Customer service is alive and well at Armstrong and Spallumcheen businesses.
A total of 14 nominations were received for the Kohler Customer Service Award and it was the first award handed out at the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards at Centennial Hall.
The winner was Chris Heidt, of Tekamar Mortgages.
“A true professional; treats all clients with integrity and respect,” said emcees Sean Newton and Phil Hughes about Heidt as Deborah Fox presented Heidt with his award.
“Knowledgable, friendly, always goes above and beyond. Always so friend and helpful. Always working for the best interests of the client.”
In addition to the awards, each recipient received a gift basket courtesy of Rancho Vignola, Saputo Foods and Kiss FM.
There were nine other award categories and two special president’s awards were handed out in front of a near-capacity crowd at the theatre.
“Armstrong and Spallumcheen businesses contribute significantly to our community and the people recognized this evening are role models, continually demonstrating the qualities of leadership,” said chamber of commerce president Andrew Laird.
“Thank you to all of the sponsors, and the committee for organizing this wonderful event. Many of our businesses go above and beyond on a regular basis and it is nice to celebrate their achievements.”
The winner of the Hub International Barton Insurance Jenn Peacock Corporate Citizen of the Year honour, presented by Peacock, was Valley First Credit Union and Insurance Services, in recognition of its outstanding contributions to the well-being of Armstrong and Spallumcheen.
“They can be counted on to participate in activities when asked and they are quick to provide a donation of time if they can’t provide a monetary donation,” said Newton and Hughes.
The Blackwell Building Movers Small Business of the Year award went to Blue Mountain Nursery.
Jenn Lemire-Joinson, of Sea Stars Kids Boutique, accepted the NexusBC Community Resource Centre Entrepreneur Award.
The Township of Spallumcheen’s Manufacturer/Innovator of the Year award was presented by Mayor Janice Brown to Brent Henderson on behalf of the winner, Roger’s Foods, which was recognized for strengthening the economic base of the township and the city through expansion and growth, and manufacturing a product known worldwide.
Winner of the City of Armstrong Green Community Award, presented by Mayor Chris Pieper, was the Wild Oak Cafe and Community Market.
The Anchor Inn and Pub Tourism Award went to Chocoliro Finest Chocolate. The honour was presented by 2012 winner Margreet DenOudsten, of the Armsrong Farmers’ Market.
The Shepherd’s Home Hardware Revitalization Award was presented to the Armstrong Bottle Depot by Dale and Kyle Melvin, of Shepherd’s.
Two special President’s Awards were also handed out at the end of the evening to longtime chamber member Nancy Roman, editor and owner of SaddleUp Magazine, and Nathan Standeven, of Armstrong Barber.
‘These awards are to recognize those businesses or organizations which provide a service to the community that is not often given recognition,” said Laird.
“One is a long-time chamber of commerce and community supporter, the other a new business that shows rapid growth.”
The evening began with a fun photo booth and Taste of the Okanagan event featuring Sapori Oils and Vinegars, Edge of the Earth Winery, Okanagan Spirits, the Village Cheese Co., Shuswap Coffee Company, Epicure Selections and Terroir Cheese.
Those attending were also treated to dance performances by the Pleasant Valley Secondary School Adrenaline Dance Team, under the direction of teacher Janet Gillis.
The event was also made possible by sponsorship from Twin Anchors Houseboats, Royal LePage Downtown Realty, Armstrong Regional Co-operative, Telus, Kiss FM, Blackwell Building Movers and The Morning Star, in addition to the chamber members and individuals who provided items for door prizes.