After hosting six years of successful Business Awards, the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce is using its 120th anniversary year as a reason to drastically change it up.
“The awards highlight the business leaders and trailblazers in Mission,” notes Chamber President Elyssa Lockhart. “The business community is evolving so the awards are evolving with it.”
The awards have been pared down from eight categories to six and give every business and organization in Mission an opportunity to prove their excellence. The six new relevant awards are:
An established business that continues to have a strong presence by developing or creating new business programs, platforms and opportunities while continuing to be a contributor to the local community.
Power of Small
An emerging or existing innovative small business that has been operating for a minimum of two years and exemplifies entrepreneurial spirit and vision with new products, services or process.
A business with significant local focus in their enterprise; be it through manufacturing product locally, or retailing/utilizing products and/or services produced locally and community involvement.
A business that demonstrates special consideration for its customers, ongoing employee training and a high level of understanding and commitment to service excellence.
The hallmark of this award is being friendly, honest, innovative, approachable customer service on a consistent basis.
A non-profit, club or organization that is active in the local community by making a positive difference, involving active collaboration and engagement with others beyond who they serve.
Nominated by the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, this award will be given to a business or leader who exemplifies excellence and leadership in the business community that may go unnoticed.
The President’s Award will not be accepting any nominations from the public and Chamber board directors will not be eligible.
“There are many unsung leaders in our community, we are hoping to address their recognition through this award,” states Lockhart.
Not just new awards, the whole process of how nominations are accepted and judged is being modified.
“We want everyone to participate so we encourage the community to get involved,” said Lockhart.
Anyone can nominate any business or organization that meets one of the five open award criteria. If a business feels that they meet them, they can even nominate themselves. However, the proof will be in the pudding as the community will be able to vote on who they believe best meets the award criteria.
Points collected from the voting plus a task force of past award winners that will review nominees’ information will narrow the nominee pool to a top three. These three finalists will then be visited by a panel of judges who will score the finalist on more refined award criteria. Each judge’s scores will be tabulated independently so no one can steer the final selection.
“There was a lot of fear in our judging process, where all nominees needed to do a presentation before a judging panel,” discloses Lockhart. “Now we are hoping to ease nominee’s fears by allowing them to provide information through the process and meeting them on their own terms in their place of business.”
Taking it right out of the box, the Chamber is even moving the date and venue of the gala. This year’s event will be held Saturday, June 8. This is to allow everyone a chance to prepare for the formal event without the rush of leaving their workday.
“For now we are keeping the venue a secret,” said Lockhart. “All I can hint at is that it reflects how we were pioneers in 1893 and pioneers now.”
Look for more hints on the venue, entertainment and how the awards are being turned upside down in the coming months.
Nominations are open and the Chamber encourages everyone to nominate their favourite store, restaurant, business, club or organization in one of the five categories. To nominate go to www.MissionChamber.bc.ca and click on the Nominate a Star Performer.