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The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce Business & Community Recognition Awards 2014

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The Chamber’s mission with our annual Awards Gala is to discover and honour the residents of the RMWB who inspire the rest of us to reach our potential. We believe it is the essence and the power of our community! This year’s gala, presented by Servus Credit Union, took place on October 20th at the Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre. Each of the nominees, in their own way, is helping to make the region stronger by making positive changes in the lives of all the residents in our region.

There are a number of categories in which nominees are recognized. Here is a little about the award recipients in each category.

X-ceptional Kidz Award
Presented by Nexen Energy ULC:

This award is given to individuals under the age of 17 who have shown care and involvement throughout the community in ways that make them truly “x-ceptional.” These youth set an example for their peers and the people around them.

Award Recipient: Mitch Murphy

Mitch Murphy is a regular volunteer in the community, helping out both at special events and also regularly volunteering at the Fellowship Church’s Soup Kitchen. Mitch’s strong leadership in Fort McMurray’s Air Cadets squadron resulted in his being awarded the top honour of the Lord Strathcona award. As if that isn’t enough, Mitch has also spoken out to other youth about the issue of drinking and driving, and his leadership has garnered praise from both his School Principal and his Air Cadets commanding officer. Award Recipient: Sam Wells

At 15-years-old, Sam has been recognized as an ambassador within her school, a rescuer of animals, and has even been known to discuss politics on local radio. Sam volunteers with the Food Bank and has even spearheaded an initiative to have her student council to participate in the Stuff the Bus Campaign during the Santa Clause parade. Samantha is no slouch when it comes to school she is a good student, and actively participates in school council and other events. Sam has proven to be quite the animal activist on top of all her other social passions.

The Leader of Tomorrow Award
Presented by Shell Canada Ltd.:

This award is presented to an individual between the ages of 18-25 who has shown commitment and genuine care for the community. This individual’s continued support will provide the inspiration and drive to both present and future generations.

Award Recipient: Stephen Combdon

Currently pursuing his teaching degree, Stephen organized bake sales with his peers in the Alberta Teacher’s Association Student local to raise funds to support the family of a little girl who was in a coma. He has served with the Wood Buffalo Youth Science Foundation as a volunteer at the Wood Buffalo Regional Science Fair and has also participated in Wood Buffalo Street Clean Up activities for several years. Stephen is a Leader for Youth and Young Adults at the Family Christian Centre where he provides support, mentoring and guidance to over 70 youth and young adults each week.

Public Service Award
Presented by Enbridge Pipelines (Athabasca) Inc.:

This award is designed to recognize outstanding achievement in the Public Service sector of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Award Recipient: Dorothy Innes

In the nearly five years that Dorothy Innes has been with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Economic Development branch she has been a passionate ambassador for our region. Dorothy is a true leader within the Economic Development team. She constantly makes a point of being fully aware of the developments happening within our community so that she can give accurate information to all the stakeholders she deals with. Her opinions and recommendations are very valuable and sought after both within and outside the municipality.

Micro-Business of the Year
Presented by Balsom Communications:

The Micro Business of the Year award is designed to recognize businesses with up to 5 employees who demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their business or profession; and provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improving the quality of life for others in the community.

Award Recipient: Fougere Accounts Ltd.

Owner Lucinda Fougere has been very involved in the community since starting her business eight years ago. Lucinda is continuously donating to and managing hockey teams, and she has been a beaver leader, volunteering at anything she can that involves children. Not only is Lucinda active with the local sport teams and community but she also mentors students expressing interest in the field of bookkeeping and she takes on accountant students at her business that need the work experience. She has also taught classes at the local college, and always encourages her staff to help people in need in the community.

Small Business of the Year Award
Presented by the ATCO Group of Companies

This award recognizes a Fort McMurray business employing up to 6-20 people which has made an outstanding contribution in the combined area of business success, innovation and community service.

Award Recipient: ICEIS Group

With the environment high on the list of corporate priorities, ICEIS Group has developed a line of environmentally friendly cleaning products under their brand. All career training personal through the ICEIS Group “Get Ready program” are introduced to the environmentally friendly products as part of their awareness and job site protection and safety. ICEIS Group has also developed training courses that are now accredited by CCPC Global and the First Nations Wellness/Addictions Counsellor Certification Board. Some examples of these courses are Construction Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Construction which take into account environmental impacts and awareness as part of the course content.

Business of the Year
Presented by Xpert Office Solutions-Xerox

This award recognizes a business employing 21+ people which has made an outstanding contribution in the combined areas of business success, innovation and community service.

Award Recipient: Autopro Automation Ltd.

Autopro Automation is a leading supporter for the Fort McMurray Public School District’s Robotics Program. Through the generous financial and administrative support of Autopro Automation, the Grade 4-9 student robotics program has grown from 4 to 22 teams in just under four years. As well, in 2013, Autopro created the Annual Autopro FMPSD Golf Tournament & Silent Auction, which brings their local customers together with members of the school district and the public to raise funds to support the Robotics Program.

Sustainable Community Recognition Award
Presented by TOTAL E&P Canada Ltd.

This award is given to an individual or group who strives to contribute to sustainable community in their everyday efforts. The Sustainable Community Recognition Award identifies those who have a concern for the needs of others, going above and beyond the call of duty with little or no concern for financial gain.

Award Recipient: Phoenix Heli-Flight Ltd.

Every year, hundreds of residents benefit from Phoenix Heli-Flight’s medical helicopter service. Providing helicopter air ambulance service to the RMWB 24 hours a day, each and every day of the year, owner Paul Spring and the team at Phoenix Heli-Flight embody the essence of community spirit. Paul’s insight and integrity have made him the leader within the air ambulance industry in North America.