Businesses shine at chamber awards gala
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | March 22, 2018
Haliburton County business owners, staff and non-profits filled the Pinestone Resort’s ballroom last Saturday to celebrate one another’s success in 2017.
More than 200 people attended the 12th annual Business and Community Achievement Awards, hosted by the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce. The awards were handed out after dinner. and a few jokes from emcee Mike Jaycock. The first recipient was McKecks Tap and Grill for Business Achievement. Established in 1986 by former NHLer Walt McKechnie, McKecks has been a staple in the community.
“The core values, skills development, conduct, diligence, honesty, loyalty, communication, teamwork and opportunity ring true every day,” said Jaycock, reading comments from the judges. “McKecks is a local success story that is proud to be part of our great community.”
Next up was Master’s Bookstore, recipient of the Customer First (Business) award. Owner Kathy Stouffer received a standing ovation. “For over 30 years, [the business] has provided exemplary customer service,” said Jaycock. “Master’s Bookstore and Kathy are wonderful ambassadors for Haliburton.”
The husband and wife team of Christoph Carl and Terri Mathews-Carl took home the Entrepreneur of the Year award for their businesses, Rhubarb Restaurant and Boshkung Brewing Co. They were also recognized for recently starting up a clothing line that promotes kindness to combat bullying.
“The contributions [they] have collectively made to the Haliburton Highlands and beyond is immeasurable,” said Jaycock.
The youngest winner was Morgan Burke for Young Professional of the Year. At just 15 years old, the local high school student began making items from the by-products of honey bees. Her business is known as The Birds and the Bees. Last November, she was named the staff pick for the best in customer service and display at Toronto’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Perhaps the most highly-anticipated award of the night was Highlander of the Year.
Andy Campbell, executive director of the Haliburton County Development Corporation (HCDC), came out on top for his 30-plus years of commitment to the organization. Campbell told The Highlander it meant a great deal to be recognized by the chamber—especially since they originally hired him to develop a plan to support local businesses. That’s how HCDC was born.
“I’m really proud,” he said. “I’ve seen so many Highlander of the Year [recipients] over the years. The people who have received them have earned them.” Campbell’s retiring at the end of the month
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.