Thursday, 12 October 2017 06:39

Chamber announces finalists for Swift Current business excellence awards

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People applaud the announcement of award finalists during an event at the Great Plains College, Oct. 3. People applaud the announcement of award finalists during an event at the Great Plains College, Oct. 3. Matthew Liebenberg

The finalists in the different awards categories for the 19th annual Swift Current Business Excellence (SCBEX) Spirit of Swift Current awards were announced during an event at the Great Plains College, Oct. 3.


“We are thrilled with the number of people representing the business community that have attended tonight’s mixer for the SCBEX awards,” Swift Current & District Chamber of Commerce CEO Karla Wiens said after the announcement. “It’s a testament to the support that the business community has for each other and wanting to celebrate our successes.”
Various changes have been made to the nomination and selection process for the SCBEX awards. In previous years there was an online voting process that allowed people to vote online for nominees in the different awards categories.
“This year we had nominations coming in from the public,” she said. “It was actually their chance to vote. The finalists tonight were chosen from a selection panel and that panel was last year’s winners of the SCBEX awards. They independently chose their selections for each category. Now the winner in each category will actually be chosen by the Chamber of Commerce board of directors the week prior to the SCBEX awards.”
There was a good response to the request for nominations in the different award categories and some award categories had as many as nine or 10 nominees.
“There’s so many great businesses in Swift Current and the public did a great job of coming forward,” she said. “Some of the nominations that we received were several pages long. A lot of people put a lot of thought into who they wanted to nominate and why, which is really impressive.”
The chamber's board of directors will have a set of criteria to assist them in their difficult task of selecting the winners from the three finalists in each award category.
“There are criteria for each award category and the board will be reviewing the actual nominations that were put forward, so what was actually written about the certain individual or business that was nominated,” she said. “Most of the businesses are well-known to our chamber board, and they will be given the nominees well ahead of time so that they can do some research.”
The board members will make their decisions through a secret ballot. Wiens felt it will be a difficult task, because all the candidates are deserving of an award.
“It’s a big responsibility and it will be tough, because everyone of these people deserves to win an award,” she said. “So it will be a tough call for them, but it will be by secret ballot and I’m excited to see who wins.”
There is also a new award category this year for citizen of the year, and seven individuals were nominated in this category.
“Community involvement is a huge part of any business success, so the chamber just wants to recognize excellence in all its capacities,” she said.
The SCBEX Spirit of Swift Current business excellence awards gala will take place at the Living Sky Casino event centre. Oct. 27 and tickets are already on sale.
“People can contact the chamber office,” she said. “We’re about half sold out already, so if people want their tickets, get on it.”
Below are the finalists in the different award categories that were selected by a panel of last year's award winners.
Small Business of the Year award finalists – Bre's Boutique, Black Bridge Brewery, Sentiments Home & Gift.
Medium Business of the Year award finalists – Elmwood Golf Club, The Bentley by Revera, RE/MAX of Swift Current.
Large Business of the Year award finalists – Innovation Credit Union, Pioneer Co-op, Standard Motors.
Start-up/New Business of the Year award finalists – Farm & Table, Top Gun Mechanical, Ember's Hair Design.
Not-for-profit Business of the Year award finalists – Saskatchewan Abilities Council, Southwest Cultural Development Group, Swift Current 57's.
Employers of Persons with Disabilities award finalists – Super 8 Motel Swift Current, Chinook Golf Course, Pioneer Co-op.
Citizen of the Year award finalists – Shann Gowan, Betty McDougall, Charmaine Westbury.
Two other awards will be presented at the awards gala.
These recipients have already been selected by the Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Black Bridge Brewery will receive the Member Business of the Year award and Dickson Agencies and Innovation Credit Union will be inducted into the Business Hall of Fame.

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Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

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