2017 Winners Overview

Above & Beyond

 

When we think about those who go above and beyond, people could think of many in our community that fit the bill. Ironically, many of those individuals fly ‘under-the-radar’ so to speak, and this year’s winner is one of those people.

A local business professional for close to 20 years, our winner has not only met the demands of his sector, he has clearly dedicated himself to far exceeding those demands and can well be considered to be a leader in his field in the Cornwall area.

While excelling in his chosen profession, it is what our winner has done in the community that makes him an ideal candidate for the Above and Beyond award.

Although busy in his practice, our winner dedicates countless hours to a wide range of local sports, both as an active member in various associations and as a resource in helping young athletes to become better at their sport.

Along with active involvement in local sports, our winner has an enviable track record in helping those in need. A few year’s back, our winner’s clinic held a patient appreciation day and in return for refreshments and door prizes, guests were asked to donate cash or food items, and close to $600 went the agape centre.

More recently, St. Vincent de Paul Society was the beneficiary of six bins of food that, in conjunction with Corus Entertainment, went to help many in our community who were in need.

The 2017 Above and Beyond winner is Dr. Thorin Gault – Nexus Chiropractic.

 

Team Cornwall Ambassador

 

As many of you will recall, the winner of last year’s Team Cornwall Ambassador award was somewhat unusual in that he lived a few thousand miles away. Nonetheless, he was honoured for playing an interesting role in showcasing our community.

This year, our ambassador is someone who is a bit closer to home. Although a Cornwall native, this year’s Ambassador spent many years away, developing his skills, but he never forgot his Cornwall roots.

Mind you, the business he’s in is a tough one and most demanding. Although his talents include a type of engineering, much of his adult years were spent in one of our community industries.

Close to ten years ago, serendipity came to call. Our winner was approached and asked to use his talents for an event. Little did he know that in reality, he was being scouted for a completely different role. It resulted in a whole new career path.

Happily for Cornwall, our Ambassador never lost sight of his hometown roots and although being away, he still stays firm to the city.

He and his cohorts are in a Canadian Hall of Fame, have been nominated for awards and — have wowed crowds right here in our own Lamoureux Park.

The 2017 Team Cornwall Ambassador is Roy Nichol, the drummer from April Wine.

 

Business of the Year

 

The City of Cornwall has a long history of businesses that have endured, through good and often, challenging economic times. These firms have stayed close to their customers and in many cases, have become leaders in their respective fields.

Such is the case with this year’s Business of the Year. To begin, it is worthy of note that 2018 will see our winner’s roots go back 70 years, and that in itself should be taken with considerable pride. What’s more — it is a home grown family business and remains so today.

Twenty year’s ago, this parent company ‘gave-birth’ to an off-shoot and that new entity quickly began to make its mark in its sector. This new part of the parent firm has today become an industry leader in its field and it is a reputation the company is justifiably proud of. Its products are shipped across the world and its international clients continually benefit from the firm’s turnkey solutions.

In 2001, the company created yet another off-shoot firm with a focus in an entirely different field. The company’s growth and success, followed by more growth and more success caused an interesting, yet positive challenge — it needed more space.

And so, with two facilities in various parts of the city, the third one is now in the process of completion and the word is it will be fully operational this coming spring. It always a proud moment when the business awards are given to locally created, locally grown companies and this is no exception.

The 2017 Business of the Year winner is Olsonfab — part of the Oscar Ladouceur family of businesses, and represented by its President, Michael Ladouceur.

 

Economic Impact

 

It wasn’t that long ago that a firm decided that Cornwall was a centre of business that more than suited its needs. Its decision to locate in Cornwall came about because of many factors, not the least of which was the city’s growing high tech presence, access to Canada’s fibre optic backbone, and an enhanced Eastern Ontario Regional Network.

This was no small investment. In making the announcement to locate to Cornwall, our Economic Impact firm determined its investment in the city would be in the tens of millions of dollars and likely in the range of $40 million.

While its corporate headquarters are not in Cornwall but elsewhere in the country, our winner is nevertheless an all-Canadian company with more than 10 years experience in of providing services to clients in every province across Canada.

