Local Businesses Shine at the Annual Ritchot Chamber Awards


Feature 04
Larry Niebel and Marc Palud announce the Business Award winners. Fiona Robinson

Ritchot Chamber of Commerce supporters showed up in style to the second annual Chamber Business Awards and Gala on December 2 at the TransCanada Centre in Île-des-Chênes. The evening of celebration was an opportunity to recognize businesses while also fundraising to support ongoing Chamber activities.

The festivities began with cocktails and networking, followed by a roasted beef sirloin dinner prepared by Lucky Luc’s catering service with a chocolate truffle cake dessert that deserved a standing ovation of its own. 

Entertainment included a special performance by the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band and music and dancing late into the night with the live band Project B. Each guest was also gifted $25,000 in funny money to play at the casino, which together with raffle tickets and a 50/50 draw made up the night’s fundraising component.

The tables were full and represented by 35 local businesses. Larry Niebel, Ritchot Chamber President (2017), opened the formal part of the evening by introducing the Chamber team, including Marc Palud (Interim Executive Director) and Roger Brodeur (Secretary and Treasurer) as well as 2017 board members Rob MacLeod, Derek Roth, Dan Vermette, Norm Boulet, Trina Brulé, Roger Perron, and ?Lisa Ploss. Special acknowledgement was also given to Yvette Bernat for her role as Executive Director for much of 2017 and Dawn Harris, Executive Director of the neighbouring Niverville Chamber. 

Ritchot Mayor Chris Ewen also said a few words and thanked the 2017 council for their dedicated support in his first year as mayor.

Business awards
Larry Niebel was joined by Marc Palud to announce the highly anticipated business awards. 

The Corporate Volunteer and Community Involvement Award, which recognizes businesses that champion volunteerism in the community, went to Ste. Anne Co-op, represented by general manager Henry Nickel. Ste. Anne Co-op was applauded for supporting multiple community events with donations, including $75,000 towards the Grand Pointe Community Clubhouse. 

Co-op was in good company with fellow nominees George Dyck of GDS Autobody and Glass and Steve Loney of TransCanada Pipeline. Dyck was recognized as a community-oriented business owner who has supported initiatives such as youth programs and search and rescue programs. TransCanada Pipeline was also recognized as a well-known employer supporting the RM of Ritchot through a long list of donations over the years. 

The esteemed Business of the Year Award went to Massoud Horriat of the St. Adolphe Pharmacy & Clinic. Living up to the name of the award, Horriat was acknowledged for going the extra mile to provide customer service and for his “big heart” and love for serving the community. 

Fellow nominees of the Business of the Year Award were Gina George of the IDC Pharmacy, who was also thanked for going the extra mile for customers, and Tracy Dumont of Oak Island Massage Therapy, who has served residents of the RM for over nine years.

Lastly, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which recognizes a business founder who transformed vision into reality, went to Emile Jolicoeur of Freedom Fire. This recently established company headquartered in Île-des-Chênes offers advanced reporting technologies for field reports in the utility, industrial, mining, and commercial sectors.

The two other candidates for Entrepreneur of the Year were artisan Julie Carriere of Coco Kisses Distressed Design, who exhibits across Canada and sells globally, as well as Morgan Dulle of Garage Inc. for recent business expansions including a self-storage service.

The evening wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of local sponsors. Major sponsors included Craig & Ross Chartered Professional Accountants, Renovation Plus, Dan Vermette of RE/MAX Performance Realty, and the TransCanada Centre. Additionally, the RM of Ritchot, Adventure Power Products, Schooley Mitchell Winnipeg, and Centennial Gravel & Excavating sponsored the casino tables.

The Ritchot Chamber is always welcoming new members to support and include in business activities. Whether you’re a nationwide company offering local services, a home business start-up, or any size in between, the Chamber is an active organization that advocates on your behalf. Members also receive the benefits of networking, training, promotional opportunities, and discounts on certain business services through affiliated preferred partners of the Chamber. 

The Ritchot Chamber hopes to see even more business owners and supporters enjoying themselves at the gala in 2018.

For more information


Time until next issue
Citizen Poll

Do you agree with Ritchot council's decision to end the seniors housing/daycare project that had been initiated alongside Niverville Heritage Holdings?