Dana Matheson’s first priority in life, above all else, is his family.
For the 38-year-old Fort Langley father of two, second on the priority list is business, and third is community.
It’s a formula that has secured him some significant successes in life thus far, and earned him two awards from the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce late last week.
Matheson – owner of C&D Logistics among other local companies – was one of 10 Langley businesses or individuals recognized specifically for their accomplishments during the chamber’s annual Business Excellence Awards last Thursday.
He and his C&D team walked away with the service excellence award for the retail and service sector. But, moreover, he earned the top honour of the night, the George Preston Memorial Business Person of the Year Award.
“The name says it all. George Preston. I mean that was the gentlemen who was instrumental in helping build a community and a business climate in this community, and he did a lot, so I’m extremely honoured and humbled to be receiving an award in his name. It just means a lot,” Matheson shared with the Langley Advance just minutes after receiving the award.
“It’s always nice to be recognized for the work that you do. That’s not why you do the work,” he added. “I’m just very proud of my team right now, and the effort that all of my employees give on a daily basis to help build my companies so that I can be involved in the community and give back. It’s really about the team.”
Before a packed house of about 350 people at the Cascades Casino, Matheson was recognized not only for all the work he does with and through his multiple companies, but also for his philanthropic endeavours.
This award was first given out in 1989, with George Preston of Preston Chev Olds Cadillac as the first recipient.
“George truly was the epitome of a community leader, contributor, and successful business operator,” said Deloitte senior partner Paul van Koll, who presented Matheson with the award.
That’s why the award now carries his name and honours his memory, van Koll elaborated.
He drew a few obviously similarities to the first-time award winner and the 2017 recipient.
“Dana Matheson is a person you never forget when you meet him. You always feel like you are the most important person in the room,” he added.
Van Koll listing off just some of Matheson’s contributions, including his current role as president of the Langley Rams football club, the fact that he’s on the board of Life Ready Foundation helping youth at risk, he is the founder and ongoing volunteer behind the community Family Day Festival, and he gives back 10 per cent of his companies’ profits each year to this community.
“I’m very passionate about this community and I’m passionate about the people in it, and I love to help, I love to give back, and I love to see growth in our community,” Matheson said.
He and his wife Laurel started the core company, C&D, in Walnut Grove in 2006. They have grown those business holdings since then to include at least five different businesses – including a relatively new trucking company bearing his son, Colton’s name.
While last week’s recognition has been “truly humbling,” Matheson admitted he hasn’t had much time to revel in the accolades. He’s working feverishly on other endeavours.
In addition to overseeing his team and his existing businesses, he’s growing the fledgling trucking firm that was started in May in Walnut Grove. He’s also working to launch a regenerative medicine company south of the 49th parallel in Bellingham in January, and he plans to start a new C&D Logistics U.S. operation – mirroring the operation here in Langley – in Scottsdale, Arizona in January.
Regardless of how large his business enterprise grows, however, Matheson insists that 10 per cent contribution and the ongoing donation of time and resources will not falter.
To date, he has donated more than $1 million to more than 250 charities and organizations, and he admits he’s far from done.
“It was just wonderful to be recognized,” Matheson said, still trying to let the reality of the award sink in, admitting complete surprise that he received both of the awards.
Matheson has received a few chamber business excellence awards in past, as well, including being the recipient of the first under 40 year old businessperson of the year, in 2015, and the medium business of the year award in 2016.
“I’m very honoured… There’s a long list of wonderful people who have won it, and to be in that class is something that is very special,” he said, noting that many past winners are friends and fellow local business people who he still works with in “many endeavours.”
“It’s a wonderful list of alumni, and I’m proud to be part of that.”
Other awards were presented:
Beyond the George Preston Business Person of the Year award, there were 10 other awards presented on Oct. 26. These are the write ups presented for each of the winners, as prepared by the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.
• Community Impact of the Year award for a for-profit company went to Jack Nicholson and his team at Otter Co-op.
Otter Co-op is a member-owned retail co-operative that believes in giving back to the communities where they work, live and play.
At Otter they believe in local investment sponsoring a variety of causes around Langley.
From local sports teams and non-profits, to organizations such as the Red Cross and Canuck Place you can almost always find Otter employees at events helping out and giving back.
Through the past year, Otter Co-op has distributed more than $146,000 in donations to various efforts including the BC Wildfire Campaign.
From giving back to their members to their amazing scholarship program, Otter Co-op follows through on its core values, you are at home at Otter Co-op.
• Community Impact of the Year award for a not-for-profit organization was presented to Cherise McGee and the team from Langley Community Farmers Market.
The farmers market is all about community.
Their mission is to create a food-secure community by improving access to local, healthy, and affordable food, and they are doing just that.
Their current initiatives include a youth program, supporting young entrepreneurs to sell their made, baked, or grown products in the market.
Their food recovery program has donated more than 600 lbs of food to various local groups in the first 10 weeks it was in operation.
While keeping all that food out of the landfill, they’re also easing the burden of several local organizations that strive to feed our community.
The success of this organization is because of its dedicated community volunteers and supporters, their energy creates a vibrant community, that people want to be a part of.
