Two Amherstburg businesses win Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber BEA awards



By Ron Giofu


Two businesses from Amherstburg captured Business Excellence Awards (BEAs) at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce Awards.

The Dan Gemus Real Estate Team won the Professional of the Year category, beating out naturopathic doctor Meighan Valero and AM800 radio host Lisa Williams.

“It’s such an honour to have received the ‘Professional of the Year’ award. Being nominated with Dr. Meg Valero and Lisa Williams an old co-worker of mine at AM800 was amazing! Both of them so deserving in their own rights.”

Gemus said he was “humbling” to be nominated.

“It’s all still a bit of a blur,” he said.

Dan Gemus, surrounded by his real estate team, won Professional of the Year” at the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. (Submitted photo)

Gemus added he is thankful for his friends, family, team and clients for the honour.

The award was presented last Wednesday night at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts in Windsor.

Wolfhead Distillery won the award for New Business of the Year, with other nominees being Exodus Escape Rooms and Thrive Benefits Group Inc.

Larry Girard, executive chef and vice president at Wolfhead, said they had no idea they were going to win the award.

“It’s a great feeling of achievement,” said Girard. “It was an important award for us.”

Girard, who is partners with Tom and Sue Manherz at Wolfhead, credited the staff and said they empower their employees at Wolfhead.

“Our team carries the ball for us,” he said.

Larry Girard and Sue Manherz from Wolfhead Distillery accept the New Business of the Year Award. (photo by John Liviero,

Girard added that most of their products, upwards of 85 per cent, is local and said “we can’t expect them to support us if we don’t support them. The only way we can be sustainable is if everyone supports local.” On the restaurant side, everything is free and on the alcohol side, they are piling up awards including eight at the recent competition in California.

Smashed Apple Catering Inc. was the third finalist from Amherstburg. However, Iron Kettle Bed and Breakfast won in the Tourism and Hospitality Award. The other nominee was Food & Beverage (F&B).

The complete list of award winners was:

Mid-Size Company of the Year Award – Sponsored by RBC Royal Bank

Baron Championship Rings


New Business of the Year Award – Sponsored by EPICentre, University of Windsor

Wolfhead Distillery Inc.


Believe Windsor Essex Award – Sponsored by WFCU Credit Union

Michael Schlater, CEO, Domino’s Pizza of Canada


Innovation Award – Sponsored by Union Gas

Inspire HUB Technologies Inc.


Small Company of the Year Award – Sponsored by Families First

Forest Glade Tecumseh Veterinary Professional Corporation


Pillars of our Community Award – Sponsored by Motor City Community Credit Union

Transition to Betterness


Young Professional of the Year Award – Sponsored by Libro Credit Union

Dr. Abby Jakob, Optometrist/Owner, EYES Optometry


ATHENA Award – Sponsored by BELL

Pat Soulliere, President, Soulliere Financial Group


Tourism & Hospitality Award – Sponsored by Caesars Windsor and OLG

The Iron Kettle Bed and Breakfast


Professional of the Year Award – Sponsored by TD Bank Group

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


Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Sponsored by St. Clair College

Vince Schiller, Owner/President, Southwestern Manufacturing


Large Company of the Year Award – Sponsored by BMO Bank of Montreal



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