Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce celebrates three years of community excellence

Terry Deakin of INEO Employment, third from left, presents the team at Power of Three with a COVID Resilience Award for 2022 at the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce community excellence awards, Friday, June 10, 2022 at McLean Mill National HIstoric Site. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Terry Deakin of INEO Employment, third from left, presents the team at Power of Three with a COVID Resilience Award for 2022 at the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce community excellence awards, Friday, June 10, 2022 at McLean Mill National HIstoric Site. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Lyndon Cassell of Lyndon Cassell Photography photographs Bouchra Savard with her 2022 Health and Wellness Award for her business, West Coast Fitness, June 10, 2022 at the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce community excellence awards. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Lyndon Cassell of Lyndon Cassell Photography photographs Bouchra Savard with her 2022 Health and Wellness Award for her business, West Coast Fitness, June 10, 2022 at the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce community excellence awards. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Bill Collins, chairman of Cascadia Seaweed, delivers the keynote address at the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce community excellence awards on Friday, June 10, 2022 under a tent in front of the steam sawmill at McLean Mill. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Bill Collins, chairman of Cascadia Seaweed, delivers the keynote address at the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce community excellence awards on Friday, June 10, 2022 under a tent in front of the steam sawmill at McLean Mill. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Starbucks, McGill Engineering and Boston Pizza are all honoured at the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce community excellence awards for being inclusive employers. (June 10, 2022) (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Starbucks, McGill Engineering and Boston Pizza are all honoured at the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce community excellence awards for being inclusive employers. (June 10, 2022) (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Karysa Brossoit of Alberni Valley Rental House accepts her 2020 award for Façade Improvement during the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual community excellence awards gala, June 10, 2022 at McLean Mill National Historic Site. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Karysa Brossoit of Alberni Valley Rental House accepts her 2020 award for Façade Improvement during the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual community excellence awards gala, June 10, 2022 at McLean Mill National Historic Site. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Wish Puusepp and Chris Pouget accept their 2022 award for Façade Improvement from Janis Joseph and Bill Collette during the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce community excellence awards gala, June 10, 2022 at McLean Mill National Historic Site. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Wish Puusepp and Chris Pouget accept their 2022 award for Façade Improvement from Janis Joseph and Bill Collette during the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce community excellence awards gala, June 10, 2022 at McLean Mill National Historic Site. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Karen Gilbert, left, and Gail Van Bergen accept an award for 2022 Volunteer of the Year on behalf of their father, Joe Van Bergen, who died March 13, 2022. Van Bergen was best known for reviving the Sproat Lake Regatta. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Karen Gilbert, left, and Gail Van Bergen accept an award for 2022 Volunteer of the Year on behalf of their father, Joe Van Bergen, who died March 13, 2022. Van Bergen was best known for reviving the Sproat Lake Regatta. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Kathy Krznaric, who up until she retired earlier this year was synonymous with Little Bavaria Restaurant, is surprised to receive a Women of Influence award from the Chamber of Commerce’s community excellence awards gala, June 10, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Kathy Krznaric, who up until she retired earlier this year was synonymous with Little Bavaria Restaurant, is surprised to receive a Women of Influence award from the Chamber of Commerce’s community excellence awards gala, June 10, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Grace Dewar (2020), third from left, Isha Rai, Roxy Manson (2021) and Rave Sutherland (2022) receive the Gillian Trumper Memorial Youth of the Year awards from sponsors Pam Craig, right, and Joshua Hesse and Sam Tsai from Passion Plumbing & Heating Ltd. The awards were handed out at the annual Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce community excellence awards on June 10, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)Grace Dewar (2020), third from left, Isha Rai, Roxy Manson (2021) and Rave Sutherland (2022) receive the Gillian Trumper Memorial Youth of the Year awards from sponsors Pam Craig, right, and Joshua Hesse and Sam Tsai from Passion Plumbing & Heating Ltd. The awards were handed out at the annual Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce community excellence awards on June 10, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Alberni Valley businesses celebrated three years of community excellence at an in-person gala awards event on Friday, June 10.

Winning businesses and individuals deserved recognition for their resiliency and determination throughout the economic challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, said Natasha Marshall, a member of Tseshaht First Nation, during her welcome.

The gala was held under a 4000-square-foot tent at McLean Mill National Historic Site, in front of the steam mill.

