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Soo Chamber Recognizing Local Business Excellence at the 
Outstanding Business Achievement Awards

Soo Chamber Outstanding Business  Awards  Lake Superior News
#LSN_Econ   Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce Award Winners

SAULT STE. MAREIE, ONTARIO  - January 22, 2018  (LSN)  It was a celebration of innovation, creativity, leadership and entrepreneurship, as the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) handed out its Outstanding Business Achievement Awards on Saturday evening.

“This year, more than 200 nominations were received by the Chamber, for 21 different awards,” explains Don Mitchell, Acting President of the Sault Chamber. “Each of the nominated businesses were chosen by their customers and their fellow local businesses.”

In addition to the 21 awards that were open for nomination and recognize a diverse range of business activities, an additional 2 awards were presented to the Chamber’s volunteer of the year and to one individual recognized specifically by the Chamber’s Immediate Past President for their contributions to the community.

“Several new awards were introduced for the first time at this year’s event,” says Rory Ring, Chamber of Commerce CEO. “One of the most important attributes that any successful business can have is an ability to adapt and change and as our local business community adapts and changes, embracing new technologies and new business opportunities, we recognized that there were opportunities to acknowledge new management and operational activities, new innovations and emerging sectors. By integrating these new awards with our existing ones, we feel that this year’s roster of Chamber awards is indicative of the various sectors, qualities and attributes of our Chamber members.”

The new awards being presented for the first time this year included: the Community First Award (three different business sizes), the Downtown Business of the Year Award, the Beyond Borders Award, the Innovation Award, the Community Non-Profit Business of the Year Award, the Indigenous Business of the Year Award and the Leader in Accessibility Award.

The recipients of this year’s Outstanding Business Achievement Awards were:

Barry Nanne received the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award. Initiated in 1985, the Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to an individual, or individuals, whose time commitment and contributions to the Chamber have been outstanding.

The Community First Awards, sponsored by Community First Credit Union – a Division of Your Neighbourhood Credit Union, highlight outstanding community service. The recipients of these awards contribute to the well-being of the community as a whole through initiatives such as sourcing products and/or services locally, retailing or utilizing local products, employment growth and supporting the community through charitable activities.

The Community First Award (up to 9 employees) was presented to CC Communications.

The Community First Award (10 - 25 employees) was presented to Dr. Floreani, O’Toole and Dool Orthodontists.

The Community First Award (26+ employees) was presented to ARAUCO.

Stone’s Office Supply was the recipient of the Downtown Business of the Year Award, sponsored by the Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie and Area. In support of the City of Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Strategy, as well as the strategic plan of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, this award recognizes a business that is invested in the downtown business community and contributes to downtown Sault Ste. Marie. This award honors their commitment to running a business in the heart of our city and their role in creating a vibrant downtown.

Sault College was presented with the Diversity Award, sponsored by the Sault Ste. Marie & Area Local Immigration Partnership and Soo Mill Buildall. This award recognizes a business or organization that embraces, celebrates and applies holistic inclusion and participation of a diverse people, making the workplace a better environment in which to work, and the community a better place in which to live, work and raise a family.

Marlene Hemy of The Water Tower Inn was awarded the Customer First Award – Individual, sponsored by Smyl’s Highland Ford. This award recognizes an individual who continuously raises customer service to new standards of excellence and is a role model for others in customer service.

The Chamber presents three Business of the Year awards based on business size: To be considered, a business will have distinguished themselves by fostering growth, innovation, marketing strategy and consumer service excellence in their sectors.

The Business of the Year Award (up to 9 employees), sponsored by Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, was presented to OC Hair, Bath and Body Inc.

The Business of the Year Award (10 - 25 employees), sponsored by the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, was presented to the Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation.

The Business of the Year Award (26+ employees), sponsored by Superior Auto Group, was presented to TULLOCH Engineering.

Kristina Koprash of KRUSH was presented with the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by EAZY Express. The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes the outstanding achievement of young entrepreneur(s) between 18 and 39 years of age. The award is given to an individual responsible for the success and growth of a Sault Ste. Marie-based company, who exemplifies the qualities of effective leadership, innovatively applies know-how, demonstrates excellent potential for growth, appreciates the importance in social, cultural, and environmental awareness and has demonstrated commitment to the wider community.

