10:30 a.m., Feb. 14)
hounoured at Chamber of Commerce gala
By Mike Beasley
The Orléans Star
Orléans Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Excellence
Awards Gala at the Hilton Casino Lac Leamy on Saturday,
March 3, honouring 12 east end businesses which excelled
in 2017 and a past executive director who was this year’s
recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Hot Tubs owner Andrée Grzela accepted
the award for Business Person of the Year
with his wife Christine. Fred Sherwin/Photo
proceedings were kicked off with the presentation of the
Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award which went to CP
Business Solutions founder and president Cathy Priestman.
started the marketing consultant company in 2007. The
team of professionals at CP Business Solutions specialize
in providing start-ups with a strategic plan to assist
with everything from branding to rollout. They are also
experts at rebranding existing companies looking for a
fresh new look.
a clear example that the apple never falls far from the
tree, Priestman’s son Matthew Rafter picked up the award
for Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the ripe old age
Colonel By Secondary School student founded M Company,
which takes recycled newsprint and turns it into liners
for household organic waste bins, when he was just seven
years old. The Enviro-liners sell for $10 for a pack of
award for New Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year went
to Routier Motorsports owner Sylvain Routier. Originally
from France, Routier founded the prem-ium auto detailing
business in 2013.
30-year-old entrepreneur is a true life rags-to-riches
success story. Routier started out with little more than
$20 to his name and a bucket of soap and water. Through
a combination of hard work and perseverance he managed
to create a successful business in just five years.
Business of the Year recipient Chantal Hackett is another
wonderful success story in keeping with the theme of his
year’s awards – “Rising Stars”.
was already a talented young artist when she started Sing
House Studios in 2004 at the tender age of 19. Her mission
was to create a relaxed and nurturing environment in which
her students could explore their musical talent and realize
their full potential.
Pit owner Andy Scott accepted the award for Employer of
the Year accompanied by several of his employees.
his acceptance speech Scott offered had some sage words
of advice for the other business owners in the room. “The
secret to Employer of the Year is really no secret at
all: Be fair, think of your team’s interests above your
own, be vulnerable and then set the stage so they can
of this year's Orléans Chamber of Commerce
Business Excellence Awards pose for a group
photo at the Hilton Lac Leamy. Fred Sherwin/Photo
award for Best Restaurant of the Year went to Host India,
located on Montreal Road near the Montfort Hospital. Owner
Ravinder Tumber accepted the trophy with his entire family
by his side who are all involved in the business.
president and CEO John Liptak accepted the Best Technology
& Innovation of the Year Award with his daughter and company
COO Patricia Liptak-Satov; and Beachcomber Hot Tubs owner
André Grzela picked up the award for Retail Business of
Year. Since they opened early last year, they’ve done
more than $1 million in business.
award winners on the night included Rhapsody Strategies
CEO Eric Deschamps for Professional of the Year; and the
AOE Arts Council for Community and Non-Profit Organization
of the Year.
winner was selected by a panel of judges who evaluated
each of the nominees based on the company’s accomplishments,
level of expertise, and community involvement.
top prize of Business of the Year went to employment lifecycle
specialists Keynote Group, while the award for Business
Leader of the Year went to Orléans lawyer David Bertschi
from the law firm Bertschi Orth Solicitors & Barristers.
has always been a big believer in giving back to the community.
He has been a volunteer, mentor and community leader for
more than 30 years.
Chamber also bestowed former executive director Peter
Stewart with a special Lifetime Achievement Award.
served as executive director of the Chamber from 2006
to 2010. During his tenure, membership increased significantly
thanks in large part to his efforts in organizing networking
breakfasts and luncheons, the awards program, and the
annual golf tournament.
leaving the Chamber in 2010, he took a job with Invest
Ottawa as a business advisor. In 2013, he became the manager
of entrepreneurship services. He served in that capacity
for three years until he stepped down in May 2016 to become
a business coach with Rhasody Strategies.
of Commerce chairman Sean Crossan accepted the award on
behalf of Stewart who is currently undergoing cancer treatment.
all the awards, the Gala served as a fundraising event
for Children At Risk, an Ottawa-based organization that
provides services and programs to families of children
with autism. A grand total of $6,000 was raised through
both a silent and live auction.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)