Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Kelly Lewis (Packer’s Fashion), Customer Service Award winner Lesley Malegus (Marlin Travel), and Business of the Year Award winner Ryan Bialek (Red Bomb Fireworks), all show off the awards won at the Selkirk and District Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Evening held Oct. 11 at the Selkirk Golf and Country Club.
The Selkirk and District Chamber of Commerce held their inaugural Business Awards Evening Oct. 11 at the Selkirk Golf and Country Club in which 90 people attended.
The event was a first of its kind for the local chamber of commerce which began as “The Board of Trade of the Town of Selkirk” in 1901.
The program featured Jean Oliver as master of ceremonies, a welcome address by chamber president Chad Sheppard, the national anthem, a toast to the Queen, as well as a former dinner.
“Welcome to the first of which we hope will be an annual business awards evening,” said committee chair Jean Oliver to those in attendance.
Greetings were given by Greg Dewar on behalf of the Province of Manitoba, reeve Don Forfar on behalf of the council of St. Andrews, deputy mayor Ray Frey on behalf of the council of St. Clements, and mayor Larry Johannson on behalf of the city of Selkirk.
“You folks are what makes this community,” said Forfar. “It’s the business that bring the community together and are the fabric of the community.”
Four awards were presented in four categories which include Women Entrepreneur of the Year, Community Spirit Award, Customer Service Award, and the Business of the Year Award.
In Academy Award presentation style, Selkirk RCMP detachment Insp. Mark LeMaistre, stood next to the podium and opened each envelope to reveal the winner in each of the four categories.
Kelly Lewis, owner and operator of Packers Fashion was named Woman Entrepreneur of the Year for her contribution to the business community and also for her contribution to other business in the community.
During her acceptance speech, Lewis expressed her gratitude for all the support she has received from other business in the community and also thanked her staff.
“I have a passion for what I do. I believe as a business you need to give back to the community,” said Lewis. “It’s nice to see women take a place in the business community. I am honoured to accept this award. We would not have stayed in business if it wasn’t for the support from the surrounding areas.”
The Community Spirit Award went to Steeltown Ford for having had a significant and positive influence on the community.
Marlin Travel - Selkirk was presented the Customer Service Award for demonstrating outstanding customer service and accepting the award was owner and operator Lesli Malegus.
“This proves that we are doing something right. Customer service is very important in our industry,” noted Malegus. “It is still important that they (customers) have face to face (customer service).”
To be named Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce, the award winning business needed to have demonstrated continual positive business growth and superior customer service this award. Earning the distinction of business of the year for 2012 was Red Bomb / Blastoff Fireworks. Accepting the award was co-founder Ryan Bialek.
“It means a whole lot to us,” said Bialek. “Thank you to our mom and dad, without them we would be here.”
At the end of the event, Sheppard told the Journal that the business support the chamber has received has been phenomenal.
“We were recognizing chamber members and it’s good to encourage other business to take part in the chamber,” exclaimed Sheppard.