PORT McNEILL—First Deborah Emery raised the roof with her soulful R&B. Then North Island Secondary School and Strategic Natural Resources Consultants rocked the house.
The Port McNeill and District Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Excellence in Business Awards Gala Friday at the Community Hall, and there was excellence to spare.
Jon Lok and his Strategic team picked up the Business of the Year Award, and Strategic’s Shannon Cadwallader was named Employee of the Year, one of two new awards unveiled for 2013.
NISS principal Jay Dixon was presented the Professional Merit Award and then put on his presenter’s hat to award Grade 12 student Andrew Mitchell the Youth of the Year Award, another new category.
For the first time, the local chamber hosted its nomination and voting process online, and the change resulted in a substantial boost in nominees.
Other winners included Cheryl Verbrugge, founder of the Victor’s Secret Pageant fundraiser, as Volunteer of the Year; Jennie-Lynn Noël of People’s Drug Mart for Customer Service Excellence; and Dr. Brian Bostrom, who recently established his dental practice in town, for New Business of the Year. The Chamber Spirit Award was presented by Gaby Wickstrom to chamber president David Mitchell, who in turn recognized Cheryl Jorgenson for her organization of the evening.
The gala began with cocktails, followed by dinner catered by Northern Lights Restaurant. Emery, the Alert Bay gospel and soul singer, then regaled the audience with diverse a selection of numbers.