*Graphic Design provided by our Design Sponsor: DUC – Digital Umbrella Creative
LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS YEAR’S FINALISTS!!
The Prince George Chamber of Commerce hosts the BEA Gala to celebrate excellence in the business community. Recognizing the best in business this is THE event of the year. It is thanks to the generous support of our sponsors that this event continues to grow and continually surpass the success of previous years.
Sponsorship inquiries can be made to Felicia Magee.
Entrepreneur of the Year Award
This individual demonstrates extraordinary entrepreneurial success in starting a new business or in revitalizing a mature company during a period of 5 years or less.
Eoin Foley (Nancy O’s & Betulla Burning)
Born and raised in Prince George, Eoin Foley opened Nancy O’s in 2009 with partner Garrett Fedorkiw, heralded as a cultural hub for our city. They created the first whole animal butchery program to advocate for more local and ethical consumption. Eoin and Garrett opened the doors to Betulla Burning in 2016; the first and only Neapolitan Pizzeria in PG, and was recently showcased on Global BC promoting Prince George as a new culinary destination. Eoin is in his 6th year on the board of directors for Downtown Prince George and created the Facade Improvement Grant that has updated approximately 30 buildings in the area.
Jason Hamborg (6ixSigma Productions Ltd.)
After graduating from UNBC in 2013, along with partner Glenn King, Jason Hamborg saw an opportunity to provide video production services to the community. In 2014, 6ixSigma Productions Ltd began offering full service video production to clients throughout the province. Since it’s inception, 6ixSigma has doubled revenues each fiscal year and increased their staff to 3 full time and 1 part employee. Jason also co-founded SwirlyBird Digital Marketing, which offers digital media consulting services to a broad range of organizations throughout the region.
Jeni Arnott (Play Grounds Cafe)
It started with a dream, a dream to create a place of joy and togetherness in Prince George, and Jeni Arnott made it a reality. Offering great food, awesome coffee and a unique experience for everyone who walks through the door, Play Grounds Cafe connects the Prince George community in a new way. This unique, play cafe concept has achieved Jeni a top 5 placement in the Small Business BC Awards for Best Business Concept. With high quality and standards Play Grounds Cafe is yielding positive results following years of planning and dreaming.
Toni Schell (Serengeti Northern BC)
A native of South Africa, Toni Schell opened Serengeti Northern BC in May of 2012 with aspirations of providing families the opportunity to try authentic ingredients from her culture. The store expanded following a great response to their exotic offerings and now includes tastes from around the world. The new, larger location is able to better cater to the Prince George community, and provides specialty sourced products to both local restaurants and patrons alike. Toni has successfully taken a passion for cooking traditional South African dishes and turned it into a business.
Service Excellence Award
This business has consistently provided outstanding customer service.
Operating in Prince George for 10 years, owners Hardip and Jagdish Gill are extremely proud to be one of the longest running Indian restaurants in the city. Karahi King goes to great measure to deliver the level of customer service they feel is required to be a true ambassador of the culture and cuisine they represent. No stranger to doing whatever it takes to make a great meal even greater, Karahi King has boasted 3 consecutive years of Trip Advisor awards for excellence and a Director’s Choice award from the BCNE. Owner and chef Jagdish Gill was also the winner of the 2015 Northern Taste Market chef competition.
MP Makeup Artistry
With great pride in its personalized customer service, MP Makeup Artistry offers personal makeup and body painting services. As one of only a few freelance artists in Prince George, MP Makeup Artistry’s services are highly sought after; with happy clients keeping this business thriving in our community, it’s the personal attention given to every single face that sits in the makeup chair that has contributed to their 6 years of success in Prince George.
While their business is selling and servicing vehicles, they are really about making every interaction a positive experience for their customers in a transparent fashion. Nissan’s vision is enriching people’s lives’ and they live that with every customer interaction. Northland Nissan is Nissan’s most successful import auto group in BC and #1 in Prince George with the highest dealer rating for service in the province. With a focus on creating a culture of service, family, and teamwork that their staff believe in and put into practice, Northland Nissan was able to maintain the positive customer experience through the transition into their expanded and upgraded space.
