser University
Amica White Rock aims to revolutionize aging to help every person age with a sense of optimism. Providing world-class service and care for seniors in independent living and residential care, Amica is the #1 choice of discerning Canadian seniors who want the freedom they have always maintained, along with the peace of mind they need to enjoy it. Unlike publicly subsidized long-term care homes, Amica owns and operates private pay retirement residences providing a premium lifestyle for seniors along with the option to have care. Seniors choose Amica to continue living on their terms in an elegant setting with outstanding dining, amenities, activities, senior care and safety measures. Amica White Rock is a dynamic residence that enriches the lives of its senior residents by encouraging independence and providing the best of care while residents can age in place safely and comfortably.
All finalists for Business of the Year, Large: Amica White Rock, Creative Kids Learning Centers, Peace Arch News, Splashes Wash Lodge
New Business of the Year:
Award Sponsored by: Starline Windows Ltd.
Mainland Whisky manufactures American-style whiskies and whisky liqueurs as well as having a cocktail lounge on-site, where they offer a variety of craft cocktails and snacks, and product store, where they sell bottles of their goods. At the onset of COVID-19, Mainland Whisky retooled their offerings to make hand sanitizer, which they offered to the community, charities, government organizations, non-profits, and commercial enterprises.
All finalists for New Business of the Year: Delight Indian Bistro Ltd., Mainland Whisky, SOMA MD, The Base Coat Nails, West Coast Center for Regenerative Medicine
Supporter of the Arts Business of the Year:
XBa School of Dance
Award Sponsored by: Oceana PARC / Parc Retirement Living
XBa School of Dance is an award-winning educational facility that offers an International Certification in Dance Studies, accredited by UNESCO's Conseil International de la Danse. Founded on the Peninsula in 2000, XBa offers dance education for students of all ages, which focuses on the Contemporary Dance Arts, Improvisational Movement, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Breakdance. In the 2021/22 dance season, XBa will introduce added opportunities in Street Dance training, as Breakdance has now been inducted as an Olympic sport. With internationally renowned dancers on staff and former students achieving success outside the classroom, XBa’s track record is proof that educating dancers as artists and athletes can lead to unlimited potential.
All finalists for Supporter of the Arts Business of the Year: Attractive Distraction Framing & Gallery, Creo Art Studio & Creo Kids, Surrey Youth Theatre Company (SYTCO), XBa School of Dance
Community Builder Business of the Year:
Everbean Cafe + Community
Award Sponsored by: The Rotary Club of Semiahmoo & Canadian Western Bank
Everbean is a small group of service enthusiasts who are passionate about great coffee and awesome food, made with love and served with care. The cafe is tucked away in the lobby of Abby Lane Health Centre on 16 Avenue on the southern edge of Surrey, facing White Rock. Given its unique location and being in close proximity to both Hilltop Medical Clinic as well as Peace Arch Hospital, Everbean sets out to create a space where people can be nourished and can feel cared for when they might not feel very well. Their staff strives to make the people they serve "the best they've ever been" through fresh and well-made food and drinks.
All finalists for Community Builder Business of the Year: Elkay Developments Ltd., Everbean Café + Community, Landmark Premiere Properties Ltd., Oceana PARC/PARC Retirement Living, Ocean Promenade Hotel
Non-Profit Organization of the Year:
Peace Arch Hospital Foundation
Award Sponsored by: Amica White Rock
Peace Arch Hospital Foundation is a charitable fundraising organization that raises funds for both Peace Arch Hospital and community health projects that benefit White Rock and South Surrey. Since 1988, they have raised more than $170 million that has been invested into health care in this community. From expanding and upgrading hospital facilities to meet the growing needs of our community to funding small community-based projects like the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society and City Care Dental Society, raising funds to improve health care for the people who live in this community is all that they do. As a prudent steward of donor dollars, they ensure that every gift made goes to its intended purpose. They have a reputation of getting things done, as they reach every goal with demonstrated impact.
