Dan Gemus

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce awards feature three Amherstburg finalists


By Ron Giofu


The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its 28th annual Business Excellence Awards (BEA) in the spring and Amherstburg will be well represented.

Three Amherstburg businesses have been nominated for awards, with the winners to be announced April 18 at Caesars Windsor.

Dan Gemus, owner/broker with the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team was nominated in the Professional of the Year category. Other nominees include naturopathic doctor Meighan Valero and AM800 radio host Lisa Williams.

Tourism & Hospitality Award finalists include Amherstburg’s Smashed Apple Catering Inc. with other nominees including Food & Beverage (F&B) and the Iron Kettle Bed & Breakfast.

Wolfhead Distillery was nominated in the New Business of the Year category, along with Exodus Escape Rooms and Thrive Benefits Group Inc.

“I’m so honoured to have been nominated. When I received the news a couple months ago that I had been nominated it seemed a little surreal at the time! Being at the news conference (last Wednesday) and hearing my name announced as a finalist was incredible!” said Gemus. “Being nominated along side Dr. Meighan Valero and an old AM800 co-worker and friend Lisa Williams is very humbling. All the nominees are so deserving. It will make for a fun night in April!”

Sue Manherz, co-owner of Wolfhead Distillery with husband Tom, said they were “quite surprised and honoured” to be nominated.

“We are up against a couple great companies and wish them the best of luck as well,” said Manherz. “We have a great team here at Wolfhead and none of this would be possible without everybody’s hard work and passion for what we have created. With the support of not only local residents but out-of-town people, they have helped put Wolfhead on the map and we are excited to see what the future brings us.  Being nominated for New Business of the Year is very humbling and rewarding and we strive to keep things moving in the right direction!”

Bill Deslippe, owner/chef at Smashed Apple, noted it was their second time being nominated for a Windsor-Essex BEA.

“We are hustling out here for Amherstburg. These are our roots and everything we do is a reflection of our amazing town and the people living here. We are proud to represent and hope to take home the win this year,” said Deslippe. “Having said that, we are in the same category as our friends and fellow talented business owners Iron Kettle Bed and Breakfast and F&B Walkerville. We couldn’t have asked for a better compliment than to be placed in the same category as these innovative, talented and skilled business owners. At the risk of sounding ridiculous, being compared to these greats feels like a win already for Smashed Apple, we are doing it right! We are going in proud and humbled for the nomination, but come the night of the awards, we want to take it home!”

Award recipients will be announced during a gourmet dinner and show. Tickets are on sale now at www.windsoressexchamber.org.

Award recipients announced in advance include:


Believe Windsor Essex Award

Michael Schlater, CEO, Domino’s Pizza of Canada



Patricia Soulliere, President & CEO, Soulliere Financial


The full list of 2018 BEA Finalists include:


Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finalists

Radu Bogdanel, President, Fulger Transport Inc.

Ernie Nesbitt, Owner, Jose’s Bar and Grill

Vince Schiller, Owner, Southwestern Manufacturing


Professional of the Year Award Finalists

Dan Gemus, Owner/Broker of Record, Dan Gemus Real Estate Team

Dr. Meighan Valero, Naturopathic Doctor, Meighan Valero Naturopathic Professional Corporation

Lisa Williams, Radio Host – AM800 The Morning Drive, Bell Media / AM800


Young Professional of the Year Award Finalists

Dr. Maxwell Abraham, Orthodontist, Owner, Abraham Orthodontics

Dr. Abby Jakob, Optometrist/Owner of EYES Optometry, EYES Optometry

Dr. Jackie Vandereerden, Doctor, South Walkerville Medical Centre


Small Company of the Year Award Finalists

Anchor Coffee House Inc.

Forest Glade Tecumseh Veterinary Professional Corporation

Sentry Windows & Doors


Mid-Size Company of the Year Finalists

Baron Championship Rings

Flexible Industrial Solutions

Kinder Academy


Large Company of the Year Finalists


Fortis Group

Highbury Canco Corporation


Innovation Award Finalists

Inspire HUB Technologies Inc.