Quattro Hotel & Conference Centre was awarded the Customer First Award – Business, Non-Profit or Agency, sponsored by Great Lakes Honda. This award showcases a business or non-profit that places the customer experience at the heart of their business strategy and builds a sustainable culture of customer service within their organization.

The International Bridge Administration was the recipient of the Innovation Award, sponsored by Algoma Office Equipment. This award recognizes a business that has successfully incorporated a new idea, device or method or has utilized the application of better solutions to meet new requirements, internal needs or market needs.

Sault Ste. Marie YMCA was presented with the Leader in Accessibility Award, sponsored by Accessibility North. This award recognizes an organization that shows leadership in integrating and providing accessible and barrier-free working conditions for employees and accessibility in customer service. This business or organization values the contributions of persons with disabilities, promotes the development of an inclusive workplace culture and is compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Wardlaw Heating & Cooling was awarded this year’s Safe Work, Sound Business Award, sponsored by Safe Communities Sault Ste. Marie. The Safe Work, Sound Business Award recognizes a business that uses a safe work management system, participates in workplace and/or community injury prevention programs and has outstanding injury-free frequency and injury severity performance.

Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services was the first recipient of the Indigenous Business of the Year, sponsored by Tenaris. This award recognizes a business which is operating, or being managed, with a minimum of 51% ownership by an Indigenous person or group. To be considered, the business has distinguished itself by fostering growth, innovation, marketing strategy and consumer excellence, while showing leadership and dedication to the preservation of culture, values and identity.

Paint Nite Sault Ste. Marie was presented with the Rising Star New Business Award, sponsored by KPMG. This award recognizes a business that has been in operation for no less than 1 year and no more than 3 years and has demonstrated strong potential by way of growth, innovation, and leadership.

Sault Ste. Marie YMCA was awarded the Community Non Profit Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Employment Solutions – Sault College. This award recognizes and rewards excellence and innovation among non-profit organizations resulting in significant social impact within Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma district.

Tourism Sault Ste. Marie was recognized with the Beyond Borders Award, sponsored by The Sault Ste. Marie Airport Development Corporation: The Beyond Borders Award recognizes a business in any industry for excellence in the development of export markets for their products or services, through the implementation of a new export strategy within the last three years that has positively affected its bottom line.

Pinchin Ltd. was presented with the Employer of Year Award, sponsored by the Algoma Workforce Investment Corporation. This award recognizes an employer who has created cultures and communities, through every aspect of their business.

Darrell Boissoneau was the recipient of this year’s President’s Award. Initiated in 1982, the President’s Award recognizes someone who makes an exceptional effort, going above and beyond the call of duty in any area of business and community development. The recipient of this award is chosen by the Chamber’s Immediate Past President.

La-Na Fragomeni was presented with the Paul Dalseg Community Achievement Award. The Paul Dalseg Award recognizes a businessperson in Sault Ste. Marie who has demonstrated exemplary interest in the community, and in so doing, has made a major, outstanding and unique achievement or contribution to the life of the community.

Sherry Berlinghoff was presented with the Skipper Manzzutti Award for Business Achievement. Named after one of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce's dedicated past presidents, Captain Feliciano "Skipper" Manzzutti, this award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding business achievement within the past year, or number of years. Like the award's name-sake, the recipient of this award has set a high standard for exemplary entrepreneurial and community minded achievement.

The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce was proud to welcome as the presenting sponsor of this year’s Outstanding Business Achievement Awards. A locally grown news agency, continues to demonstrate that it shares the best attributes of our many award recipients as it has grown to become a national enterprise in recent years.

In addition to this year’s individual award sponsors, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce would like to thank both The Machine Shop, the Northern Grand Gardens and Kevanna Fine Photography.

About the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce

The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of 700 plus business and agencies in Sault Ste. Marie and has been serving the needs of this community since 1889. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce will lead the way as the voice of business, advancing economic prosperity for its membership and the business community. Learn more about the SSMCOC at

Soo Chamber Outstanding Business Achievement Awards  Lake Superior News




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