Serengeti Northern BC
Serengeti Northern BC has a reputation for going above and beyond simple grocery store service, treating customers to an excellence product selection that include tastes from around the world; customers leave with not only their ingredients but also culinary inspirations. Since 2012, Serengeti’s niche is not only ethnic and local food but also their commitment to exceptional standards in service. They proudly offer timely, friendly and proactive customer service and a dedication to their clients that has earned them superb customer loyalty.
Business of the Year Award
This Prince George based business has demonstrated outstanding performance, leadership, innovation, management and service over the years but particularly in the past year. Not only does this business provide quality product or service, they have also developed excellent employee-employer relationships and are involved in the community.
6ixSigma Productions Ltd.
Founded in April of 2014, Jason Hamborg and Glenn King have grown the company to a team of 6 and since then doubled revenues year after year, providing services ranging from the initial video concept right through to final distribution. 6ixSigma has adapted to an ever changing industry and found a way to market themselves as a professional and premier service provider throughout the province. Making Prince George their home base, 6ixSigma Productions will continue to support various non-profits and community groups in the city that supports them.
EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc.
EDI is a leading provider of aquatic and terrestrial services across western and northern Canada with a staff of 80 employees recognized for their knowledge, collaborative solutions and commitment to excellence. This business is committed to the place in which they live and work and believe it is essential for everyone to give back to the communities which have given them so much. From sponsoring local sports teams and events, to making donations to a wide range of charities and education institutions, EDI Environmental Dynamics feels that being involved in each community they operate in is part of who they are.
Play Grounds Cafe
As a unique coffee house and family café, Play Grounds Café offers a wide range of services, and aspires to provide an atmosphere of connected community while assisting caregivers in the social, emotional and physical needs of young children. Play Grounds Café is a family based establishment, employing over 30 local citizens who pride themselves on providing quality food and outstanding customer service through the integration of 6 core values: being unique, providing high quality products, striving for sustainable growth, implementing high standards, cultivating our community and ensuring management engagement.
Wolftek Industries Inc.
With its head office located in Prince George, Wolftek Industries has been operating for 30 years; they are a community minded business focusing on developing its people first while assisting the needs of their broad customer base. This past year Wolftek expanded markets from Eastern Canada to the southern United States, helping customers in the forestry, bio mass, mining, and pulp and paper industries to name a few. Wolftek employs 30 locals year round, contributes to local charities through time and monetary donations, and works closely with local vendors to support business in Prince George.
Business Person of the Year Award
This local business person has a history of significant contribution to the community and is recognized for outstanding achievement in the business world.
Kyle Bachman (Northland Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM)
Born and raised in Prince George, Kyle Bachman has witnessed the positive growth, challenges and successes of our community first-hand. Through seeing this evolution, Kyle recognizes the importance of having an active involvement in the community and the value of giving back. As Dealer Principal of Northland Dodge since 2007, Kyle has facilitated positive growth and expansion of the business, grown the team of employees to over 120, demonstrated high-level leadership and corporate responsibility with an ongoing commitment to giving back to the Prince George community.
Norm Coyne (UNLTD Media & Events)
Founding director of UNLTD Media & Events, Norm Coyne is an award winning storyteller with 16 national awards and international recognition for events and marketing. The wildly successful entertainment expo, Northern FanCon has attracted over 50 celebrities, entertainers and athletes to our city. A TELUS Storyhive filmmaker alumni, Norm has produced several local projects including “The Doctor’s Case”, based on a short story about Sherlock Holmes from author Stephen King. Norm is a firm believer in bringing big events and ideas to Prince George because the potential for our city is unlimited.
Peter Sia (Northland Nissan)
As Manager of Northland Nissan / Hyundai, Peter leads two full service car dealerships with a staff compliment of 80. In a competitive industry, Northland Nissan has risen to the #1 Import Dealer in Northern BC under his leadership. With a focus on creating the best service experience for their customer, Peter has grown from a Journeyman Automotive Technician to the General Manager of two businesses. Peter believes in the spirit and energy of Prince George and gives back to the community that supports him through volunteering his time with the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation and sponsoring many local events and athletes.
