Linkhouse Media is very proud to be the recipient of the Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year award. The award was presented along with others at the Chamber’s President’s Ball and Business Awards Gala this past Saturday at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts. We would like to congratulate all of the other recipients and nominees and look forward to continued service and growth in the Parry Sound area.
Below is the full write-up from the Parry Sound North Star.
Local businesses honoured
PARRY SOUND – Four businesses and an individual were honoured Saturday at the Parry Sound and Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual President’s Ball and Business Awards Gala.
About 100 entrepreneurs attended the evening event inside the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts with Barry Keown, from the Outdoor Life Network’s show Mantracker, as the guest speaker.
Keown has ridden with Mantracker, Terry Grant, as his sidekick in a number of episodes and when not tracking down ‘prey’, lives in Huntsville and shoes horses for a living.
The first nod that was handed out was the Tourism Award.
“Our area is highly impacted by the tourism industry, but this past year one tourism business rose above, showing what it means to be leaders amongst their peers,” said Keown of the award recipients, Don and Michelle Berry of the Parry Sound KOA. “Listening and responding to their customers’ feedback, providing stellar programming and superior guest service brought this year’s winner to the pinnacle of achievement within their own brand.”
“Their active involvement and participation in the community, help them stay abreast (to) the needs and trends in the area, which is just one more example of why this business has been selected to receive this award this year,” said Keown.
The Berry’s accepted the award and said it was a great honour.
“We all know that everyone in this room works, very, very hard and especially seasonal businesses that are busy gearing up (for the summer),” said Michelle. “We open on the 29th of April and that’s coming really fast and hard for us. This is a great honour, it’s been a great year for us. Thank you very, very much. We bring a lot of campers from around the world and we’re always (ready) with open arms.”
Jason Rosewell, of Linkhouse Media was given the Entrepreneur of the Year award, which he said also belonged colleague Ian Holmes.
“For those of you who don’t know what I do, we’re a web design company and we have the honour of working with the Stockey Centre and the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame in 2009 and continuing on this year in the redevelopment of both their websites,” said Rosewell. “There are some people in the room that I’ve worked with and those business owners locally, thank you for considering a local option. This is only really half mine; my distinguished college Ian Holmes, this is half yours. He pushes me to go further all the time and he’s a fantastic friend so this goes to Ian as well, thank you.”
The Business of the Year award went to Dave LeBlanc, of LeBlanc’s O.K. Tire & Auto Service, for its superior customer service in Parry Sound.
“I’m extremely flattered and honoured,” said LeBlanc. “Thank you everybody in Parry Sound and the people in Parry Sound. We’ve been here for almost 36 years, we’ve been in the new shop for about three-and-a-half (years). I’d like to thank everyone in Parry Sound, because without them we wouldn’t be where we are.”
The chamber also announced a new award, the Community Leadership Award and its recipient, former chamber president Perry Harris, said he was floored with the recognition.
“Wow, it’s not often I’m blindsided, but I’m certainly blindsided,” Harris said with a chuckle. “It’s funny, for those of you who know me, I believe in community involvement. We have a very small community; we have a very strong community as you saw tonight by the video by the high school. I think you should take that video and go to every Rotary Club, Lions Club, Kinsmen Club, organization and show that video and show them what our youth in Parry Sound can do. We are often; very self-critical…I really think the youth of our community are going to help guide us in the future. As a business owner, it’s not easy what we do, and yet we’re able to find time that takes us away from our families and donate it to the area by becoming involved.”
The President’s Award was presented by chamber president Andrew Ryeland.
“It’s something that I thought through for several months in terms of who the winner of this award should be and it’s a very personal choice, but I think, once I announce it, you will agree with me, that it’s something that embodies the spirit of this particular award,” said Ryeland giving the award to Moose FM CKLP’s Brian Prokopec.
“The (Christmas) telethon is what I most look forward to each year, actually,” said Prokopec. “It’s one of the highlights of the year. The giving spirit of this community, year after year that I experience in being involved with that, it touches one very deeply indeed. Thank you very, very much.”