Business community celebrates success
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | June 23, 2016|
A United Church minister, who’s helped feed and shelter area residents, is the Highlander of the Year for 2016.
Max Ward received the honour at the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce 11th annual business and community achievement awards’ gala Saturday night at the Pinestone Resort and Conference Centre.
He has been working with the food bank in Minden, where they have built a new food centre. His other big hat is Places for People, providing affordable housing in the community.
He told The Highlander at the event that he was “shocked” to be named top citizen.
“So many good nominees. It’s hard to pick one. I’m glad it was me this year,” he said.
He was up against Don Bamford, Janis Parker, Kim Emmerson, Laurie Jones and Sean Pennylegion.
A humble and happy Ward simply added, “I do feel it’s living out my faith. That’s what I tell people. I’m trying my best and it’s showing.”
Other winners were:
- Business achievement award: The Pump Shop
- Customer first business: Wintergreen Maple Products and Pancake Barn
- Entrepreneur of the year: Mike McFadden of McFadden’s Meat Market
- Innovation and creativity: The Haliburton Real Estate Team
- New business: Highland Glass and Windows
- Not-for-profit of the year: Community Living
- Skilled trades and industry: Harcourt Park Marina
- Tourism and hospitality: Bonnie View Inn
- Warden’s award: The Haliburton County Snowmobile Association
- Customer – First – Employee award: All the nominees were declared winners.
The local chamber has 270 members and this year’s gala was sold out once again.
Chamber president Jerry Walker said, “Our business community is alive and well and it shows here tonight. It is a real, driving force for Haliburton County.”
Matthew Roberts of title sponsor, Heat-Line Freeze, commented on attending his first chamber gala three years ago as a nominee and feeling anxious. However, he said once he walked into the room that was “replaced with pride and a sense of belonging.” He commented on the “determined and strong-willed entrepreneurs” in the county.
Peter Brady, in presenting an award, spoke of how it is encouraging and exciting to see the germination of a concept into the fulfillment of an idea and a dream.
And Algonquin Highlands Reeve Carol Moffatt, in presenting the tourism and hospitality award, said the county needed to be proud of the advances it’s made in tourism.
Warden Brent Devolin chose the Haliburton County Snowmobile Association for his namesake award, saying they were in their 46th year, had hundreds of volunteers and had committed millions of dollars in terms of assets and labour.
There were a record 95 nominations from 75 different businesses, organizations and individuals at this year’s awards.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.