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Nominees sought for business awards

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The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce already is planning its 12th-annual business awards banquet, which will take place Nov. 3 at La Place Rendez-Vous.

But it is up to district residents to nominate those deserving to walk up on stage and be in the spotlight that night.

Chamber office manager Dawn Booth said last week that nomination forms would be ready this week, and available at the Chamber office (474 Scott St.)

They also will be e-mailed to Chamber members and eventually will be available on the Chamber’s website at www.fortfranceschamber.com

The deadline for nominations is Oct. 5.

Categories listed on the forms will include Business of the Year (1-15 employees), Business of the Year (16+ employees), Employee of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, and Business Woman of the Year.

Rounding out the categories are the Abitibi-Consolidated Safety Award, Customer Service (business and individual), Town of Fort Frances Accessibility Award, and the Tony Beyak Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award.

Booth noted the Lifetime Achievement Award—which debuted at the 2005 gala—will not be included among this year’s honours as its sponsor chose not to have it this year.

It may, however, return in future years.

As well, the Abitibi-Consolidated safety awards for individual and business have been consolidated into a single award this year, with either individuals or businesses eligible for nomination.

Booth stressed although this is the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce’s awards gala, all district businesses are eligible for nomination. In fact, many businesses from Emo, Rainy River, and other communities have won awards in past years.

She noted those who fill out nomination forms must include a description of why they’re nominating that business or individual.

Businesses or individuals can nominate themselves for awards, with the only exception being the Tony Beyak Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award.

At the 2006 business awards, Ed Kaun & Sons won the Business of the Year Award (16+ employees) while the Fort Frances Clinic Dispensary was honoured as Business of the Year (1-15 employees).

Jackie Lampi-Hughes, owner of Energy Fitness Centre, was named Entrepreneur of the Year, with Susan Bodnarchuk of Holmlund Financial winning the Business Woman of the Year Award.

Glenn Witherspoon captured the Lifetime Achievement Award while Joanne Bliss of RBC Investments was named Employee of the Year.

The Tony Beyak Volunteer of the Year went to Linda Hamilton while the Accessibility Award was given to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Jayne’s TLC was honoured with the Customer Service Award (business), with Neila Booth of Gourmet Outfitters winning the Customer Service Award (individual).

The Safety Award (individual/employee) was given to Grace Silander of the Fort Frances Ambulance Service while the Rainy River District Substance Abuse Prevention Team received the Safety Award (business/employer).

A total of 82 nominations, listing 75 different nominees, were received for the 2006 business awards.

Any questions? Call Booth at 274-5773.

< *c>Other business

In other news, Booth noted Fort Frances will host the Northern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce’s annual general meeting Sept. 27-29 at the Rendez-Vous.

“We haven’t had it here since 2003,” she remarked. “We’re expecting about 50 different representatives from various Chambers of Commerce in Northwestern Ontario.

“That’s exciting for us,” added Booth, noting the NOACC board is in the process of finalizing the agenda.

As well, Booth noted the local Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors will begin holding regular meetings again, with the first slated for next Tuesday (Sept. 11) at 11:45 a.m. at the Rendez-Vous.

The board is looking to fill one vacancy after Brian Kahler left in June. Anyone interested in sitting on the board should call Booth at 274-5773.

You do not need to be a business owner to sit on the board, but your affiliated business must belong to the Chamber, Booth noted.

The responsibilities of a director are:

•to help formulate and review various policies, proposed actions, programs, and projects so that the best interest of the Chamber and community can be accomplished through concerted action;

•to provide the personal leadership, enthusiasm, and support necessary to help co-ordinate and build an effective organization geared to solving community problems; and

•to evaluate and act on issues which come, or should come, before the board of directors.

Since the Chamber will be holding its annual election for directors on Nov. 27, any new board member who comes forth to fill the vacancy only will serve until then, then be up for election.

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