Nominees for the 2017 Business Excellence Awards were announced on Thursday in Pitt Meadows.
There were 71 businesses and business leaders nominated at the luncheon at Pitt Meadows Golf Club.
This year there were a couple of changes to the nomination categories. Business of the Year was separated into three different categories based on the number of employees, while the category of Home-Based Business of the Year was eliminated.
Andrea Madden, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce serving Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, found that too many businesses were being nominated in the small business category.
“We don’t have a large portion of large businesses in our community, so that’s why we felt we would break it down.”
This year Business of the Year was broken down into businesses with 1 to 10 employees, businesses with 11 to 20 and those with 21-plus.
Next year, Madden wants to expand the categories and the criteria.
“I think having a really tight online nominating process for next year is going to continue to help us move forward and strengthen the rigorous progress that we have online,” she said.
Also new this year is the Non-Profit Leader of the Year category.
“We felt that it was really important to recognize these leaders in the community that might not be in business, but are making a significant contribution to the non-profits of the community.”
There are now two phases to judging categories.
Phase 1 will determine the three to four finalists in each category and will be announced by early December.
Phase 2 will determine the winners.
“We want it more than just a popularity contest. We really want to really have a proper rigorous structure in place so that people put the effort in to say this is an award worth winning. It took a lot of work to get there and the recognition means a lot,” said Madden.
As for the luncheon, Madden loves that it brings all of the nominees together.
“It celebrates each and every one of their successes. They may not make it down the road to the finalist or become a winner, but they all are so different and they are all so important to our local economy that they are all noteworthy of congratulations for making it and being nominated,” Madden said.
The Business Excellence Awards Gala will take place March 11, 2017 at SKY Hanger at SKY Helicopters in Pitt Meadows.