SWCC hosts annual Business Excellence Awards

The Strathmore Wheatland Chamber of Commerce (SWCC) was excited to host their annual Business Excellence Awards at the Strathmore Civic Centre on Jan. 27.

The event presented not only an opportunity to recognize businesses which go above and beyond in the Strathmore and Wheatland area, but also to be an excuse to dress up and enjoy a unique night out.

SWCC Executive Director, Scott Silva, said it was particularly exciting to once again be able to host the night in person, rather than via conference call.

“This was the brainchild of one of our members within the chamber, and it really was allowed to be expanded on with all of our directors and volunteers,” he said. “I don’t want to say the word ‘flawless,’ but we have been looking really good … I would honestly say with any event there are always going to be hiccups, but because our team is so experienced in doing these types of events, it came together quite smoothly.”

According to Silva, tickets for the evening sold out a week prior to the scheduled event – something atypical of the Strathmore community which he joked is usually very last-minute.

This year, he added, the Business Excellence Awards received the greatest number of nominations since the establishment of the event.

“It probably doesn’t hurt that we have our highest level of membership within the chamber. Right now, we have just crested 120 and we are growing by the day,” said Silva. “Our nominations were through the roof. It took about three and a half weeks just to organize them, make sure everything was proper and then go through the judging process.”

The theme of Friday’s event was “A Night In Paris,” apparently inspired by a previous vacation taken by a Chamber board member.

Silva added one of the goals for the evening was to push for and encourage further new membership within the Chamber.

“We are able to do great things like this. This is really a night to exemplify our members and attract more. With more membership, we can do larger and more events like this,” he said. “Since the Wheatland Crisis society Gala back in October, this is a nice return of events, where everyone gets to get dressed up and do a night in Paris with all the different food vendors.”

The winners of each Business Excellence Award by category are as follows:

Ag Business of the Year – More Than Just Feed

Best New Business – Baldwin BBQ

Customer Service Individual – Matt, The Sharp Shop

Customer Service Business – Value Drug Mart

Large Business – Value Drug Mart

Medium Business – Crystal Ridge Dental

Non-Profit – Wheatland Crisis Society

Wheatland – 748 Kissling Farms

Youth – Easton’s Grub

Social Media – Wheatland Kings Jr. B Hockey Club

Small Business – 748 Kissling Farms

Home Based Business – Sarah’s Cut Flowers

Downtown Business of the Year – Connect First Credit Union

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times