Three years’ worth of awards were handed out in a number of business categories. Bill Collette, CEO of the Alberni Chamber of Commerce, said he decided not to follow the trend of holding virtual award ceremonies amid coronavirus pandemic restrictions and lockdowns. Friday’s gala celebrated winners in all categories for 2020, 2021 and 2022. Attendees dressed for the 1920s theme, tables were set up bistro style and appetizers from Steampunk Café and Bare Bones Fish House and Smokery were served. The Valley’s three craft brewers—Twin City Brewing, Dog Mountain Brewing and Alberni Brewing—and the Alberni District Co-op Liquor Store provided beverages, and the Quinn, Schultz, Shakur jazz trio provided musical entertainment.

Emcee David Wiwchar from 93.3 the PEAK read messages of congratulations from Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns and MLA Josie Osborne, neither of whom were able to make the gala in person.

Bill Collins, chairman of Cascadia Seaweed, delivered the keynote address, complimenting the business community for its excellence in making things happen in the face of adversity.

Terry Deakin of the chamber presented Collette and his wife Jennifer with a special award for all the work they have done for the chamber and business community, especially during the pandemic.

Deakin, mayor Sharie Minions and Andrea MacDonald on Osborne’s behalf announced certificates of thanks for grocery stores Quality Foods, Save-On-Foods, Tyler’s No Frills and Buy-Low Foods for their extraordinary efforts to provide groceries and supplies throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent supply chain issues.

Other award winners were:

Communications Award — Don Tecson, Rainbow Wave Productions (2020); Chris Fenton, the Fenton Group (2021); Darran Chaisson, Chaisson Creative (2022).

Rising Star Award — Flurer Smokery (2020); Mobius Books (2021); BillyBeauty Marketing (2022).

Community Events Award — Alberni District Fall Fair (2020); The Zattzoo Project Association (2021); David Michaud, Alberni Valley Bulldogs (2022).

Inclusive Employer Award — Starbucks (2020); McGill Engineering (2021); Boston Pizza (2022).

Green Award — Belle’s Hair Care (2020); Recycle Matters (2021); Cascadia Seaweed (2022).

Health and Wellness Award — West Coast Combat Sports (2020); Port Alberni Friendship Center (2021); West Coast Fitness, Bouchra Savard (2022).

Ambassador of Service Award — Myra Tassie, Flandangles (2020); Annette Clement, Best Western Barclay Hotel Plus (2021); Tamiko Corlazzoli, Cypress Restaurant, RimRock Casino (2022).

Chamber Award — Sarah Jones, Walk the Coast (2020); Dave Heinrichs, Alberni District Co-op (2021); Lori Kerr, Coastal Community Credit Union (2022).

Façade Improvement Award — Karysa Brossoit, Alberni Valley Rental House (2020); Heather Welsh, Alberni Brewing Company (2021); Wish Puusepp and Chris Pouget, Riverbend Store and Café (2022).

Volunteer of the Award — Brad and Jan Minton (2020); Bill Surry (2021); Joe Van Bergen (posthumous for 2022).

Tourism and Hospitality Award —West Coast River Charters (2020); Jennifer Richardson, Alberni Valley Visitor Centre (2021); Peter Mugleston, Alberni Valley Tourism (2022).

Customer Service Award — GD Auto, Greg Dolling (2020); Berry and Vale Contracting (2021); Graywater Mini-Excavator and Bobcat Service (2022).

COVID Resilience Award (formerly Special Recognition Award) — Susan Kozlowski, the Funk Trunk (2020); Dog Mountain Brewing, Andy Richards and Robin Miles (2021); Carol-Anne Zanette, Steampunk Café and Power of Three (both 2022).

Business Investment Award — Carl and Judy Scott, Re/Max Mid-Island Realty (2020); Kamal and Suki Sanghera, San Group Inc. 2021); Greg Willmon, Lady Rose Marine Services (2022).

Gillian Trumper Memorial Youth of the Year Award — Grace Dewar (2020); Roxy Manson (2021); Rave Sutherland (2022). Special recognition: Isha Rai.

Visionary Award —Port Alberni Port Authority (2020); John Campbell, Float Docks (2021); Coleman RV and Campground (2022).

Business Excellence Award — Murray Lawlor, Coombs Country Candy (2020); Alberni Industrial Marine (2021); Canadian Maritime Engineering (2022).

Women of Influence Award — Louise Pearson, Finishing Touches (2020); Stefanie Weber, Tim Hortons (2021); Natasha Marshall, Tseshaht First Nation (2022); Kathy Krznaric formerly of Little Bavaria (2022).

Citizen of the Year Award — Captain Michael Ramsay, Salvation Army (2020); Ellen Frood, Sage Haven Society (2021); Colin Minions, Salvation Army/ Bread of Life (2022).

BillyBeauty Marketing crafted the 2020 awards, which were sponsored by Cermaq, and artist Michelle Frost of Coastal Flow Creative Co. created the awards for 2021 and 2022.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

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