It was business Oscar night in Lloyd

By Geoff Lee

October 25, 2017 2:08 PM

All of the 2017 winners of the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards posed for a group shot at the end of the event held Oct. 19 at the Centennial Civic Centre during small business week in Canada. Back row: Blaine Stephan with Guardian Plumbing & Heating (Employer of the Year), Georgina Altman with Lakeland College (Diversity Award), Jared Olson with Skinny’s on 48th (Customer Service Award), Don Stephenson with Lloydminster & District Co-op (Integrity Award and Business of the Year), Travis Stieb with Spectrum Restoration DKI (Community Spirit Award), Robert Lundquist with Diamond 7 Meats (Small Business of the Year), Greg Stieb with Spectrum Restoration DKI (Community Spirit Award)  Front Row: Jill Morrison with Red Bicycle Communications (Entrepreneur of the Year Award), Angela Rooks-Trotzuk with Lloydminster Interval Home (Non-Profit of the Year), Kalla Gerling and Tasha Beauchesne with Olive & Birch (Downtown Business of the Year), Merle Tenney husband of late Pat Tenney (Lifetime Achievement Award).  DON WHITING PHOTO

The Lloydminster & District Co-op is the toast of the Border City business world as the recipient of this year’s Business of the Year award for third time.
The Co-op also got its first Integrity award at the 2017 Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards, with 230 people in attendance at the Centennial Civic Centre on Oct. 19.
Being picked for the top business award sponsored by the Chamber itself was an exceptional accolade in the mind of Co-op CEO, Don Stephenson who accepted the award.
“I’m truly honoured on behalf of our membership, our board of directors, our staff, and the business community which we are a part of,” he said.
Stephenson said the Co-op’s continued expansion and growth, their commitment to their staff and to their charitable and non-profit entities in the community may have helped his business stand out for the award.
The selection for the award takes everything into account from profitability, growth, job creation, investment strategy and customer service.
As for a Co-op business highlight of the year, Stephenson said, “We have a whole host of highlights, but really the highlight for me is the work and the efforts of our people of our organization.
“They commit to their jobs and their tasks and their responsibilities, serving the needs of our membership each and every day— I think that’s reflected in this award; that’s what I’m proud of.”
As for what’s next for the Co-op this year, Stephenson said, “We’ll continue to look for opportunities to grow and expand our operation and find ways to secure our business moving forward.”
The Business Excellence Awards were held during small business week in Canada, giving Chamber president, Angela Minish, a chance to toast some of its successes in 2017.
She cited the Chamber’s efforts in a national lobby that resulted in the federal government lowering the small business tax to 10 per cent in 2018 and 9 per cent in 2019, as an example.
“The Chamber is strong because of the strength of the business community,” she said.
That was one of the reasons she picked Chamber builder, Pat Tenney, as the posthumous recipient of the president’s Lifetime Achievement award.
“I chose Pat for the award because of her extensive community service and her passion for business,” said Minish, who was mentored by her.
Tenney was executive director of Lloydminster Big Brothers Big Sisters, a program counsellor at Interval Home, and most recently executive director of the Chamber of Commerce for 18 years.
Tenney died of cancer in November 2016 at the age of 65.
She ran three businesses in Lloydminster and held Chamber positions as president of the Alberta Chamber Association, the Saskatchewan Leaders’ Group, as well as serving on the board of the Canadian Chamber executive association.
Tenney also won numerous awards including the national executive director of the year.
The achievement award was received by Tenney’s husband, Merle and her son Kurt, who spoke about his mom with emotion in his voice.
“Mom was a very modest person and quite often she wouldn’t even tell me when she won an award—dad would tell me or else I would hear about it in the news,” he said.
“One time I called her to congratulate her and she said I am just doing my job; that’s the kind of person she was.”
The Community Spirit Award went to Spectrum Restoration DKI, with Skinny’s on 48th getting the Customer Service award.
The Small Business of the Year award went to Diamond 7 Meats, while Olive and Birch got the nod for the Downtown Business of the Year.
Lloydminster Interval Home was named as the recipient of the Non-Profit of the Year award, while Guardian Plumbing and Heating took to the stage to accept their Employer of the Year award.
Lakeland College received the Diversity Award, with Jill Kelly, the owner of Red Bicycle Communications accepting her award as Entrepreneur of the Year.
“It’s really amazing to go to a job that you love every day along side such incredibly talented staff and my clients, and ultimately working along side my friends and coming home to such great support from my husband and my family—ya thanks,” said Kelly.

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