What started out in 1991 as a single customer service award has grown into a celebration of the standout members of the local business community, 2016 edition.
The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards were held in the debonair surroundings of the Pavilion at St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino, Saturday, April 2.
Awards were handed out in 11 categories. Leading to the awards night, numerous nominees in each category had been nominated by Chamber members and the general public, and then sat for interviews with a three-member panel of their peers.
And the winners:
• New Business of the Year (sponsored by Community Futures East Kootenay).
JJ Mechanical, represented by Jordan Janowicz, was presented the award by Janice Alpine of Community Futures.
• Business of Year 1-15 (Downtown Business Association)
Joey Hoechsmann of the DBA presented Don Wik and Stephen Wik of Rocky Mountain Print Solutions with the Award.
• Business Person of the Year (Banking Association of Cranbrook)
Christine Cooper and Theresa Larson of the Bankers Association presented Tristen Chernove, CEO of Elevate Airports which manages the Rocky Mountain International Airport, with the award.
• Manufacturing and Production Excellence (Rocky Mountain Diesel Ltd)
Chris Thom presented the award to Mike Hambalek of Caliper Machine & Hydraulics Ltd.
• Professional Services Excellence (Columbia Basin Trust)
Rick Jensen, representing CBT, presented the award to Wes Rogers and Jeremy Mitchell of Rella, Paolini & Rogers.
• Business to Business Excellence (Koocanusa Publications)
Keith Powell presented the award to Lanna van der Velden of Genex Marketing.
• Business of Year 16 plus employees (St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino)
Barry Zwueste, CEO of St. Eugene, presented the award to Chris Thom of Rocky Mountain Diesel.
• Hospitality & Tourism Excellence (College of the Rockies)
David Walls, President of COTR, presented George and Rachel Freitag of Elizabeth Lake Lodge with the award.
• Retail Excellence (Business Development Bank of Canada)
Michelle Kleindienst of BDBC presented Stephanie McGregor of The Paw Shop with the award.
• Non Profit Organization of Year (Jim Pattison Broadcast Group)
Matt Van Boewen and Katie Murray of B104/The Drive presented the award to Jody Jacob, Livia Lara and Wayne Eburne of the Cranbrook & District Community Foundation.
• Young Entrepreneur of Year (New Dawn Developments)
Chad Jensen of New Dawn presented Chase Thielen of Silverado Construction and KD Electric with the award.
Masters of Ceremonies for the evening were the effusive Laurie Goodlad and D’Arcy Kennedy — the latter whose madcap enthusiasm couldn’t be contained, even with the Chamber’s secret “electric shock” strategy. Kennedy’s antics culminated in a rousing version of the Isley Brothers’ “Shout” (the “Animal House” version — lip-synced).