Gala dinner serves up business excellence award winners

by Gayle Wilson

  • <p>GAYLE WILSON PHOTO</p><p>Jennifer Shankle, the CIBC&#8217;s banking centre leader in Bridgewater, presented the Large Business Award.</p>
  • <p>GAYLE WILSON PHOTO</p><p>The Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards, sponsored in part by <em>LighthouseNOW</em>, were sold out once again this year. More than 200 people attended the event March 5 at the Best Western Plus Bridgewater Hotel and Convention Centre.</p>
  • <p>GAYLE WILSON PHOTO</p><p>The audience at the Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards watch a short video presentation about Stan&#8217;s Dad &amp; Lad, which was the winner in the Small Business category.</p>
  • <p>GAYLE WILSON PHOTO</p><p>Lisa Purcell, owner of Get the Scoop, serves up information on the ice cream shop in Mahone Bay, which was the winner of the New Business award.</p>
  • <p>GAYLE WILSON PHOTO</p><p>Guests at the gala dinner for the Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards March 5 learn about the details of J&amp;M Reeves Christmas Greens Ltd., which encouraged judges to designate the company top in the Export Achievement category.</p>
  • <p>GAYLE WILSON PHOTO</p><p>Bridgewater&#8217;s Gow&#8217;s Home Hardware won the Large Business award. Shown here, left to right, are Kevin Dolliver, Linwood Rice, Richard Cockayne, Amanda Fancy, Randy Eisnor, Jake Himmelman and Sheri Varner.</p>
  • <p>GAYLE WILSON PHOTO</p><p>Sean MacLeod&#8217;s The Blarney Stone restaurant in Hebb&#8217;s Cross won the Hospitality award.</p>
  • <p>GAYLE WILSON PHOTO</p><p>Lamar Richardson accepts the Innovation award on behalf of Jaspro of Brooklyn.</p>

It was another night of the best of the best as a sold out crowd of more than 200 people poured into the Best Western Plus Bridgewater Hotel and Convention Centre for the annual Lunenburg Queens Business Excellence Awards gala March 5.

LighthouseNOW was the print sponsor of the awards.

Municipal government officials, bankers and business people mingled before they settled in to a sit-down dinner prior to the awards presentations.

David Nurse, co-lead on the immigration team at the legal firm McInnes Cooper, was the keynote speaker, and quipped that he was instructed to keep his talk down to the time it takes for the guests to eat their dessert.

Nurse advised the crowd that immigration alone won't solve Nova Scotia's economic challenges.

"In my view, we should look at immigration as one tool and only one tool to help move Nova Scotia forward," he said.

He also advised the business people in the crowd that if they're considering bringing in employees from outside of Canada with the thought of integrating new people into the community and supporting multiculturalism, they would be wise to look to their own situations first, rather than "the big picture."

"I would say focus on the work you're doing," said Nurse.

Nurse agreed there are may positives surrounding surrounding immigration, but he cautioned business people that there are a lot of "sharks" operating in the immigration industry and employers face a lot of responsibility toward foreign employees.

With dessert and Nurse's speech over, the awards committee's Shawn Allen, emcee for the evening, got the ball rolling on the awards presentations.

The audience was fed details on each of the finalists in short video productions prepared by local videographer Dante Damiani.

As per usual there were six categories, with three finalists in each one, barring the Export Achievement category, in which, in the end, there were only two finalists willing to take a crack at the honour.

And the winners are:

New Business (sponsored by Clearwater) - Get The Scoop ice cream shop in Mahone Bay.

Small Business (sponsored by BDC) - Stan's Dad & Lad clothing store in Lunenburg

Large Business (sponsored by CIBC) - Gow's Home Hardware in Bridgewater

Hospitality (sponsored by South Shore Opportunities-CBDC) - The Blarney Stone restaurant in Hebb's Cross

Innovation (sponsored by Clearwater) - Jaspro facility management and property maintenance in Brooklyn

Export Achievement (sponsored by Nova Scotia Business Inc.) - J&M Reeves Christmas Greens Ltd. in New Ross

LighthouseNOW extends a congratulations to the finalists, and the runners up.

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