Tim Bennett (Big Brothers Big Sisters of Prince George)
Tim Bennett has been with Big Brother Big Sisters for 11 years, 4 of those as the Executive Director. Since taking on the role as ED with the organization, Tim has increased the number of children served by 110%, increased the budget by almost 100%, developed strategic partnerships to ensure stability, and persevered through a very challenging last year for the organization where closure of the organization was possible. In addition, Tim also sits on 3 national committees, is the Chair of the School Board and is President of the Northern Interior Branch of the BC School Trustee Association.
Environmental Awareness Award
This business or organization demonstrates an ongoing commitment to the environment by considering the impact on the environment in all decision making, product/service development and business practices.
P.S. Pianos is a new store located in downtown Prince George that offers piano tuning, repair and moving, and also make house calls. Most in home services are made year round by bicycle and their moving van was recently converted to run on used vegetable oil from a local restaurant. P.S Pianos participated in the Chamber’s Carbon Footprint Reduction program in 2014, with their audit showing that only 4.4 tonnes of CO2 was their annual carbon footprint and since then they have continued to lower this number like converting their moving van from fuel to used vegetable oil.
Play Grounds Cafe
Environmental responsibility is top of mind for all services Play Grounds Cafe offers. They do their best to use the 5 R’s: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse, Reclaim and Repurpose. Play Grounds Cafe recycles all their cardboard; uses biodegradable plates, containers and utensils; and, composts all fruit, vegetables and unprocessed foods. The cafe tries to sources local products wherever possible and is currently developing a program that will allow the cafe to be completely free of one time disposable cups. At Play Grounds Cafe they believe that everyone is responsible for caring for the world that we live in, and they are proud to do their part.
Prince George Diaper Service
Disposable plastic diapers clog up landfills and account for around 30% of the used space; PG Diaper Service offers high quality durable cloth diapers for use as well as a pick and delivery service. This fully accredited business provides a safe and professional clean and is currently in the process of becoming carbon neutral. Through persistent community education they are helping parents lessen their impact on the environment by making the switch from plastic to cloth easy and affordable.
Shine Salon provides the finest talent in Professional Makeup Artistry, Waxing, Hair, Eyelash Extensions, Microblading and Nails in Prince George. Their partnership with Green Circle Salons means Shine takes an environmentally responsible stand and ensures that all their metals are properly recycled; helping reduce the need for more landfill space and decreasing the amount of toxins ending up in landfill sites. As a GREEN salon, Shine repurposes foils, hairs, plastics and most other major waste. Shine Salon also focuses on using products made from renewable and sustainable resources wherever possible that are paraben and sulfate free.
Community Impact Award
This business or organization coordinates projects, services, and/or events that give back to the community. Their efforts contribute to the social and cultural well-being of Prince George.
Costumes For a Cause
Costumes For a Cause is a local not-for-profit designed to bring happiness to any situation. With mascot costumes of popular and lovable characters, Costumes For a Cause will appear at birthday parties and other community events completely by donation; all donated money goes towards costume maintenance and expansion as well as gifts for kids in the hospital. The main focus of Costumes For a Cause is to make a hospital stay a little less stressful for a child going through treatments; they have made regular visits to the Pediatrics ward at UHNBC and recently made a trip to Vancouver to visit the BC Children’s Hospital and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice House.
Hub City Volkswagen
A member of the business community for over 60 years, Hub City Volkswagen has been carried down now through three generations of the Schleich family. As one of the only family owned and operated dealerships in Prince George, Hub City prides itself on the family-oriented view on how they treat both their employees and loyal customers. Their love for our community is apparent in the charities and fundraisers they are a part of, helping raise over $100,000 for the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation through their Boogie with the Stars event and hosting the annual Team Nora event raising funds and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis.
Northland Auto Group
The Northland Auto Group, comprised of Northland Dodge, Northland Nissan and Northland Hyundai, is a proud member of the Prince George community, invested and committed to making an impact to help people live their best lives in our city. Northland Auto Group continually gives back to the local community through donations and sponsorships, investing millions of dollars back into Prince George. Their leadership is at the forefront of corporate giving and community involvement has inspired many others to follow suit. Giving back is their way of saying thank you.
