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News : Chamber Celebrates Business Excellence
Brantford, Ontario, Canada, May, 2016 -- Telephone answering call centre Extend Communications was chosen as Company of the Year and Bob Cassie of Culligan Water honoured for his individual achievement by the Chamber of Commerce Brantford Brant on Thursday night.
Also recognized at the 32nd annual Business Excellence Awards Gala, in front of a sold-out audience at the Best Western Brant Park Inn, was Korfco Investment/Tim Hortons, which was given the Bell Community Builder Award, and Alfred Hauk of Holistic Healing Arts Centre who was named Entrepreneur of the Year.
The awards are given to local businesses and individuals "who demonstrate exceptional business achievements and exemplary corporate citizenship," Charlene Nicholson, the chamber's executive director, said in a news release.
For Cassie, who was presented with the David Baxter Memorial Award for Individual Outstanding Achievement, community service is all about helping children.
Photographs of kids in sports gear line the walls at Culligan Water, which opened in 1991, representing dozens of teams sponsored by the company.
"If it's to do with children and they need funds, we get involved," said Cassie.
In 2001, Cassie was one of 13 snowmobile riders who travelled from Huntsville to Sudbury and back, raising $32,000, on the first Great Northern Ride.
Fifteen years later, more than 80 riders cover about 2,000 kilometres across several provinces in the annual ride, raising more than $1.5 million to date for Lansdowne Children's Centre, a treatment facility for children with physical, communication and/or developmental needs.
A self-described "biker wannabe," Cassie convinced Lansdowne administrators that a charity motorcycle ride could raise much needed additional funds for the organization. Since its inception in 2005, the Charity Motorcycle Ride has raised more than $400,000 to support children with special needs who want to participate in local recreation programs. Excitement is revving up for the 12th annual ride on May 14.
"Without our guardian angel, we would never be able to offer these children the equal opportunity they so deserve to fully participate in community recreation and, most importantly, allow these wonderful and inspiring children to just be kids," Lansdowne officials say of Cassie.
Cassie is also involved in the annual Rotary charity air show and the Great Community Treasure Hunt. He helped raise $30,000 for the new birthing centre at Brantford General Hospital and supports the Children's Safety Village.
"You can either put in money or time," said Cassie. "If you can do both, that's great. When you do this work, you feel as good about it as the person who has received."
Extend expanded geographically over the years, operating in five cities. In 2013, it chose Brantford for a consolidated single site and invested $3 million in their new downtown Darling Street location, which created 30 new jobs.
The design of the new facility, which focused on the employee experience, has attracted national attention.
Community, the environment, and children are important to Tim Hortons. Locally, Korfco Investments Ltd., run by Keri and Bernie Korfmann, is an example of how those corporate priorities benefit the community. The Korfmanns operate Hortons outlet in the Dalhousie Street Expositor Building, at West and Dundas streets and on Paris Road. Korfco was awarded the Bell Community Builder Award as the business whose community contributions have yielded the greatest social return on investment.
Every year, Korfco provides more than 30 local children with a 10-day camping experience. To date, the Tim Hortons Smile Cookie program has donated more than $450,000 to the Brant Community Healthcare System for the purchase of equipment for the cancer and pediatric clinics.
The company is also involved in community cleanups and waste reduction at its restaurants.
The list of local initiatives supported by Korfco includes the Brantford International Jazz Festival, Frosty Fest, Welcome In Resource Centre, Food for Thought, Hike for Hospice, local literacy programs and Habitat for Humanity Brant.
Providing jobs for those who may have barriers to employment is a local priority and includes those who are new to the country, people with developmental challenges, and seniors.
Alfred Hauk, winner of the Entrepreneur Award, has been operating the Holistic Healing Centre for more than 23 years. The clinic specializes in customized individual approaches to health promotion and disease prevention.
Although the focus is on licensed naturopathic doctors and naturopathic medicines, the centre provides a spectrum of services and products, including nutritional counselling, osteopathic services, reiki, reflexology, and a dispensary that is open to the public.
In 2001, Hauk set up and created the Naturopathic Clinic that is part of the Aboriginal Health Centre in Hamilton, followed by a satellite clinic in Brantford.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Chamber of Commerce of Brantford Brant. Allan O'Dette, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, attended Thursday's awards presentation.
The Business Excellence Awards program, established in 1985, is one of the chamber's premier annual events. Initially, one award was presented to a company in Brant County. The award criteria expanded in 1990 to include smaller companies. In 1996, the categories were changed to include a Company Award, as well as an Entrepreneur Award.
These categories, combined with the Community Builder and Individual Outstanding Achievement Awards, more appropriately reflect the membership profile of the chamber, said Nicholson.
Also nominated for company of the year were David W. Wilson Manufacturing Ltd. and Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. Inc.
Other nominees for entrepreneur of the year were Chris Devlin of Devlin's Country Bistro and Catering and Thomas Douglas of Brant Custom Machining Ltd.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Extend Communications Inc:
Extend Communications Inc provides solutions for telephone answering, email response, and web interactions.
Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2016