Since it was established, our Economic Impact winner has been recognized in a number of ways. It has been ranked as the top employer in Atlantic Canada, has been named the Canadian company of choice in its sector, and this year, Forbes magazine named it the best employer in its sector in Canada.

It recently held its official opening in a facility encompassing close to 17,000 square feet with a staff complement numbering close to 120 people. While it is a relatively new face in our business sector, it one that has already made a significant impact in the city. The 2018 Economic Impact winner is Xplornet, Devin Baggs, Site Manager.

 

Entrepreneurs

 

Entrepreneurs are a special breed. They have imagination and they combine it with a willingness to take risks. It goes without saying there are many products and services that would not exist in Cornwall, had someone not had a vision and turned it into a reality.

Our 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year is a prime example of someone who absolutely fits that mold. Having been trained in the sector and yet, ending up working for another firm, our winner never lost sight of the fact that, having an independent business in which customer tailored ideas could be accomplished, would be the ultimate goal.

Initially lacking confidence in the management side of business, our winner understood this was a personal roadblock but, after a number of years gaining experience in that side of the business, our winner took a leap of faith and the shop opened.

It is worth noting that this business is not cut from the usual mold. Our winner has used imagination to secure unique items from all over the world, ones that have caught the fancy of her clientele. At the same time, our winner has a definite focus on local artisans, and makes a point of supporting that sector with featured items in her shop.

This year’s Entrepreneur has both a focus and an expertise when it comes to weddings, birthdays, and other occasions that garner special attention, as her personal touch is always added to make the occasion just right. The 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year is Blooms Florists — Rachelle Lamoureux, proprietor.

 

Lifetime Business Achievement

 

As many of you know, the Lifetime Business Achievement award recognizes business professionals in the community whose professional contributions have made Cornwall a better place to work and to live.

There have been many outstanding individuals who have been honoured with the award, and each one has accepted it with the modesty that makes them so completely worthy. What’s more they have often done it ‘under-the-radar’ which makes them all the more worthy.

Such is the case with the 2017 Lifetime business Achievement award winner and the award is long overdue as this person has made a significant difference in our community, usually without fanfare. Our lifetime winner has been a force in so many activities it is difficult to summarize but here are some highlights.

Service clubs. Our winner has made numerous contributions to a number of service clubs for years. Then, there is the Agape Centre — our winner was an active member of its Board. Moving forward there is St. Lawrence College, the Cornwall Aces, the Cornwall Community Hospital Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the Special Olympics, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, the Lung Association, Winter Carnival, Police Commission, Cystic Fibrosis, Team Cornwall.

These are just some of the agencies and organizations that have been touched by our winner’s commitment oft time and effort.

Other recognition.. Our winner has been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, the Multiple Sclerosis Certificate of Exceptional Achievement, a service club life membership, and the Chamber of commerce Breakthrough award.

Because of our winner’s involvement in local media, literally hundred of groups and individuals have gained valuable and positive exposure to help their programs and causes. Our winner has played an active role in countless community fund raisers and has literally given thousands and thousands of hours on his own time to help his community grow.

Finally, he has been a driving force in a colourful and incredibly successful Cornwall marketing magazine — Cornwall Living. The 2017 Lifetime Business Achievement award winner is Rick
Shaver, Publisher and General Manager of TC Media and the Seaway News.

 

Small Business

 

Our 2017 Small Business of the Year has enjoyed success in its sector for close to 15 years. When it first opened in Cornwall’s downtown, it quickly gained a positive reputation with its broad array of products and services to a wide ranging clientele.

The winner is quick to credit people in Cornwall for the success of the enterprise, noting the warm reception it received at the time of opening. It should be noted that the ‘winner’ is a two-some, a pair of professionals at the helm.

Since it first opened in 2003, our small business winner paid attention to details, especially in terms of client needs. As a result, the enterprise enjoyed steady growth as its client base, impressed by the products and terrific service, continued to expand. Then, in 2017 and buoyed by the business’s success, the co-owners realized it could not stand still and so, made a decision. It was time to expand.

