As the third annual Warman Martensville Business Excellence Awards (WMBEXA) nears closer, businesses were provided with an opportunity to learn more about the awards and the application process during a luncheon held Thursday, January 11th at the Canalta Hotel in Martensville.
The Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce, which was recently formed through the amalgamation of the Warman and Martensville Chambers of Commerce, hosted the lunch and invited all businesses that were nominated for an award. Awards consist of five categories including; Business of the Year, Community Involvement, Customer Service, New Business of the year and the newly added Non-Profit of the Year.
Nominations for the awards took place throughout December, and the week prior to Christmas, businesses were notified of their nomination with hand-delivered congratulatory certificates. This was the first year the Chamber of Commerce did this, and it was a popular addition as reactions from the businesses that were presented with the certificates ranged from surprise, shock and even tears of happiness.
A total of 84 businesses were nominated, and the packed luncheon provided those attending with a chance to listen to last year’s winners discuss what their success meant to them and their business, as well as advice on filling out an application. The four winners from last year speaking at the luncheon consisted of; Roger Grona of Firebird Business Consultants (Marketing Award), Tracey Fesiuk of Martensville Plumbing and Heating (Business of the Year), Hayley Lashta of Warman Physiotherapy and Wellness (New Business) and Collette Neudorf of Warman Small Animal Hospital (Community Involvement). Not in attendance was a representative from Warman Ultrasound Centre who won Customer Service at the 2017 awards.
“We took the application process as an opportunity to see if we were on track with being good business owners,” Collette Neudorf stated. Roger Grona said “By doing this, you get a chance to dissect your business and see where you are weak and what you should be working on.”
When asked to use one word to describe the feeling each business had when they discovered that they had won, all four speakers agreed that “proud” was the key word. “It was validating and a nice way to see where you need to make some changes,” Hayley Lashta explained.
Applications are due as of January 31 and will then be looked through by a panel of five anonymous judges who will choose five finalists. The finalists will be announced mid-March and the award winners will be awarded at the WMBEXA gala, which will take place May 4th at the Brian King Centre in Warman. Some advice the previous winners had for those submitting applications this year was to take the time to really think about what you want to say about your business and that there is no such thing as too much information. “We felt honored that we were nominated and wanted to really put a lot of time and effort into our application,” Tracey Fesiuk said.
If a business did not receive a nomination, they are still invited to visit www.prairieskychamber.ca and submit an application.