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Strait Area Chamber of Commerce Awards: From taverns to TNT, successful entrepeneurs receive recognition

The staff of DSM Nutrition in Mulgrave were recognized for 25 years in business during the Strait Area Chmaberof Commerce Fall Awards.

November 23,2022

-by April MacDonald
    Last Wednesday, in the Bear Head Room the largest crowd to ever attend the Strait Chamber’s Fall Awards Dinner celebrated the remarkable achievements of local businesses and their employees.
    Accolades were given for the accomplishments of deserving businesses and their employees who are the backbone of any thriving business.
    Special guests in attendance were Jason Aucoin, Town of Port Hawkesbury councillor, Amanda Mombourquette, Richmond County warden, Trevor Boudreau, Richmond County MLA, Brenda Chisholm-Beaton, Port Hawkesbury mayor, and Richmond County councillor, Melanie Sampson.
    And the awards go to:
    The recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award was Daniel MacDonald of the Port Hood Co-op.
    “For more than 18 years, Daniel has welcomed customers and been the guy to go to when you need something in the Co-op due to his friendly easy-going nature. Daniel is also a long-time volunteer with the Cape Breton West Islanders and a valued member of their team.  Daniel is an asset to his company, his customers, and the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce Business community.”
    MacDonald said, “I was honored to have my manager, David MacKinnon, nominate me for the Outstanding Customer Service Award. I wouldn’t have done it without David’s support and my coworkers who are like family to me, as well as my family and friends. To the valuable customers of the Port Hood Co-op , even though products are not always available, rest assured that my coworkers and I will always try to help you out the best we can. Thank you to the Strait Area Chamber for the great night and for selecting me as winner of the Outstanding Customer Service Award. See you at the Co-op!”
    Next up was the Excellence in Business Award which is presented annually to a Chamber member who has demonstrated a commitment to business, employee growth and to Strait Region communities. 
    This award is sponsored by the East Coast Credit Union.
    This year’s recipient was Rockdale Electric Ltd. and the Mombourquette family.
    Nani’s Esthetics accepted the Immigrant Entrepreneur Award.
    Rising Star New Business Award winners were Cathy and Turk Tower of TNT Outdoor Adventures located on Hunters Mountain.
    “In 2021 Stephen and Cathy Tower embarked on a new adventure, literally.
    ‘TNT Outdoor Adventures Inc. (Tires and Tracks) provides guided trail tours by Side-by-Side and by snowmobile. Their trail tours are inspired by their personal adventures in their home of scenic Cape Breton Island. They provide unique, customized tours, in a safe, fun environment, to all outdoor enthusiasts, year-round. They have seen steady growth in their business since opening, expanding their fleet and completing construction of a new building on the Cabot Trail, giving direct access to the trails.”
    Port Hawkesbury Paper won the Export Achievement Award. Bill MacDougall and Robin Ferguson accepted the award on behalf of Port Hawkesbury Paper.
    New club members were also added to the roster for their success as well as longevity.
    Club 25 was established in 1997 to recognize Chamber members whose businesses or organizations have had a physical presence in the Strait Area for 25 years or more. 
    There were several recipients to acknowledge this year. 
    Being honoured were Neil MacDonald, B&N Distributors, Melinda Carrigan and Ron Savoury, DSM Nutritional Products, Sherri MacGregor, Highland Hearing Clinic, Pernell Carter, K&A Electric, and Blake Beaton, Strum Consulting.
    The next category was Club 50.
    They recognized three organizations for the 50 years that they have been in operation.
    The first was The Admiral Lounge which has been owned and operated by the MacDonald family in Port Hood for 50 years.
    The Chamber invited Charlie and Katrina MacDonald to the stage to accept the recognition of their long-standing service to their community.
    The Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design were celebrated for 50 years of education, engagement, and excellence.
    “They are an integral and leading force in the educational, promotional, and economic development of the craft sector on Cape Breton Island.”
    The Chamber invited local artisan in residence, Roy Caussey, to accept the award on their behalf.
    The Carriage House in Port Hawkesbury owned and operated by the MacLean family also celebrated 50 years in business.
    Trish MacLean accepted the award and their congratulations on 50 years in business.
    Next up was the Safety Champion Award. This year’s winner was Paul Kehoe, Safety Champion Award recipient.
    “Kehoe leads the Emergency Response Team at PHP, coordinating and training the shift response teams and develops and reviews health and safety protocols diligently and efficiently. Paul was a key player in the creation and execution of the mill’s Pandemic Management Plan, allowing PHP to have no production interruptions, where other mills were impacted.  In a complex work environment, Paul puts the health and safety of his team front and centre. A member of the Port Hawkesbury Volunteer Fire Department since 1992, Paul promotes personal and event specific safety protocols and goes above and beyond to instill these ideals in his peers.”
     Misty MacDonald provided closing remarks.
    “Our Fall Awards Dinner is always a great networking opportunity, and this year has been exceptional! As this is our largest number gathered for an awards event yet, we welcome everyone to connect as we wrap up the evening’s events. Each year, we come together to celebrate the job creators, innovators, and business owners who turn dreams into economic growth. I think our award winners demonstrate the spirit of entrepreneurship at its core – they have chosen to locate here, they employ our friends and neighbours, they take an idea and turn it into reality.  Congratulations to all the nominees and award winners this evening!”













































































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