Countdown is on for Spirit of Success awards

Gala to take place Friday, when 11 winners from the business community will be announced, including Business of the Year
By Dominique Milburn

The excitement is mounting for Goderich and area businesses– in less than 48 hours, they just might be called to the podium as the newest crop of Spirit of Success Award winners are revealed.

It's like the Academy Awards for Goderich and district, says Chamber of Commerce CEO Judy Crawford, and it's happening Friday, January 21. Tuxedos are being pressed for the event's joint emcee team and gowns will dazzle alongside on award presenters. It's billed as an opportunity, Crawford said, for area businesses to celebrate their successes in a fun-filled fashion during an evening awards gala.

An eleventh award has been added to the roster in 2011, up from 10 in 2010, and nine in 2009. It's just a coincidence though, assured Crawford, adding, "We don't want to keep adding to it."

It was a worthy award idea that snuck onto the list this year courtesy of the Foundation for Education Perth-Huron. The new Employer Champion Award has seen nominations by educators for businesses that have welcomed students and supplied them with vital work experience.

"We're very excited about that one," Crawford said, "That they felt we were worthy of having this type of award brought to us. It's a great partnership with the Foundation."

Carefully weighing merit, a panel of six judges met last Tuesday evening at the Chamber office in Goderich. Comprised of representatives from area business, school, council and general citizens, the team gathered to pour over the details in their nominations packet.

Qualified funny-men Rob Bundy and Floyd Herman have signed on to host the event this year, with musical accompaniment by Matt Hussey. Crawford had just two words to describe the emcee duo– "They're hilarious."

"It's got some really good local flavour. It's nothing very serious, just a lot of fun," she said. "This really is the big celebration for the business community, this is the one when they go out and pat themselves on the back and say 'we did good.'"

"The evening is capped off with the Business of the Year Award from entire list of nominees. I think one big benefit to being involved is that it's a great marketing opportunity for nominees, exposure, and an actual award to display."

The gala will take place this Friday at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 109 in Goderich. Only 170 tickets are available for the event, and the ceremony has sold out for the past two years. Tickets are now on sale at the Chamber office or you can register online. The costs of tickets are $40 per person or $300 for a reserved table of eight.

Cocktails and networking will begin at 6 p.m.

Spirit of Success award nominees and winners are not required to be members of the Goderich and District Chamber of Commerce nor based in the immediate Goderich area. Nominations in 2011 have come in from Goderich, Seaforth, Centrailia, Exeter and Clinton. The evening's entertainment has been sponsored by the OLG, and the overall event has been sponsored by Bell.

Sidebar: The Awards

Richard Lehnen Young Entrepreneur Award

• Awarded to a businessperson 30-years-old and under who owns or manages a business or staff. The candidate has been successful in meeting goals and objectives of the business and has earned the respect of peers and employees with their management skills.

The SBEC New Business Award

• Awarded to a new business to the area that opened within the last 18 months and has been in operation for at least six months. The candidate provides excellent customer service, support and training to staff and employees, and shows Community minded support.

Capital Power Corporation Community Spirit Award

• Awarded to an individual or group from a business who has demonstrated outstanding volunteerism in the community and / or demonstrated leadership by organizing and promoting an event in our community.

TD Friends of the Environment Environmental Awareness Award

• Awarded to any business, manufacturer or industry that promotes the four R's - Reduce/Reuse/Recycle/Reclaim. The candidate has introduced new programs or technology to reduce their business footprint on the environment, and promotes environmental awareness with their employees.

Tourism Goderich Hospitality Business Award

• Awarded to a hospitality sector business that demonstrates excellence in customer service on a consistent basis, shows community-minded support, and creates a special customer experience.

Huronia MED-E-OX MEDIchair Retail Business Award

• Awarded to a retail sector business that demonstrates excellence in customer service on a consistent basis, shows community-minded support, and alwaysputs the customer's needs first.

Huron Solutions Service Award (this award is for non-retail, non-hospitality businesses)

• Candidate demonstrates excellence in customer service leadership on a consistent basis and the business and staff go above and beyond to insure customer satisfaction with their service/ product. The candidate also recognizes and rewards employees with positive incentives for providing excellent customer service

Bell Technology / Manufacturing Award

• Awarded to a business or organization that has improved performance, increased customer/client satisfaction, or enhanced public awareness through the use of innovative products, processes or communication technologies.

Goderich Signal Star Community Impact Award

• Awarded by public vote for favourite 2010 event. This could be a sport event, a fundraising event, a festival – whatever was special. Nominations must have made a positive impact on the community.

Foundation for Education Employer Champion Award

• Awarded by educator nominations to a local employer who has shown an outstanding commitment to providing meaningful work experiences for high school students in their community through any of the following: job shadowing, school-work transition programs, mentoring, classroom or worksite visits, career talks, cooperative education, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship program.

Business of the Year

• Awarded to one Spirit of Success Award nominee for overall excellence.

Write a comment about this article

No comments yet, be the first to comment.