Chamber awards Okotoks' best businesses
Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 11:13 am
Hard work paid off for the winners at the Okotoks Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards last week.
The chamber honoured some of the best and brightest of the town’s business community with its annual award banquet Oct. 19, recognizing winners in eight categories.
Winning business of the year for a company with up to six employees is a sign for one Okotoks couple that they are on the right track.
“It confirms that we’re doing the right thing,” said Audra Metcalf, who founded Okotoks Auto Detailing with her husband Aden two years ago. “It’s our home town, we grew up here. It’s really special to us.”
The couple won a customer service award in 2016.
“We were hoping to keep the ball rolling, maybe that we would get a second one this year,” said Aden. “To be able to be given this award just blew the roof off of everything.”
He credits their success to honesty, quality and passion, and some long days in the shop.
“It’s easier to keep track of the quality going out of your shop if you’re the one with the stakes behind it,” he said.
Carstar took home the business of the year award for businesses with seven or more employees.
Owner Mark Kharfan said the award is meaningful considering it comes from his peers in the Okotoks business community.
“It’s everything that our peers look up to us, our families, our friends, our employees, it’s a world coming together to show the accomplishment and success story,” he said.
Kharfan said professionalism and a focus on customer service, as well as a humble approach and seizing opportunities that come along, have been key to Carstar’s success over its 17 years in Okotoks.
“It shows our personnel, our employees what their end results accomplish – success for the customer, happy customers, safe repairs,” he said.
Winning the Community Impact Award has special meaning for Wendy Badduke and Jodi Loverin, owners of Tribal Connections Market.
“It’s a huge honour to know that the community comes to us to help others and we rely on them to support us to help others,” said Badduke.
She said it’s important to them to help people who are less fortunate, locally and globally.
Badduke partnered with a Saskatchewan doctor living in Arusha, Tanzania to open the Green Hope Connection orphanage in the community. All tips at Tribal Connections go to the orphanage.
“Whether it’s across the world to Africa or the High River flood, we gave back to customers who came in who would tell us their stories, we would give them $200 from tips,” she said. “It made them cry, it made us cry. It brings joy to our hearts to know that we brought a little something to them.”
By bringing in imports from around the world, Loverin said they are able to provide an income to small scale producers in a variety of countries.
“We’re bringing in stuff from around the world that is totally different than anything here and that’s making other people in other countries profitable,” she said.
Chamber president Andrew Gustafson said the awards show the strength and vitality of the Okotoks business community.
“Businesses in this community have not given up, we’re still striving to serve the community, we’re still striving to be creative, innovative and get new products and show new ways to service our community and the community is responding to it,” he said.
Gustafson said they received approximately 250 nominations, which were narrowed down to 21 finalists in eight categories.
He encouraged people to nominate businesses for awards throughout the year.
The 2017 Okotoks Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award winners are:
Home based business of the year – Eye See Clearly
Marketing – The Eagle 100.9 FM
Community Impact – Tribal Connections Market
New business of the year – Bone & Biscuit
Outstanding customer service, individual – Oliver Hallmark - Chatters
Outstanding customer service, business – Cobs Bread
Business of the year, six or less employees – Okotoks Auto Detailing
Business of the year, seven or more employees – Carstar