Nominees soon to be sought for business awards

FORT FRANCES—The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce already is planning its 11th-annual business awards banquet, which will take place Oct. 28 at La Place Rendez-Vous.
But it is up to district residents to nominate those deserving to walk up on stage and be in the spotlight that night.
Chamber office manager Dawn Booth said Thursday that nomination forms will be ready by next Wednesday (Aug. 30), at which time they’ll be available at the Chamber office (474 Scott St.) as well as at various locations around the district.
They eventually will be available on the Chamber’s website at
The deadline for nominations is Oct. 6.
Booth noted three of the new awards introduced last year—the Business Woman of the Year, the Town of Fort Frances Accessibility Advisory Committee Accessibility Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award—will return for the 2006 gala.
She clarified, however, that the Lifetime Achievement Award nominees are restricted to individuals—and not businesses—this time around.
The other categories listed on the forms will include Business of the Year (1-15 employees), Business of the Year (16+ employees), Employee of the Year (private sector), Employee of the Year (not-for-profit), and Entrepreneur of the Year.
Rounding out the categories are the Northwest Training and Adjustment Board Award, Abitibi-Consolidated Safety Award (business and individual), Customer Service (business and individual), and the Tony Beyak Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award.
Booth stressed although this is the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce’s awards gala, all district businesses are eligible for nomination and, in fact, many businesses from Emo, Rainy River, and other communities have won awards in past years.
She noted those who fill out nomination forms must include a description of why they’re nominating that business or individual—something that’s not been mandatory the past couple years.
“We’re hoping for more than a paragraph,” she remarked. “It’s to give us a better idea of the reason behind the nomination.
“It also means a little less information we have to ask from the nominees.
“It’s a little more work for the people nominating this year, but it’s all in good faith,” added Booth.
A record 96 individuals and businesses were nominated in 13 categories last year which, when combined with the various past award winners invited to attend, made for a crowd of more than 200 people at the Rendez-Vous.
The United Native Friendship Centre won the first-ever Town of Fort Frances Accessibility Advisory Committee Accessibility Award while former fire chief Steve Richardson accepted both safety awards (individual/employee and business/employer).
Randy Thoms of Shaw Cable won Employee of the Year while the Tony Beyak Memorial Volunteer of the Year went to Ruth Caldwell.
The Customer Service Award (individual) was given to Bruce Armstrong (Gillons’ Insurance) while Pinewood Sports & Marine earned the Customer Service Award (business).
The Business Woman of the Year Award, a new award category last year which drew 21 nominees, went to Angie Korzinski (Rusty Myers Flying Service).
Larry George (Wayne George Grading) was named Entrepreneur of the Year.
Business of the Year (1-15 employees) went to Kish-Gon-Dug Canada Ltd. while Business of the Year (16+ employees) was awarded to Beaver Mills Market in Rainy River.
Two special one-time awards—in honour of the Chamber’s 10th-annual gala—also were handed out last year.
Ernest Thompson Distributors was recognized as Business of the Decade while the Lifetime Achievement Award, intended for local businesses that have been around for a minimum of 25 years, went to Gillons’ Insurance Brokers.
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)