Fortunately, the building that housed their business had additional space, a second floor, and that helped launch an exciting new chapter for the co-owners. The end result was a major expansion of its tasteful shop in the downtown Pitt Street Promenade.

Along with the expansion, the owners also increased the size of their staff and today, they boast a team of 17 professionals, all geared to meeting their clients needs and more. They have also significantly increased their selection of products and have even included men as part of the mix,

Rounding off their success, the co-owners have also made a commitment to environmental responsibility and they constantly seek out products reflect that commitment. The 2017 Small Business of the Year is Pure Organic Spa — Michelle Longtin and Denise Robertson, co-owners.

 

Tourism Excellence

 

The Tourism Excellence award was inaugurated in 2015 as a way of recognizing agencies, events, or attractions that help to increase the City of Cornwall’s awareness as a tourism destination.

Cornwall has a number of tourism related attributes that help to attract visitors to our community. A city whose roots go back close to 250 years, boasts many historical sites, and even our spectacular waterfront is, in itself, a place for visitors to stop, relax, and take in the beautiful surroundings.

This year’s Tourism award winner takes advantage of our rich heritage by vividly portraying various historic sites of the city. To be sure, visitors who take advantage of this tourism attraction must be ready for some footwork as the attraction itself is scattered all across the downtown and le village.

Our winner tells a story. While consisting of individual parts, together they create a tapestry that weaves itself throughout Cornwall’s urban core and is sound testament to the city’s two and a half centuries of history. The 2017 Tourism Excellence award goes to Cornwall’s Historical Walking Tour and its colourfully historic plaques.

 

Young Professional Awards

 

In 2017, the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, realizing that the region’s business community was experiencing a growing number of up and coming younger professionals, decided to create a brand new award.

The Young Professional award recognizes someone under the age of 35 who has been in business for at least two years and who has experienced positive professional growth along with a commitment to the community.

The inaugural winner of this award is an individual who unquestionably fits the bill. Our winner is a local individual whose upbringing and schooling in the community helped mold both character and commitment.

Interestingly, his professional career actually began in high school, as a part time employee in a local business. As time went on and our winners experienced grew, he winner applied sound business skills and eventually, went on to own the outlet that he had committed so much time to. In fact, that business has proven to be so successful that a second unit is potentially in the works.

Now, our first-ever Young Professional winner has done much more than run a business and give back to the community that supported him. It has become an important part of his professional life.

The Heart & Stroke Foundation, CHEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Children’s Treatment Centre, the Cornwall Community Hospital Foundation, and mental health have all benefitted from our winner’s community commitment.

Our winner was involved with the united way for the past five years as a campaign chair, member of the Board of Directors, and President. Our 2017 and inaugural Young Professional of the Year is Nolan Quinn.

 

BREAKTHROUGH

 

We often make comment about an idea that it is something whose time has come? At no time is this phrase more appropriate when it is attributed to the 2017 Breakthrough award winner.

The lead-up to this year’s winner began some year’s back when a dedicated group of Cornwall business professionals wondered why there wasn’t a more significant, higher learning presence in Cornwall.

These professionals put their heads together … meetings were held … proposals were written and slowly, ideas were developed. Along with all of that, and something so positively typical about our community, partnerships were developed to help the notion move forward.

Casting about, the partners decided that an important part of the equation was to bring on-board a post secondary institution. So once again, meetings were held … an institution was identified, and the process of bringing it on board began.

As it turned out, the selected institution had much to offer and suddenly, the idea became a reality, and entrepreneurs had a place to grow. Because there is no way to keep the secret any longer, let me tell you who our Breakthrough winner is.

The Cornwall Innovation Centre, based upon Carleton University’s renowned Lead to Win program, is a non-profit agency partnered by the University, the City of Cornwall, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and the United Counties. It is an innovation hub and business startup incubator to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality.

This amazing Centre was created because of a number of professionals, but one stands out as being the driving force. Lesley lang, the Executive Director of the Community Futures Development Corporation, was one of the key factors in the launch of the Centre.