K3D Inc.

Ro-Matt International Inc.


Tourism & Hospitality Award Finalists

Food & Beverage (F&B)

The Iron Kettle Bed and Breakfast

Smashed Apple Catering Inc.


New Business of the Year Award Finalists

Exodus Escape Rooms

Thrive Benefits Group Inc.

Wolfhead Distillery Inc.


Pillars of our Community Award

Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario

Transition to Betterness

Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society



Dan Gemus Real Estate team one of Canada’s “75 Top Heavy Hitters”



By RTT Staff


A local real estate office has achieved an honour as they were named one of the top “75 Heavy Hitters Who Create and Shape Canada’s Real Estate Market.”

The Dan Gemus Real Estate Team were named to the list, put out by Real Estate Professional magazine, and it is an honour Gemus is not taking lightly.

“We’re so honoured and humbled to have made the 75 Top Heavy Hitters in the country list,” said Gemus. “It’s a testament to all of the hard work everyone has put into making sure we create a different and unique experience for our clients.”

The honour took Gemus and his team by surprise.

“We didn’t see it coming! We were apparently nominated by other realtors across the country!” he said.

Gemus added that they are always looking to “push the envelope” with technology to market their listings.

“Hosting The Dan Gemus Real Estate Show every week on AM800 has also brought us tons of opportunities and the ability to share our thoughts and insights on this ever changing real estate market!” he added.

Gemus said it appears as though they were the only company that made the list in all of southwestern Ontario. All the other nominees were in the GTA area along with Quebec and British Columbia, he stated.

“That raises the bar even higher for us,” said Gemus.

The Dan Gemus Real Estate Team is always looking to be different, he added, whether it be in the processes they use in their Richmond St. office or the marketing and systems used for their listings and buyers.

Dan Gemus, Andrew Paper, Courtney Bondy, Lisa Vandermuren and Joyce Blackmere pose for a photo at Dan Gemus Real Estate Team headquarters in Amherstburg.  The team was listed as one of the “75 Heavy Hitters Who Create and Shape Canada’s Real Estate Market” by Real Estate Professional Magazine.

Dan Gemus, Andrew Paper, Courtney Bondy, Lisa Vandermuren and Joyce Blackmere pose for a photo at Dan Gemus Real Estate Team headquarters in Amherstburg. The team was listed as one of the “75 Heavy Hitters Who Create and Shape Canada’s Real Estate Market” by Real Estate Professional Magazine.

“We’ve actually invested heavily in our media and marketing departments. We have video and audio production studios and staff on site. This allows us to focus heavily on video production to advertise our listings and inform the community about the market and upcoming local events,” Gemus stated. “You’ll often see the team devote it’s production abilities to local charities and events. We strongly believe in our community and we’re always looking to give back to the those who have helped us create what we’ve had the privilege to create!”

Gemus added: “Everyone feels a sense of pride when receiving these accolades. Every time we get recognized it reminds the team how important it is to do the best possible and to keep pushing the envelope!”

REP’s 2017 Hotlist consists of 75 of the most influential developers, brokers, executives, government officials and professionals working in the Canadian real estate today. Their dedication has pushed them to the forefront of the business landscape—entitling them to be the movers and shakers of this competitive and diverse marketplace.

“The heart, blood, bones and nerves of this mammoth business are these professionals who create the products and the environment that make a real estate agent’s job possible,” said Clay Jarvis, REP journalist. “Many of these faces will never appear on a billboard, but their efforts, innovative thinking and dedication have pushed them to become the best in their chosen areas of expertise.”

For the full report see issue 3.02 of Real Estate Professional, out now or view the list online at www.whichmortgage.ca/leading-mortgage-professionals/rep-hot-list-2017.

First annual “Country at Heart” fundraiser sells out


By Jolene Perron


While the crowd at Sprucewood may have shown up with a little dirt on their boots Saturday night, they certainly danced the dust right off at the first annual Country at Heart event raising money for Windsor Regional Hospital’s ICU unit.