Prince George Public Library
The Prince George Public Library connects people and ideas, inspiring the community to read, learn and discover. Serving residents of Prince George and the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George with over 50,000 active library cardholders, the services, programs and resources offered by the Library have significant impact on the economic and social development in the City. The work of the library contributes to our community’s clear identity and pride, cultural richness, equity and inclusion, health and wellness, employment opportunities, safe spaces, and a supportive and engaged community.
Innovator of the Year
This business or organization has developed or adopted an innovative concept, process or product that demonstrates creativity in problem solving and / or business practices.
Business2Mobile Communications Inc.
Business2Mobile’s expertise lies in developing business solutions for industrial and resource companies to improve and manage business processes such as safety certification, operational accounting, project management, data collection and reporting. After identifying a large communication gap between event promoters and the Prince George community, Business2Mobile created “The Local Shift”: a community app that provides a centralized location for users to access a wide variety of community information under one “digital” roof.
Innovation Central Society
Innovation Central Society supports entrepreneurs and innovators who are developing and implementing new technology. ICS operates the Hubspace, a coworking and event space in downtown Prince George. The collaborative environment provided by the Hubspace enables a unique mixture of business, organizations and skills to be gathered in one place. Over time this space will catalyze new innovations in business, technology and community. Following the recent success of a crowdfunding campaign for “The Vault”, the Hubspace will soon be able to offer a professional studio for creators of online content.
MP Makeup Artistry
MP Makeup Artistry offers professional makeup applications, hair styling as well as face and body painting. Using high quality, skin safe products, MP Makeup Artistry provides an exceptionally creative service to their clients with passion. Offering one of the more unique services within Prince George, this is one company who constantly stays fresh, innovative and boundlessly creative to ensure a unique experience for each and every client who sits in their chair. From making a women feel her best with professional hair and makeup, to keeping up with the trends for kids face painting, MP Makeup Artistry continues to wow their clientele.
Prince George Diaper Service
Prince George Diaper Service is an industry leader for sustainable alternative diapering. With industrial machines, full accreditation and wrap around service, PG Diaper Service is business with a social conscience. Since 2015, PG Diaper Service has assisted in diverting waste to our landfills and providing safer alternatives for a growing environmentally conscience population. In addition to providing cloth diapers and a washing service, Prince George Diaper Service now sells through a specialized online boutique called the Baby Cloth Shoppe.
Micro Business of the Year Award
This business, has less than 5 employees, has demonstrated success and innovation over the years and especially within the past year. They provide a quality product or service and conduct their business with professionalism and integrity.
Frozen Paddle, a local start-up company, specializes in handcrafted artisan ice cream using local or thoughtfully sourced ingredients that focus on quality, traceability and natural ingredients. After completing the Ice Cream Short Course at Penn State University, owner Wes Pederson proceeded to open Frozen Paddle with a slightly unconventional mobile food truck and home delivery model. In the last year, this one man business has grown to 2 employees with family support driving their innovative and locally produced product with expansion plans a part of their evolving business model.
MP Makeup Artistry
A one woman business, MP Makeup Artistry provides personal and group makeup services for weddings, graduations, birthdays and other special events. The popular face and body painting are also on this business’ service menu. With a commitment to proper hygiene, creative imagination and professional development, MP Makeup Artistry builds its business through a luxury service one client at a time.
A clothing boutique that caters to customers that are looking for a personalized service experience, Plateau Clothing has been established in the downtown core for 9 years. By choosing quality well made clothing and providing quality customer service, Plateau Clothing has seen its customer base continue to expand. Known in our city for their huge selection, affordable prices and excellent customer service, this boutique attracts locals and out of town visitors looking for that special shopping experience.
Serengeti Northern BC
Since 2012 Serengeti Northern BC has been aspiring to provide families the opportunity to try some of their authentic South African ingredients. After a great response from the community Serengeti expanded their offerings to include tastes from all over the world, and increased staff by another 2 employees. This expansion has allowed Serengeti Northern BC to provide specialty sourced products to local restaurants as well as lunch and freezer meal options. Serengeti customers are always treated to an excellent product selection and devoted customer service.
Tourism and Hospitality Award
This Prince George-based business or organization has delivered a top quality product or service which had worked to promote tourism and hospitality for Prince George and the region.