Today, it is helping entrepreneurs create and grow their business ideas and provides an enviable pool of consulting talent to help them as they do so. Clearly, the Innovation Centre’s is an enterprise whose time has come and is yet another star in Cornwall’s professional flag. The Innovation Centre’s Executive Director, Kelly Bergeron was on hand to accept the award.

 

DR GARTH TAYLOR HUMANITARIAN

 

This is a very special award that is not always presented. It was created, some years ago, by the Chamber as a tribute to the late Dr. Garth Taylor, a renowned Ophthalmologist who gave countless hours in Africa and Central and South America to treat those in need and who had no access to medical care.

Adding to the legacy of former winner’s — Sister Elaine Robitaille, Dr. Nat shah and Dr. Rachel Navaneelan, the Chamber adds yet another in that honoured group whose generosity and commitment abroad make them so worthy of the award. Here are highlights of some of the amazing work they have done.

First of all, it was our region’s good fortune that these two American transplants decide to call us home. Even though they had children of their own, they adopted many more and watched their family grow to 19.

Along the way, they founded an organization called Families for Children, one that resulted in children from destitute countries abroad being placed in loving homes. They led a Canadian delegation to war torn Bangladesh to rescue starving orphans and returned with 15 babies, one of whom became their daughter.

At one point, they sold off everything they owned — took seven of their children and moved to Sri Lanka and India where they opened a home for destitute children.

Finally in 1985, they opened Child Haven International, an agency that receives no government funding but one that relies on the generosity of a number of benefactors. Four times a year, our humanitarian winners, loaded with medicine, vitamins and used clothing, fly to India to visit the many homes they have founded.

They have been honoured with the Canada Volunteer Award Certificate of Honour — and the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship. But more importantly, is their amazing commitment and dedication to those in faraway lands who have little or nothing and frankly, little hope. Their dedication has been amazing and literally hundreds of children are surviving today because of their efforts.

The Chamber would like to honour this couple for the amazing humanitarians they are. The 2017 Dr. Garth Taylor Humanitarian Award winners are Fred and Bonnie Cappuccino.

 

Citizen of the Year

 

It was close to 50 years ago that the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce determined that local citizens, who give selflessly of themselves to make our community a better place to work and to live, needed to be recognized and honoured. And so — the prestigious Citizen of the Year was established.

While each of our winners has made a difference, they have done it without fanfare nor publicity — and that is what makes them so special. Such is the case with our 2017 citizen of the year. Our winner has been involved in countless groups and charitable organizations, and we take a look back at what our winner has accomplished.

To begin, our winner spent many years in the classroom shaping and challenging young minds. No doubt there are hundreds in our community and beyond who have benefitted from our winner’s encouragement and are likely making their own mark of success today.

Then, there is our winner’s community involvement. In the city’s health care sector, our winner has been a board member, and auxiliary member, a fund raising trip organizer, and has been involved in all kinds of other fund raising activities including annual garage sales that each year raises over $1,500 dollars. We can add to that an annual Christmas bazaar that brings in close to $2,000 dollars each year.

The Children’s Treatment Centre. It will come as no surprise that our very-involved citizen is heavily involved in that amazing organization. 18 years as a Board member, a volunteer receptionist, member of the auction committee, services committee, finance committee, the celebrity walk and bike-a-thon.

Bereaved Families of Ontario. Our winner has been involved for close to 15 years and has been a both a Board member and Chair of the Board since 2010. Our winner has also chaired the Bereaved Families gala dinner committee — an event that raises close to $24,000 dollars each year.

Our winner has been a member of the St. Lawrence seniors club for 20 years, a tireless worker for the Club Optimiste — gives hundreds of hours to the diocese in a variety of activities and in her spare time, our winner has been part of the blessed sacrament choir for close to 20 years.

Ladies and gentlemen, this year’s winner of the Citizen of the Year award, is a glowing example of what the prestigious award is all about and former Citizens will no doubt agree that she is a most worthy recipient. The 2017 citizen of the year is Rachelle Lamond.

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