The Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated their annual Business and Community Awards Gala.
This year, the event featured some of the city’s best and brightest, with the Chamber also adding several new categories to help celebrate the good work of Lacombe residents.
“I think it was a nice touch to be able to add in those Legacy Awards,” Chamber Executive Director Monica Bartman said. “We had nine businesses that we celebrated this year who have been members for 50 or more years.”
The legacy members honoured at the Gala included Atco Gas, the Lacombe Globe, Weidner Motors, ATB Financial, BDO Canada, Hannas Seeds, Wilson’s Funeral Home and Crematorium, the Bank of Montreal and Nowco Home Hardware.
The event also celebrated their Large and Small Businesses of the Year, with Royal LePage Lifestyles and Reds Sports winning respectively.
Bartman said both of these businesses are very effective at working collaboratively in the community.
“One of the things that Michael Gouchie, owner of Royal LePage along with is wife Sandy, said that everyone who works there is really invested with the community,” Bartman said. “They all have something they are passionate about and they want to make investments into the community. From what I can see, that is really encouraged by Michael and Sandy. They want their staff to be involved.”
Bartman added the effect of Royal LePage is really felt in the community, a trait that is shared with Reds Sports.
“Reds Sports are a great team. They are very customer service driven, they are very community-focused and they place a huge priority into looking at what sports are popular in Lacombe. They are looking at what our kids and students are involved in, so whether that is hockey, ringette or swimming — they are looking at the needs of the community,” she said.
The Chamber also recognized Steve Schultz as Citizen of the Year, Dr. Jack Newman as the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award and Bill and Gloria Knight as the Farm Family of the Year.
“These recipients are often people who have been involved in the business community and vice versa the businesses have been involved in helping their initiatives,” Bartman said. “Steve Schultz, for example, is doing some pretty cool projects with his students, but they couldn’t happen without a supportive business community that is providing products or time in terms of mentoring.”
Bartman said the individual awards are nice way to showcase the relationship of business with the greater community.
“Businesses couldn’t thrive without the community and the community doesn’t thrive without invested businesses. It is neat to see,” she said
After growing 10 per cent once again in 2018, Bartman expects more growth in 2019 — with several large scale developments in the works for the city.
“Lacombe is an exciting city to be a part of and there has been a lot of change over the last few years,” she said. “There is no doubt that will continue with a couple projects that we are already seeing.
“It is cool to sit back and watch things develop.”
Bartman also hopes to continue the Chamber’s relationship with the City of Lacombe through their Municipal Policy program.
“We developed our first policy this fall to work with the City and that was well received. That is really encouraging and we hope to carry on with those,” she said.
Bartman added the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting is on Nov. 15th and their annual Christmas Passport Program will start on Nov. 13th.