Each year, the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team holds a fundraiser for the Windsor Regional Hospital ICU unit. Gemus’ wife Nicole is an ICU nurse, and he said there are many galas raising money for different parts of the hospital on a regular basis, and they do amazing things. However, he said the ICU is one unit that doesn’t get as much support as the other areas of the hospital.

Ashley Lynn & The Spurs perform at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery as part of Saturday night’s “Country at Heart” fundraiser event. Proceeds went to Windsor Regional Hospital’s ICU unit.

Ashley Lynn & The Spurs perform at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery as part of Saturday night’s “Country at Heart” fundraiser event. Proceeds went to Windsor Regional Hospital’s ICU unit.

“The last three years, the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team hosted a charity yard sale and we loved it, it was a huge success, so much so that it outgrew us,” said Gemus. “Over the last three years, we raised over $25,000 with that charity yard sale. The issue was that it was so labor intensive and required 300 plus man hours per year to make it all happen so we looked for something that was different, that didn’t take as much time from the team.”

Gemus said the idea of a gala came about, but he strived to do something different, something more relaxed and a bit more fun. Being country music fans themselves, they decided to throw a country hoedown at Sprucewood, where Gemus and his wife already had good rapport, having been married at the winery in 2009. Sprucewood’s brand new event hall was even more perfect, already showcasing their country theme, and in support of the event, Sprucewood offered a reduced rate to help the team raise more money with less overhead costs.

“We sold out at 250, that’s what the venue holds, that’s the one thing that we were afraid of, the buzz of the event was huge from the get go and so we knew there would only be select tickets and what can you do, you have to cap it somewhere,” said Gemus. “We had people lined up to come in tonight, and we’re hoping that next year we can do this again. We’re already planning Country at Heart 2018.”

Janice Dawson, vice president of critical care and cardiology at Windsor Regional Hospital attended the event Saturday night, and was very impressed.

The “Country at Heart” fundraiser, held at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, was organized by the Dan Gemus Real Estate team.

The “Country at Heart” fundraiser, held at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery, was organized by the Dan Gemus Real Estate team.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have Dan Gemus and his team, and all the sponsors tonight over the past few years, do some events and be able to contribute to the hospital,” said Dawson. “It is very much appreciated and is just a fantastic thing that they’re doing. The event is fantastic, it’s such a fun atmosphere, it’s very casual, I can see everyone is having a great time. The food was fantastic and I’m looking forward to coming for the next few years.”
Dawson explained the contributions raised Saturday would be going towards refurbishing the critical care program’s ICU waiting area at Windsor Regional Hospital’s Metropolitan campus. It will allow the families of patients to be able to rest in a more comfortable waiting area and be able to regroup and get away from some of the more stressful things they are experiencing with their loved ones being in the critical care unit.

Gemus said since the day he started his real estate career in 2009 with Remax, to the day he and his team moved on to open their own business in the heart of Amherstburg, and even during the purchase of Duby’s Home Centre in January 2016, the community has always been so supportive and they want to do anything and everything to give the support back.

“It’s been so much work leading up to it, and it’s always stressful, with the planning and everything but lucky for us, my wife and Lisa took care of a lot of the organization tonight, the decorating was all them,” said Gemus. “It all came together really nicely. Everyone is having a ball, everyone is loving it which is huge, and we’ve already got lots of ideas for next year.”


Local real estate office giving back through country concert



By RTT Staff


A local real estate office is giving back to the Windsor-Essex County community through a country music concert in April.

The Dan Gemus Real Estate Team is hosting “Country at Heart,” featuring the music of Adam Butcher as well as Ashley Lynn & The Spurs. It will be held at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery April 22.

