Chamber business awards bash a night to remember

Stefan Plouffe of Slave Lake Chrysler, the award sponsor, Chamber president Brittany Giesbrecht and Rose and Bruce Whitney of Water Pure & Simple, the Business of the Year.


Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

It’s fair to say a good time was had by all at the annual business awards gala in Slave Lake on Feb. 25. Not that everything went off without a hitch, but it was a lively evening with good food and fun entertainment. The host Slave Lake & District Chamber of Commerce handed out awards in nine categories. The cream of those was Business of the Year, which was featured on our front page last week – won by Water Pure & Simple.
Chamber president Brittany Giesbrecht says she’s received “tons of great feedback,” on it. She’s also heard some “constructive criticism,” she says, and expects some adjustments will be made to improve next year’s gala.
The dinner was a sellout, which in the Legacy Centre as it was set up means a bit under 200 people.
A lot of hard work went into that dinner, Giesbrecht says, by chef Tony and his catering staff. She figures they served up 1,200 plates, starting with prep hours before the doors opened and finishing after midnight.


Allison Deas of Slave Lake performed songs for the audience during the cocktail hour.


Butlers’ convention participants discussing the murder of one of their members. Left to right are Brett Butler (Katrina Owens), Antonio (Tristian Block), Jeeves (Sean McConnell), Scarlet Butler (Andrea Avery), Rhett Butler (Jordan Nahamko) and Yeats Butler (Crystal Ionson).


Chef Tony Giesbrecht hard at work in the Legacy Centre kitchen.


Employer of the Year
In an unusual move, the selection committee chose all three local forest products companies as joint winners in this category, citing their big impact on the community in providing employment to so many people in otherwise tough economic times. Pictured left to right are Tony Schell and Bob Jackle (representing West Fraser) Tyler Harris of Tolko Industries, Joe McWilliams of award sponsor Lakeside Leader and Chamber president Brittany Giesbrecht. Missing is a representative of Vanderwell Contractors.


Employee of the Year
This went to Bill Alook (second from right) of Tim Hortons, who was cited for his years of friendly service. Pictured with Alook are (l. to r.) his employers Darrell and Sandra Mackay, Ann Everatt of Northern Lakes College (award sponsor) and Chamber president Brittany Giesbrecht. Other nominees were Shirley Becker and Stephanie Richardson.


Professional Business of the Year
Community Futures Lesser Slave Lake beat out some tough competition for this award, which was sponsored by Agriculture Financial Services Corporation. Pictured left to right are Community Futures general manager Christopher Robblee, Jeannie Szpuniarski and Simerjeet Sylvain of AFSC and Chamber president Brittany Giesbrecht Other nominees were Rebryna Dana LLP and Philip Lokken Professional Corporation.


Spirit of Slave Lake Award
Ken Carpenter of Exact Oilfield Developing was the winner of this award – not for his business activities, but more for the difference he’s made in the community as an individual, over many years of contributions. Pictured with Ken are Judy Olsen, representing award sponsor RE/MAX Realty and Chamber president Brittany Giesbrecht. Other nominees were Doug Albers and Joe McWilliams.


Hospitality Business
This went to Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse Casual. Other nominees were The Fix Coffee Bar and McDonalds. Pictured are Mr. Mike’s manager José Diaz, left, with Ali Mouallem (representing award sponsor The Business Factory) and Chamber president Brittany Giesbrecht.


Oilfield Industrial Business of the Year
Schafer Mechanical Services won in this category, over Double B Machining and Welding and D. Janzen Holdings. Presenting for sponsor Boston Pizza was Tyler Warman, with Chamber Manager Brittany Giesbrecht, to Shaun Schafer.


Commercial Retail Business
Southshore Hidden Treasures won this award, sponsored by SL Ford Sales. Accepting for the winner were three members of the Commins family – Joee Sanford, Marlene and Jeff. Presenting for SL Ford was Renée Pelly. Also pictured is Chamber president Brittany Giesbrecht. Other nominees were Healthy Treasures and Random Thoughtz


Business Person of the Year
Boston Pizza owner/manager Tyler Warman was the winner. Left to right are Warman, Colin Parada of sponsor Whitecap Motors and Chamber president Brittany Giesbrecht. Other nominees in the category were Debby Jacobsen and Stefan Plouffe.

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