Nominations open for biz excellence awards

Nominations are now open for the 32nd annual Kelowna Business Excellence Awards. Last year, Vitalis Extraction Technology, which designs, manufactures and installs high-pressure machinery used to process cannabis, won mid-sized business of the year. Pictured here is Vitalis co-founder and chief technology officer James Seabrook.

If you know of an exceptional company, nominate it for a Kelowna Business Excellence Award.

And if you own or work for an awesome business, don’t be shy, put its name forward for the accolade, too.

The nomination process has opened for the 32nd annual Kelowna Business Excellence Awards, the premier business awards program in the city.

From now until July 11, you can nominate deserving businesses in a dozen categories using the form online at KelownaChamber.org.

“As a past award winner, I know the tension, the excitement and the incredible energy that winning gave all our employees,” said Kelowna Chamber of Commerce president Nikki Csek, co-owner of Csek Creative.

“And, what fun we had throughout. I can’t wait.”

The chamber is the organizer of the awards, which are sponsored by Farris Lawyers and the Business Development Bank of Canada.

“We’re delighted to be sponsoring once again in 2019,” said Farris managing partner Domenic Petraroia.

“It’s a highlight on our company’s calendar every year and we can’t wait to congratulate the winners.”

Once nominations are collected on July 11, companies will be adjudicated by an independent judging committee.

The list of three finalists in each category will be announced in the fall and then the winners will revealed at the awards banquet in November.

The exact date and venue haven’t been determined yet.

Businesses and organizations do not need to be chamber members to be nominated or to win.

“(The bank) is thrilled to share the stage throughout the fall with the nominees, the finalists and the award winners,” said Steve North, manager of the Business Development Bank’s business centre.

“Enabling business, then seeing them achieve this level is what we love to do.”

The coveted business leader of the year award is selected by an independent committee and named before the awards banquet as a way of generating additional buzz.

The business leader of the year is also honoured at the banquet.

Last year, the winner was Dale Wentworth of Wentworth Music.

You can nominate businesses and individuals in the following categories:

— Large business of the year (51 or more employees)

2018 winner: Strategic Aviation Services

— Mid-sized business of the year

(16-50 employees)

2018 winner: Highstreet Ventures

— Small business of the year (4-15 employees)

2018 winner: Faction Projects

— Micro business of the year (one to three employees)

2018 winner: Hatch Interior Design

— Rising star (for business less than three years old)

2018 winner: Start Fresh Kitchen

— Young entrepreneur of the year (under age 40)

2018 winner: tie between Andrew Gaucher of McKinley Beach and

Chris and Addie Pafiolis of Sweetlegs Clothing

— Technology innovator of the year

2018 winner: Vitalis Extraction Technology

— Social leadership (for-profit business)

2018 winner: Refresh Financial

— Marketing campaign of the year

2018 winner: SK Form & Finish

— Arts and entertainment business of the year

2018: New Vintage Theatre

— Not-for-profit excellence

2018 winner: Kelowna Community Resources

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