Best in biz honoured by annual Chamber awards

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It’s more than a piece of hardware added to a bookshelf or desk.

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The 46th annual Sherwood Park and District Chamber of Commerce Business Awards took place on Friday, Nov. 17.

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Chamber Vice President and owner of Trends Optical Ltd., Janet Sochatsky thanked the membership for starting a business and for being risk takers, especially since only half of businesses survive the first five years of operation. On top of that, many are currently faced with supply chain challenges, labour and employment shortages, interest payments hikes, and inflation.

“Our business community here in Sherwood Park and Strathcona County continues to grow despite these challenges. Your drive, determination, passion, and strong business acumen give you the competitive advantage in business to succeed. Thank you for everything that you do in your business and everything you do in our community,” Sochatsky said addressing the crowd inside the main theatre of Festival Place.

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All of the winners of the 46th annual Sherwood Park and District Chamber of Commerce Business Awards at Festival Place on Friday, Nov. 17. Lindsay Morey/News Staff
All of the winners of the 46th annual Sherwood Park and District Chamber of Commerce Business Awards at Festival Place on Friday, Nov. 17. Lindsay Morey/News Staff

The evening’s top prize, the Business of the Year Award, was awarded to Imperial Oil, which is celebrating 75 years in the community. Refinery manager, Damian Strome, who moved from Texas two months ago, noted that it is an honour to be in this community and that he and his family has been welcomed with open arms.

“What a great place to do business,” Strome said accepting the award. “What a great award. It’s probably the biggest trophy I’ve ever won in my life. First of all, on behalf of all of the employees at Imperial, thanks to the community here, thanks to the Chamber, and thanks to all of the businesses and congratulations to all of the nominees. All future success and blessing upon your businesses.”

Canine Addiction owner Sarah McLeod accepting this year’s New Entrepreneur Award on Friday, Nov. 17. Lindsay Morey
Canine Addiction owner Sarah McLeod accepting this year’s New Entrepreneur Award on Friday, Nov. 17. Lindsay Morey

Taking the New Entrepreneur Award was Canine Addiction, which is a force free dog daycare and training facility. Other than one-on-one private sessions, the company offers a variety of obedience group training classes for puppies and dogs of all ages as well as sport classes, such as scent, rally, and agility. 

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After being laid off from both of her jobs during the pandemic, Canine Addiction owner Sarah McLeod launched the business knowing that there was a service gap locally as there were no dog training facilities within the Park.

“It took a lot to get where we are today. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team. I always give a shout out to my amazing team and I will continue to advocate for dogs and dog training,” McLeod said. “Congratulations to everyone who was nominated. It’s always a huge honour to receive that recognition.”

Italian Centre Shop won this year’s Leading Edge Award. Lindsay Morey/News Staff
Italian Centre Shop won this year’s Leading Edge Award. Lindsay Morey/News Staff

Also thanking her team was Teresa Spinelli, owner and president of Italian Centre Shop Ltd., which won the Leading Edge Award.

“Sherwood Park was our fifth store and we’ve never opened a store to get such a warm welcome like we did in Sherwood Park, so thank you Sherwood Park,” Spinelli said.

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Lindsay Morey/News Staff
Lindsay Morey/News Staff

Winning the Health and Wellness Award, a new addition to this year’s ceremony, was Fix Auto Sherwood Park. The award was based on how the company offers comprehensive benefits to its employees and their families, as well as offering health spending accounts, family assistance programs and many more perks. In addition, the company underlines the importance of work/life balance, offers paid flex days and volunteer days, hosts various parties and celebrations throughout the year, and highlights an employee weekly who is ‘crushing it’.

“I think Sherwood Park is a special place where people might get into a car accident in the west end or around West Edmonton Mall and they’ll get their vehicle towed back to Sherwood Park and get it fixed here. I think that’s very special and it’s a testament to the Chamber and everything that they do with their shop local campaigns and everything else,” Fix Auto’s Scott Koughan said accepting the award.

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Global Humic Products Ltd. won this year’s Global Growth Award. Lindsay Morey/News Staff
Global Humic Products Ltd. won this year’s Global Growth Award. Lindsay Morey/News Staff

The Global Growth Award went to Global Humic Products Ltd.

Global Humic Products was formed in 2021 with eight individuals who have been working with oxidized coal (humic acid, which is considered an organic fertilizer supplement) since 1998 proving the benefits of this product as a soil supplement in agriculture, drilling fluid additive, animal and human health. For the past 25 years, it has taken humic acid from snake oil and with science have proven its value in rejuvenating soil which has been damaged by the use of over fertilization. 

Currently, the local business is exporting to 91 clients across eight countries.

Over the past 25 years, the growth of the product has grown to a multi-million-dollar industry and it is projected to be a billion dollar industry within the next five years.

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“We’re very, very proud to be a part of the community. Thank you to our partners, coworkers, clients and also governments. We have received a lot of support from the provincial and federal governments, so thank you very much,” said Edwin Liem with Global Humic Products.

MB Events CEO Michael Brown accepting this year’s Community Attraction Award. Lindsay Morey/News Staff
MB Events CEO Michael Brown accepting this year’s Community Attraction Award. Lindsay Morey/News Staff

MB Events, the organizer of this past summer’s L’Étape Canada by Tour de France, won the Community Attraction Award.

About 450 athletes participating in the event’s longest course — the 135-kilometre — meandered their way through Sherwood Park to Ardrossan. Travelling on to Bremner on Range Road 224 and just south of Josephburg on Township Road 544 before heading back to Ardrossan and to the Park, rolling hills separated and thinned out the pack.

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Including the 85-km, the 50 km, and the family course, more than 900 athletes were registered on August 13. That marked a 20 per cent increase over last year’s event hosted in Edmonton. Overall participants came from 10 provinces across Canada and from seven countries.

“We’re a boutique sports event company that believes that events are essential to communities and we hope to do more of it,” said Michael Brown, CEO of MB Events. “For next year, you should be able to register for the event within the next few weeks, so make sure to get on your bike. That’s the one great thing about cycling is that we’ve all ridden a bike and there is an event for you, and we look forward to seeing you next year.”

MB Events won this year’s Community Attraction Award. Lindsay Morey/News Staff
MB Events won this year’s Community Attraction Award. Lindsay Morey/News Staff

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