Chamber celebrates its best and creates a new category: Employer of the Year. AXYZ International takes that prize.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  April 13, 2012  More than 450 people walk the red carpet at the Burlington Convention Centre where the Chamber of Commerce puts on its annual celebration and recognition of people and companies who were chosen as the best amongst us for 2011.

The event has taken place since 1986 and has gone through improvements and upgrades along the way.  The celebration is for those that were deemed to be the best during the 2011 calendar year.  The best were chosen in six  categories with three finalists given a thorough, rigorous review by members of the Chamber Task Force that did all the heavy lifting.

While the spotlight and the actual awards went to others – it was the Business Awards Task Force that deserves gobs of credit for the hours they put in meeting and discussing the finalists in a way that neither their lawyers or their accountants look them over.

The Task Force is headed up by Peter John VanDyk who is joined by Lynn Ferguson, Scott Henderson, Irene Lis, Penny  MacKenzie, Bruce PAyn, Rosalene Phillips, Michael Scime, Rod wright, John Doyle, Chantal Copithorn, Gaetan Chabot, Lynn Beechey, Sharon Jackman, the Board Liason and Diana Tuszynski, the vice chair.

The Chamber labels the event the Business Awards Gala and for 2011 had finalists in six categories:

Manufacturer;  Capo Industries Ltd., Heron Instruments Inc.,  Kontek Ecology Systems Inc.

Retail / Wholesale:  Brant Florist, Snuggle Bugz,

Services: Deloitte, Global Mobility Products,  O.C. Tanner Recognition Company Limited

Small Business: Onward Computer Systems,  Poolscape Inc., Sold Right Away

Young Entrepreneur:  Ryan Barichello of LinxSmart,  Trevor Bouchard of Inc.

Employer of the Year:  AXYZ International, Pink Elephant.

The winners in each category were:

Trevor Bouchard in the Young Entrepreneur category.

O.C. Tanner Recognition Company Limited in the Service Category

Konteck Ecology Systems Inc. in the Manufacturer category

Snugle Bugz in the Retail/wholesale category.

Sold Right Away on the Small Business category.

Employer of the Year, which is a new category for the Chamber of Commerce, went to AXYZ International.

The Heritage Award went to Capo Industries Ltd for staying in business for 119 years.  The firm started out in Hamilton and moved to Burlington where they settled on Fairview Street when it was just a dirt road.

Who are these people and what do the companies do and why were they recognized  The story was different for each and early next week we will come back to you with more depth and detail on each winner.  For this morning just a quick comment from the Task Force that did the selection.

Trevor Bouchard: The Task Force was impressed with how Trevor led Quick Contractors innovative and progressive growth and his ability to adapt his business to the growing needs of its customers, clients and employees.

OC Tanner: The Task Force was impressed with their evolution from a recognition hardware company to becoming consultants to large business on how employee recognition can be a catalyst for achieving corporate goals and aligning vision.

Kontek Ecology: The Task force was impressed with their focus on preserving one of our scarcest resources through management and redeployment of waste water using local suppliers for most parts, materials and labour. Kontek is a small company with clients that stretch across the globe in a market where their competitors are very large multi-national companies.

Snuggle Bugz:  The Task Force was impressed with Snuggle Bugz disciplined and savvy approach to marketing, HR and operations, that in a few short years has made them a leading retailer as well as a national online supplier of everything baby.

Sold Right Away: The Task Force was impressed with the way Sold Right Away created, through technology, an innovative collection of tools that have proven results in the real estate market helping sell homes faster, with less effort and attract new clients.

AXYZ International:  The Task Force was impressed with this company’s genuinely inclusive and authentic culture that, not surprisingly, was reflected in high ratings for employee engagement, teamwork and overall satisfaction by the employees in the survey of the company.

Additional awards were presented and will be reported on later in the week.





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