All finalists for Business of the Year, Small: Friends of the Pier, Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, READ Surrey/White Rock Society, Rotary Club of White Rock
Business Leader of the Year, Self-Owned:
Faith Gibson, Owner of Mink Chocolates & LotusPedal yoga + spin
Award Sponsored by: Janzen Insurance
Faith had worked in the service industry for some time before starting her journey with Mink Chocolates. While staying in Vancouver on one occasion, Faith visited Mink’s downtown location and knew it was the franchise she wanted to join. Though she and the café's owner did not see eye to eye when they initially met, Mink’s owner eventually agreed to let Faith open a location in South Surrey after 2 years of tenacity and persistent asking on Faith’s part. 11 years later, Faith continues her journey with Mink, investing in the lives of her customers and providing exceptional service and products. In addition to Mink, Faith also owns and runs Lotus Pedal, a yoga and spin studio in South Surrey.
All finalists for Business Leader of the Year, Self-Owned: Elaine Cheung, Faith Gibson, Charlotte Morton, Michele Partridge, Adam Smith
Business Leader of the Year, Corporate:
Sandra Christian, Owner, Founder, & President of Creative Kids Learning Centers
Award Sponsored by: PwC Surrey
Sandra took her first step towards where she is today when she entered a co-op program presented by the Surrey School Board in her Grade 12 class at Queen Elizabeth High School in 1989. In that program, Sandra had the opportunity to do two 5-week work practicums, one of which was at a preschool in Panorama Ridge. After finishing, the owner of the preschool wanted to hire Sandra when she enrolled in the ECE program; this is where her career started. She loved teaching preschool and had found her passion! After a few years, she was promoted to supervisor and, eventually the owner offered to sell Sandra her portable and contents. Even though she had no money, no support, and was already working 2 jobs, she said "YES"! This is where the inception of Creative Kids Preschool began and today, the company continues its work, exactly 25 years from that first co-op program that set Sandra on her path.
All finalists for Business Leader of the Year, Corporate: Sandra Christian, Marlyn Graziano, Shelley Grenier, Lesley Noland
Business Leader of the Year, U40:
Ramandeep Dhaliwal, President of WR Mattress Gallery
Award Sponsored by: Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Raman came from a family with very strong women and, from a young age, was driven to be an independent Indian woman. She started her professional background at Staples, taking the print department from the bottom ranking to one of the top Staples in all of Canada. All the while, she had a dream that, one day, she would run her own business the way she ran her department. During her time at Staples, Raman had many customers who would avoid their local Staples to come to her location because of her exceptional service. One customer was astonished by the way that Raman worked within a team and took leadership, going so far as to offer her an intern job position to test her abilities. Within a month, he offered Raman an opportunity as a business partner. Since then, their business venture has seen only success.
All finalists for Business Leader of the Year, U40: Jamie Carson, Ramandeep Dhaliwal, Anna DiBella, Wes Levesque, Josiah Tam
As a result of the pandemic, this year, each category will have an extra layer of criteria to recognize a business or business person that demonstrated resiliency by adapting their business model, acting courageously, creating new collaborative partnerships with other businesses or community groups, implementing new procedures to serve their customers or the community and/or taking measures for the wellbeing and mental health of themselves and their staff.
Business of the Year:
- Small (1-10 employees)
- Medium (11-25 employees)
- Large (26+ employees)
Note: Based on equivalent full-time employees
A business which, shows leadership in business and in the community, demonstrates excellence in customer service and employee satisfaction, provides workplace education and training, and demonstrates good corporate citizenship and environmental responsibility.
New Business of the Year:
A business less than 2 years old that has demonstrated customer service, innovation, leadership and/or other qualities.
Non-Profit Organization of the Year:
A local non-profit organization which has demonstrated outstanding contributions to our community. It has an established reputation for providing exceptional programs and services that would not otherwise be available to those in the community.
Supporter of the Arts of the Year:
A business or organization that helps to provide, promote and support arts & culture, in all its forms, in our local community through its core services.
Community Builder Business of the Year:
This award acknowledges a business that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to improve the quality of life in our community; a business that unselfishly gives time, talent and finances to improve the community it serves. This business would be known to be a true advocate of supporting local, shopping local and encouraging others to as well. An advocate for the shop small movement as well as promotion of community. This business has a vested interest in the development, success and support of the South Surrey & White Rock community and seen as a true agent of inclusiveness.
Business Leader of the Year - Corporate:
An individual who works for a business and exhibits leadership, exemplifies ethics, and devotes personal time and energy into their local community. They are an inspiration and positive influence at their business and in their industry. They have a proven track record of sustained success. They have an innovative spirit and have demonstrated an exceptional level of performance and dedication.
