Ponoka businesses have much to be proud of after the Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce Awards gala.
Dubbed Simply the Best, the gala was held Oct. 21 at the Kinsmen Community Centre with dignitaries such as Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr as well as Mayor Rick Bonnett and Ponoka County Coun. Mark Matejka and deputy Reeve Bryce Liddle.
Of the membership, 61 electronic ballots were completed using Survey Monkey. That makes up about 40 per cent of the membership. Gala organizers pointed out that number is higher than the number of people who voted in the last municipal election.
Chamber president Andrew Middleton said that the businesses that made it as finalists should be proud of their work. “We considered each and every member in the Simply the Best category.”
Orr said Alberta was built with dedication and simply put, with a high level of energy. “Energy to prosper. To build vigorous enterprise.”
This is chamber manager Les Jaster’s last awards gala having recently provided notice to the board. For him what stood out the most this year was the fun environment for chamber members.
Using Survey Monkey to determine the winners is something he feels is important. “It’s not a popular vote, it’s an earned award,” said Jaster.
“The voting is done by the membership. It’s the membership speaking.”
For the awards gala there is one more category he feels would be worth adding: new business of the year. “When you count up the number of new businesses that crop up over a year, that could be interesting,” he observed.
Looking back at his years as the chamber manager, Jaster is most proud of being part of the chamber team that won the Alberta Chamber’s medium Chamber of the Year award back in 2014. He said everyone worked together to make that happen.
Jaster is set to complete his work by December so that he can fulfill his bucket list. “It’s been a hoot. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
As for the winners, here they are:
Small Business of the Year:
• Flowers for You
Medium Business of the Year:
• Tantec Electronics
Large Business of the Year:
• ATB Financial
Industrial Business of the Year:
• Almita Piling
Agricultural Business of the Year:
• Ponoka Fertilizer
Business Person of the Year:
• Judy Dick – Ponoka News
Non-profit Business of the Year:
• Ponoka Kinsmen Club
Service Person of the Year:
• Allie Biever – Altitude Laser Spa