Business award nominees unveiled

The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce has unveiled the 72 nominees up for awards in the 10 categories at its annual banquet coming up March 23.
The nominees are:
•Employee of the Year (private sector)—Joanne Bliss (Royal Bank), Bill Boulton (NorFab Building Components), Jennifer Galusha (Kathy’s Katering), Nelli Halvorsen (NorWest Animal Clinic), Mandi Monteith (Curves for Women), David Schwartz (Gagné Pharmacy), Audra Wiersema (Home Suite Home), and Debbie Williamson (Clinic Pharmasave);
•Employee of the Year (not-for-profit)—Doug Cain (Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship), Margaret Sedgwick (Fort Frances Public Library), Cyndi Milette (RRFDC), and Emily Watson (Contact North);
•Business of the Year (one-15 employees)—A Buck or Two, Clinic Pharmasave, Corner Closet, Contact North, Curves for Women, Fort Floral, Green’s Countrywide, Greenside’s General Store, North American Lumber, Northwood’s Gallery & Gifts, and Tammi’s Flowers, Cards & Gifts, and Weeza’s Gifts, Etc.;
•Business of the Year (16+ employees)—Emo Inn, Manitou Forest Products, Pharmasave, and Voyageur Panel;
•Entrepreneur of the Year—James Brown (Ocean’s Pet Store), Mike Busch (North American Lumber), Dr. Steve Chown, Ted DeBenetti and Mike Byma (A Buck or Two), Vanessa Hebert (Weeza’s Gifts, Etc.), Al Kinnear (KP Computers), Miles Kupila (Kupila’s Sound Centre), Lance Lindall (Radio Shack in Rainy River), Kim Metke (Pharmasave/Clinic Pharmasave), and Jo Woolsey (Aurora Wind Feeds);
•Customer Service (individual)—Carol Alton (Clinic Pharmasave), Marie Gregory (Crazy Ladies’ Fabrics), Tammy DeAmicis (Hammond’s Nursery), Nadine Johnson (Sunset Country Catering), Kim Luoma (Purolator Courier), Mandi Monteith (Curves for Women), Diane Pettit (Video Update), Cliff Pidlubny (Sight & Sound), Salem Seid (Wilson’s Business Solutions), and Emily Watson (Contact North);
•Customer Service (business)—Dr. Tom Cousineau Optometrist Office, Emo Inn, Tammi’s Flowers, Cards & Gifts, Fort Frances Tribal Area Health Authority, The Place, In-Focus Photography, Pharmasave, Rainy Lake Hotel, Sight & Sound, Sunset Country Ford, Warehouse One, and Wilson’s Business Solutions;
•Abitibi-Consolidated Inc. Safety Award (individual/employee)—Sandra Tibbs (Girl Guides of Canada), Leon DeGagne (Leon DeGagne Ltd.), and John Reader (MInistry of Natural Resources);
•Abitibi-Consolidated Safety Award (business/employer)—Family & Children Services, Leon DeGagne Ltd., McDonald’s Restaurant, and Riverside Health Care Facilities Inc.; and
•Northwest Training and Adjustment Board Training and Adjustment Award—Confederation College, Contact North, NCDS Career Works, NorWest Animal Clinic, Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board, and Voyageur Panel.
“We’re very, very pleased with the responses,” said Chamber co-ordinator Dawn Booth.
“I really think it’s due to the simplified nomination forms,” she added, noting the Chamber was expecting to see only about 50 nominations this year.
“Our next step is to get all the information back from the nominated businesses. We’ll then put together information packages which the judges will use to make their decisions,” said Booth.
She added the three judges likely will be chosen next week.