6ixSigma Productions Ltd
Operating throughout the province, 6ixSigma Productions makes Prince George their home base, serving the local business community as well as the various non-profits and community groups they support through sponsored work. Over the last several years, 6ixSigma has worked closely with various tourism and economic development organizations to create promotional videos highlighting Prince George. Some of these projects include Tourism PG’s Outdoor Adventure video and the full length documentary “Hidden Heroes” which features local athletes talking about the connection between their community and their outdoor sports.
Sip Northern BC Wine Festival
The Northern BC Wine Festival, also know as the Sip Wine Fest, was created by the Northern BC Wine Festival Society to meet a need that they felt was lacking in our region. In it’s inaugural year there were over 20 events hosted throughout the city of Prince George which represented over 25 wines. This week long event, built around the existing Theatre North West Wine Festival, was built on three main pillars: community engagement, industry interaction, and exposure. The ultimate goal was to generate tourism which, overall, generates economic development in our city.
Northern FanCon is an annual entertainment expo / comic con hosted by the Prince George Citizen and UNLTD Media & Events. Each year this event brings thousands of people from across western Canada, and beyond, to our city, providing a chance for Prince George to be an ambassador to attendees, vendors, artists and celebrity guests. With each passing year, these stars and attendees get to experience what Prince George has to offer. Northern FanCon has nurtured relationships that are building on the capacity for film production in our region. Last year a film industry workshop initiative was built into the show to further drive education and projects.
Prince George Folkfest Society
The Prince George Folkfest Society is a non-profit, volunteer driven society formed in 2003 for the purpose of presenting an annual folk and roots music festival in the city. With the financial support of local business, the city, provincial and federal grants and an enthusiastic group of over 200 volunteers, the society hosted its first summer music festival in 2004.Since then the Prince George Folkfest Society has produced over 14 successful festivals attracting attendees, national and international performers to our city. Generating tourism, promoting local businesses in the arts and culture sector, and utilizing local companies for production are a few of the direct benefits to the local economy.
Outstanding Corporate Culture Award
This business is where everyone wants to work. They create an inclusive and welcoming environment at work that successfully reduces barriers for all. They foster a culture of commitment to employee development that breeds a loyal and healthy workforce.
Canadian Tire is a locally owned retailer selling a wide spectrum of products and services. Operating with a simple principle, created by their entire team, they “strive to provide you with excellent customer services by offering knowledgeable staff, a wide selection of quality products and a family friendly atmosphere.” With over 624 years of experience among the Canadian Tire team, they work together in the pursuit of customer service excellence; a culture that is demonstrated by the entire team and makes them proud to live in our fine community.
EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc
Created in 1994 as a two person firm, this Prince George business grew to a team of 80 staff in 8 offices throughout northern and western Canada. EDI Environmental Dynamics is now a leading provider of aquatic and terrestrial services, helping to make sure projects are built in the most environmentally intelligent way possible. EDI has built a culture of excellence, collaboration, and teamwork, and provides their team members with a sense of ownership. In 2014 EDI implemented an employee share plan where staff is able to purchase shares in the company.
Hub City Volkswagen
With over 50 years in the family name, Hub City Volkswagen is one of the only local family-owned dealerships in Prince George, priding themselves in treating both staff and customers like family. Caring about their team and the community, Hub City supports people first. During tumultuous times within the franchise, the owners stood by their commitment to the employees and kept a full staff complement while business was down; understanding that loyalty was a two way street.
Mr. Mikes SteakhouseCasual
Mr. Mikes Prince George is everything you want in a steakhouse, only casual. This family-friendly restaurant offers tasty affordable creations, high quality and outstanding service. Mr. Mikes prides itself on providing a memorable experience for all guests, and that starts with their team. Many of their current staff were hired at their job fair back in 2012 or within their first year in business. With a reputation for guest satisfaction, community involvement and employee training and recognition, a result of the culture that they have fostered, Mr. Mikes has become the restaurant employer of choice in Prince George.
Hell Yeah Prince George Award
In recognition of the wildly popular Facebook page “Hell Yeah Prince George”, this award celebrates people and businesses putting themselves out there as PG Ambassadors. Nominations and voting for this award takes place completely through through social media outside the regular nomination schedule.