By Jonathan Martin
Local business owners have suited up to recognize the achievements of their colleagues.
The 2017 Business Excellence Awards were held this past Friday night at Pointe West Golf Club.
The event was organized by the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce, but businesses were nominated for awards by their patrons.
In total, only 11 certificates were handed out, but past ACOC president Chris Gibb said every nominee should be proud.
“It’s amazing the number of nominations we receive,” he said. “Every business (present at the awards ceremony) has earned the love and respect of its customers.”
CJ Bondy Plumbing nabbed the small business award, which is defined as having fewer than 20 employees. The award was presented by town councilor Leo Meloche.
Precision Plastics earned the counterpoint, snagging the large business award, which is given to a local business that employs more than 20 people.
The Amherstburg License Bureau was given the excellence in customer service award. Gibb chuckled into the microphone and said, “Only in Amherstburg would the license bureau earn an award for its customer service.”
Speck’s Restaurant owner Sarah Beaudoin delivered a teary-eyed acceptance speech after receiving the most attractive improvement award.
Norm Mickle, the local real estate agent who started the “Amherstburg, You’ll Love it Here!” promotional campaign, was presented with the community service/involvement award and premium liquor manufacturer Wolfhead Distillery caught the growth and expansion award.
Funeral directing student Kelsey Sutton accepted the business legacy award on behalf of Sutton Funeral Home. Sutton is the latest in the family’s funerary dynasty.
Amherstburg Physical Therapy snagged the investing in a world-class work force award for its exemplary staff and Bill Deslippe earned himself an excellence in food service award for his company, Smashed Apple, which started as a food truck and then expanded into a brick-and-mortar takeout restaurant.
Community Living Essex County board of directors president Ron Giofu, along with CLEC director of operations Karen Bolger, presented Jones Group with the welcoming accessibility award for its support of the Essex County Heroes Athletic Club.
Finally, former Shoppers Drug Mart franchise owner and pharmacist Mary Ann Wolff delivered an impassioned acceptance speech upon receiving her lifetime achievement award. She said the last time she had the opportunity to make an address she passed it up, so she wanted to make the most of it this time round. She used her time at the podium to speak in favour of hiring students and youths and to thank the colleagues she has worked beside over the past decades.
The event was sold out, despite this year’s addition of 50 seats. The 2017 business excellence awards ended up hosting nearly 200 patrons.