• Environmental Leadership of the Year award was given to Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU).
KPU fosters a culture of environmental sustainability on every level.
It extends from an onsite farmers market, and inter-campus shuttle, to rainwater harvesting, green walls and roof, as well as 16 degrees and six diplomas directly related to environmental sustainability.
Not only do they teach it, they live it.
In Tsawwassen, at the farm school, they compost for community gardens, have an expanded recycling program, and an urban forestry management plan.
At KPU they have a long-term commitment to sustainability, that includes its staff and students.
They have expanded their building space by 36 per cent since 1994, while managing to reduce their natural gas use by three per cent and electricity by nine per cent – over the same period.
It is not just trendy or a good idea to be environmentally sustainable, it is a commitment.
• Service Excellence of the Year award for retail and business was presented to Dana Matheson and his team at C&D Logistics.
At C&D Logistics they thrive on their ability to service their customers, they are constantly adapting and changing to meet the ever-changing requirements of their industry.
They have a very proactive approach to provide excellent customer service on several levels, whether it be online, in person or on the phone, you know C&D Logistics cares about its customers.
Their dedication to customer service has been a key factor to their growth.
Every person on the team, from the top to the bottom, shares the same passion and dedication to providing excellent customer service.
At C&D Logistics, they care.
• Service Excellence of the Year award for the food and beverage industry went to Lance Verhoeff and the team at Trading Post Brewery and Eatery.
Trading Post Brewery and Eatery tries to do the best they can by living out their core values: authenticity, community, delight, innovation, and quality.
They don’t see customer service as something they do, it just happens.
They strive to make things simple, make sure that their customers are appreciated when they walk through the door, and make sure that they feel like part of the Trading Post community.
They say that there is no special magic solution to customer service, but they seem to have the right ingredients.
• Entrepreneur of the Year award was given to Spencer Turley of Murrayville Plumbing and Heating.
Turley started Murrayville Plumbing two years ago and has quickly grown into a household name.
Turley leads his team with a positive attitude, this shows as he and his team take extreme pride in their customer service and their craftsmanship.
He works on small and large projects with the same outlook, always leave the job completed properly and beautifully.
They also believe in giving back to the community where they live by donating time and energy to various projects in Langley.
Turley believes you have to show your team how to be positive and friendly every time you answer the phone or knock on a door.
At Murrayville Plumbing the team is proud to deliver unparalleled customer service and satisfaction, and they do so together.
• U40 Business Person of the Year was presented to Darian Kovacs of Jelly Marketing.
While results are an indication of a well-executed project, it’s not the singular cornerstone of good leadership.
Good leaders are able to connect people with opportunities and ideas; ideas that get brands thinking outside the box.
Good leaders cultivate an environment that allows each team member to thrive and delegates their strengths accordingly.
That is what Darian does.
He’s taken a small one-person shop and turned it into a now 12-person team with such customers as Lazy-Z Boy and Lego.
Darian cultivates an environment that allows personal development and growth for the team.
As the company grows, so does its footprint in the community, giving back to such organizations as Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Langley Animal Protection Society.
Darian leads his team with enthusiasm, vision, and focus.
• Small Business of the Year award was received by Matt Ferguson on behalf of his wife, Dr. Renee Ferguson and the team at Mountainview Veterinary Hospital.
At Mountainview Veterinary Hospital, Ferguson and her team always go above and beyond.
That’s been demonstrated through many initiatives, from educating the community on feral cats, school outreach programs, student practicums, to equipping fire departments with pet oxygen masks.
That’s not to mention the endless hours of community leadership, donating to LAPS, Tiny Kittens, and BC Wildfire animal victims.
Mountainview uses innovative patient care to provide excellent care and customer service to ensure animal health locally and globally.
The key to their success is their wonderful team who bring their knowledge, caring, and compassion to everything they do.
• Medium Business of the Year award was presented to Stephen Pal from Edmonds Batteries.
Edmonds Batteries Ltd. is locally owned and operated and has a policy of hiring locally, as they build and train their team and promote from within the company.
As with many mom-and-pop shops they started out small and through the past 40 years have grown to span across the Lower Mainland, while still staying focused on being a local company.
They assist with mentorship and advisory programs that encourage their team to work towards success in all they do.
They pride themselves on caring about their employees, customers, and suppliers by providing a positive customer service experience.
• Large Business of the Year was given to Raymond MacNeil and his 500-plus employees at Cascades Casino and the Coast Hotel & Convention Centre.
Cascades Casino Coast Hotel & Convention Centre has built a culture within its staff to give back to the community.
Through the past year, the team has significantly supported the Arts Alive Festival, Heart & Stroke Big Bike, Canadian Festival of BBQ & Chili, Make A Wish, and the Langley Christmas Bureau just to name a few.
The team always goes above and beyond to make every event successful and top quality.
When their community needed them this past year during a recent apartment fire, Cascades reached out assisting emergency services with offers of accommodations, meals, snacks, and toiletries.
At Cascades it is their goal to make sure that they make sustainable contributions to our community through local programs and non-profit organizations.
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