Business Leader of the Year - Self Owned:
An entrepreneur who owns their business and exhibits leadership, entrepreneurial skills, and demonstrates exceptional vision that contributes to business success of our community. This individual exemplifies ethics, and devotes personal time and energy into their local business area.
Young Leader in Business - U40
An individual, under the age of 40, who exhibits leadership, entrepreneurial skills, and demonstrates exceptional vision that contributes to business success of our community. This individual exemplifies ethics, and devotes personal time and energy into their local business area. The nominee can be an entrepreneur, employee or a graduate student in business studies.
Community Frontline Heroes :
This year, the Chamber is introducing a new category to honour and recognize the many frontline essential workers who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic to ensure our community continued to run smoothly. Please take a moment to recognize an individual who has shown a great amount of courage and selflessness by putting the needs and safety of others before their own. Health care workers and first responders, food and grocery store workers, essential city workers, long-haul truck drivers, volunteers, etc.
Nomination Rules & Criteria
The following process has been followed by the Chamber since September 2018
Nominations Rules & Process:
- Anyone can nominate a business or individual from South Surrey or White Rock
- Anyone can submit nominations for multiple businesses or individuals
- Membership with the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce is NOT a requirement
- Each nomination can only indicate 2 categories for the nominee (The Chamber reserves the right to place the nominee in the appropriate category)
- Previous winners are ineligible for 3 years in that specific category, following the year in which they won
- Previous winners are eligible to be nominated in other categories
- Previous nominees and finalists (not including the winners) are eligible to be nominated in the same and/or different categories
- Self nominations are accepted but must be endorsed by at least one other person
- Sponsors are eligible to be nominated, except in the specific award category they are sponsoring
- Businesses represented by the Board of Directors are eligible to be nominated
- Applications must be completed to be accepted
- The nomination form is short and easy to fill out. It is important, none-the-less, as it provides the basis on which a shortlist of finalists are determined by the Chamber's Events Committee.
- The shortlist of finalists are notified and asked to submit a more detailed package and references.
- Each category has a smaller, separate designated panel of judges that review the more robust nomination packages and make a final decision.
- The judges typically represent business and community leaders, including past award winners. Each judge is asked to sign a 'conflict of interest and confidentiality' declaration on the category they are judging.
- Chamber staff, including the Executive Director, and the Board of Directors do not make up the judges panel and, therefore, do NOT take part in the final decisions.
For assistance in completing a nomination form, or any questions about a nomination, please contact Kaelynn Ball, Events & Marketing Coordinator at 604-536-6844 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Award Winners in the Last 3 Years
Award Winners from the last 3 years:
Small Business of the Year (1-10 employees)
2019: Dream Orthodontics (tie)
2019: Grey Haven Hobbies & Games (tie)
2018: White Rock Beach Beer Co.
2017: Drive 365 Fitness & Health
Medium Business of the Year (11-25 employees)
2019: Southridge Dental
2018: Ocean Park Pizza & Village Pub
2017: Honeylush Hair Studio
Large Business of the Year (25+ employees)
2019: Starline Windows Ltd.
2018: Joseph Richard Group
2017: Comfort Keepers
New Business of the Year
2019: Zapoteca Mexican Grill & Seafood
2018: Looby Doo
2017: Seriously Good Catering
Non-Profit Organization of the Year
2019: Rotary Club of Semiahmoo (White Rock)
2018: Peace Arch Hospice Society
2017: Peninsula Productions
Supporter of the Arts Business of the Year (category introduced in 2018)
2019: Addictive Comedy - now known as Hilarapy
2018: The Drama Class
Community Builder Business of the Year (category introduced in 2018)
2018: Hazelmere Golf & Tennis Club
Business Leader of the Year - Corporate
2019: Greg Timm, President & COO, Pacific Customs Brokers
2018: Ryan Moreno, CEO & Founder, Joseph Richard Group
2017: Darrell Jones, President, Save-on-Foods
Business Leader of the Year - Self Owned
2019: Stewart Peddemors, Personal Real Estate Corporation, RE/MAX Colonial Pacific Realty
2018: Mostafa Sabeti, Golden Glory Martial Arts & Fitness Academy
2017: Jan Wait, Jan's on the Beach
Business Leader of the Year (U40) (category introduced in 2019)
2019: Piya Sandhu, Owner & Chief Curator, The Handpicked Home
Thank you to our generous sponsors:
For pictures of last year's spectacular event, click the image below.
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