As the owners of Deerview Meats, Chris and Perry have demonstrated strong leadership within their business, growing it from a home-based deer meat producer to one of the highest ranked meat processing facilities in the province.
“We have strong roots of entrepreneurship in our families,” says Chris. “We call rural Alberta our home and represent the small town business owner… we jokingly call ourselves ‘redneck’ entrepreneurs.”
Among a strong field of nominations, the Deerings stood out this year for the local and national impact of their business and their dedication to the industry, Deerview Meats and their team, and their commitment to community initiatives.
Deerview Meats is now a preferred processor of many types of locally raised meat, many of which end up getting sold in their retail store. They have pioneered new standards for meat processing which have been recognized by various governing organizations, and have garnered attention at the national level. Perry is often called to sit on provincial roundtable discussions on facility and operation standards, animal farm care programs and food safety standards.
Building the right team has been essential to their success. Chris and Perry can often be seen working alongside their staff, sharing the challenges and successes of the business. According to Chris, when the staff have a stake in the success of the business they take care of it and its customers. “I love a new customer coming into our shop and saying ‘I’ve heard nothing but good things about you guys and had to stop in and see what you are about!’ That feels like success.”
Both Chris and Perry serve on volunteer boards and act as mentors to young people through their involvement in 4-H and other youth projects. Chris supports MHC in a variety of ways such as serving on the Entrepreneurship Development Centre advisory committee and guest speaking in classrooms. They enjoy these opportunities to share their practical skills and knowledge, and inspire youth to consider the benefits of running their own business.
The 2017 Business Person(s) of the Year award will be presented at Connecting Students to Business on March 30 at the Medicine Hat Lodge. This annual event allows students to make valuable business connections. They are able to experience, perhaps for the first time, a real-life networking opportunity where they can connect with business professionals and learn about how they came from being students, not knowing where their paths would lead, to being respected business leaders making an impact on their community.
The audience at the event will hear Chris and Perry talk about their journey and give some advice they wish they had received as students. “You don’t have to have your career path 100% planned out. Life can get in the way and it’s ok to divert from your original plan.” says Chris.
Businesses from the Medicine Hat area are encouraged to buy tickets or tables to network with one another, honour the award recipients, and to mingle with current college students. Tickets to the Connecting Students to Business dinner are $60 each, and students receive a subsidized rate of $20.