Winner caught off guard at awards

By Geoff Lee

October 25, 2016 12:00 AM

EXCELLENCE These are the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence awards winners by companies: (left to right), back row: Ross Ulmer: Lifetime Achievement, Weir Veterinary Services: Customer Service Award, RBC Cup Host Committee: Community Spirit, Sawmill Prime Rib & Steakhouse: Integrity Award, Tunes Music & Audio: Business of the Year, Bioclean Disaster Services: Entrepreneur of the Year. Left to right, front row: Excel Insurance: Employer of the Year, The Olive Tree: Non-profit of the Year, Sellers RV Centre: Small Business of the Year, The Root: Community Emporium: Diversity Award, The Collective Art Market: Downtown Business of the Year.

The most surprised person at the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards was Aron Klassen.
Klassen is owner of Tunes Music and Audio who went to the awards night at the Centennial Civic Centre Oct. 20 knowing he had a shot at Entrepreneur of the Year as a nominee.
“I was surprised, caught off guard,” he said after winning the Business of the Year.
“I was up for Entrepreneur of the Year and came away for Business of the Year, so it feels pretty good.”
The award was fitting given the musical instrument retailer just relocated to a bigger a space on 50 Ave. two months ago with more product offerings and services.
Tunes Music and Audio now sells everything from guitars and pianos to drums and wind and folk instruments along with a full range of audio equipment.
The business improvements include a new logo and new services such as music lessons in one of eight studios at the new location.
“We’ve had a good launch with over 40 students so far and more coming weekly,” said Klassen.
The business was started about 30 years ago by Randy Aston.
Klassen worked there for 15 years and took over the business three years ago with competitive changes in mind.
“We are the largest instrument retailer in the region,” said Klassen who has launched an e-commerce site to broaden his market.
“We now ship nationwide and offer free shipping on everything over $100.”
Klassen said based on the reaction of his customers and people in the community, he feels confident   the business made the changes people wanted them to make.
The Business Excellence Awards were presented by chamber president, Kevin Kraft, followed by a dinner prepared by the chefs at the Golf & Curling Centre.
First off was the Lifetime Achievement Award to Ross Ulmer, sponsored by the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce.
The Community Spirit   went to the RBC Cup Host Committee, sponsored by Servus Credit Union.
The Integrity Award was presented to Sawmill Prime Rib and Steakhouse, sponsored by Border City Rotary Club.
The Customer Service Award voted on by public went to Weir Veterinary Services, sponsored by Bralin Technology Services.
The Small Business of the Year was given to Sellers RV, sponsored by Bexson Construction.
The Non-profit of the Year trophy was presented to The Olive Tree, sponsored by the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce.
This year’s Employer of the Year is Excel Insurance, sponsored by ATCO.
The Diversity Award went to The Root: Community Emporium, sponsored by Can-do Auto & Lube.
The Entrepreneur of the Year went to Bioclean, sponsored by Community Futures Lloydminster & Region.
“The chamber wishes to thank their main sponsor, ATB, who provided complimentary wine,” said   Lisa Allan, the chamber’s marketing and communications coordinator.
“We also thank all of our award sponsors, Servus Credit Union, Border City Rotary, Bralin Technology, Benson Construction, Destination Downtown Streetscapes, ATCO, Can-do Auto & Lube and Community Futures Lloydminster & Region, who make the event possible.”

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