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Date & Time

to be held Virtually in respect of current COVID-19 safety measures

Tuesday, October 13 through November 2
Daily releases at 10:30

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, the 2020 Business Excellence Awards are being announced online!

Nominees will be announced daily at 10:30am, weekdays from September 14 – September 29.  

Starting October 13, we’ll be announcing a new Award winner every weekday until November 2.

Check back here or follow us on our social media streams @tbchamber to stay abreast of the latest news about nominees and winners. 


2020 Award Nominees

Young Entrepreneur:  Announced Monday 28
Quality of Life:  Announced Friday 25  |  Game Changer:  Announced September 24
Not for Profit:  Announced September 23  |  Clean, Green & Beautiful:  Announced September 22
Looking Good:  Announced September 21  |  Customer Service:  Announced September 18

New Business Excellence:  Announced September 17  |  Business Excellence – Large:  Announced September 16
Business Excellence – Medium:  Announced September 15  |  Business Excellence – Small:  Announced September 14

Business Person of the Year

  • Stephanie Ash – Firedog Communications
  • Adetunde Ogunberu – MTC Immigration
  • Frank Kelner – North Star Air

Award sponsored by Ambassadors Northwest

The Business Person of the Year award is presented to an individual in the business community who exemplifies excellent leadership qualities, innovative business skills, proactive employee and customer relations, and community leadership.

Young Entrepreneur

  • Cashen Tighe – Boreal Tree Service
  • Dominique Chénard – Freedom 55 Financial

Award sponsored by Ontario Power Generation

Presented to the owner of a company that has been in business for at least 2 years and is 39 years of age or younger (at the end of the nomination period). This person exemplifies innovative business skills, proactive employee and customer relations, and community leadership. 

Quality of Life

  • Impala Canada Ltd.
  • Royal LePage Lannon Realty
  • St. Andrew’s Dew Drop Inn
  • Twin City Refreshments Ltd.

Award sponsored by Enbridge

The Quality of Life award is presented to a business or organization for outstanding contribution to the quality of life of a person, group or organization in our community.


  • Fort William Historical Park
  • Lake Superior Centre for Regenerative Medicine
  • NOMAD by Pinetree Catering
  • The Haven Hostel Inc.
  • Thunder Pride Association
  • United Way

Award sponsored by Synergy North

The GameChanger is an individual or organization who introduces new offerings, breakthrough solutions or a revolutionary approach to enhance our lives and challenge the status quo. Through their collaborative efforts they inspire Thunder Bay leaders and businesses to think differently about how they serve their clients, employees and community.

Not for Profit Excellence 

  • Frontier College
  • Lake Superior Centre for Regenerative Medicine
  • Lakehead Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinic
  • St. Andrew’s Dew Drop Inn
  • SUCCI – Student Union of Confederation College

Award sponsored by Gateway Casinos

The Not for Profit Excellence award is presented to the organization that exemplifies excellence and innovation in their programs, projects, and partnerships. Their commitment to growth and expanded programs, as well as service, community involvement, sustainable practices and/or job creation/development demonstrates a dedicated focus on achieving their vision and mandate.

Clean, Green & Beautiful

  • Bay Village Coffee
  • Take a Hike
  • Waterfront District BIA

Award sponsored by the City of Thunder Bay Clean, Green & Beautiful Committee

Presented to a business or organization enriching the life of the community through a combination of public art, beautification, heritage, greening and environmental preservation. Environmental preservation strategies may include recycling, reduced dependency of energy, alternative/active transportation, contribution to the urban forest through demonstrated landscaping and/or “low impact” storm water management. Project to have been completed within the last 2 years.

Looking Good

  • Countdown Escape Room Thunder Bay
  • Kozar Engineering
  • NOMAD by Pinetree Catering

Award sponsored by Tbaytel

The Looking Good award is presented to a business or organization that has completed renovations or restored a property or building that already exists within the last two years and the improvements of the property have shown a positive impact on its surrounding community.

Customer Service

  • A-1 Sewage Services (1989) Ltd.
  • Authentique
  • Destination Thunder Bay
  • TBXI

Award sponsored by Fort William Historical Park

The Customer Service award is presented to a business that is committed to high standards of customer service. This company delivers exceptional service in their dealings with customers and educates and encourages their staff to improve and excel in matters of customer relations. This company also strives to improve the customer experience within their business through communications, problem solving and innovation.

New Business Excellence

  • Bay Village Coffee
  • Kelly Mental Health
  • Prime Gelato
  • Seek Adventures & Tours
  • Umbrella

Award sponsored by Nuclear Waste Management Organization.

The New Business Excellence award is presented to a new locally-owned business that has been operating for at least two years but within four years and that has demonstrated innovation, vision, employment creation and business growth prospects.

Business Excellence – Large
(26+ employees)

  • Halfway Motors
  • ITEC 2000
  • Newmont Goldcorp
  • Royal LePage Lannon Realty

Award sponsored by BDO Canada LLP

Business Excellence – Medium
(7-25 employees)

  • Acadia Broadcasting
  • Daytona’s Kitchen + Creative Catering
  • REP Security

Award sponsored by Weiler, Maloney, Nelson

Business Excellence – Small
(1-6 employees)

  • Dawson Trail Craft Brewery Inc.
  • Open Mind Interiors
  • The Whole Nine Yards

Award sponsored by Thunder Bay Community Economic Commission

Business Excellence Criteria:  Our three Business Excellence Awards are presented to companies that exhibit true business excellence. These companies have advanced in economic and/or financial growth through sales/earnings and financial management. They excel in quality customer/client service, are leaders in employment creation, diversity and inclusion, and seek to continuously improve employee relations and are prominently involved in community affairs.  * Must have been in business for more than 4 years.

Nomination and Judging Process

  • An organization can be nominated by anyone (nomination link on web page)
  • The Chamber office receives the nomination and ensures the nominee qualifies (ie. for that particular category, are a Chamber member in good standing etc.)
  • The nominee is notified of their nomination and they can either decline or accept.  If the nominee accepts they then are asked to complete the submission form by the deadline.
  • Once all the submissions are collected they are collated and put together for a package for our judges:
    • The judges are a cross section of our membership
    • The judges each rate submissions based on the rubric in the questionnaire, coming up with an overall score for each nominee
    • These totals are tallied then given to an auditor who double checks all the numbers and determines the winners in each category
  • The winners are kept secret and revealed at Awards Gala

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