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NewsNominees chosen for Business Awards Gala on November 8

Nominees chosen for Business Awards Gala on November 8

The Mississippi Mills Chamber of Commerce today announced the nominees for its annual Business Awards celebrating the energy and entrepreneurial spirit in the historical communities of Pakenham, Ramsay and Almonte.

The awards will be presented at the Business Awards Gala on November 8 at the Old Town Hall in Almonte. The Chamber has received a total of thirty nominations in four categories. Creativity and Innovation Community Involvement Outstanding Employee Economic Contribution

Gala Co-Chair, Nicole Guthrie, was enthusiastic about the number and quality of the nominations. “We received a record number of nominations this year across all of the categories,” Guthrie said, “We were especially pleased to see to see such a strong response to our newest award, the one for Outstanding Employee.”

In this category, Carol Ann Leishman, barista extraordinaire at the Palms coffee shop, received two nominations from loyal customers. In his nomination, Rob Riendeau says: “I have been a customer of Palms Coffee Shop for several years and have been consistently impressed with Carol-Ann Leishman as both an employee and as an “ambassador” for the town. The main street coffee shop is often one of the first stops for visitors and I have often been in the shop as Carol-Ann chats with newcomers and suggests destinations – she exemplifies the friendliness that Almonte is known for. She is extraordinarily friendly, professional and helpful. She also makes the best coffee in town!”

A number of the nominations in this category came from business owners recognizing long-time staff for their support and loyalty. In their nomination of Lynn McLean, Robert Dick and Doug McIntosh of Neilcorp say: “Lynn has a knowledge of both construction and customer service that is second to none. Each time he enters a new home he works on it as he would his own, often spending many extra hours to make it perfect for the new homeowner.”

As in previous years, the Community Involvement award drew a large number of nominations. Mary and Terry Lumsden of Mills Street Books were nominated for their dedicated support of the Mainstreet Almonte Attraction and Promotion (MAAP) initiative and the encouragement they provide to local authors with events such as the recent book launch of Jake Berkowitz’ Stardust Revolution. Pakenham is represented again this year with a nomination of perennial community activist Cathy Galbraith of Nicholson’s. In her nomination, Jody Gleeson says, “There’s not one thing that happens in Pakenham that Nicholson’s doesn’t only financially contribute but gives their time and support to.”

The always exciting category of Creativity and Innovation brought forward five nominations including Sara Bazett of Soul Scents, Errin Stone and Vicki Veenstra at the Tin Barn Market, the Puppets Up! festival, Lilly White (also nominated for Community Involvement) and Peter Mansfield, the architect whose handiwork has in large part contributed to the vibrant restoration of Almonte’s heritage downtown. In nominating the Tin Barn Market, David Baril says: “Vicki and Errin introduced a new concept in retail to the downtown of Almonte by creating a “pop up” location. Taking advantage of temporarily vacant premises they first “popped up” in a corridor between Appleton Gift & Baskets and Kentfield Kids during for the fall and Xmas season of 2011, creating a fun and funky space bursting with a variety of unusual artifacts presented with great verve and style.”

And, of course, the Chamber recognizes the importance of Economic Contribution by presenting an award to an organization or individual whose ongoing activities have a positive impact through investment, employment and taxes. This year the nominees are the Almonte Fitness Centre, the Almonte Riverside Boutique Inn, Neilcorp, Puppets Up! and Reliable Heating.

In nominating former “Forty under Forty” entrepreneur Adrian Ayotte (also nominated for Community Involvement) Kris Riendeau says: “Reliable has contributed to the community in numerous ways. They employ local people, and invest in marketing initiatives that promote the entire area (including print ads, an online presence, and radio ads). They also sponsor and support numerous initiatives throughout Mississippi Mills, including the Chamber of Commerce and the Young Awards Foundation (which raises funds for arts programs in area schools). Personally, Adrian is also President of the Almonte Lions Club and Vice-President of the Chamber.”

The Chamber is thrilled with the strength and vitality demonstrated by the nominations and all of the nominees will be featured in a slide show that will run throughout the evening of the Gala. (Full list of all nominees in each category is appended below).

This year’s Gala, which takes place on November 8th at the Almonte Old Town Hall, is a departure from the previous format. Instead of a sit-down dinner, there will be several “market stalls” with ‘tapas’ style gourmet dishes prepared by top local chefs and featuring local produce.

Chamber President and Gala Chair, Kris Riendeau, says, “We are aiming to streamline the evening and emphasize fun and celebration. Instead of a speaker, we will focus on the awards and then enjoy the music, mingling and perhaps even some dancing!”
To join in the fun and find out who the winners are, register online at or drop in to the Tin Barn Market in Almonte or Don’s Meat in Pakenham to pick up your tickets.


Community Involvement

Adrian Ayotte Reliable Heating and Cooling
Bob Graff Baker Bob’s
Carmel Broughton The Almonte Print Shop
Cathy Galbraith Nicholson’s
Everett Colby & Dawn McGeachy Colby McGeachy PC
Don Wiles Almonte Lecture Series
Julie Argue Foodies Fine Foods
Harold McKay RE/MAX Realty
Lilly White The White Lilly
Mary and Terry Lumsden Mill Street Books


 Creativity and Innovation

Lilly White The White Lilly
Peter Mansfield Peter Mansfield Architect
Noreen Young Puppets Up!
Sara Bazett Soul Scents
Errin Stone & Vicki Veenstra The Tin Barn Market


 Economic Contribution

Tony Lopes Almonte Fitness Centre
Rob Prior Almonte Riverside Boutique Inn
Linda Lowe Linda Lowe Daycare
Robert Dick & Doug McIntosh Neilcorp
Noreen Young Puppets Up!
Adrian Ayotte Reliable Heating

 Outstanding Employee

Laurie Gossett Don’s Meat Market
Diane Boal The White Lilly
Carol-Ann Leishman (2) Palms Coffee Shop
Johanne Cuerrier Robin’s Paper Thin
Lawanda Brown RBC Royal Bank
Lynn McLean Neilcorp
Nancy Fulton Levi’s Home Hardware
Theo Yeaman Mill Street Crepe Co




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