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Northside Industries the big winner at Kelowna Business Excellence Awards

Steel fabricator and manufacturer Northside Industries was named Central Okanagan 'business of the year' last night at the Kelowna Chamber Business Excellence Awards.

The 'business of the year' accolade comes along with winning the 'large business of the year' category.

"Most importantly, this is recognition of and a tribute to our 72 employees," said Northside president Mark Burleigh.

"Like every other business, we've faced challenging times over the past couple of years and we got through it and look forward to a bright future because we focused on strategic planning and genuine care for our employees. The fabric of our company is investing in our employees to maximize their happiness and contribution to the company."

</who>The group from Northside Industries poses with their 'business of the year' and 'large business of the year' trophy after last night's Kelowna Chamber Business Excellence Awards at the Delta Grand hotel.

Northside's vision also fits perfectly with the theme of this year's awards -- Soaring to new heights, we rise by lifting others.

Northside, which operates out of a 50,000-square-foot factory at 1400 Industrial Rd. just off Highway 97 in West Kelowna, fabricates and makes steel fuel tanks and a wide array of other parts for heavy-duty trucks, agricultural for forestry equipment.

It has customers all across North America, including a big contract with John Deere.

Northside is owned by Decisive Dividend Corp., the Kelowna-based, publicly-traded company that owns other manufacturers Blaze King in Penticton, Hawk Machine Works in Alberta, ACR Stoves in England, Unicast, Slimline Manufacturing and Marketing Impact.

</who>Modern PURAIR won 'mid-size business of the year.'

Kelowna's new mayor, Tom Dyas, kicked off the awards gala last night at the Delta Grand hotel, where trophies were handed out in 17 categories.

"The city applauds all of you who make our community stronger," he said.

"I particularly want to congratulate the 2022 'business leader of the year' -- the impactful Brea Lake (CEO of Accelerate Okanagan),"

</who>Accelerate Okanagan CEO Brea Lake was named 'business leader of the year.'

The Business Excellence Awards are Kelowna's most prestigious business recognition program.

Well over 300 businesses and business people were initially nominated in 17 categories before being whittled down to three finalists in each category.

"All the finalists embraced the challenges of the past couple of years, displaying unparalleled passion and resiliency," said Ted Schisler, chief operating officer at Interior Savings Credit Union, which is a presenting sponsor of the awards.

</who>Shandi Schwartz owns and operates Strut Footwear & Apparel, which won 'small business of the year.'

The winners are:

Large business of the year

Winner: Northside Industries
Finalists: BDO Canada and Valley First Credit Union
2021 winner: Ace Plumbing & Heating

Mid-size business of the year
Winner: Modern PURAIR
Finalists: International Gateway Kelowna and Raymond James
2021 winner: Tranq Sleep Care

Small business of the year
Winner: Strut Footwear & Apparel
Finalists: Kelowna Concierge and Kelowna Software
2021 winner: Modern PURAIR

Business leader of the year
Winner: Brea Lake, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan
(No list of finalists is announced for this category. The winner is selected by the panel of judges and announced a week before the awards ceremony to hype the gala.)
2021 winner: Marion Bremner of Meals on Wheels

Young entrepreneur of the year
Winner: Dr. Harmony Mir of Harmony Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic
Finalists: Samuel Geleynse of VitaNova Landscape and Billy Price of Untold Branding
2021 winner: Courtney Koga of CrAsian Foods

Indigenous business of the year
Winner: First Nations Finance Authority
Finalists: River Select Fisheries Cooperative – Authentic Indigenous Seafood and Sncəwips Heritage Museum
2021 winner: Moccasin Trails

Rising star (for a company three years or younger)
Winner: Fortune Creek
Finalists: Do Gooders and Move RX Performance & Wellness
2021 winner: HUB Office Furniture

Excellence in tourism
Winner: Oyama Zipline Adventure Park
Finalists: Beach Bum Tours and RauDZ Creative Concepts
2021 winner: O'Rourke's Peak Cellars

Excellence in agriculture
Winner: AgriForest Bio-Technologies
Finalists: Kalala Organic Estate Winery and SpearHead Winery
2021 winner: FloraMaxx Technologies

Technology innovator of the year
Winner: Innovative Aerospace Services
Finalists: Dr. Phone Fix and Kelowna Software
2021 winner: Acres Enterprises

Inclusive workplace
Winner:Tranq Sleep Care
Finalists: Salt & Brick and Studio9 School of the Arts
2021 winner: TKI Construction

Environmental impact
Winner: Meadow Vista Honey Wines
Finalists: FILL – Kelowna’s Refill Store and Off the Grid Organic Winery
2021 winner: Ecora

Marketing campaign of the year (new category)
Winner: Kelowna General Hospital Foundation
Finalists: Acres Enterprises and Kelowna Women’s Shelter

Ethics in Business
Winner: Okanagan Restoration Services
Finalists: Hergott Law and WITS Metal Fabrication
2021 winner: Secure-Rite Mobile Storage

Social leadership
Winner: Haven Sleep Products
Finalists: By Jove Co. and International Gateway Kelowna
2021 winner: CrAsian Foods

Not-for-profit excellence
Winner: Mamas for Mamas
Finalists: Childhood Connections and Ozanam Recovery House
2021 winner: Habitat for Humanity Okanagan

Arts and entertainment excellence
Winner: Sncəwips Heritage Museum
Finalists: Uptown Rutland Business Association and Yeti Farm Creative
2021 winner: Festivals Kelowna




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