This year, there were more than 100 businesses nominated for the 17 categories at the annual Business Excellence Awards.
“Every one of those nominees really deserves to be celebrated,” said Neil Wyper, president of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, speaking at the gala awards banquet Saturday evening.
“I was impressed by the breadth of the nominations we got. There are some pretty amazing companies up for awards,” said Wyper. “I know the judges had a hard time narrowing it down to the final decision but all the nominations were fantastic and the winners certainly deserved to be recognized.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Blair Noel, vice-president of the Okanagan Hockey Group, which was awarded Business of the Year.
“There are a lot of great businesses that were nominated in every category,” said Noel. “It just shows what a real diverse business sector the city of Penticton has and we are very proud to be part of it.”
Noel says it was the OHG staff that won them the Business of the Year Award.
“I am continuously amazed, day in day out, with our staff, the amount they care, their dedication,” he said.
Wendy Goudie said receiving the Community Support award comes from a decision they made four years ago to add community benefit to Get Bent Yoga and Dance’s business plan.
“When you hold yourself accountable to benefiting the community with everything you do, it changes your business,” said Goudie. “It’s been really incredible. I think we are on to something.”
Keith MacIntyre of Big Bear Software, who was named the Business Leader of the Year, also saw a growing business sector in Penticton, noting that he was able to hire four local professionals in the last year and has an expanding customer base, which he said shows Penticton has a “growing, living economy.”
“We have a lot going on in Penticton right now. This is really exciting time,” said MacIntyre. In the past, he said, he turned down nominations for the business awards.
“This year, I felt like I’ve done what I needed to do for this community,” said MacIntyre, who organizes a monthly tech meet up group and writes a column for the Western News among other outreach activities.
“Every business leader in Penticton, in whatever industry, find a common ground, find a positive message, tell what you are doing, tell people why Penticton is a great place to live,” said MacIntyre.
Business of the Year: Okanagan Hockey Group
Business Leader of the Year: Keith MacIntyre
Young Business Leader of the Year: Mare McHale
Community Support Excellence: Get Bent Yoga and Dance
Hospitality/Tourism Excellence: LocoLanding Adventure Park
Home Based Business Excellence: Splendid Bastard Beard Supply
Industrial and Manufacturing Excellence: International Bar Coding
Family Friendly Excellence: Glow SUP Adventures
Aboriginal and Inclusivity Workplace Excellence: Of the Land Productions
Agriculture and Agri-Business Excellence: King Family Farms
Professional Service Excellence: Moments Under Frame
Retail Excellence: B.C. Wine Information Centre
Workplace Cultural Excellence: Cowork Penticton
Excellence in Marketing Innovation: The Peach Ice Cream Shop
Sustainability Excellence: Nature’s Fare Markets
New Business Excellence: The Nest & Nectar
Winery of the Year: Poplar Grove