2019 Business of the Year – White Squirrel Golf Club
There were three nominees for Business of the Year – Grand Bend Gym (owned/ operated by John & Gayle Dehondt), Oakwood Resort (owned and operated by the Scatcherd Family), and the White Squirrel Golf Club (owned/operate by Mac Voisin, Marcela Bahar, Al and Lynn Orth).
This award recognizes a business for special accomplishment in one or more areas, including product research and development, increased sales, business development, marketing innovation, employee relations, product service and quality, environmental consciousness, excellent customer service, good business ethics and demonstrated good corporate citizenship.
The 2019 recipient was White Squirrel Golf Club. Under new ownership, the golf course has transformation into a year-round operation with completely renovated facilities offering players, guests and patrons a full-service restaurant that boasts brunch, lunch, dinner, kids and take-out menus, live entertainment, and a shuttle to take you home. The new clubhouse, a zero net energy” building (energy generated on-site is equal to the energy used) promises to further enhance the golfing experience, which already rivals the area’s best.
2019 Entrepeneur of the Year – Troy James Hogg
This year’s nominees for Entrepreneur of the Year Award included Pete Broeders (Broeders Steel / The Iron Barn), Jackie Culligan (Gift of Art / Foodies) and Troy James Hogg (The Colonial Hotel / Gables in the Bend).
It could be argued that the 2019 season arguable belonged to 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year Troy Hogg. When The Colonial Hotel /Gables in the Bend sold to newcomer Troy Hogg, locals watched with some trepidation worrying over what might result. With extensive renovations in both building serving as just a start, Troy Hogg brought top flight acts back to Gables which hosted 34 concerts, sold 15,000 tickets and had 500 musicians grace its stage. Troy’s vision, initiative and investment provided entertainment, events and experiences that gelled locals into a fan club and brought money-spending visitors into the area.
2019 David Scatcherd Community Spirit Award – Mary Alderson
The Chamber’s two individual awards celebrate extraordinary personal efforts. The David Scatcherd Community Spirit Award, named for Oakwood Resort’s late David Scatcherd who raised $2-million for Community Living, recognizes a person who goes beyond their usual role to help make the community vibrant, prosperous and welcoming. It’s an award about giving back to the community in a selfless way and making the community a priority.
This year’s nominees included Mary Alderson, Barry Randall and Rosalind and Charles MacDonald.
Nominated for the second time in a row, the award went to Mary Alderson for her volunteer efforts founding and organizing Wednesday’s Familiar Favourites concerts on the beach, as well as her volunteer work with West Coast Lions, and Huron Shores United Church and her support of local cultural life through her Breach Writers Group, Lambton Doors Open and Entertain This Thought – a theatre and performance blog that gets between 3,000 to 7,000 hits monthly.
2019 Phyllis Statchuk Customer Service Excellence Award – Drew Wilson
The final award, the Phyllis Statchuk Customer Service Excellence Award, was established to provide a goal and benchmark for customer service excellence that Chamber volunteer Phyllis Statchuk demonstrated at the Welcome Centre. The award celebrates either an employee or volunteer who responds to a customer’s needs in a friendly, genuine and personable way that makes a difference to the customer and the organization.
This year’s nominees were Drew Wilson (Widder Station Golf Club) and Kristy Thomson (Rock Glen Family Resort).
The 2019 recipient was Drew Wilson, a young “fire-brand” who, despite being part of the Millennial Generation, believes his ability to connect with customers is due to his belief in and practice of “old-school face-to-face interactions“, which he says ” are always more memorable than digital interactions“.
As Director of Golf at Widder Station, Drew is responsible for to ensure golfers enjoy their time at the course and that’s all about creating an enjoyable, memorable experience that begins in the parking lot and only ends when they leave the property. Drew attributes his commitment to customer service is born in the saying “long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten, a customer will always remember how you made them feel.“