Habitat for Humanity and Poseidon Oceans Systems each won twice Saturday night at the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce’s Business Awards of Excellence.
Nominees and guests filled the Tidemark Theatre for the annual event to recognize the best in local business.
“We’re here tonight to celebrate our nominees’ success and the important role they play in contributing to our high quality of life and our healthy local economy,” the Chamber’s executive director Colleen Evans told the crowd. “Tonight’s event is also a coming together as a celebration of our community spirit…That community spirit is something that is so evident.”
Poseidon, an aquaculture company, took home awards for New Business of the Year, which is open to operations that have been in business for under three years. Later in the evening, the company also won in the Excellence in Innovation and Technology category.
“We’re really trying to put Campbell River on the global map,” Poseidon’s Heather Clarke said. “Aquaculture really is a global industry.”
Meanwhile, Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North won as Non-Profit of the Year as well as Social Enterprise for its ReStore business, which helps it generate funds to build homes for families in the area. Habitat covers a region stretching from Balfour to Port Hardy but does most of its work in the Campbell River and Comox Valley areas.
“We’re all winners tonight. Campbell River, it’s a strong community dedicated to its citizens, dedicated to sustainable growth and a comprehensive strategy that really benefits everybody,” said Habitat executive director Patrick McKenna.
After the second award, ReStore manager Donna-Marie Lamb said, “I’m really honoured to be standing here…Campbell River ReStore cannot operate without the community, the volunteers, our donors, the other organizations where we cross-trade because we’re all non-profit organizations and we all find a way to help one another.”
Prior to the main awards, the Chamber also gave out its Board of Governors Award. This year it went to Bill Alder, the president of Sealand Aviation. However, Bill was unable to attend, so Aaron Spetifore, his son-in-law and the company’s director of maintenance, accepted the award on his behalf. Alder apparently got a late call about an equipment issue from a Russian customer, so he got on a plane to make his way to St. Petersburg on the weekend.
“Bill has always put his customers first,” Spetifore said. “He’s halfway around the world, setting down to snow and sub-zero temperatures.”
The Mirror will be running more information on all of the winners in the Friday, Oct. 5 edition.
This year, there were more than 180 nominations in the 16 categories, with the shortlist being announced at the end of August.
“Once again this year we’ve had an outstanding response to our call for nominations,” Evans said.
The Campbell River Chamber of Commerce Business Awards of Distinction recognize and celebrate entrepreneurs, business leaders and organizations that create a successful business community and thriving business environment. The public nominates the different candidates, with the winners being chosen through a juried process. There are now 16 award categories, including two new ones: the Arts & Culture Achievement Award and the Tourism Excellence Award.