“The Dan Gemus Real Estate Team is always looking to give back to the community that’s been so great to us,” explained Gemus. “The last three years, our team hosted a huge indoor charity yard sale. Those events raised over $25,000 over those three years. But, as fun as those events were on the day of the sales, people didn’t see the hundreds and hundreds of man hours spent by the members of our team to collect and organize the items. The team had even purchased a tractor trailer to help store the collections!”

Dan Gemus concert

Gemus said after much discussion, the team decided to change focus this year to an event that would raise even more funds and not require as many man hours along the way.

Thus, the “Country At Heart” event was born!

“We all love supporting the large charity galas throughout the year. Our goal for this event was not only to have that large event but to have more of a relaxed party feel,” said Gemus. “’Country at Heart’ is basically a large country bash! Jeans and cowboy boots are encouraged! Chicken and ribs will be served off of a 22-foot barbecue grill. It will also feature a backed potato bar, smores bar, candy table and tons more!”

Gemus added: “We have an amazing group of super caring members on the Dan Gemus Team. Everyone is always looking to lend a helping hand anytime we hear of someone in need. Hosting a yearly event is something that we all look forward to every year!”

The real estate team decided to donate its proceeds from the concert to the Windsor Regional Hospital intensive care unit because “we were looking to support a cause that touched as many lives as possible. We also wanted a cause that didn’t have any other large fundraiser events hosted for it on a regular basis. My wife Nicole also happens to be an RN in the ICU department. The unit is always looking for extra equipment etc. We thought it was a worthwhile cause!”

Butcher will play an acoustic set during the VIP sponsor cocktail portion along with the first hour or so of the regular event. Later in the evening Ashley Lynn & The Spurs will headline the party.

“They’ll have everyone up and dancing on their feet all night long!” said Gemus.

Sprucewood has room for 250 guests and Gemus said it is anticipated the event will sell out soon after tickets go on sale to the public March 6. He said guests are expected from all over Windsor-Essex County.

“We would like to thank all of our amazing sponsors. This event couldn’t have happened without every single one of them,” Gemus added. “We started planning this event knowing we were working with a very aggressive timeline for this first annual event. The sponsors stepped up in a huge way and it’s so much appreciated!”

If anyone is interested in sponsoring the event or wanting more information they can call the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team at 519-566-5565 or visit the event website at www.countryatheart.ca.

Duby’s Home Centre donates to Habitat for Humanity



By RTT Staff


The renovations and expansion that is occurring at Duby’s Home Centre is benefitting Habitat for Humanity.

Staff from Habitat for Humanity Windsor-Essex were at the Ramsay St. home improvement store Friday morning picking up a wide range of older but very usable supplies including lamanent and hardwood flooring, ceramic tiles, deck stains, cleaners, sundries and other materials. Owner Dan Gemus said they are looking to make room for more merchandise at the store but wanted to make sure they gave the old items to a worthy cause.

“The donation to Habitat for Humanity was our way of helping out the community and unloading stuff that’s been there for a long time,” said Gemus.

Duby’s Home Centre made a donation last week to Habitat for Humanity. From left: Becky Young from  Habitat for Humanity, Alyssa Beaudoin and Tim Reaume from Duby’s and John Trach from Habitat for Humanity.

Duby’s Home Centre made a donation last week to Habitat for Humanity. From left: Becky Young from  Habitat for Humanity, Alyssa Beaudoin and Tim Reaume from Duby’s and John Trach from Habitat for Humanity.

Gemus estimated the value of the donated material to be at least $2,000-$3,000.

“We’ve been doing a lot of cleanup and remodeling,” he added.

The upstairs of Duby’s will be completed in about a month or so with Gemus stating it will feature windows and doors, cabinetry, vanities, plumbing fixtures, tubs, trim, lighting, siding and more. He envisions Duby’s as “one-stop shopping” for home finishing needs, adding flooring, window coverings and paint remain.

The reorganization of merchandise has led to Duby’s having to be “creative with space” and also led to the Habitat for Humanity donation.

Work on the exterior of the building should get underway in the spring, added Gemus, with that including new siding, windows and signage.