Meaghan L’Heureux, centre, gathers with her Iron Warehouse team after being presented the Young Professional of the Year Award during the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce gala at the PCCC Thursday, March 15, 2018. — J.R. Rardon photo

Parksville chamber hands out business awards

Sold-out gala draws 240 to honour 2017 finalists

Eat Fresh Urban Market was selected the Large Business of the Year and Namaskar Yoga Studio was voted Small Business of the Year as the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce honoured excellence in business, customer service and community contributions for 2017 during its Business Achievement Awards Thursday, March 15.

The sold-out awards gala, which drew more than 240 guests, was held at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre. The event was co-hosted by Dave Graham, 88.5 the Beach and Matt Breedlove of Royal LePage, along with finalists, past winners and guests all there to celebrate the outstanding business members in our community.

‘Our goal this year was to re-invent the Business Awards and we did that in spades,” said Kim Burden, the chamber’s executive director. “We had a record number of nominations, lots of interest from the community, great publicity and a sold-out awards ceremony. Managing the awards represents a lot of work, but in the end it’s so worth it to see the finalists’ excitement.

The buffet dinner was provided by Spice of Life Catering, and a combo from the Kwalikum Secondary School jazz band provided live dinner music, Graham and Breedlove then stepped up to announce the finalists in six categories and the winner of the inaugural Community Spirit Award, former Society of Organized Services executive director Renate Sutherland.

The category award-winners were:

• Service Excellence Award: Angela Giannotti, CruiseShipCenters;

• Small Business of the Year: Namaskar Yoga Studio;

• Large Business of the Year: Eat Fresh Urban Market;

• Outstanding Workplace Employer of the Year: Kiyo Salon & Boutique;

Young Professional of the Year: Meaghan L’Heureux, Iron Warehouse; and

Not for Profit of the Year: Forward House Community Society.

The Community Spirit Award, created this year to recognize a business or individual that demonstrated exceptional commitment to developing and encouraging community spirit and pride, is sponsored by the City of Parksville. It was voted on by Parksville city council and, in presenting the award, Mayor Marc Lefebvre said Sutherland was a unanimous choice for her nearly three decades of community involvement and volunteerism, which she continues in her role with the Oceanside Task force on Homelessness.

In accepting the award, Sutherland said credit must be shared with all of the staff and volunteers at SOS, as well as the larger community for stepping up to support the efforts of SOS and other organizations devoted to assisting the most needy in the community.

— NEWS staff and Parksville chamber submission

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